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Reframing The Climate Debate One Flawed Hearing At A Time

Publication Date: 
September 16, 2009
Source: 
Mother Jones
Author: 
Corbin Hiar

Professor Michael Wara's analysis of the economic benefits of the Waxman-Markey bill is mentioned in this article:

Yesterday afternoon the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met to discuss the costs of the increasingly endangered cap-and-trade legislation. It was unclear why the committee, which has already advanced its own much-derided portion of the Senate climate effort, was even meeting to discuss cap-and-trade. That is, until the senators went off script—but never off message.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.) missed the preceding hour of testimony from the assembled experts, but that did not stop him from lambasting the proposed "cap-and-tax scheme" that he claimed would only benefit the "Wall Street elite" and went on to predict an onslaught of ill-defined "green collar crime." For evidence, he cited a report from London's Sunday Times about the UN suspending the largest auditor of the Kyoto Protocol's offsets program for impropriety. Instead of interpreting this as a strike against cap-and-trade, however, the experts found the action to be an altogether positive development. (In short, stronger standards for emissions auditors mean more effective offsets.)

...

The most compelling points of the afternoon were made—no doubt inadvertently—by Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), who during 17 years in office has supported environmental legislation a mere 12 percent of the time, according to the League of Conservation Voters. "What do we get in terms of actual economic benefit from controlling greenhouse gas emissions?" he asked the beleaguered witnesses. Professor Michael Wara of Stanford informed Bennett that recent studies show that even the widely criticized House climate bill would more than pay for itself.