Climate Week En Review December 1, 2017

13 days ago

Happy December!

This week's must read: The Arch Conservative interviews Bob on the intricacies of right versus left climate policy and a conservative approach to climate climate. Key snippet: "We have an opportunity here to un-tax income and put the tax on something else. Even if you think climate change is nonsense, you still want to do this tax swap. By un-taxing income, you're giving an incentive to work and invest. So even if climate change turns out to be something that we didn't need to worry about, well, what's it harmed you? You've got a better economy, you've removed a disincentive to work and invest."

This week's other must read: A Conservative Escape Plan on Climate Change (Daily Caller) by republicEn member Peter Bryn. Key snippet: " I certainly can't throw my trash out on the street. Instead, I have to pay for someone to come pick it up. Similarly, why should I be allowed to put my emissions in the atmosphere for free and make others foot the bill as they have to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate? That's the textbook definition of socializing costs. We didn't like it when the banks did that in 2008. We shouldn't like it now."

Gaetz tweets climate position: The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus's latest GOP member, Florida's Rep. Matt Gaetz, who earlier this year called for the elimination of the EPA, took to twitter to defend his stance on climate change.

Hey @AriannaSkibell - can I get a couple corrections in your story? (1) I hate Led Zeppelin (2) this: pic.twitter.com/bacl15gdIB
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 28, 2017

The freshman lawmaker went on to answer more specific questions on where he stands, indicating "the judgement of history" motivated him to join the caucus. "My time in congress is not best spent standing around arguing with a thermometer." While he doesn't think a carbon tax will "solve climate change" he'd like to focus on "solutions that improve energy efficiency through innovation."

Former GOP gov calls for Pruitt dismissal: Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, who co-chaired the 9/11 Commission, wrote an op-ed published in the New York Times calling on President Donald Trump to fire EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "The current administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, built his political career by attacking clean-air and clean-water rules. Now in charge of the agency, he is tearing down those protections, dismantling the EPA, appointing or nominating industry insiders to oversee their former businesses and blocking scientific input. For the sake of our children's health, it's time for Scott Pruitt to go."

Trump supports Kigali amendment: The Trump administration gave its approval to a critical amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty created 30 years ago to address the hole in the Earth's ozone layer by phasing out harmful CFCs. The Kigali amendment phases down emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a powerful greenhouse gas used in many appliances from air conditioners to refrigerators. "The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs, and therefore we support the goals and approach of the Amendment," said Judith Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. This support is seen as a victory since HFC emissions contribute to climate change.

Tillerson out? It seems increasingly likely that the carbon tax is losing its biggest Administration ally with reports that Trump intends to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton are the leading contenders to replace him, neither with stellar climate positions.

That's it for us this week! Happy eco-righting!