I was watching the grilling by Jay Inslee (D-WA) of Energy Secretary Bodman this morning at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the “Department of Energy’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Proposal.”
And Inslee got Bodman to say, “I haven’t talked to the president about cap-and-trade.” [I’m guessing their conversations are more like — Bodman: “How ’bout them Giants?” Bush: “Turd-Blossom? What are you doing here?”]
Inslee was amazed, but it is hard to be surprised by anything this administration does or doesn’t do — Samuel Nevergen’ Bodman included.
Strangely, Bodman’s defense of our do-nothing policy vis-a-vis the Chinese is that he spent many years trying to negotiate with them on currency and he concluded:
There is no leverage with the Chinese. The only leverage is what we are willing to do.
I wrote it down, and believe that is the verbatim quote. But it would seem to me that’s an argument for us actually doing something! And in any case the Chinese clearly see little benefit to themselves from raising the value of their currency vs. the dollar — whereas I hope they see some benefit to themselves from avoiding catastrophic global warming. If not, the planet is toast.
That said, if you were China and saw the U.S. doing nothing to reduce emissions, and in fact had been lobbied behind the scenes heavily for seven years by senior U.S. officials who were telling you 1) climate change isn’t serious, 2) the U.S. wasn’t going to do anything while Bush was President, and, 3) by the way, we’d really like your help in subverting the entire international negotiating process — well, gosh, big surprise that “there is no leverage with the Chinese.”
When will this long national nightmare end???