In the News
The Climate Change Climate Change
Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal, 26 June 2009
The Renewable Energy Scam
Darren Bakst, National Review Online, 26 June 2009
Perversities of Whackman-Malarkey
Kenneth Green, Masterresource.org, 26 June 2009
Myron Ebell, New York Post, 25 June 2009
Tilting at Green Windmills
George Will, Washington Post, 25 June 2009
Will Congress Switch off the Lights?
Iain Murray, Washington Times, 25 June 2009
A Looming Cap-and-Trade War
Patrick Michaels & Sallie James, Planet Gore, 24 June 2009
Pelosi Will Profit from Energy Tax
Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner, 24 June 2009
Waxman-Markey: Death Knell for U.S. Jobs, Low-Cost Energy
Robert Murray, The Hill, 22 June 2009
Campaign Slogans Won’t Solve Virginia’s Energy Woes
William Yeatman & Jeremy Lott, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 21 June 2009
News You Can Use
What a Difference 3 Months Makes!
Congressional Budget Office, March 12, 2009: “The price increases caused by a cap-and-trade program would impose additional costs on households. For example, without incorporating any benefits to households from lessening climate change, CBO estimates that the price increases resulting from a 15 percent cut in CO2 emissions could cost the average household roughly $1,600 (in 2006 dollars), ranging from nearly $700 in additional costs for the average household in the lowest one-fifth (quintile) of all households arrayed by income, to about $2,200 for the average household in the highest quintile.”
Congressional Budget Office, June 20, 2009: “CBO estimates that the net annual economy wide cost of the cap-and-trade program in 2020 would be $22 billion-or about $175 per household.”
Inside the Beltway
The Moment of Truth
The House Democratic leadership rushed the Waxman-Markey bill to final passage by a narrow vote on Friday afternoon. It’s been a busy week. Late Monday night, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) sent a substitute version of H. R. 2454 to the Rules Committee. The 946-page bill passed by his committee on 21st May had become a 1201-page bill. Then early Friday morning the House Rules Committee sent the 1201 pages to the floor with an additional 309 pages released around 3:09 AM. The Rules Committee provided for three hours of debate and allowed only one of the 200-odd amendments that had been filed to be offered.
Such a short debate on major legislation is almost unprecedented. They have had to rush because they realized that the bill is such a turkey that the only way to get it through is to force members to vote and then find out later what’s in it. What they are going to find out is that it’s full of little payoffs to scores and scores of Members.
Even though there was only three hours of debate (as Rep. Joe Barton [R-Tex.] remarked, the House had spent nearly that much time on some commemorative bills), there were several priceless moments. More on those next week. I expect that campaign operatives at the House Republican Campaign Committee are licking their lips at all the video clips they are going to have to run in teevee ads of Democrats saying that Waxman-Markey will create jobs, boost the economy, and only cost each of us a postage stamp a day.
But just as the debate was winding down at around 5:40 PM and moving to votes on the amendment and then final passage, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave one of the closing speeches. The Speaker, Majority Leader, and Minority Leader traditionally are not limited by the clock and can speak as long as they want. After about twenty minutes, Chairman Waxman made a parliamentary enquiry as to whether there were any limits on how long the minority leader could speak. The Chair ruled that it was the custom of the House to listen to the Leader.
So the Digest is going to press as Minority Leader Boehner continues to speak. The Republican leadership has put out a statement that he plans to read the all 309 pages of the bill that appeared early Friday morning. It appears, though, that he’s not reading it, but summarizing each section. Rather than finishing in time for dinner or even in time to catch a flight out of town for the Fourth of July recess, it might be a long night. I expect that the House will pass Waxman-Markey on a close vote, something like 224 to 207. If it goes very late, the vote totals on both sides will go down as Members give up and go home. As people begin to dig into and see what’s in it, my guess is that it will become a sick joke, suitable fodder for late night comedians.
EPA Suppresses Internal Memo on Climate Science
In his closing remarks on Waxman Markey, Rep. Barton discussed the recent revelations of EPA squelching an internal report that criticized the agency’s stance on GW. Those revelations were made by CEI three days earlier, when it disclosed a series of EPA emails in which a senior career analyst at the agency was bluntly informed by his boss that his report would remain secret for political reasons. CEI filed the emails in EPA’s Endangerment Docket, and demanded that EPA produce the full report, extend the time for public comment, and pledge to take no reprisals against the analyst. EPA’s press people went into spin mode, but as of Friday had not produced the final report. Late Thursday night, CEI went ahead and posted a draft version of the document, which you can read here.