Udall defends EPA climate change rules as GOP readies attacks

DENVER — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall was the first vulnerable senate Democrat Monday to stick his neck out in support of the Obama administration’s proposed regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Udall, a conservationist whose wife is the former director of the Sierra Club, heralded the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposals to give states an array of options by which to meet a broader goal of reducing carbon pollution by 30 percent by the year 2030.

“Coloradans have seen first-hand the harmful effects of climate change, including severe drought, record wildfires and reduced snowpack,” Udall said in a statement Monday. “Coloradans also have led the nation over the past decade in confronting this challenge and showing how we can reduce carbon emissions, protect our land, water and air, and strengthen our economy.”

As FOX31 Denver pointed out Sunday, Colorado has been pursuing a reduction in carbon pollution since 2010, when state lawmakers approved the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, which mandated the conversion of existing coal-fired power plants to natural gas — one of the new options the government is encouraging other states to pursue.

“The EPA’s draft rule is a good start, and I will fight to ensure it complements the work we have already done in Colorado and provides states the flexibility they need to make it successful,” Udall said.

Udall’s counterpart, Sen. Michael Bennet, also released a statement supporting the new rules.

“I support the President’s action to curb dangerous carbon pollution, because Colorado is already experiencing the negative effects of a changing climate,” Bennet said. “The constant threat of wildfire, prolonged drought that imperils our $40 billion agriculture industry, and our shortened winters (and ski season) and longer summers all demand action. Fortunately, Colorado is already well-positioned to meet these carbon reduction targets.”

Republicans, meanwhile, are portraying the proposal as part of a “war on coal”, attacking vulnerable Senate Democrats and Democratic candidates for supporting it.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will launch robo-calls on Tuesday in four states, including Colorado where it will be going after Udall.

The robocall alleges that Obama’s “radical energy plan…would make electricity rates skyrocket. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that the new EPA regulations will increase electricity prices and kill thousands of jobs.

“It’s not surprising Mark Udall stands by Obama’s costly regulations, because he lobbied other senators to support a radical cap-and-trade plan that would have increased Colorado energy prices and hurt jobs,” the call continues. “Tell Mark Udall higher electricity costs and new EPA regulations, just don’t make sense for Colorado.”

Congressman Cory Gardner, Udall’s opponent, has yet to issue a statement on the rules.

But Republicans in other states offered a preview of the kinds of attacks Udall can expect.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said in a statement through his congressional office that the EPA rule is “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class, and to representative Democracy itself.”

“Already reeling from the painful effects of Obamacare, the American people are now being told they have to shoulder the burdens of the President’s latest ‘solution’ in the form of higher costs, fewer jobs, and a less reliable energy grid,” McConnell said. “The fact that the President plans to do all this through an end-run around Congress only highlights his contempt for the wishes of the public and a system of government that was devised precisely to restrain an action like today’s.”

Udall, meanwhile, is attacking Gardner as a climate-change denier, firing off a press release cataloging a slew of Gardner’s votes and statements that reflect his view that climate change isn’t human-caused, as 97 percent of scientists believe it to be.

“Droughts, wildfires, floods, heat waves and storms are driving up the price of groceries, hurting our economy and costing our state billions each year. Gardner’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the facts of climate change is out-of-touch with mainstream Coloradans and will put our state at risk,” said Udall’s spokesman, Chris Harris.

42 comments

  • Codswallop Hogwash

    If there was one shred of scientific proof that carbon was a major contributor to climate change, Udall would have a point. The problem is, THERE IS NOT ONE SHRED OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. But these Democrats want to saddle us with higher energy costs in pursuit of their myths.
    TIME TO GO, UDALL.

    • Chuck

      As an earth scientist, I assure you climate change is real. If you are looking for myths to debunk, start with christianity.

      • comradbill

        Man made climate change crazies will manipulate data to fit their story. In truth CO2 increases occur 800 to 100’s of years after the rise in temperature. The graph that the crazies use, shows this, but you must zoom in to see the lag.

      • colocaver

        “Earth Scientist” sounds so professional…… and educated….
        Please explain our last winter!
        It was soooo cold and sooo much ice formed!! The ice caps MUST be melting by simple logic and common sense!! The earth’s temperature MUST be rising!

      • Duke Paulsen

        Mr. Chuck,
        1) TRUE Science is “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” In other words, True & Proven (empiracal) Evidence.
        2) FALSE, so-called “science” is “thinking man’s thoughts after his own (selfish) imaginations.
        3) As an “earth scientist,” are you Sir, studying the earth OBJECTIVELY or are you worshipping Gaia?

        Food for thought . . .

      • colocaver

        Personal insults are the first resort of a loser. Your religion is false and there is no global warming. If you are not paying attention to the weather recently you are ignorant. It’s been cold as heck the past few months especially in the polar regions. That is why there is more ice this year than usual. A lot more. Shipping channels have remained closed that are normally open. The arctic and Antarctic are not melting and it is quite the opposite. I’m pretty sure physics and chemistry still work the same near the earths poles, and water turns to ice at or around 32 degrees F. I think it’s reasonably safe to assume it’s been colder than that much of late in these areas and we are in no danger of the oceans raising.

        I am more concerned with water vapor causing global warming because there is a lot more of that, it is a much more potent greenhouse gas, and it covers the majority of the worlds surface area. We need vapor offset credits.

      • curoi

        Colocaver:
        You really need to stop commenting:
        “I’m pretty sure physics and chemistry still work the same near the earths poles, and water turns to ice at or around 32 degrees F. I think it’s reasonably safe to assume it’s been colder than that much of late in these areas and we are in no danger of the oceans raising.”

        Except that’s not the chemistry and physics that are occurring with sea ice because it’s saline. This means that the freezing point of the water is lower as salt concentration increases. Sea water, especially at the poles, can be highly variable. It’s not as simple as you make it seem. Don’t assume anything, look at the data and evaluate the physics involved.

        Sea levels have already reason around the globe:

        http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/

    • Charles Rogers

      It sickens me that America, the smartest, most beautiful, scientifically advanced country to ever exist is populated with such docile sheep as yourself. You are no patriot, sir.

  • Trevor

    There is proof that Carbon Dioxide causes global warming, and I fully support Udall and his commitment to fight our limitless dumping of CO2

    • colocaver

      There is no proof of global warming, only piles of contrary evidence and recent events. Water vapor is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. CO2 is not causing global warming because global warming is not occurring.

      Global warming and climate change is only religion for Liberals!

      • curoi

        Maybe Mr. Trevor hasn’t but I am convinced you haven’t either. These people have though:

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131222161813.htm

        From the article:

        “Research examining the causes of climate change in the northern hemisphere over the past 1000 years has shown that until the year 1800, the key driver of periodic changes in climate was volcanic eruptions. These tend to prevent sunlight reaching Earth, causing cool, drier weather. Since 1900, greenhouse gases have been the primary cause of climate change.”

      • curoi

        All there is is theory? Like gravity, evolution, plate tectonics, electromagnetism, the big bang, and my personal favorite: heliocentrism! Thanks Copernicus!!!

    • Arian Jesse Smith

      The question is not that are we undergoing climate change, the question is what is causing it. Its clear our climate is changing but its not clear that we are the cause nor the solution. And to throw trillions of dollars at it and hope it sticks is wishful and damaging thinking.

      • colocaver

        Adrian, there is no Easter Bunny, there is no Santa Claus, and there is no global warming or climate change, You will be wasting a lot of time looking for it. If you looked at only the past few months weather events that should be painfully obvious. You’re not paying attention to the world around you!

      • curoi

        Arian Jesse Smith:

        It is clear we are the cause, hence the term anthropogenic climate change. This is the most thoroughly researched theory in science. The link between human influence and the current trends in global temperature are within 95% confidence according the most recent IPCC report. Spending trillions of dollars now to combat this threat is very smart investing given future projections of trillions more in costs to GDP for all nations. The damaging thinking is to be convinced of not acting immediately to reduce fossil fuel use.

        Colocaver:

        If you look at only the past few months weather events to be convinced of climate change, then you stop right now. Climate is a statistical, long-term representation of the short-term variations in atmospheric and geophysical variables including temperature. Why is it that people forget that the Earth revolves around the Sun with a declination of 23 degrees and has four seasons in a given year? Analyzing a couple months of only particular weather events, let alone all weather in just a few months, is statistically meaningless and irrelevant in answering questions regarding if the climate is changing and what is the cause. Start from that context and then you can start answering questions about specific weather events and it’s relationship to global, long-term changes.

    • colocaver

      The general public doesn’t buy the junk science and cooked books being pushed by the environmental religion zealots!
      Don’t liken it to the GOP they are just a sliver!
      Science isn’t supporting climate change. global warming or any of it!
      Remember that ice breaker that got frozen in the middle of a normally open channel in the middle of the Antarctic summer? Didn’t the great lakes just have the largest ice pack in years? Decades??
      Science isn’t on your side and few liberals are enlightened enough to understand the concepts if science past what they were told watching a TV show.

      • curoi

        Hilarious comment. Climate change is science. Science isn’t a person to support anything. It’s a process and a body of knowledge.
        And yes, a lot of people remember the research vessel because it happened several months ago. It’s called ‘fast ice’ and it’s kind of ironic you missed the fact that the disruption of the Mertz Glacier played a role in closing that particular polyana.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25833307

        From the article:

        “The captain did an amazing job, weaving a course trying to get out but it was quite clear this was a different event from anything we’d seen before.”

      • colocaver

        It MUST be global warming….. huh??? That should explain the extra ice in the arctic and over the great lakes this winter?

        The fact and point is there is no global warming occurring!

        Chicken little, the sky is not falling, your religion is false!

        Climate change is not science, it is Religion,

        If you really based your views in science you would see that the world has a long history temperature fluctuations and cycles. Truly temperature changes are something that the earth is used to. How many ice ages have their been??

    • curoi

      Only if you eat fossil fuels. If not, fart away because the carbon dioxide you’re emitting is already part of the carbon cycle. It’s not being pulled out of the ground after being sequestered for millions of years.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, let’s shut down 20% of our electric plants with no replacement in sight. Good plan. Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s stop exhaling carbon dioxide to like, save the planet and stuff.

    • curoi

      There are plenty of replacements for coal as a energy source. In fact, the lower cost and increased production of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) has already led to numerous coal-fired power plants shutting down as a result of the fracking boom. This occurred irrespective of the announcement of carbon emissions reductions from the EPA this week. Renewable energy such as wind and solar photovoltaics are or are increasingly becoming much more cost effective with coal. If you include the externalities associated with contaminated air, public health effects, and increasing risks associated with climate change then renewable energy is the energy of the future. The market has spoken, let’s help it along the way.

    • curoi

      FYI, the 97% value references scientists from around the world, not just in the United States. Scientists do it to ensure we understand the effects of continually adding heat to the Earth’s energy balance. It’s called math. Research performed at universities and government agencies is not a for-profit industry. The motivation for doing research is not some sinister tax hike conspiracy. If you can’t follow the money, which you should be able to do because it’s all publicly available information, stop commenting. Contrast research being done in the public domain with money spent by fossil fuel industries to deny climate change that have a vested interest in maintaining high profit margins. This is also well documented information.

      • colocaver

        You just made that hogwash up. You haven’t stated one fact only opinion.

        There is plenty of evidence of “scientists’ cooking the books to swing climate change, and it has a lot to do with continued funding and advancing your climatic religion! It takes a lot of blind faith to swallow that load!

        Scientifically speaking – water vapor is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 and there is a larger abundance of it – why not regulate it?

  • Codswallop Hogwash

    Here are the facts:-
    Climate change has been occurring since time immemorial. The reasons for it, outside of excessive Volcanic emissions, are unknown.
    More carbon release creates better crops and higher production. That is a good thing.
    Higher temperatures make many areas of the planet more attractive. That is a good thing.
    In fact, the earth has been cooling for the past 25 years or so. Last year, the Arctic Ice field grew by over 2 million square miles.
    Those are facts for those fantasists who cannot deal with reality, aka Democrats.
    Here is another fact: Obama’s plan to eliminate cheap coal fired energy will raise the costs of heating and cooling etc. costing the poor and everyone else more money. Good plan, that.
    This is the kind of stupidity you get when you elect Democrats. And that is also a fact.

    • curoi

      Codswallop Hogwash:
      Yes, the climate has changed many times over the last 4.5 billion years. However, you’re missing the point. The climate has been relatively stable for the last 10,000 years during the Holocene epoch so you’re mischaracterizing the threat of anthropogenic climate change to current human civilization. Many of the reason for natural variability in climate change are, in fact, known. If you have access to a computer and the internet, this is a no brainer.
      Your assertion that carbon dioxide “creates better crops and higher production” is false. First, it’s an oversimplification that isn’t based on any data. There are confounding variables aside from CO2 including the temperature itself. The data actually shows decreases in crop yields for many years now due to severe, prolonged drought all across the world including Russia, the U.S. and elsewhere. Much of the uprising that led to the Arab Spring in Egypt is due to the lack of food for 80 million person population that relies on half its food being imported from elsewhere, primarily Russia.
      Again, your assertion that the Earth has been cooling is incorrect. The rate of temperature increase has been flat for about 15 years in part due to the “cool” phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and wind patterns. There’s research showing that it may also be due to CO2 being transported into the deep ocean via long-term circulation. Temperature increases will resume but it is definitely not decreasing. Look at the last 300 years of temperature records via direct tropospheric observation, ice core and tree ring samples, etc.
      My advice is don’t make a scientific issue a political issue. Human-induced climate change is a fact. If you can’t differentiate between whether its happening or not and what is the cause vs. what to do about it, then stop commenting at all. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

Comments are closed.