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Old 12-14-2005, 08:15 AM
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Default environmental policies

it seems an absolute disgrace to me that the current administration refuses to participate in meaningful international environmental policy talks. I'm no econ expert. can someone explain to me how we can use the, "it will hurt the economy excuse" to refuse to enter in agreements such as kyoto. aren't the future economic implications of sitting on our hands far more damaging? Clinton obviosly wanted to play ball during his presidency, and sen. mccain seems to be on the right side of this. Isn't bushes refusal to get involved absolutely ridiculous?
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:27 AM
BCPVP BCPVP is offline
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Default Re: environmental policies

[ QUOTE ]
I'm no econ expert. can someone explain to me how we can use the, "it will hurt the economy excuse" to refuse to enter in agreements such as kyoto.

[/ QUOTE ]
I believe it hurts us pretty bad economically and it doesn't do squat for places like China or India who are starting to ramp up their industrial centers. It was unanimously rejected by the Senate. What makes you think it would be welcomed now?
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:11 AM
tylerdurden tylerdurden is offline
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Default Re: environmental policies

[ QUOTE ]
it seems an absolute disgrace to me that the current administration refuses to participate in meaningful international environmental policy talks. I'm no econ expert. can someone explain to me how we can use the, "it will hurt the economy excuse" to refuse to enter in agreements such as kyoto. aren't the future economic implications of sitting on our hands far more damaging? Clinton obviosly wanted to play ball during his presidency, and sen. mccain seems to be on the right side of this. Isn't bushes refusal to get involved absolutely ridiculous?

[/ QUOTE ]

Your first mistake is that you consider Kyoto to be "meaningful" (at least, if by "meaningful" you mean "even somewhat effective" rather than "warm fuzzies").
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:16 AM
Kurn, son of Mogh Kurn, son of Mogh is offline
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Default Re: environmental policies

Kyoto is a flawed *political* document. To exempt *any* nation is ludicrous, but especially China (4th worst polluter) and India (14th worst) is an indication that Kyoto is an attempt to punish the US more than to clean up the environment.

While the US is currently #1 in greenhouse gas emissions, under Kyoto, India and China would each exceed the current US greenhouse gas output within a generation. How does that help solve the problem?

I'm no big fan of GWB, but I'm proud of the stand he's taken on this issue.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:02 AM
superleeds superleeds is offline
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Default Re: environmental policies

This is an extremely simplistic and essentially a wrong summary of Kyoto.
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:08 PM
Kurn, son of Mogh Kurn, son of Mogh is offline
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Default Re: environmental policies

Am I wrong that China and India are exempt?
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2005, 12:12 PM
TomCollins TomCollins is offline
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Default Re: environmental policies

[ QUOTE ]
can someone explain to me how we can use the, "it will hurt the economy excuse" to refuse to enter in agreements such as kyoto.

[/ QUOTE ]

Rough guesses, but this could be one analysis:

Cost to comply with Kyoto: $800B
Damage possibly caused without Kyoto: $600B
Damange caused even with Kyoto: $200B

Sounds to me spending $800B to save $400B isn't really worth it. Again, these are total WAG's, but don't have the data in front of me. Some people have estimated a similar type thing.
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:18 PM
adios adios is offline
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Default Re: environmental policies

Cheer up some Californians are attempting to coerce (my interpretation) a "Kyoto" like policy in in the U.S. An article from yesterdays WSJ:

States Divide Over Greenhouse Gases

Northeast and West Coast Clusters Feud Over Implementing Limits on Emissions



WASHINGTON -- While the Bush administration resists binding international rules on climate change, about a dozen U.S. states are considering steps to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases. But those states -- clustered around the Northeast and the West Coast -- are running into legal, economic and political hurdles.

In the past month, California and Massachusetts have sparked regional fights over implementing limits. California has irked Western coal-mining states by suggesting that they follow Sacramento's rules; Massachusetts has expressed concern that a potential pact with neighbors to curb carbon emissions could lift energy prices even higher.

The spotlight in the global-warming debate has been on the United Nations, which is trying to continue the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 by setting further emissions reductions for industrial nations. The U.S. didn't join protocol discussions after President Bush took office in 2001. During an international climate-change conference in Montreal last week, his aides continued to decline requests from most of the world's industrial nations to become involved in binding negotiations for cuts. Instead, the U.S. will continue to hold informal talks on future possibilities.

As diplomats in Montreal wrangled over carbon emissions, state governments were conducting their own feuds. California officials say they would like to wield their clout as a big consumer of energy to impose greenhouse-gas emission standards on out-of-state power plants that sell power to California. Because Sacramento's environmental laws make it slow and tough to locate new power facilities in the state, about 25% of California's electrical needs come from out of state, most from coal-fired plants.

California officials say they aren't actively trying to regulate other states' power plants. "We're expressing a preference for greenhouse-gas performance that power plants will be able to meet," says Joseph Desmond, chairman of the state's Energy Commission. Because California is, by far, the biggest electricity consumer in the West, he notes, "it's an opportunity to shape what is built." The California emissions-reduction plan would cover imported and domestic electric-power producers as well as California oil refiners and producers, and landfills and cement production -- both of which emit substantial amounts of greenhouse gases.

California would require a power plant selling into the state's market to have no more emissions than a modern power plant fired by natural gas. The greenhouse-gas pollution from a coal-fired plant is at least double that from a natural gas plant. While the proposal has yet to be approved by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it is being watched by officials in nearby Washington and Oregon, who are considering a regional alliance with California to regulate greenhouse gases.

The plan also is being monitored by Western coal states because there are at least 20 coal-fired power plants being built in the region that could serve California's electricity needs. Michael E. Easley, Wyoming's top energy official, has said California's proposed standard would disqualify all of them. In a letter to Mr. Desmond's office, he warned that California's standard may be in "legal peril" because it appears to violate the interstate-commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.


Montana has similar complaints. Evan Barrett, the state's top economic adviser, says California is "rushing" the technology. Clean-burning coal-fired power plants, which remove carbon dioxide and inject it deep into the ground, may not be available for at least a decade, he notes. California's regulations on imported electricity, on the other hand, could take effect next year.

Still, Montana is taking California's moves seriously because it is interested in shipping both coal and wind-generated power to California. In the electricity business, California is "the 600 pound gorilla and the 600 pound gorilla generally gets what it wants," he says.

Environmental groups -- which may have helped to bring on this crisis by pushing for clean-air standards in California that discourage new coal-fired plants -- say they are alarmed at the proliferation of coal-fired plants outside the Golden State. They want California to consider using more renewable energy, such as solar electricity. But state officials say California will face "severe shortages" of power in the next few years without additional conventional sources.

Mr. Desmond and other California officials say emissions trading will minimize the economic costs of their regulation by allowing industries and businessmen to find "offsets," or cheaper ways to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that can be used as credits against their allowable emission levels. Thus, power plants that didn't change their emissions could meet their quota by buying or producing offsets.

Nine Northeastern states are looking at a similar "cap and trade" approach for power plants in their region. It would assign each an emissions quota and then allow the use of offsets and emissions-credit trading that would make compliance easier and reward companies that bring emissions below certain levels.

Last week, Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts expressed concern that the plan could raise electrical rates too high. This could happen, he suggested, if the price jumped for a credit that a utility needed to buy in order not to exceed its allowed emissions level.

So, starting in January, Gov. Romney said, Massachusetts will launch its own carbon-dioxide regulation program -- the nation's first -- with a limit on how high the market price of an emissions credit can rise.

"I'm not going to risk impoverishing families and small businesses in my state to enrich traders on Wall Street," Gov. Romney said. "We already have energy prices in our state that are the highest or near the highest in the nation." The governor said he also worried that the proposed regional plan would lead to uneven prices that would allow New York to buy cheaper, coal-fired power from Pennsylvania, which isn't a member of the regional pact.

The Romney plan drew criticism from states trying to hammer out a regional compact with Massachusetts. Peter Constantakes, a spokesman for New York's governor, George E. Pataki, branded the Romney approach a "command and control plan" that would fail to reduce emissions because it wouldn't allow market forces to fully develop new emissions credits.

Still, Massachusetts says it will continue to negotiate with New York and a group of New England states on a regional plan that would require power-plant owners to cap their emissions at the average of 1997-1999 levels and gradually undertake steeper reductions with offsets and emissions trades.

Andrew Ertel, president of Evolution Markets LLC, an environmental brokerage firm in White Plains, N.Y., says the bickering among the states and the roadblocks they are hitting remind him of early state experiments in regulating smog and acid-rain emissions in the 1970s. "It was such a mishmash that power companies finally cried out for one clear standard," he said. "I think this will eventually hasten federal controls.



I wonder how much California electric bills will go up if the environmentalists have their way?
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2005, 07:35 PM
MMMMMM MMMMMM is offline
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Default Kyoto, and Reality

Some insights into Kyoto, and into the political and economic realities that surround it, in this editorial by NRO:

"December 13, 2005, 5:26 a.m.
Hot Air

Every year, parties to the Kyoto Protocol meet. Every year the future of the protocol is very much in question. And every year the meeting ends with environmental crusaders falsely claiming that the world has finally united behind the goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. This year’s conference in Montreal followed the tired old pattern.

The parties agreed to little or nothing — but, hearing the way the conference has been spun, you’d think the environmentalists’ every dream had been fulfilled. Greenpeace hailed the meeting as “historic,” and enviros hither and yon felt the special frisson of Bill Clinton’s saying, in a speech before the conference, that George W. Bush is “flat wrong” to think that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions would harm the U.S. economy. The conference’s supposed triumph was an agreement to proceed with talks on new emissions-reductions goals, to take effect after Kyoto’s current targets expire in 2012. That the U.S. has agreed to participate in these talks is being taken as a major American reversal.

No one bothers to point out that the U.S. is in no way committed to accepting whatever emissions targets are ultimately agreed upon. Given the reluctance of the vast majority of Americans — and their elected representatives — to emasculate the U.S. economy by enforcing a Green regime, we suspect Kyoto’s supporters aren’t going to get their way anytime soon. Moreover, the agreement to hold more talks is nothing new. It is, rather, simply a reaffirmation of an agreement in 1997 to hold discussions on post-2012 emissions targets no later than December of 2005. One man’s historic breakthrough thus turns out to be another man’s eight-year-old news.

In any case, the future talks are quite likely to run aground as soon as they turn to specific emissions targets. The truth is that Kyoto’s parties are in serious trouble. The EU-15 countries, in particular, essentially admit that they won’t be able to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions to the Kyoto-required levels. Their solution is to buy “emissions credits” from Eastern Europe, Russia, and the developing world — countries whose economic woes have kept them well below the high emissions levels that Kyoto allows them, freeing them to credit their “excess” reductions to whichever state bidder pays the highest price.

The trouble is that there almost certainly won’t be enough such credits to make up for the developed countries’ shortfall in meeting their targets. Moreover, it’s tough to see what incentive the developing world has to keep its emissions down — and, in so doing, to impair its economic growth — simply so that Western Europe doesn’t have to follow through on the cuts to which it has committed itself. After 15 years, negotiators have failed to find even a single developing country willing to make such a deal. According to the BBC, echoing recent comments by Tony Blair and even former European Commission president Romano Prodi, “Indian negotiator Andimuthu Raja said growth and the elimination of poverty must take precedence over mitigating the effects of climate change.” Hear hear.

“It’s tough to see what
incentive the developing world has
to keep its emissions down.”

The only alternative is for Europe to give cleaner, more modern technology to developing countries, allowing them to keep their emissions levels low without hindering their economic growth. If the EU decides it’s worth paying that price to advance the Green agenda, so be it — but it hardly strikes us as a good deal.

Before the conference, British environment secretary Margaret Beckett said that anyone wanting the Montreal meeting to agree to binding emissions-reduction targets post-2012 was “living in cloud cuckoo land.” She was right — and all those news reports implying otherwise are strictly for the birds.
"

http://www.nationalreview.com/editor...0512130526.asp

Comments anyone?
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