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A Debate We're Not Allowed to Have

Posted By Conn Carroll On May 28, 2008 @ 1:15 pm In Energy | Comments Disabled

Environmentalists are being fundamentally dishonest when they sell there carbon reduction plans as “market friendly” cap and trade solutions, and not the massive energy taxes that they really are [1]. But at least the eviros are participating in the democratic process when they try and legislate. The same can not be side of environmentalist efforts to control the economy through the federal courts.

Hugh Hewitt has been doing a fantastic job documenting [2] the scope of what environmentalists are planning to do with the Interior Department’s listing of the polar bear as “threatened” pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, including linking to this article [3]:

This month’s listing of the polar bear as a threatened species was the biggest victory in the 19-year history of Tucson’s Center for Biological Diversity.

The center’s blueprint for saving the polar bear is ambitious and complex. It includes:

  • Challenging offshore oil and gas leasing in Alaska within six months.
  • Launching a large-scale challenge to the licensing of coal-fired power plants around the country sometime after that.
  • Finally, challenging large-scale, local government development plans in major cities.

These efforts would be in the name of reducing greenhouse gases that many scientists are now linked to the breakup of the Arctic-area sea ice on which polar bears live.

What the article fails to mention, is that a web of environmental groups has already stopped new offshore oil and gas production in Alaska and is already using local laws to stop the creation of all new carbon power plants nation wide. [4] In other words, the polar bear regulation allows them to skip ahead to phase three: “challenging large-scale, local government development plans in major cities.”

We have already suggested that, tongue-in-cheek [5], that libertarians beat the enviros to the punch and use the polar bear listing to shut down the entire federal government, but Hewitt has more realistic and less fatalistic plans:

The best move for the energy industry is to bring actions now challenging the smallest emission of greenhouse gases facilitated by federal permit. The causal connection between a large emitter and a tiny emitter are functionally the same –non-existent– but public perception allows the former to be more easily burdened than the latter. Since the law allows anyone to bring suit, large emitters ought to be attempting to force small emitters to carry part of the burden now rather than waiting to get tagged by the activists in the order the activists would prefer.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/05/28/a-debate-were-not-allowed-to-have/

URLs in this post:

[1] the massive energy taxes that they really are: http://www.foundry.org/2008/05/28/well-take-this-debate-any-day/

[2] documenting: http://townhall.com/blog/g/43dd08d3-1a71-44b3-b867-80f77aeb9040

[3] article: http://www.azstarnet.com/metro/240802

[4] is already using local laws to stop the creation of all new carbon power plants nation wide.: http://www.foundry.org/2008/04/14/global-warming-its-good-for-the-lawyers/

[5] tongue-in-cheek: http://www.foundry.org/2008/05/15/the-new-libertarian-mascot/

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