Why not? It was a vehicle for passing cap-and-trade, and the cap-and-trade bill is now so dead that it’s literally being used for target practice by centrist Democrats. If Boehner announced the formation of a new committee on privatizing Social Security tomorrow, would Democrats keep that going once they took back the House? QED.
“We have pledged to save taxpayers’ money by reducing waste and duplication in Congress,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “The Select Committee on Global Warming – which was created to provide a political forum to promote Washington Democrats’ job-killing national energy tax – was a clear example, and it will not continue in the 112th Congress.”…
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the committee’s top Republican and a vocal climate skeptic, had lobbied GOP leadership to keep the panel alive to probe the Obama administration’s global warming policies, but he’s expected to be offered a lead role in investigating climate science on the Science Committee.
“While I was initially skeptical of the select committee’s mission, it ultimately provided a forum for bipartisan debate, an opportunity for House Republicans to share a different view on the pressing energy and environment needs that we currently face,” he said Wednesday.
Follow the link for brave words from RFK Jr vowing to educate those darned Republicans on the threat of global warming. Precisely one committee member stuck around to listen to him at today’s hearing. Meanwhile, at the Cancun climate change summit, U.S. representatives are promising that they’ll find a way to pass global warming legislation before the decade is out. And I’m thinking … no, they absolutely won’t.
[A] closer look at what the United States has committed to shows that in order to meet that promise, America would still have to enact a cap-and-trade law—and probably sooner rather than later. That’s because the United States has also pledged to lead the way in mobilizing $100 billion annually in funding from rich countries to poor countries in order to adapt to the coming ravages of climate changes, such as increased floods, droughts, and rising sea levels. The United States is expected to kick in about 20 percent of that amount. And global financial experts agree that the only way the money will move is through some kind of carbon market, set in place by a cap-and-trade plan—a term that has become poison in U.S. politics. Policy experts also point out that in order for the money to move by 2020, the legislation would have to pass Congress as soon as 2014 or 2015—a much steeper political lift…
“At the moment, we believe the Obama administration that they are going to get this through,” said Artur Runge-Metger, chief climate negotiator for the European Union, told National Journal.
“Of course, we have our questions on what will be feasible and possible.”
Given the state of European finances and rising public awareness here of unfunded U.S. entitlement liabilities, jitters about spending and an economic collapse will be with us for a long, long time. Even after unemployment starts to come back and GDP starts to grow, “the new normal” simply won’t allow for a fantastically expensive new program to deal with a problem as uncertain as climate change. (And again, that’s true for centrist Democrats as much as it is for Republicans.) Just today, the head of the IPCC acknowledged that there are “huge gaps” in the research, a comment he meant to suggest that the problem could be even worse than thought but which will play politically as evidence that even the experts aren’t quite sure what they’re talking about. The only chance Obama had to get cap-and-trade through, I think, was if he had prioritized it over health-care reform and made that the big signature boondoggle of his first term instead. He probably thought he could get both passed because he was still buying the hype about “liberal realignment” in 2008 and his own divine powers of persuasion, but as it turns out, it was “either/or” and he made his choice. The best he can do now, if he’s really serious about this, is include it in some grand bargain with Republicans to drastically reform Social Security and Medicare. If the only way to trim trillions in entitlements going forward is to throw a few hundred billion at Obama’s global warming obsession, then yeah, they might make that deal. Otherwise, forget it.