Political gaming around the Waxman-Markey bill

Political gaming around the Waxman-Markey bill

Summary: Nearly every energy and greentech and auto and battery and utility company in America has a stake in the proposed Waxman-Markey bill. So does every taxpayer and the future of any potential agreement with China on global warming could hang in the balance, and...


Nearly every energy and greentech and auto and battery and utility company in America has a stake in the proposed Waxman-Markey bill. So does every taxpayer and the future of any potential agreement with China on global warming could hang in the balance, and...the list of possible effects of the fate of this legislation is global and ginormous.

Sen. Byrd is out of the hospital but will he be there to vote? How about Sen. Ted Kennedy? The Dems are about add to "Senator" Franken but they'll need Republican help to get past the potential Repub filibuster. Sixty votes will be needed to secure some bill or other. That means they need 60 votes. Over 40 Dems voted against the bill in its current form in the House. What are the odds? Likely there wil be some serious give and take on the content of the bill before any Senate vote is taken. Anti-regulation conservatives are arguing this bill will cost too much, raising energy prices. Some even claim this bill will give the feds the right to control your showering behavior. Sniff test, perhaps? Of course, critics don't bother to figure the costs of environmental disasters like Katrina flooding the former city of New Orleans or perhaps flooding of some place vital like Miami Beach or Hilton Head. There's always the debate, is it cheaper to prepare for the inevitable, or wait and fix it after the unavoidable smash-up? I am a coward and will always opt for preparation. I'd rather be in a San Francisco high-rise during and earthquake than in some unregulated building in rural Turkey. When forced by regulations, American engineers can reduce many serious threats. Without regulation we might well wait until there is no Miami or Houston above the rising sea level. Then we pay lots to fix what we could have prevented.

Topics: Government US, Government

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  • Evidence for your assertions, please

    While there is at least weak scientific evidence that man contributes to global warming (I do not trust it, but at least some studies try to make the point), there is none for climate change causing weather events like hurricanes. One of the leading world experts on hurricanes, Dr. William Grey, has repeated pointed out that it is global temperature differentials that cause hurricanes. Since global warming impacts the poles faster than the equater, by definition global warming will decrease hurricane activity.

    Oddly enough, even with current warming, we have seen no change in hurricane activity (actually a slight decline). I have no problem with the topics the blog chooses to cover, but please be careful about the assertions made. There is a real debate to be had over climate change, but in blurring facts and reality the seriousness and usefulness of the debate is destroyed.
    • Exactly right!

      You are exactly right about the problem with any global warming discussion. They are charged debates based upon YOUNG science that cannot (and may never) handle the type of information needed to properly model and predict the outcome. It's only been the last few years that true measures of solar output have been considered in climate models. Also, feedback mechanisms are better understood now but still insufficiently modeled (most models show feedback mechanisms increasing as the planet warms, causing it to reverse).

      For example, why do surface observations show a 30 year trend towards warming while satellite observations show a steady to SLIGHT decline in temperatures? (Most believe it's heat-island effect as cities encroach upon official temperature measurement sites at airports). Anyways, even the science is biased conjecture anymore and the news (like this blog) slants the opinion greatly towards doom and gloom.
      • Junk Science

        More and more climatologists are speaking out against global warming as I sit around typing this on a July day in the 60's. Please. My local weather forecaster shows a decrease in average temperatures in June of 1 degree. Winters are getting worse.

        Even the EPA states that CO2 does not cause global warming.

        This bill will add $130 a month or more to your energy bill. How is that going to improve your "carbon footprint" ? Are you prepared to pay steep prices, artificially raised by the government ?

        This is another scheme to tax us. It is all about money. More jobs lost, manufacturing will be completely dead here. In a deep recession, teetering on depression, we need to help businesses not add to their costs. This is common sense people ! We can ill-afford this. I will have to stop my purchases and that will not be good for the economy.

        Another 500,000 jobs lost in June. Time to stop putting up with the bull coming out of Washington. Stand up for yourselves before it is too late !

        Katrina caused by global warmning....ha ! What a poorly written article. Now I have heard it all !
        • Do you still smoke cigarettes?

          This is starting to sound how the tobacco lobby funded a great amount "research" to support their profits.

          More, and more, vested interests are funding their own "research". And guess what? It supports their point of view!

          I wonder? Do you disagree that CFC's, etc caused the growing of the Ozone Hole at the poles?
          I am Gorby
    • Evidence for your assertions, please

      Just so. Thanks for your comment.
  • Wow. You really believe what you're saying?

    Mr. Fuller, you've watched "Inconvenient Truth" too many times. There are so many holes in the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory that it's like swiss cheese, and thousands of scientists are finally stepping up and saying so. Please keep an open mind before deciding that the only course of action is to trash the economy and tax the citizens into poverty.

    Messiah is desperate to force these unbelievably bad laws down our throats before we wake up from our post-election stupor and see just what a crock of sh*t he's peddling.

    As for me, I'll take a beach in Mexico any day over San Francisco or Turkey.
  • RE: Political gaming around the Waxman-Markey bill

    "Without regulation we might well wait until there is no
    Miami or Houston above the rising sea level"

    Whoa there. Your kidding right? So worst case scenario
    according to the junk science that Waxman is peddling is
    like 1/10 of a percent increase in temperature over a
    hundred years if we don't do anything. That is going to
    cause Miami to be drowned? I'll bet my entire life savings
    Miami will be in no danger of flooding in 20, 30, even 50
    years if we do nothing.

    The facts show that ice is actually increasing in Antarctica
    and there are 5 times more Polar Bears there than there
    were 30 years ago. Actually we had better hope that some
    glaciers are melting, if they didn't the earth would be
    covered in ice!

    Even though man has nothing to do with the temperature
    of the earth, lets say the earth is warming. Who are we to
    say it should be cooler? Why cooler and not warmer? What
    is the "correct" temperature according to mankind? Since
    we've only been on this planet a split second in it's billions
    of years of existence.

    Are they aware that thousands more people die every year
    because of cold weather, than from the heat?
    • same old same old

      [i]"So worst case scenario
      according to the junk science that Waxman is peddling is
      like 1/10 of a percent increase in temperature over a
      hundred years if we don't do anything"[/i]

      More like 2-5 degrees C hotter, and 2-5 feet of sea level rise, if we do the same things. http://globalchange.mit.edu/pubs/abstract.php?publication_id=990

      [i]"I'll bet my entire life savings
      Miami will be in no danger of flooding in 20, 30, even 50 years if we do nothing."[/i]

      You are betting your children's life savings if you do nothing.

      [i]"ice is actually increasing in Antarctica"[/i]
      Yup, snowfall increases even as the ice shelves collapse. Did you know that warmer air can hold more moisture, hence can precipitate more?

      [i]"...5 times more Polar Bears..."[/i]
      Haven't heard that one yet, can you cite a reliable source?

      [i]"What is the "correct" temperature according to mankind?"[/i]

      Obviously, the temperature at which our civilization can thrive, our food sources continue, and our coasts don't drown. AVoiding global drought would be nice. http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=61527

      At 1000 PPM CO2, the air becomes unpleasant to breath. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/nobel-winner-co2-going-to-1000-parts-per-million/#comment-41515
      • Same old, Same old

        Sorry, but this 'evidence' is weak at best. We still haven't made the connection from 'man' to 'global warming'. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,275267,00.html

        The MIT model doesn't differential between man contributed global warming and natural. Extrapolating out the man-made part gets us to 1/10 of a degree under our control out of the 2-5 degrees you cite.

        We bet our children's future by over-reacting and causing severe economic harm. A 1% decline in the economy this year reduces the following years GDP by slightly more than 1% the following year (in potential GDP) and so on each of the following years (it is called the Okun gap).

        If we over-react today we not only end up with the same future (the one with floods and storms) but also one where our children have a much lower standard of living because we trashed our economy now.

        The issue of 'correct' temperature is not that of what is 'best' for humanity but that of what the earth 'should' be. There is dramatic evidence that the earth's climate is driven by natural gases and solar energy. http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/seminars/991118FO.html

        If our climate is driven by measures out of our control then we should not spend our effort pushing our climate to be what we think it 'should' be, but instead preparing to adapt to what it will become. That is why real debate is important, and many of us oppose drastic action without a true scientific consensus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
      • Yup, same old same old

        We can do this all day. You send your link I send mine. The truth is
        that the verdict is not in on Global warming.


        "You are betting your children's life savings if you do nothing."

        I disagree completely, man cannot affect the temperature of this
        planet. I have no fear for my Children. The only thing I fear for them is
        the debt Obama is leaving them and their kids.

        Glaciers melt, water freezes, it's been happening for billions of years.
        We come on the scene for a blink of an eye in comparison and we
        think we have the weather figured out for the next hundred years?
        Please, a meteorologist cant even tell me for sure what the temp will
        be next week.

        Here's the source on the Polar Bears


        Again, who are we to say at what temperature life can thrive in? We
        are still discovering life in places that scientist believed impossible
        due to the extreme temperature.

        It honestly sickens me to read some of the articles you have posted
        here. The fear mongering, the doomsday claims, all infuriating to me.
        The absurdity of making statements such as the earth will go into a
        terrifying drought that will be a death sentence for millions is beyond
        ridiculous. They cannot, I repeat, cannot predict such things.

        Were just going to have to agree to disagree here, but I will say the
        tide is turning against this Global Warming farce. New data keeps
        coming in, and more and more scientists are reveling their true beliefs
        on Global warming, because they are no longer afraid of being labeled
        wackos for having the audacity to have a different opinion.
        • CEO of Weather Channel

          His name eludes me but even the CEO of The Weather Channel has doubts of the global warming scenario. What are his financial gains or losses in this political correctness issue? He is rejected by all liberal news outlets, and has access to more weather predicting meteorologists than most any politician. Maybe the doomsdayers should google some information from this guy. He probably knows more experts than the liberals know politically slanted junk scientists.
      • You're the one betting on your children's future

        Mankind adapts. It's what we're best at. But adaption requires wealth,
        industry and prosperity, all the things your climate change ideology will
  • Katrina is evidence for global warming?

    By that logic, every hurricane that misses a major population center that lies below sea level with insufficient levees is evidence of global cooling.

    Seriously, Katrina was a level 3 hurricane that only did as much damage as it did because the levees failed. The levees were supposedly designed to handle a category 3, but empirical evidence indicates that they were not up to the task.
    • The levees were built to handle a Category 3

      But they were not PROPERLY MAINTAINED! That was the problem in a nutshell that lead to Katrina's disaster: improper and lacking maintenance.

      There simply is NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING, and it's time to realize that our climate is a CHAOTIC SYSTEM AT BEST and that temperature fluctuations, even large ones, are totally normal.
      And really, we have NOT been having large temperature increases lately in the slightest.
  • Waxman-Markey - DOA in the Senate

    The bill passed by only 7 votes in the House of Representatives and that was with some arm-twisting by the President himself. The Democrats now have 60 votes in the Senate, but Dems rarely vote as a block. If the Senate version of this bill looks anything like the one that just passed in the house, there is little chance that it will pass. It may not even get out of committee.

    The "microgrid" is probably the direction that the country will go in, once our silly politicians figure out what's going on.
  • Read the amendment to the bill

    This abomination of a bill requires a federal "energy"
    inspector to approve you home before you can sell it.

    It's right there in the text. Do something your precious
    environmentalists won't. Read the damn bill they are voting

    But, then, you would be informed, and we wouldn't want to
    mar your so-far perfect record on total, utter and
    complete ignorance.
  • We're number one

    We emit more air pollution than any other country, whether we speak of heavy metals such as lead or mercury, carcinogens or, as the news catches up with reality, greenhouse gases.
    We must come up with the solution because we are the problem.
    • Not even close to "Number One"

      Do you realize the total haze of pollution emitted by China? India? Russia? Does anybody really think that because the U.S. bankrupts it's country into a junk bond status over "green house gases" that China will up and decide "Yep, we better clamp down and do our best to save the planet"? I don't.

      And really, CO2 as a green house gas. Does anybody remember elementary school science and what a tree needs for the photo-synthesis process? It doesn't make sense to me to kill off all the people to save the planet.
  • RE: Political gaming around the Waxman-Markey bill

    Unfortunately, the whole global warming trend has been hijacked by those who want to tell you how to live your life.

    America was built on a limited government that left most choices in the hands of the citizens. Choices such as whether to buy an SUV and a camper so we can enjoy the outdoors in our style. Or the choice to buy a house out in the country and commute to a job that supports these choices. Or the choice to raise a family of 5 children. I don't knock or disrespect those who choose to live in city apartments, call a walk in a city park experiencing the outdoors, own a small or no car, and raise just one child. But I'm called irresponsible because my values and choices are different. That's their choice, and I'm happy for them.

    But the intended effect of the cap and tax, the auto mileage laws, and so on is to remove my ability to make the choices I have made because they don't conform with the "politically correct" view.

    And since the total effect of all the proposed legislation, even if successful, will be to just delay the predicted (by their own models) catastrophic effects of global warming by a couple of years, it becomes even more obvious that the "crisis" is being used to take away the life choices of the non-PC.

    Yes, the future of the country is looking more and more like the present-day bankrupt People's Republic of California. "We know what's best for you, and we're only too happy to cram it down your throat if you disagree."

    A former resident of California for a reason.
    thinking about consequences
    • I've got to take issue with your statement...

      "But the intended effect of the cap and tax, the auto mileage laws, and so on is to remove my ability to make the choices I have made because they don't conform with the "politically correct" view."

      Your choices are still certainly there and will likely be there for the rest of your life. You can live miles and miles from where you work, have as many children as you want, (and they make a great tax deduction), and drive a commercial pick up truck with a 455ci engine (heck, you can pull one of the plug wires off just to show 'em). Not one of those choices are going away - even if Waxman-Markey was to pass, which it won't.

      While there are consequences to the choices that you make, most of them will be paid by you. So enjoy your family, the outdoors and your commute to and from work, enjoy life. Your freedom to do all those things is not threatened by any legislation that is likely to pass any time in the next decade.