CO2 emissions are going up. Fast. And Rand Paul wants to keep it that way.
Here are two trends that should really, actually worry people who are concerned about life, the future, the planet, business growth, economic growth, global equity, health and public safety, etc.
First, the headline from Yahoo News reporting on the DoE Co2 report: Biggest Jump ever seen in global warming gasses. It begins:
The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the U.S. Department of Energy calculated, a sign of how feeble the world’s efforts are at slowing man-made global warming…The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.
Higher than the worst case scenario.
Meanwhile. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is using a rule known as the Congressional Review Act which allows congress to bypass leadership to overturn regulations with an up or down vote, and does not allow a filibuster. The Paul move would throw out the EPA regulation created under the authority of the Clean Air Act known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, finalized in July of this year, essentially halting the only steps that the US Government has been able to take this year towards cleaner air. Whether this will pass or not remains to be seen, but it will be close.
As of today, the Clean Air Act is pretty much the only tool that the United States Government has to address climate change. And the Cross-State Rule has been about the only rule that EPA has made that has not been completely delayed (see CO2 Rule, Fracking Rule, Air Toxics, you get the point). Congress most certainly will do nothing (NOTHING) to address climate change–even when a majority of congress wants to, it doesn’t happen. But the EPA has the right and obligation to regulate US industry in order to keep our air clean. And this means taking action on climate change and CO2–as the Supreme Court made clear. But allowing the Clean Air Act and EPA to help requires ‘very serious people’ to step outside of one’s stubbornness to engage in even an elementary overview of the science, and the danger. Which is not likely.
The DoE story reminds those of us who do care: We’re losing the battle against climate change. Big time. And Rand Paul, and his friends, are helping to ensure that we do.