Power-Sharing Deal Reached 

The Senate is split 50-50 and that means Vice President Kamala Harris will get to cast any tie-breaking votes. 

But first things first. Deals had to be made about committee leadership and about filibuster rules. 

Today two Democrat Senators broke the log jam and a power-sharing deal was reached.

The deal will use the same or similar deal that happened in 2001, the last time there was a Senate tie. 

Each party will have an equal number of committee seats, but the Democrats will control committee chairmanships and thus the agenda. 

In 2001 it was Republicans who controlled the agenda.

Deadlock Broken 

The main dispute holding things up involved the filibuster rule. 

Republicans were fearful that Democrats would change the rules requiring 60% approval to advance legislation rather than simple majority.

When Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona reaffirmed their longstanding support for the filibuster, the deal was reached.

Climate Change to the Forefront

Following the Power-Sharing-Arrangement, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (who just replaced Mitch McConnell) set the tone. 

In remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, Mr. Schumer said Democrats are “ready to hit the ground running” on President Biden’s agenda.

“Senate Democrats are not going to waste any time taking on the biggest challenges facing our country and our planet,” Mr. Schumer said, adding that he’s already instructed the incoming Democratic chairs of relevant committees to begin holding hearings on major climate legislation.

“It’s long past time for the Senate to take a leading role in combating the existential threat of our time: climate,” Mr. Schumer said. “As we all know, climate change touches virtually every aspect of our economy and involves virtually every aspect of public policy. So as the Biden administration prepares a whole government approach to combating climate change, the Democratic majority will pursue a whole-of-Senate approach as well.”

Ready to Roll?

Not so fast. Democrat  Senator Joe Manchin is from West Virginia, the second leading coal-producing state

He is also a fiscal hawk and from the state that produced the a 68.6% vote for  Trump. 

Wasted Priorities

Climate change will be interesting to watch. President Trump wasted two full years attempting to un-do Obamacare.

He failed. He had a chance to build a wall and failed. Instead he could have made a big difference on bankruptcy reform, right-to-work legislation and many other things. 

Existential Threat?

Will Biden fall into the same trap wasting years on climate change? 

In this case, perhaps the best we can hope for is Biden wasting two years getting nothing done.

It will be interesting to watch.

John Kerry's Straw Man Climate Arguments

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John Kerry is Biden's climate czar. 

He blamed 4 hurricanes on climate change as if throwing any amount of money at the alleged problem would have stopped the hurricanes.

For discussion, please see Kerry's Straw Man Argument for Wasting Money on Climate Change

Where is the CO2 coming from? 

Annual CO2 Emissions2

CO2 Stats

  • Please note that the US reduced its carbon footprint from 6.13 billion tons in 2007 to 5.28 billion tons in 2019.
  • Meanwhile, China increased its footprint from 6.86 billion tons in 2019 to 10.17 billion tons in 2019.
  • In the same timeframe, global output rose from 31.29 billion tons to 36.44 billion tons.
  • In 2007, the US accounted for 19.6% of the total global carbon footprint.
  • In 2019, the US accounted for only 14.5% of the total global footprint.

The above stats are from Our World CO2 Emissions.

The US could eliminate its entire carbon footprint tomorrow and it would not even matter (except of course, the entire global economy would crash).

How Much Money is Needed?

Kerry did not say how much money he needed, only that we have to make up for the last four years. Lovely.

The implied assumption is we will quickly stop hurricanes by throwing money at the problem.

We better hurry too, because we lost four years. What a hoot.

AOC's Green New Deal Pricetag

US CO2 emissions are only 14.5% of the total global footprint and that is down from 19.6% in 2007. 

With that in mind, please recall AOC's Green New Deal Pricetag of $51 to $93 Trillion vs. Cost of Doing Nothing

GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040

One day after Kerry's ridiculous rant, I noted GM to Phase Out Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2035, Carbon Neutral by 2040.

Assuming one believes CO2 is a problem, this is the way problems are solved.

GM is not doing this to save the world, it is doing this because market forces mandate a change.

Similarly, solar power will come into play as storage technology improves.

The free market, not populist ideas will solve real world problems.

Meanwhile, I am sick of this populist nonsense that climate change is the "existential threat of our time."

Such language is always wrong.

Government to the Rescue Sarcasm

Mish