Gardner votes with party to deny climate change is a problem and ensure our long-term reliance on foreign oil
Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee voted essentially on the party line to support H.R. 910, a bill meant to block EPA rules on greenhouse gases. Cory Gardner has repeatedly spoken against the EPA and, unsurprisingly, cosponsored this bill. But when we should be focusing on jobs and the economy by creating real solutions, one must wonder why Gardner and the GOP are focused on regulations that won’t go into effect for years.
Gardner and the GOP claim that this bill will combat rising gas prices, a claim meant to give a sense of urgency, but in reality this bill has nothing to do with our current gas prices. H.R. 910 is merely the continuing of the GOP’s long-held agenda of avoiding real problems to score political points by taking advantage of our nation’s latest fears.
H.R.910 is truly about protecting and building our nation’s dependence on oil into the future. In the face of overwhelming climate science and a near universal understanding that our oil dependence contributes to many of the problems we face as a nation: war, economic collapse, pollution, and instability.
Cory Gardner voted three times with the GOP to not include simple language in the bill that would have affirmed that climate science is real and backed by scientific evidence. So we have a Representative who believes he need not listen to or believe scientists and experts as long as his view is backed up well by those that give him campaign contributions. Of course, he didn’t say that when he was campaigning. Back then he said whatever he thought people wanted to hear. Now, unfortunately, we get to see the truth.
H.R. 910 is being touted by the GOP as a bill to help relieve citizens' pains at the gas pump. This claim has been shown to be false by many sources, yet the GOP continued using it as an excuse.
NRC Switchboard - The Verdict is in: H.R. 910 is Bad for Health, Gas Bills and Oil Dependency:
Upton’s bill, in fact, will increase driver fuel bills by blocking new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pollution standards for new cars for 2017 and beyond. Although the Department of Transportation (DOT) could still set fuel economy standards, EPA’s standards are more effective than the DOT’s fuel economy standards at saving money, oil and pollution.
The greater effectiveness is due to differences in underlying statutes. Based on EPA’s and DOT’s own analysis, the existing Environmental Protection Agency program results in much greater benefits over the life of the model year 2012-2016 vehicles covered by the rule: 44% more consumer cost savings, 27% more oil savings, and 47% more carbon pollution reductions. That’s a loss of $58 billion in net consumer savings, 18 billion gallons in reduced oil consumption, and 307 million metric tons of carbon pollution reductions.
"Looking at past public claims when the Clean Air Act was passed would show that U.S. refining capacity still managed to increase over time, despite the high expense refiners had to put out to comply with the Clean Air act," said Amy Myers Jaffe, a fellow in energy studies at Rice University.
"So one might imagine, depending on the details on how carbon regulation would be implemented, U.S. industry could likely similarly adjust," Jaffe said.
he EPA won't even propose the first-ever greenhouse-gas standards for refineries until December 2011 and doesn't plan to issue final standards until November 2012. Those standards would govern emissions for new and significantly overhauled refineries. Rules for existing refineries are expected to be unveiled in July 2011.
Based on the past history of EPA regulations, the new rules aren't likely to take effect until a few years after that, experts said.
So, if the bill were to pass, it would prevent EPA regulations that would otherwise take effect in 2013, 2014 or 2015. That’s a long way away.
The underlying argument for the bill is false, but more amazing are the partisan votes against several amendments that would have simply inserted language providing the sense of Congress on climate change. Cory Gardner voted with his party on each.
States that Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that ‘‘Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.’’
So, Cory Gardner does not believe that the climate is warming. This amendment said nothing about the cause; it merely said that the climate is warming, as we know though various cited observances. I think that’s pretty well settled. Maybe it is an undesirable conclusion for his campaign donors, but does Gardner really believe it not to be true?
Prior to his election Cory Gardner said, “I think the climate is changing, but I don’t believe humans are causing that change to the extent that’s been in the news.” Referenced to the Coloradoan, 9/19/2010 by the Wonk Room. Did he change his mind or did he originally mean that he didn’t think the climate is warming, the position he voted against including in the bill.
I think this is a great example of Cory Gardner saying one thing to get elected, but then voting another way. Had he said what he really meant (“I believe climate change is all false!”) then probably the 4th District would have second-guessed this hack.
The second voted Gardner voted against was introduced by Colorado’s own Diana DeGette:
States that Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that the ‘‘scientific evidence is compelling’’ that elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from anthropogenic emissions ‘‘are the root cause of recently observed climate change’’.
His votes shows Cory Gardner does not believe that greenhouse gases are the root cause of climate change. What does he believe? Well, in the Coloradoan he said, “I don’t believe humans are causing that change to the extent that’s been in the news.” So what extent does he believe greenhouse gases are the cause? What does he believe? That’s right, Cory Gardner doesn’t believe climate change is happening at all.
The third amendment Gardner voted against was introduced by Rep. Inslee:
States that Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that ‘‘the public health of current generations is endangered and that the threat to public health for both current and future generations will likely mount over time as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere and result in ever greater rates of climate change’’.
Cory Gardner believes climate change isn’t a problem now, he believes man has no effect on it, and he believe climate change will never be a problem, per this amendment.
So what does Cory Gardner believe about climate change?
What does he believe then? Cory Gardner believes in money. He’ll say anything to get a vote, but what he does in Congress belongs to his campaign donors. Think Progress has a great expose of the members of the Energy and Commerce committee that helps explain the votes somewhat. The 31 Republicans and 3 Democrats that supported this legislation received a total of $343,750 in contributions from Koch Industries, the famed GOP bankroller. Cory Gardner received $10,000 from Koch.
In addition to those highly influential contributions, Cory Gardner received huge sums from many industries that would be affected by the EPA’s regulations that would be better if we ignored that climate change thing. As I mentioned before in “Despite voters’ views, Gardner’s EPA position has already been paid for”, Cory Gardner received nearly $200,000 from contributors associated with the oil, mining, and gas industries.
These industries enjoy generous GOP-supported subsidies and don’t want their products to be more expensive. And of course, they oppose any efforts to require people to use less of their products. The Gardner-supported H.R. 910 is win-win for these companies, but lose-lose for America. We will make no effort to wean the nation off its bankrupting and war-causing oil addiction and we will be ensuring there is nothing in the way of Big Oil’s profits (which also add to Gardner’s campaign fund).
So how will he explain this to his constituents? Polls have found that many citizens of the 4th support climate regulations, which explains why he didn’t let the Coloradoan know how he really felt about Climate Change during his campaign. “Gas prices are rising and I just killed some regulations that sought to lessen our dependence on an unstable commodity. More of the status quo that sends your money overseas and makes your commute’s cost dependent on a riot ten thousand miles away. You’re welcome.”
And what of his previous statements that he did believe the climate is changing?
Maybe he just won’t comment. Pretend the vote didn’t happen so he doesn’t have to face the consequences, kind of like he’s acting toward the globe's climate change problem. Didn’t Gardner claim to be a leader? Sticking your head in the sand is not leadership.