Skip to comments.Climate change gains crucial ally in U.S. Senate (Domenici)
Posted on 06/17/2005 4:32:44 PM PDT by TFine80
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate's top Republican energy bill negotiator, risking a break with the White House over the global warming issue, on Friday said the United States must act to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
Pete Domenici of New Mexico, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, "is convinced that the science now indicates that climate change is occurring and we need to do something about it," said his energy advisor Alex Flint. The stance is contrary to the Bush Administration's opposition to mandatory measures.
Domenici supports recommendations by the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) for a mandatory cap-and-trade system starting in 2010, Flint said.
The system would set percentages by which U.S. utilities must cut emissions of greenhouse gasses blamed for global warming. Non-compliant parties would be able to buy financial rights to exceed their share of the carbon dioxide limits.
The senator's support could change the calculus for Senate action on climate change. The chamber is expected to debate several climate change amendments next week, including the mandatory limits vehemently opposed by the White House.
The NCEP plan -- similar to an amendment that Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman will offer to wide-sweeping energy legislation next week -- calls for U.S. utilities to cut the intensity of their greenhouse gas emissions by 2.4 percent a year starting in 2010. The percentage would rise to 2.8 percent starting in 2020.
"I think the (NCEP plan) is very much the middle ground on climate change right now," Flint said. "It may be the bipartisan consensus."
Domenici could co-sponsor Bingaman's amendment or some other version based on the NCEP plan, Flint said, adding that the senator has not yet made a firm decision.
The White House opposes mandatory carbon dioxide limits. President Bush in 2001 pulled the United States out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, citing its economic cost.
Bush has called for industry to voluntarily cut its greenhouse emissions intensity by 18 percent by 2012.
Domenici has met with senior administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, to try to find a solution, Flint said.
Domenici "is very cautious ... about creating a fissure in the Republican caucus and with the administration," Flint said.
A White House spokeswoman declined to comment specifically on Domenici's statement, and said Bush's policy "is to reduce growth of greenhouse gas intensity consistent with a policy of economic growth and protection of American jobs."
Domenici will likely need White House support to resolve looming differences between energy bills favored by the House of Representatives and the Senate -- including liability for makers of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), Flint said.
An energy bill passed by the House in April protects makers of the water-polluting fuel additive from some liability lawsuits, but such measures are not expected to be included in the Senate version.
Just kill the extension of DST.
I hope the House kills this provision, or it gets taken out in conference
It's not fair. The Communist Party at least had "useful idiots". All the idiots in the Republican Party are COMPLETELY USELESS!
I have yet to pick up that book. On my reading list.
Indeed the whole environmental movement is a scam. Stupidly Canada has decided to seal its economic fate to Kyoto. America chose the right course avoiding this idiotic agreement.
I think it's interesting that a New Mexico Senator would think that it is in his state's interest to curb CO2 emissions because of drought. Actually, because of the impact of air conditioning, population growth, illegal immigration, and the housing boom, New Mexico needs increased energy use more than most states. Other states might have to subsidize his anxiety. A Kyoto treaty type solution will have no impact on New Mexico droughts:
1. It won't have an affect for decades until the adaptive tech will have improved dramatically (assuming continued economic growth)
2. Kyoto and US emissions have no effect on the Third World. In fact, any oil we don't use will be used there.
It is also possible, however, that Domenici favor nuclear power, which has promoted at times in the past.
Here's the key sentence:
"Non-compliant parties would be able to buy financial rights to exceed their share of the carbon dioxide limits."
The key to reducing pollution is the move to hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles: the worst polluters, whether or not they cause "global warming". What the Senator is proposing is a Kyoto scam, asystem of trading credits and laundering money who knows where. Closing a facility anyway, make money selling "credits." The emissions and savings are hard to grade and ripe for cheating, which is what Kyoto was designed for. I recall Maurice Strong, designer of Kyoto, turned around and bought coal plants in China to sell to Canadian polluters. Will the Chinese plants actually reduce their emissions in turn? Ha!
Global warming or not, a way to reduce pollution is to invest in hydrogen and alternatives. Or just tax oil more than methane to encourage more methane substitition. The Senator's plan, just like Kyoto, is a scam hiding under the cover of environmentalism.
Kinda worries me what our politicians are going to do when continental drift becomes an issue.
This is interesting in comparison to the proposals for terraforming other planets. We are going to engineer Mars so we can live there, and maybe the moon, too. Yet, we are wound around the axle about doing the simplest things to our home planet. We are not at the point of controlling our base climate, or distrubuting fresh water, or even keeping the dust down, or even deciding if we need to. Is there any serious hope that we have a destiny of our own choosing?
In The Skeptical Environmentalist Bjørn Lomborg challenges widely held beliefs that the global environment is progressively getting worse. Using statistical information from internationally recognized research institutes, Lomborg systematically examines a range of major environmental issues and documents that the global environment has actually improved. He supports his argument with over 2900 footnotes, allowing discerning readers to check his sources.
Lomborg criticizes the way many environmental organizations make selective and misleading use of scientific data to influence decisions about the allocation of limited resources. The Skeptical Environmentalist is a useful corrective to the more alarmist accounts favored by green activists and the media.
"... probably the most important book on the environment ever written."
review in The Daily Telegraph, UK, 27-8-01
"This is one of the most valuable books on public policy - not merely on environmental policy - to have been written for the intelligent general reader in the past ten years. ... The Skeptical Environmentalist is a triumph.
review in The Economist, 6-9-01
"The Skeptical Environmentalist is the most significant work on the environment since the appearance of its polar opposite, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, in 1962. It's a magnificent achievement."
review in Washington Post Book World, 21-10-01
In the market battle between methane, oil, coal, nuclear, etc. businesses have been playing the "environmental" game. For example, the reason British Petroleum/Blair support Kyoto so much is they invested more into methane. Any tax on emissions would enhance the value of their assets compared to others. The nuke industry is lobbying too for uneven taxation.
I'm not wholly against such diversions, just how they're done. These so-called "market solutions" are designed for corruption possibilities. The "solution" would be organized conversion to cleaner fuels. The "market" is generally against organized change for our greater benefit since it's actors will lose money, though they can play the politicians a little against each other for shorter-term goals.
The Senator could start with cleaning up our federal forests. Vast tracts of poorly managed forests full of dead, dying, and burning trees are adding to the pollution problem instead of doing what evergreen forests are supposed to do, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
New Mexico has a tremendous potential for Wind Generated Power. The eastern plains of NM have average wind speeds that fall within the required parameters for wind generation more than 90% of the time. That is a tremendous amount of power that can be generated without releasing any green house gases.
Eastern New Mexico already has hundreds of wind generators in service and there is plenty of room for millions more. NM has the potential of providing enough power to supply a large portion of the U.S.
This has nothing to do with whether we can do it. We can halt all industrial 'greenhouse' emissions overnight if we want to. The debate is completely and entirely over whether the benefits are worth the investment.
Should we deem fit to do so, we can make dramatic alterations to our base climate.
The commies must be doing a full court press. The MSM is trying to push the BS that greenhouse gases debate is over.
These old timers are mistaking the environmental movement for the conservation movement.
Environmentalism is just communism with an unwashed green t-shirt.
The major greenhouse gas is water vapor. How can we possibly control this, industry or not?
At least he's not pulling a McCain, and is trying to be a team player by finding a solution.
We can easily manipulate the level of water vapor in the atmosphere; it's just not economical to do so. Just because something isn't worth being done doesn't mean it can't be done.
If it's unclear, I responded to the above because my impression was that you're casting doubt on our ability to terraform Mars, based on our not having resolved the global warming issue for Earth. If that's the case, then even leaving aside the obvious logical fallacy your statement is wrong on its face. We know how to terraform Mars right now if we want to, it just requires the investment of resources to get it done.
Adding water vapor is a relatively straightforward exercise that could be done on Mars or on Earth if the reason and the will existed. Removing water vapor would be more dicey, but there's certainly no need to do that in order to terraform Mars...
We certainly can, from the technical standpoint, do some terraforming of Mars. No question of that. Whether we have the economic ability and political will to see it through is in doubt. Can you imagine terraforming being done on an annual budget basis with Congress apparently unable to dependably sustain the continuity of any program that lasts longer than a couple of years? Not to mention working with Europe, China, Russia, Japan, India, and whoever on any rational project at all.
Oh, I get what you're saying now. I totally misconstrued your above remarks. Sorry!
Heh.. We are in complete agreement. The simpering Euros are falling apart as we speak over trivialities, and I don't even want to get into our ridiculous congress critters..
I believe there is no other way to even begin colonization or settlement of outer space. Interested private industry would get it done.
The Land Office is necessary, not just a way to extend the reach of gov't. A necessary evil.
Speaking of Mars, did you notice the other day, they reported that the Martian polar ice caps are receding the last few years...
Don't know if this suggests anything that might contribute to Earth's own temperature variations...
Henceforth I will always refer to Kyoto as the "ship-your-factory-to-China" treaty.
I am going to start investing in China funds. If we keep going down this road I'll be rich. I won't have a job, but I'll be rich, so who cares?
It might make a person wonder. Do we know as much as we think we do?