Rogues' Gallery of Global Warming Appears before E&C Committee

When you've got a week packed full of intense hearings on climate policy its important to make sure to schedule in some comic relief. That seems a logical explanation for the appearance of three of the more prominent members of the Rogues' Gallery of Global Warming, who are scheduled to appear on a panel later today to discuss the American Clean Energy and Security Act  of 2009.

1. Myron Ebell, Director, Energy and Global Warming Policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Ebell collaborated with Phil Cooney, chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, to cover up the findings of an EPA report on climate change. President Bush's staff insisted on several major alterations to the report. (Credit: ExxonSecrets.org - "Bush covers up climate research," The Observer, 9/21/03.) (Fun fact: Cooney later went to work for ExxonMobil.)

Ebell was also part of the "Global Climate Science Team" formed by ExxonMobil at the American Petroleum Institute in 1998 which sought to undermine public understanding of and confidence in global warming science. (Credit to UCS) This was the team executing the plan to "reposition global warming as theory not fact" according to leaked leaked campaign strategy memos.

DeSmogBlog also has gallery of Myron Ebell gaffes and gags.

2. Dr. Steven Hayward, American Enterprise Institute

Hayward and another AEI colleague were exposed two years ago for offering to pay IPCC scientists $10,000 for critiques of the IPCC findings. Had they been successful, the critiques would have been packaged and bound for presentation on the hill, among other outreach efforts. The episode is telling both for the lows to which the ExxonMobil-funded AEI was willing to stoop, as well as for the fact that the plan failed because no scientists took them up on the offer.

(This was also kind of special for me, since one of the scientists they made this offer to was Dr. Gerald North, the head of the Department of Meteorology at Texas A&M University, my first mentor and tutor on climate science.)

3. Mr. David Kreutzer, Senior Policy Analyst in Energy Economics and Climate Change, The Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation is still circulating a thoroughly discredited analysis about the costs of climate policy. Introduced for last years' Lieberman-Warner bill debate, "The Economic Costs of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Legislation" claims to show dire economic consequences if the bill were enacted.

But the Heritage Foundation analysis did not actually model the bill:

  1. It excluded about 170 pages of the 215 page bill; effectively modeling only 20% of the bill's actual policies.
  2. Among the pages the Heritage Foundation excluded were those containing the many cost-saving measures for businesses and consumers that help people comply with the policy at the lowest possible cost.
  3. This includes cost containment and investments in clean energy technologies, high-efficiency buildings, and retooling the manufacturing sector.

Bearing in mind that the Heritage study doesn't actually model a policy anyone has proposed:

  1. The U.S. government routinely adjusts its estimates of GDP to reflect new information and correct errors; these changes are routinely 2-4 times greater than the Heritage Foundation's projected impact of climate policy on GDP.
  2. For all the big numbers the Heritage Foundation throws around, the actual impact of their worst-case scenario is a delay in 8 days. The US economy is projected to reach about $20 trillion per year by 2030, which is $55 billion dollars per day of economic activity.
  3. Finally, even the Heritage Foundation report shows that the unemployment rate under a climate policy would be 0.0 points higher than if no policy was in place. 

Kreutzer also likes to criticize green job growth claims, a hobby that has not turned out well for him. One exchance produced this evidence of his apparently total failure to comprehend the Green Recovery Report about which I've previously written.

Of course, it isn't really a laughing matter when clowns like these can tie up policy discussions with falsehoods and misinformation. Which is why its important to know what a joke they are ahead of time.

About the Authors

Pete Altman

Director of Federal Campaigns

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