GOP: Yeah, about that “relatively minor” and completely underhanded carbon-rule change…

posted at 8:41 pm on June 19, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

…Nice try, but it definitely isn’t minor, and the GOP is calling the Obama administration out on their shameless regulatory sneak attack.

Last week, in what I would readily classify as an exceptionally and impressively dodgy maneuver for even for The Most Transparent Administration, Evah, the Obama administration tried to insert a change into their social cost of carbon (SCC) estimation system into an obscure rule about microwave ovens, no doubt hoping that nobody would really notice or care. The only problem is, a lot of people do care — because the federal government uses their SCC calculation to weigh the costs and benefits of their proposed environmental regulations. Their regulations have major effects that ripple throughout the entire economy, and they just suddenly tried to hike it up the SCC by $14 in one fell swoop to $38/metric ton starting in 2015. The higher the social cost of carbon, the greater the perceived ostensible benefits they get to tout and the easier it is for them to justify their many zealous ideas — and heck, the poor EPA gets so much flak as it is, why not just help them out and give them a freebie on this one, right?

Wrong. Via The Hill:

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans told administration officials they’re “troubled” by a recent change to the way agencies calculate benefits from carbon regulations.

“This is a significant change to an already highly controversial estimate, and as such requires transparency, open debate, and an adherence to well-understood and previously agreed-upon rules,” the GOP senators, led by committee ranking member David Vitter (R-La.), wrote to agency chiefs at the Energy Department, White House Office of Management and Budget and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a letter publicized Wednesday. …

“As you are aware, the SCC [social cost of carbon] estimate is crucial to the Administration’s climate change agenda because the higher the number, the more benefits can be attributed to costly environmental regulations and standards,” they wrote. …

“In addition to real and ongoing concerns about the lack of openness and transparency throughout this Administration, we are troubled by any characterization of the reworked interagency estimate as relatively minor,” they said.

The GOP would like a response about the transparency-loving White House’s decision-making process on this distinctly-not-minor rule by July 2nd — is it too audacious to hope that we’ll actually get an honest one, you think?


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and this is where barry can count on his press allies to warm up to him and carry him on their shoulders again…great Leader that he is.

leftists love this stuff…they’ve got their hit list on congressional deniers, they’ve got the press doing 400ppm cheerleading…pom poms at ready. There is nothing like a little CAGW to get the blood pulsing again on the Left…they can taste all that money flowing in now. And those poor peasants..so say really.

r keller on June 19, 2013 at 8:49 PM

So when is the GOP going to defund the EPA?

jawkneemusic on June 19, 2013 at 8:51 PM

The social cost of carbon is zero. Only the retarded put a number on it. Why are you being retarded? Go burn down your EPA offices will you?

BL@KBIRD on June 19, 2013 at 8:52 PM

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans told administration officials they’re “troubled” by a recent change to the way agencies calculate benefits from carbon regulations

…when is the “strongly worded” response coming?

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 8:53 PM

And there’s no proven / demonstrated causal correlation between CO2 and temperatures. A fact.
Sure, CO2 can in theory be both a cause and an effect of temperature change (though that easily could lead to a runaway greenhouse effect, and that has never happened in the historical past, despite CO2 being as high as 7100 parts per million in that past [it's now 400ppm]), but the IPCC continued to maintain that there was a proven causal correlation between CO2 & temperature until 2004, when they were forced to withdraw their position. Al Gore than repeated the disingenuous IPCC bs about CO2 in his movie, and Gore is effectively called out for that bs in this must share 3 1/2 minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&info=GGWarmingSwindle_CO2Lag

anotherJoe on June 19, 2013 at 8:56 PM

too audacious to hope

Nice one, EJ.

Jackalope on June 19, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh for petes sake this has got to stop!!

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

Do you want freedom and liberty or do you want to be enslaved by the govt?

Cuz everything they put into a law, HAS TO COME OUT OF YOUR POCKET!!

As well as mine and I am sick of paying for this overblown govt behemoth!!

But hey, what do I know right? I am just some scumbag rightie on a blog mouthing off…

I know, here’s a new bumper sticker for dem/libs:

FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE
….ENSLAVE ME….

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

But hey, what do I know right? I am just some scumbag rightie on a blog mouthing off…

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:00 PM

You ain’t that bad.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:01 PM

You ain’t that bad.
cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Awww ty cozmo! I was speaking to the lefties who may or may not read here.

I am GOOD!! ;)

(Any word from alyt)??

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Okay, you need to be more clear. I am a literal kind of guy.

What the heck is “Awww ty”?

I ain’t heard, ‘cept that she seems to be under attack by dusty mud, or dirty rain. I couldn’t figure it out.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:08 PM

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:08 PM

You said I wasn’t that bad… lol…

Is she still banned or what coz?

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Hmmmmm, O/T, Rubio sounded quite resolute on Hannity just now, told us Cons to hold on and he understands our frustration… he seems as tho he really really wants that border secure, and is ‘waiting’ on the repub bill? Hmmmmmmmmmm

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Is she still banned or what coz?

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM

How the heck should I know?

I ain’t her parole officer.

Besides it was hot today and I have sweaty wet back.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

They will be referred to the bottom line Obama response..”What ya’ gonna do about it punks?”

bluesdoc70 on June 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Is she still banned or what coz?

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:11 PM

…I’ve checked every post on every thread from the day before…and saw no hammer marks…so what is going on?

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Besides it was hot today and I have sweaty wet back.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

…can’t you dry that… with the fuzzy dice…hanging from your cars review mirror?

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 9:20 PM

…I’ve checked every post on every thread from the day before…and saw no hammer marks…so what is going on?

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 9:17 PM

According to ALyT, the offending comment was removed from the “illegals crossing into Texas” headlines thread, and no notice, or warning, from management was given.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:21 PM

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Thank You cozmo!!

Scrumpy on June 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 9:20 PM

It could work, maybe.

Then I would no longer have a wet back.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Is it any wonder that we are falling apart. How do you even envision small government with bullsh!t like this going on. I wonder how many people we pay to figure out the “social cost of carbon” and than how many people we pay to ratchet up or maneuver around the “social cost of carbon”. Can’t even believe there is a such thing as social cost of carbon. Ridiculous.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:26 PM

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Yep, she told The Husband that when she went to make a comment, it told her she wasn’t allowed.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Wearing a sombrero helps prevent the sweat back.

wolly4321 on June 19, 2013 at 9:31 PM

I was a sWEaT back today, too. 105°. I look stupid in a sombrero.

wolly4321 on June 19, 2013 at 9:35 PM

wolly4321 on June 19, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Well, I’d prefer a wet back to a broke back. Not that there is anything wrong with broke back, but it’s not my cup of tea.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:36 PM

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Can I get all huffy if a fellow commenter calls me a cabin rat?

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Yep, she told The Husband that when she went to make a comment, it told her she wasn’t allowed.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:27 PM

…not even “Take a Siesta?”

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:39 PM

No, you are a righty. And not whiner.

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:40 PM

The scandal here is not that Obama secretly jacked up the “Social Cost of Carbon,” but rather that there is such a thing as the “Social Cost of Carbon” in the first place.

I had never heard of it before this story broke, but now I see that it’s not some off-the-cuff estimate of how evil oil is dreamt up by some moonbat environmentalist, but is instead now an Official Government Statistic with major implications on the economy.

I had to research what the hell the “Social Cost of Carbon” even was to write this post, and I am aghast. It’s nothing but a delusional “calculation” of exactly what percentage of civilizational collapse due to Global Warming is caused by each ton of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Then the cost of total civilizational collapse is divided by the number of tons of carbon dioxide you produce, and you have to then pony of the cash to pay for your fair share of destroying the planet with your evil oil-burning ways.

OK, I can imagine some wild-eyed “green” activists dreaming this up as yet another attempt to create an environmentalist “meme” to sway public opinion — but somehow, when no one was noticing, this ridiculous exercise in scapegoating has become integral to our national economic policy.

If the GOP had any balls they would not stop on this issue until the “Social Cost of Carbon” is reduced to ZERO, where it should be. But alas, they have no balls. Not even Buckyballs.

Zombie on June 19, 2013 at 9:43 PM

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Apparently not. I think she emailed both Ed and AP but does not expect to hear back.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:45 PM

cozmo on June 19, 2013 at 9:40 PM

But apparently a large portion of Hot Air “castigate gays and blacks in the ugliest of terms” on a regular basis. It’s a wonder the ban hammer ever rests.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Anyone finds out her next haunt,, please let me know. Fiesty little Jewish ladies are fun to chat with.

Thing that gets me is I have read her enough to know she was probably just trying to be funny. Maybe awkwardly so,.. but still.

wolly4321 on June 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM

wolly4321 on June 19, 2013 at 10:01 PM

I’m sure you are right.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 10:04 PM

O/T I don’t want to put this in the dead Farm Bill thread. My representative in PA sent the following email with highlights of the Farm Bill. It looks promising.

Dear Friend,

After three years of deliberation including 46 hearings, multiple audits, deficit-reduction proposals, and extensive debate, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (H.R. 1947) this week.

Commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill,” H.R. 1947 represents the first major reforms to food and nutrition programs since welfare reform was enacted in 1996.

The bill cuts $40 billion in spending over the next decade through the following agricultural program reforms:

Elimination and consolidation of more than 100 separate programs at Department of Agriculture (SAVINGS: $14 billion):
• Ends agricultural “direct payments” to agricultural conglomerates that in the past have received tax dollars even for crops never planted or harvested.
• Repeals the sugar-to-ethanol program, stopping the practice of the federal government buying sugar and selling it to biofuel producers.
• Repeals dairy price and supply controls, allowing Pennsylvania dairy farmers to participate in a volunteer insurance program protecting against losses during severe market conditions.
• Eliminates or combines 23 duplicative and overlapping conservation programs into 13, saving over $6 billion.

Closes loopholes to end fraud and abuse in the food-stamp program so benefits are available for those who truly need it (SAVINGS: $20.5 billion):
• Requires applicants to undergo an asset and income test to demonstrate the benefits are directed to the neediest.
• Prohibits food-stamp benefits for lottery winners.
• Oversight of food-stamp activities at retail stores to prevent fraud at point of sale.
• Verifies immigration status of food-stamp applicants to ensure illegal aliens and undocumented persons are not enrolled.
• Closes the “Heat and Eat” loophole, a scam that allowed benefits to increase through a phony $1 LIHEAP payout.
• Ends USDA “Bonus Awards,” a scheme where states would collect “free” money from the federal government for increasing the number of food-stamp beneficiaries.
• Ensures enrollees are not receiving benefits in multiple states.
• Maintains assistance to community food banks and offers nutritional food aid to women and infants living in poverty.

Additional Reforms:
• Stops federal payments to Brazilian cotton farmers by bringing the U.S. into compliance with obligations under the World Trade Organization agreements.
• Prohibits the USDA from taking away farmland and putting it aside for undefined conservation purposes.

H.R. 1947 will likely come to the House floor for a vote on Thursday. I want to know what you think about this legislation. Please take a moment to read a summary of the bill by clicking here.

onlineanalyst on June 19, 2013 at 10:10 PM

onlineanalyst on June 19, 2013 at 10:10 PM

That sounds promising, is your representative a conservative? I only ask because if not there may be some bad mixed in with the good to offset.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 10:14 PM

He is a fairly reliable conservative vote.

Let me look at the summary he references. If it is not too long, I will post it.

onlineanalyst on June 19, 2013 at 10:18 PM

onlineanalyst on June 19, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Most of that stuff is written in lawyer, which I don’t speak. We should probably just wander around to sites we trust and see what they are saying about it. I know if Obama thinks it’s too little money, that’s a point for it.

Cindy Munford on June 19, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Well, Zero and the LIVs are carbon based life forms and they are certainly costing our society. So, yes I suppose there is a ‘Societal Cost of Carbon’.

ghostwalker1 on June 19, 2013 at 10:43 PM

I agree, Cindy. The summary that I posted earlier looks as if it cuts out a lot of waste and fraud. I like what I had read.

onlineanalyst on June 19, 2013 at 10:43 PM

I don’t know about the social cost of carbon, but I’m absolutely certain that the social cost of the EPA is too high… DEFUND that house of jokers

fabrexe on June 19, 2013 at 10:59 PM

We have to watch every effing thing the regime does. Now that we have the internet, we can and Zero hates it.

They hate being watched. When we put light on them, they scurry off like the roaches they are.

dogsoldier on June 20, 2013 at 6:09 AM

dogsoldier on June 20, 2013 at 6:09 AM

Probably his first thought when that big disenfectant in the sky burned out his view of the teleprompter at Check Point Charlie; Scurry! Scurry! Blame Bush and find a dark hole!
Makes you wonder at what point he can block access to the “other than administration propoganda news” too. In the name of transparency no doubt. Alas, the social price of tyranny.

onomo on June 20, 2013 at 6:57 AM

The reason they’ve introduced this completely fabricated “social cost of carbon” is that EPA is restricted by statute as to the regulations they may impose. Beyond a certain point, Congress must specifically authorize it.

So in the reports detailing the costs of regulations, they will include the “social costs of carbon” as an OFFSET to the reported cost of their job-killing and unnecessary regulations – just enough to keep Congress from having a say in it.

It’s 1984 government math.

Adjoran on June 20, 2013 at 6:58 AM

So, what can we expect to happen after this formal complaint? Anything?

itsacookbook on June 20, 2013 at 7:20 AM

You’re hoping for a honest answer, out of this gang? Never happen.

Social cost of carbon, who dreamed up this. We’re beyond saving, let burn.

Kat_man on June 20, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Hey, there’s a lot of money to be made regulating and taxing the fourth most common element in the universe. Remember, I won!

Sefton on June 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

“This is a significant change to an already highly controversial estimate, and as such requires transparency, open debate, and an adherence to well-understood and previously agreed-upon rules,”

This is why they call the gop the party of stupid. The left never plays by the rules. They do as they please when they please.
This arbitrary calculation is how they keep their hoax going.

Kissmygrits on June 20, 2013 at 9:29 AM

And there’s no proven / demonstrated causal correlation between CO2 and temperatures. A fact.
Sure, CO2 can in theory be both a cause and an effect of temperature change (though that easily could lead to a runaway greenhouse effect, and that has never happened in the historical past, despite CO2 being as high as 7100 parts per million in that past [it's now 400ppm]), but the IPCC continued to maintain that there was a proven causal correlation between CO2 & temperature until 2004, when they were forced to withdraw their position.

The IPCC and other global-warming alarmists not only falsify the data on temperatures, they have also falsified historical data on CO2 levels in the air. While the IPCC likes to have people believe that CO2 levels before the Industrial Revolution were about 280 ppm and have only recently begun to rise, there is a detailed compilation by Ernst Beck of measurements of CO2 concentrations “by chemical methods” going back to 1800. Although these methods have a 3% margin of error, these historical measurements show CO2 levels up to 440 ppm in the period between 1810 and 1840, and again between 1930 and 1950, with lower levels (around 300 ppm) between 1860 and 1910.

So there’s really nothing new about CO2 levels above 400 ppm–they were that high back in 1816…the infamous “Year Without a Summer” when New England had snow in June and September, and killing frosts in August, and massive crop failures in Europe. Did high CO2 levels cause “global warming” that year?

The IPCC clings to its idea of 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution due to measurements in ice cores in Antarctica. But most CO2 is generated by people and animals, and absorbed by plants, and most of them live far from Antarctica. Should we believe measurements of CO2 in 200-year-old ice (which could have been disturbed by drilling) or measurements made by the best scientists of their time?

Steve Z on June 20, 2013 at 9:30 AM

the Obama administration tried to insert a change into their social cost of carbon (SCC) estimation system into an obscure rule about microwave ovens, no doubt hoping that nobody would really notice or care. The only problem is, a lot of people do care — because the federal government uses their SCC calculation to weigh the costs and benefits of their proposed environmental regulations. Their regulations have major effects that ripple throughout the entire economy, and they just suddenly tried to hike it up the SCC by $14 in one fell swoop to $38/metric ton starting in 2015.

WTF is the “social cost of carbon”? Who pays whom $38 per metric ton for not emitting “carbon”? If I voluntarily reduce my “carbon” emissions by a metric ton, will the Government pay me $38?

There is a huge problem with the wording of “social cost of carbon”. The element carbon is everywhere, combined with other atoms in millions of different ways in our bodies, in plants in our farms and gardens, in the food we eat, in wood and plastics we use, as well as in fossil fuels. What is the social cost of the carbon in our bodies or in our food, or in wood or plastic?

Carbon can have a huge social cost as carbon MONoxide, which is a deadly poison and kills people in poorly ventilated houses. But carbon can fetch a high price in diamonds!

Even if the “social cost of carbon” is meant in the more restrictive sense of “carbon dioxide emissions”, the basis needs to be clearly stated. If 12 tons of carbon in a fossil fuel are burned, it produces 44 tons of carbon dioxide–this is an indisputable fact of chemistry. So is the social cost $38 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted, or $38 per ton of carbon burned, which would be equivalent to $139 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted?

Erika’s right about a “shameless regulatory sneak attack”–it may be even sneakier than she realizes.

Steve Z on June 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM

The One acts while the Senate Republicans host a letter writing party… do something!

blammm on June 20, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Because we all have to fight “global warming”, doncha know, and because shut up. Barry the Magnificent knows what’s best for us.

RebeccaH on June 20, 2013 at 11:39 AM

“Is it too audacious to hope that we’ll actually get an honest (response)?”
What hope do you have that there will be any response?

Skptk on June 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM