USA! USA! / We’re Ghana Win?

26 Jun

Team of Rivals

26 Jun

Kudos to the The New Republic for bringing on Jim Manzi as an in-house critic. 

Kudos to Jim Manzi for starting out this new forum by posting a fantastic takedown of Gore/Krugman’s climate cost benefit analysis (or lack thereof).  While this is standard Manzi fare, he gets extra points for having his arguments run next to an oil-splattered web ad from Alliance for Climate Protection’s Repower America.

He Shoots, He Scores

26 Jun

While I very much enjoy Jon Stewart, I generally have a difficult time watching/laughing/discussing/not screaming at the TV when he addresses energy issues.  This, however, is absolutely priceless:

Never Too Late…

19 Jun

Glad to see it only took 57 days for the Minerals Management Service to advertise this very attractive position as the newest scapegoat Emergency Oil Spill Response Coordinator.  My favorite part:

This position is being advertised concurrently with (MMS-ZG-10-MM354353), using Merit Promotion procedures.

Pretty sure we don’t need to worry about a merit promotion…

USA! USA!

12 Jun

In the spirit of mindless enthusiasm I have about today’s US-England soccer game, I offer entertaining diplomatic trashtalking and this awesome video that approximates the American side’s performance this afternoon:

Sucks to Your Ass-mar!

11 Jun

One more digression on the Murkowski vote: since when did asthma become the leading justification to wreak economic havoc via greenhouse gas regulations?  I believe this has been driven by the frequent statements by Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey about his grandchild with asthma during any climate discussion in the Environment and Public Works Committee, as well as the complete inability of most members of Congress to describe the long, complex linkages involved in climate change and its solutions.  Senator Boxer credited Lautenberg’s asthma  testimonial with carrying the day: 

I want to say, as I note Senator Lautenberg standing here, I felt the moment this debate came together was when he came to the floor to make a statement, brief though it was. He talked to us not from his notes but from his heart, about what it means to him as a grandparent to watch a grandchild suffer and struggle through asthma, and as he has noted on this floor on more than one occasion, his family making sure that when this child plays in an athletic tournament or goes somewhere, how close is the emergency room.

This is what we are dealing with today, pollution. And today we said: We stand with the physicians, we stand with the scientists, and we are going to move forward toward a clean energy economy and all of the jobs that will come with it, and all of the technologies that will make America a leader in the world.

I’m not a climate scientist, nor do I play one on Fox News, but I am pretty sure the carbon dioxide- asthma connection is still very much in the developmental stages.  I am fairly certain that no one claims that higher carbon dioxide concentrations, absent higher temperatures, increases the incidence of asthma.  Consider, then, that Congress just voted to allow unaccountable EPA bureaucrats to regulate large swaths of the American economy in order to prevent a tenuously-linked occurence of increased asthma decades down the road when the associated temperature rise occurs. 

Look, I have mild asthma.  I understand some people have it worse, and I imagine it is terrible. Even if there is a correlation between global warming and asthma, there are literally hundreds of other things, from rat feces to pollen patterns to “nature deficit disorder,” that have been associated with these problems. I also suffer from serious seasonal hayfever.  In that case, though, the leaps-and-bounds of non-drowsy, 24-hour, over-the-counter allergy drugs have effectively fixed me (and, in my mind, might represent the greatest innovation in the last half-century).  Unlike Congress, I am both more confident in the ability of the market to bring an effective solution to the problem itself.  I am not willing to do serious harm to the innovative sections of our economy to prevent a chain of linkages that, in the worst case scenario, look like this:

Was it Lunchtime?

11 Jun

I don’t have the time (nor the inclination) to dissect the Senate’s disapointing failure to endorse Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval on EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the ill-suited Clean Air Act infrastructure.  I did, however, want to poke a little fun at the easy targets in the Senate.  Maybe I was the only one lame enough to watch a debate about a resolution that, in the best case scenario, would have been swiftly vetoed in a matter of minutes, but no one appears to have noticed a strong pepperoni theme in the floor statement by Senator Murkowski:

Look at Texas. There is the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Aromatics, Texas Association of Agricultural Consultants, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas Citrus Mutual, Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, Texas Independent Ginners Association, Texas Food Processers Association, Texas Forestry Association, Grain and Feeders Association, Nursery and Landscape Association–and I am only halfway through the Texas organizations that support our resolution of disapproval.

So the suggestion that somehow this is all tied into the oil industry, again, just simply does not comport with what has been happening. Why are these organizations standing up and speaking out and saying this is not the path we should be taking with climate? It goes back to the jobs. It goes back to the issue of where we are as an economy. It goes back to the level of bureaucratic overlay that will be imposed on the California Citrus Mutual or the California Cotton Growers Association or the Carpet and Rug Institute or the pizza company from Ohio.

This is absolutely about how we as a Nation determine those policies that will, in fact, allow us to have the clean air we all want. But we can achieve those goals in a way that isn’t going to kick our timing in the head. Who can do that? Is it the EPA, whose mission is solely and exclusively that we have to follow the letter of the law here? The letter of the law says to not only go after the big polluters but all the way down to the small emitters, which emit 250 tons of carbon per year. And every effort EPA may want to make in terms of tailoring, all it is going to take is one lawsuit that challenges that tailoring to inject the uncertainty back into the market, back into the business place. So once again we have an economy that just can not get back on its feet.

This is not a referendum on any other bill that is pending in Congress, but it is a check on EPA’s regulatory ambition. It presents an opportunity for us to stop the worst option for regulating greenhouse gases from moving forward, while we work on a more responsible solution.

I want to take a moment to thank my colleague from West Virginia, who spoke very passionately about why he supports this resolution–because of the people he represents. I ask all of us to look to the people we represent. Look at your small businesses, your farmers, your ranchers, your pizza manufacturers. Look to them. Look to the health of their families and their communities.

I sympathize with someone from Alaska who is trying to think of businesses that aren’t oil and gas companies, but really?  I mean, having endured years of working for and with the most random DC associations, I have yet to run into the Washington liaison for the powerful National Pizza Manufacturers Association.