Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Decade Ago, All Political Parties, Democrats, Independents And Republicans, Wanted Stricter Environmental Laws And Regulations: Now Its Mostly Democrats

From Bloomberg Opinion. "What's the Cost of Blocking the Keystone Pipeline?" by Christopher Flavelle:
In 1992, when the Pew Research Center asked people whether there needed to be stricter laws and regulations to protect the environment, 93 percent of Democrats said yes -- and so did 86 percent of Republicans. When Pew asked the same question last year, Democrats' support was still at 93 percent; Republicans' had fallen to 47 percent. Interestingly, that drop predated Barack Obama becoming president.

Source:  Bloomberg Opinion
[Jim] Kolbe [a retired Arizona congressman] also pointed to something else that environmentalists should be concerned about: the view that moral browbeating has left more Republicans willing to ignore the climate-change movement. "Aren't we terrible stewards of the earth," is how he described the tone of the debate. "For some Republicans, they get tired of it."

Jeremy Carl, a climate-change expert at Stanford University's conservative-leaning Hoover Institution, made a similar point, arguing that "the moral climate around this issue has really poisoned it."
Which brings us back to Keystone. The pipeline debate raises the question of just how useful the environmentalists' intransigence, which has been crucial to their opposition, can be as a long-term strategy. There are no compromises offered, and no consideration for the validity of any of the arguments made by Keystone's proponents. The concerns of people who stand to get work by building the pipeline aren't just outweighed; they're irrelevant. You're either for the pipeline or against it.

Case in point: When reports surfaced a few months ago that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered unspecified offsetting carbon emissions in return for a U.S. decision to approve Keystone, opponents of the pipeline didn't exactly embrace the possibility. Yet if the goal is reducing emissions, that would have been a good deal. If the goal is just killing a pipeline, it wouldn't. But what good is that goal all by itself?

No comments:

Post a Comment