Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere II

Bingaman’s bill is in the hopper:

New Mexico Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman will introduce sweeping legislation today aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill, being introduced with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., would impose costs on industries that emit greenhouse gases, including coal, petroleum and natural gas.

By reaching across the entire U.S. economy, the bill should “reduce greenhouse gas emissions very substantially in coming decades,” Bingaman said in an interview.


  1. But nowhere near by enough, of course. Any bill like this is primarily intended to be used as an argument against stronger action in future years. Imagine that.

  2. Steve –

    It is reasonable to argue that it might be used as an argument against stronger action in the future. It is not reasonable to argue, without evidence, that this is its primary intent.

  3. Well, that has to to do with one’s view of the sincerity and motivations of Bingaman and Specter. Of course they wouldn’t put it in the terms I used, but rather would speak of providing certainty for industry and avoiding economic disruption. I do hope to be proved wrong. BTW, I’m sufficiently cynical about all this to not have very high hopes for Boxer either.

  4. I’m not talking about one’s views of their sincerity, Steve, I’m talking about evidence one has to support those views. You argued, without evidence, that the bill’s primary intent was to “be used as an argument against stronger action in future years.” In so doing, you questioned their integrity. Without evidence.

    There’s a good discussion to be had here about the potential, or lack thereof, for economic disruption. There’s a good discussion to be had about whether this bill could be worse than nothing because of the possibility that it could provide an excuse to avoid stronger action in the future.

    Those are important discussions. But rather than engaging in their substance, you accuse the person you disagree with of dishonesty. Without evidence. That’s cheap rhetoric.

  5. John, IMHO integrity is in short supply in the U.S. Senate. You can disagree, of course.

    But OK, here’s Bingaman’s own description of the bill. I’d say I nailed it.

  6. Steve –

    How did you nail it? You can’t just link to the summary. You have to point out what in that summary supports your assertion about the bill’s intent. Again, you’ve still provided no evidence that the bill’s primary purpose is to “prevent stronger action in the future.” The piece to which you linked explicitly states the opposite (the five-year review provision). To make the case you’re trying to make, you have to explicitly assert that Bingaman is lying. You also have to assert that others with distinguished reputations on this issue, people like John Holdren, are lying. These people have a substantive argument to make, and rather than engaging it, you dismiss them as being dishonest.

    This should not suggest I think Bingaman and Holdren are right, merely that it’s clear to me from closely following this that they are among those who take the problem seriously and are pursuing what they see as the most appropriate approach to dealing with it. The fact that you can’t recognize that an honest and sincere person might genuinely disagree with you is troubling.

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