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California Poll: Global Warming Least Important Issue
A Field Poll was released this week that asked California voters to rate the importance of twelve issues. The economy was first. Global warming was last.
Inside the Beltway
With healthcare reform triumphantly enacted, several environmental pressure groups have started the “We Got Next” campaign. That is, the next item on the agenda to turn America into a Peronist regime should be energy-rationing legislation. Unfortunately for them, I think many Members of Congress are still having nightmares about the public’s reaction against House passage of the Waxman-Markey bill last 26th June by a 219 to 212 vote. I mention the vote totals because the Senate healthcare bill passed the House on Sunday by the same 219 to 212 margin. It should be recalled that the Senate planned to take up Waxman-Markey in July, but instead turned to healthcare legislation after seeing how unpopular cap-and-trade was with voters.
My guess is that the Senate just isn’t going to get around to global warming until after it considers several other major issues, including new financial regulations, the anemic economy, the continuing mortgage foreclosure crisis, immigration reform, and what to do about the heartbreak of psoriasis. In other words, not this year.
On the other hand, the three Mouseketeers-Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)-continue to talk a good game. The latest news is that they hope to have their middle-of-the-road omnibus energy-rationing bill ready to go by Lenin’s birthday (also celebrated as Earth Day), 22nd April. They may actually have a bill put together by then. But the chance of getting it to the Senate floor before the November election is slim. Graham has already acknowledged that any action likely won’t occur until next year.
The Senate spent most of the week on the House-passed reconciliation bill, which perfects the healthcare reform bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday. Congress will be in recess for the next two weeks. This means that Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has approximately six weeks in which to offer her resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s endangerment finding, S. J. Res. 16, after Congress returns on 12th April. The Congressional Review Act specifies that such resolutions must be offered within sixty legislative days after the regulation is officially transmitted to Congress.
Across the States
The Environmental Protection Agency today announced its intention to veto a Clean Water Act permit granted three years ago by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine 1 in West Virginia. It is the first time that the EPA has proposed to veto a permit that had already been issued. The EPA is acting in order to protect an insect species that is not listed as an endangered species. The proposal will be published in the Federal Register, initiating a 60-day public comment period, and the EPA pledged to hold a field hearing in West Virginia.
The California Air Resources Board released a study on Wednesday claiming that AB 32, the state’s global warming mitigation law, would increase economic growth and create 10,000 jobs by 2020. Evidently, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) wasn’t convinced. On Thursday, he sent a letter to CARB questioning whether its AB 32 implementation plan is “too abrupt” and thus “posing high short-term costs to capped companies.” This wouldn’t be the first time that CARB released a misleading report-a similarly rosy economic analysis on AB 32 was eviscerated in 2008 by a non-partisan panel of scholars, who concluded that the report was politically motivated.
Around the World
Last year President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a carbon tax to fight global warming. But polls indicate that two-thirds of French voters oppose this policy, and this week Sarkozy dropped it. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said that the government’s new priorities are now “growth, jobs, competitiveness and fighting deficits.”
The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary check out the Coalition’s website, www.globalwarming.org.