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Environment

The Post Partisan Power Play

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorOctober 14, 2010 5:36 PM

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There's a new climate & energy policy debate brewing. It could get interesting fast, judging by the crossfire that flew on wed alone. Here's the abridged version: First comes the release of a bipartisan "white paper" that argues for public investment in energy innovation as the best way to end reliance on fossil fuels. It gets a respectful hearing in the NYT. David Roberts at Grist is perturbed. Joe Romm at Climate Progress is...well, let's put it this way, much more perturbed. But Bryan Walsh at Time and Ezra Klein at WaPo, noting the painful and prolonged death of cap & trade, send out positive vibes about the new bipartisan energy plan. That makes David Roberts agitated and crotchety. Meanwhile, a mini-wonk scrum breaks out between Roger Pielke Jr. and Michael Levi. Where this all goes is anyone's guess. For his part, Roberts, who seemingly accuses Walsh and and Klein of participating in "narcissistic post-partisan fantasies," forecloses any possibility of a good faith debate, much less a bipartisan agreement on energy policy:

It's a power struggle, not an argument. It will be won through political force, not persuasion. It's the oldest war in the book, progress vs. status quo, and it doesn't help matters that so many smart people refuse to fight for, or even associate with, their own side.

Yup, in the climate debate, it always boils down to whose side you are on. UPDATE:

A reader offers a link to an excellent overview of responses that is well worth checking out.

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