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Dingell Details Poison-Pill Climate Plan

By Joe Romm  

"Dingell Details Poison-Pill Climate Plan"

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poison-pill.jpgHere’s a summary of the poison plan, from a bizarre Greenwire article (subs. req’d):

The bill would include an increase of as much as 50 cents in the gasoline tax, a “stiff tax” on carbon and the removal of the mortgage interest deduction on homes over 3,000 square feet….

A “stiff” carbon tax PLUS a gasoline tax PLUS a pointless tax hike for large homes — that triple-tax overkill is the definition of a poison pill, and even the double tax (carbon and gasoline) makes no sense, as I have noted. (I’ll get to what’s bizarre about this article at the end.)

In talking points distributed by his office, Rep. Dingell (D-MI) absurdly claims:

To those who have suggested this may be an attempt to sabotage climate change legislation: You are wrong. In my 52 years in Congress, I have never introduced legislation with the intention of seeing it fail. I do not intend to start now.

A C-SPAN interview from July gives the lie to that claim. As E&E Daily wrote at the time:

Dingell said he believes there is consensus among Americans on global warming, but he rejected the notion that the public would accept major new costs. “I sincerely doubt that the American people are willing to pay what this is really going to cost them,” he said.

As such, Dingell intends to float proposals that amount to a pair of stalking horses on the matter. “I will be introducing, in the next little bit, a carbon tax bill just to sort of see how people really feel about this,” he said in the interview, adding it would be a 50 cent gasoline tax and a “very substantial” tax on carbon emissions…..

When you see the criticism I get, you will understand that you will be getting the answer to your question,” he said in response to a question about Americans’ willingness to pay higher prices.

What is bizarre about the Greenwire article — which is published by the same people who publish E&E Daily — is that it says:

The [Dingell] talking points emphasize that those taxes are a legitimate effort to craft climate change legislation and not a stab at undermining the effort — as some far-left interest groups have suggested.

Far-left groups? Greenwire‘s own sister publication suggested that itself, as noted. Frankly, I always thought that Greenwire — which covers green matters exclusively and whose subscription base is comprised of many environmental organizations — was a leftie publication.

As a final aside, I hope Greenwire was not including the Center for American Progress in its derisive phrase. The Center isn’t close to “far left,” and I have no idea what Greenwire does consider “far left.” Shame on them for publishing an insinuating sentence, like the one quoted above, without any specific details.

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One Response to Dingell Details Poison-Pill Climate Plan

  1. I think people are too quick to recast the Manchurian Candidate over this Dingell bill. I think he’s just demonstrating that there is a vast gap between what he perceives needs to happen to slow greenhouse gas emissions and what he thinks people will accept. The bill does not challenge the auto industry, so I think he has figured out a way to make a statement and not piss off too many of his friends. The real problem with the bill is that it’s poorly conceived. Compare this bill’s elements (http://local-warming.blogspot.com/2007/08/dingell-tax-good-intentions-bad.html) to those of the Lieberman bill (http://local-warming.blogspot.com/2007/08/action-in-congress.html) and you can tell that Dingell is totally out of his element and does not understand policy analysis on this subject, which is disappointing considering his level of authority. My theory on his main motivation is that he is getting close to the end of his career and wants to look back on the biggest issue of our time and have something good to say for himself: I tried.