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Climate troika woos corporate America

By Juliet Eilperin

The Senate climate troika--John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.)--did their best to woo industry players during a briefing Wednesday, and made a bit of progress.

The senators provided an eight-page overview of their bill, according to sources, and assured business leaders they would preempt the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act as well as existing state laws that also regulate these emissions.

The gathering included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute. Afterward, several officials from these groups praised the effort.

Bruce Josten, the Chamber's executive vice president for government affairs said, "The senators are being very constructive. They are trying to figure out how to make this work for the American economy, the different sectors of the economy that are going to be affected one way or another, and more importantly, for the American consumer."

"The way they are trying to conform and shape this bill I would suggest is largely in sync with what most people in American industry think is the direction you are going to have to go if you are going to have a successful program," he added.

That sort of talk worried Frank O'Donnell, president of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch: "If the most consistently adamant corporate foes of action on climate are getting private briefings and sound happy, that raises real concerns about the efficacy of the plan,."

But one oil industry lobbyist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was premature to say the business community was ready to endorse any Senate bill. "Why any of the trades would sign on to this when the cavalry is coming in November, i.e. more Republicans, is just beyond me."


Juliet Eilperin

 |  March 17, 2010; 7:09 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The Guardian's Climategate series | Next: Weyerhaeuser joins USCAP


Please report offensive comments below.

My opinion is that it is very unlikely that EPA will ever actually enforce any change in industrial behavior based on CO2. Fuel efficiency changes that reduce consumption of foreign oil may occur, but that would be change for a rational reason.

Sequoia tree rings provide more fresh evidence that the whole basis for the AGW crisis is bogus. People lived in Greenland at much warmer temperatures than are now present in Greenland.

Was that warming caused by CO2? If not, why is the recent warming a cause for alarm? Climate has been changing since the beginning of the world, and is likely to continue doing so regardless of whether humans cause more CO2 to be present in the air.

Industry leaders will follow the lead of the Chinese, Indian, and Japanese leaders. Talk about voluntary programs, implement programs that increase efficiency in energy use within limits that can be economically justified. Plan to reduce CO2 use some time in the future.

In another year or two, the AGW folks will be peddling some other form of snake oil to suck up their Government grant money. Maybe they will stumble on doing something that would actually provide a benefit other than lining their own pockets with the public's money.

John Q Public figured this out a long time ago. Honest people don't have a reason to hide their data and programs. Honest people might have done so for competitive reasons, but would never have allowed their personal reputations to be put at risk to avoid letting some competitor publish ahead of their own team. Thieves and charlatans have gotten away with hiding their work for a while, but the party is almost over.

I see where 'hordes' of reporters descended on Dr. Pauchauri asking him whether he was about to resign during a recent public appearance. Even blind, deaf, and dumb reporters will eventually sniff this one out. Nixon's Watergate smoldered for several months, just under the radar of the main stream press, and then seemingly exploded on into the public space in the days before his resignation.

At that time, the Post was the one doing the research and the reporting. I was enthralled by the work of Woodward and Bernstein. Unfortunately, Eilperin's name will never be mentioned in the same way. I have been a subscriber to the Post for more than 40 years, but my subscription is about to end. There isn't much reason to even take the paper out of its plastic wrapper any more. The Samurai Sudoku was one of the last reasons to pay for the paper, as the news has been less and less interesting for some years now, and the MBA's did away with the only puzzle that isn't readily available online.

It really is a shame. The Post was a big part of my day for many years, but there just isn't much incentive to bother with it now.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | March 18, 2010 1:17 AM
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