Chamber of Commerce: “Hell to Pay” if US Backtracks on Climate
February 21, 2017
It would be a big mistake if the Party of Climate Denial misread last year’s Putin-puffed election results as an excuse to lay waste to the planet.
Pollster Ed Maibach explains above, – but just in case you think that’s wishful thinking, you should know that folks in the not-so-green US Chamber of Congress have made similar observations.
Lest you think that the COC has gone soft on its planetary extinction agenda, the official quoted here helpfully suggests that greenhouse controls should perhaps be “slow-rolled” rather than rescinded.
A senior energy official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently warned that there will be “hell to pay” if the Trump administration tries to rescind the EPA’s science-based endangerment finding for greenhouse gas emissions.
In typical U.S. Chamber fashion, Christopher Guith dismissed current concerns about climate change as based on “religion” – not “scientific facts” – while speaking at a January 26th event in the coal state of Kentucky. Guith is the senior vice president for policy at the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
But Guith conceded that carbon dioxide emissions are likely to ultimately be regulated under the Clean Air Act. He also said that “soccer moms and soccer dads” will make the Trump administration pay if it goes after the EPA’s endangerment finding.
His remarks came last last month during a question and answer session on the future of energy policy under the Trump administration at an event hosted by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Guith’s comments were captured by a representative of the Energy and Policy Institute who attended the event.
The U.S. Chamber’s position on climate has put the powerful trade group at odds with some leading members who support EPA limits on carbon dioxide emissions, including board member Florida Power & Light. Other board members, including Peabody Energy and Southern Company, oppose EPA action on climate change.
The U.S. Chamber is also a top contributor to the Republican Attorneys General Association, which counted Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt among its leading members before he was nominated by President Trump to serve as the next EPA administrator. Pruitt and other RAGA members sided with the U.S. Chamber on legal challenges targeting the EPA’s endangerment finding and, more recently, the Clean Power Plan. His bid to lead the EPA been backed by the Chamber.
Audience Question: You mentioned the endangerment finding earlier. There’s some thought that revisiting the science behind the endangerment finding, which you probably know was highly dependent on the IPCC models, and that enough time has now passed to potentially argue that the models the IPCC came up with have flaws and need to be revisited. Is there any momentum behind that thought?
Guith: I think there absolutely is momentum, but the one thing I’ll say is that rescinding the endangerment finding, and this is something Ted Cruz talked about quite a bit when he ran for president.
I think people here can appreciate how much political capital that would cost. It’s not … climate has never been, well at least in the last 10 years, about scientific fact. It’s been about religion.
And if you are going to go out there and say, “We’re going to pull this back,” I mean there is going to be hell to pay, not just from those people out there who are protesting those plants.
There’s going to be hell to pay from, you know, soccer moms and soccer dads all throughout the country. People who probably voted for Donald Trump. [emphasis added]
And I don’t put that past them, but what I will say is that will turn into a huge, huge buzzsaw, when perhaps a more elegant solution of slow-rolling the implementation would be only slightly more onerous that actually rescinding that, but would take much less political capital.
President Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the measures.
While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards. Individuals familiar with the proposals asked for anonymity to describe them in advance of their announcement, which could come as soon as this week.
One executive order — which the Trump administration will couch as reducing U.S. dependence on other countries for energy — will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities. It also instructs the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.
A second order will instruct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to revamp a 2015 rule, known as the Waters of the United States rule, that applies to 60 percent of the water bodies in the country. That regulation was issued under the 1972 Clean Water Act, which gives the federal government authority over not only major water bodies but also the wetlands, rivers and streams that feed into them. It affects development as well as some farming operations on the grounds that these activities could pollute the smaller or intermittent bodies of water that flow into major ones.