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  • Today's Calamity: A Pollution Reduction Bill?

    Cap and Trade Calamities

    Well, that depends on what your definition of pollution is.

    As Senators Boxer and Kerry unveil their cap and trade bill, John Kerry’s recent pitch to the American public is yet another example of how mainstream environmentalists have sought to change the definition of pollution. As Kerry explained last week, the bill is not a “‘cap and trade’ proposal but a ‘pollution reduction’ bill. I don’t know what ‘cap and trade’ means. I don’t think the average American does,’ Kerry said. ‘This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it’s a pollution reduction bill.’” To make this point clear, in the summary of the bill, Kerry and Boxer removed the phrase “cap and trade” and replaced it with “Pollution Reduction and Investment.”

    Kerry’s statement points to the recent shift in environmental rhetoric which is less concerned about pollution being linked to smog and toxins in the air and water, and more concerned with what they believe to be the biggest problem: carbon. This new-found definition of pollution has permeated environmental rhetoric and has been heavily employed by the Obama administration.

    In his speech to the UN last week, Obama mentioned the disastrous consequences that will ensue from “greenhouse gas pollution” and “carbon pollution.” Furthermore, after the Waxman-Markey bill was passed in the House, Obama praised the effort saying that we have seen our reliance on fossil fuels “pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet” and argued that “There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It’s happening.”

    No longer a debate? Contrary to Obama’s statements, there is a very vigorous debate among scientists as to whether Co2—an invisible component of the human respiratory cycle—can be classified as a pollutant. What is abundantly clear is that the Senate climate change bill is less interested in pollution that is visible or proven to be harmful to human health and almost completely focused on a new-found definition of “carbon pollution.” This is most apparent in the opening sentence of the bill, which repeats the opening of the Waxman-Markey bill: “To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean energy economy.” The bill includes four titles that tackle greenhouse gas “pollution” and pushes for a 20 percent reduction in carbon emission by 2020, compared to the 17 percent reduction in the House bill.

    With most of the emphasis being on Co2 and with very little being on proven harmful pollutants, Kerry’s claim that the bill is a “pollution reduction” bill is highly dubious; but there is no doubt that it is a cap and trade bill that will cause massive damage to the economy. As the United States begins to recover from a recession, is the country going to sacrifice the economy for these sudden amendments to the dictionary? Let’s hope not.

    Katie Brown contributed to this post.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Today's Calamity: A Pollution Reduction Bill?

    1. George M Dunlap says:

      a massive redistributive bill that is precisely what Obama wants.

    2. NucEngineer says:

      It is nice that the Senate Cap & Trade bill (in its current form, I can’t keep up with the added pages) is on-line.


      However, that gave me the opportunity to note a very distressing fact: Section 744. INTERNATIONAL OFFSET CREDITS, will provide the global redistribution of wealth that is so desired by the leftists. This is our future being given away to foreign countries where corruption is rampant (well, it's also rampant in Washington DC, but that is another problem).

      Often, the SO2 (acid rain) cap & trade program of 1992 is held up as an example of sucess, and yes it has worked. However, that plan was debated on the floor of congress for 6-weeks. It did not permit international offsets.

      This international plan for GHGs will be rife with corruption.

      Also, like the House version, will 300 pages be added to the bill at 2am on the day that it is voted on and passed by the Senate?

      Get a grip folks, we are being had.

      Wow! I provided a link above to the senate cap & tax bill that is 801 pages long, dated 8/21/09. The new version at Senator Kerry’s website has 821 pages and is dated 8/30/09.


      I can't keep up. Will your senator read it? Will you have a chance to read it? Will our supposed watchdogs in the Press have a chance to read it?

    3. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    4. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      The solution is simple, and, just as intelligent, as the Administration's proposals.

      If 3/4 of the planet would just die or commit suicide, we could clean up the planet in record time – perhaps, a hundred years.

      Of course, we would have to set the example "first", to show good faith.

      But, somehow I doubt that the Chinese, Indians, or any other aspiring "capitalist" country would join us, any more than they will join us on any "meaningful" pollution reduction being propose by our Comrades in Washington.

      Sooooooooo, since this won't work, let's just destroy our economy and standard of living WHILE the rest of the world grows their economies and their standards of living.

      This would be the ultimate apology for our past sins and selfish desire to achieve the greatest country in the world, along with a great standard of living for most of our people.

      To show our humility and sincerty, we will rename of country:

      The United States of Apology

      (This is no more insane than what is being proposed.)

    5. Aaron Huertas says:

      Mr. Loris,

      You are attacking a straw man on CO2. The point is that EXCESS CO2 in the atmosphere is being defined as a pollutant, not all CO2 from all sources in all locations.

      You could erect a similar straw man and say that mercury in your fish should not be a pollutant either, because mercury exists naturally, too.

      Heritage should stop spreading scientific misinformation on this issue and stick to intellectually honest arguments about climate and energy legislation.


      Aaron Huertas

      Union of Concerned Scientists

    6. Pingback: You Could Always Call It A "Ginormous Tax Increase". - AIP Blog - American Issues Project

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