CBS Cheers Governator's Plan to Terminate Global Warming
CBS celebrated California Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggerâ€™s plan to force 25 percent cuts in â€śgreenhouse gasâ€ť emissions by the year 2020, painting the regulations as a sensible way to grow the economy and protect the environment. But reporter John Blackstone dismissed or ignored objections to the plan, including the charge that it does nothing to actually reduce greenhouse emissions.
â€śGoing its own way on global warming, Americaâ€™s most populated state intends to roll back its greenhouse gas emissions to the level they were in 1990,â€ť correspondent John Blackstone began his August 31 â€śEvening Newsâ€ť story, painting the Golden State chief executive as a hero who stands up to Washington, in favor of big government.
â€śCaliforniaâ€™s Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave up waiting for the federal government to act,â€ť he added before showing the former movie star telling rally attendees that his plan would â€śsimultaneously protect the environmentâ€ť while business would â€śboom.â€ť
To bolster Schwarzeneggerâ€™s point, Blackstone dismissed criticism from the oil refining industry that it would â€śdrive business and jobs out of the stateâ€ť by pointing to â€śunlikely supportersâ€ť of the governorâ€™s plan like Peter Darbee of Pacific Gas & Electric.
Darbee likes the plan, said Blackstone, because â€ścompanies will be able to buy and sell the right to pollute. Those that reduce emissions more than required can sell whatâ€™s called a credit to companies that havenâ€™t reduced emissions enough.â€ť
In other words, â€ślet the market handle it,â€ť Blackstone asked Darbee. â€śExactly right,â€ť Darbee answered.
But the so-called market-based solution is just more regulation on private industry that will not actually reduce emissions into the atmosphere, the Competitive Enterprise Instituteâ€™s Myron Ebell points out.
â€śThe utilities signed on to it because they have a way out and in fact they may benefit because they produce everything out-of-state,â€ť Ebell, the director of energy policy for the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, told the Business & Media Institute.
As such, Ebell told BMI, buying energy produced out-of-state would only curb emissions created in-state, but those â€śgreenhouse gasesâ€ť would just be produced outside California as the state shifted away from energy production while growing its energy consumption.
â€ś[I]t seems that the loophole is that the utilities can get all their additional power from out of state,â€ť Ebell noted, adding that â€ś if thatâ€™s the case, the utilities have a huge source of credits that they can sell, and they can just buy all their power from out of state.â€ť
In other words, Darbeeâ€™s company has a lot to benefit from the newly signed legislation. Conversely, oil refineries, which generate emissions in-state, would likely need to buy credits to conform to new regulations.
Concluded Ebell, â€śItâ€™s a nutty thing that theyâ€™ve done, and itâ€™s going to have a lot of costsâ€ť passed on to the consumer.
Aside from skipping any detractors of the regulatory scheme, Blackstone left out any global warming critics, perhaps because CBS has all but officially declared global warming an undisputed fact.
As the Business & Media Institute reported last month, during an extended national heat wave, Blackstoneâ€™s colleague Bob Orr excluded any opposing view on his July 31 â€śEvening Newsâ€ť story on climate change.
â€ś[Pew Center on Global Climate Changeâ€™s Jay] Gulledge says thereâ€™s no longer any serious debateâ€ť over global warming, Orr insisted then. Yet BMI pointed to two climatologists who disagree, including University of Alabama climatologist John Christy.
â€śWeather extremes occur somewhere all the time,â€ť Christy noted, including â€śthe coldest November and December in 106 yearsâ€ť at the end of 2000, an event that â€śdoes not prove U.S. or global cooling.â€ť
CBS also failed to note that the huge cuts planned by California still fall short of the left-wing goal of meeting the Kyoto treaty guidelines. That pact would mandate cuts 7 percent below 1990 levels.