They’re not giving up on more government control of the private sector through “cap and trade” legislation. This much can be derived from recent news coverage. Remarkably, Sen. Lindsey Graham admits that “energy” legislation has nothing to do with the environment; a crucial point that goes missing in coverage.
President Obama is using the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a new rationale for energy legislation that has been stalled on Capitol Hill. The New York Times comes oh, so close to properly informing its readership of the sincere motivations standing behind “cap and trade” schemes in one of its latest reports.
Unfortunately, the newspaper’s enthusiasm for statist policies precludes from asking the right questions where the sleight of hand at work in Washington D.C. is actually quite evident.
The key player here in Sen. Lindsey Graham as he has been working in close concert with Democratic colleagues and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). TimesCheck has noted in the past how Graham became the new Republican liberal media darling in light of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) rightward shift. Graham withdrew his support for a repacked “cap and trade” bill after Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested that climate change would take a back seat to immigration.
Until the actual causes of the BP oil spill are exposed and understood, he remains reluctant to reactive “cap and trade” in total but has expressed support for a water down energy bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman. The Times reports as follows:
“Mr. Graham said that until the causes of the BP oil spill were identified and addressed, he would not vote for any sweeping climate change legislation. Instead, he endorsed a bill introduced last week by Senator Richard G. Lugar, Republican of Indiana, that sets higher fuel economy standards for cars, provides incentives for the development of alternative fuels and imposes stricter efficiency standards on buildings. The Lugar proposal includes no cap on carbon emissions but would seek to reduce greenhouse gas pollution through energy-saving steps.
`I’m not going to take a vote on the floor without a rational policy because we’re in the middle of a major oil spill,” Mr. Graham said. “I’m not going to put that on the table until I find out what happened in the gulf and make sure it doesn’t happen again.’
Mr. Lieberman said the oil spill made it more urgent to enact comprehensive energy and climate change legislation. He acknowledged, however, that the measure he and Mr. Kerry sponsored lacked the votes it needs and would probably be carved up and served in combination with other bills like Mr. Lugar’s.”
But the most important quote from Sen. Graham that deserves mention is left out of the equation. When he asked about his support for an earlier bill the Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lieberman had co-sponsored, Graham made the following admission:
“It’s not a global warming bill to me,” he said. “Because global warming as a reason to pass legislation doesn’t exist anymore.” He also explained: “There is no bipartisan support for a cap-and-trade bill based on global warming.”
In other words, the overarching purpose here is government control and government regulation as opposed to environmental edification. That’s big news but the point is lost on the liberal news media, which sympathizes with government takeovers of the private sector.
The public should know that the political class was merely using global warming as a duplicitous and misleading rationale to distract away from expensive and intrusive policies. But the tone and direction of the Times report suggests that policymakers maintain noble objectives.
“Images of gushing oil and dying pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico have stirred anger and agony in Washington,” the report says. “But are they enough to prod the Senate to act on long-delayed clean energy and climate change legislation?
“Energy, maybe,” the report continues. “Climate, probably not. There is growing sentiment for a measure that penalizes BP, imposes higher costs and tougher regulations on offshore drillers and takes some steps toward reducing overall energy and petroleum consumption.”
No matter what the rationale, the political class is determined to subtract away from private enterprise and to further burden America’s already beleaguered taxpayers. That’s the story.
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