President Bush’s Principles on Global Warming

By April 18, 2008Global Warming

We let the President’s announcement of Administration principles pass without notice yesterday on the blog, mostly because they were so measured, reasonable and well laid-out. Not much to add. The environmental left screamed and accused people of bad faith, but you could serve them a wonderful breakfast with eggs benedict, mush melon and mimosas, and they’d scream and accuse you of bad faith.

The National Association of Manufacturers did issue a statement from President John Engler that was also measured, reasonable and well laid-out, and you can read it here.

And the Wall Street Journal’s editorial yesterday was right on the mark. With abdication of responsibility becoming an art form in the world of policy and politics this year, President Bush’s effort to link rhetoric to action to economic consequences was welcome. From “Carbon Shakedown.”

Mr. Bush also went after the Democrats and green activists ginning up a regulatory crisis. Judicial interventions and political pressure are forcing regulators to retrofit existing environmental laws to incorporate global warming – costly purposes for which they were never intended.

This effort has been appalling even when graded on the usual Congressional curve of self-interest and buck-passing. Democrats want to take credit for crowd-pleasing goals while shifting the blame for the costs achieving them onto unaccountable bureaucrats. But if a cap-and-trade program really is coming, then lawmakers should, well, make laws.

The White House deserves credit for playing the political hand in front of it. It would have been easy enough to abdicate responsibility to the next occupant of the Oval Office, who will be far more likely to wave aside economic considerations in the interests of “doing something.”

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