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US Needs To Pay for China’s Emissions

This wonderful news almost slipped by us, buried as it was in the ‘Environmental Capital’ blog of the Wall Street Journal:

Commerce Secretary: Americans ‘Need to Pay’ for Chinese Emissions

July 17, 2009

With the U.S. secretaries of energy and commerce in China this week, much of the attention focused on the standoff over emissions reductions or small breakthroughs in clean-tech cooperation.

But yesterday, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said something amazing—U.S. consumers should pay for part of Chinese greenhouse-gas emissions. From Reuters:

“It’s important that those who consume the products being made all around the world to the benefit of America — and it’s our own consumption activity that’s causing the emission of greenhouse gases, then quite frankly Americans need to pay for that,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

The idea that rich-country consumers should pick up the tab for some of China’s industrial emissions has been gaining currency lately—but not from within the Obama administration. The argument is that many of China’s factories churn out cheap stuff for the West, not for domestic consumption, so those consumers are actually responsible for the emissions. China, of course, loves the idea.

This could just be another area for trade tensions with China over the environment. The House climate bill includes a provision for mandatory “carbon tariffs” on dirty imports from countries such as China, which might be illegal under international trade law and which have riled up Beijing. President Obama and Senate leaders have frowned on hardline trade measures.

But Secretary Locke’s statement could open up a new can of worms—right when China’s actions on energy and the environment are proving so crucial to mustering support among wavering senators for the administration’s big cap-and-trade bill.

UPDATE: The Commerce Department sent this clarification late Friday:

“Secretary Locke has been very clear on emphasizing the importance of fair trade as a part of the United States’ relationship with China. He believes U.S. companies should not be disadvantaged by Chinese imports not bound by responsible policies to reduce carbon emissions. China and the US must work together to ensure a level playing field and reduce our carbon footprints. The Secretary’s trip to China demonstrated his commitment to fair trade and his belief that both the United States and China can benefit from shared investments and cooperation in clean energy that will lead to commercial and environmental benefits for both countries.”

Sorry, but it still sounds like Mr. Locke believes Americans should pay for Chinese emissions. Which is, to put it mildly, insane.

And mind you, Mr. Locke is our Commerce Secretary.

Though he was undoubtedly launching a trial balloon for his boss, Mr. Obama.

(Thanks to Nico for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “US Needs To Pay for China’s Emissions”

  1. Media_man says:

    The news seems full of these proclamations from Team Obama, at least to a frequent visitor of right leaning websites like myself. The problem is these items are rarely reported in the MSM and most educated Americans, who rely on the MSM for their news, are completely unaware of how radical and rigidly ideological Obama & his administration are.

    I suppose based on his falling numbers some of this is “leaking” out into the mainstream. But if more of their insane positions reached middle America, this administration would be finished.

    Let’s hope that becomes the case.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    I thought we were by buying their tainted baby milk, lead painted toys and other shit they are allowed to dump in our market!
    Has the Hildabeast apologized to China like she did to India for Global Warming? You know …… it’s alllllllllllllll our fault!

    Six months into the forced rape of America and my liver feels it!!

  3. Gila Monster says:

    “The idea that rich-country consumers should pick up the tab for some of China’s industrial emissions has been gaining currency lately—but not from within the Obama administration.”

    Bulls**t!! That’s exactly who this is coming from. The Messiah and his fellow eco-terrorist-socialists have been floating this from day one of his campaign. His “cap & trade” fiasco is based on the very same false premise, taxing emissions will somehow magically reduce them. Utter madness!! Just another thinly veiled way for the socialists in power to get their hands on your hard earned money.

  4. proreason says:

    This kind of madness cannot possibly end well.

    It has only been 215 years since the entire French aristocracy was decapitated, a mere moment in historical terms. 100 years since the Russian aristocracy was wiped out. Less than 40 years since the aristocracies in Southeast Asia were destroyed.

    Are they so arrogant that these madmen think it can’t happen again?

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    Mr Locke will probably get a few bonus bucks this year from o-blah-blah for his crafty new way of apologizing for us ugly Americans’ behaviors AND going after the “rich” (“The idea that rich-country consumers should pick up the tab for some of China’s industrial emissions”) in one swipe and for doing it abroad as well!

    Heck, .. Locke may have just placed himself for a czar (for life) position!

  6. Petronius says:

    SG: “And mind you, Mr. Locke is our Commerce Secretary.”

    That was my first thought as well. Perhaps Gary Locke’s title should be changed to Apology Czar. Nerobama’s administration certainly needs one. Nerobama is apparently willing to delegate when it comes to apologies, inasmuch as both Locke and Hillary are recently shouldering some of the President’s heavy load. So why not an official Apology Czar?

    I believe it was Arthur Jensen who said that, from a scientific standpoint, the attribution of blame, instead of the analysis of causality, is a form of primitive thinking. A corollary would be that Liberalism is a form of primitive thinking.

    One final matter deserves comment. It is curious that the Locke approach stands product tort liability on its head––thus shifting legal liability from the producer of dangerous articles to the consumer. I wonder if the Liberals intend to try this approach with other goods and services in order to control consumer behavior of which they disapprove? For example, instead of bringing lawsuits against manufacturers of firearms, bring lawsuits against the buyers? Or instead of bringing malpractice suits against surgeons, bring them against the sick and elderly patients for wasting scarce national resources? I could see that happening under Obamacare. The mind boggles.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      “For example, instead of bringing lawsuits against manufacturers of firearms, bring lawsuits against the buyers?”

      Scary thought. I’m thinkin’ if they pull that one, they just might find out just how dangerous those firearms are, huh(???).

    • Liberals Demise says:


  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    It can be said that the fall of Rome was due, in part, to its lack of resiliency against other factions and, to wit, its attempt to appease other ideologies. Christianity for one. Not that I’m condemning Christianity. My point is strictly socio-political.

    I see parallels here but they do not in any way indicate an absolute. Just a clue.

    The leaders of Rome, by conquering so many lands, came to realize that with all the diversity they had, they could not eliminate it but instead tried to instill some sort of pride by being both Roman and (insert dynamic here). It worked, but only for awhile. Eventually, even their system of government came to fail, for many reasons.

    I wonder if we are witnessing something similar here. We have finally come to a government who are not only greedy little shits, which is to be expected, but who also know how to be master manipulators of mass opinion. However, like Rome, the people are finding them to be tiresome and self-serving and thus when administering doctrine, the people are finding it harder and harder to comply. So much so that eventually they will meet with out-and-out rebellion.

    The people in power are counting on the masses, known for civil obedience for a couple of centuries now, may have overestimated our tolerance. And knowing that the conservatives would never rally in anger, they can pretend to meet the wishes of their more ignorant, less tolerant constituents, at least for a time.

    My question is, “For how long?”

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