Rockefeller: Preventing action on global warming “is too important for us to delay any further”

But WV Senator withdraws bill to block EPA after GOP pulls its support “so that they can gain some political advantage trying to take over this issue in 2011.”

Climate peacock Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) threatened to tie up the funding of the government with his coal-powered campaign to kill climate action before the end of the year.  But the Republicans killed the effort so that they could take the lead on it in 2011!

First, Brad Johnson explains what Rockefeller tried to do:

In a press release issued Thursday, Rockefeller said that he is willing to try to “suspend the rules on the Omnibus Appropriations bill” to force a 2/3 vote for his “Dirty Air Act” amendment, which would stall EPA rules on global warming polluters until 2014:

“The time has come for us to make a decision on the energy future of our country. I have spent this year fighting to make sure that Congress, not the EPA, determines how best to reduce greenhouse gases in a way that protects West Virginia’s economy. While there are still ongoing discussions about how Congress should proceed, I want to make it clear that I intend to get a vote this year on my EPA-suspension legislation. I know there is bipartisan support for this legislation, and if necessary, I will seek to suspend the rules and bring this up for a vote. This is too important for us to delay any further.”

Meanwhile, the disaster of global warming pollution grows. “The first nine months of the year have seen the highest number of weather-related events since Munich Re started keeping records,” Peter Hoeppe, an expert from Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research department warned “” including a flooding disasters in West Virginia in March, May, and June, followed by disastrous drought. Antarctic sea ice is being melted by a radically warming ocean. Phytoplankton populations are collapsing. And the rate of ocean acidification the fastest in 65 million years.

And yet Sen. Rockefeller, whose family fortune was built upon oil and has received over $800,000 from the fossil industry in campaign contributions, says that preventing the United States from even beginning to slow the pollution is what cannot be delayed.

Rockefeller said Friday he was abandoning his effort for the year:

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), blaming Republicans, admitted defeat Friday in his long-shot bid to advance legislation this year that would delay looming Environmental Protection Agency climate change rules.

Rockefeller “” who says the rules will harm his coal-heavy state “” had vowed Thursday to try and force a vote on the measure, but now admits it’s on ice for the year.

“I have been reliably informed that long-time Republican proponents of my bill to suspend EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions have pulled their support for this year “” so that they can gain some political advantage trying to take over this issue in 2011,” he said in a statement Friday.

It will be up to Climate Hawks in 2011 and 2012 to prove that attacking EPA efforts to preserve clean air, clean water, and livable climate for our children is not a winning political issue.

15 Responses to Rockefeller: Preventing action on global warming “is too important for us to delay any further”

  1. BillD says:

    It’s a disturbing situation when a moderately liberal senator places so much weight on his state’s local, short term interest. I live in Indiana and see the same thing here. Something like 95% of our electricity is from coal and even democrats are very reluctant to vote for anything that will make that electricity more expensive. That seems like a short term view, since it hard for me to imagine that the pressure to move from coal will not increase. I’d really like to see a state or federal law that provides strong incentives for at least a moderate % of electrical power to come from renewables. Currently states with high percentages of electricity from coal and/or high coal mining interests are realling diggin in their heels.

    My nex car (in a few years) will probably be electric, although I’m not sure whether it will be that CO2 friendly if the electricity is from coal.

  2. Esop says:

    In a few years time, Mr. Rockefeller will likely pull a Huckabee and deny that he ever said these things.

  3. Prokaryotes says:

    Rockefeller pledged to try again on the two-year delay in January.

    Read more:

    “I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.”

    “I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty.”

    “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.”

    “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”
    John D. Rockefeller 1839-1937

  4. Ziyu says:

    @BillD, the recent tax legislation passed by Congress and Obama contains many energy efficiency and renewable energy tax incentives.

  5. David HS says:

    One begins to think that the most serious threat to our civilisation lies with certain American politicians. The restof the world looks on in complete dismay.

  6. Mike Roddy says:

    Many of David Rockefeller’s family relatives have become progressive about climate change, and try at stockholder meetings to bring some sanity into companies they own, such as Exxon.

    David is another breed altogether. As a member of the US Senate, he provides evidence that sometimes the family scum rises to the top.

  7. Barry says:

    Hmmm, the hopeful side of me thinks the GOP bosses might be realizing that being anti-climate-science is a totally LOSING POSITION medium term…and maybe even short term depending on how climate acts up.

    As everyone knows, you can’t lobby physics. A lot of the GOP must know that they will go down with the denier-ship-of-fools if they don’t get off in time. They are rolling the dice over and over and the odds are getting worse and worse that they won’t crap out.

    Really, the GOP can just totally write off the youth and everyone in future if they actually block climate mitigation for years as the public gets hammered by some clear climate pearl harbors. That is GAME OVER for GOP. They must know that.

    Lots of signs that GOP are pulling back from an immediate assault on climate science and climate mitigation. Whether this is because of climate realism beneath the surface, or not, will be “interesting” to watch unfold.

    “They can’t be that stupid”…is what keeps me going with hope.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Let us leave aside the dawning realisation that anthropogenic climate change long ago passed the ‘tipping-points’ and even the ‘points of no return’ and contemplate what has brought the ultimate catastrophe upon us. Let us study Mr Rockefeller as a type specimen of Homo destructans ssp capitalensis. He must either be Dunning Kruger level imbecile, breathtakingly ignorant of the scientific facts, or both, or he just does not care. I put my money on ‘doesn’t care’. Does not give a continental what happens to humanity after he is dead, has lived a life of wealth and privilege, garnered (like all other capitalist fortunes) by denying simpler comforts to millions of others, and in his last act of bastardy, which he will inflict on billions from beyond the grave, he is determined that catastrophic planetary disruption will blight humanity, if not extinguish it altogether.
    To understand how we got here we must study the mentality, the psychopathology, of the capitalist and of their Rightwing camp followers. It does not take long to see that, for these types, all that matters in life is greed and power, the power to dominate, exploit, humiliate and exterminate others. I suspect that most of them have no real expectation of an afterlife or of eternal reward from a benign creator in some transcendental (seven star, of course, for the elect) hotel in the sky. I think they know well enough that this is it, the light goes out forever and all their wealth and power cannot eke out an added second. Hence they hate and resent those that will exist when they are dust, and hate life itself for being indifferent to their power and avarice. How else can you explain the absolute determination, the manic obsession to destroy every biosphere, every forest, every refuge and turn everything into the dead stuff of money?

  9. What I don’t get is why the plutocracy of this country want all the poor people to starve and die — do they have some grand plan to have robots make their beds and cook and clean for them while they hide out in their climate-change-proof bunkers?

  10. Joy Hughes says:

    America’s bankruptcy will likely lead to carbon reductions anyway. History will sort this out- we remember the heroes who fought against slavery more than those who struggled to keep it in place. Even people who don’t believe in global warming still like solar panels…

  11. Dr. Wiggly says:

    “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”
    John D. Rockefeller 1839-1937

    What a wonderful quotation posted by Prokaryotes!

    Sen. Rockefeller is clearly doing what he thinks his constituents want, not what any intelligent public official should be doing. Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom of constituents is rarely correct.
    Some years ago when I managed a corporate research group, I conducted a yearly research project review for the managers of the operating (moneymaking) groups. At the end of the review, each manager gave each project a priority.
    Always at the top of the list were the projects devoted to incremental improvements in existing products. The intermediate priorities went to products that were seen as mature and not needing much work. At the bottom of the list were all the efforts to do really new stuff. “Too expensive,” “too risky,” and “no market for it” were the typical comments.
    After years of procrastinating, we did a big development in spite of the negative reviews. Within two years of its introduction, it was the biggest-ticket item we sold with the highest profit margin in the company’s history. Now the new project got good reviews.
    Real leaders are supposed to lead and inspire their followers to fight the battle.
    Sen. Rockefeller, will you please follow your great-grandfather’s advice?

  12. Jeffrey Davis says:

    “I did not know about the camps.”

    Remember when that line produced mocking scorn. In our day, it’s CO2 and climate.

    As Saul Bellow said at the end of Mr. Sammler’s Planet, “As all know. For that is the truth of it — that we all know, God, that we know, that we know, we know, we know.”

    Rockefeller. What scum.

  13. Leland Palmer says:

    The real situation is actually worse than most of the comments would indicate, IMO.

    It’s not ignorance that drives Jay Rockefeller, or callousness, IMO.

    It’s greed, mostly, IMO.

    Many members of the traditionally Rockefeller dominated Council on Foreign Relations appear to wait for the “opening of the Arctic” with breathless anticipation:

    CFR: Scott Borgerson

    <a href=<CFR Borgerson- Arctic Meltdown

    The Arctic Ocean is melting, and it is melting fast. This past summer, the area covered by sea ice shrank by more than one million square miles, reducing the Arctic icecap to only half the size it was 50 years ago. For the first time, the Northwest Passage — a fabled sea route to Asia that European explorers sought in vain for centuries — opened for shipping. Even if the international community manages to slow the pace of climate change immediately and dramatically, a certain amount of warming is irreversible. It is no longer a matter of if, but when, the Arctic Ocean will open to regular marine transportation and exploration of its lucrative natural-resource deposits



    The Rockefeller family wants an ice free Arctic in the summer, so they can drill for oil, natural gas, and more efficiently exploit destabilizing methane hydrated deposits there, I think.

    Borgerson has been on TV with this message, and testifited before Congress with this message- the Arctic is melting, which opens up access to resources. It doesn’t matter why, he seys. If we don’t stake our claim, the Russians will, he suggests.

  14. Anne van der Bom says:


    Do you already have solar panels on your house?

  15. Leland Palmer says:

    It’s not just Borgerson of the traditionally Rockefeller dominated CFR, eager for the Arctic sea ice to melt. It’s also the Scaife, Koch, and ExxonMobil supported Heritage Foundation, promoting a new cold war with Russia over Arctic resources:

    Heritage: From Russian Competition to Natural Resources Access: Recasting U.S. Arctic Policy

    Abstract: In recent years, Russia has aggressively expanded its presence in the Arctic, while the United States has largely neglected this strategic area. Given the rising demand for oil and gas and the likelihood that Arctic sea-lanes will become more navigable, the U.S. should move resolutely to establish U.S. sovereign rights in the Arctic. Establishing a robust U.S. presence will require, among other steps, significantly increasing the number of U.S. polar-capable icebreakers. The U.S. should continue coordinating efforts with Canada and its other NATO allies, working with Russia when feasible and prudent. However, the U.S. should oppose Russia’s territorial claims in the Arctic without becoming party to the Law of the Sea Treaty.

    During the past decade, the Arctic re-emerged as an area of vital U.S. interest. In addition to the oil and gas bonanza, two strategic maritime routes cross the region: the Northern Sea route along the northern coast of Eurasia and the Northwest Passage along the northern coast of Canada.

    The U.S. government predicts that Arctic sea-lanes will become more navigable, permitting increased navigation around the northern coasts of North America and Eurasia with the help of icebreakers. This would facilitate access to vast natural resources and encourage competition among Arctic and even non-Arctic powers. In recent years, Russia has been aggressively advancing its claims and is planning a comprehensive military and commercial presence in the area.

    Despite the Arctic’s strategic location and vast natural resources, the U.S. has largely ignored this vital region. (See Map 1.) Days before leaving office, President George W. Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 66/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 26, which established the U.S. Arctic Region Policy,[1] but the Obama Administration has been slow to move on this issue.

    The Battelle managed Pacific Northwest National Labs has performed an analysis of Arctic “resoures”. Implict in the report is the assumption that the methane hydrates are a resource, rather than a hazzard, and that they will of course be exploited as the sea ice melts:

    Preliminary Geospatial Analysis of Arctic Ocean Hydrocarbon Resources

    Ice over the Arctic Ocean is predicted to become thinner and to cover less area with time (NASA, 2005).
    The combination of more ice-free waters for exploration and navigation, along with increasing demand
    for hydrocarbons and improvements in technologies for the discovery and exploitation of new
    hydrocarbon resources have focused attention on the hydrocarbon potential of the Arctic Basin and its
    margins. The purpose of this document is to 1) summarize results of a review of published hydrocarbon
    resources in the Arctic, including both conventional oil and gas and methane hydrates and 2) develop a set
    of digital maps of the hydrocarbon potential of the Arctic Ocean. These maps can be combined with
    predictions of ice-free areas to enable estimates of the likely regions and sequence of hydrocarbon
    production development in the Arctic.
    In this report, conventional oil and gas resources are explicitly linked with potential gas hydrate
    resources. This has not been attempted previously and is particularly powerful as the likelihood of gas
    production from marine gas hydrates increases. Available or planned infrastructure, such as pipelines,
    combined with the geospatial distribution of hydrocarbons is a very strong determinant of the temporalspatial
    development of Arctic hydrocarbon resources.