Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Exxon Gets Its Way

Pete Domenici reminds me of those two nobles in Braveheart who betray Mel Gibson in the middle of a battle that seems, according to the soundtrack musical cues and my complete lack of the actual history of the Battle of Falkirk notwithstanding, winnable. The English nobles watching the battle with the king express some surprise at the Scots betrayal of their own, but when the king tells them he gave them all kinds of lands, titles, women, money, etc. the nobles chuckle knowingly to themselves at the tenuous nature of the Scots newfound (again, this is movie history) resolve.

This from Reuters:

Pete Domenici of New Mexico, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, last week said he might co-sponsor Democrat Jeff Bingaman's plan to slow the growth of U.S. carbon emissions with an emissions trading program beginning in 2010.

But late Monday night, Domenici announced in a brief statement that he would not support the measure.

"This is just too tough to do quickly," Domenici said, adding that he believes some action on climate change is needed.

"I expect we will have a series of hearings and I hope we can reach some sort of accommodation on all aspects of a climate proposal. But that will take time," he said.

Domenici refused to break ranks with the White House on climate change, after meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney last week and fellow Republican lawmakers on Monday.

The Bush administration opposes any form of carbon dioxide limits, preferring voluntary measures by utilities, manufacturing plants and other emitters. President Bush in 2001 pulled the United States out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, citing its economic cost.
Much to the chagrin of Exxon spokesperson Iain Murray, Domenici had gotten religion on the idea of CO2 emissions and had declared his backing for new legislation co-sponsored by his fellow New Mexican, Democratic Senator Bingaman. That is, he did until Dick Cheney got him all alone in his office. I’m sure the pork that Cheney threw to New Mexico was substantial. Or maybe he just has a few pictures that Pete would rather not see all over the cover of the Albuquerque Journal. Or maybe he just told him what happens to those who go against the energy companies in this country. After all, business is booming, why be such a wet blanket?

It's not about money, you say? I'd say you've been watching too much propaganda on Fox News. Occam’s Razor is a very simple principle that instructs us to favor the simplest explanation. Money is always the simplest explanation.

Anonymous said...

Dear Occam - If the standards can be applied uniformly, then Kyoto would work, but that is not the case, is it? As a result, American companies, owned by Americans and employing Americans, will be at a disadvantage, don't you think? Oh, no need to worry, I actually bathe regularly, unlike many liberal protesters I see on TV, and will be sure to watch a few hours hours of Fox News later today.

Jas said...

Dear Anonymous,
not sure what you are saying about occum and kyoto and americans being at disadvantaged. Laugh at me if you want, i just want to understand. rhetorical questions work on me.

Anonymous said...

I won't laugh because I'm not sure what a rhetorical question is anyway. The blogger often references Occam's Razor so I no longer recognize him as Horatio but as Occam. In his mind, his explanation is the simplest so he must be right. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is referenced in the posting. It was signed by several countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions. To Occam, Cheney must not care about the environment because he doesn't support Kyoto, but the simpler explanation is that it is a matter of practicality. Many countries have not signed/ratified it, so Cheney's point is that it is not worth subjecting US companies to standards that will increase costs, decrease sales, and ultimately decrease jobs.

Horatio said...

Well, I do have a knack for simple ideas. Fortunately for Occam, since he seems to have staked his reputation on it, the simplest explanation IS usually correct. Of course, the Kyoto treaty here is irrelevant. The point here is that instead of addressing emissions and the health issues that are a result of such emissions, instead of choosing to work with a bill that may very well be too extreme, instead of offering any ideas at all, the Bush administration continues to defer to the oil lobby (with its inherently short sighted and narrow interest) at every opportunity.

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