By the time you read this, the plans for energy/emissions policies may be better understood. As I write, however, it is anyone’s guess. We will shed some light on the subject by reflecting our thoughts and those of other industry experts. Please pay close attention to this issue in the coming months because decisions made in Washington may severely impact our ability to do business as usual.

Washington’s involvement may come in the form of legislation, regulation or both. At the time of publication, the Senate bill is in jeopardy because of the pullout of Lindsay Graham and because of the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf. The bill is the Senate’s way of responding to President Obama’s post-Copenhagen pledge to cut greenhouse gases (GHG) “in the range of” 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050. If the Congress can’t get this done, the EPA seems poised to impose immediate regulations, based on a faulty interpretation of the Clean Air Act of 1970.

It’s stunning to me that this effort continues, seemingly unaffected by the “Climategate” facts that have been revealed in the past few months. For those of you who just awoke from a long winter’s nap, Climategate involves the revelation that virtually all of the GW data generated over the past few decades is suspect due to fraud and falsification. Some of this has been deliberate, and some of it has been a willingness to suspend disbelief. Let me provide some examples:

  • From the 1960s-1980s, the number of stations used to calculate global surface temperatures was approximately 6,000. By 1990, this dropped to 1,500. Most of the lost stations were in the colder regions, with Russia reporting that the East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) was ignoring data being reported by the coldest regions.
  • In spite of all of the hype, polar bears today outnumber the total from 1950.
  • Reports such as the 2003 research by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are unreported or ignored. Among its many conclusions, it said, “The 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennia.”
  • The pre-Climategate report where 2,500 scientists agree that the GW problem is real is touted, while the petition signed last year by more than 31,000 scientists – 9,021 with Ph.D.s – rejecting the claims of human-caused GW is ignored.
  • At Copenhagen, Al Gore continued the lie when he claimed that a researcher said that there was a 75% chance that the polar ice caps would melt entirely (during the summers) in the next 5-7 years. The researcher denied ever making such a claim.
Why do they do this? I believe the root cause is influence, or power. Stanford professor and activist Stephen H. Schneider, a key person in the environmentalist movement, stated the following in 1989: “We have to make up scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we may have.” And former Colo. Senator Tim Wirth, now president of the U.N. Foundation, said, “We’ve got to ride the GW issue. Even if the theory of GW is wrong, we’ll be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

While so much more can be said about the abuse of the facts – and the media is certainly complicit – space won’t allow us to continue. The key is what we can do to counter this blatant ignoring of the facts to pursue an agenda, at all costs. Several industry associations are leading the way. Here are just a few examples:

  • On Feb. 16, 2010, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed a petition in federal appeals court challenging the EPA’s decision to regulate GHG emissions from stationary sources through the Clean Air Act.
  • The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has described the EPA plan as “tantamount to immediate regulation, in effect, shutting down plans for the very investment in plants and equipment needed to jumpstart America’s fragile economic recovery.” AISI is calling for Congress – not the EPA – to decide the fate of emissions standards in the U.S.
  • The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) has joined a group of 20 industry associations and chambers of commerce who, on March 18, 2010, filed a motion to intervene in support of NAM’s position.
  • The Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA) met with the DOE in Washington on April 16 to raise awareness of IHEA and foster future collaboration on a wide range of issues affecting our industry.
Let’s lend our support to organizations standing their ground against government intervention that flies in the face of reason and common sense. IH