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Back to business: Stop the cap-and-tax bill

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 6, 2009 11:21 AM


Photoshop: Leo Alberti

We celebrated our freedoms this Independence Day. Now, it’s time to fight for them. Hope you are feeling energized. There is much work to be done.

On the front-burner: Defeating the cap-and-tax bill.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee begins hearings on Tuesday.

Spruiell and Williamson have an excellent rundown of Waxman-Markey’s garden of piggish delights. The unions get a cap-and-pay-off. Heritage must-read research and analysis here.

Which senators to target? Here:

Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them control 60 Senate seats. But more than a dozen have expressed concern over costs. They include Democrats from industry-heavy Ohio and Michigan, coal-dependent Indiana and oil-rich Louisiana.

Only a few Republicans appear open to emissions limits, notably two moderates from Maine — Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe — and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who championed emissions limits in his presidential campaign (though he has expressed reservations about the House bill).

The Senate bill will emerge from several committees — including the finance, foreign relations, commerce and agriculture committees — with dramatically different memberships and priorities.

The energy committee already has approved its chunk with wide bipartisan support. It includes a requirement to produce more electricity from renewable sources, but also expands drilling — a possible deal-breaker for environmentalists.

Boxer’s committee will center its work on cap and trade. The House bill would cut U.S. emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% by 2050. Environmentalists expect Boxer, who said she was “looking closely” at those limits, to strengthen them.

Yes, the fate of cap-and-tax is in the hands of Republicans like John McCain. As I warned last May, Sen. McCain has been a member of the global warming hysteria cult for years. A reminder:

Climatologist Patrick Michaels had McCain pegged four years ago, when The Maaaveerrick convened ridiculously, eco-Chicken Little-stacked hearings:

Recent U.S. Senate hearings into alleged global warming, chaired by Arizona Republican John McCain, were among the “most biased” that a noted climatologist has ever seen – “much less balanced than anything I saw in the Clinton administration,” he said.

Patrick J. Michaels is the author of a new book “Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.” He is an environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia who believes that claims of human-caused “global warming” are scientifically unfounded.

Michaels spoke with CNSNews.com Thursday following a panel discussion sponsored by the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., where Michaels also serves as a senior fellow in environmental studies.

“John McCain, a Republican, has probably held the most biased hearing of all,” Michaels said. McCain is a big proponent of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, which he believes are causing “global warming.” The Arizona senator also “is trying to define himself as an environmental Republican, which he is going to use to differentiate himself from his rivals for the (presidential) nomination in 2008,” according to Michaels.

You can bet McCain won’t be visiting with Michaels on his climate change tour anytime soon. The truth would get in the way of his crusade:

Citing a visit he had to the Arctic with several U.S. senators last summer, McCain made it clear that he believed human-caused “global warming” was a certainty.

“It was remarkable going up on a small ship next to this glacier and seeing where it had been just 10 short years ago and how quickly it’s receded,” McCain told the New York Times…

…McCain also warned about what he saw as the rapid pace of Arctic warming, evidenced by the arrival of wildlife that had never previously been seen in the region. “The Inuit language for 10,000 years never had a word for robin and now there are robins all over their villages,” he told the Times.

Michaels refuted McCain’s assertions about the North Pole, noting that the Arctic has actually been warmer in the past than it is now.

“It was warmer 4 to 7,000 years ago [in the Arctic.] Every climatologist knows that. I saw no mention of that in the Arctic report that was paraded in front of McCain,” Michaels said. He added that the past warming of the Arctic couldn’t possibly be blamed on greenhouse gas emissions since it occurred long before the industrial era.

In 2003, Iain Murray debunked McCain’s anecdote about how he got interested in global warming:

He is on record as saying that the reason he became interested in global warming in the first place is because he recognized how much hotter it was getting at his home in Sedona, Ariz. Unfortunately, the data don’t back him up on this. If we look at the temperature records from the nearby Childs weather station, we can actually see a downward trend in temperature of slightly over 1° F. since 1986, when McCain was elected to the Senate. Another nearby station, Fort Valley, shows a very slight upwards trend. You can see these trends for yourself by looking at the official records available at the CO2science.org website. Certainly there are upward trends elsewhere in Arizona, but these are balanced by downward trends — Tucson has cooled while Tombstone has warmed. Arizona makes a poor poster boy for global-warming theory.

Like Barack Obama, McCain touts a “cap-and-trade” system as the free-market answer to reducing carbon emissions. Analysts who haven’t been bitten by the global warming alarmist bug beg to differ–and evidence from cap-and-trade systems already in operation back them up:

….the world has already witnessed many unpleasant surprises with Europe’s ongoing efforts to impose a cap and trade program under the Kyoto Protocol, the international climate treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact, European efforts have racked up significant costs while failing to reduce emissions. Nearly every European country participating has higher emissions today than when the treaty was first signed in 1997. Further, despite ongoing criticism of the United States from Kyoto parties for failing to ratify the treaty, emissions in many of these nations are actually rising faster than in the United States.

The European experience also shows the problem of cap and trade fraud.[6] None other than Enron’s Ken Lay was a strong supporter of carbon cap and trade when the idea was first floated in the 1990s, saying that it could “do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative.” These carbon allowances that will be bought and sold have a value estimated at $50 billion to $300 billion annually, and the trade in them would be a huge new business. Enron may be gone, but others ready to take advantage of cap and trade–often at public expense–are not.

Sen. McCain needs to hear from folks other than Al Gore acolytes. Someone might want to introduce him, for example, to Alan Carlin. Sen. McCain’s email form is here and phone contact info:

Phoenix Office:
5353 North 16th Street
Suite 105
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Main: 602-952-2410
Fax: 602-952-8702

Tempe Office:
4703 South Lakeshore Drive
Suite 1
Tempe, AZ 85282
Main: 480-897-6289
Fax: 480-897-8389

Tucson Office:
407 West Congress Street
Suite 103
Tucson, AZ 85701
Main: 520-670-6334
Fax: 520-670-6637

Washington Office:
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-2235
Fax: 202-228-2862

***

A list of cap-and-trade Senate targets from Temple of Mut.

And here is a thorough Senate cap-and-trade vote analysis from Nate Silver. Note this graph in particular:

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