Geologist and author of “Inconvenient Facts,”
Executive Director, CO2 Coalition
[Editor’s Note: Below are comments on RGGI made yesterday to the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission by Gregory Wrightstone, CO2 Coalition Executive Director.]
The administration of Governor Wolf attempts to justify Pennsylvania’s participation in RGGI with exaggerated predictions of climatic catastrophes resulting from its similarly exaggerated predictions of carbon dioxide emissions and supposedly damaging atmospheric warming. RGGI, the administration claims, without regard to past performance, will reduce emissions while boosting the economy and lowering electric rates.
Analyses of the Wolf proposal by widely respected professionals show that:
- The administration’s predictions of floods, droughts, heat waves, pollution risks, destructive sea-level rise and agricultural damage are contradicted by historical data and what science and common sense suggests for the future. For example, the justifications for imposing this harmful tax simultaneously predict both increasing rainfall and increasing drought. It can’t be both.
- The administration overestimates future carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric warming because more than 99 percent of its climate models are flawed and because its assumptions for coal use likely exceed what is even possible.
- The administration’s claims of economic benefits ignore RGGI’s poor performance in other states over the past decade. A more realistic forecast for Pennsylvania’s proposed participation in RGGI is one of billions of dollars in lost gross domestic product, hundreds of millions in tax losses, tens of thousands in job losses, higher electric bills and no environmental benefits.
In the time remaining, I would like to respond to written comments submitted by Michael Mann of Penn State. Mann’s comments were insulting and amounted to an ad hominem attack on both me and the eminent scientists of the CO2 Coalition. I will refrain from answering in similar manner.
Dr. Mann claimed in his remarks that “climate models have accurately forecasted changes in global temperatures.” One month ago, leading climate modelers admitted in a study in Science Magazine that the models used are running too hot and forecasting way too much warming. Even Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, agreed with that assessment. Additionally, global temperature data compiled by Dr. Mann’s colleagues at the Hadley Climate Research Unit show that there has been zero global warming for the last 5 years, completely different than the models he extols as being without flaw.
In short, the administration’s economic and environmental justifications for entering RGGI are invalid and its claims of environmental and economic benefits are fiction. I urge the IRRC to follow the science and reject this economic time bomb.
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