Monday, May 11, 2009

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Butterfield Out Of Touch

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District is represented by Democrat G. K. Butterfield. He replaced Democrat Frank Balance, who resigned in June `04, for conspiracy, money laundering and mail fraud.

This Congressional district has a population of 603,000. Towns such as Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, New Bern, Wilson and Elizabeth City dot the landscape. While the topography, vistas and people of this region are among the nations finest, much of the area is an economic wasteland.

According to the Congressional District Analysis and Insight Report from January `09, the 1st district is the fourth poorest district in the nation. Since 2000 the population in Butterfield’s district has declined by three percent while at the same time poverty is on the rise. Many counties have experienced negative growth including Vance, Bertie, Northampton, Edgecombe, Halifax, Martin, Warren and Jones.

This report further reveals that the economic numbers are stark. Almost 25 percent of this district is in poverty. Average household income is $30,040. In a state with the fourth highest unemployment in the nation, the numbers here are worse.

Democrats have controlled this seat for over 100 years. While other parts of North Carolina and the nation have seen periods of boom and bust, economic opportunity here remains elusive.

There are success stories, but too few to keep its young residents from leaving, or to enable the poor to escape the scourge of poverty. In spite of this continuing economic nightmare, Congressman Butterfield has embraced an energy concept that many speculate will only further raise the misery index for his constituents.

In a recent story in Elizabeth City’s Daily Advance, Congressman Butterfield said he advocates for a cap-and-trade energy policy. Cap-and-trade is a scheme for managing pollution by reducing emission pollutants, most notably carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that some view as environmentally destructive. Butterfield is vice-chairman of the Sub-committee on Energy and Environment that will be writing this energy bill.

It’s called the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill. If passed the federal government will begin imposing limits on emissions of carbon dioxide for American business and industry. Permits will be required from the federal government to allow permission to emit carbon dioxide beyond government pre-determined levels. If your business or industry needs to release more CO2 than its mandated allotment, you can acquire or trade with other industries that use less than theirs. A MIT study estimated this madcap legislation will cost the average household $3,100 in higher prices.

Advocates of cap-and-trade acknowledge the plan is to raise the cost of energy for everyone. Companies will be forced to invest in new technology to reduce carbon emissions. “They’re going to have to pay a penalty for emitting carbon into the air,” Butterfield acknowledged.

“The debate is about climate change and global warming,” he said. “There’s near unanimous agreement that the planet is warming and that the climate is changing and that we need to take federal action to correct that.”

Not so fast, congressman. The debate on the causes of global warming is not conclusive. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, is one of many notable scientists who believe that there is “no proof that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gasses from human activity.”

Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize winner for Physics is also skeptical, and says that “global warming has become a new religion.”

In fact, 650 of the scientists who took part in the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, publicly dispute the panel’s conclusions that human activity is causing the world to become dangerously warm.

U. K. Telegraph writer Gerald Warner in his piece, “Global Warming: Al Gore’s convenient untruth freezes over,” concludes that this hysteria is all about money. “The cash from U. N. grants, wind farms, carbon trading and all the billions squandered on politically useful (to totalitarians) superstition is very clear indeed: this is big bucks. Man-made global warming is the new sub-prime commerce of the planet.”

House Democrats are meeting behind closed doors to hammer out the details of their new energy policy. How’s that for renewed transparency in government? Never-the less we know the Democratic plan will raise energy costs, decrease energy sources of supply, and reduce the amount of energy available to the American people.

House Republicans were meeting too. They sponsored an event called the American Energy Solutions Group Summit. This meeting was open and televised. Experts and business leaders were invited and asked for ideas on how to best meet our nations growing energy needs; focusing on the resources we have available, while at the same time working to better protect the environment.

Former Michigan Republican Gov. John Engler, representing the National Association of Manufacturers called the proposed cap-and-trade bill a “prescription for permanent recession.” Millions of manufacturing and other jobs would be lost to China and India, which will be under no such environmental constraints.

Most Americans desire cleaner air, water and a healthier environment. But they also want to keep the jobs they have, create new ones and lower the cost of energy. The Democratic plan will achieve the opposite- a job wrecker if there ever was one.

Increasing efforts in conservation, continuing to explore and harvest renewables through incentives, expanding the use of nuclear power, using and developing clean coal technology and further developing wind and solar power; this is a plan America can live with without sacrificing our national economy or the environment.

While Congressman Butterfield meets secretly with fellow Democrats on cap-and-trade, many here remain confused. How can he support any legislation that propels his district further toward an economic abyss?

What Butterfield’s district really needs is more jobs not fewer; more opportunity, not increased poverty and less government intervention in our lives, not more. Those in his district should not have to continue going backwards.

The argument over Anthropogenic Global Warming continues to be a contentious debate, and rarely ever gets down to an explanation of how the experts arrive at their conclusions - except in those scientific journals that talk about concepts the average person cannot follow. Bob has provided a long list of the highly qualified scientific experts who dispute man caused global warming.

Those on the left have a number of experts they quote who say the opposite. The one thing that is different between the two camps is that the proponents of global warming have consistently denigrated those who dispute their premise and have worked to have them prohibited from expressing their opinions. If you really thought that you were correct, why would you be afraid to allow your opponents to even express an opinion?

One thing that has changed some minds is the admission by Barack Obama that cap-and-trade will likely increase electric bills for the average consumer by 50% to 100%. That means if you pay $200 a month for electricity now, it will be $300 or more very shortly after cap-and-trade is passed. Many who cannot follow the scientific argument make up their minds very quickly after that is explained. When facing a $100 plus minimum increase a month many don't care who is right. They don't care if it will kill jobs. They don't care if 100 years from now we are experiencing an ice age or another warm period like we had in the middle ages. They care a lot about not increasing an electric bill they are struggling to pay right now.

Especially the poor in our impoverished area. Those are the ones that Butterfield does not seem to care about.


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