Planet Gore

Credit Shock

Here’s another thought about the remarks by Sen. Bingaman I noted earlier, as I read one more report of the same talk in a different publication. He says:

“I think there’s a tendency from a political point of view to set very aggressive targets so that we can tell everybody we’ve set very aggressive targets, and then at the same time enact such a robust system for offsets that nobody has to meet targets in a real way,” Bingaman said.

“The emissions don’t have to be actually reduced,” the senator said. “Instead, everyone can buy offsets that turn out not to have resulted in additional emission reductions. We need to think through that.”

Good for him. That’s intellectually honest, which is rare in this debate. And, to be sure, if Congress took this to heart in the event that it actually adopted such a rationing regime, it would mean making the road for U.S. companies that much harder than for their European counterparts, given that no such shame over failed gestures on carbon emissions exists there.

[First was the 1990 baseline making a mockery of their promise of “reductions”; then the Kyoto Article 4 collectivization under an EU “bubble” further reducing any actual reductions; and then taking emissions-reduction credit instead for Eastern European economic collapse and the UK’s one-off “dash for gas.” Meanwhile, EU policymakers are actually struggling with efforts by some to expand their ability to buy their way out of what remains of their “reduction” commitment. As I’ve noted before, you do not want to enter this deal with these people under those terms.]

But the most amusing thing about Sen. Bingaman’s comments was the shocked audience:

Bingaman’s offset comments caught many at the climate conference by surprise — in no small part because these are the people who work to develop and fund such projects. “It felt a little bit out of date,” said one environmentalist, who cited the growing consensus among conservation groups that there’s a need to focus on land-use efforts to meet any domestic emission limits.
’It’s hard to imagine getting to 2050 targets without offsets,” this source added.

Yes, it’s hard to imagine credibly doing this thing.


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