Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: December 18, 2009

Lindsey Graham And “Climate Change”

Or, what Lindsey Graham may end up costing you.  He was interviewed by the AP concerning his advocacy of AGW (which he says was something he learned about from John McCain and Hillary Clinton).  Here’s his answer to one of the questions:

Q: How did you get involved in this issue?

A: It was a slow evolution. I started traveling with Sen. (John) McCain, who has been a climate change advocate for a long time, and I went to the Arctic region with him and Sen. (Hillary Rodham) Clinton. I came to the conclusion from listening to the scientists … from people who lived in the regions, that the canary in the coal mine is in the Arctic regions, and that the planet is heating up. How much is caused by greenhouse gases, I don’t know. But I believe to some extent it’s a contributing factor. …

Now, why did I choose to do something this time around? … The one thing that I could say without any doubt, that the best chance to create jobs for the future here in this country is energy independence. And you will never become energy independent until you price carbon.

Where are the friction points to getting to 60 votes (to advance a bill)? If the emissions standard is not meaningful, if it’s not economy-wide, I don’t think you get there. This whole issue of China and India and a global regime looms large in getting 60 votes in the Senate. Without some assurances that this is not a unilateral surrendering of market share to China and India — because our companies will have a burden imposed upon them not shared by China and India — is a huge political problem. … Those are some of the trip wires that exist to getting to 60 votes.

First the false premise – you can easily get to “energy independence” without pricing carbon. The whole purpose of pricing carbon is to cut emissions, not create “energy independence”. Fully exploit existing energy resources, build new clean (nuclear) energy production facilities and aggressively pursue clean and renewable energy solutions. That’s how you become “energy” independent. Government’s role, if any? Enabling that process.

Secondly, Graham outright admits that without the participation of India and China, we would be ceding market share to them because they wouldn’t have to face the costs we would face. So there’s no question he understands that any pricing of carbon is going to cost the US economy. He’s not averse to that, he simply wants it to be a shared burden which puts them at the same disadvantage as us. That’s nuts. We’re in a deep recession and he’s talking about steps to deepen it. And even if we weren’t in a recession, he has to be aware the science is dubious and the effect most likely marginal at best if they imposed the most stringent controls possible.

Graham isn’t up for election this cycle or the next, but in 4 years his day comes. If he becomes a party to this sort of economy killing device in cahoots with John Kerry, Republicans had better find a suitable primary opponent to run against him, because if they don’t my guess is he’ll be looking for work after the 2014 election and SC will have a new Senator – even if he’s a conservative Democrat.

Oh, and Climate-gate?

Q: What are your thoughts on the scandal over the hacked e-mails from some prominent climate scientists, which many Republicans have claimed discredits the science showing that pollution is causing climate change?

A: Well, I never embraced this from that point of view. You will never convince me all these cars, and all these trucks, and all these power plants spewing out carbon, fossil fuels, day in and day out for 60 or 70 years is a good thing. It makes perfect sense to me that this amount of carbon pollution over a long period of time has had a detrimental effect on the environment. I don’t get wrapped up into how much is caused by man, or how much is caused by nature. I do believe pursuing clean air and clean water is a good thing for my generation to do.

Science – we don’t need no stinkin’ science. We’ll just “price carbon”, put the economy in the crapper and lo and behold, clean air will abound. The true statist’s answer to everything – more government, more cost, less freedom.

~McQ

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Health Care – The Meltdown On The Left

You have to admit, if nothing else it has been entertaining watching all the factions among Democrats go to war over this health care fiasco.  You have the Liberal caucus in the House saying no vote without a public option.  Then there are the Blue Dogs saying no vote with a public option.  You have pro-life Dems refusing to support the bill without language like the Stupak amendment and the pro-abortion crew saying they won’t support it without abortion provisions.  In the Senate, no one but Harry Reid has seen the newest super secret version of the bill he’s going to try to force them to vote on before Christmas, yet Sen. Ben Nelson is a definite “no” on it as it stands now.  Howard Dean says “kill the bill”.  Bill Clinton and Paul Krugman are saying “pass  the bill”. Michael Moore is boycotting Connecticut, Keith Olberman is saying he’ll go to jail before he’ll give into the insurance mandate and Ed Schultz has discovered the White House is acting like a bunch of thugs on the subject. The latest polls show 61% of Americans oppose the legislation.

And the powerless Republicans who couldnt stop a single piece of legislation with a bloc vote of “no”?  They’re left on the sidelines watching this all with bemusement.

What a circus. And of course, there is this:

David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, began the day by calling in to MSNBC to urge the party to hold together, warning of a “tragic outcome” if Democrats failed to pass a bill that the White House says would expand health coverage while reining in costs.

If ever Hillary Clinton’s words warning about “suspending disbelief” could be applied this is it – Axelrod makes the claim that simply defies rationality: “…expand health coverage while reigning in costs“. Really? How so? How does one expand coverage and cut costs except by sharply cutting services or rationing? Especially with the insurance mandates the fed and states like to heap on any coverage they permit?

Two realizations are setting in for the public – first that this isn’t really an attempt at “reform”  anything but instead a naked power grab by the federal government. And two, the federal government is trying to base the necessity of that power grab on an irrational argument – you can expand coverage and cut costs.

Of course that really has little to do with the war on the left. For some, the bill isn’t progressive enough, meaning its not a single payer – that’s why Howard Dean wants to kill it. For others, like the Blue Dogs, it is too much. And as party leaders are finding, trying to reach consensus in one chamber of Congress, much less between the House and Senate, is an extremely difficult job – thank goodness. And, as the House Whip, James Clyburn said, the House will not rubber stamp the Senate version, whatever that may turn out to be.

Some on the left are trying, now, to make this cat fight among lefties into a “good thing”. It’s healthy to have this debate, they claim. Uh, yeah – overwhelming majorities in Congress and they own the White House and suddenly they’re having “healthy debates” over their signature agenda items.

Got it. Healthy.

Well, I for one hope they keep up this “healthy debate” for months to come and then, for different reasons than those of Howard Dean, but in complete agreement with him, they “kill the bill”.

~McQ

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