"Inactivist business leaders push climate delay"
I’m not exactly certain why this qualifies as news, but E&ENews PM just ran the story, “Economic revival should precede carbon caps, business leaders say.” Dog bites man.
I previously noted that lots of people who apparently never believed in serious climate action have been taking the opportunity of the economic slowdown to say we must back off intelligent emissions controls (see here).
Well, you’ll never guess who else is in the inactivist club:
“I think President-elect Obama believes turning the economy around is his first mission,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s top lobbyist, R. Bruce Josten, told reporters today. “He realizes that imposing a climate change structure right out of the gate would be one of the biggest taxes you could put on this economy, the weight of which may send it down further.”
The National Association of Manufacturers’ president and CEO, John Engler, came to a similar conclusion in a post-election press conference yesterday, saying the next administration must focus initially on expanding domestic oil drilling, nuclear power production and alternative energy manufacturing and installation.
[Note to Engler: Since apparently you've been on the space station for the past few days, let me just clue you in -- Your guy didn't win.]
“The [climate] debate will proceed cautiously as we look at the global economy,” Engler said.
“The energy issue has to be resolved almost as a precondition to get the climate issue resolved,” Engler added. “In this country, you can’t shut down more than half of the power from coal with nothing to replace it.”
These quotes are triply inane:
- The Chamber and NAM have always opposed climate action. The recession is just another in a long series of excuses for delay.
- An Obama climate bill is exceedingly unlikely to impose a “climate structure” that kicks in before 2012, long after Obama has dug us out of the Bush depression.
- Actually, while shutting down all existing coal plants immediately is not the goal of any climate bill likely to be under consideration, we already have more than enough technologies to replace it (see “Is 450 ppm possible? Part 5: Old coal’s out, can’t wait for new nukes, so what do we do NOW?” and “An introduction to the core climate solutions“).
The chamber’s president and CEO, Tom Donohue has some especially laughable quotes in this article:
With the likelihood of a long and deep U.S. recession, Donohue said Obama should “do no harm” during his first 100 days in office….
“He should figure out what he can do to add to the strength of this ecomony, because none of his hopes and plans for the future are at all possible unless we have a vibrant economy,” Donohue said.
Where the heck was Donohue with his “do no harm” nonsense during the last eight years? Un-friggin-real!
Like Engler, Donohue seems to have been on the space station for quite some time, completely unaware that the American people have already made their decision as to which policies they want enacted to get us out of this “long and deep US recession.” It starts with an aggressive clean energy effort, and it includes strong action on the global warming.
- Nicholas Stern: Recession is the time to build a low-carbon future
- Is the financial crisis more dire than the climate crisis?
- What would a Green Recovery do for your state?
- Economy doesn’t trump climate: EU sticks by GHG plan, UK goes for 80% cut.
- Stern admits report “badly underestimated” climate change risks
- Don’t Discount the Stern Review
- Inaction on Climate Change will HURT our Economy
- Desperate times, desperate scientists