13 November 2009

Jobs and "Climate Light"

The comments in this Politico story on the climate bill may hint at whats to come, jobs, jobs, jobs and an inevitable focus on "climate light":

An aggressive White House push on jobs and deficit reduction in 2010 may be yet another sign that climate-change legislation will stay on the back burner next year.

“There is a growing chorus in the party that thinks we should be doing more to spur job creation and not necessarily tackle cap and trade right now,” said a moderate Democratic Senate aide.

White House officials told POLITICO on Friday that President Barack Obama plans curb new domestic spending beyond jobs programs and focus on cutting the federal deficit next year.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid has hinted that Democrats plan to take up a job-creation bill, in the wake of the announcement of a 10.2 percent unemployment rate. In the House, some lawmakers are beginning to push a major highway bill for next year to focus on job creation.

None of this is promising for a major climate change bill. . .

Other moderate Democrats have pushed Reid to take up a “climate light” bill that focuses only on energy provisions included in the legislation — leaving the cap-and-trade provisions to be dealt with after the economy recovers.

The Energy and Natural Resources committee passed an energy bill with bipartisan backing in June. Dorgan and other say the vote signaled that a package including renewable fuels mandates, energy-efficiency measures, and increased domestic exploration could attract significant Republican support.

“Good policy is going to be left behind by the insistence that the climate change bill has to be done first or together,” warned Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.).

Obama and Democratic supporters of the bill have repeatedly said that legislation would create millions of new green jobs by providing incentives for businesses to invest in green technologies.

They also note that the Senate bill sponsored by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is deficit neutral, largely due to a Senate rule that prohibits major bills from adding $5 billion to the federal deficit in any of the five decades following its enactment.

“There’s just no credible way to turn these deficit-neutral bills into definitively-negative decisions for our country, especially since energy remains a top priority for the Obama administration and for the American people,” said a House Democratic aide close to the bill.

Aides say that legislation currently being drafted by Kerry and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) will also be deficit neutral and focus on economic growth.

“If environmental policy is not good business policy, you'll never get 60 votes,” said Graham. “So my goal is to try to make sure that we fashion environmental policy that will create millions of new jobs for Americans who are desiring to have new jobs.”


  1. As I posted on Real Climate (and the only post of mine that made it by Gavin's moderation), your paper was sloppy in attibutions, calculations, and conclusions. By conclusions I mean you were not clear and the evidence is the authors' post publication claims. That being said, I am distressed about the childish and unprofessional conduct that is happening at RC. Are we making such huge policy decisions relying on these scientists? Yikes!


  2. when some politician says s/he is "going to create Green Jobs", you should hang on to your wallet.

    The simple English translation of that phrase is I have decided to take some money from people who have earned it and subsidize the actions of other people who haven't.

    And don't forget, when the subsidy vanishes - and it will because there will always be newer and more important issues that need "job creation", then the original green jobs will vanish faster than a shallow puddle on a hot day in a Walmart parking lot.

  3. The latest polling (11/9/09) shows only 37% of Americans believe Global Warming is primarily caused by human activity.

    Maybe there is intelligent life in the universe after all!

  4. SBVOR:

    “The latest polling (11/9/09) shows only 37% of Americans believe Global Warming is primarily caused by human activity.

    Maybe there is intelligent life in the universe after all!”

    You are almost correct. Your statement is too broad. Try this:

    Intelligence exists. However, the Intelligence Black Hole known as Washington D.C., (where a Teaspoon of Stupidity weighs on average $1 Trillion), threatens all other know intelligence.

  5. Jobs doing things that are either unnecessary or futile do not add to human welfare. They subtract. Politicians sometimes lose sight of that fact.

  6. Aggregate job creation or loss is one thing...but, unless I've just been entirely off-base in my understanding of climate legislation progressing through the US legislative system, has there EVER been a concern about a cap-and-trade bill ADDING to the budget deficit??

  7. -6-IAC sez:

    “has there EVER been a concern about a cap-and-trade bill ADDING to the budget deficit?”

    On the surface, it depends whose budget deficit you’re talking about. Obama’s own administration estimates Cap & Trade could cost each American household $2,641 per year.

    And, they tried to hide that from the American people. It was ONLY discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request.

    But, dig a little deeper and you’ll find this folly will -- counter intuitively -- increase the Federal deficit as well. That sort of massive tax increase will only further harm the economy. And, despite the new revenue stream, the economic damage will -- net/net -- FURTHER increase the Federal deficit.

    Even John Maynard Keynes -- the misguided economist worshiped by this White House -- knew that you NEVER raise taxes during a recession.

  8. #6

    Of course cap-and-trade will add to the deficit in the long run. Any time Congress creates that level of turmoil in the economy, it is a drag on the economy and produces less tax revenue than it would otherwise. Add that the changes deliberately make the US less competitive and the damage is even worse.

    My question -- no one in the real world believes the economic projections employed by Congress. Do they? Does anyone in DC actually believe the propaganda?

  9. Every polticiian in the world should be made to recite the following 20 times at breakfast each morning:

    "Governments do not create jobs. Governments do not creat jobs"