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A Generational Challenge to Repower America

“We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change.”
Ladies and gentlemen:
There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more – if more should be required – the future of human civilization is at stake….
…Many Americans have begun to wonder whether or not we’ve simply lost our appetite for bold policy solutions. And folks who claim to know how our system works these days have told us we might as well forget about our political system doing anything bold, especially if it is contrary to the wishes of special interests. And I’ve got to admit, that sure seems to be the way things have been going. But I’ve begun to hear different voices in this country from people who are not only tired of baby steps and special interest politics, but are hungry for a new, different and bold approach.

Al Gore
Link to text of speech and to view video:

  1. nohesitation
    July 20th, 2008 at 15:48 | #1

    Note to Star Ledger editors:
    A quick Google News search showed 990 hits on the Al Gore 7/18 major speech – but I didn’t see coverage in the Star Ledger (please correct me if I’m wrong).
    Last week, I think you missed 4 large global warming stories: 1) Bush’s embarrassing G8 failure and his “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter” remark, 2) US EPA’s punt on regulating CO2 as directed by the US Supreme Court’s 2007 decision 3) NJ DEP’s Regional Green House Gas Initiative (RGGI) proposed rule; and 4) DEP’s failure to meet the first deadline in the highly touted Global Warminng response Act (but you did put Gore and Corzine on the cover for a Meadowlands photo op in signing the bill last July).
    I don’t think you’ve reported the important fact that NJ legally regulated green house gases as “pollutants” under state air laws – 3 YEARS before that same issue take up by the US Supreme Court in the landmark “Massachusetts v. EPA” case. Yet, while NJ has sued and criticized the Bush Administration on precisely this issue, they’ve done nothing with that regulatory power.
    Can you guys spare an environmental reporter???????
    Have I simply missed all your coverage, or have you given up coverage of the global warming issue?
    That’s just what PSEG and Corzine want!

  2. nohesitation
    July 20th, 2008 at 15:55 | #2

    If you need story material (other than an official government press release), check these out:
    NEW JERSEY TO SET CARBON CAPS ABOVE CURRENT EMISSION LEVELS — Loopholes, Offsets and Economic Limits Sap Strength from Global Warming Plan
    NEW JERSEY MISSES FIRST GLOBAL WARMING TARGET — Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan Due This Week Delayed Until Fall or Later

  3. nohesitation
    July 20th, 2008 at 16:06 | #3

    If anyone’s paying attention, connect these dots for a huge political story – destroys myth of Christie Whitman as the global warming advocate in the Bush administration by showing how Whitman’s crony played a leading legal role:
    1. Here is link to Supreme Court’s landmark 2007 global warming case:
    2. Here is excerpt of Court decision – note the court’s citation of the opinion of EPA General Counsel (a man named Bob Fabricant) and how that opinion reversed the Clinton Administration EPA General Counsel’s Opinion:
    “On September 8, 2003, EPA entered an order denying the rulemaking petition. 68 Fed. Reg. 52922. The agency gavetwo reasons for its decision: (1) that contrary to the opinions of its former general counsels, the Clean Air Act doesnot authorize EPA to issue mandatory regulations to address global climate change, see id., at 52925-52929; and (2) that even if the agency had the authority to setgreenhouse gas emission standards, it would be unwise todo so at this time, id., at 52929-52931.
    In concluding that it lacked statutory authority over greenhouse gases, EPA observed that Congress “was well aware of the global climate change issue when it last comprehensively amended the [Clean Air Act] in 1990,” yet it declined to adopt a proposed amendment establishing binding emissions limitations. Id., at 52926. Congressinstead chose to authorize further investigation into climate change.
    EPA reasoned that climate change had its own “politicalhistory”: Congress designed the original Clean Air Act to address local air pollutants rather than a substance that “is fairly consistent in its concentration throughout the world’s atmosphere,” 68 Fed. Reg. 52927 (emphasisadded); declined in 1990 to enact proposed amendments to force EPA to set carbon dioxide emission standards for motor vehicles, ibid. (citing H. R. 5966, 101st Cong., 2dSess. (1990)); and addressed global climate change inother legislation, 68 Fed. Reg. 52927. Because of this political history, and because imposing emission limitations on greenhouse gases would have even greater economic and political repercussions than regulating tobacco, EPA was persuaded that it lacked the power to do so. Id., at 52928. In essence, EPA concluded that climate changewas so important that unless Congress spoke with exacting specificity, it could not have meant the agency toaddress it.
    Having reached that conclusion, EPA believed it followed that greenhouse gases cannot be “air pollutants” within the meaning of the Act. See ibid. (“It follows fromthis conclusion, that [greenhouse gases], as such, are not air pollutants under the [Clean Air Act’s] regulatory provisions . . .”). The agency bolstered this conclusion byexplaining that if carbon dioxide were an air pollutant, theonly feasible method of reducing tailpipe emissions would be to improve fuel economy. But because Congress hasalready created detailed mandatory fuel economy standards subject to Department of Transportation (DOT)administration, the agency concluded that EPA regulationwould either conflict with those standards or be superfluous. Id., at 52929.
    3. Here is September 8, 2003 Federal register link to Mr. Fabricant’s opinion cited by Supreme Court:
    4. Here is excerpt of Opinion from Fed. Register:
    Because the petition seeks CAA regulation of GHG emissions from motor vehicles to reduce the risk of global
    climate change, EPA has examined the fundamental issue of whether the CAA authorizes the imposition of control
    requirements for that purpose. As part of that examination, EPA’s General Counsel, Robert E. Fabricant, reviewed
    his predecessors’ memorandum and statements, as well as the public comments raising legal authority issues.
    The General Counsel considered the text and history of the CAA in the context of other congressional actions
    specifically addressing global climate change and in light of the Supreme Court’s admonition in Brown &
    Williamson to ”be guided to a degree by common sense as to the manner in which Congress is likely to delegate a
    policy decision of such * * * magnitude to an administrative agency.” In a memorandum to the Acting
    Administrator dated August 29, 2003, the General Counsel concluded that the CAA does not authorize EPA to regulate
    for global climate change purposes, and accordingly that CO2 and other GHGs cannot be considered ”air pollutants”
    subject to the CAA’s regulatory provisions for any contribution they may make to global climate change.
    5. Mr Fabricant was brought to EPA by Ms. Whitman from his position in Whitman’s Office as NJ Governor.

  4. blarneyboy
    July 20th, 2008 at 16:22 | #4

    Al Gore’s a bully and a dumbski of the first order. That ‘s why a pathetic creature like Shrub beat him.
    He uses @ 12 times the energy of his neighbors, needs a second limousine to move his luggage in Stockholm, and stole 1/2 of the Nobel Prize for Science from a real scientist. Heh, it’s show biz. And he’s making a fortune…..

  5. eyesofsussex
    July 20th, 2008 at 16:47 | #5

    Of course we’ve lost our appetite for bold policy decisions. Any major policy decision will afftect our “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”.
    God knows we can’t have that happen. Although, now that the focus of the American Dream of free speech, religion, voting, privacy, etc., has been replaced by SUVs, soccer at 4 pm, and McMansions, all wrapped in the Flag, we don’t care who finances it.
    God help us, but Lenin was right……..
    “When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they’ll sell us the rope”

  6. blarneyboy
    July 20th, 2008 at 18:48 | #6

    Well said, i of Sussex. The power elite have decided to increase their wealth and diminish ours through a methodical tranfer to the Second (Red China) and Third Worlds. They’ve all invested in Communist China.
    The Federal Reserve and World Trade Organization have an agenda.
    We produce according to our ability, and receive according to our needs. The S-Q-U-E-E-Z-E is on. The dollar is down 40%; McCain says the jobs are gone forever( the lying SOB is right on that one), and he will seal the borders( this is why I call him a lying SOB).
    Where’s George Washington to lead us in a second American Revolution?

  7. cruzer99
    July 20th, 2008 at 20:23 | #7

    Where’s George Washington to lead us in a second American Revolution? – blarneyboy
    Old GW crossed the Delaware River into NJ, had his and his militia’s arms confiscated by the NJSP for no permits, thus illegal weapons, was entered into the NJ IRS database and found to owe back taxes from an out of state corporation, and then was thrown in jail for not paying to play!

  8. eyesofsussex
    July 21st, 2008 at 12:51 | #8

    blarneyboy….you’d better believe it.
    Even our patriotism is bought from China. All those flags waving out our car windows after 9/11….guess where?

  9. unprovincial
    July 21st, 2008 at 23:36 | #9

    I believe the uniforms worn by the US Olympic team are usually made elsewhere also. We’ll see about this year. The US textile industry is about as dead as the US steel industry.

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