After Koch gathering in her district, Mary Bono Mack endorses Inhofe-Upton Pollution Act

Protesters outside Koch meeting

After the Koch brothers organized top Republican billionaires in Palm Springs to plan their 2012 agenda, the district’s representative, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), embraced their denial of the threat of greenhouse pollution. In 2009, Mack was one of eight Republicans who voted for sweeping climate legislation.

Brad Johnson has the sad story of her flip-flop.

The small group of science-enlightened conservatives were blasted by Republican operatives as “cap and traitors,” “Republican turncoats,” and “libtards,” but easily won re-election against Tea Party candidates. However, Politico reports that Mack will support a bill to outlaw action against global warming drafted by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK):

The Southern California lawmaker will endorse a draft bill to stymie climate rules from Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) “due to her long-standing concerns regarding the role of the EPA and the overly burdensome California standards,” her office told Politico. Upton and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on Wednesday unveiled the draft bill, which would repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and hamstring California’s authority to issue stricter vehicle emission standards than the federal government.

The Upton-Inhofe bill is a radical act of science denial on behalf of fossil polluters, preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from even “taking into consideration the emission of a green- house gas due to concerns regarding possible climate change.” It would reverse not only efforts to track and limit greenhouse pollution, but reverse the Supreme-Court-mandated scientific finding that global warming is dangerous to the American public.

Mack is not the only Republican to abandon the health and safety of her constituents to appease oil and coal polluters. Upton himself argued in 2009 that “climate change is a serious problem.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), and GOP presidential contenders Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich have all flip-flopped on the climate threat, even while the world grows hotter, more polluted, and more dangerous.

In May, 2009, Bono Mack said that building a clean-energy economy and protecting our planet was an “issue that transcends political party.” It seems it doesn’t transcend the toxic reach of Charles and David Koch, however.

— Brad Johnson, in a WonkRoom cross-post.

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17 Responses to After Koch gathering in her district, Mary Bono Mack endorses Inhofe-Upton Pollution Act

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Mack was responding to the economics of her district here. Coachella Valley service workers are all over the place politically- most honked in support of our protest- but the area’s economy depends on wealthy golfers and Far Right part time residents. Most of this latter group spend their days behind walled estates and expensive resorts, and they are discombobulated by those who disturb their peace of mind and portfolios. Mack depends on them for political support, and her office no doubt got a ton of angry phone calls from spoiled and nasty zealots.

    The rich think far less about climate change than on what their financial managers tell them about this quarter’s performance. It requires thinking and research to understand scientific issues, and someone once said “The rich are dumb because they are lazy, and thinking requires effort”.

    Doing the right thing- something Americans once learned from people like Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln- is now considered to be a quaint and irrelevant inclination. Mack, Upton, McCain, and the rest are cynical, sordid opportunists, who have forfeited the right to leadership. The Republicans have become a pitiful group of goosesteppers, marching to the orders of ignorant, oil soaked hillbillies like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

    This country desperately needs leaders who have a moral center- something we once hoped for from Obama. Until those people show up- and Americans can discern who they are- we will continue to be in grave danger.

  2. Sou says:

    Will there be a backlash against these people? I see more articles on this every day.

    How long will it take the electorate to wake up to the fact that the GOP is sacrificing the health and prosperity of ordinary Americans for the sake of donation dollars and invitations to swank parties?

  3. Prokaryotes says:

    Justices Scalia And Thomas’s Attendance At Koch Event Sparks Judicial Ethics Debate

    Reports that two Supreme Court Justices have attended seminars sponsored by the energy giant and conservative bankroller Koch Industries has sparked a mild debate over judicial ethics.

    On Tuesday evening, the New York Times reported that an upcoming meeting in Palm Springs of “a secretive network of Republican donors” that was being organized by Koch Industries, “the longtime underwriter of libertarian causes.” Buried in the third to last graph was a note that previous guests at such meetings included Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, two of the more conservative members of the bench.

    That’s not the USA the founding fathers had in mind.

  4. David Smith says:

    An organization that wanted to have impact on (win) this political debate might have success if they were to hire several top republican strategists, pay them 3 times what the Repub’s are paying them, give them a pension (financial security) and then task them to create and implement successful strategies in support of our side, combating against AGW.

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    David Smith, interesting idea, but the Republican strategists’ propaganda just doesn’t ring true except to the really ignorant. For example, Boehner’s rote repetition of phrases like “hardworking American families” or “strengthen America’s energy supplies” is exactly the opposite of what their policies actually do for either. Democrats for some reason are too intimidated to call them the friggin liars that they are.

    Maybe progressive politicians should try sincerity and outrage instead. It’s corny, but Americans are getting sick of all the bullshit, including from Democrats (“Change”).

  6. Colorado Bob says:

    Outback storms leave an inland sea

    The landscape is sodden across a wide area of South Australia. Yongala received 128 millimetres of rain in 24 hours, beating a record set 121 years ago.

    Hallett in the mid-north also had a record fall of 98 millimetres, beating a mark set in 1890.

  7. David Smith says:

    Mike; But using their techniques and sensibilities and understanding of human nature, they seem to be able to persuade roughly half the population into their court. And this is the half that we’ve pretty much given up on. I don’t even think we’ve done a good job of persuading those we think are with us. Much of this latter group doesn’t want to talk about it never mind support action, possibly because… who knows. Well, I have lots of theories.

  8. Zetetic says:

    Sadly I don’t see this changing anytime soon.

    At this point I can only see the USA making serious progress on the climate and pollution if one of two conditions are met.

    1. A series of major climate related disasters hitting the USA that are bad enough to finally wake enough people out of their complacency on the issue of AGW.

    2. The complete elimination of campaign contributions in the political process. Perhaps if election campaigns were funded by an allowance provided by the government, with challengers getting the same funding as incumbents, might politicians finally feel free enough to do what is right for the country.

    Frankly I think that scenario number 1 is more likely to happen.

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    What do you expect in a ‘capitalist democracy’? The two terms are about as antithetical as they come. A capitalist society is one run by the money power. In a putative democracy that means that they must use their media to brainwash the public and destroy, through smear and vilification, any opposition to their rule. They use their money power to buy politicians, by the gross (is that tautologous?)and dominate decision-making by means of the ‘revolving-door’ between Big Business and the Washington policy-making bureaucracy. Democracy in the US, like all capitalist states but worse than most, is a total sham. This woman (a Bono, but no bonobo, one presumes) must sell out to the real ruling power in the US, money, or they would have destroyed her. Of course, if she had the guts, character and determination she could have caused a few ripples to disturb the placid pond of the American Mind, where deeper thoughts (KFC or Big Mac?) dominate, but politicians in the West have been selected down to an ideologically uniform and spineless mean, so you don’t get any MLKs or even a Senator Fulbright anymore. I wonder if an alien observer would even classify Inhofe and Fulbright in the same species?

  10. Roger says:

    David @7, Please keep the theories coming; what we’re doing isn’t working that well, and they say, “Always change a losing game!”

  11. Trey says:

    As an engineer with a very strong math and science background let me say. I study everything. Let me say this it goes with other cute and quaint sayings posted here…a great ball player once said those that can play do, those that can’t play teach, and those that can’t teach players, are called sportscasters…well those that can use science are engineers those that can’t are sceince teachers and the rest are lecturers… I do not let any one sway me with cute words like “…do the right thing…” I am quite familiar with the formulas and the “forcast models”. There is no manmade CO2 rise from fossil fuels that will have an affect on temperature. However, with the total numbers of people on this earth there are some population affects. But putting up wind turbines…I have worked in that business…is a sick joke a waste of time and real science (you know the engineers) evolution.

  12. Doug Proctor says:

    I’m not sure the Founding Fathers believed – or should have believed – that national acts denied by Congress should be carried out through administrative legislation through the EPA. The FFs didn’t like kingly powers over the tax-paying, represented electorate: when the “king” thinks he knows best and does a work-around to get his views imposed on the people as this EPA action does, what sort of electoral democracy exists? Especially in a nation that values its ideas of the individual, the State and the Nation in that order (except under national threat, which AGW is not determined to be at least for the US of A).

    Government by Superior Intellect and Intent: wasn’t that what an aristocracy was supposed to be about?

  13. Zetetic says:

    @ Trey:
    Nice argument from authority combined with an obvious argument by assertion there.

    Care to tell us your expertise in climate science, and how it makes you a better judge of such matters than the majority of climate scientists in the world that say you are wrong? I’ve seen plenty of engineers with a “strong math and science background” that also claim to know better than the overwhelming majority of biologists about the subject of evolution. It still doesn’t make them correct when they claim that evolution by natural selection can’t happen. I’ve seen other engineers with also claim that the Apollo Missions couldn’t have worked and that the lunar landings were faked, but they’re still just as wrong too.

    Can you please cite any credible peer reviewed science that actually supports your position that increasing CO2 can’t increase the global temperature? Preferably something that wasn’t already countered by newer research, such as Angstrom’s erroneous conclusions about “CO2 saturation”.

    Care to explain why all of the other natural explanations (the sun, cosmic rays, etc.) for the long-term global increase in temperatures don’t fit with what has been observed happening to the planet? Or how those same observations of the atmosphere and oceans just happen to fit with the predicted effects of increased GHG’s?

    Care to explain why the increase in returning longwave infrared radiation just happens to correspond to the frequencies absorbed and remitted by GHG’s and how such IR returns happen to be increasing at the same time that those same GHG’s are increasing as well?

    I find it interesting that you seem to have no trouble with increased population having effects, but not increased CO2e effects caused in part by an increasing population.

    Lastly, considering how wind power in some regions is already competitive with coal (which is more heavily subsidized), and produces much less pollution and environmental damage than coal, I fail to see the joke to which your are alluding.

  14. Zetetic says:

    @ Trey (again):
    About this comment…

    “well those that can use science are engineers those that can’t are sceince teachers and the rest are lecturers”

    You seemed to have over looked it’s obvious implications….

    Those that can actually perform science are scientists, those that use science (your own words Trey) are engineers.

    Being an engineer doesn’t make you a scientist, let alone a climatologist.

  15. Zetetic says:

    @ Doug Proctor #12:
    About this statement…

    “that national acts denied by Congress should be carried out through administrative legislation through the EPA.”

    If it’s meant as reference to Congress killing the Cap-And-Trade bill (you were rather vague) and the EPA trying to pass limits, then it’s a lie.

    The EPA is only trying to create limits on CO2 emissions and is not trying to create any sort of emissions trading program. The EPA’s plan also fails to create any sort of price on carbon emissions so that the use of fossil fuels more accurately reflects their otherwise hidden costs. Those are two very different things. If that was your intent then I would respectfully suggest that you start using other sources for your information on such matters since they seem to be less than credible.

    Do you think that the founding fathers of the USA intended for the country to be so controlled by plutocrats manipulating Congress to take actions that were harmful to the rights and property of individual citizens? If so, are you really OK with that and why?

    Do you think they they anticipated such actions by plutocrats and their political puppets would be detrimental to the long term interests of both the USA, and the world as whole? If they didn’t then why should the USA be locked into a system they created that is not dealing with problems that they couldn’t have anticipated in the first place?

    Surely you do recall that even the Constitution is a “living document” and subject to change, as is the rest of the government? Should the USA still consider African Americans to be 3/5 of a person? Or that only males should vote? I sincerely doubt that you would support those “original intents”.

    While you can argue that it would be better if Congress made such rules, the fact of the matter remains that most of Congress seems to be completely out of their depth when it comes to any scientific matters. Hence a department that is able to specialize in such issues has it’s advantages, especially when it’s less likely to be unduly influenced by “contributions” from certain corporate interests.

    It’s interesting that you’ll argue against “Government by Superior Intellect and Intent”, yet you seem to be defending government by “Whomever Writes the Biggest Checks and to Hell with the rest”. BTW, the aristocracy was more about the “divine right” of kings (read as “might makes right”), not about trying to do what’s best for the population and as such has more in common with the current congress than the EPA.

  16. Kevin says:

    “The EPA is only trying to create limits on CO2 emissions and is not trying to create any sort of emissions trading program. The EPA’s plan also fails to create any sort of price on carbon emissions so that the use of fossil fuels more accurately reflects their otherwise hidden costs.”

    Zetetic, Isn’t that even worse than cap n trade? Or exactly as bad? The EPA sets a CO2 limit that is impossible to achieve, and then fines everyone, and the bill gets passed to the customer. That’s even more of a cap and tax scam than cap and trade was.

  17. Zetetic says:

    @ Kevin:
    I’m sorry, was that a poe/sarcasm? I’m going to respond as if it wasn’t.

    What is worse for everyone but the heads of the fossil fuel industries is to allow CO2 to continue to increase unabated with all of the attending problems that we are only now beginning to see.

    Also, where exactly are you getting this “The EPA sets a CO2 limit that is impossible to achieve, and then fines everyone, and the bill gets passed to the customer” nonsense from? Regardless, it’s like saying that because congress declined on placing a tax on a hunting license, that the Fish and Game Department can’t restrict how much game you take at hunting season.

    While you can argue that a Cap-and-Trade bill give companies more flexibility on reducing their emissions, that is precisely why Cap-and-Trade was proposed in the first place.
    But we all know who killed the more flexible Cap-and-Trade proposal don’t we? That’s right, the same people that are trying to reduce restrictions on mercury (and practically every other toxin that threatens public health) emissions, and don’t want the public to know what toxic chemicals are being pumped into their ground water for gas fraking.

    Funny isn’t it?
    How for the Republicans only the rights of big business (that write big campaign checks) seems to matter, but not the rights and health of the “little people”?

    It’s not a “scam” to try an place a price on carbon emissions, any more than trying to reduce other pollutants are. It’s just the effects of CO2 are less direct. For decades now the fossil fuel industry as been getting massive direct government subsidies and their biggest subsidy has been the hidden subsidy of being able to freely dump CO2 without any regard for the consequences.

    Care to explain how more fairly pricing CO2 to more accurately reflect it’s social/environmental costs so that fossil fuel use is more accurately priced on the market (relative to other sources of energy) is a “scam”? The real scam has been the free ride and massive subsidies that the fossil fuel industries have been getting away with for decades.

    If you wish to refute the need for reducing GHG emissions then you’ll first need to be able to answer the questions (with credible scientific evidence) I posed to Trey at my post #13. I’m not holding my breath on that from either of you.

    For the record though, I prefer the “ Cap and Fade ” idea much more than Cap-and-Trade. This is because (IMO) Cap-and-Fade is simpler, more direct, and the benefits go more directly and immediately to the public. But since it helps the public, increases national security, protects the environment, but hurts the supper rich in the fossil fuel industry (that have been funding them) the Republicans would undoubtedly try and block that too. The Koch bothers (and others) won’t allow the GOP to do otherwise.