Barney Frank: GOP Exhibited 'Abysmal Stupidity' on Climate Change

On Thursday, outgoing Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told MSNBC that the Republican Party suffered at the polls because of its "abysmal stupidity" on climate change. 

Climate change — it brought on the endorsement of Mike Bloomberg, because one of the things the storm did was to bring climate change to the fore. So, to that extent, if Republicans got hurt because of the storm, it was because of the abysmal stupidity of their position denying climate change. And yes, so the storm did remind people how wrong they were.  

 Mr. Frank conceded that down ballot votes were likely less affected by Hurricane Sandy:

Were people voting for Democrats in Montana and Indiana and Wisconsin and elsewhere because of the storm? I mean, did the people of those Midwestern states say, 'well, you know what, Obama did a good job in the storm, let's re-elect our senator?'

Mr. Frank's comments may telegraph a broader effort by Democrats to refocus national attention on global warming.  On Friday, a Washington Post editorial by environmental activist Bill McKibben urged President Barack Obama to oppose the Keystone Pipeline.  "Step up, Mr. President: No more worries about reelection," wrote Mr. McKibben.  "That pipeline, if built, will carry the same amount of oil saved by his auto mileage standards. If it’s approved, it will mean, for those of us who care about the environment, that his second term canceled out the one best thing done in his first. If he blocks it, he will emerge as a true champion, with an inspired movement behind him ready to take on the next, even harder, battles."

Mr. Obama's liberal base now expects policy outcomes for its victory-clenching support.  Indeed, liberals are already signaling that they intend to hold the president accountable if he strays from the liberal line. 

But Democrats aren't the only ones touting the need for action on global warming.  Former Republican New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, writing in the New York Times one day after the presidential election, said she hoped that Mr. Obama would return to the cap-and-trade debate and that Republicans would now back it:

It is my hope that my Republican colleagues will see the wisdom of a market-based system for funding a public good -- all very much Republican principles. We must be willing to have open and honest discussions about the need to reduce emissions, about what reasonable caps look like and about the effort it would take to achieve necessary changes.

Also receiving ample consideration by liberals is the creation of a "carbon tax" designed to "reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by penalizing the use of coal, oil and natural gas" to the tune of $1.25 trillion over the next decade.

Will congressional Republicans be willing and able to fend off the environmental left's renewed vigor and zeal for global warming regulations, killing the Keystone pipeline, and imposing a new trillion dollar carbon tax?  Only time will tell.


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