Crank of the Week – January 27, 2014 – Rep. Henry A. Waxman

Congressman Henry Waxman, Democrat representative from California, announced his retirement on Thursday, January 20. After 20 terms and 40 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, the liberal politician has decided to return to private life. During his tenure in the House, Waxman was an unwavering champion of ecological causes, including anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Greens and climate change alarmists had no better champion in Washington. Over the years, hyper Henry introduced bill after bill to combat what he saw as the evils of climate change. But now the environmental elf from the left coast is leaving, and the American people should rejoyce.

In 2009, when Democrats last controlled the House, he co-authored a sprawling bill to combat climate change that was passed by the House. Waxman-Markey, as the legislation was known, would have required arbitrary and severe restrictions on the US energy supply and infrastructure. The cost to the public would have been enormous—critics estimated cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of $9.4 trillion between 2012 and 2035, along with millions of lost jobs.

“These restrictions can be met only through large-scale deployment of still-undeveloped or uneconomical technologies and alternative energy sources,” claimed the Heratige Foundation's economic analysis of the bill. “In addition to the direct impact on consumers' budgets through higher electric bills and gasoline prices, the resultant increase in energy costs will reverberate throughout the economy and inject unnecessary inefficiencies at virtually every stage of production. It would suppress economic activity and reduce employment, especially in the manufacturing sector.”

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the bill died in the Senate, causing President Obama to give up on efforts to push it through. But Waxman never gave up, after all a good hoax is hard to find. Following President Obama’s statement in his 2013 inaugural address, that failing to respond to the threat of climate change would “betray our children and future generations,” Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse formed a bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to address the global warming threat.

“Congress and the public need to understand that climate change impacts are turning out worse than expected and our window to act is closing,” said Waxman on his website. “This threat is not waiting until we are ready to deal with it. That is why I am pleased to join with Senator Whitehouse to work to educate our colleagues and all Americans about the magnitude of the problem and the urgency of the threat we are confronting.”

Never one to shrink from the bright glare of publicity, or to miss a chance to kiss some like minded political ass, the first thing the new Task Force did was send a letter (pdf) to President Obama applauding his recognition of climate change in his inaugural address, pledging to stand with him in the fight to address this issue, and urging him to develop a comprehensive climate change plan as expeditiously as possible.

In that letter Waxman and his cronies proved that they had fully imbibed the climate alarmists' Kool-Aid by repeating the normal list of global warming falsehoods:

Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or more intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.

Waxman likened the dangers of global warming to cigarette smoking, calling CO2 emissions pollution. Truely a worthy representative of California's 33rd district, the land of fruit, nuts and flakes, he railed against oil companies, opposed fracking, was a cheerleader for cap-and-trade and never met a green subsidy he did not like. True to the end, he hailed the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (AR5) in a speech on the floor of the House.

In that speech he called the EPA and other government regulators the rescue squad, heroically trying to save the planet. Of course, no drama is complete with out the villains. “[H]ere in Congress, House Republicans are denying the science and ignoring the scientists. They are living in a fantasy land and drafting bills to tie the hands of the rescue squad,” he opined. The congressman cheered when President Obama pronounced global warming “a fact” during his latest State of the Union speech. So dedicated to AGW activism is he that Waxman's Twitter handle is @WaxmanClimate.

Sadly, it's possible we will see the gnome like congressman pop up again as a spokesman for the green agenda. “Forty years have gone by very quickly. I have a great deal of satisfaction in our legislative accomplishments. There’s obviously more to be done,” Waxman, 74, said Wednesday in an interview. “But I’m in good health, and my family is in good health. This is a good time to move on and have another chapter if I am to do anything after Congress.”

So we bid adieu to Representative Waxman, climate agitator and unrepentant liberal. Hopefully we will not see his kind again. This Crank of the Week was long over due so we are making Henry a Crank Emeritus – enjoy retirement congressman, the nation will miss you like a dull headache.

Goodbye and good riddance

I for one will not miss the man. The Gollum motif is classic.