Discussion: Alternative Regulatory Actions for Climate Change

Editor’s Note: An OIRA Watch reader sent us the following essay discussing the Administration’s climate accord plans. We think the essay is worthy of publication and its policy proposal is worthy of public discussion. OIRA Watch invites our readers of all perspectives to substantively discuss the climate change essay on our CCS DQA Interactive Public Docket.

Alternative Regulatory Actions for Climate Change

The Obama Administration is invoking its executive authorities to the fullest. More specifically they are negotiating a non-legally binding agreement among nations to establish greenhouse gas emission levels by country.

The agreement will be enforced through “naming and shaming” the violators. In that the agreement is not a binding treaty the “agreement” need not be ratified by a 2/3 vote of the Senate.

The Administration’s action is based on its statement that greenhouse gases increased at a rate of 1.3 percent between 1970 and 2000 but increased toannnual percentage increase of 2.2 percent between 2000 and 2010. In addition scientists conclude that if the massive ice cap over Greenland begins to melt it cannot be stopped with the result that sea levels over a number of centuries would increase by 23 feet in major cities of the world when coupled with the melting of Antarctic ice.

Is there an alternative to the Administration’s program? Consider the fact that a major part of the recent increase in greenhouse gases was a result of the industrialization of China to produce goods and services for western nations, energy production which accounts for half the world’s use of coal.

Notwithstanding the fact that only twelve countries contribute 70 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions, should the Administration use its administrative authorities to curtail the import of goods and services from China by all western countries prior to pursuing the aforementioned strategy?

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