An ongoing discussion of politics, law, pop culture, and fine draperies.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Revenge Served Jersey-style (over easy)

The Washington Post ran
this guest column by former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman on Monday, in response to the Supreme Court's ruling in EPA v Massachusetts.

The Whitman column, as a gesture, should be read as a particularly tasty slap at the Bush White House for its scorn-worthy global warming policies since the 2000 inauguration. Whitman resigned from the post in 2003 after Bush politicos forced EPA to remove all global warming references from the agency's regulatory agenda for , as Whitman related in her 2004 book,
Its My Party Too. She spoke with NPR's Terry Gross about the book in 2005. Audio is available here. For the nerdiest among you, there is this January 2007 article in Foreign Policy, titled "Seven Questions: Christine Todd Whitman on Global Warming."

Sadly, she backs away from the more forthright stance she maintained in her book, offering:
Back when he was governor of Texas, President Bush enacted mandatory caps on carbon emissions in his state. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he promised to regulate carbon emissions nationwide. Shortly after taking office, though, he backed away from that pledge. There were good domestic reasons at the time, but those reasons are no longer valid.
Calling Big Oil and Karl Rove's … err, I mean Bush's motivations for backing away from his campaign pledge to regulate CO2 "good policy reasons" is a poor joke and a cynical political statement. The record indicates that Bush's people recognized that CO2 regulation would be an inevitability, but to help the pollution lobby maximize the value of its investments in unclean industrial technology, the few extra years without such regulation would pay-off amply. Such has been the case. Now, Gov. Whitman wants to praise Duke Energy and its ilk for expressing a willingness to come around.

A few years too late, if you ask me.

In Related News …

A trial started today in Burlington, Vermont, in the first dispute following EPA v. Massachusetts addressing whether states are preempted by the federal government from regulating carbon dioxide emissions from cars.
Here's another story looking at the link between the state and federal cases, while here's another that looks at Vermont's rule from the carmaker point of view. Another NY Times article, here, looks at the serendipitously-timed New York International Auto Show. It notes, optimistically, that:
No matter what is instituted, however, carmakers are getting the message that fuel economy is going to go up as part of the fight against global warming, even if government action is still several years away.

Given that, carmakers said at the New York show that they want to be included in the dialogue, not shunted aside because of their past resistance.

“We very much want to work with Congress,” said Derrick M. Kuzak, group vice president for global product development at the Ford Motor Company, echoing the official stance of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry trade group.

Mr. Kuzak went on, “We recognize that CO2 is an issue and we want to be part of the solution, but it has to be technology-based, and affordable.”
We'll see, I guess.


Monday, April 09, 2007

April Fool Me No More, Senor Vivaldi

I'm waiting for the Four Seasons to crack into everybody's favorite – La Primavera ... Allegro even. But for some reason, the record is skipping, and we're stuck with this long, not so lively piece about the drudgery of winter. Allegro non molto is right.

This sucks. It's mid-April, and snow from
last weeks storm remains, crusty and thick. I remain steadfast in my vow not to shovel again this season, presenting a bit of a challenge for my newspaper deliverer and mailman.

Spring is hardly Maine's finest season, as this BDN columnist
observes. From the frost heaves, to the mud, to the black flies, spring in Maine takes a certain resilience and creativity of spirit to be bearable. What's the alternative? Rughooking in Rumford?

The only slam dunks are
maple syrup and baseball. This April continues to be lean on both. A tree-tapping friend of mine told me his taps have largely frozen to a standstill.

As for baseball, the Portland SeaDogs'
opening day was reportedly a success despite the snow and cold, perhaps inspired by fans throughout the country who endured truly ridiculous weather to catch a game this week – from Cleveland to Texas.

Apparently, the
local high school athletes won't be so lucky to have guys melt the snow on their fields. They face pretty grim short term prospects, according to Rockland Village Soup. With the regular season for softball and baseball scheduled for next week, teams will have missed the entire preseason and will likely miss a game or two off the top.

At least we have Dice K. Kinecheewaaa!!!!

At this point, I'll take ankle deep mud in a heartbeat. It's time to get out of the house and onto
the trails – mud and blackflies be damned.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Haitus Interruptus

Hear ye, hear ye ...

In case you've been monitoring the level of inaction on this site (and odds are, you haven't), you'd notice it's err ... high.

Newborn child has brought much joy and taken most spare energy & time. But these are excuses and we all know plenty about their worth.

However, I have to chime in with at least a token mention of
this bit of news.

The topic was central to this blog's creation, so I'd be negligent to ... umm ... neglect it. Done it before
here, here, here (I liked this one ... perhaps the moment my HTML jumped the shark ... or my Waterloo ... pick your cliche), and here (scroll down).

So, it's fair to say, I'm
pleased with the result. I guess now we'll see what this kind of decision can force the Bushies to do. At the very least, it's a kick in the pants of Congress to enact something that forces W's hand. No longer can the august body declare any kind of ambiguity about whether or not CO2 is legally speaking, a pollutant. Hmmm. And the beat goes on ...


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