Viridian Note 00232: Bush and C02

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts
carbon dioxide, pollution, coal interests, Bush Administration

Attention Conservation Notice: A revolting spectacle, but doubtless something we'll be getting used to. Over 1,700 words.

Earthquake art from Seattle event, created by "sand tracing pendulum." Whoa.

Entries in the Reddy Kilowatt Makeover Contest:

Viridian Contest Archive:

This contest ends in five days: March 20, 02001

Links: Global Climate Coalition: Cooler Heads Coalition:

(((How interesting to see that George W. Bush's very first broken campaign promise is about regulating carbon dioxide. Mind you, this move is not catastrophic. Personally, I find it difficult to countenance classifying carbon dioxide as a "pollutant". Carbon dioxide is the nontoxic, one-hundred-percent natural product of the living exhalations of blue whales, pandas, and seal pups. Those aren't "polluting" entities.

(((The planet's biosphere can't survive without some carbon dioxide: our problem is there's way too much of it, way too fast. Classifying CO2 as a "pollutant" was a bureaucratic maneuver to allow the American EPA to further its regulatory reach. With coal, that's not even much needed, since coal spews many awful megatons of actual pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and mercury.

(((Nevertheless, the denial freaks are in no doubt whatever that this development ranks as a major victory for them and their lobbying efforts. That's true. George W. Bush reneged on his word. He (and especially the formerly chain-smoking Dick Cheney) have sold the country out to a fatcat cabal of polluters. It's shameful.

(((Never mind all that just now, though == the Bush dynasty has a longtime problem with that broken-promise thing, and we'll be seeing little political rills of blood from this banderilla for quite a while. Instead, let's get right in the trenches of right-wing Washington and see how they did it, and who they blame and credit. It's especially fun to check out their future goals and tactics.)))

Myron Ebell, Chairman of Cooler Heads Coalition Competitive Enterprise Institute

congratulations and more work to do on CO2 and

"Myron Ebell" <>


"Dear Cooler Heads and colleagues,

"President Bush and Vice President Cheney have made the right decision on regulating CO2 with a little good advice from their friends. We have won a famous victory, and everyone should congratulate themselves on the work they did to achieve this end. I encourage all of you to send out press statements congratulating Bush. (This, after all, could be a turning point in the war to save industrial civilization from itself.)"

(((If you ever wondered if right-wing conservatives were just as flaky as the weirdest New Age hippies, that last sentence should bring you around. That is the brassy, ringing sound of true lunacy.)))

"A special huzzah to former-Rep. David McIntosh and Marlo Lewis (chairman-emeritus of the Cooler Heads Coalition and now with Reason PPI) for initiating the EIA study that gave the administration the cover they needed to get out of the dead end they had blundered into. Our allies in Congress did a lot of heavy lifting to get this done without a lot of splitting the difference and waffling." (((The Cooler Heads Coalition lives in terror of moderate Republicans in Congress.)))

"Although we have won Round Two, Round Three has already started and we are losing. Round Three is about staffing the key global warming and Kyoto policy positions in the administration. Annie Pesonk of the Environmental Defense Fund has apparently been appointed to a dual position at CEQ or OSTP and the National Security Council to co- ordinate Kyoto policy.

((("Annie Pesonk" == never heard of her, but I hope she's wearing Kevlar.)))

"While grassroots opposition denied John Turner the appointment as deputy secretary of Interior, he is now apparently the front-runner for assistant secretary of State for oceans and international agreements. And Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has urged President Bush in a memo to have Michael Oppenheimer of Environmental Defense Fund put in charge of briefing the president on global warming science.

"O'Neill has recommended other global warming true believers connected to the Heinz Center (he, Fred Krupp, and Ken Lay are on the board).

((("Ken Lay" would be Kenneth Lay of Enron Corporation. Since Kenneth Lay sells natural gas and is the number-one George W. financial and political supporter, coal people hate and fear him. They're both in fossil fuels, but that doesn't make them pals.)))

"So we have a lot of work to do. I urge all of you take a simple message to your contacts in the Bush-Cheney Administration: everyone appointed to a key job should be fully on board with the president's opposition to Kyoto and to regulating carbon dioxide.

(((This means purging Christie Whitman and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Kind of a Greenhouse Night of the Long Knives thing. Get ready for a constant drumbeat of anti-Clinton-style leaks and allegations.)))

"We should go back and re-visit the assistant administrator for air quality at EPA, where reportedly Whitman's litmus test question required that candidates be enthusiastically in favor of regulating CO2.

"The text of Bush's letter follows. Please note that while the Washington Post, New York Times, Financial Times, etc. put the story on the front page and it was on the networks last night, the Washington Times led with the Army beret story and ran the CO2 story on the business page. (((The Moonie-supported Washington Times is such a whore that Myron actually aspires to place his "news" articles on desired pages.)))

"Congratulations and many thanks, Myron."

(((Attention Conservation alert: professionally boring Presidential letter.)))

"THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release March 13, 2001 TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO SENATORS HAGEL, HELMS, CRAIG, AND ROBERTS "Thank you for your letter of March 6, 2001, asking for the Administration's views on global climate change, in particular the Kyoto Protocol and efforts to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.

"My Administration takes the issue of global climate change very seriously. As you know, I oppose the Kyoto Protocol because it exempts 80 percent of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy. The Senate's vote, 95-0, shows that there is a clear consensus that the Kyoto Protocol is an unfair and ineffective means of addressing global climate change concerns.

"As you also know, I support a comprehensive and balanced national energy policy that takes into account the importance of improving air quality.

"Consistent with this balanced approach, I intend to work with the Congress on a multipollutant strategy to require power plants to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury. Any such strategy would include phasing in reductions over a reasonable period of time, providing regulatory certainty, and offering market- based incentives to help industry meet the targets. I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act.

"A recently released Department of Energy Report, 'Analysis of Strategies for Reducing Multiple Emissions from Power Plants,' concluded that including caps on carbon dioxide emissions as part of a multiple emissions strategy would lead to an even more dramatic shift from coal to natural gas for electric power generation and significantly higher electricity prices compared to scenarios in which only sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides were reduced.

"This is important new information that warrants a reevaluation, especially at a time of rising energy prices and a serious energy shortage. Coal generates more than half of America's electricity supply. At a time when California has already experienced energy shortages, and other Western states are worried about price and availability of energy this summer, we must be very careful not to take actions that could harm consumers. ((("I'm choking you, but hey, I'm bribing you.")))

"This is especially true given the incomplete state of scientific knowledge of the causes of, and solutions to, global climate change and the lack of commercially available technologies for removing and storing carbon dioxide." (((A stellar triumph for denial obscurantism here.)))

"Consistent with these concerns, we will continue to fully examine global climate change issues == including the science, technologies, market-based systems, and innovative options for addressing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. I am very optimistic that, with the proper focus and working with our friends and allies, we will be able to develop technologies, market incentives, and other creative ways to address global climate change. (((I'm also plenty optimistic, but not about our current President and Vice-President. "Creativity" is anything but their strong-suit.)))

"I look forward to working with you and others to address global climate change issues in the context of a national energy policy that protects our environment, consumers, and economy. Sincerely, GEORGE W. BUSH"

(((So who are these mysterious backroom entities that pull the President's strings and are responsible for blackening our skies and frying us? Well, here they are. Simple as that.)))

Cooler Heads Greenhouse Denial Cabal:

THE COOLER HEADS COALITION   Alexis de Tocqueville Institution Americans for Tax Reform American Legislative Exchange Council American Policy Center Association of Concerned Taxpayers Center for Security Policy Citizens for a Sound Economy Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow Competitive Enterprise Institute Consumer Alert Defenders of Property Rights Frontiers of Freedom George C. Marshall Institute Heartland Institute Independent Institute National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Public Policy Research Pacific Research Institute Seniors Coalition 60 Plus Small Business Survival Committee The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition

(((Poor little Greening Earth Society recently lost their moneybags founder, and had to move their Washington headquarters. They didn't even make this list == but never mind, Greening Earth will always have a sentimental corner on Viridian resentment.)))

(((The truly funny part of this quite grim development is in the other and much larger headlines of the past few weeks. The last time our planet underwent genuine, serious cutbacks in our ever-rising CO2 emissions was during the Great Depression. Here the news looks promising indeed. The new Administration is well on the way to a major, knee-buckling recession; in two or three years, we may see SUVs sold off in joblots, while big smoking factories close coast to coast.)))

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