Thursday, May 14, 2009

Barton Response to CO2 Cap: Increase CO2!

Today, blog fave Rep. Joe Barton (TX) released an "alternative" proposal in advance of next week's markup of the American Clean Energy and Security Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.

While the American Clean Energy and Security Act seeks to provide a path to create a clean energy economy that would create jobs and curb harmful carbon dioxide emissions, Mr. Barton's legislation, well, doesn't. Unless you think de-classifying C02 as a harmful gas that endangers the public health, opening up the entirety of our coastline as well as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and not actually creating a cap on carbon emissions qualifies.

Didn't think you would.

So it appear that Mr. Barton's bill would be a vehicle to create more CO2 without addressing the issue of global warming in any way whatsoever.

It wouldn't be a Joe Barton event if he also didn't employ a little of his own, shall we say, unique language to the proceedings. (via Fox News):
“He doesn’t have the votes to pass the bill. He has got a chance to get the votes. If you are familiar with Texas Hold ‘em poker, he doesn’t have the nuts.”

—Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)[...]

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) tried to step in during the press conference announcing the GOP alternative energy plan and get Barton back to the business at hand but the Texas Republican was intent on explaining himself.

“Nor do I,” Barton added, presumably referring to ‘the nuts.’

“I wouldn’t explain it any more,” Upton interjected.

But Barton could not help himself, adding, “we will see which has the other side by the nuts next week.”
(Sometimes, it's just too easy...)

Allen, ExxonMobil Seek To Re-Frame "Clean"

Former Senator (and LCV Dirty Dozen member) George Allen has decided to weigh in on the debate over clean energy. The impressively animated former lawmaker touts his new group's proposal for "clean, creative, and thoughtful" (spelled out in the video below, just in case) energy solutions.

While that seems well and good, the buzz words don't really mesh with the fact that Mr. Allen's group is against any cap on carbon emissions, despite the consensus of scientists that action needs to be taken post-haste.

Of course, Mr. Allen (who earned an atrociously impressive
1% lifetime score (!) in the National Environmental Scorecard) neglects to mention that his group is funded by industry friends like ExxonMobil, who haven't exactly been leaders on global warming.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who Needs Expertise When You're A Ranking Member?

As the ranking member on the committee that has primary jurisdiction on the upcoming clean energy bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, it may be cause for alarm that Rep. Joe Barton (TX) seems to exhibit little to no understanding of neither the effects of global warming or the steps that are being taken to curb those effects.

It's also comical, in a very dark way.

Mr. Barton seems to think that given the Environmental Protection Agency's recent finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health, that marathon runners will now be regulated by the federal government (via Grist):
Barton says the average healthy adult exhales between four-tenths of a ton and seven-tenths of a ton of CO2 a year.

“So if you put 20,000 marathoners into a confined area, you could consider that a single source of pollution, and you could regulate it,” Barton says. “The key would be whether the EPA said that 20,000 people running the same route was one source or not.”

One indication that the EPA likely would consider 20,000 runners a single source of pollution is that the agency is trying to regulate waste-water runoff and emissions of drilling rigs in oil fields by attempting to define entire areas as a single source of pollution, Barton says.
The intrepid Kate Sheppard has a pretty easy go of poking a hole in his theory:
Never mind that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has indicated she has no interest in regulating small sources—the agency’s regulations would target major industrial sources emitting at least 25,000 metric tons of carbon per year, as well as the transportation sector. And no, the “transportation sector” doesn’t include runners.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shocker: Oil and Gas Execs Down on Clean Energy

Here's one to file under "Was That Really Necessary to Poll?" KPMG surveyed almost 400 oil and gas executives and asked if they thought energy independence was possible by 2030, taking into account a new clean energy economy.

The results may surprise you. But, really, they probably won't:
KPMG LLP’s Global Energy Institute released its annual energy survey this week. It polled 382 oil and gas executives in April, more than three-quarters of whom said energy independence is not attainable by 2030 or beyond.

Despite the fact that America’s energy consumption far outpaces its production, the survey — sent out to petroleum executives only — seemed to focus on energy independence as it pertains to renewables and alternatives.
So just in case you were wondering, those executives who have profited mightily under a dirty fuels only policy would still prefer to do so.