News Talk About Hot Air…
posted by February 7 at 13:25 PMon
The Democrats just held a big press conference in the Capitol Building to announce … well…
It comes down to this: Governor Gregoire is creating a task force on global warming that will report back in a year (so much for urgency about the UN report on climate change).
Gregoire and Sen. Erik Poulsen (D-34, West Seattle) are in sync on Poulsen’s new bill to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, but there appears to be no mandate to do so nor any concrete mechanism to make it happen.
The governor of Oregon meanwhile announced an emissions cap and trade system two weeks ago.
Indeed, Austin Jenkins from KUOW asked the $20,000 question as the press conference was coming to a close: Is there a cap and trade system (i.e., a mechanism), and are these goals or mandates?
The answer was, they don’t know, and they’re “strong goals.”
Another great question that got asked was this: With all this talk of reducing carbon emissions, why is the state getting ready to build a giant freeway along the Seattle waterfront?
There was laughter, Paulson said he didn’t want to get into viaduct politics, and Sen. Majority leader Lisa Brown pretended to answer the question. Then, King County Executive Ron Sims took the microphone, and he said it straight: “You cannot talk about fighting global warming while also talking about building a tunnel or a rebuild. We will not achieve the goals.”
Sims then said Seattle should “vote down both” the tunnel and the rebuild and re-think transportation. “I support what’s called the surface/transit option,” Sims said.
It wasn’t my intent to get into the viaduct here, but the question derailed the press conference and Sims called bullshit on the governor.
Meanwhile, while Poulsen and the governor’s office were busy patting each other on the back about their lofty but intangible plan for reducing emissions, there’s a cap and trade bill in the house that was not mentioned.
I got to ask the final question of the press conference: If the task force is coming up with the specifics (the task force recommendations are due in a year), and the specifics are what make Poulsen’s bill meaningful, is the legislature really doing anything about global warming? The answer: The task force is coming back with recommendations in a year.
I repeat: There is a specific cap and trade bill in the house, and it was not mentioned.