From the Wonk Room.Speaking at an event meant to oppose Democratic clean energy legislation, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) warned corporations calling for the United States to take action on global warming to “keep their powder dry.” Grist’s Kate Sheppard asked Pence after the GOP mock climate hearing yesterday what he would say to the corporations in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (US-CAP) who have testified that a mandatory cap on global warming pollution is needed. Pence told companies that support a green economy to “keep their powder dry” as the GOP attempts to preserve Bush-era energy policy:
Um. I, I just would say that any American who is prepared to endorse a national energy tax that there’s a better solution. Uh, that they should keep their powder dry. And uh, take their case to the American people that they don’t need, particularly during this very difficult time in the economic life of our nation, to raise the energy cost on our businesses and on American families.Watch it:
As Grist noted, “the House heard the leaders of Duke Energy, ConocoPhillips, and DuPont ask for a cap as recently as April 22.” Politico reports that Nike has been telling the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “to take a more progressive stance on the issue of climate change.” And Exelon Corporation, one of America’s largest electric utilities and another US-CAP member, is featured in a new advertisement today from the Environmental Defense Action Fund calling for a carbon cap as a part of comprehensive clean economic policy:
From the Wonk Room.
The Bush administration, though in the shadows of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition effort, continues to subvert the rule of law and impede action on global warming. Last week, the White House emailed mayors asking them to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft proposal for greenhouse gas regulations. According to the Washington Post, the email by Jeremy J. Broggi, associate director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs reminded mayors to formally submit complaints to the EPA:
At the time, President Bush warned that this was the wrong way to regulate emissions. Chairman John D. Dingell called it “a glorious mess.” And many of you contacted us to let us know how harmful this rule would be to the economies of the cities and counties you serve.
Broggi, a young Dick Cheney protegé, also linked to a November 20 U.S. Chamber of Commerce blog post by Bill Kovacs that makes the absurd claim regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act “will operate as a de facto moratorium on major construction and infrastructure projects.” Broggi’s lobbying against his own government is nothing new—last year the Department of Transportation lobbied Congress to oppose global warming regulations.
To avoid action on global warming despite a direct order from the Supreme Court, Bush’s people have brazenly flouted their Constitutional obligation to faithfully execute the law, ignoring science, ignoring Congressional subpoenas, even ignoring emails from the EPA. Just as former attorney general Alberto Gonzales claimed the Geneva Convention’s ban on torture was “quaint,” EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson called the Clean Air Act “outdated” and “ill-suited” to the task of regulating greenhouse gas emissions.However, it is the approach of the likes of George Bush, Stephen Johnson, Bill Kovacs, and John Dingell to the climate crisis that is “outdated,” “ill-suited,” and “a glorious mess”—not laws like the Clean Air Act. Robert Sussman, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and co-chairman of Obama’s EPA transition team, explained last month:
In fact, a new administration could enforce new global warming regulations with common sense, focusing on large emitters of greenhouse gases to achieve reasonable reductions while spurring trillions of dollars worth of economic growth and green-collar jobs.
Come January, Dingell will have been replaced as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), and the Bush administration by Obama’s team. Sadly, Kovacs will continue plugging his dangerous message of inaction, although major companies are starting to abandon the Chamber’s reactionary rhetoric.
Broggi’s email reminded Bush’s allies in “bold, underlined text” that the public comment period for these proposed regulations closes this Friday, November 28. You can join the We Campaign in sending the message that the EPA can and should take immediate action to control global warming and to help repower America.
The text of the email follows.
From: White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 6:12 PM
Subject: Reminder of November 28 deadline to comment on the EPA ANPR on greenhouse gas emissions
On July 11 the EPA released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) that suggests how the Clean Air Act might be used to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in our economy. At the time, President Bush warned that this was the wrong way to regulate emissions. Chairman John Dingell called it “a glorious mess”. And many of you contacted us to let us know how harmful this rule would be to the economies of the cities and counties you serve.
As you know, the White House asked the EPA to make the ANPR available for public comment, and has encouraged the public to do so. If you have planned to comment, this is a reminder that the comment period closes on November 28. Instructions on how to submit comments to the EPA can be found on their website: www.epa.gov/climatechange/anpr.html
You may be interested in reviewing the attached White House policy memo that lays out the issue in more detail. You may also be interested in reading the U.S. Chamber’s assessment of how the ANPR would affect various local building and infrastructure projects: www.chamberpost.com/2008/11/the-impact-climate-change-proposals-on-infrastructure.html
Please let us know if you have any questions.
Jeremy J. Broggi
The White House