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Category Archives: Climate change legislation

Barbara Boxer relied heavily on both the IPCC and Pachauri

Yesterday in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Barbara Boxer made the following statement:

In my opening statement, I didn’t quote one international scientist or IPCC report. … We are quoting the American scientific community here.

This is in response to Sen Inhofe’s minority report about climategate, blasting the IPCC. Boxer doesn’t even attempt to defend the IPCC, she simply says that she used American scientists in her opening statement. This is true, in this particular case, but it certainly hasn’t been historically. Boxer has relied on the IPCC several times as the Chair of the EPW, and she has relied on Pachauri as well. Lets start at the beginning.

When the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report was issued in April 2007, Boxer released a statement. From the statement:

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, made the following remarks today regarding today’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after she received a briefing by telephone from Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC:

“This powerful report confirms the very real dangers that global warming poses for us all. The effects of global warming will be felt throughout the world.”

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Posted by on February 24, 2010 in Climate change legislation, Politicians

 

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Cap-and-trade is dead, but climate change regulations are alive and well

Cap-and-trade won’t go anywhere this year, maybe never. However, this doesn’t mean that politicians won’t try and save the world from the threat of climate change. The EPA found in December 2009 that “greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people” – Source. They classified Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant thus allowing them to regulate it under the Clean Air Act.

Direct EPA regulation without legislation is potentially crippling to the economy, and has many legislators crying foul. With cap-and-trade dead, the EPA has taken the lead in climate regulations, but they are not the only agency to create climate change regulations.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to look at the environmental impact of their potential regulations. On January 15’th, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) said:

“CEQ believes that it is appropriate and necessary to consider the impact of significant Federal actions on greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for climate change to affect Federal activities evaluated through NEPA…” – Source

This means all agencies must ensure that their regulations do not impact greenhouse gas emissions negatively. Several Senators said about the CEQ’s finding:

“Requiring analysis of climate change impacts during the NEPA process, especially at the project-specific level, will slow our economic recovery while providing no meaningful environmental benefits,” – Source

Other agencies are involved. Just today the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruled that companies must disclose potential effects of climate change in their corporate findings:

“Guidelines approved today require companies to weigh the impact of climate-change laws and regulations when assessing what information to include in corporate filings, the commission said. The SEC is responding to investors who said companies aren’t providing enough data on the potential risks to their profits and operations from environmental-protection laws.” – Source

These guidelines also had several detractors, one of which stated that he was:

“troubled by an undertaking which seems so transparently political and such a breathtaking waste of the commission’s resources.” Source

Well said. With the EPA’s scientific basis for their regulation of CO2 under scrutiny it makes little sense to attempt regulation through other agencies. Common sense would seem to dictate that they wait until the spotlight is removed from the EPA and climate science in general before they attempt even more regulation. I suppose common sense isn’t all too common in Washington.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2010 in Climate change legislation

 

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