THE TOP ISSUE NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT?
According to Don Bacon, it’s the balance of power in Washington.
July 2018 Volume 52, No. 3
AMERICA’S ENERGY RENAISSANCE
Today, the United States is the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. And the future looks just as bright. by Karen Alderman Harbert Plus Kelly Ayotte examines the push by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to increase the use of renewable energy in his state. And: Dave Joyce outlines the effort he is spearheading to preserve an international treasure – America’s Great Lakes. Also: How U.S. businesses – and the U.S. Defense Department – are fighting climate change. With essays by John Conger, Amy Davidsen, and Jen Austin.
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“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 52, Number 3 Politics & Perspective
Cover Story (cont’d)
America’s Great Lakes: An International Treasure Worth Preserving By David Joyce With the Great Lakes accounting for more than 20 percent of the global fresh surface water supply, protecting and restoring them is in the best interest of both the U.S. and the world.
Why the Pentagon Cares about Climate Change By John Conger A recent vulnerability assessment by the Department of Defense revealed that climate impacts have damaged roughly half of the military installations surveyed.
It’s Time to Get Creative to Solve the National Debt By Jonathan Bydlak While every child born today already inherits over $40,000 in debt, the next generation of Americans is on track to inherit a full-blown fiscal crisis.
How U.S. Companies are Investing in Renewable Electricity By Amy Davidsen The United States finds itself facing a clean energy revolution, spurred not by politics, but by good business sense. And that changes everything.
Baseball, Unity, and George H.W. Bush By Curt Smith Throughout his life, America’s 41st President has never strayed far from the sport of baseball, which to him represents not just our national past time, but a way to bring people together, as well.
“Too Great an Opportunity to Miss.” By Jen Austin McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart are some of the world’s best-known brands. They are also becoming known as leaders in the fight against climate change.
Debate - “Climate Science: Proven Fact or Far From Settled?”
America’s Energy Renaissance By Karen Alderman Harbert With North America now an energy center rivaling the Middle East and Russia, a look at the policies that helped bring about this reality and what more needs to be done.
The Science is Settled By Scott Denning
The Science is NOT Settled By Wayne Christian
Baker’s Push for Clean Energy By Kelly Ayotte Since taking office in 2014, the Governor of Massachusetts has pursued fiscally responsible policies to expand the state’s renewable energy industry and reduce greenhouse gas. Publisher The Ripon Society
Editor Lou Zickar
President Jim Conzelman
Editorial Assistant Kyle Chance
Editorial Board Thomas Tauke Michael Castle Billy Pitts Pamela Sederholm Judy Van Rest Jim Murtha John Feehery
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In this Edition
News & Events
Ripon Profile - U.S. Rep. Don Bacon
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RIPON FORUM July 2018
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THE RIPON SOCIETY HONORARY CONGRESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD U.S. Senators: Shelley Moore Capito - Senate Co-Chair Cory Gardner - Senate Co-Chair Roy Blunt Richard Burr Bill Cassidy, M.D. Susan M. Collins Steve Daines Joni Ernst Deb Fischer Orrin G. Hatch John Hoeven Jerry Moran Pat Roberts Mike Rounds Thom Tillis Roger Wicker Todd Young U.S. Representatives: Susan W. Brooks - House Chair Martha Roby - Vice Chair, South Erik Paulsen - Vice Chair, Midwest Bill Shuster - Vice Chair, Northeast Greg Walden - Vice Chair, West Mark Amodei Don Bacon Andy Barr Mike Bishop Diane Black Marsha Blackburn Vern Buchanan Larry Bucshon, M.D. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Tom Cole Barbara Comstock Ryan Costello Carlos Curbelo Rodney Davis Jeff Denham Charlie Dent Dan Donovan Sean Duffy Tom Emmer Bill Flores Rodney Frelinghuysen Kay Granger Sam Graves French Hill Bill Huizenga Randy Hultgren Darrell Issa Evan Jenkins Lynn Jenkins Dave Joyce John Katko Mike Kelly Adam Kinzinger Darin LaHood Leonard Lance Billy Long Frank Lucas Tom MacArthur Tom Marino Kevin McCarthy Michael McCaul Cathy McMorris Rodgers John Moolenaar Kristi Noem Bruce Poliquin John Ratcliffe Tom Reed Jim Renacci Tom Rice Tom Rooney Peter Roskam Steve Scalise John Shimkus Lamar Smith Steve Stivers Glenn Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Jackie Walorski Mimi Walters Brad Wenstrup Steve Womack
In this Edition
Energy independence. Twenty years ago, the notion that the United States could somehow wean itself off of imported fuel to power its economy seemed like a pipe dream. After all, the country at the time was importing more than half of the oil and gas it consumed each day from other countries – more than 10 million barrels of crude oil daily in April of 1998 alone. But two decades later, all of that has changed. This past April, the U.S. imported just over 2.6 million barrels of oil and gas per day, and the International Energy Agency recently reported that the U.S. will be the leading producer of oil in the world by 2023. This turnaround didn’t just happen by chance. As Karen Alderman Harbert of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute writes in the cover story for this latest edition of The Ripon Forum, advances in hydraulic fracturing and other technologies made oil and natural gas that were previously trapped in shale formations accessible and cost efficient to produce. Equally if not more significant were U.S. property laws, which gave landowners the rights to the minerals beneath the ground. As a result, most of the discoveries occurred on private, not federal, property – a fact, Harbert says, that helped fuel the advances we’ve seen in recent years. “Indeed,” she writes, “given the hostility of the previous administration to hydrocarbon fuels, it’s quite likely that we would not be talking about the shale revolution at all had these resources been confined to federal lands … Make no mistake: the energy renaissance took hold in spite of federal policy, not because of it.” A revolution is also taking placing in the area of clean energy. According to former Senator Kelly Ayotte, it is being led by Governors such as Charlie Baker of Massachusetts. “Since taking office in 2014,” Ayotte writes, “the Baker-Polito Administration has pursued fiscally responsible policies to mitigate and adapt to climate change by expanding the state’s renewable energy industry and regional collaboration in reducing the production of greenhouse gas. Governor Baker has been able to do this while also increasing aid to local cities and towns, cutting taxes and creating more than 150,000 new jobs.” The result, Ayotte adds, is not only a state that is at the forefront of the clean energy revolution, but a Governor whose 71% approval rating is the highest in the nation. In addition to examining the energy revolution underway in America, this latest edition of the Forum also looks at the effort to protect the environment. One of these efforts is being spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio. Joyce is the author of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a plan aimed at preserving a resource that Joyce says is important for both the American people and people around the globe. “The Lakes account for more than 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water supply, and they provide drinking water for more than 40 million people,” the Ohio Republican writes. “Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is not only in the best interest of our nation, but of the international community.” This edition also examines what both the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. businesses are doing to fight climate change, with essays by three thought leaders on the issue – John Conger, who serves as Director of the Center for Climate and Security; Amy Davidsen, who serves as Executive Director of the Climate Group; and Jen Austin, who serves as Policy Director at We Mean Business. In another essay, former White House speechwriter Curt Smith looks at former President George H.W. Bush’s passion for baseball. And Jonathan Bydlak of the Coalition to Reduce Spending shares his thoughts on the exploding national debt – the third op-ed the Forum has featured on this subject this year. And in our latest Ripon Profile, Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon discusses the challenge facing his District that he working to address and the part of the federal government he believes is in most need of reform. As always, we hope you enjoy this latest edition of the Forum, and encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you might have. Lou Zickar, Editor email@example.com RIPON FORUM July 2018
Politics & Perspective
America’s Great Lakes:
An International Treasure Worth Preserving by D AV I D P . J O Y C E My favorite summer past-time is being out on a boat on implement the next steps to keep Asian carp from getting into Lake Erie, fishing and spending quality time on the water with the Great Lakes. family and friends. It’s a tradition I have held on to since my Let me explain why the Brandon Road Study language childhood. Today, I have a family of my own and now they too is critical. As I mentioned before, I, like many of you, enjoy know the joy it brings. boating and fishing on Lake Erie. Sport fishing is a huge I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; the Great Lakes are an tourist attraction, which helps to build the economy of the economic, environmental, and international treasure. The Lakes Great Lakes region. The industry contributes $4 billion to the account for more than 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface economy. If Asian carp get into the Great Lakes, they are likely water supply, and they provide drinking water for more than 40 to compete with native fish species, like walleye and trout, for million people. food. These negative consequences Yet time and time again, no would devastate the sport fishery matter who is sitting in the Oval industry and the regional economy. Office, the administration tries to This translates to jobs and tourism either zero out or drastically cut losses in Northeast Ohio if we don’t funding to protect and preserve the take action. We must act with a sense Great Lakes. This year, President of urgency now, so that our kids and Trump cut the Fiscal Year 2019 grandkids can continue to enjoy Lake budget request by 90 percent from the Erie and the other Great Lakes. amount we appropriated for Fiscal Protecting and restoring the Year 2018. This is unacceptable. Great Lakes is not only in the best I am proud to stand up and interest of our nation, but of the advocate for the restoration and international community. The Great protection of the Great Lakes Lakes are filled with amazing wildlife, through the Great Lakes Restoration natural resources, and are available Initiative and other programs. Many for all to enjoy in sport and serenity. of the Members of Congress that According to the National Oceanic represent States with shorelines on and Atmospheric Administration’s The Lakes account for the Great Lakes joined me in these Great Lakes Environmental Research efforts to continue their restoration more than 20 percent of the Laboratory, they provide fresh drinking and protection. After much hard work water to 40 million people, while also world’s fresh surface water providing 56 billion gallons of water with my great colleague and friend, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (Dper day for municipal, agricultural, and supply, and they provide OH-09), the House Appropriations industrial use. drinking water for more Committee-approved Fiscal We depend on this water, which than 40 million people. Year 2019 spending bill contains is why I am also so proud of the work $300 million for the Great Lakes my colleagues and I, from across the Restoration Initiative to help protect our Great Lakes from political spectrum, have done in Congress to preserve this harmful algal blooms, nonpoint source pollution, and invasive treasure. It may not appear like it on television, the computer species and provide habitat restoration. screen, or in the newspapers, but there is definitely more that This is truly a bipartisan issue that is not only so important unites us than separates us. Preserving the Great Lakes is one to our region, but also the entire nation. issue almost everyone agrees on. They need to be protected In early June, the House passed the Water Resources and preserved for the thriving economy, fresh water sources, Development Act, also known as WRDA. Included in that and so they can continue to bring entertainment and joy to legislation is an amendment that I introduced to help keep people from all over the world. Summertime has officially invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps arrived so let’s all go out and enjoy a beautiful international of Engineers has been conducting a study on the Brandon Road treasure, the Great Lakes! RF Lock and Dam. My amendment directs the Corps to release the final study by February 2019 so we can move forward and David Joyce represents Ohio’s 14th Congressional District. 4
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T gether, To r we can make r, k ke a diff f erence. ff
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It’s Time to Get Creative to Solve the National Debt by JONATHAN BYDLAK Throughout our country’s history, leaders have warned aren’t affordable and we don’t have the money to pay for of the dangers of too much debt. As Thomas Jefferson future promises. And there are the ideological arguments: the famously wrote in 1816, to preserve independence, “we must private sector is more efficient and shifting resources toward not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” government makes us all worse off. And yet, not since Andrew Jackson in 1835 has a While each of these lines of reasoning has appeal to president succeeded in paying down the debt – in fact, much specific segments of the population, their ineffectiveness at the opposite. Politicians of the modern age can rarely be attracting support from the broader public is obvious given bothered to attempt to deal with, the reality of our fiscal situation. as Sen. David Perdue pointed out At the core of our current failure in these pages, the fact that debt is a lack of specific accountability: has now grown to more than $21 even if you agree that the debt is trillion and is “on track to grow by bad, who is to blame? another $10 trillion over the next Today, there are many decade.” organizations that work to elect While every child born today new Members of Congress, with already inherits over $40,000 in the idea that electing “better” debt, the next generation is on people – however defined – will track to inherit a full-blown fiscal bring different results. But if it crisis. Forget the hope of programs is not possible to know who is like Social Security existing much responsible for current outcomes, longer – most of us know that won’t and if elected officials operate in be around; we’ll be lucky if today’s a system that fails to encourage profligacy avoids tanking the entire confrontation with difficult fiscal Jonathan Bydlak economy within a few decades. decisions, then simply electing In 2018, though, it seems that new people is unlikely to result in Just because government both parties have taken the sunny different outcomes. view of former Vice President Dick can do something doesn’t There are only two options Cheney that “deficits don’t matter.” for better controlling the nation’s mean it should. But of course they do. The finances, and they must work handdryness of recent financial reports in-hand – better rules and better might obfuscate, but major accountability. programs are on track to run out of money within less than As to the former, we have a fiscal process in Washington a decade, with no serious reform in sight. Congress couldn’t in which appropriations bills rarely are debated or considered even pass the drop-in-the-bucket rescissions package alone, budgets are rarely passed, and the debt limit – the sole President Trump presented them last month. theoretical check on rising debt – is raised almost by habit. Lawmakers kick the can down the road because they can Without a structure to guide policymakers toward more do so without consequence. Unlike a tax increase, an increase desirable outcomes, electing new people alone doesn’t work. in the national debt doesn’t immediately affect anyone’s Countries with a check on their expenditures – Switzerland paycheck. And who among us instinctively attributes higher with its “debt brake” and Sweden with its rules that forced interest rates or lower income growth to marginal rates of cuts to its overly generous pension programs – displayed far spending and growing government? lower levels of debt in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial The issues are complicated. crisis and show the promise of better rules. What’s more, current approaches simply aren’t working. Many ideas exist for better fiscal rules, but procedural There are the constitutional arguments: just because changes alone are also not enough. When Members can government can do something doesn’t mean it should. There pass the blame onto others or the body as a whole, violating are the fiscal sustainability arguments: current programs rules – at least when passed statutorily – has to come with 6
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In much the same way, Members of Congress are accountability for individual Members. Fortunately, it is actually possible to track how much currently free to tell voters and the general public that they individual members of Congress are voting to add to the support balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility, and smaller national debt. The most important piece of his calculation government. And while we may remember a specific is spending, and my organization’s SpendingTracker.org instance here or there to the contrary, it has historically not cross-references – for the first time – official fiscal estimates been possible to compare one Member’s record to another. from the Congressional Budget Office with individual vote SpendingTracker.org changes this by opening up the impact of Members’ votes not just records. on spending taking place Spending Tracker today, but also the impact represents a key way While every child born today already their votes will have on to record what every inherits over $40,000 in debt, the next the debt tomorrow. Member of Congress is The accountability of doing – and to hold them generation is on track to inherit a new technology combined accountable. Parents full-blown fiscal crisis. with time-tested reforms of today will no longer offers hope that the have to wonder which United States will not politicians are burdening their children and grandchildren with inescapable debt – keep sliding steadily into the realm of fiscal crisis. There’s still time left to right the ship – and if Congress cannot get they will know as it happens. Consider, as an analogy, the current world of financial its act together, creative solutions from an engaged public prognostication, in which commentators offer various are our best bet. RF predictions as to what will happen to home prices or which way the stock market will move. When hearing Jonathan Bydlak is a fiscal policy expert. He is the these predictions on television, it’s impossible to judge founder and president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending the likelihood of them coming true without knowing the and the Institute for Spending Reform, which spearhead SpendingTracker.org. predictor’s past record of success.
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Baseball, Unity, & George H.W. Bush by C U R T S M I T H asked me to write a tribute to what both Ted and George H.W. Bush, America’s 41st President and Joe DiMaggio achieved in 1941 — The Kid’s .406 likely the Nation’s most nonpartisan Chief Executive average, and the Yankee Clipper’s 56-game hitting since Ike, was for most Americans a welcome time out. streak, respectively. He liked to drive his cigarette boat, Fidelity, at the “The President wants to celebrate ’em,” Sununu Bush family home in Maine. The President installed a said. I would script Bush’s talk and text for each horseshoe pit on the South Lawn of the White House “President’s Award.” and played to win but didn’t demand a mulligan. “President’s Award?” I said. “When was it last Bush — “Poppy” after his grandfather’s “Pop” — given?” was religious but not severe; “Never,” said humorous but not risqué. He Sununu. Nor has it been was a fine husband, father, and given since. grandfather. To learn about On July 9, I joined his World War II gallantry, other Teddy-boppers which nearly took his life, in the Rose Garden to you had to talk to others, as laud a generation — and with most members of The a year. Bush praised Greatest Generation, which DiMaggio’s “grace and Tom Brokaw so concisely and modesty,” asked Williams precisely named. for his “help with [his] On December 8, 1941, press relations,” and then Bush — then 17 — tried introduced the Boston to join the navy the day Red Sox’s No. 9, who after the Japanese attacked dominated the event. Pearl Harbor. Spurned due Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum “I’ve always realized to age, he got a diploma in what a lucky guy I’ve been 1942, enlisted the day he turned 18, got wings and his Bush never strayed far from the in my life,” Williams said. “I was born in America.” commission, and became pastime, having first swung a He said he was “very, very the navy’s youngest aviator. proud” of having served Poppy trained in North bat at five. his country and owed “so Carolina, left for the Pacific very, very much” to the Theatre to pilot an Avenger game he loved. To Bush, he said, “You’re looking aircraft, was shot down in 1944, rescued at 20 by a at one of the greatest supporters you’ll ever have.” submarine, the U.S.S. Finback. DiMaggio followed. Acknowledging the It was during training in 1942 that Poppy met the Louisiana State championship baseball players who man known today as “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever were in the audience, he said simply, “I know the Lived.” Ted Williams played for the Red Sox for four feeling.” Indeed, he did. His Yankees had won nine decades, served in the Marines in both World War II World Series. and Korea, and was termed by Bush “John Wayne in Nos. 41, 9, and 5 — Bush, Williams, and baseball woolies.” The two veterans were loyal to one DiMaggio respectively — then took Air Force One another in an endearing director John Ford sort of way. to a “summit” in Toronto with Canadian prime Throughout his life, Bush never strayed far from minister Brian Mulroney, arranged hurriedly so the pastime, having first swung a bat at five. In 1991 that Bush and friends could see that night’s Allthe President coined an event typical of a man who Star Game. “The President cooked up the idea,” invited others to coalesce. Chief of Staff John Sununu 8
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Sununu said, “so that these two legends would be on “Every fifteen seconds, a drop of oil still rises the airplane for ninety minutes just telling baseball from the [sunken] Arizona,” he said as light reflected stories. It was wonderful.” off the Pacific. “As it spreads across the water, we A Red Sox–loving President, his Yankees- recall the ancient poet: ‘In our sleep, pain that cannot cleaving chief of staff, and two names synonymous forget falls drop by with the Good War. drop upon the heart.’ Who wouldn’t listen, It is as though God like disciples of Dylan Himself were crying.” Williams and DiMag and a whole Thomas, wanting more? Profoundly wise, Bush generation built a grand America Williams and DiMag knew that unity wrest a and a whole generation price far beyond being a on a consensus of shared values— built a grand America noble prize. RF liberty, faith, work, democracy, on a consensus of shared values — liberty, faith, and honor, among others. work, democracy, and Curt Smith is a former honor, among others. It speechwriter for President did not come free. George H. W. Bush and is Five months after his tribute to The Kid and Joltin’ currently a newspaper columnist, award-winning radio Joe, Bush gave a speech aboard the U.S.S. Arizona commentator, Upstate New York television political memorial site to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary analyst, and acclaimed author. His latest book is, The of Pearl Harbor. As much as anyone, Poppy grasped how Presidents and the Pastime: The History of Baseball and memory bred unscripted love and unsummoned fear. the White House.
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RIPON FORUM July 2018
AMERICA’S ENERGY RENAISSANCE by Karen Alderman Harbert
Today, the United States is the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. And the future looks just as bright.
America has become a global energy superpower. That statement would have been unimaginable even a few years ago. For many years, our mindset was one of energy scarcity and vulnerability. We were building terminals to import energy from overseas, often times from nations that didn’t share our values. But over the last 10 years, the application of hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and advanced seismic imaging technologies have unlocked vast quantities of oil and natural gas trapped in shale formations, leading to a 60% jump in production, a real energy renaissance. Because of the shale revolution, the United States has ushered in an era of energy abundance leading to greater energy self-sufficiency, lower 10
costs, reduced emissions, and better energy security than at almost any other time in modern history. Today, the United States is the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. And the future looks just as bright. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is forecasting that domestic crude oil production will soon surpass 11 million barrels per day and fluctuate between 11 and 12 million barrels per day out to 2050—a sustained rate 2 million barrels per day higher than the previous U.S. record of 9.6 million barrels per day set in 1970. Natural gas production also shows no sign of slowing down, with EIA projecting a 58 percent increase output by 2050. The United States is poised to become a large exporter of both fuels. Renewable energy is making substantial
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gains, and energy efficiency also continues to thrive in all One of the biggest obstacles to maintaining momentum sectors of the economy. in the energy space is the time and effort it takes to build the America’s energy revolution has given U.S. businesses infrastructure needed to move molecules and electrons from a critical leg up in today’s intensely competitive global where they are produced to where they are needed. We can have economy. American industry pays two to four times less for all the supply in the world, but without adequate infrastructure natural gas and electricity than its many competitors in places to move them, our energy edge will be squandered. like Europe and Japan, a difference that is helping to drive a Unfortunately, environmental groups have become very U.S. manufacturing revival. good at using, and sometimes abusing, the legal system to tie Affordable energy is not only important in revitalizing up the construction of pipelines, transmission lines, export U.S. manufacturing, it is also critical to improving America’s facilities, and other crucial infrastructure in “green tape.” If geopolitical posture. Indeed, North America has now emerged you can’t move it, you can’t produce it. This is becoming more as an energy center rivaling the Middle and more critical. About half of the East and Russia and helped to stabilize distribution pipes in the country are 50 global energy markets. It is no surprise, years old or older. In some regions of then, that the United States since 2008 the country, like New England, shifts has risen from ninth to second place to natural gas for power generation in the Global Energy Institute’s latest are limited because of constraints on Index of International Energy Security pipeline capacity. In fact, last winter, Risk, a tool designed to facilitate a better the lack of pipeline infrastructure understanding of global energy markets. in New England led to the region There are many reasons why importing natural gas from Russia, the shale revolution occurred in the rather than the nearby states of Ohio United States and not elsewhere. The and Pennsylvania. technologies were invented here, and in While we support reasonable many areas of the country the necessary regulations and a fair, transparent and infrastructure and skilled workforce thorough permitting process, we also were in place. America’s entrepreneurial need to ensure that needed infrastructure culture also was a factor. is able to be built in a timely manner. The Perhaps the biggest factor in the Trump Administration is doing what Karen Alderman Harbert success of the shale revolution was it can to improve the process used for something that is seemingly unique siting and permitting of energy projects, North America has to the United States: landowners also but Congress must act to ensure an open own the rights to the minerals beneath and predictable process that can’t be now emerged as an their land. Because of this, the shale manipulated to delay, delay, delay. energy center rivaling revolution initially played out almost We also are concerned that tariffs exclusively on private land and subject could blunt America’s energy edge. the Middle East and to state regulation. Given the hostility Energy infrastructure uses a lot of Russia and helped to of the previous administration to iron and steel, and the imposition of stabilize global energy tariffs on these goods could impose hydrocarbon fuels, it’s quite likely that we would not be talking about the shale significant added costs on building markets. revolution at all had these resources this much needed infrastructure. been confined to federal lands. Indeed, Retaliatory tariffs being contemplated while oil and gas output on private land has roared ahead, or levied by our trading partners, many of which are large output on federal lands has remained sluggish. Make no purchasers of U.S. energy, could affect exports of U.S. oil, mistake: the energy renaissance took hold in spite of federal natural gas, and coal. policy, not because of it. One thing we should have learned over the past decade Maintaining America’s energy edge means moving from is that a strong energy sector is essential to a strong U.S. an energy policy developed for an era of energy scarcity to economy. Our energy entrepreneurs have made the United one of energy abundance. To that end, some progress is being States the largest energy producer in the world. With a sensible made. The Chamber and others led the fight to end the ban on policy environment that plays to America’s strengths, there is crude oil exports, and the Trump Administration has moved no reason we cannot maintain our energy edge and expand its swiftly to get rid of some of the worst regulatory excesses benefits for every American. RF of the previous administration and expand access to energy resources. The tax reform package was another bit of needed Karen Alderman Harbert is president and chief executive officer reform, which will result in lower costs for consumers. of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute. RIPON FORUM July 2018
Baker’s Push for Clean Energy by KELLY AYOTTE Governors play a critical role in our national discourse In September of 2016, Governor Baker crafted when it comes to policy experimentation and reform. The genius an executive order which laid out a comprehensive approach to of our federal system of government is that much of the power reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard state residents and to shape our future is distributed to the states instead of being businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more confined to Washington. Many of our best ideas emanate from resilient Commonwealth. The order, Establishing an Integrated local governments, which are closer to the people and more Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth, enjoyed effective engines of thought leadership and innovation. On many broad bipartisan support in state government and represented issues - energy efficiency, public an innovative collaboration of key safety, economic development, and stakeholders from the Office of the job creation - it’s the states that are Governor, the Executive Office of often leading the way. Energy and Environmental Affairs, During recent years, one of the Executive Office of Public Safety the most significant public policy and Security, and key state, local and areas which governors have been environmental officials. To further at the fore front of is implementing position Massachusetts to meet the innovative clean energy solutions. state’s environmental goals under In particular, Republican governors the Global Warming Solutions Act, have stepped up in meaningful the order directed the Department ways because they recognize how of Environmental Protection to important the clean energy industry examine emission limits from is to creating good paying jobs in a range of sectors and outline a their states. One of the strongest timeline to identify regulations leaders on this issue is Massachusetts to ensure the Commonwealth Governor Charlie Baker, a member remained on track to meet carbon Since taking office in 2014, of the U.S. Climate Alliance. reduction targets. Since taking office in 2014, The Baker Administration has the Baker Administration has the Baker-Polito Administration has also actively ramped up its support pursued fiscally responsible pursued fiscally responsible policies of renewable energy, including to mitigate and adapt to climate policies to mitigate and solar, wind, and hydropower. In change by expanding the state’s 2016, Governor Baker signed a adapt to climate change renewable energy industry and bipartisan bill, An Act Relative to by expanding the state’s regional collaboration in reducing Solar Energy, to create a longthe production of greenhouse gas. term plan for sustainable solar renewable energy industry. Governor Baker has been able to do development and expansion of the this while also increasing aid to local Commonwealth’s solar industry. In cities and towns, cutting taxes and creating more than 150,000 an effort to lower the cost of net metering for non-participant new jobs. Massachusetts voters approve of this approach. A ratepayers, the bipartisan legislation set the new credit value Morning Consult poll released in April placed the Governor’s for all solar projects to 60 percent of the full retail rate. To approval rating at 71 percent, the highest in America. (It’s also facilitate continued solar growth within communities around worth noting that the top 10 most popular governors were all the Commonwealth, the bill also preserved retail rate credits Republicans, with fellow New Englanders Phil Scott and Chris for municipal and government-owned projects and exempted Sununu also in the top 5.) Governor Baker’s leadership serves as residential and small commercial projects from the net metering a powerful example of how to achieve and implement sensible cap and any net metering credit reductions. clean energy reform policies. In 2017, focusing on continuing efforts to stabilize electric 12
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rates and ensure a diversified energy portfolio, Governor leadership now assists Massachusetts in continuing to achieve its Baker signed comprehensive energy diversity legislation into emission reduction goals under the Global Warming Solutions law. The Act Relative to Energy Diversity garnered significant Act while recognizing the economic and environmental benefits bipartisan support and promoted his Administration’s of an early transition towards clean energy. commitment to reducing energy costs while strengthening Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions has worked the clean energy economy and making progress towards to promote conservative approaches to clean energy and the Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas leaders who champion these reduction requirements. The efforts. Governor Baker and Governor Baker has been legislation required utilities to members of his Administration competitively solicit and contract deserve to be commended for his able to do this while also for approximately 1,200 megawatts strong and consistent leadership increasing aid to local cities (MW) of clean energy generation on legislation that is delivering and towns, cutting taxes and – base load hydropower, onshore market-based clean energy wind and solar supported by solutions that are beneficial creating more than 150,000 hydropower, standalone onshore to both the economy and the new jobs. wind, solar, or other Class I environment. Governor Baker’s renewable resources. decisive actions on initiatives Despite the fact that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that promote clean energy, address climate change, and enable (RGGI), a cooperative effort by northeast and mid-Atlantic states sound, fiscally-responsible environmental stewardship have to reduce CO2 emissions predated Baker’s time in office, he made a significant and positive difference for the citizens of announced plans in 2017 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Massachusetts. RF beyond 2020. As a result of an extensive RGGI program review Kelly Ayotte is a former U.S. Senator from New Hampshire conducted by the member states early in Baker’s tenure, the new and Senior Advisor to Citizens for Responsible Energy proposal called for an additional 30 percent cap reduction between Solutions. 2021 and 2030, relative to the 2020 levels. Governor Baker’s
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Mission Focused: Why the DoD Cares about Climate Change by J O H N C O N G E R The level of attention that the military has paid damaged roughly half of the installations surveyed. to climate change has seemed surprising to some In fact, at the 292 DoD sites within 2 kilometers of observers. The media often highlights an apparent coastline, 45% reported that they were affected by contradiction between the perceptions that climate flooding in recent years. These results were reinforced change advocates are found on the political left, while by the Center for Climate and Security’s February 2018 report, “Sea Level national security advocates Rise and the Military’s are found on the right. Mission,” an update to a Secretary James 2016 study written by a Mattis - and at least fifteen panel of retired generals other senior defense and admirals that highlights officials during the current significant threats that Administration - have sea-level rise poses to taken an approach that is readiness, operations and pragmatic and missioninfrastructure at coastal focused. From day one installations. – in response to questions For example, rising during his confirmation sea levels at Norfolk Naval process – Secretary Mattis Station, the U.S. Navy’s said: “[T]he effects of a largest installation, have changing climate — such prompted the Navy to as increased maritime raise its pier levels. The access to the Arctic, rising installation’s access road sea levels, desertification, John Conger floods multiple times a among others — impact our year, and within twenty security situation. I will years, the road will have ensure that the department In January 2018, the Department daily periods where it is continues to be prepared to released the results of a impassible. At nearby conduct operations today Joint Base Langley-Eustis, and in the future, and that vulnerability assessment that home to the majority of the we are prepared to address shows climate impacts have nation’s F-22s, a flooded the effects of a changing runway means direct damaged roughly half of the climate on our threat impacts on operational assessments, resources, installations surveyed. capability. Air Force and readiness.” His words Major General Tim Green are hardly inflammatory, recently told a House and yet they convey an Appropriations subcommittee that the Air Force has unequivocal recognition of climate change and a already raised the elevation of new construction at determination to overcome its effects. Langley-Eustis and moved mechanical rooms and The nearest-term impacts of climate change are the threats it poses to DoD infrastructure and readiness. In similar functions from basements to higher elevations. Another recent DoD report highlighted the January 2018, the Department released the results of impacts of sea-level rise at Kwajalein Atoll, a small a vulnerability assessment that shows climate impacts Pacific island where DoD recently built a billion(such as flooding, drought, wind and wildfire) have 14
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dollar radar facility. The report noted that as early and the displacement of peoples. Each of these factors as 2030, the rising sea levels will corrupt the island’s serves as threat multipliers, which may not cause drinking water, making it unable to support human conflict itself, but can make a bad situation worse and habitation. This is the kind of study that DoD needs perhaps even serve as the last straw on the camel’s in its hands when it is deciding the location for future back. billion-dollar investments. AFRICOM Commander General Thomas On other bases, training activities are constrained Walhauser recently pointed out that the grasslands by the increasing number of “black flag” days above 90 of the Sahel are receding by about a mile a year degrees, when soldiers are not made to run outdoors, and becoming desert. He noted that the shrinking or by increased drought periods, during which live agricultural resource promotes competition in the fire testing and training are not conducted for fear of region and potentially conflict. Similarly, Lake starting wildfires. Chad has dwindled In the Arctic, significantly, causing melting sea ice has economic stresses created a different set in that region and of challenges for DoD. strengthening the The access to this recruiting efforts region has resulted in of violent extremist increased use of the organizations such as Arctic as a trade route Boko Haram. and increased ability The most often to extract resources. In cited case in recent turn, both Russia and years is Syria, which China have set their encountered a record sights on expanding drought that obliterated their influence over the agricultural lands area, and now, China and drove migration has more icebreaker to urban areas even ships than the United as the nation was Thawing permafrost has caused States. Testifying to dealing with hundreds Congress that natural buildings to settle and foundations of thousands of forces and facts in the unemployed refugees to crack at Eielson Air Force Base in Arctic have driven the from the Iraq war. central Alaska, prompting the Air Navy to reinvigorate Nobody is arguing and reassess its Arctic that climate change Force to request new funds just this strategy, Secretary caused the Syrian civil year to replace F-35 facilities. of the Navy Richard war, but it made a bad Spencer succinctly situation worse, and observed: “The damn now our troops are in thing melted.” the middle of it. Like sea-level rise, the receding of Arctic ice is Congress has been increasingly pragmatic as one of those observable impacts of climate change well. A bipartisan center has evolved in support of that doesn’t depend on a science degree to understand. addressing national security concerns and improving In Alaska, the ice once provided a defense against the resilience of the military to the impacts of climate erosion, but now we see the coastline rapidly moving change. Congress included a provision in last year’s in toward important Air Force surveillance stations. National Defense Authorization Act that declared Thawing permafrost has caused buildings to settle climate change to be a direct threat to national and foundations to crack at Eielson Air Force Base security and required the Department of Defense to in central Alaska, prompting the Air Force to request identify installations that were the most vulnerable to new funds just this year to replace F-35 facilities. the impacts of climate change. Finally, DoD carefully watches sources of President Trump signed this bill into law in instability around the world which could create the December 2017. RF conditions to support violent extremists or even open conflict. Climate stressors such as drought, food John Conger is the Director of the Center for Climate shortages, and sea-level rise drive economic impacts and Security. RIPON FORUM July 2018
How U.S. Companies are Investing in Renewable Electricity It’s not politics. It’s good business sense. by AMY DAVIDSEN
The U.S. administration’s announcement to leave the Paris industrial sector now account for two thirds of the world’s endAgreement ushered in a year that called into question the world’s of-use electricity. RE100 has a growing list of 137 companies, ability to tackle climate change. It certainly made our mission operating in 122 countries with collective revenue of over at The Climate Group, to accelerate climate action to limit the $2.75 trillion. U.S. members account for one third and include warming of the planet to well under 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), companies as diverse as Apple, Mars, PG&E, Anheuser Busch, look much more difficult to achieve. Goldman Sachs and Nike, all committed to 100% renewable But having worked over the past decade with businesses and electricity across their global operations. Together RE100 state and regional governments members are creating enough to advance climate change demand to power New York solutions, I was not surprised State annually. to see that businesses and local In 2017, Starbucks governments have not stepped committed to a long-term away, but in fact have stepped renewable electricity tariff up. to ensure its local facilities We find ourselves facing are powered by renewable a clean energy revolution, electricity. The ‘Green Direct’ spurred not by politics, but by tariff will see the construction of good business sense. And that a new wind farm in Washington changes everything. State to provide clean electricity Technology has helped to 116 Starbucks stores, as well make the case for renewable as the company’s Washington energy, such as wind and coffee roasting facility. solar, stronger than ever. Costs So why the sudden Amy Davidsen have fallen and companies change? The biggest factor is are finding that their return on With price volatility in We find ourselves facing a clean risk. investment is too big to ignore. the energy market sensitive energy revolution, spurred T-Mobile recently to so many factors, not least announced its intention to regulatory and geopolitical, not by politics, but by good source 100% renewable renewables are something that business sense. electricity by 2021, which is should be a factor for America’s expected to save the company boardrooms. For Google, $100 million over 15 years. electricity costs at data centers are one of the largest components General Motors has invested in wind energy to power all of its operating expenses. The long-term cost stability that of GM’s manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Indiana, where the renewable power provides give a level of protection against Chevy Cruze, Silverado and GMC’s light duty pickup trucks are price swings in energy. built. GM currently saves $5 million each year by using renewable Climate risk to companies extends beyond price volatility; electricity and expects those savings to increase over time. companies have global supply chains and a warming climate These are not the actions of companies just wanting to can cause a serious threat to business. Mars Inc. has seen both meet their corporate social responsibility goals. These are environmental and financial threats to its cocoa supply, a crucial significant, long-term business decisions that completely rethink ingredient of the beloved M&Ms. Rising temperatures and how electricity is sourced, distributed and used. unpredictable rainfall will dramatically change where cocoa can RE100, a corporate leadership initiative led by The Climate be farmed, leading to a reduction in supply and an increase in Group in partnership with CDP, aims to advance the shift to price, hence why Mars already purchases the equivalent wind renewable energy globally. Companies in the commercial and energy to power the production of all the M&Ms in the world. 16
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Recruiting and retaining the best talent is another major 2047 and increasing the state’s energy storage mandate to 2 GW challenge companies are facing. The Global Tolerance report by 2025, enough to power 1.5 million homes a year. found 62% of millennials want to work for a company “that This comes just weeks after Hawaii became the first state makes a positive impact” and 53% work harder knowing their to require achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, in addition to work makes a difference to the world. Companies that don’t its existing requirement of 100% renewable energy by 2045. integrate purpose, such as States recognize support climate, into their business for renewable energy will will struggle to keep up with become as significant an issue T-Mobile recently announced its those that do. for political leaders as we are intention to source 100% renewable The private sector seeing in business. electricity by 2021, which is expected has shown it is prepared to The days of innovate, especially since environmental stewardship to save the company $100 million it is clear that pursuing being perceived as antithetical over 15 years. renewable electricity is a to business are ending. sensible business decision. Increasingly, businesses But significant as this may be, recognize their long-term we are still on course for a warming planet. As a result, this all profitability relies on preventing the most catastrophic effects of must be complemented with the actions of governments too. climate change. Governments are also supporting this transition to We need to amplify the actions companies and governments renewables. Massachusetts has already awarded $20 million in are taking to transition to a low carbon economy so there is a grants for energy storage projects (which ameliorate the strain strong case for others to follow suit and not be left behind. RF variable renewables can put on the grid), and hopes to add 200 MWh of storage capacity by 2020. Earlier this month, the state Amy Davidsen is Executive Director of the Climate Group, an Senate unanimously approved a package of energy legislation that international non-profit founded in 2004, with offices in London, includes provisions setting a 100% renewable energy standard by New Delhi and New York.
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“Too Great an Opportunity to Miss.” by JEN AUSTIN What do McDonald’s, Procter & Gamble, and which saved nearly $1 billion in a single year, thanks Walmart have in common? As well as being some of to the actions taken toward meeting its science-based the world’s best-known American brands, they are target. Similarly, energy productivity improvements at also among the world’s leading companies driving Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls have contributed ambitious action on climate change. Like many of to both a 41% reduction in the company’s greenhouse their peers, they recognize that incorporating climate gas emissions intensity and over $100 million in annual action into their corporate strategies represents one of energy savings. As the cost of wind and solar continues to drop, this century’s most significant business opportunities. companies are also driving Hundreds of companies demand for renewable energy worldwide are making it clear and saving significantly that they see the transition to the on energy bills. Over 130 low-carbon economy as a driver companies have committed of innovation, competitiveness, to go 100% renewable, as risk management, and growth. part of the RE100 initiative. As part of the We Mean American companies like Nike, Business coalition’s Take Action T-Mobile, Visa, Kellogg’s, and campaign, more than 700 leading Johnson and Johnson are all businesses around the world are members. Together, RE100 taking bold climate action. These companies are now creating companies are headquartered in annual demand for renewable more than 47 countries and have electricity equivalent to that a collective market capitalization needed to power all of New of over $16.7 trillion, York State. representing more than 20% of Jen Austin What’s more, a growing the entire global economy. number of these companies are Of these, more than 400 Companies are reaching their targets ahead of companies have committed to increasingly seeing that schedule. Apple and Google setting science-based emissions are now both powered by 100% reduction targets to ensure they the risks of not acting on renewables, having just joined are reducing their greenhouse climate change are a real the initiative in 2016. As part gas emissions in line with the of its global commitment, Paris Agreement. Over 800 more threat to their business. Budweiser is working with have indicated that they plan Thunder Ranch Wind Farm in to do so before 2020. Many of these companies are headquartered in the United States, Oklahoma to meet its electricity needs for brewing in including Dell, General Mills, Stanley Black & Decker, the US. There are now more American jobs in solar energy Best Buy and Levi Strauss. Companies are increasingly seeing that the risks than either oil and gas extraction or coal mining, as the of not acting on climate change are a real threat to portion of renewable energy in the U.S. energy mix their business – from stranded assets to increased grows: renewables now account for 18% of U.S. energy disruptions in their supply chains and operations from generation. In Texas, the wind energy industry alone extreme weather. They are also finding that the cost employs over 24,000 people, more than any other state. As more businesses seek to reduce greenhouse gas savings from climate action are often significant. Take Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, emissions and invest in renewable energy, supportive RIPON FORUM July 2018
policies are helping attract the growing number of than 2,800 businesses, investors, cities, and other companies that have made these commitments. Many leaders who are committed to ensuring that the U.S. companies are successfully advocating for strong remains a global leader on climate change. Together, climate and clean energy policies in states and cities the signatories represent 160.2 million Americans and throughout the U.S. Last year in Nevada, action by more than $6.2 trillion of the American economy. investors and companies helped to get an increase in the Through their actions to tackle climate change, state’s renewable portfolio American companies are standard – a regulation making an astute business that requires the increased move. Smart policies are There are now more American production of energy helping businesses – and from renewable energy jobs in solar energy than either oil the country – to capitalize sources – to 40% through on and capture the and gas extraction or coal mining. the state legislature. In benefits of the transition North Carolina, companies to a low-carbon economy. helped to advance Through shared ambition bipartisan clean energy legislation to create a new and collaboration on climate action, policy makers utility green tariff program for corporate buyers, allow and American companies can unlock the economy’s corporate leasing of renewables, and add new solar potential. Corporate action on climate shows it’s too energy to the grid. great an opportunity to miss. RF In tandem with corporate climate action, cities, states and other non-federal leaders are also scaling Jen Austin is the policy director at We Mean Business, up climate action. In just one year, the We Are Still a global nonprofit coalition working with businesses to In coalition has become a national movement of more take action on climate change.
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“Climate Science: Proven Fact or Far From Settled?”
Science is Settled.
“Heat in – Heat out = Change in Heat” by SCOTT D E N N I N G The self-correcting nature of the scientific method vice versa. Heat in minus heat out equals change in heat, has enabled centuries of discovery and economic which is proportional to change in temperature. Every development, leading to dramatic improvements in climate change inferred from the geologic record is the quality of human life since 1500. Hypotheses explained by this simple statement of the conservation are evaluated against observations to develop a of energy. The same principle explains and predicts coherent description of the world which is consistent precisely how much warmer is with measurements and (more day than night, summer than importantly) provides reliable winter, Miami than Minneapolis, predictive skill to guide rational and a pot of water after a burner decisions. has been lit underneath. One of the very most For nearly 200 years, the successful examples is the science of thermodynamics has scientific framework of been used to quantify the effect thermodynamics, which of the absorption of thermal describes and predicts the radiation by Earth’s atmosphere conservation, transformation, and the resulting attenuation of storage, and transport of energy. “heat out” at a planetary scale. Thermodynamics is the basis for The dependence of atmospheric a huge range of industrial and absorption on carbon dioxide and economic processes, as well as for water vapor was first measured our understanding that changes in in the laboratory around 1860, Scott Denning global climate require changes and in the subsequent 158 years, in planetary energy balances. these measurements have been Weather involves local or repeated thousands of times with When more energy regional redistribution of energy increasingly precise instruments. is added by solar by fluid motions (wind and ocean Laboratory spectrometry of CO2 currents) or transformations such radiation than is lost to and H2O is now resolved to subas the latent heat of condensation picometer precision, and the thermal emission, the of water vapor, but global shape of every absorption line is climate change requires sustained Earth’s climate warms explained in terms of molecular, imbalance in energy fluxes into atomic, and quantum effects. and vice versa. and out of the planet as a whole. Over the past 50 years, Because the Earth’s atmosphere is the absorption and emission of held in place by gravity and surrounded by the vacuum radiation by CO2 and other gases has been measured of space, conduction and convection are negligible from towers, balloons, aircraft, and satellites. In every as planetary sources and sinks of energy relative to case the measurements are completely consistent with electromagnetic exchanges that are many orders of our overall understanding of the effect of changes in CO2 magnitude greater. on “heat out,” and therefore on the energy balance of The only significant input of energy to the Earth’s the Earth’s climate system. We know with extraordinary climate system is sunlight, and the only significant precision by how many Watts the incoming sunlight is output is thermal radiation from the planet into space. out of balance with the outgoing thermal radiation of When more energy is added by solar radiation than is our planet, and we can account for the resulting change lost to thermal emission, the Earth’s climate warms and (cont’d on p. 24) 22
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“Climate Science: Proven Fact or Far From Settled?”
Science is NOT Settled. by WAY N E C H R I S T I A N In my experience, many people misunderstand beginning of the 20th Century. Because of oil and gas, the overall impact of the oil and gas industry on our our lives are no longer defined by extreme hunger, modern world. Many view oil and gas as an antiquated cold or hardship. energy source — a relic of the past that will soon be It’s easy to forget these things given the way replaced with so-called “green” alternatives. However, the mainstream media reports climate change. By when looking at our ever-growing need for energy, it bombarding us with sensationalist predictions of quickly becomes very clear that death and destruction, they fossil fuels are going to remain make it seem like using oil our primary source of energy and gas to drive our cars and for the foreseeable future. In heat our homes is bad. In the my opinion, that is not a bad pages of New York Magazine, thing. one prominent climate alarmist Few discoveries have wrote that climate change will impacted the world around us make Earth uninhabitable due more than oil, natural gas and to “famine, economic collapse, coal. The story of energy before and a sun that cooks us.” fossil fuels is a simple one — The activist media then most work was done by human claim that climate change is or animal muscle. This caused “settled science” and that 97 most of the world’s population percent of scientists agree to live short lives of hard labor that the main reason for in extreme poverty. The global global warming is man-made Wayne Christian average life expectancy in greenhouse gases. But that’s 1800 was only 25 years, with not true either; real science is 30 percent of children dying never “settled” and 97 percent An economist found that before age 15. During the 19th of scientists don’t agree. Using century, 80 to 90 percent of the same academic papers used only 1.6 percent of scienthe U.S. population did backto reach the 97 percent number, tists explicitly stated that breaking work on farms and an economist found that spent a whopping 74 percent man-made greenhouse only 1.6 percent of scientists of family income on food, explicitly stated that man-made gases are the main cause clothing and shelter. greenhouse gases are the main of climate change. Around 1800, things began cause of climate change. to change. Many people began In fact, the science of climate to live easier, longer, healthier change is far from settled. The and wealthier lives. Incomes rose sharply and steadily, United Nations climate models are constantly being following the industrial revolution. With that increase “updated” or modified, and wildly irresponsible in income, life expectancy greatly improved. Today, climate predictions — like the starvation of 4 billion the average person lives more than three times people during the 1980s — have not happened. That longer than the average person in 1800. This is partly doesn’t sound like settled science to me. because climate-related deaths, such as starvation and Like everything else in life, there are advantages hypothermia, have decreased 98 percent in the U.S and disadvantages to using fossil fuels. I argue that since the use of oil and gas became widespread at the the advantages of having cheap, plentiful and reliable RIPON FORUM July 2018
Christian, cont’d from p. 23) to admit what we know and, more importantly, what energy vastly outweigh the disadvantages. Additionally, we don’t know — and we don’t know whether manwe have regulatory bodies, such as the Railroad made greenhouse gases are impacting our climate Commission of Texas, to oversee the production in a harmful way. What we do know is that more than one billion human and transportation of beings don’t have access fossil fuels, mitigating It is arrogant for individuals on to enough electricity, and the disadvantages and punishing bad actors who either side of an academic debate as a result, have shorter, more difficult lives. It is harm our environment. to only consider one side of an time for us as a civilization It is arrogant for argument. to put mankind first individuals on either side and work to ensure that of an academic debate to energy is cheap, plentiful only consider one side of RF an argument. The politicization of climate “science” and reliable for everyone. and related attempts by academia and the mainstream media to shame “climate deniers” is both wrong and Wayne Christian is a Texas Railroad Commissioner and dangerous for our democracy. We need to set politics aside and have the courage former member of the Texas House of Representatives
“Climate Science: Proven Fact or Far From Settled?” Denning, cont’d from p. 22) in stored Joules in the oceans, atmosphere, soils, snow, to now, raising atmospheric CO2 to more than four and ice. We have measured these changes in stored times its preindustrial concentration. Application heat using tens of thousands of in-situ sensors and of straightforward thermodynamics shows that the millions of satellite retrievals each day. The results of resulting imbalance of radiation would be as great as these measurements are successfully predicted with the the difference between the last Ice Age and today, but same thermodynamic equations that allow us to design that it would occur more than 50 times as fast. It is incumbent on factories and power plants those who dispute these and automobiles, enabling It is incumbent on those who calculations to explain by our global industrial dispute these calculations what physical mechanism economy. This is one of the they draw their conclusions. great triumphs of modernity, to explain by what physical The scientific method distinguishing us from the mechanism they draw their requires that such claims superstitions of our medieval must be made in the form of ancestors. conclusions. falsifiable hypotheses which There are those who can then be tested using claim that adding an easily measured amount of heat to the planet by increasing experimental methods. In the absence of any coherent the absorption of outgoing thermal radiation will not and rigorous alternative, cost-benefit analysis requires warm the climate, or who claim that the sensitivity rational policy to avoid catastrophically expensive to radiation imbalance is less for photons absorbed damages. RF by CO2 than it is for photons emitted by the Sun. We should be highly skeptical of such claims, as required Scott Denning, Ph.D., is Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, by the scientific method. Without strong policy, economic development in where he leads a large research group using many China, India, and Africa will be powered by burning kinds of observations and models to understand the almost 10 times the total fossil fuels consumed up metabolism of the Earth’s biosphere. 24
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News & Events
Unified: Scott & Gowdy Come Together to Bridge America’s Political Divide WASHINGTON, DC – With including God, could know he was States House of Representatives. They divisiveness and animosity dominating reading the newspaper, to impress upon did it in one generation, because he today’s political environment, The his grandson the value of knowledge instilled in his grandson the desire and Ripon Society held a breakfast and the power of education. thirst and hunger for knowledge.’ discussion on June 28th with two “And as lawyers do from time to “I said, ‘Tim, you’ve got to tell leaders who are working to bridge the time, I interrupted him and said I grew that story.’ And he’s got the one quality political divide. up the exact same way. My father was that I cannot stand in elected officials The leaders are U.S. Sen. Tim Scott a physician, but he would do the same -- which is humility. He didn’t want to (R-SC) and U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (SCthing with the Spartanburg Herald write a book about himself. He said, 4). The pair are friends and colleagues Journal. He would open it up in the ‘Let’s do it together.’ Making reference who were elected to to a recent headline Congress in the same that illustrates not year. They are also only how fractured co-authors whose first America has become, book together, a New but why a book York Times bestseller about unity is needed called “Unified,” was perhaps now more published earlier spring. than ever, Gowdy Gowdy kicked off concluded: “The the discussion by talking notion that you could about the book, and get expelled from a how the idea to write it restaurant because of sprang forth from the your political beliefs regular meals the two or who your employer share while they are in is… This is a terrible town. time in our country’s “We eat dinner history. I don’t together almost every remember it being “I did not know how much I would need a night we are in DC,” more divisive.” friend until June of 2015, when the Mother Gowdy stated. “We were Scott agreed, just sharing stories about and offered his own Emanuel Church shooting happened.” our upbringing, and thoughts on his - Tim Scott relationship Senator Scott was telling with me he didn’t grow up in Gowdy and why he morning so my three sisters and I could a single parent household, but that his hopes their friendship can serve as an see that he was staying current -- he was grandfather, Mr. Ware, was in the home example – and inspiration – for other following what was happening in the as well. And he was telling me that people looking for ways to make world, and he was reading everything Mr. Ware would, at the breakfast table America more unified today. he get could get his hands on. So I in Charleston, open up the Charleston “We come from a state where, interrupted Tim to tell him that, and he Post and Courier because he wanted when we were kids, we would not said, ‘You know, Trey, the difference is his grandson to value education. He have been able to play together,” Scott that my grandfather could not read. He wanted his grandson to understand the stated. “We wouldn’t have been able to died at the age of 94 not being able to importance of knowing what’s going go to the same restaurant together, and read. He faked it. He faked it, because on in the world – current events. So wouldn’t have been in the same hotel, he wanted his family to go from picking he would hold the Post and Courier or even drink from the same water cotton to picking a seat in the United open where everybody in the world, fountain.” 26
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“Fast forward to our time in Congress. We’re having dinner consistently, the four horsemen – myself, Mick Mulvaney, Jeff Duncan and Trey Gowdy. It started to become only two of us. And then the two of us became better and better acquainted … By 2015 we were tight as ticks -- two peas in a pod -- really having a strong, healthy, vibrant friendship. “In this town, having friends is a rarity. We are friendly, but we’re not necessarily friends. I did not know how much I would need a friend until June of 2015, when the Mother Emanuel Church shooting happened. A guy, Dylan Roof, walked into an African American church in order to start a race war in the place where the Civil War started. I remember calling this white guy from South Carolina after a white guy decided to start a race war at a black church. It was that night of the murder.
“And I thought to myself just a few weeks later, how far we’ve come as a nation -- how far we’ve come as a state -- when the first person an African-American calls after a racially motivated shooting in a state with such a provocative history on race is this guy. And it started to show me how much can be done if we’re just willing to break bread together. If we’re willing to spend quality time getting to know the person not as a white person or black person, not as a Jew or gentile, and not as straight or gay, not as rich or poor. Just simply as an individual. I started to see the incredible value of coming together with people who you may not have much in common.” According to Scott, the need for Americans to understand their differences is the first step to unifying the country. It is also, he added, the reason why he and Gowdy wrote the book.
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“We are both Republicans and both from South Carolina,” the Senator said, “but we have real differences on some of the issues that you would think that we are united on. His wife is a public school teacher. I’m a strong supporter of any educational opportunity that leads someone to a better education -- whether it’s public, private, charter, or online. It doesn’t matter to me. Law enforcement experiences -- we have very different experiences. He’s a prosecutor. I’m an African American who’s been stopped seven times as an elected official by law enforcement -- including just a couple of weeks ago trying to get into the Senate, not being allowed to go in with my pin on. So our experiences are just so different at times. And yet we don’t run to the differences. We first build a rapport and the credibility that allows us to address the problems. That’s why we wrote book.” RF
Name: Don Bacon
Occupation: Congressman for the Second District of Nebraska.
First job & lesson(s) learned from it: Farm Boy. It is best to get your work done early in the day before it gets too hot, and better to clean the animal pens frequently before it piles up.
Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: The Bible. Lincoln on Leadership. Good to Great.
Top issue(s) facing America that no one is talking about: The Executive Branch has grown in power at the expense of the Legislative Branch. At the same time, the Senate has selfrestricted the power of the legislative branch with the filibuster. Our forefathers created three equal branches with checks and balances to ensure the rights of the people were protected. Challenge facing your District that you’re working hard to address: Workforce development and welfare reforms are needed in a district with less than 3% unemployment. By helping individuals who are out of the workforce today get the job skills training they need for full-time employment, we can help them gain independence from the government and help lift them out of poverty. The number one need I hear from our large employers is the need for a pool of qualified full-time workers. Finish this sentence: “If I could reform any agency or department in the federal government, it would be…”…our defense acquisition system because it shouldn’t take a decade to field a weapons system. In the age of cyber, we must be more agile.
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