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Archive for the ‘F – Climate Change Facts’ Category

Climate Budget Cuts Are Smart Management, Not an Attack on Science

May 25th, 2017     Commentary By
Katie Tubb Policy AnalystNicolas Loris@NiconomistLoris    Fellow in Energy and Environmental Policy

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testified on Capitol Hill
on May 25 to explain and defend the president’s budget proposal.Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom

Trump’s budget proposal does in fact eliminate or cut a number of climate programs. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to realize there are legitimate justifications for doing so.    Even if the federal budget won’t be balanced on the back of eliminated climate programs, there are a number of basic problems with government climate spending.
1. Quite simply, there are a lot of global warming programs.
For all the Obama administration’s emphasis on global warming as an issue, the Government Accountability Office’s December 2016 assessment found only partial improvement in program management and could not yet determine if government standards showed whether programs were being effective, as they had only just been implemented.    The Government Accountability Office noted in 2009 that “the federal government’s emerging adaptation activities were carried out in an ad hoc manner and were not well coordinated across federal agencies, let alone with state and local governments.”
At least 18 federal agencies administer climate change activities, costing at least $77 billion between fiscal years 2008 and 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service.
2. Most of the money goes to green tech rather than science.   
If these technologies are economically viable, there will be plenty of private sector capital available to develop them. Hardworking taxpayers shouldn’t have to dump money into speculative or failing technology companies or pad the bottom lines of successful ones.   The Department of Energy is notorious for spending on research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of technologies like wind, solar, geothermal, electric vehicles, biofuels, coal carbon capture and sequestration, small nuclear, and batteries.
This has been particularly true in more recent years as a result of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus package, which funneled billions of dollars into energy technologies.    According to the Government Accountability Office, the bulk of federal climate spending has gone to technology development rather than science, wildlife, or international aid.
3. There’s a lot of wasteful spending.
While the Navy’s price per gallon may appear cheap, the actual total cost to the government is much higher.   Despite clear direction from Congress that fuels be cost-competitive, the executive branch camouflaged the costs of the Navy’s biofuel program by subsidizing it through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation program and the Department of Energy.
>>> A First Look at Energy Issues in Trump’s Budget 
There are other much larger boondoggles, too. The Navy spent hundreds of millions of dollars on biofuels to meet a political objective to “jumpstart” a domestic biofuel economy with no strategic advantage for military capabilities.  There are many other equally ridiculous examples, such as an Environmental Protection Agency grant for “green” nail salon concepts in California.
As just one example of wasteful spending, Office of Budget and Management Director Mick Mulvaney highlighted the National Science Foundation’s grant for a global warming musical. (The nearly $700,000 grant was awarded in 2010.)
4. International climate initiatives are fatally flawed.
There are a number of problems with America’s continued participation in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the body that has produced international global warming agreements and, most recently, the Paris Protocol.  One would think that an international climate conference aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be the perfect opportunity to have a teleconference to show some good faith. But instead, government officials from around the world fly to lavish venues while telling you to buy hybrids and eat less meat.

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