Friday, December 10, 2021

More Partsanization Of The Environment

 The Environmental Protection Agency was founded during the presidency of Republican Richard Nixon, if perhaps with some lack of enthusiasm. The first national cap and trade (or "tradable emissions permits") system, for SO2, was instituted during the presidency of Republican George H.W. Bush. In 2008, Republican John McCain had an alternative plan to that proposed by Democrat Barack Obama for dealing with global warming, not all that different, mostly perhaps in scale.  Likewise even in 2012, while he was less specific, Republican Mitt Romney still at least gave lip service to doing something about this matter.

While he is not outright denying that global warming is happening as the more extreme members of his party argue, incoming Republican Governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, supposedly a moderate Republican, has nevertheless announced his intention to remove Virginia from its participation in the not widely publicized Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) of which Virginia has been the southernmost participating states, the others including most of those to its northeast. This is indeed a cap and trade system for greenhouse gases. This RGGI is probably more open to criticism by those who argue that it has been too weak, too ineffective in substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the states participating in it. But at least it is pushing in the right direction and provides an institutional foundation for doing more.

So it really sticks out that incoming Governor Youngkin wants out of it. Why?  Oooh, he will save Virginia taxpayers money, actually people who pay for electricity.  The estimate he provided yesterday (as reported in today's Washington Post metro section) is about $52.44 per average customer per year in utility bills, with him complaining that the RGGI is not really doing anything.  He promises an alternative, but gives no hint of what that might be. As it is, this strictly short term possible monetary gain is likely to be offset, possibly more than fully offset, by other monetary costs that will probably increase, such as higher flood insurance for people living in the state, quite aside from the broader issue of global warming.

Anyway, this seems to be a further degradation of the Republican Party.  Here we have a supposedly moderate Republican, who clearly feels he must indulge the irresponsibility of the Trumpist/extremist wing of his party, in going against the long-running more responsible past of members of his party with respect to environmental policy.  It may be that Youngkin will not be able to do this by executive order, or may be delayed in doing so. But that he wants to and will probably try to is simply sad in my view.

Barkley Rosser


paddy kivlin said...

calling climate [doctrine] apostasy rtisan is gaslighting. said...

Why, paddy? What are you calling "doctrine"? That global warming is occurring? That cap and trade is a system originally put in place by a Republican president? Pretty much everybody in the entire rest of the world understands climatology and that global warming is happening. There are debates about what is the best policy to do anything about it, with some preferring taxes or command and control to cap and trade. And there are debates about how strong the policy should be. But outside the US nobody questions the science or that something should be done.

The gaslighting is coming from partisan Republicans in the US who have turned climate denial into some sort of GOP partisan plank like being against abortion or for further loosening gun laws, the latter another one where the US is alone in its total lack of any reasonable gun control. It is the GOP that is denying science and turning it into a party line. This is the gaslighting.

Or do you have a more nuanced position on all this? What your position on global warming or what should be done about it, if anything, is not stated here, making this particular lonely statement by you look just ridiculous. Heck, incoming Gov. Youngkin is not a total denialist, admitting that global warming is a problem and something should be done about it. But he does not say what, only that it is not going to be cap and trade in Virginia.

paddy kivlin said...


'apostasy' is a religious term....

climate conclusions and responses are matters of faith.

heresy is a windy tome not worth tilting.