"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
The EPA Monday morning released its proposed rule for existing power plants, which aims for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. It’s being called both the largest action a U.S. president has ever taken on climate change, and yet also reasonable — almost to a fault, as some are arguing that the administration isn’t going nearly far enough. And while no one’s had a chance to fully analyze all 645 pages yet, the announcement has already prompted thoughtful, nuanced discussions about the rules’ potential impact — from some. The knee-jerk reaction from the right, on the other hand, is to attack away, with little, if any, attention paid to what the EPA is actually proposing.
Republicans are accusing Obama of bypassing Congress — which he is, but only because this Congress refuses to act, and because a previous Congress, way back in 1990, gave the EPA authority to regulate emissions that threaten public health. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide emissions count.
They’re citing the scary numbers put forth by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the projected economic cost of the rule — numbers arrived at last week, before anyone had seen the actual proposal, and that, as economist Paul Krugman pointed out, wouldn’t even be that scary if they were true.
House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, has resurfaced footage of Obama saying that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” That’s old news: As the New York Times points out, Republicans used the video as campaign fodder in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. In the proposal that we’re talking about now, the EPA is projecting that electricity costs in 2030 will be 8 percent lower than they otherwise would have been.
House Republicans are also decrying the return of cap-and-trade, even though the rule doesn’t make specific mention of it. Many states are likely to embrace that strategy, but only because it’s a good one: A number of officials at electric utilities say they’re in favor of such a system. While yes, Democrats in Congress were defeated when they tried to pass a cap-and-trade bill in 2010, Vox reminds us that back in 2008, Republicans were pushing a cap-and-trade plan that made Obama’s look weak by comparison.
It’s because they fail to engage with any actual data or information, perhaps, that the majority of attacks fail to pack a punch:
The President's proposed greenhouse gas rule would hit all our wallets. We can't afford higher electricity bills! http://t.co/8x9t9iZDZF— Rep. Kristi Noem (@RepKristiNoem) June 2, 2014
Congress has already defeated cap and trade on a bipartisan vote. Today's proposed rule on #coal subverts the will of Congress.— Rep. Lee Terry (@LEETERRYNE) June 2, 2014
Costs of new EPA rule could top $50 billion a year, according to US Chamber of Commerce study: http://t.co/YWMa6VFwhA— Randy Forbes (@Randy_Forbes) June 2, 2014
Thanks to this new EPA rule, the working families of West Virginia will bear the burden of fewer jobs and higher energy prices.— Shelley Moore Capito (@RepShelley) June 2, 2014
President Obama promised to make electricity rates skyrocket. Unfortunately, this is one pledge he intends to keep. http://t.co/KzL6SyN6iE— Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 2, 2014
If that doesn’t scare you, this video published online today from the Republican National Committee probably won’t, either:
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.More Lindsay Abrams.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)