Fifty Cents Per Month?

Trenton Politicians are Not Serious about Global Warming

[Update: 7/20/08 – “Of course the greatest obstacle to meeting the challenge of 100 percent renewable electricity in 10 years may be the deep dysfunction of our politics and our self-governing system as it exists today. In recent years, our politics has tended toward incremental proposals made up of small policies designed to avoid offending special interests, alternating with occasional baby steps in the right direction. Our democracy has become sclerotic at a time when these crises require boldness.”
Al Gore
http://www.wecansolveit.org/content/pages/304/
I wrote on Wednesday about DEP’s proposed new rules to create a pollution trading scheme under “RGGI” (the northeast state’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative):
Global Warming rhetoric meets reality
http://blog.nj.com/njv_bill_wolfe/2008/07/global_warming_rhetoric_meets.html
Based on the comments, it is obvious that we have a “failure to communicate” (Cool Hand Luke).
So let me take another stab at one key point – ideally, this could be the question of the day for the site. I throw down that challenge to site editors. I dare you to ask this question of Star Ledger readers (or better yet, conduct a formal poll of NJ residents on it)
Are you willing to pay more than 50 cents per month to prevent global warming?
[Note - good suggestion that the word "prevent" should instead be "reduce" or "mitigate". Global warming is already happening now and can not be prevented.]
Governor Corzine and the NJ Legislature say the answer is NO.
They enacted a law that lets polluters off the hook for paying pollution fees that might cost any more than 50 cents per month in the average homeowners electric bill.
That alone is an outrage.
The fact that the proposal allows a 9% INCREASE in CO2 emissions, when for YEARS it has been sold to the public as an emission REDUCTIONS plan, just adds insult to injury. (as we all know due to the extensive PR, that the Global Warming Response Act mandates a 20% reduction by 20202, and 80% by 2050)
Have I made myself clear?
(technical note: the DEP rule stated that the RGGI proposal allows for a 4% increase in average missions from 2002 – 2004 across the 10 state RGGI region. This downplays the fact that it allows for a LARGER 9% increase in NJ emissions. How this data was reported reveals DEP’s attempt to mislead.
Additional bonus point observation for those that really get down in the weeds: DEP adds further misleading analysis by comparing RGGI pollution allowances with PROJECTED emissions under what is an assumed “Business as Usual” scenario (BAU). Again, this grossly misleads, because the BAU scenario assumes an incredible growth of electric demand (27%) by the year 2020. So, instead of the real emissions REDUCTIONS mandated by law, RGGI merely SLOWS THE RATE OF INCREASE in the growth of emissions. Comparing RGGI pollution allowances with a Projected BAU scenario is the same methodology that the Bush Administration’s Department of Energy has been severely criticized for by national environmental groups. Yet that same method applied in NJ by DEP has been praised by environmental groups. Go figure.).

  1. overtaxed15
    July 11th, 2008 at 10:33 | #1

    Are you willing to pay more than 50 cents per month to prevent global warming?

    OK, I’ll bite. How much “more”? How many months? I’m guessing that the cost will gradually increase over time, and that we’ll have to keep paying for decades. Electric rates are already rising so what you’re proposing is an acceleration of their growth.
    Will my payment “prevent global warming”?
    I understand where you’re trying to go with this “question of the day” but you need to reword it. Each payment will “help to reduce global warming”, but I’m fairly certain that nothing we can do will “prevent” it if the theories behind it are indeed correct. That is, regardless of what we do, the best scenario will be a mitigation of the effects.

    Comparing RGGI pollution allowances with a Projected BAU scenario is the same methodology that the Bush Administration’s Department of Energy has been severely criticized for by national environmental groups. Yet that same method applied in NJ by DEP has been praised by environmental groups. Go figure.).

    Come on BIll, this is politics not science!
    Bush == Republican == Evil
    NJ == Corzine == Democrat == Good
    Yes, it’s as simple as that when it comes to most environmental groups.

  2. nohesitation
    July 11th, 2008 at 11:35 | #2

    overtaxed15 – you make some good points.
    First, although it is accurate as written, I probably should change the word “prevent” to reduce or mitigate. We already are experiencing global warming – it is already here. The best we can do is reduce the really bad effects.
    The price increase in electric rates would be permanent, but you need to distinguish the RATE from the monthly electric bill. Hopefully, energy conservation will REDUCE consumption, so even with a higher rate, the bills could be similar.
    No comment on the political stuff.

  1. September 9th, 2009 at 10:00 | #1
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