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Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Bernie Sanders and others at press conference on climate change bills
Sen. Barbara Boxer, Sen. Bernie Sanders and eco-activists appear at a press conference
 Thursday morning to introduce on bills on climate change and energy subsidies.
At a press conference Thursday morning, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and California Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced a comprehensive package of climate-change legislation. On hand were two long-time Kossacks—Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, and activist Bill McKibben of 350.org—who were arrested along with nearly 50 others Wednesday after tying themselves to the White House fence in a protest urging President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would carry dirty diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to Texas where it would be refined into oil.

In introducing his legislation, Sen. Sanders said:

Let me be very clear. The issue that we are dealing with today is not political. It has nothing to do with Democrats, Republicans, Independents and all of the political swabbling we see here every day. It has everything to do with physics. The leading scientists in the world who study climate change now tell us that their projections in the past  were wrong. That, in fact, the crisis facing our planet is much more serious than they had previously believed. They now tell us that if we continue along our merry path, where 12 out of the last 15 years were the warmest on record, and take no decisive action in transforming our energy system and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, this planet could be 8 degrees Fahrenheit or more warmer than is currently the case. [...]

The legislation that Senator Boxer and I are introducing today with the support of some of the leading environmental organizations in the country can actually address the crisis and does what has to be done to protect the planet. It can reverse greenhouse gas emissions in a significant way. It can create millions of jobs as we transform our energy
system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and such sustainably energies as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass.

Also speaking at the press conference besides McKibben and Brune were Tara McGuiness, the executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen’s energy director and David Bradley, National Community Action Foundation executive director.

Nobody expects the proposals to have an easy time of it. That's because we have a Congress that is still filled with representatives and senators who refuse to accept the extensive scientific evidence that human-caused global warming is happening and others who accept the evidence but are unwilling out of cowardice or the objections of their campaign contributors to take action to slow it down or remediate the severe impacts climate change will cause or already is causing.

The legislation comes in two bills. The Sustainable Energy Act is designed to cut a long list of subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry and extend tax credits for production of renewable energy from solar, wind and geothermal sources. The renewable credits now expire in 2014. The Sanders-Boxer proposal would extend them through 2021. That would give investors more confidence and help long-range planning that is now hampered by the fact the credits expire every two or three years.

Continue reading below the fold, to see a condensation of all the measures in the Climate Protection Act.

Price Carbon. To help reduce current carbon 80 percent by 2050, impose a carbon fee of $20 per ton or carbon or methane equivalent, rising at 5.6 percent a year for 10 years. This would apply to the 2,869 largest polluters (oil refineries, coal mines, point of importation) covering about 85 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions

Family Clean Energy Rebate Program. With 60 percent of the carbon fee revenue, the program would use the Alaskan model of an oil dividend to provide a monthly rebate to every U.S. resident. "This is the most progressive way to ensure that if fossil fuel companies jack up prices, consumers and families can offset cost increase on fuel and electricity, according to data from the Congressional Research Service."

Protect Communities from Fracking. So that the carbon fee does not harm communities due to increased production of natural gas, end the exemption for fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act

Ensure Fair Trade and International Cooperation

Pay Down $300 billion of the national debt from carbon fee revenue over 10 years.

Invest in Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy. With some of the revenue raised from the carbon fee, invest in efficiency and energy technologies that will "reduce emissions, create jobs, and position America as a clean-tech leader." Included in this:

° weatherizing one million residences a year, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and saving households hundreds of dollars annually;

° tripling the budget of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy in research and development;

° creating the "Sustainable Technologies Finance Program" that would, working through public-private partnerships, leverage $500 billion for investments in wind, solar, geothermal, advanced biomass and biofuels, ocean and tidal energy, hydroipower, advanced transportation projects, and energy efficiency technologies

° funding $1 billion annually in training and transition programs to move American workers into clean-energy jobs

While the legislation will, as noted, no doubt encounter serious opposition in the House and Senate, it is precisely the kind of approach that is needed. Waiting to introduce it at a time when it has a better chance of passing makes no sense. Delay is just another form of denial. Americans need to know what progressives will back when they do have the political clout to deliver. Just explaining what we would do can help gain the votes to give us that clout.

 

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:17 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Paying down the debt and helping individual (22+ / 0-)

    households!  Something for everyone!

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

    by weck on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:22:39 AM PST

    •  Helping individuals with higher energy bills? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sij

      Who do you think is going to pay for this?  The big bad power companies?  No.  The consumer.  Something for everyone.. geez.

      So, no thanks.

      The US is at its lowest emissions in 20 years according to last year's Energy Department report.  Let's see China (whose economy is chugging along quite nicely and could afford energy taxes) take on some of these ideas.  Our economy would collapse if these measures were instituted today.

      •  I think that's where the rebates to citizens come (7+ / 0-)

        in. Also, think about this. People are already paying for global warming and will pay with their lives at some point. Great that we are making headway on emissions, but so much more must be done. In addition, you can't get China on board until we are already on board. I would suggest also that we start taxing imports on the basis of their cargo footprint unless the exporter has already taxed their exports accordingly, the idea being that the Chinese can collect the tax, or we can, but either way it will be collected.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:33:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That rebate part makes no sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sij

          The Alaskan model?

          The Alaskan model takes part of the profits from natural resources and shares it with its citizens.

          This does nothing of the kind.  This would tax power companies who would raise prices on consumers to pay for the taxes and then the government would turn around and give 60% of the tax the consumers paid to the providers back to the consumer!  Only a bureaucracy like Washington could think up a goofy scheme such as that!

          •  Not what I read. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HeyMikey

            Maybe I misinterpreted, but I understood that 60% of the revenue would be mailed out as checks to people. Also, power utilities, at least in CA, are controlled by the PUC and cannot just raise rates as they like.

            However, IMO, all the revenue should go to the Treasury, and the money used  to pay off the national debt. That's something that would get fiscal conservatives on board, because without them this plan is DOA.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:49:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. Fiscal conservatives would not get on board (0+ / 0-)

              for a scheme that would force businesses to leave the US in droves.  GDP will drop.  There will be more and more unemployed and less coming into the government as revenue.  We will not lower the debt with such a scheme.  More likely we would raise it.

              Businesses and industries simply move to one of the free-rider countries who simply do not care about how much coal they are burning (China and India) or about the health of their citizens or the planet.

              China and India will bring on 400 to 600 Gigawatts of new coal power plants between now and 2020.  That is where we need to concentrate globally.

              In the US, we need to convert as many coal plants to natural gas while pushing renewables.  Renewables will take many more decades to start putting a dent in power generation from fossil fuels.  But switching to natural gas in the interim has already reduced our carbon output immensely.

              •  Evidence? (7+ / 0-)

                Two reasons that's not likely to happen. And a third point: even if it does happen, it's still better than the alternative.

                1. Krugman says:

                The Congressional Budget Office, relying on a survey of models, has concluded that Waxman-Markey [the last serious effort at pricing greenhouse emissions] “would reduce the projected average annual rate of growth of gross domestic product between 2010 and 2050 by 0.03 to 0.09 percentage points.” That is, it would trim average annual growth to 2.31 percent, at worst, from 2.4 percent. Over all, the Budget Office concludes, strong climate-change policy would leave the American economy between 1.1 percent and 3.4 percent smaller in 2050 than it would be otherwise
                .

                So the cost of serious climate action just isn't all that great.

                2. Corporate profits are setting records quarter after quarter. Corporate cash on hand is piling up unused, the highest it's been in approaching 60 years. Pricing GHG would stimulate corporations to spend some of that idle cash on solar panels, wind turbines, insulation, heat recapture, etc.--and while some of that stuff can be manufactured overseas, the installation jobs can't be outsourced.

                3. You seem to assume the cost of taking no action is zero. But every serious study has shown the cost of taking no action is extremely high. So the real question is not, "What does pricing GHG cost?" The real question is, "Does pricing GHG cost less than doing nothing?"

                Of course there is no 100% certainty what the cost will be; just a likelihood. But even though there is no 100% certainty that your house will burn down, you still buy homeowner's insurance, and you'd be crazy not to. It is worth spending something to avoid the risk of expensive consequences from climate change.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:15:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Most people don't understand what an 8 degree (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Anne Elk, DBunn, HeyMikey

                  Rise in temperature would mean.  They think that it means that a hot day in the summer will be 98 degrees, instead of 90 degrees.  The last time there was a 10 degree rise in global temperatures, something like 95% of all species went extinct.  The cost of doing nothing about this is extinction.  But, by all means, keep on bitching about your power bill.

              •  This utter bullshit about renewables taking... (12+ / 0-)

                ...many decades to become a larger percentage of U.S. power generation keeps being repeated. It's bogus. While you're right about the need for China to crank back on coal-powered generation, you ignore the fact that China is ahead of the U.S. in investment in renewables. You ignore the fact that 22% of Germany’s electricity supply now stems from renewables.

                Whatever happened to the American can-do spirit?

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:28:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  A common belief in this country seems to be that (5+ / 0-)

                  the Chinese are no more than warmongering, stupid peasants and the Germans are anal-retentive losers.  What an ignorant mistake.  

                  The American can-do spirit seems to have been replaced by a belief that by telling everyone (and yourself) how exceptional and superior you are makes it so.

                  We are rapidly becoming the haughty emperor strutting around the world with no clothes.

                  "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

                  by 417els on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:44:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Leave to where? (5+ / 0-)

                I don't buy your theory. Energy costs are higher in EU, higher in Japan, and China has other problems.

                For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:58:35 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Nothing will get deficit hawks on board (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, Calamity Jean, HeyMikey

              because they are not concerned with the deficit except as a dog-whistle excuse to cut social programs for Blacks especially, but also for Latinos, women, the young, the old, the poor, and the middle class, and taxes for the rich.

              You can tell that the first part is so because they will not consider a penny in cuts to military spending, even on wasteful programs that the Pentagon insists it does not want and cannot use. You can tell that the second part is so because that is what they do whenever they have a chance, and tell us they mean to do in platform statements and campaign speeches. The Romney and Ryan budgets only included cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, education, and PBS. Republican governors cut education, police, and firefighting, and strip unions of bargaining and voting rights in the name of balancing budgets, and then give all of that money and more to the rich and to corporations in tax cuts.

              Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

              by Mokurai on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:32:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then we are screwed. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DBunn

                But doesn't it make sense to at least craft a package that would have even a slight chance of getting conservatives on board? The Boxer plan is DOA, guaranteed. A carbon tax that permits marginal income tax rates not to rise - something conservatives love - might swing it. If you can't do that, then why even bother with proposing something like the Boxer/Sanders plan? Might as well try to find a plan that conservatives can find something to like. Two of the most liberal members of the Senate are very unlikely to get a bill through that body. This is just a fantasy.

                For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 04:03:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not a fantasy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  HeyMikey

                  Some ways to think of the Sanders/Boxer bill, other than as a fantasy:

                  Somebody said, better to light a candle than curse the darkness. This bill lights a candle.

                  It moves the Overton Window, perhaps.

                  Proposing this bill amounts to speaking words that need to be spoken, even if some get angry, behave dismissively, or pretend they can't hear.

                  Proposing this bill is one step in a long march. While you may well be correct that this one step won't get us to our goal, won't get us much of anywhere really, it still has value. It is still a step that needs to be taken.

                  Think of it as a policy proposal that is pragmatic, intelligent, fair, and necessary, and would be effective if implemented (although, admittedly, it would not by itself be sufficient). Even in a place as dysfunctional as Washington DC, it is important to propose such ideas.

                  •  Politics is about practicality. (0+ / 0-)

                    We always mock the tea party for coming up with pointless gestures. This is just a leftish version of gestural politics, and it actually does harm. Every time efforts like this fail it hammers home the impression that action on climate change is doomed to failure. This isn't lighting a candle; it's drawing a picture of a candle on a piece of toilet paper.

                    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                    by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:29:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Unlike the tea party's nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                      This progressive proposal has the advantage that it is pragmatic, intelligent, fair, and necessary, and would be effective if implemented .

                      Personally, I think that's a significant difference. How could you have missed it?

                      The 'drawing on toilet paper' bit I would call argument by insult. It is pretty good of kind, but the kind itself is not good.

                      •  It isn't practical if it doesn't have a prayer (0+ / 0-)

                        of attracting a majority. I'm not saying its not a good idea. I'm saying it has no path to winning a majority even in the Senate, let alone the House, and that just makes it nothing more than a gesture. How could you have missed that?

                        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                        by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 10:43:15 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It has a prayer. AND it advances a strategy. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          DBunn
                          End of the Hastert Rule Spells Coalition Rule in House

                          By Ron Meyer
                          Jan. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

                          A center-left coalition is forming in the House of Representatives. Republicans may have a numerical majority in the House, but they aren’t necessarily the voting majority. In fact, they’re far from it.

                          The last two major bills — the fiscal cliff deal and the pork-filled Sandy bill — passed with less than 40 percent from the Republican caucus. We should expect this to become a trend.

                          The Sandy aid vote (the $50 billion supplemental bill to the $9 billion in aid already signed) passed with just 21 percent support from the caucus; 49 Republicans joined 192 Democrats to pass the measure. The fiscal cliff bill passed with only 35 percent; 85 Republicans joined 172 Democrats to seal the Biden-McConnell deal.

                          http://www.rollcall.com/...

                          The "Hastert rule" was a long-time practice of GOP Speakers of the House that no bill would come to the floor unless it was supported by a majority of GOP House members. The Hastert rule appears to be dying, or at least badly wounded.

                          It's a scandal that the Senate Dems under Reid didn't push through real filibuster reform. But perhaps a similar coalition can at last get some meaningful things through the Senate.

                          What's going on in the GOP is that some are realizing their old strategy of hating on brown people and making up economic shit is not the surefire winning electoral strategy it was 30 years ago. Losing the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 elections, including the last two to a black dude with an African-Islamic name, is starting to have an effect. Thank God.

                          And, of course, if the GOP stalls this newest bill, then Obama can more easily justify to the public using the EPA to take strong climate action. As the Supreme Court has already ruled, three times, he has the power to do under the current Clean Air Act.

                          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                          by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 06:28:05 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Missing the point. (3+ / 0-)

            The rebate is an incentive to be energy efficient.

            Households A, B, and C get exactly the same rebate checks. Household A drives a Prius, which gets much better gas mileage than the average vehicle. Household B drives a vehicle that gets exactly average gas mileage. Household C drives a Hummer.

            Household B, with the average car, gets back 60% of what they spend on the greenhouse tax. (The other 40% of what they spent in GH tax pays down the national debt.)

            Household A, with the Prius, spent much less on the GH tax but gets back the same rebate as everybody else. Their rebate will be more than 60% of what they paid in GH tax. The rebate may even be more than 100% of what they paid in GH tax.

            Household C, with the Hummer, spent more on the GH tax but gets the same rebate, so they get less than 60% of what they spent.

            Household C is putting money in the pockets of households B and A. Household B is also putting money in the pockets of A.

            Net result: everybody tries to be A. GHG consumption drops.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:04:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you believe those rebates would ever be paid, (0+ / 0-)

              I have some swamp land in Florida you may be interested in.

              That sounds like the promise ACA was going to save every family in America $2500 on its health insurance bill per year.

              •  Evidence? (5+ / 0-)

                The most important parts of Obamacare don't even kick in till January 1 of next year. Do you have some evidence that it will not save the average American family significant money on healthcare?

                From today's news--perhaps attributable to the parts of Obamacare that have kicked in already:

                A sharp and surprisingly persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs is helping to narrow the federal deficit, leaving budget experts trying to figure out whether the trend will last and how much the slower growth could help alleviate the country's long-term fiscal problems.

                In figures released last week, the Congressional Budget Office said it had erased hundreds of billions of dollars in projected spending on Medicare and Medicaid. The budget office now projects that spending on those two programs in 2020 will be about $200 billion, or 15 percent, less than it projected three years ago. New data also show overall health care spending growth continuing at the lowest rate in decades for a fourth consecutive year.

                http://www.cnbc.com/...

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:22:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  china is taking on these ideas (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird, HeyMikey, Eric Nelson, 417els, DBunn

        http://www.forbes.com/...

        just because they're burning through coal right now doesn't mean their govt isn't acting swiftly to prepare for their future.

        we look ridiculous by comparison.

        these proposals by boxer/sanders are a good step in the right direction.

      •   but, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        "...the crisis facing our planet is much more serious than they had previously believed."

        AAAAAAH

      •  um, China produces about the same emissions as (6+ / 0-)

        the US does, but does it with five times the population.  The typical Chinese produces about one-fifth the emissions of the typical American.

        If the US were to reduce its per capita emissions to China's current level, the entire world would be much better off for it.

        But typically, we Americans prefer to NOT change our fat lazy wasteful profligate lifestyle, and to blame someone else instead.  (sigh)

      •  Zero order thinking is so wonderful (4+ / 0-)

        where you don't look at the actual consequences. The idea is that we price carbon higher, and get the development of  cheaper wind and solar much more quickly in return. Those whose bills are temporarily higher and can least afford it should get some of the carbon tax rebated to them.

        Right now, we pay massive subsidies to carbon fuel companies, directly and through our bloated military. When we have energy independence, we won't have to prop up corrupt governments in oil-rich countries.

        You argue like a Republican concern troll.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:21:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This actually saves more $ over time (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn, HeyMikey

        than it spends - the old school thinking doesn't work the more these technologies come to scale in our economy. Retrofitting homes and businesses, adding wind and solar and efficiencies to energy use all pay for themselves and as these are applied more skillfully, they become more and more practical - this fiscal logic, besides the simple good sense of cleaner air and water needs to be widely understood, and widely covered in our media, even more than it is today - it's not a fringe phenomena - new energy, retrofitting, improved efficiencies, these are multi billion dollar industries, and growing worldwide.

        We'll be left quickly behind if we refuse to pay attention to the changes that are happening here...

        "We must not confuse absolutism for principle." - Barack Obama

        by Beastly Fool on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:38:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The summary is not clear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      on whether the rebates go to individuals or to households.
      Big difference.

      Do what Jesus would do if he were rich.

      by jestbill on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:32:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  great to have a summary from the actual bills (26+ / 0-)

    most articles so far have been based on summary of bills posted.

    Senator Sanders is hoping to post diary here sometime today on his measures too as part of our XL blogathon.

    "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:24:35 AM PST

  •  excellent (24+ / 0-)

    so glad to see this and thanks for doing this great breakdown for us. Yes, it may not pass, but if there's nothing on the table then there's nothing to rally around. If you don't try, you can't succeed. And never underestimate the ability of the people, we're fired up and ready to go.



    "Forward On Climate" Rally - February 17, 2013, 12:00 pm, Washington, DC






    Link - feel free to post on your Facebook pages.

    There are Kossack Meet-ups Coinciding with Forward on Climate Rally. Send eeff a kosmail if you're interested in connecting the night before or the night of the event. Check New Day diaries for the latest updates and RSVPs.

    Also, if you're trying to hitch a ride to Washington D.C. from other places around the country, check the Sierra Club's excellent bus list.

    Can't make it to Washington D.C. on 2/17? Check for a Forward on Climate Solidarity Rally near you!

    by citisven on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:26:57 AM PST

    •  Exactly. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, rbird, citisven, 417els, DBunn, Eric Nelson

      It's worth fighting for even if all the wise punditry agree it has no chance.  If nothing else, we can't very well expect that circumstance to change if we are never willing to try to do the allegedly impossible.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:21:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ...man that would be awesome if that passed... (16+ / 0-)

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:27:03 AM PST

    •  I am prepared to be amazed. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, rbird, DBunn

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:34:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's almost one chance in a million that it (0+ / 0-)

      will even pass the Senate.

      If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

      by MikePhoenix on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:37:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look what has happened so far, before this bill.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..and other ideas have even made it to the floor.
        the conversation and actions by lawmakers has advanced.

        The republicans are being forced to defend their bad choices/policies on so many different fronts simultaneously that they are off balance,  less able to secure the footing necessary to mount effective opposition.

        Iow's this approach to climate change and in fact many issues really matters.

        Organized persistent hammering works.

  •  My hope was this AM was that u would write this 1 (18+ / 0-)

    Such a thrilling morning in America, to have our eco leaders on hand when such comprehensive legislation was announced. IT was like a dream.

    Now i will go back and read through.

    Much appreciated:)

  •  Sounds like a pretty good proposal on the face of (20+ / 0-)

    it. I'd think there is a lot more in the details.

    If I had to add from my wish list it would be a set of green energy standards that would apply to all new construction. I watch houses go up day after day after day that are green washed and still suck up electricity at an unsustainable rate.

    What I like is that none of the ideas seem to be over reaching. All are very doable and non controversial.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:35:32 AM PST

  •  But (9+ / 0-)
    Nobody expects the proposals to have an easy time of it in a Congress
    It should sail through the Senate because it only needs 51 votes now that...

    Oh, wait.

  •  sooooooo (10+ / 0-)

    I get so tired of hearing things like, yeah well its not likely to pass or it will get watered down and it will meet tons of opposition, even though I know thats all true, ... so... will DK progressives make Climate Action legislation a Do or Die deal for 2014 mid-term candidates?

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:49:23 AM PST

  •  It's such a good plan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, jfromga, defluxion10

    that it probably has no chance of passing any time soon.

    Will the GOP DIE already?!?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:09:47 PM PST

  •  There is hope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, defluxion10

    Those oil industry subsidies have to go and the environmental impact of other industries has to be taxed so we can afford the clean up or the investment on strategies to counter the impact.

    Otherwise, those of you who have kids, better start teaching them how to survive in a Mad Max world.

    Mad Max photo MadMax_zpsc886c563.jpg

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:14:03 PM PST

  •  I guess we need to do something (8+ / 0-)

    and quickly to offset the end of the permafrost:

    The warming of the Earth is killing off the permafrost, and that does more than make life miserable for the people of Shishmaref, and for the Arctic peoples in general. As it happens, when the permafrost melts, because it is composed of dead plant and animal matter, it starts giving off CO2 at a devastating rate, completing a neat little circle of planetary damage that feeds off itself. Just this week, the National Academy Of Science published the findings of a new study of the effects of the disappearing permafrost, and how the Earth is being converted into the world's largest self-cleaning oven. Not only is the losss of the permafrost an ecological catastrophe for the Arctic, it also is accelerating the ecological cataclysm of climate change at a rate that is faster than even the author's of the study anticipated.


    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
    TheStarsHollowGazette.com

    by TheMomCat on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:15:04 PM PST

  •  Yes. Tax and dividend. And an actual bill to get (6+ / 0-)

    behind. Bless Bernie Sanders. Barbara Boxer, too.

    Washington, DC, climate rally on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. See you there.

    by DawnN on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:15:42 PM PST

  •  This needs all out support....n/t (4+ / 0-)

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:16:35 PM PST

  •  Secret funding helped build vast network (5+ / 0-)

    Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks

    Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.
    Talk about Kochsmen!
    •  Why do people have such trouble (0+ / 0-)

      with the words "secret" and "secretive"? People can be secretive, meaning they tend to conceal feelings and intentions or not to disclose information. A funding route cannot be secretive, but it can be secret.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:37:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  150K Businesses Thanked Obama on Climate today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quixotic, Eric Nelson

    http://asbcouncil.org/...

    Spread the word. The tide has turned.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:28:28 PM PST

  •  Yep (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, catfood, Eric Nelson
    While the legislation will, as noted, no doubt encounter serious opposition in the House and Senate, it is precisely the kind of approach that is needed. Waiting to introduce it at a time when it has a better chance of passing makes no sense. Delay is just another form of denial. Americans need to know what progressives will back when they do have the political clout to deliver. Just explaining what we would do can help gain the votes to give us that clout.
    Give us something to support and fight for other than politicians!

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:33:21 PM PST

  •  If you rebate the fee to taxpayers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    on a per capita basis (counting the taxpayer(s) and dependents) then you would have a popular bill.

    All carbon taxes should be handled this way to make them popular and to counter the slight economic downturn these carbon taxes would create.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:39:43 PM PST

  •  Tar Sands Oil is for Export (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catfood, grollen, Calamity Jean, 417els

    I think it would make a huge difference to a lot of center and slightly right-of-center people who currently support the Keystone XL pipeline if every time we report on the pipeline we make it clear that the reason the pipeline is running to Texas is so it can be refined and SOLD at a profit. The refineries are there and the Gulf ports are there so the oil can be sold on the open market.

    This oil is not for consumption in the USA. This isn't drill-baby-drill for energy independence. This is just a money grab at the expense of our environment.

    I believe a lot of people who currently support the pipeline would reverse their position if they understood that this pipeline will not contribute to the USA's energy independence but is simply being built to contribute to energy companies profits.

    [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

    by rabel on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:45:33 PM PST

  •  Great! But beware of lawyers! (4+ / 0-)
    This would apply to the 2,869 largest polluters (oil refineries, coal mines, point of importation) covering about 85 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
    OK, if instead of a Social Security disability lawyer (which I really am), I were a Big Greenhouse Emitter lawyer, here's what I would advise my Big Greenhouse Emitter client:
    The carbon price applies to emitters of over 10 million tons of greenhouse gases a year. Your 6 power plants emit a total of 12 million tons a year. So split your company into two companies. Every stockholder trades one share of stock in the old company for one share in EACH of the two new companies. Each new company owns 3 power plants and emits a total of 6 million tons of GHG. Thus we escape the GHG tax.
    [Note: I made up the 10 million tons part for purposes of illustration only.]

    This is the same type of thing we're seeing with Obamacare: it applies to people working 30 hours a week or more, so employers are capping weekly hours at 29.

    Is there something in the bill that would ensure this doesn't happen?

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:53:27 PM PST

    •  Good point. Similar to original Clean Air Act that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, Eric Nelson

      distinguished between "existing" facilities and "new" facilities regarding how much they could pollute. Of course many new sources did their darndest, with their lawyers' help, to make their otherwise new source of pollution (with more stringent standards) qualify as merely a change to an existing source (with grandfathered-in less stringent standards.)

      There are plenty of good environmental lawyers out there who I would hope are advising the authors of the legislation how to avoid the scenario you cite.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:27:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What ever happened to the dKos Climate Plan? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    A few years back, a bunch of bright, committed (in a good way) dKossovars from around the globe (Jerome a Paris was one, if I remember correctly) crafted a really comprehensive and smart environmental and energy proposal. Is anyone still its champion? Has it ever gained any traction in Washington? Do we need to dust it off and remind our legislators about it?

    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    by Citizen Earth on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:58:38 PM PST

  •  FACT FACT FACT as today proved this Bill and all (0+ / 0-)

    others are PURE FANTASY BILLS no Bills except Republican Wet-Dream Bills will be allowed to even get voted on much less passed as the Hagel Filibuster is Proof-Positive of that,so as much as this is a good thing just plain forget about it becoming law along with anything doing with Guns,Banking an ETC..

    •  From my post: (0+ / 0-)
      Nobody expects the proposals to have an easy time of it. That's because we have a Congress that is still filled with representatives and senators who refuse to accept the extensive scientific evidence that human-caused global warming is happening and others who accept the evidence but are unwilling out of cowardice or the objections of their campaign contributors to take action to slow it down or remediate the severe impacts climate change will cause or already is causing.
      And the final paragraph:
      While the legislation will, as noted, no doubt encounter serious opposition in the House and Senate, it is precisely the kind of approach that is needed. Waiting to introduce it at a time when it has a better chance of passing makes no sense. Delay is just another form of denial. Americans need to know what progressives will back when they do have the political clout to deliver. Just explaining what we would do can help gain the votes to give us that clout.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:23:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Flood republians phone lines (0+ / 0-)

    Tell then what a disgrace they are!

  •  Move forward on the pipeline. (0+ / 0-)

    I know this will not be the most popular position but the pipeline means non-government jobs created from the private sector.  There will be a significant  multiplier effect on multiple industries.   There will none of the "crowding out" effect that government spending leads to.  

    There are so many different studies on how many jobs it will create it is difficult to know who is telling the truth and who is not.  

    Citation:  

    Is All of this About Texas?

    Alford, Harry C. Washington Informer [Washington, D.C] 15 Dec 2011: 22,38.

    Here is a summary of the article:

    There is another great opportunity for job growth during this recession. That is the XL Keystone pipeline. The number one importer of oil to the United States is our friendly neighbor to the north - Canada. The XL Keystone proposal will construct a pipeline, similar to the one in Alaska, from the Canadian oil fields through various states in our Plains and all the way to the Texas Gulf Coast . Besides the hundreds of thousands of jobs, many union paying jobs, the cost of oil will get under control and prevent any more increases. Again, Texas would probably get the lion's share of jobs. Also, the pipeline would run through the state of Oklahoma. Not one county in the state of Oklahoma voted for Barack Obama at the last election. That probably really worked them up also. This administration is stone walling on the approval of the pipeline.

    Canada is threatening us by saying if we don't build this pipeline they will cut a deal with China and ship all of that oil to them. So now we are even talking about national security in addition to lost revenue and quality of life for all Americans. Conservatives have even agreed to some of the Administration's current initiatives if they will just allow this pipeline into existence. That is not even changing the Administration's hostile attitude against increasing our oil supplies.

    Despite all of this detrimental action against the people of Texas, the state is still leading the nation in growth and economic might. More jobs have been created in Texas in recent years than New York, California and Michigan combined. Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and other cities located in Texas are models for how large cities should be managed. It is pretty much the envy of the nation right now. That thought is probably adding "gasoline" to the fire of anger and offensive actions by the White House. Perhaps they should be reminded of that great saying: "Don't Mess with Texas"

    AuthorAffiliation

    Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/ CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@ nationalbcc.org.

    Citation:  

    Keystone Cops; The Obama administration has been dithering since the summer on the Keystone XL pipeline. For his labor allies, the project could result in 13,000 union jobs, another 118,000 spin-off jobs and some $20 billion in investment.

    Levy, Collin. Wall Street Journal (Online) [New York, N.Y] 07 Nov 2011: n/a.

    The Obama administration has been dithering since the summer on the Keystone XL pipeline, a TransCanada pipeline that would eventually bring about 830,000 barrels of crude from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas and Oklahoma. For President Obama's labor allies, the project could result in 13,000 union jobs, another 118,000 spin-off jobs and some $20 billion in investment. As an economic booster, that's a good measure better than the administration's record on loan guarantees for green energy companies.

    But who needs energy security or job creation when you have environmental activists? In Nebraska on Tuesday, lawmakers opened a special legislative session as opponents of the plan sought to reroute the pipeline. Also raging against the plan are Mr. Obama's environmental constituents, who fear the pipeline would leak or harm forests in pass-through states, despite evidence to the contrary. Mr. Obama played to the fears in his Nebraska interview, noting that Nebraska folks didn't want the extra jobs the project would bring "if it means our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health."

    The decision to proceed with the pipeline technically falls with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and some expected Mr. Obama might try to keep any decision at arm's length to defray the political fallout. In an interview with Omaha TV station KETV on Tuesday, however, Mr. Obama said that the State Department would be bringing the final report to him and that he would be considering the "health" of the American people, as well as "what's best for our economy short term and long term."

    Since the TransCanada Pipeline filed for approval back in 2008, the project has undergone innumerable reviews by regulatory agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. The State Department's Environmental Impact Review found that the plan would have no significant irreparable effect on the environment. A White House decision is expected by the end of the year.

    To read more stories like this one, please subscribe to

    Credit: By Collin Levy

    Again there is a wide range of how many jobs the pipeline would actually bring.  During construction that number would obviously much higher than it will be after construction.  We have thousands of pipelines in this country moving oil, natural gas, etc.   It is safe and makes sense.  

    •  No, NO, NOOOOO (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, Meteor Blades, Calamity Jean
      Canada is threatening us by saying if we don't build this pipeline they will cut a deal with China and ship all of that oil to them. So now we are even talking about national security in addition to lost revenue and quality of life for all Americans.
      China is going to buy that oil anyway, no matter the route.

      It is not worth the risk to our fresh water supply.  We need water to live.  Simple as that.  We protect our Great Lakes and should also protect other fresh water sources, like the aquifer, a huge one at that.

      And it doesn't matter how many jobs that produces.  If that source of fresh water is compromised, no one will say "but we got a few jobs out of it."  Instead, they will be moving to find another fresh water source.

      Canada can hold their breath until someone passes out ;)

      •  The risk is insignificant. The jobs are not. (0+ / 0-)

        You can check the map of existing pipelines already in the ground.  

        From:  http://oilprice.com/...

        Like many of you, I have been following the debate over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would bring crude from the oil sands of Canada to refineries in the U.S. I am on mailing lists covering both sides of the issue, and based on some of the e-mails I get it seems that many people don’t realize that we already have pipelines crisscrossing the U.S. I get the impression that some people feel that it would be unprecedented to lay an oil pipeline across the country. But below is a map showing the location of the major oil and gas pipelines in the U.S.:

        The other morning I got an e-mail calling attention to a video op-ed by Robert Redford for the New York Times arguing against the pipeline. Redford said “Let’s be honest. The Keystone XL pipeline is an accident waiting to happen.” The truth is that all of the pipelines in that map are accidents waiting to happen, as are the power lines that crisscross the country. For that matter, the cars we drive are accidents waiting to happen. And accidents will happen. Oil and gas leaks occur every year. That is part of the price we pay for the energy we use. The fact that the Keystone pipeline could have a leak isn’t unique; it is just like all the other pipelines already running beneath our feet.

        This essay is not meant to argue in favor of the pipeline; I may weigh in on that at a later time. I just wanted to comment on what seems like a total lack of knowledge about the way energy is currently moved around the country. I want to see us reduce our oil usage as much as anyone, but I predict that the pipeline will be approved. Obama is facing a tough reelection campaign, and he wants to point to job creation — and a lot of weight will be placed on that factor in this tough economy. (Ironically, some on the Canadian side are protesting because the pipeline would export refining jobs to the U.S.)

        •  Wrong again. (0+ / 0-)

          While you talk about low risk of pipeline busting, I sit in Michigan with a busted pipeline (you guessed it, owned and operated by Canada!!) and the clean up was not pretty.  Now they are replacing that line with a bigger line.  And the busted line was expected and ignored for years, as news leaked out that Canada let the repair schedule go lax.  In our state, not Canada.  So, risk to Michigan, none to Canada.

          Are you from Canada, by any chance?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...
          The risk to the aquifer would be great risk.  Think of that aquifer as honeycomb type system underneath the ground....and now think of how you would get that oil removed from that ground.  You wouldn't.  It would just keep going, easily slipping down farther as water is drawn out for use.  It would be a nightmare.

          But, really, anyone who doesn't live there shouldn't even have a say in the matter.  People are always willing to risk more of what someone else has than if they were risking their own.  

        •  Your comments/essays are...um...intriguing... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, alwaysquestion
          Obama is facing a tough reelection campaign, and he wants to point to job creation
          President Obama's reelection campaigns are history, as of November, 2012.

          We have lots of leaky gas and oil lines, so what's the harm in one more?

          Aquifers have already been compromised in too many places.  

          No number of jobs, no amount of money...both of which are ephemeral... is worth permanently ruining the essential substance of all life on this planet.  

          "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

          by 417els on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 04:29:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Instead of tossing out old propaganda... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alwaysquestion

          ...articles, how about reading about what a major spill of dilbit (diluted bitumen) did to the Kalamazoo River and nearby residences and businesses in Michigan. The cleanup from that spill remains incomplete. The governor of Nebraska has said he is okay with Keystone XL now because the company is taking out $200 million in insurance liability against any spills that occur. Cost of the Kalamazoo spill so far? $800 million.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:27:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Facts are facts. (0+ / 0-)

            There are spills from time to time just like there are accidents with cars from time to time. I do not like them any more than anyone else.   We do not talk about outlawing cars.  Spills happen,  train accidents happen, etc.   Maybe we should go back to horse and buggy where all we had to worry about was the horse manure.   The reality is that fossil fuels are with us for the forseeable future as much as we do not like it that is the plain facts.  

            You are looking for a lala land without fossil fuels that does not exist yet.  It will not exist for hundreds of years until it becomes economically feasible.  That is a concept that many do not understand particularly on this site.  There currently does not exist alternatives to fossil fuels that any society can afford.  Except of course to go back to the 1700's.  

            •  You say "Fact are facts." And then you say... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Calamity Jean, alwaysquestion

              ... "It will not exist for hundreds of years until it becomes economically feasible."

              Do some research about what is happening 1) in climate studies, 2) in commercialization of renewable sources of energy.

              I've been involved in various ways with renewable energy development since I worked at the Solar Energy Research Institute more than 30 years ago. You are ill-informed.

               

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 08:30:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here is MI where the pipeline broke, (0+ / 0-)

              we are still cleaning up the mess.  The river, the land, and homes around it....all a big mess.  Years of clean up and some still to come.

              You said:

              There are spills from time to time just like there are accidents with cars from time to time.
              Now, as you say, we also have car accidents here is MI.  But those accidents do not threaten rivers and land and surrounds neighborhoods for years.  They clean up in one day, and insurance covers the cost of that.

              You go on to say:

              You are looking for a lala land without fossil fuels that does not exist yet.
              So, you equate a car accident to an entire ecosystem and neighborhood being trashed with an oil spill, costing over half a billion dollars and counting, to a car accident?

              And then you claim we here are in lala land?  You've lost credibility.  And in such a short time after signing on only a few days ago.

  •  I'd be a lot more impressed if she & Feinstein had (0+ / 0-)

    supported filibuster reform. Until that happens, this is just posturing for her base.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:44:57 PM PST

  •  Murkowski generally sane! THe rest? (0+ / 0-)

    She's buckled on big money energy a couple times, but she has generally tried to follow her conscience.

    This horrible example of obstructionism has to be translated into "words of one syllable" and broadcast on AM radio all over the country this weekend.

  •  Colorado River at risk (0+ / 0-)

    Eastern Utah Will Be the New Alberta:  3 TAR SANDS Projects! 32,000+ ACRES

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I don't understand why this isn't getting more news coverage.  This is harmful and outrageous!

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 08:07:29 AM PST

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