Monday, April 27, 2009

g.h.kirsch: Some Piggies More Equal Than Others

Congressional correspondent Susan Ferrechio reports passing cap & trade legislation is business as usual in Washington, not always pretty to watch.

"In exchange for votes to pass a controversial global warming package, Democratic leaders are offering some lawmakers generous "emission allowances” to protect their districts from the economic pain of restrictions.

Democrats so far have been unable to get enough support from their own members to pass the bill out of a small global warming subcommittee because most Republicans and many Democrats say the plan will raise energy rates, destroy jobs and increase prices on manufactured goods."

Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which must approve the plan to cap CO2 emissions in order to establish a privately controlled market to trade emission allowances or credits, ostensibly to halt the already halted global warming trend.

Green represents a district with several oil refineries. Green says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who heads the panel, is trying to entice him into voting for the Waxman-Markey bill by giving refineries in his district favorable treatment in the “cap and trade” system.

“We’ve been talking,” Green said.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the top Republican on the energy panel, said Waxman and others are also dangling emission allowances in front of lawmakers worried about steel mills and coal-fired power plants to give political cover to Democrats whose districts rely on these companies.

Another energy committee member, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., reports Waxman, “is calling members into his office to try to get their vote, and that will be based on the credits they are offering.”

Shimkus thinks, "offering emission allowances for votes may take the process beyond ethical boundaries."

Read Ferrechio's article HERE

And in the center ring at the Waxman circus, we were treated to quite a little morality play last week.

Al Gore, former tobacco farmer from Tennessee, former senator, former vice-president and former victim of the presidential election process, was asked about his partnerships and investments by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R. Tennessee; was asked if any possible bias or prejudice might, as a result, seep into his testimony to the House panel.

Or to flip the old expression, was he putting his mouth where his money was?

The world's foremost cheerleader for cap & trade, the inventor of the internet, with all the rhetorical contrivance, timing and stagecraft with which decades of time wasted in the Senate had blessed him, drew up all the self righteousness and indignation he could quickly muster, and told Rep. Blackburn , "You don't know me."

He asked her if she thought he'd worked for these past "thirty years" because of greed. (Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, Enron, had first presented the idea to cap & trade CO2 to him in 1993.)

In fact he actually boasted, "I have put my money where my mouth is. Do you think there's something wrong with being active in business in this country?"

So, apparently, the loci of his mouth and money are pretty much the same. Watch his testimony right HERE

What they aren't willing to do to save the world!

Meanwhile on National Public Radio, Waxman said, “We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point - they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

It's hard to imagine a more ill informed, less astute person to shepherd critical science based environmental legislation through congress.

But then, cap & trade ain't about a warmed up planet. It's really about roast pork for Gore's friends in the financial industry!

They really missed an opportunity though. It could have been called the Waxman-Malarkey bill.