May 12, 2009

One Can Only Hope

It is probably just another case of rookie mistake, but if I had to bet, it is Larry Summers, I believe he sabotaged Kyoto back in Clinton time.
FROM- St Louis Today
Is Obama’s climate-change plan getting sabotaged from within?

UPDATED WASHINGTON — It looks that way, and environmentalists are worried after seeing today what White House Office of Management and Budget analysts are writing internally about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposals.

Some of the OMB remarks that can be found at sound a lot like what the EPA’s fiercest critics are saying on Capitol Hill.

For instance, a White House budget analyst writes that regulating carbon dioxide under the Clear Air Act “is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the U.S. economy, including small businesses and small communities.”

In another section, OMB observes that the EPA’s conclusion that human-induced climate change poses serious risks to public health “rests heavily on the precautionary principle, but the amount of acknowledged lack of understanding about basic facts surounding green house gases seems to stretch the precautionary principle to providing for regulation in the face of unprecedented uncertainty.”

The analyst notes that the EPA doesn’t dwell much on how damages from climate change would be lessened by adaptation and whether there might be positive effects from a warming planet.

For instance, people might move from Arizona to Minnesota to escape the heat — the type of migration that the EPA doesn’t consider in forecasting problems. And Alaska, OMB writes, could benefit from warmer winters both for health and economic reasons.

This afternoon, OMB director Peter Orzag said in a statement that it was wrong to conclude from the written comments that his agency opposes the EPA’s endangerment finding with regard to carbon dioxide.

Rather, he said, they reflect comments from various agencies and “do not necessarily represent the views of either OMB or the administration.”

Orzag repeated something he had written earlier - that EPA’s proposed finding “is carefully rooted in both law and science.”

It may indeed have been just an exercise. Nonetheless, environmental advocates worried that the comments from within the administration would one day be used against them in the already uphill drive for meaningful climate-change legislation.

And Clean Air Watch’s Frank O’Donnell referred to the OMB handiwork as “an appalling document which reads like something that could have been written by (Oklahoma Sen.) Jim Inhofe or (Texas Rep. Joe Barton),” both Republicans.

“It is very clear from this that the Obama administration contains people who are trying to sabotage the administration’s climate strategy. It shows that there are a lot of knives within the bowels of the bureacracy,” O’Donnell said in an email.

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s David Doniger this evening called the document “the staff work of someone in the OMB boiler room who didn’t get the memo that the old administration had come to an end … The author’s advice and recommendations parrot those offered by industry groups and echoed by the Bush administration. But they were not followed by OMB current managers …”

Companies worried about new regulations were, needless to say, thrilled. Scott Segal, of Bracewell Giuliani, a DC lobbying firm that has many such clients, observed this afternoon that the newly released documents are an example of the “quality control” for which OMB is known.

The OMB response, Segal said, “demonstrates that the Agency may have cherry-picked public health literature and did no original research on the topic. Further, the OMB notes that the type of indirect health impact methodology used by EPA could substantially expand EPA regulatory authority in ways that may not have been contemplated when Congress wrote the applicable environmental statutes.”


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