Opinion

Green goners: Republicans leaving voters green at the gills, red in the face

On Sunday, The Washington Post ran a long article noting (gloating?) that in 2010, “Construction did not begin on a single new coal-fired power plant in the United States for the second straight year,” with plans for 38 new plants dropped and even more older plants scheduled for retirement. Apparently we’re leaving that to our supposed “green” model, China, even though we have enough coal to last for centuries. This is reckless, the result of policies, threats and uncertainty out of Washington all tied to “global warming.”

With this hot off the press, incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton took to the airwaves to ever so slightly tweak the tough talk he used to win the gavel. Now the new Republican majority wants to regulate carbon dioxide, but — wait for it — in a reasonable way.

Per The Hill:

Asked whether he believes greenhouse gases are a problem in need of addressing at all, Upton replied, “we want to do this in a reasonable way,” and cited the need to boost development of energy sources like low-emissions coal, nuclear power and natural gas to meet growing demand.

“I don’t think that we have to regulate carbon to the degree that we have a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system,” Upton said, adding that “this regulation process is not the way to proceed” either.

Phew, we’ll find some other way to skin that cat! That’s some fast “growing in office.” I suggest resuming the hoarding of light bulbs might be in order, folks.

But, since Kyoto wouldn’t detectably impact the temperature even if we accept all moonbat assumptions arguendo, maybe there is not a “reasonable way” for the U.S. Congress to ration energy sources in the name of changing the temperature? Aren’t futile gestures, at times like this, facially unreasonable? Anyway, we’ve got our first entrant in the Post‘s “Strange New Respect” sweepstakes.

This comes on top of something similar sticking to the heels of most Republican presidential aspirants, helpfully raised by Politico, whose story begins:

Green skeletons lurk in GOP closets

It may be heresy to conservatives, but a trip down memory lane shows nearly all of the top-tier Republican presidential contenders want to save the planet from global warming.

On the campaign stump, in books, speeches and nationally-televised commercials, aspiring GOP White House candidates such as Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have warned in recent years about the threats from climate change and pledged to limit greenhouse gases. Some have even committed the ultimate sin, endorsing the controversial cap-and-trade concept that was eventually branded “cap and tax.”

Now, as they prepare for a wide-open primary season, many of the Republicans are searching for ways to explain themselves to a conservative voting base full of hungry tea party activists and climate skeptics who don’t take kindly to environmental issues so closely linked with Al Gore.

“They’re in an odd place,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told POLITICO. “They better have an explanation, an excuse or a mea culpa for why this won’t happen again.”

Pawlenty had threatened to create a real problem when he telegraphed his intention to refine his global warming position, which includes a history of outright activism: no regrets, no abandon-and-explain, but double down on his climate change position. Before flaming out, he would do real damage.

Yet, with some comments he has made in 2010 and now this Politico piece, Pawlenty is actually one of the more advanced candidates in distancing himself from past missteps. He deserves help on that.