Monday, November 07, 2005
The missing fact: Today's New York Times editorial page takes the Bush administration to task for its refusal to cripple the U.S. economy by instituting draconian emissions controls like those outlined in the Kyoto protocol.
In the course of a study comparing costs and benefits of various clean air bills rattling around Capitol Hill (including Mr. Bush's Clear Skies program), the E.P.A. found that under a measure sponsored by Senator Thomas Carper, a Delaware Democrat, the cost to electric utilities of controlling carbon dioxide would be only $1 per ton, imposing little burden on consumers and business.
To be sure, Mr. Carper's is the least aggressive and least expensive of the bills requiring mandatory controls. It applies only to power plants, which account for about one-third of carbon dioxide emissions, and would not regulate emissions from cars and others sources.
Still, that measly $1-per-ton figure should embarrass the Bush people who've been warning that controls will bring economic ruin (Clear Skies regulates other pollutants but not carbon dioxide), while providing encouragement to those in Congress who believe that action on warming is long overdue.
One buck a ton -- sounds cheap, and that's the reason the Times uses that figure.
You can find a better figure in this Associated Press report.
Carper’s bill would cut 10 tons of mercury and 1.7 million tons of nitrogen oxides by 2013, and reduce 2.25 million tons of sulfur dioxide by 2016. It also would cut almost 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2013. EPA estimated it would cost $8 billion to $10 billion a year, but generate up to $161 billion a year in health benefits by 2020.
The Times doesn't argue about the potential health benefits -- which is certainly something that would have my support if those numbers are solid. No, the Times focuses on the global warming issue.
What fact/number is missing from both the Times editorial and the Associated Press piece? The obvious one -- one undoubtedly so small tha tit would reveal the Times editorial for the foolishness it is.
If passed, just how many degrees would the Carper amendment reduce the effects of global warming by?
I suspect that the number is so small that it is statistically insignificant, otherwise they would be touting it instead of ignoring it.