Baird (WA-03) may vote against clean energy bill

Brian Baird is up to his usual Brian Bairdness: From Brad Shannon at The Olympian:

H.R. 2454, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, is a sweeping measure that puts a cap on carbon-fuel emissions, something the state Legislature couldn’t muster this year. H.R. 2454 sets goals for reducing emissions by 2020 and 2050, setting up a framework for a cap-and-trade system of pollution credits.


But Baird, a Democrat from the 3rd Congressional District that takes in southwest Washington and quite a bit of logging country, said yesterday he doesn’t yet support it because of biomass-energy jobs he thinks it will thwart, as written. Baird also said he’d rather see a tax on carbon containing fuels than a cap-and-trade system, which lets companies sell off pollution credits if they meet standards and have capacity.

Baird made these comments during his stop in Olympia to check out a local economic-stimulus project:

“People dispute this, but when you read the language carefully it does what I’m going to say … It effectively prohibits use of dead and diseased trees from most federal land to be used for either renewable fuel or renewable energy standards. We have millions of acres of tinder dry, bug-infested forests in the Northwest, a 75-year backlog of forest health efforts,” Baird said.

“…Last year in our state, more CO2 went into the air from forest fires than from cars and power plants combined. If we don’t take that wood out, forest health will be impaired and forest fires will be more severe. As we speak stimulus money is being used to pay jobs in the woods to thin and remove dead trees. Do you know what they are doing with that wood? … Piling it up and burning it. Honest. Now if you’re seriously concerned about greenhouse gases you might want to turn it into wood pallets or methanol or some other thing.”

Wow, it’s interesting that Baird would bring up power plants. Why, there’s gigantic coal operation right here in WA-03! Well, there is when they aren’t laying people off after getting massive tax breaks.

Again from Shannon’s post at The Olympian:

Baird has recently won re-election with ease, and neither Doglio nor Bob Guenther, president of the Lewis-Thurston- Mason Central Labor Council, thinks Baird is in any danger by supporting the bill. On the contrary, Doglio said, “I think voting against it he could lose some of his base.”

Guenther is a member of the Gifford-Pinchot partnership that has brought business, environmental and labor interests together in a search for common ground in the national forest along the southern Cascades. Members of the group are examining H.R. 2454 to see what effect it could have on their stewardship efforts, which are designed to create jobs and create energy out of wood waste.

Look, way, way back in the day I used to run into Guenther, and he’s a good guy, so don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against him.

But it’s kind of odd nobody even mentioned the TransAlta coal operations in the context of this legislation, when it’s in Baird’s district and Guenther is a long-time labor leader in Centralia. Forest fires happen, and that’s an issue, but it’s not the same issue. The planet really doesn’t care about district politics in WA-03.


  1. 1

    Ferrante and Teicher spews:

    In CO, they blame the forest fires on the fact that they cleared away all the deadwood and brush and grass grew in the interstices causing the fires to spreaD very quickly.

    They feel that it would have been better to leave the deadwood there to slow the spread of the fire. It does slow the firw by giving it plenty of fuel to burn — takes time, you know.

    Maybe the answer to Baird’s apostasy lies between the deep pockets of the coal industry and his reelection kitty.

  2. 2

    new left conservative 1 spews:

    Hi all,

    A slowly increasing carbon tax made revenue-neutral and non-regressive by decreases in the payroll tax would be simple and straightforward to collect, and fair.

    If we really wanted to decrease carbon use, every economist in the world agrees, we’d just tax it.

    Cap and trade is acceptable to many politically because the cost is more hidden to the public, the subsidies to industry are camouflaged and because as a system IT CAN EASILY BE GAMED.

    Brian Baird is no hero of mine, and the forest biomass idea is no doubt a completely bogus boondoggle/subsidy, but he’s right, I sadly suspect, to vote no.


    new left conservative 1

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s too late. Humans are doomed. You are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. You can’t live with fossil fuels and you can’t live without them. Your species is done. Toast. When you’re gone, rabbits will take over your niche, and I’m gonna be their king.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Meanwhile, I’ve bought shares of British Petroleum, a coal company, a railroad that hauls coal, and several oilfield equipment makers and service providers. Humanity’s headlong rush to extinction is gonna make me a rich fucking bunny!

  5. 5

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Baird is a DINO, and if I move back to Olympia before the midterms (which is a definite possibility), I will certainly help find a challenger to teach Baird a lesson.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    GOP Governor Lied About Hiking Trip

    According to this morning’s news reports, Republican Gov. Sanford went to ARGENTINA not hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Hmmm …

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Roger Rabbit Poll

    What the hell was Sanford doing in Argentina, anyway? Your guess is as good as mine; here are some possibilities. Register your vote now! He was:

    [ ] 1. Fleeing socialist oppression in the U.S.
    [ ] 2. Consulting with the Kerchners on political strategy.
    [ ] 3. Looking for counter-clockwise winds.
    [ ] 4. Visiting a whorehouse.
    [ ] 5. Clearing his head after a tough legislative session.
    [ ] 6. Practicing his Berlitz Spanish.
    [ ] 7. Smuggling cocaine.

    Note: One of these answers is an obvious throwaway. (Hint: Whatever he was doing, you can be sure it wasn’t what his staffers told the press he was doing.) Given that the HIV infection rate on Rio’s beaches is something like 97%, let’s hope for his sake he took an ample supply of rubbers with him.

  8. 8

    Piper Scott spews:

    Hey Devore and Darryl!

    Posts @6 and @7 have nothing to do with Brian Baird or cap and trade. I move they be deleted as being in violation of the HA comment policy, such as it is.

    To give Baird his due, he’s looking out for the financial interests of his constituents by not buying into a job-killing tax increase. One Democrat who isn’t interested in turning America into a third-world country.

    The Piper

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 Of course it’s on topic! Gov. Sanford’s world travels are a huge embarrassment for the GOP, and the topic of this blog is


    so what could be more on topic than his Argentina romp?

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    While we’re talking about clean energy, someone should ask who’s paying for Sanford’s Argentina junket. What was he doing down there, inspecting windwills?

    Or maybe he plans to fuel his state’s cars by turning South Carolina’s tobacco farms into sugar cane fields? Yeah, that must be it, he was investigating biofuels!

  11. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    How about this for a potential biofuels source? Hire some kid to follow behind Pooper with a scooper and bucket.

  12. 12

    Piper Scott spews:


    But the topic of this thread, per DeVore, is how a Democrat SUCKS (some may beg to differ), which makes you off topic and, typically, off your rocker.

    Your rants and fantasies don’t do Goldy any favors.

    The Piper

  13. 13

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Piper, Darryl will only enforce entry rejection if he determines the thread is not another “Open Thread” and if he likes the libtardo. He makes that determination as he has thread kill power. Darryl gives a pass to Pelletizer’s thread diarrhea.

    Pelletizer has issues Piper. Leave the frail dumb bunny alone…He still thinks the Seattle Beach Burn Ban was a tax issue.

  14. 14

    correctnotright spews:

    @2 : Old Rightwingnutconservative fool says:

    If we really wanted to decrease carbon use, every economist in the world agrees, we’d just tax it.

    Really, every economist agrees we would tax WHAT?

    Some are arguing that a carbon tax would be simpler and fairer.

    That notion may work in theory, but won’t work in practice. The “simple” tax and rebate that people talk about would in fact create huge regional unfairness – moving money from states that use a lot of coal to generate electricity to non-coal states. Such a tax would never pass the Senate. Efforts to ensure fairness would also create a lot of complexity and opportunities for loopholes. You would have to love the IRS code to believe a tax would be fair and simple.

    In terms of the market failure, the negative carbon externality, both a carbon tax and carbon cap-and-trade will achieve the same level of increased efficiency by achieving the optimal abatement level at the minimum cost. The only difference is the distributional implications. The cost to the firm is lower for carbon cap-and-trade.


    They argue that No government in the world has been willing to place a high price on carbon.cap-and-trade is a superior approach, because it guarantees certainty of actual emissions reductions, and a more pragmatic one, because it does not require politicians to vote for a new tax on pollution. They say taxes are just as prone to manipulation by politicians and polluters and that simple carbon taxes exist only in the ivory tower equations of academic economists, not in the real, rough-and-tumble world of politics and legislating.

    The truth is, however, that neither of these approaches will lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions, and for a basic reason: Both Hansen and those he criticizes focus on pollution regulation and pricing to make fossil fuels more expensive, rather than on innovation to make clean energy cheap. This approach ignores the history of technological breakthroughs, which has primarily been driven by public investment. And public investment in clean energy is what is needed today, because no effort to achieve deep reductions in carbon emissions, domestic or international, will succeed as long as low-carbon energy technologies cost vastly more than current fossil fuel-based energy.


    First, every economist does NOT agree. Second, cap and trade is more likely to pass politically than a carbon tax. Third, a carbon tax would likely be subject to the same problems as cap and trade.

    The bottom line is that the third quote is correct – investment in new energy research is the best bet for reducing carbon and getting us off foreign oil.

  15. 15

    Piper Scott spews:


    I know. But I believe in creating a public record – who keeps the best records wins, ergo I call upon Darryl and, for that matter DeVore since this is his thread and he can thus enforce the rules, to address the very issues you raise.

    Time for someone to hold the HA Happy Hooligans accountable – who audits them?

    The Piper

  16. 16

    correctnotright spews:

    Puddy still thinks the republican party is not racist and lacking in morals:

    Check out the great things Nixon said about blacks and Jews:

    “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” he told an aide, before adding, “Or a rape.”

    or here is Ronald Reagan agreeing with the cover-up by Nixon and the firing of the Attorney Generals and special prosecutors:

    Nixon forced the firing of the special prosecutor looking into the Watergate affair, Archibald Cox, and prompted the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, in what would become known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.” The next day, Gov. Ronald Reagan of California, the future president, told the White House that he approved.

    Reagan said the action was “probably the best thing that ever happened — none of them belong where they were,” according to a Nixon aide’s notes of the private conversation.

    Yup, Nixon and Reagan had no morals.

    Or this anti-semetic comment (among many others):

    At one point Nixon said: “It may be they have a death wish. You know that’s been the problem with our Jewish friends for centuries.”

  17. 17

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    Hey NutsTooTight,

    Puddy wasn’t a Nixon fan. How many times does Puddy need to sledge hammer that fact through your stupid cro-magnon granite encased femtometer sized brain? Also where is your screech against Jesse Jackson and HymieTown?

  18. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @13 Bullshit. I’ve had stuff get deleted. Of course, not as much as you, because nobody can compete with you in the Diarrhea-of-the-Mouth department.

  19. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 The correct answer, we now know, is

    [x] 8. Fucking his Argentine girlfriend.

    I sure hope he was wearing a rubber because Argentina’s HIV infection rate is notorious.

  20. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Maybe Sanford will succeed in coining a new phrase.

    “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” now joins the American lexicon as a euphemism for shacking up in a foreign motel with a foreign girlfriend.

    Maybe Sanford thought he could avoid Wilbur Mills’ fate if he did it in Buenos Aries instead of the Capitol Mall fountain.

  21. 21

    Marvin Stamn spews:

  22. 22

    X'ad spews:

    well, piper, I am moving to a third-world country that does not contain the likes of you and Klynical and weird Marvin, and “reducing” this country to a similar status would be a decided improvement.

    Off-topic but on target

  23. 23

    correctnotright spews:

    Puddy says:

    Puddy wasn’t a Nixon fan

    Excuuuse me, but Puddy is a Republican fan and Nixon was a republican racist.

    Puddy is fond of trying to link democrats with racism, but weasels out of republican racists.

    Also, Ron Reagan turns out to not have respect for the rule of law (not that we didn’t know that, with Iran-contra and drugs/guns for bribery money).

    I suppose Puddy is also not a fan of Reagan and his record deficits too….

    Sorry Puddy, you can’t run from history.

    Note that Lyndon Johnson correctly predicted that Democrats would lose the South in 1964 after he signed the civil rights act – note that today the South is the last bastion of the republican racists.

  24. 24

    Puddybud is shocked SHOCKED spews:

    NutsTooTight: We know you were a 1960s George Wallace Fan. Can’t run from history. You need to throw away those George Wallace books from your library. We know you are a long time Robert Byrd fan. He nurtured your career NutsTooTight. Can’t run from history.

    Regarding your worthless rant of Reagan and his “deficits”, you continually forget Congress writes the bills and spends da money. But all know you are too stupid to understand and comprehend da factz!

  25. 25

    Phil spews:

    People don’t cause climate change. The climate is not constant, as evidenced by the coming and going of ice-ages, among many other facts. The HR2454 is based on a false premise and needs to be voted down.