James Pethokoukis

Obama’s lost year

November 5, 2009

Rahm Emanuel famously said that you “never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”  And certainly the sense of crisis earlier in the year helped the White House pass the $787 billion stimulus package. But where stands the rest of the Obama legislative agenda?

US Chamber of Commerce and climate change

October 20, 2009

OK, here is the USCOC’s basic position on climate change from recent congressional testimony:

2012 Watch: Romney goes after cap-and-trade

October 8, 2009

Mitt Romney attacks cap-and-trade via video over at his PAC website, Free and Strong America. He basically portrays it as an energy tax on Americans (which it is) that will hurt American competitiveness vs. India and China (which is it will.)

$10 trillion for clean energy? Maybe a bit overambitious

October 6, 2009

Working for the International Energy Agency must be hoot. Where else can you recommend a $10 trillion investment and kinda-sorta be taken seriously? From the WSJ:

Obama’s unilateral move on climate change

October 1, 2009

OK, so the White House has greenlit the EPA to go forward with new rules, as the NYTimes puts it,  “to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from hundreds of power plants and large industrial facilities.”  I think this lobbyist quotes in the article gets the politics right:

The cap-and-trade endgame on Capitol Hill

September 30, 2009

The great Dan Clifton of Strategas Research hears the same thing I am hearing:

We continue to believe the Senate does not have 60 votes for a meaningful cap and trade bill and today’s events are largely designed to keep the process moving. With healthcare taking up so much of the calendar and financial regulation to follow, cap and trade is now squarely put into the election calendar. Should something pass next year, we expect the legislation to a be a stripped down energy bill (as opposed to cap and trade) and that will feature a Renewable Portfolio Standard and possibly easing of approval for transmission lines.

Climate change: 3.6 degrees or $46 trillion

September 28, 2009

They may not know all the stats and numbers, but people instinctively don’t seem to want to pay a lot of dough to limit carbon emissions. Not even close.  In fact, you can find plenty of climate experts who doubt they ever will, particularly in India and China. Betting on mitigation and technology seems the more realistic route. A bit from Bjorn Lomborg:

Why strong climate change legislation is dead

September 11, 2009

My new favorite blog, New Geography, does a fine piece of analysis that reveals why 80 percent cuts in climate change emissions are a fantasy without a radical technology breakthrough:

3 reasons why cap-and-trade is in trouble

September 8, 2009

The man who will almost certainly become Japan’s next prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, is promising to cut the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

The way forward on climate change …

September 7, 2009

This, from Tom Barnett amplifying on a Bjorn Lomborg op-ed, seems like a policy that could actually work in the real world. Reducing economic growth is a sure loser: