Research

Publications

Prospective Students

Events

People

Search

Seminars

Links

Home

2008-09 Seminars


The Politics of Climate Change: An inside Account from our Nation's Capital

Robert Kaminski
Master of Science, Public Policy and Management
H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management
Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract
As oil shot up past $150 per barrel this past summer, gasoline above $4 per gallon and record global temperatures were recorded, the U.S. federal government went on something of climate safari. All branches had different fingers in the climate change pie - the result being a once-delicious pastry treat, now uneatable.
- The Congress seriously mangled the politicking of a substantial legislative proposal for a cap-and-trade system;
- The Environmental Protection Agency attempted to strike out on its own to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under dubious authority;
- A functioning emissions trading market was struck down by the courts and;
- Top it all off, President Bush finally decided (after 8 years) that the U.S. should pledge to emissions reduction, along with the rest of the developed world

All of this activity happening within the span of less than 2 months had something of a reverse-Midas effect. Everything touched turn to mud. In this presentation, I show how misguided leaders, legislators, regulators, and companies and the political jockeying between them led to the shelving of the climate issue until next year - when cooler heads might consider taking it up again. Providing, of course, that our economy is still intactů