Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Greedy Side of Denying Man-Induced Climate Change

If your wealth stems from the ugliest side of pollution and resource exploitation, who ya gonna call?! If your industry is on the environmental hit list and you just do not want to control your behavior, who ya gonna call? If you can get enough people to buy into a Biblical misinterpretation that even the Pope finds wrong but allows you to pollute, pollute, who ya gonna call? Who’re your biggest contributors, baby? Who’s there with the SuperPacs, dark money and declared, that boosts your election kitty, sonny? Who’s asking for payback, kid? Who ya gonna call, Mr. Hand-outstretched? Kids with asthma, workers with black lungs? Dey don’t vote or write checks! Here’s a little piece from the morning (July 10th) briefing from The Washington Post.
Refusing to implement standards being unveiled next month by the Environmental Protection Agency is the fossil fuel industry’s biggest new ask of Republican governors, especially the four running for president. The Obama administration is putting the finishing touches on far-reaching rules to cut power plant emissions. Recognizing he will not have the votes to override a presidential veto, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told governors in February that they should decline to respond to federal requests for state-issued plans on how they would meet lower emission targets.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican who retains national ambitions despite passing on a 2016 presidential run, has been the most vocal about his plan to ignore federal orders. Pence said [July 9th] that he will “refuse to comply” unless a previously issued draft is massively watered down. “The best way for this rule to be improved is for it to be withdrawn completely,” he told reporters on a 40-minute conference call, which was organized by a leading energy industry association. “No state is obligated to adopt the president’s climate change agenda as their own … We’ve drawn a line in the sand and made it clear that the state of Indiana will not comply … We’ll avail ourselves of all legal remedies.”
The American Energy Alliance is pushing governors to “embrace a Just-Say-No approach,” President Tom Pyle said yesterday after a friendly Q&A with Pence. He praised Texas’ Greg Abbott, Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker — all Republicans — for threatening to defy the feds…
— Stopping the EPA regs will be a major focus of discussion at ALEC’s annual meeting later this month. At least three presidential candidates—Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee—are scheduled to speak to the American Legislative Exchange Council when the conservative state policy organization meets in San Diego from July 22-24, according to a copy of the agenda obtained by The Daily 202 [of The Washington Post]. The Post’s Tom Hamburger pulls back the curtain:
·         At a winter meeting in Washington, ALEC had state legislators and industry underwriters review proposed “model bills” that could be distributed to states. One draft bill called for abolishing the EPA and replacing it with a committee of state officials. The idea was put aside after some corporate lobbyists cautioned that it could hurt ALEC’s credibility. Nonetheless, ALEC officials agreed to set up a “working group” to consider further action.
·         While ALEC has been a lightning rod for criticism from the left in recent years, losing some of its high-profile corporate members as a result, the group maintains a core of financial supporters from the coal, oil and utility sectors and has started to grow again. Under new leadership, ALEC has vowed to become more open to dissenting views and debate…
The oil industry is making its presence felt in the early stages of the presidential race. Those tied to the fossil fuel industry write some of the biggest checks in GOP politics. The billionaire Koch brothers, whose business empire includes oil refining, care personally about the issue.
We know that “clean coal” means storing pressurized effluents from coal-fired plants deep underground for future generations to deal with. As of now, there is no commercially viable method for burning coal (mostly for power generation) without significant toxic emissions (in the air or from what’s left after the burn). But if man isn’t deemed the “cause” of global climate change, hey fossil fuel burners need not be concerned with goals to reduce such emissions or move to alternative energy generation, right? The Environmental Protection Agency is simply unnecessary waste, accordingly.
So the fossil fuel industry has created a litmus test for candidates they will support and those that it will use every power at their disposal to crush: their willingness to allow fossil-fuel burning and resource development without EPA interference, statutory or regulatory controls, expensive retrofit cleansing equipment, emissions limits or government commitments to hit target emissions levels. In short, it’s war on Democrats or GOP-candidates unwilling to take a stand against environmental control. And trust me, the fossil fuel industry, despite a recent drop in oil prices, is really, really, really well-funded to implement their policy directives. We certainly want these captains of industry to bring “Beijing air” (above picture) – the product of heavy-coal-burning-power-generation – to American cities in the United States, don’t we?!
I’m Peter Dekom, and the degree of selfish defiance and callous disregard of what’s best for most Americans in unconscionable.

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