Remember how, several years ago, when John Dingell chaired the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, us local folks organized and fought to have him take global climate change seriously? Well, it looks as though we’ve got another legislator that needs some convincing. According to Salon, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow is planning to join with Republicans to stop California from enacting more stringent auto emissions standards. Here’s how the article begins.
Brad Johnson has a useful update on the various EPA-crippling Senate amendments under consideration this week. Environmentalists have a right to be nervous — more than a handful of Senate Democrats are already on record supporting efforts to stop the EPA from enforcing limits on greenhouse gas emissions, which strongly suggests that it won’t be too hard for Republicans to get 60 votes in favor of gutting the EPA. (The Senate was supposed to vote on the amendments on Thursday, but a squabble with Sen. Coburn, R-Okla. has gummed up the works.)
One of the Democrats in question is Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow, who proposed an amendment on Thursday with four parts.
• A two-year suspension of stationary source greenhouse gas regulations
• Preventing any future California waiver for tailpipe greenhouse emissions
• Excluding regulation of biofuel greenhouse emissions related to land-use changes, or of any greenhouse emissions from other agricultural activities
• Allocating $5 billion to the Advanced Energy Project tax credit
Oddly, Johnson’s post, hosted at Grist, received the title “Sen. Debbie Stabenow jumps on the climate-denial train” but when cross-posted at Climate Progess got changed to”Sen. Stabenow joins the climate action delayers.” I think the latter description is likely more accurate — Stabenow is on record as declaring that climate change is real, and I haven’t seen her renege on that.
What she is doing, plain and simple, is representing the economic interests of her state, Michigan. The attempt to deny California the right to any future waivers for tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions tells us all we need to know on that front…
Clearly she’s doing what she thinks is best for the Big 3. I’d argue, however, that by allowing them to further avoid regulation, she’s not doing anyone any favors. Here, as I think it’s appropriate, is something that I wrote four years ago about Dingell’s global warming denial in service of the Big 3.
…And (Dingell’s) spin is working, at least in the very Dingell-friendly local press. Here’s a clip from the Ann Arbor News:
“…Dingell, who has been involved in recent legislation to increase fuel-economy standards, has been targeted recently by local environmental activists for his strong support of the automotive industry…”
I love how these “environmental activists” are angry with Dingell because of his “strong support of the automotive industry.” I’m sure that’s exactly what it is. They’re pissed because he wants to see the big three succeed. Clearly that’s what it is. It doesn’t have anything at all to do with the fact that the earth is literally cooking and that Dingell is dragging his feet on reform that could save life as we know it… For the record, I talked with a number of people at the event today, and none of them — not one — said they hated the American automotive industry. In fact, what I heard several times, was that people wanted American companies to embrace the reality of the situation, lead the world, and be successful in the process. No one here, regardless of what the Ann Arbor News might imply, wants to see Michiganders lose their jobs. The truth is, the auto indsutry is going down the tubes in America, thanks in part to the leadership of Dingell and others, and we want to see it saved…
If you have a moment, I’d encourage you to call or write Senator Stabenow and let her know how you feel about her joining with Republicans to gut the EPA and derail meaningful climate change legislation in California. Her contact information can be found here.