Friday, November 21, 2008

Henry Waxman, Viro Emperor

Unlike the chimerical global warming of viro alarmists, some real dangers present themselves in 2009.

Henry Waxman (D-CA) has successfully lobbied to replace John Dingell as the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the major Congressional groups controlling 'climate change' legislation. Look for that to bear ill-news for freedom-lovers in the upcoming year.

Dingell, a standard-issue Democrat, was bad enough. But at least he was kept in check by hailing from Detroit and having to fear losing his job if he became too aggressive. By contrast, Waxman is the Congressman representing Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and parts west. Or, should I say, parts left.

As one of the more Progressive legislators in an already left-leaning party, he has a well-deserved reputation as a pit bull when it comes to issues dear to his Grinch-sized heart. He was responsible for the arm-twisting that led to a $246 billion whack to the nether parts of the tobacco companies. Worse, he is known as a long-time advocate of environmental laws that punish business. Worst of all, he puts his considerable mouth where your freedom is.

In March 2007 he introduced HR 1590:
The bill would establish an emissions "cap and trade" system to start in 2010, requiring a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 15 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. It would also establish passenger vehicle standards no less stringent than California's by 2014; set up a national renewable energy standard in 2009 that 20 percent of electric energy generation must be from renewable sources by 2020; create a national energy efficiency standard; and require periodic evaluations by the National Academy of Sciences to determine whether emissions targets are adequate.[emphasis added]
For some cost estimates associated with the various proposed schemes for CO2 reduction, see here, here (PDF), here (PDF), and here. Estimates are all over the map, but it's safe to say the figure is in the hundreds of billions directly, and trillions in forgone opportunity costs. It's not for nothing that developing China is refusing to play the game. (And all this for a hypothesis that is daily losing scientific steam.)

The Guardian, a left-leaning UK newspaper, suggests in a story promising "new hope to US cap and trade": "With Waxman at the helm, the climate change debate will now likely start from his more progressive platform."

That statement alone should produce enough of a chill in any freedom-lover to counteract a good deal of global warming. The author of the story goes on to say:
"Waxman, a long-time ally of the environmental community, favours stringent short-term emissions reduction targets, auctioning emissions allowances, and very limited cost-containment mechanisms, such as offsets."
Whatever happens to the air temperature over the next 12 months, you can expect the climate for freedom to be very chilly. The only hope for citizens in the upcoming year, given how many bad eggs are gathering in the D.C. basket, is to watch them all very closely, then scream to high heaven when the smell gets intolerable. What they promise to try to do to us is anything but metaphorical.

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