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Gary Peters lets us all down on new carbon rules, his opponent jabbers incoherently

by: Eric B.

Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:53:48 AM EDT

There's a report out from an outfit called Business Forward about the increased costs of the new proposed carbon rules and the cost to business imposed by more extreme, more volatile weather under climate change. You can find it here.

The report, as luck would have it, takes its first look at the auto manufacturing industry. The final cost of the new rules would be about $7 on a $30,000 car. This is opposed, in the report, to $1.2 million lost per hour if a factory has to shut down because of transportation disruptions caused by weather or damaged roads or something. The idea is that, in the long run, it will cost auto manufacturers more in climate-related disruptions than it will if they just go ahead and pay more for electricity as part of a national campaign to ween the United States off hydrocarbon energy.

There's a slight problem with that comparison, which is that a lot of the cost auto manufacturers will incur are locked it by the our collective foot dragging from the last two decades. It's also hard to do a raw dollar-for-dollar comparison, that a dollar spent here will save money here, because of the global implications of climate change. One auto manufacturer might pay 6 percent higher energy costs in Michigan while seeing no climate disruptions elsewhere, while another might do the same but see an overseas manufacturing facility lost entirely due to severe flooding.

But, the overall picture is pretty accurate, and it's good to see people putting putting a pricetag to specific sectors of the economy from climate change. Until this report came out, most of what we had were from insurance companies and a report in Congress the other day in which Standard & Poor's warned of credit downgrades to climate destablized developing countries.

Into this, steps Gary Peters. From MIRS.

U.S. Rep. Gary PETERS (D-Bloomfield Hills), the Democrats' U.S. Senate candidate, said he has concerns over a proposed federal carbon pollution rule change, saying the new standard will impact Michigan harder than other Midwest states.

He said he wants realistic timelines -- like what was put in place for the motor fuel efficiency standards -- put in place that recognize that Michigan has further to go in meeting the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed 30 percent carbon reduction goal.

"We must take action to address climate change, but we must do so in a way that works for Michigan families, manufacturers and our emerging clear energy sector," Peters said.

Keep in mind that the primary reason why this is going to hit Michigan so hard is that Michigan has done next to nothing to wind down coal energy and ramp up alternatives. Up until just three or four years ago, everyone was planning to build new coal plants (and the Detroit News was demanding that people who warned that we were putting off the inevitable should all go live in caves or something). Those are all now shelved, and Michigan is mostly unprepared for a coal-free tomorrow.. (I look forward to hearing an explanation from everyone who thinks we need to finish the job of shredding the social safety net so as not to pass along the national debt to our children explain why it's okay to pass along climate change costs to them instead.) So, Peters comment is disappointing.

Just in case you're wondering how that stacks up against his opponent.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn LAND said Peters is trying "have it both ways" in that he voted in 2009 to back an energy plan that she said would cost Michigan 100,000 more jobs and would cost "skyrocketing" energy rates.

This was a cap-and-trade program, the one favored by businesses because it allows them another way to make money while also doing very little to reduce carbon emissions. It almost certainly wasn't ever going to cost the state 100,000 jobs nor "skyrocketing" energy rates (have we stopped asking people for sources?).

She then goes on to say that climate change is real, but since she is against a business friendly cap-and-trade scheme and regulations, it appears that she's not interested in doing anything about it. Since only a maniac would think climate change is real and is a problem but not one you care to address, she must not think it's a serious problem, which still makes her a climate denier.

The End.

Eric B. :: Gary Peters lets us all down on new carbon rules, his opponent jabbers incoherently
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He didn't
disappoint at all. In fact, he's gaining national attention for actually making this a Senate race about climate change and challenging his opponent as anti-science. Whereas in Kentucky, we have the Dem candidate invoking stupid "war on coal" rhetoric, GP is openly supporting new EPA rules, just tailored slightly differently for Michigan. No need to let the perfect be the enemy of the good or, more harshly put, no need to be an emo-prog when your candidate is clearly making headway against a GOP woman candidate in a "GOP year".  

Softening rules
Softening rules on energy production doesn't work. You set standards and meet standards. You don't meet standards by setting them and making loopholes.

I can understand a Kentucky Democrat, which people employed in the mining of coal, taking aim at these rules. But, here in Michigan we innovate. We should welcome tough standards and put our brain power towards meeting them.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Peters is trying to neutralize the issue, that I get.  But it's still disappointing and unnecessary. He has a good record on energy and climate issues and is obviously a far sight better than the empty suit he's running against.  So it's easy for me to move on.  But it's still disappointing, and it makes me think my next check is going to Mark Schauer.  I expect a much stronger, smarter statement from him and I bet I won't be disappointed.  

[ Parent ]
Yes, it's easy to move on. Gary Peters otherwise has a great track record on climate change and clean energy. Hell, I tell people all the time that the first time I met him was when he hosted a clean energy and climate change symposium when he was teaching at CMU. It was the night that I had a long chat with a guy from Dow about Dow's commitment to climate change through technological innovation ... innovation that could have been unleashed here in Michigan had anyone tried to force the issue. They didn't, and instead of shifting our approach to energy incrementally and painlessly, we get something more abrupt and more painful. Let anyone slide and it'll get more painful yet.

And, lest anyone get confused, the Chinese vowed to aggressively reduce carbon emissions the day after these rules were announced. While that may ultimately be bullshit, the competition we're in with the Chinese to be the next major energy player isn't. And, historically, it's the nation that leads in cheap, reliable energy that is the world's main economic power.

Among the Trees

[ Parent ]
Land sakes
Can Terri Lynn Land make a coherent TV commercial?  Apparently not.  Her latest effort: Keystone = Michigan jobs. Yup that's sure to get a rise out of the Michigan voters.

Sounds like the consultants got to Peters...yet again
That quote from him is a double nothingburger garnished with platitudes, with a side order of fence-straddling.

Peters should have slammed Land from pillar to post for her ignorance of science and her wilful disregard of the effects of global warming that we have already experienced. That, and tied her to the Koch brothers and the piles of pet coke on the Detroit River.

Stop playing defense all the time, Democrats.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Mark Schauer's statement on EPA rules

"I support the proposed federal rules for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The EPA has done a good job of giving states the flexibility needed to achieve the goal of a clean energy future, so we can work to reduce carbon pollution in a way that makes sense for Michigan. This will spur innovation, help make Michigan a leader in manufacturing clean energy components, create jobs, protect the public health and establish the United States as a leader in addressing climate change. The science is in on climate change, it's happening, and the time is now to take action in order to protect two of Michigan's biggest industries: agriculture and tourism.

"Michigan is already halfway to the new federal goal, in part due to the state's existing renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, which I helped pass into law in 2008 as Senate Democratic Leader. Since then we have seen our homegrown utilities meet their clean energy goals and lay the foundation for moving forward with these new rules.

"As Governor, I will work with the legislature to grow Michigan's clean energy economy as part of a broad energy plan that will increase the use of renewable energy and increase energy efficiency. I'll also work to ensure Michigan has the safest and most reliable conventional energy sources. This approach will create tens of thousands of Michigan jobs in research and development, manufacturing and construction, while protecting public health.

"Additionally, Michigan must develop a proactive transition plan to assist affected workers and communities who may be affected by plant retirements, and we must commit to modernizing Michigan's electricity grid and energy infrastructure. I'll work with communities to ensure that sites are redeveloped as coal plants are retired."

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