Tuesday, January 12, 2021

DuBois column: A Climactic circus


A Climatic Circus

Last month I wrote of Biden’s initial nominees and how climate change seemed to be the emphasis. Primary was John Kerry who was nominated for a new position, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. About his nomination, John Kerry said, “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat that it is.” 

More nominees have been announced and the emphasis on climate change is even more pronounced. In fact, the whole kit and caboodle is referred to as Biden’s “Climate Cabinet.” Let’s take a look at the most prominent two. 

Haaland at Interior 

U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) is the nominee for Secretary of Interior. Haaland has established herself among the most progressive wing of the Democrat party, with a special interest in climate change, federal lands and tribal issues. Her own words demonstrate her position on these issues, and here are some quotes from Haaland: 

“The majority of America wants action on climate change. The majority of America thinks we should regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. And the majority of America thinks we should prioritize solar and wind infrastructure over fossil fuels. Those are impressive majorities, ones that every office seeker and office holder should heed.”

“I'm concerned that if we don't do more to protect our open spaces and reduce climate change, there will be devastating and lasting impacts on us and future generations.”

“Over-dependence on finite resources, like oil, ignores the ability of our great minds to develop alternative energy for the masses, and in doing so ignores climate change and sets up our students and workforce for failure by not educating them about the needs of our future.”

“Loss of natural areas threatens our water supply, national security, farms, and health.” 

Haaland has introduced legislation, “The Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature”, which sets a goal of protecting thirty percent of the land in the U.S. and thirty percent of the ocean under U.S. control. When introducing the legislation, Haaland stated, “Our communities deserve fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a livable planet, but right now inaction on climate change is putting everything at risk, particularly in communities of color.” 

Gina McCarthy at the White House 

McCarthy, the former head of the EPA in the Obama Administration, will serve as the leader of the newly formed White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. Her mission will be to drive policies to address climate change beyond the usual departments' work on it, and to coordinate planning across government agencies. 

Here are some McCarthy quotes: 

“Climate change is the greatest threat of our time”

Greenhouse gas pollution, through its contribution to global climate change, presents a significant threat to Americans health and to the environment upon which our economy and security depends. 

Concerning how climate change will be approached in the Biden Administration, McCarthy said, "It is being treated as a systemic issue, not something uniquely given to EPA or the Department of the Interior, but something that is all about using the entire federal budget, and the strength of the entire Cabinet, to actually move this issue forward in ways that were not available to us before." McCarthy also said, “I think this administration is ready to run.” 

National Emergency 

We should note that both Kerry and Haaland used the term “national security” in their comments about climate change. That, of course, plays right into the hands of the enviros who are lobbying hard for Biden to declare a national climate emergency. 

According to a report by Clearview Energy Partners a climate emergency could give Biden the authority to circumvent Congress and fund clean energy projects, shut down crude oil exports, suspend offshore drilling and curtail the movement of fossil fuels on pipelines, trains, and ships. “The president’s powers to address climate change through an emergency are very, very large,” said Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, which is lobbying Biden’s team to act. “This is No. 1 on the list of things the Biden administration should do.” “Let's call this emergency what it is,” said Siegel, “There’s so much [Biden] can do without Congress.” The Center for Biological Diversity and groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, were among 500 organizations that called for the next president to declare a national climate emergency last year. 

President Trump used the emergency provisions to move money out of the Department of Defense budget and divert it to building the border wall. Who knows what Biden could do with a national climate emergency? 

Coronavirus ‘Relief’ Bill 

I try to end this column with something positive or humorous. Many folks were pleased that Congress finally passed a coronavirus stimulus bill. Problem is, it has turned out to be a 5,536 page, $900 billion porker that goes far beyond anything related to the pandemic. For instance, it includes this provision: "Of the funds appropriated under title III of the Act that are made available for assistance for Pakistan, not less than $15,000,000 shall be made available for democracy programs and not less than $10,000,000 shall be made available for gender programs." That’s right, $10 million for a gender program in Pakistan! There is also $86 million for assistance to Cambodia; $130 million to Nepal, $135 million to Burma, $453 million to Ukraine, and $700 million to Sudan. Does that strike you as being positive or humorous? No, it is just another monstrosity created by the swamp creatures in D.C. 

What I did like, though, was the President’s response. Trump tweeted: 

“I hope we never find life on another planet because there is no doubt that the U.S. government will start sending them money!” 

Until next time, be a nuisance to the devil and don’t forget to check that cinch.   

Frank DuBois was the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003, is the author of a blog: The Westerner (www.thewesterner.blogspot.com) and is the founder of The DuBois Rodeo Scholarship and The DuBois Western Heritage Foundation

This column originally appeared in the January issues of The New Mexico Stockman and The Livestock Market Digest.

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