Michigan is not officially part of the two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which the New York Post says aims to "save the Earth from certain doom." While the Great Lakes state will miss out on hobnobbing with notable personalities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Charles, Michigan seems poised to do its part by legislatively chipping away at 54 policy recommendations to "reduce greenhouse gases" as spelled out by the Michigan Climate Action Council in the 125-page Michigan Climate Action Plan and its 471-page appendix.
As I read these recommendations and the proposed environment-related legislation, I'm reminded of a quote from the character Auric Goldfinger in Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger:" "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."
Happenstance? Rewards for ethanol sales:
Transportation and Land Use Recommendation 1: (page 99) "[C]reate a green retailers program with tax incentives for E85 and biodiesel sales that rewards retail and wholesale outlets that attain benchmarks in the sale of biofuels."
Senate bills 622 & 623: "A taxpayer that is a retail dealer may claim an ethanol promotion tax credit against the tax imposed by this act." In other words, give "rewards" to gas stations that increase ethanol sales.
Coincidence? "Green" or "Eco-driving" lessons:
Transportation and Land Use Recommendation 2: (page 99) "Key ecodriving principles would cover: driving style, starting and idling, trip planning, vehicle drag/weight, proper maintenance and vehicle technology applications."
House bill 5507: "The driver training curriculum and any alternative curriculum approved under subsection shall provide for instruction in all of the following:
(a) identifying the attributes of a fuel-efficient vehicle.
(b) maximizing fuel economy by vehicle maintenance.
(c) maximizing fuel economy by vehicle operation.
(d) recycling vehicle parts and fluids.
(e) the importance of carpooling and using public transportation.
Enemy Action? You be the judge: A legislative aide to a senator sponsoring the ethanol rewards bill assured me that his boss isn't too keen on the policy recommendations of the Climate Action Council, and simply wants to "encourage competitive pricing."
But Mackinac Center adjunct scholar and The Heartland Institute's Climate Strategies Watch director Paul Chesser says these recommendations, while sparked under the governor's Executive Order 2007-42, are really part of a national effort and amount to nothing more than a "sham:"
"Michigan's council is guided by a Harrisburg, Pa., based consultant called the Center for Climate Strategies. The center's Executive Director Thomas Peterson says his organization is not an advocacy group, but the center is funded by wealthy global warming alarmist foundations such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Energy Foundation, whose millions of dollars worth of contributions produce state policies that increase energy costs and diminish property rights."
This reminds me of another Goldfinger quote: "Money is an effective winding sheet."