Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has unveiled his state's formal response to global warming, and its a fairly strong one. Key measures include cutting the state's energy consumption 20 percent in three years; setting an average miles-per-gallon target for the state's vehicle fleet that would make it most efficient in the nation; and joining the Western Climate Initiative, which would align Montana with seven other Western states and two Canadian provinces.
Montana is also pushing forward despite some harrumphs from industry. The Florida Energy Commission has similarly forged ahead with Governor Charlie Crist's recommendations while shrugging off an "independent" analysis (sponsored by the state's Chamber of Commerce) that shows dire economic consequences, tackling head-on precisely what's wrong with that pessimistic picture:
Mike Sole, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, blasted the report. Sole said it drastically inflated carbon costs, undervalued Florida's solar power and biomass capacity and failed to account for future price increases for fossil fuel.
"There seems to be somewhat a bias in the analysis," Sole said.
Bias in the analysis...hmm, sounds familiar...because it's precisely what the 9th Circuit just declared the Bush administration guilty of by conducting a cost-benefits analysis for CAFE standards that rests solely on industry-friendly factors and numbers.
And as California Attorney General Jerry Brown (you really thought we could go a whole week without mentioning that name?) points out in his published response to an over-the-top Wall Street Journal editorial on his state's lawsuit against the EPA, this sort of spin goes back decades:
The editorial recycles industry claims of increased costs that have been raised by automakers for every significant health and safety measure adopted since the '70s -- scare tactics that have been proven wrong every time. Time will prove them wrong again in the case of greenhouse gas regulations. Likewise, California's requirements do not depend on increased fuel economy, as the editorial claims. Manufacturers can comply by using alternative fuels or improving air-conditioning systems. They also have total flexibility to buy and sell credits among themselves, and among different categories of vehicles.
Journalists trying to "report both sides" while getting the facts straight should take note as well.