Conn Carroll at Heritage:
The Environmental Protection Agency has directed two of its lawyers to makes changes to a YouTube video they posted that is critical of the Obama administration’s climate change policy.
The EPA lawyers did take their video down. But not before others reposted it.
The EPA and the administration claims that they have no problem with people speaking their minds. However, their experience at EPA forms an important basis of their argument, at least in establishing their expertise in the field. The image of the EPA facility depicts public property, which should hardly require permission to use in any political speech. It’s an obvious attempt to harass and intimidate the couple.
I disagree with their position on this, of course. We don’t need a “carbon tax” that will drive up the costs of production in the US while our unemployment rate is 10.2% and climbing. We need cheap energy produced domestically that both employs a lot more Americans and creates an incentive for broad-based investment in American production overall. But it’s worth watching to see how big a failure cap-and-trade has been wherever it’s been tried, and how this White House likes to silence those who depart from the party line. And as Michelle notes, it’s not the first time the EPA’s been caught doing just that.
While demanding the video be yanked (others have re-posted it online), the EPA disingenuously claims it tolerates all dissenting views of its employees.
Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters:
The couple published an op-ed in the Washington Post in October outlining problems they see with the pending legislation:
Cap-and-trade means a declining “cap” on total emissions, while allowing trading of pollution permits. Confidence in the certainty of declining caps is based on the mistaken assumption that cap-and trade was proven in the EPA’s acid rain program. [...]
What guarantees failure of the proposed climate bills, however, are their provisions for carbon offsets, a concept not used in the acid rain program. Both bills allow all required greenhouse-gas reductions for almost 20 years to be met with carbon offsets rather than actual reductions in use of the capped sources. Offsets — considered indispensable to keeping cap-and-trade affordable — are supposed to be “additional” reductions beyond what is legally required. But experience with offsets in Europe and California has shown that ensuring real “additionality” is not an achievable goal.
Suppose, for example, that a landowner is paid not to cut his forest so that it can continue capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Purchasing this offset allows owners of a coal-fired power plant to burn extra coal, above the cap.
But if the landowner wasn’t planning to cut his forest, he just received a bonus for doing what he would have done anyway. Even if he was planning to cut his forest and doesn’t, demand for wood isn’t reduced. A different forest will be cut. Either way, there is no net reduction in production of greenhouse gases. The result of this carbon “offset” is not a decrease but an increase — coal burning above the cap at the power plant.
Sounds a lot like what NewsBusters has been saying about carbon offsets for years, doesn’t it?