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Drilling creates climate heartburn

By Juliet Eilperin

When it comes to climate legislation, every potential fix creates another problem. Like offshore drilling.

President Obama's decision last month to open up new areas to oil and gas drilling pleased some swing senators such as Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). But it's angered some of the bill's traditional proponents, including New Jersey Democrats Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, and Maryland Democrats Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski.

"I've said to Kerry from the very beginning, the whole issue of drilling is problematic for many of the coastal states, especially for New Jersey, where tourism is our second-largest industry," Menendez said, referring to one of the lead climate bill authors, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (D). "It very strongly undermines my ability to support climate change legislation, when I've always been a climate change legislation supporter."

That's the sort of "please the right, tick off the left" dynamic Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) alluded to in a videotaped interview with Politico that came out Tuesday.

On the other hand, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) said there may be one way to resolve the issue over whether to bar the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, something many Republicans and some Democrats want to do. Under a compromise that's been floated, each regulated sector would have a certain amount of time to meet its climate goals without having to face regulation under the Clean Air Act for those emissions.

"EPA steps aside, but if these goals aren't met, EPA gets back in the business of regulating greenhouse gases," Udall said. He added that while he doesn't know whether Kerry and his colleagues have incorporated it into the draft they will unveil Monday, "there's sure been a lot of discussion about it."

Whether that fix ends up annoying a key senator or not remains to be seen.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  April 20, 2010; 2:11 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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There is a lot of money to be made by passing this legislation, and a lot of politicians need to fill their campaign war chests with 'contributions' from interested special interests.

GE and many other companies stand to make millions from carbon capture and windmills. To build the equivalent of a one megawatt coal fired power plant, five megawatts of windmills and an additional one megawatt of natural gas fired backup are required. This costs many times as much as building a well scrubbed coal fired power plant, but the issue is not whether the expense makes any sense or not; the issue is whether the politicians can get paid off by the votes of the global warming true believers and the 'donations' from the companies who stand to benefit.

Far from 'big oil' paying to interfere with the warmist religious folks, big oil and the rest are licking their chops at the billions of dollars of cap and trade or carbon tax money that will be flowing into their pockets if they can just get these global warming taxes in place before the current warm climate variation turns cold.

The Chinese and Indian governments are not about to cripple their economies in pursuit of this nonsense, but they will be ecstatic if we cripple our own. On top of making our industries non-competitive, our politicians want to send our money to China and India so they can become even more able to steal our jobs and prosper on the hard work of American taxpayers.

Everyone who thinks cap and trade is a good thing for this country should be thinking about how well their salary is protected. Even the people working for the Government should realize that impoverishing the private sector means less taxes to pay Government workers.

The politicians know this is probably the last chance to sell you cool aid before the tide changes at the next election.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | April 20, 2010 6:43 PM
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