Global Warming, Meet Earmark

By May 14, 2007Global Warming

Since all ills, environmental and social, can be blamed on global warming, it makes for the perfect political rationale. So you can expect to see more of this kind of thing, from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, and Representative John Hall, D-NY.

According to legislation being pushed by Schumer and Hall, the 160-year old Holmes dam, as well as many other suffering dams across the Hudson Valley, the state, and beyond could be in line for some $350 million in federal assistance for upgrades and repairs as part of a proposed bill that would also heighten safety standards for dams.

Schumer said that although the federal government has receded in the past two decades from dealing with infrastructure, that there’s “a new urgency” with climate changes reflected in a particularly worrisome series of three 50-year storms that have hit the area over the last 18 months.

Hall is a freshman legislator, a businessman, a former pop performer (Orleans, talented musicians), and anti-nuke activist. And, although a first-termer, he knows how to pitch a spending project. Preferred tone? Dire.

“Unfortunately I think we need to prepare for more of this because storms are getting more frequent and storms are getting more ferocious as the climate changes,” said Hall, who sits on a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

“Nor’easters, blizzards, hurricanes like Katrina, tornadoes like the one in Kansas, all these storms are expected to become more frequent and … it’s better to take action in front before a disaster happens … it’s also way cheaper.”

Global warming = environmental catastrophe = “Do you think I can squeeze another $20 million into this bill?”