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Council responds to Barton on climate issue

As the House Committee on Energy and Commerce considers climate policy, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, ranking member of the committee, and Rep. Dennis Hastert, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality Recently, received a reply from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to its recent request for suggestions for regulating greenhouse gases.
ACC was one of 25 industry groups solicited for recommendations by the committee.
“We thank Ranking Members Barton and Hastert for their thoughtful approach to addressing climate change issues and for soliciting our recommendations,” said Jack Gerard, President and CEO of ACC. “To be effective, Congressional action on climate change must set achievable goals for industry that avoid devastating, unnecessary job losses. Congress should also take into account the progressive actions many industries, like chemistry, have already taken.”
As an example, Gerard said manufacturers of building insulation materials now “save as much as 40 BTUs of energy for every BTU of energy consumed to make the material.” In addition, the council president cited studies that claim a 10 percent decrease in emissions has been recorded since 1990 while production has increased by almost 30 percent.
“U.S. energy policies must continue to encourage all sectors of the economy to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” Gerard wrote to Barton and Hastert. “Ideally, such policies would primarily rely upon market-based mechanisms that allow the market to determine how the nation’s GHG emissions reduction targets will be achieved at the lowest cost.”
ACC’s president concluded in his letter to the ranking members that his company “believes any U.S. climate policy must address four important factors: 1) encourage development of new sources of lower-carbon energy supplies and natural gas; 2) provide sufficient time to bring enabling energy technologies to market; 3) include significant government-sponsored research, development and deployment of lower carbon technologies, and 4) link, in some fashion, U.S. implementation of a compulsory climate program on the actions taken by other major-emitting nations.”
Barton and Hastert have long been vocal on the issue of climate policy. Barton, ex-chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, famously sparred with former Vice-President Al Gore last month during a congressional hearing on global warming.
"Global warming science is uneven and evolving," Barton said at the time, claiming that since carbon dioxide stems from “human exhalation” as much as it does from industrial and automotive sources, Gore’s call for cuts in carbon emissions “would entail a mandatory population freeze.”
Barton’s own recommendations for climate issue solutions –– including investment in “renewable fuels and development of more efficient home appliances” –– didn’t impress the ex-VP.
"The planet has a fever," Gore replied to Barton. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, ‘Well, I read a science-fiction novel that told me it’s not a problem.’ If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame-retardant."
Barton got the last word in the war of words with Gore on the House floor.
"You’re not just off a little, you’re totally wrong," the congressman said.
ACC’s reply to Barton and Hastert is one of the first received out of the more than two-dozen organizations and companies contacted by the Energy and Commerce Committee according to Barton’s office.

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Posted by on Apr 25 2007. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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