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House Passes Waxman-Markey Energy / Cap-and-Trade Bill

The US House of Representatives on Friday narrowly passed H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, sponsored by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Edward J. Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. (Earlier post, earlier post, earlier post, earlier post.) The vote was 219 for, 212 against, with 3 no votes.

211 Democrats voted for the measure, 44 against, with one no vote. Eight Republicans voted for the measure, 168 against, with 2 no votes.

Among the major provisions of the bill:

  • Requires electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020.

  • Invests $190 billion in new clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, including energy efficiency and renewable energy ($90 billion in new investments by 2025), carbon capture and sequestration ($60 billion), electric and other advanced technology vehicles ($20 billion), and basic scientific research and development ($20 billion).

  • Mandates new energy-saving standards for buildings, appliances, and industry.

  • Reduces carbon emissions from major US sources by 17% by 2020 and more than 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. Complementary measures in the legislation, such as investments in preventing tropical deforestation, are intended to achieve significant additional reductions in carbon emissions.

The legislation now moves to consideration by the Senate.



Even the mainstream press has had to carry the unhappy news of out and out corruption inside the EPA:


"Mandates new energy-saving standards for buildings, appliances, and industry."

Energy efficiency legislation is supposed to be great at contributing to lowering costs...

Yes, ban consumers from buying what they want and applaud the savings!
(Little savings in banning impopular products, and inefficient products need to be popular or noone would buy them, classic example Edison’s light bulb, bought 19 times out of 20 in the USA and therefore a banning priority with a big section 211 all to its own in the Waxman-Markey Bill!).

The fact is that efficiency regulation on a product sacrifices performance, construction, appearance and price features, and does not necessarily give the savings suggested anyway.

onwards regarding efficiency regulation effect on buildings, lightbulbs, cars, dishwashers and other products.


Here's the so called controversial based thing from the EPA

as noted, it contains such biased evidence interpreted by sites like wattsup and icecap. It also contains wrong assumptions which experts in the field, which he is not, dispute.

This is hardly what you would call peer reviewed. This guy, Alan Carlin is in his 60's considering his RAND papers. It will probably be circulated around especially in the denier blogs and I'm sure he will be paid and paraded around.

Are there people who don't believe in AGW in the EPA? Yes but so what? I can name at least one racist nobel prize winning physicist who believed in eugenics. Doesn't mean they are right. There were lots of assumptions and errors in that report that he wrote and that the deniers are taking as a sign of conspiracy.

It was a very slanted so called story, especially if one reads the source of the controversy and realize what an undistiguished work it really was.


Ceolas, your arguement doesn't hold.

Other jurisdictions quite rightly or wrongly regulate the products and the standards which live with.

And some of them do give savings and services far better than the idea of the free market. Look at the placements of the US in terms of healthcare within the world or of education or of other services or rankings. It comes down to the committment of making something work or not and it's acceptibility.


"This guy, Alan Carlin is in his 60's considering his RAND papers. It will probably be circulated around especially in the denier blogs and I'm sure he will be paid and paraded around."

To say the man and his work, though in draft form, is undistinguished is more ad hom than anything else:

B.S., Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Senior Economist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 1971 to present

And Carlin is squarely in the AGW camp. Read his paper on Geoengineering... What he says in his comments on the Draft TSD is simply that there may be a better way. A more economical way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - he is a Ph.D in enviro-economics.

Ad homs will not work on this man. He is a good scientist whose work does not conform to the party line. The internal emails released to the press show that he was muzzled by his boss. Apparently his boss was muzzled and told to shut down any negative comments. This is not science. It is not politics. It is plain and simple corruption.

This revelation will haunt Obama's Administration until it is made totally transparent - and even then he will have to answer for an EPA that has not followed his mandate for an era of open transparency.

It could be Mr. Obama's Watergate.


"efficiency regulation on a product sacrifices performance, construction, appearance and price features, and does not necessarily give the savings suggested anyway"

Ceolas you are talking utter crap.

As for this Carlin thing, here is the view from a climate scientist:


It isn't an ad hom attack when the draft cites known biased material from a blog of all things. Blogs are not citatable at all and are certainly not peer reviewed especially when run like the one's in the paper. They aren't run by anyone seriously studying climate. They have never released anything into peer review.

And I do think that in next year's so called International Conference on Climate Change (for skeptics), he and the other author will be courted to be there just like Ferenc Miskolczi was after he torpedoed his career with his own discredited work which was used in this paper.

Be serious. If the opposite situation was on the other foot, it wouldn't and couldn't be taken seriously. Imagine a pro AGW stance in an administration that wasn't friendly for it, using Joe Blow's blog as a citation and source.

Frankly, i don't care if someones work doesn't conform to the party line. This work is garbage. Science is a meritocracy, not egalitarian. The ideas that survive close examination survive. His do not and did not in this case. He should have been more carefull. He should have went to At least that site is run by scientists publishing in the field.

Thank's for the link by the way scatter. It highlighted some of the problems I saw with the paper right off, when i looked at it and that realclimate article put others problems with it into focus.


Some people just don't "get" what the issues are about here. It's not that Mr. Carlin's draft comments are simply comments - not a peer reviewed paper. It's that the comments skew against the IPCC and Obama agenda. Any sane, honest scientist (and just plain folks who've been to high school) should question a program to declare CO2 a "pollutant." Plant fertilizer, a trace gas, substance we exhale, the bubbles in our beer and soda pop??? A POLLUTANT??? Complete rubbish.

This 35 year veteran of the EPA has been calling them on this crap. The Administration didn't like that knowledgeable, smart people are pointing out what crap the IPCC and EPA position is. So they order the guy to shut the F up! The guy states the plain and obvious and his "superiors" tell him to shut up. THAT is not the new, open transparency the EPA said was coming our way. It's just business as usual at the agency.



A paper based on non-peer reviewed data is basically flawed and rejected on that basis. It isn't news. It certainly isn't some repression. It is about merit and the paper clearly lacked it as does your arguements.

By the way, the majority of scientists don't agree with your flawed ideas of CO2. It is sophistry and manipulation of the facts and pure propaganda from the competitiveness enterprise institute, which your regurgitate at will. Name an internationally recognized scientific organization that supports your view.

EPA's response.

“Certain opinions were expressed by an individual [Carlin] who is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue,” said EPA spokesperson Adora Andy.

“Nevertheless, several of the opinions and ideas proposed by this individual were submitted to those responsible for developing the proposed endangerment finding. Additionally, his manager allowed his general views on the subject of climate change to be heard and considered inside and outside the EPA and presented at conferences and at an agency seminar. The individual was also granted a request to join a committee that organizes an ongoing climate seminar series, open to both agency and outside experts, where he has been able to invite speakers with a full range of views on climate science. The claims that his opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false.”

Open transparency doesn't mean that personally held views get special treatment. What it means you get the ability to voice them and have them evaluated. They were and suitably dismissed for their lack of merit.

Multi-Modal Commuter Dude (formerly known as Bike Commuter Dude)

Not to stray back onto the topic, but this is a good thing, this bill passing, right?


It was close but yes it was a good thing. And yes sorry for being off topic. Without bringing standards and a way to punish environmental freeloading, the environment would continue to be abused and/or progress to be retarded. Is this thing finished. Still has to get through the senate. Let's hope it does. So get your senators on line with it.


Some parts I don't like like 60 billion for carbon capture and sequesturing but it was probably necessary to get the necessary votes from coal states. But that's politics for you.



It could be Mr. Obama's Watergate.


You are barking mad and have no sense of proportion.

You should first read the paper and then you can see what a useless, ill-conceived opinion piece it is. That's why nobody will ever hear anything about this again, apart of course from the endless repetitions in the blogosphere. You and your mates will make sure we'll have to suffer that.



Some people just don't "get" what the issues are about here. It's not that Mr. Carlin's draft comments are simply comments - not a peer reviewed paper. It's that the comments skew against the IPCC and Obama agenda.

It is really pathetic how you are clinging onto this like it's your last straw. If you think for one second that this is something like 'a crack in the edifice of AGW' then you will be so disappointed.

What Carlin wrote is bad. Painfully bad. And it is opinion too. Therefore it will get no attention, simply because it's not worth it.


Yes Anne, it is an opinion - as is the AGW theory. Which according to the famous Feynman lecture is only a "guess" until the guess matches or predicts the observations. So far the observations tell us the AGW theory is WRONG.

Here is another opinion kids:


Ooops... Looks like there's going to be an official Senate investigation into EPA's suppression tactics:

Let's see... Didn't Watergate start with a Congressional investigation?


You can debate global warming and climate change forever, but reducing the use of finite fossil fuels is good enough for me. If we can reduce oil imports, so much the better. As has been said "keep your eye on the prize".


The Bill's (original!) objectiove regarding energy and emissions aren't bad.
Fossil fuel emissions contain a lot of substances whatever about CO2.

Keep Life simple, deal with the problem....

Electricity Generation (coal, gas) and Transport (mainly automobiles) alone account for nearly 80% of fuel combustion emissions

That means no trade problems like the ones Obama mentions.
Unlike Cap and Trade, which involves cement, steel and other industries having to face imports from unregulated countries, electricity and transport changes are not just more limited, but also largely local.

The focus on electricity and transport gives several advantages - apart from lowering CO2 emissions:

1. Local environmental benefit from less pollution of sulphur and all else that's in the emissions, regardless of the less certain or immediate global benefit from CO2 reduction.

2. Electricity supply alternatives which together with improved grid distribution gives better competition and keeps down electricity bills for consumers.

3. Transport (automobile, train etc) alternatives using electricity, hydrogen and other energy sources, which also reduces the dependency on oil imports.

Funding and Impact
Equity and long term loan finance can be used: Long term industrial loans from financial institutions, particularly if federal/state guaranteed, give low yearly interest repayments and lessen the effect on electricity bills or transport cost.

The impact on the businesses is further lessened by the stability and predictability surrounding the funding.

Since only electricity and transport are involved, other business continues as usual and consumers and society in general are spared expense and disruption.
This is even more obvious from energy efficiency regulation not being necessary either
(see my comment above about why energy efficiency regulation is wrong).

Compare with
today's all-encompassing Cap and Trade (emission trading) suggestions, with unpredictability, expense, and needless disruption from normal business practice on one hand, or unnecessary profiteering from free allowance handouts with little actual emission reduction on the other hand - together with extensive regulation on what people can or can't buy and use.

Understanding Cap and Trade in the Bill, and why it is bad for America and bad for lowering emissions
Market Reduction of CO2: Cap and Trade - or Not?
Basic Idea -- Offsets -- Tree Planting -- Manufacture Shift -- Fair Trade -- Surreal Market -- Real Market -- Allowances: Auctions + Hand-Outs -- Allowance Trading -- Companies: Business Stability + Cost -- In Conclusion

Instead, A New Electric America: onwards


Reel, you obviously don't know what theory means in science by trying to point out the word.

In science theory is an idea of how a system works. A theory is not something that is proved correct in any fashion.

There is a huge difference between what is called a theory and law in science and what it means to the layman. I suggest you look it up especially since you seem to believe that a scientific theory means it is based on speculative reasoning and not evidence and it has to be proved like an equation. That is not the case.

AGW is based on thousands of observations and papers that have been peer reviewed unlike the stuff you read.

Lastly, an opinion piece put together by a conservative writer is not an unbiased work. Just looking at it, it is full of opinion on motives if nothing else.

Here's an opposing view.


Imohe on Faux news. That says it all. More posturing from the conservatives to rile them up.

Only the gullible would fall for this. Congrats.


I see Reel$$ uses the same slur on the word theory that the religious creationists—excuse me, "intelligent design advocates"—want to be dished out in public-school science classes.  He wants you to think it's a "hypothesis" or even a hunch.

What he won't tell you (because he's a liar) is that a scientific theory is higher than a set of facts, because it unifies that set of facts in a framework.

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