Democrats crowed that they would “restore science to its rightful place” once they controlled both Congress and the White House, but science usually requires the use of correct data. The Institute for Energy Research catches John Kerry using hyperbolically wrong numbers on carbon emissions in the US as a means to use the Chicken Little approach to passing legislation:
According to the government’s own numbers, CO2 emissions didn’t increase even by a factor of 1 during that period. In an eighteen-year period (1990-2008), the total growth of CO2 emissions was only 15.9% from energy production and 30% from the energy-use sectors. Moreover, the rate of growth year-on-year has slowed in both instances. In 2008, CO2 emissions dropped 2.8% in energy production and 2.1% in energy use, likely as a result of the recession. In 2006, though, while the economy remained overheated, CO2 emissions dropped 1.45% in energy production and 2.22% in energy use.
So what exactly was Kerry talking about? Only Kerry knows, but his hyperbole seems to have an inverse relationship with the odds of passing a cap-and-trade bill in the Senate. Even Russ Feingold isn’t buying Waxman-Markey and its redistributionist tendencies, and red-state Democrats like Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh aren’t going to commit electoral suicide by killing their state economies. Coal-state Democrats such as Jay Rockefeller and Robert Byrd won’t toss their coal-mining voters under the bus just to satisfy Barbara Boxer and Kerry, and so Kerry wants to make this sound like impending disaster.