Canada to the Rescue (of the Coal Industry)

Canada’s science minister, Gary Goodyear, was in Washington recently talking up how Canadian research may usher in a era of “clean coal”. Ottawa is shoveling $1 billion for research related to the dubious concept of “carbon capture and storage”, targeted largely at the Alberta tar sands.

Goodyear implied that the Canadian brain trust could develop technologies to keep the carbon party going on both sides of the border without any of those nasty emissions.

Is this good news? Hardly.

It’s more like a drunk trying to talk a drinking buddy out of going to his first AA meeting.

America under the Obama Administration has been making the first bold steps to getting serious about climate change. A cap and trade bill is moving through Congress. The EPA listed carbon as a “pollutant” opening the door for regulation under the Clean Air Act. Obama has pledged billions in tax dollars and incentive to double renewable energy production in US in the next three years.

Obama has also dedicated 3% of American GDP to research – the highest level of government investment in science in American history. There is a constellation of green energy research programs being nurtured in the US designed to make America a green technology leader.

Obama’s motivations are clear: “The nation that leads the world in 21st-century clean energy will be the nation that leads in the 21st-century global economy,” the President said. “America can and must be that nation.”

Meanwhile Canada is still on the barstool wondering where her old pal went. Carbon emissions in Canada ballooned by 4% in 2007 alone and are now 26% above 1990 levels, with no end in site. Rather than deal with a root cause of extraction and consumption, Canada has instead committed to the technological pipe dream of carbon capture that has already been rejected by experts as a solution to tar sands emissions.

Ingraham vs. Gore; Half the Truth Is the Same as a Lie

During the May 1 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, talk-radio guest host Laura Ingraham used a well-known Republican tactic to smear Al Gore, former Vice President, climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Ingraham took only those parts of Gore’s Waxman-Markey testimony that supported her contention and ignored the rest.

Ingraham may consider this balanced reporting, but here in the real world we call this a convenient and highly unscrupulous oversight.

Gore’s testimony, from the April 24 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing (on the 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act), clearly stated that “every penny” he earned from his climate-change advocacy (i.e., books, movies, and investments in renewable energy) has gone into his nonprofit organization, Alliance for Climate Protection, which aims to persuade Americans to adopt comprehensive solutions to the approaching climate crisis.

Gore and Inhofe, United at Last

Climate policy can make for strange bedfellows – perhaps none as strange as the former vice president and Republican senator from Oklahoma, whose views on most issues could not be more divergent. Yet on one issue – related to climate change, no less – they agree: black carbon, or, as it’s more commonly known, “soot,” is a dangerous pollutant that deserves more study.

In fact, Inhofe considered it a grave enough threat that he recently co-sponsored a bill with Democratic Senators Carper, Boxer and Kerry to prod the EPA into studying the health and global warming impacts of black carbon emissions.

And while the insufferable Oklahoman may insist that his support for the legislation in no way contradicts his established denier bona fides – for good measure, he unleashed a typically scathing critique of the Obama administration’s proposed environmental policies the same day the bill was introduced – there is no denying that black carbon, the product of fossil fuel consumption and biomass burning, is a major agent of climate change.

US Chamber of Commerce Study Parrots Republican Talking Points on Carbon Cap

Carbon Emissions

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes themselves this way on their website:

As the voice of business, the Chamber’s core purpose is to fight for free enterprise before Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion, and governments around the world.

But when it comes to climate and energy legislation, it seems their core purpose is to fight Congress, the White House, regulatory agencies, the courts, the court of public opinion and governments around the world from getting anything done. With such obstructionism in mind, they commissioned a report from CRA, a global consulting firm, on the supposed impact on the economy of the climate provision in the Obama administration’s 2010 budget proposal.

GOP Releases Talking Points on Waxman-Markey To Encourage All Republicans To Lie In Unison

The GOP has released its “Talking Points on the Democrat National Energy Tax,” in an effort to get all Republicans under the same tent in their ad hominem attacks on the Waxman-Markey “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” currently being debated by Congress.

According to the GOP, “The truth behind the Democrat’s [sic] cap and tax plan is that it will lead to more taxes, fewer jobs, and more government intrusion.”

Dang, Obama thought they’d never figure out his master plan! The GOP is so good!

The talking points are part of the GOP’s plan for a “communications offensive over the next four weeks” to assert that the Waxman-Markey legislation “amounts to a national energy tax that will destroy jobs and increase costs for every single American.”

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