tv Washington Journal Myron Ebell CSPAN April 23, 2021 11:58am-12:16pm EDT
[indistinct conversations] >> coming up shortly, governor larry hogan of maryland will join a bipartisan group of governors and members of congress to talk about infrastructure policy. live coverage starts at 12:15 here on c-span, online, or on our radio app. the spacex crew, dragon, successfully launched from kennedy space center. the crew of four astronauts is headed to the international space station for six months science mission. this is scheduled to dock at the space station on saturday morning following a welcoming ceremony and news conference. watch for live coverage beginning at 4:30 on c-span two,
online at c-span.org, or listen on the radio app. bell joins us via zoom and he led the environmental protection agency, served as the director for competitive institute for energy and environment. remind viewers first what you do and what your mission is, especially on this issue of a changing climate. guest: cei, competitive enterprise institute, is a fairly small public policy institute that specializes in regulation, all kinds of regulation, not just energy and environment. from a free-market perspective. host: how long have you been around? guest: 1984, fred smith started cei with his wife, fran. host: what is the center street -- center for energy and environment there? guest: we have a very small team.
your average environmental group is over $100 million per year and cei is $7 million per year and we have maybe a third of our work is energy environment, so we have a small team and we try to hit the highlights on virtually every type of energy policy, chemical risk, plastics, climates, energy, transportation , and all kinds of federal lands, property rights, and others. host: it is cei.org if you want to check it out. as day two of the climate summit gets underway, president biden announcing a goal of cutting u.s. greenhouse gas emissions in half 2030. is that achievable and what would it take to reach that goal? guest: i suppose it is achievable if we have a commanding control economy or we
have a commanding control economy, so people were told what they had to do. the fact is we have a huge energy system, and huge energy resources. when you want to change things, it is hard to do anything except incrementally. that is because we have got over 330 million people values a lot of electricity, most of them drive a lot. the idea we should cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% in nine years is preposterous. unless you want to devastate the economy and make -- especially make poor people poor. people -- poorer. people in the lower income bracket spend much higher percentage of incomes on energy then better off people. if you want to really devastate the economy, you could do it.
given our current situation, assuming we will not have a command and control economy is just preposterous. host: this is president biden yesterday from the summit, his pitch on doing it, and how to do it. pres. biden: engineers and construction workers building new carbon capture and green hydrogen plants, to ford's cleaner steel and cement and produce clean power. i see farmers deploying cutting-edge tools to make soil of our heartland, the next frontier in carbon innovation. by maintaining those investments, and putting these people to work, the united states sets out on the road to cut greenhouse gases in half, and half by the end of this decade. that is where we are headed as a nation. that is what we can do if we take action, to build an economy that is not only more prosperous but healthier, fairer, and
cleaner for the entire planet. these steps will set america on a path of net zero missions economy by no later than 2050. host: the pitch that it is an economy that is more prosperous, fairer, cleaner. guest: well no, sorry. you can't create a sort of fantasy economy. this is going to destroy huge massive economic activity because energy prices are going to go up. when energy prices go up, the price of everything goes up. the whole biden package, when you look at it, every piece of it will take economic activity out of the economy. it creates a lot of jobs when you build a wind factory or solar factory, but it also destroys a lot of jobs from the plants closing prematurely, that
have a big investment that is stranded. it will create huge economic devastation, and the idea -- president biden, i'm sorry to say, his understanding of economics is at a fairly low level. it's about the same level as trump's understanding of science . this attempt to paint a rosy picture will soon come to grief. let me give you one practical reason. it takes years and years to build these plants. one of the reasons is because of our regulatory process of permitting them. it allows for long delays in getting the permit done, and long delays from litigation, because people will file lawsuits. so the empire state building back in the 1920's was built in
a little over a year. today, to build anything takes five to 215 -- five to 15 years and they are taking? -- talking nine years we will be emission cut -- talking nine years we will be emission cut? host: folks already calling in. one of the first actions that president biden took was rejoining the paris climate agreement. to these big, global agreements work in getting worldwide emissions lower? guest: the underlying treaty, the u.n. framework convention on climate change, was signed by president bush, the elder, in 1992 and ratified by the senate. so we have almost had almost 30 years of -- so we have had
almost 30 years of climate action. on climate change, conferences have been held around around the world. i have been able to go to some of those. if you look at the graph of greenhouse gas emissions, we have done nothing to bend the curve down. emissions keep going up, and that is because the world is not energy rich. it is energy poor. china is the big actor here, going from going way behind the united states and energy used to being way ahead, so china now has emissions from their mostly coal-fired power plants. there emissions are now longer -- larger than the united states and europe combined. india is starting down that road area you see at the summit yesterday, the chinese communist leaders, be -- xi jinping saying
they will continue to go up. they are really playing us for fools. i think a lot of people in the media go along with that, it is like they are part of the team, they are a party to the paris climate treaty, so they are doing their part. there emissions keep going up and economy goes rooming and we are putting off on our economy by making these promises. host: if you charge on the new york times demonstrating what you're talking about, emissions by country in the united states here on the left. declining emissions as you can see. european union is the same. then there is india, and on the far right and large increase there is china. during his remarks in the climate summit yesterday, president xi jinping of china had this to say about emissions. >> we will continue to
prioritize clout -- economical -- china will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. china has committed to move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in a much shorter time span than what's might take many developed countries, and that requires hard effort from china. support has been given to encourage peeking pioneers from localities, sectors, and companies. we will strict lick control coffaro -- coal-fired power generation projects. we will limit the increase in coal consumption over the land. and face it down in the 15 five year. -- five-year period. host: for those that don't spend their days understanding this, what did that mean? >> he is making big promises. this is quite a ways into the future.
i forget who wrote this one in the newspaper a few weeks ago, china will have to close 600 coal power power plants. they have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in these, so there's not -- these are not old plants, these are new plants. we know a lot of coal plants that can be closed down because there at the end of their life expectancy. china put huge bouts of money into these power plants because it is the cheapest form of electricity. that is what powers their economy. india is doing the same thing. i think they play us for fools, and they make these big promises that they don't do anything. it's the promises in the future, americans will have a new president by then, the european union will have a bunch of new prime minister's, so our leaders come and go and there's tend to stay around for a long time. they play the long game, so i
would not put much faith in any promise from the chinese communist leader. host: china commissioned 38.5 gigawatts of power plants in 2020, more than three times the nearly 12 gigawatts commissioned by the rest of the world according to a report from the global energy monitor and senator for research on energy and clean air. myron evils --myron ebell is our guest. plenty of calls for you. we start in ohio, line for democrats. in morning. caller: good morning -- good morning. caller: good morning. i wonder what his plan would be and how he wants to move into the future, how he would like to make things different and better, have a better economy. guest: yes, i believe societies are very able to handle challenges when they have good
institutions, political institutions, premarket technological capability well. and a lot of energy. when i look at the future, i see a prosperous, resilient america that uses all kinds of energy and has an abundance of it that is not put on an energy poverty diet. the idea is that global warming is an existential crisis or threat, or emergency is blind by the fact. the fact is, and i should say this, the global warming debate is run by the modelers. if you look at the data, we have a modest rate of warming far below the model projections, and we have impacts that are mild and mostly, on average, beneficial. so yes, there may be challenges in the distant future, but we should not hamstring ourselves
and make ourselves poorer and less able to handle environmental challenges, less resilient, by putting ourselves on an energy poverty diet. host: he say climate change impacts our total un-beneficial. what are you referring to? guest: if you look at all of the impacts of the u.n. reports, you will see global food production continues to go up, virtually every year. there is no record set. why is that? one of the reasons is because co2 is necessary for plants to photosynthesize. geologically speaking, we are at a low point at co2 levels in the atmosphere. if we have higher levels, plants grow more. this is well demonstrated in the literature, and that is why the earth's screen and you can go to the nasa website on this and you will see the satellite photography since 1979.
you will see the earth has greened up substantially. that is the main benefits. there are a lot of other benefits. growing seasons are longer, the green belts are widening as the growing seasons expand a little bit, because we are not having more hot weather around the world, we are having less cold weather, so summertime highs, we don't have -- in this country, we have many fewer days over 90 and a hundred than we did in the 1930's, but in the winter, we don't have as many really cold days in the fall and spring, so it -- so in general, i think the stress has been manufactured out of scary models by people who have less interest in the facts and more interest in an agenda. host: from kentucky, roberts,
republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i agree with the guest on basically everything he is saying right now, saying china is playing us for fools. i wondered if you knew anything about in the past, china coming to the toe fields and actually went underground with their employees for numbers of years. looking at their equipment, and it seems like, if china, in the future, wants to be a world superpower, president biden would be tougher on them and wouldn't have to cut their emissions if they are going to be flexing all of their muscles towards us in the u.s.. i was wondering if you could comment on the chinese desire for equipment in the past. guest: i am not an expert on this. you probably know more about this than i do. i have a dog that has had some
surgery so he decided to move around. in this world of zoom television, it happens. guest: i am not an expert on this but clearly every country in the world is trying to use the best technology, so it is natural a country like china, which is way behind us technologically, would try to come for the united states and use our technology. the question i think that has to be asked, are they doing it in a legal way where they pay for it or get a license to produce their technology, or are they stealing it? >> we are going to leave this discussion, but you can find "washington journal" online. we take you now to maryland with governor larry hogan and a discussion on infrastructure policy. you are watching live coverage on c-span. gov. hogan: