Posts Tagged ‘Chenyey’

20-20 vision on greenhouse gases

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Inspired by Post articles  “Senators Ready a Bill on Greenhouse Gases” (9/30/09), “Senate Democrats seek to win climate moderates” (10/01/09), “EPA moves to regulate smokestack greenhouse gases” (Washington Post 10/01/09) about proposed EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act (CAA), “EPA, Senate Take Aim at Greenhouse Gases” (10/01/09), “The Senate Climate Bill: Sens. Boxer and Kerry introduce legislation with a key component missing” (10/01/09), “For some, US remains villain at UN climate talks” (10/01/09), “Climate Bill Would Ease Energy Costs, Senator Says” (10/02/09), and the full-page ad that the oil industry Astroturf group “Energy Citizen” ran 9/30/09 in the Washington Post and (I’m sure) other papers. The reference to California leading the nation refers to leadership in environmental laws in general, and to the GHG auto emissions standards that CA fought the Bush Administration in court for in particular. See a copy of the Kerry-Boxer bill here. The reference to $5.88 is the US price record as reported in Hawaii in 2008; gas spent much of that year over $5.00 in CA and other parts of the country. To see our other posts on greenhouse gases (“GHGs”), click on the “climate change” tag below.

 

Dear Barbara and John:

Herewith enclosed a friendly missive:

Your climate bill is quite impressive.

 

Senator Boxer – Like CA often leads the nation,

You lead in my admiration.

Your bill for greenhouse regulation

Should aid the climate’s amelioration.

 

Senator Kerry – I voted for you in 2004,

And in 2000 I voted for Gore.

Though you both fell short of your ambitions,

You’ve accomplished so much in your current positions.

 

Senators, what you’ve done for climate change

Would otherwise have been hard to arrange.

You managed to strike the tricky equilibrium

Between accomplishing something while minimizing opprobrium.

 

You’ve clearly seen both problem and solution–

To dramatically reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Cutting 20% by ‘20 is a good introduction,

And 83% by ‘50 an important reduction.

The House did OK, but you did better

Despite the Senate’s heavier GOP fetter.

 

The carbon collar’s a good innovation:

It reduces risk and opposition without program castration.

There will be more low-cost reductions than people realized

Once American ingenuity is mobilized.

 

Your bill is something one doesn’t oft’ see:

Good politics and good policy simultaneously.

It’s not easy to do both at the same time

(Almost as hard as talking climate in rhyme).

 

Of course, the Devil is in the detail,

And many in Congress want the bill to fail.

With amendments galore they will assail,

But I hope that you two still will prevail.

 

But the Post is right: your bill’s still missing one thing

That caused them to give their endorsement less ring.

A cap-and-trade plan is sorely needed

Without it the bill will be surely defeated.

 

As you said John, that’s for the Finance Committee,

But their work so far on healthcare has not been pretty.

Will they turn to lead this opportunity golden

Because they’re to financial interests beholden?

 

But you’ve both done a good job to start things out–

That’s what making a difference is all about.

(As long as it’s now backed up by political clout,

And Dems can avoid an ignominious route.)

 

Energy Citizen” has come out with a full-page ad

Saying GHG regulation would be bad.

They raise the specter of $4 gas

But we’ve had that before in the recent past.

 

Oilman Bush’s policy (total inaction,

And climate change report redaction)

While he and Cheney were in charge

Led to gas and oil price increases even more large.

 

You think $4 per gallon is bad?

Try $5.88 if you want to make people mad.

Is it a coincidence that under the Bush Administration

Oil prices increased by a factor of ten?

 

But let’s give credit where credit is due:

Bush did reverse that trend before he was through.

So I guess that I should make a confession:

Bush did bring energy prices back down… by causing a recession.

 

But when the economy recovers, we must understand

Energy prices will go back up again, unless we decrease demand.

Regulating GHGs is the only way to do it,

So it’s crucial that we get to it.

 

Senate Republicans don’t like your bill, of course:

Comparing it to the House’s, Sen. Thune (R-SD) said it’s “much worse.”

“It’s more expensive, it’s more restrictive, it’s more aggressive,” he said.

Maybe he’d rather have EPA regulation under the CAA instead?

 

It helps that EPA is taking action;

That should give your bill a lot more traction.

(The “EPA option” is political gold

Because it’s something over opponents’ heads to hold.)

 

As you know, we must move fast for Copenhagen–

No time for political or partisan foot dragin’.

If we don’t, we’ll continue to be the villain.

But if we succeed, we (and the world) will be chillin’.

 

So here’s to you, Senators Boxer and Kerry

I hope that you can a majority carry.

Let’s hope the Senate soon passes

Greenhouse gasses

(The bill, I mean).

***

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