Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saradise Lost - Book 3 - Chapter 22 - Sen. John Kerry Takes on Palin's Cap & Trade Myths

The picture at left is of U.S. Sen. John Kerry, propelling his windsurfing board by the wind created by soon-to-be-ex Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's hot air in yesterday's Washington Post column somebody wrote for her.

Yesterday, Kerry responded to Palin's fallacies at Huffington Post:

Writing in this morning's Washington Post, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote, "many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges."

Unfortunately, her promise to roll up her sleeves and tackle serious issues is followed by a column that focuses on everything but the single grave challenge that forms the basis of all of our actions: the crisis of global climate change.

Yes, she manages to write about the climate change action in Congress without ever mentioning the reason we are doing this in the first place. It's like complaining about the cost of repairing a roof without factoring in the leaks destroying your home.

Today Sen. Kerry has taken to the much more boisterous climate at DailyKos:

But that’s just the beginning: Palin’s column ignored the entire problem and didn’t even get right the things it did cover.

For example, she said, "Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs."

This is wrong. The pieces of energy reform legislation are job-creation machines. A joint report by PERI Center for American Progress Report calculated that $150 billion in clean-energy investments would create upwards of 1.7 million jobs. These include construction and manufacturing employment for wind- industry turbine manufacture, building retro-fitting, high speed rail development and infrastructure build out and improvement. These are all domestic and community based local jobs. And a joint CAP/UMass study estimated that the legislation would bring down the national unemployment rate from 9.4% to 8.4%.

The money she mentions (which works out to be about $525 million a year) is for retraining people to take advantage of these new jobs. This is a bill to retool our energy economy for the 21st century, and we need to make sure that as many people as possible are available to fill these new jobs.

She also says, ""For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices."

This is wrong. Farmers are in position to benefit both from providing a broad variety of sustainable fuels to power generators and from land-use fee income associated with wind farms and other sources. The DOE estimates that if 5% of US energy is derived by 2020 from wind power, rural America could see $60 billion in capital investment. Rural landowners could also derive $1.2 billion in new income and see 80,000 jobs over the next two decades.

Using farm-based biomass for fuel gives a major new market to our country’s farmers, giving them significant sources of new income, not costs as Sarah Palin asserts.

I could go on and on, but I’ll just do one more. Governor Palin said, "As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will ‘necessarily skyrocket.’"

Again, this is wrong. Every major study has concluded that will not place any undue burden on consumers in their electricity bills, with the costs ranging from a net decrease in costs for the Americans struggling hardest to pay the bills (those in the lowest quintile of income) to a gain of about $20 a month for the richest Americans.

Kerry goes on to challenge Palin, and by implications, any GOP figure who considers herself or himself a national contender, to honestly and openly debate these important issues:

We need a real debate – and a vigorous one.

That means that no one can play loose with the facts and ignore the real climate crisis. I’m working on this literally every day, talking to my colleagues, working daily with Sen. Boxer, publishing the facts, and we all need to do the same. I’ll be back throughout the fall with specific things you can do to help, but for now -- keep your eyes and ears open. When you see something in your local paper that’s wrong, let them know you notice. When your friends or family members say something that’s wrong, let them know the truth.

This fight is too important to stand on the sidelines.

Good for Sen. Kerry.


KaJo said...

So refreshing to read something substantive from a politician, rather than those weaselly demurrals from Senator McCain, when asked about the Quitter's quitting.

..."changed her priorities"??? He can say that about another elected official not even 2/3 through her term, with a straight face?

And I won't even get into the excuses, prevarications, and sidestepping of the patently immoral peers of Senator McCain in the news lately.

Yeah, Senator Kerry is refreshing.

Anonymous said...

Although it's from the 11th, I don't see a reference in this blog of Peggy Noonan's Op Ed in the WSJ. Unless I missed it(?)

It was pretty scathing.

Blue_in_AK said...

Rachel Maddow pointed out tonight that Sarah has done a 180 on cap & trade since her turn as John McCain's VP pick. She played a clip from the VP debate and another from a Katie Couric interview where she stated she supported cap & trade. Does she think that people can't remember back to last fall?

Liz said...

The McCain/Palin campaign statement on climate change

They have proposed a cap-and-trade system that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging the development of low-cost compliance options

Philip Munger said...


Maybe she did a flip-flop on C&T to try to prove she isn't a dead fish, eh?

Georgia Eliot said...

Cap and trade is a great idea if it's a republican idea! It's only the democrats' cap and trade that's a bad idea!..
Loved Ezra Klein's analysis of the WaPo piece on Rachel.

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