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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 30, 2013 3:00am-3:21am EST

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room of the white house. she was distressed about becoming first lady but resident ford encouraged her, saying we can do this. she resolved to have fun doing it. the fun started almost immediately. within 10 days she had a state dinner to entertain king hussein of jordan. this is something she had prepared for in her role as first lady lady as she hit the ground running. betty ford, monday night at nine eastern on c-span.
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>> it is a great pleasure to be here in oklahoma. yes, even an august when i left my beloved summer home in maine to come. i am stunned at how many people are here and looking forward to the best part of one of these events for me which is comments and questions from all of you. after i make my introductory remarks. i -- some people probably were surprised when they saw the name theda skocpol attached to a talk about the politics of climate change. heads andhing their said what did she know about that? that is a good question. a couple of years ago, i was approached by the dean of columbia school of journalism and the had of a small
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as afeller foundation little offshoot thing. what they me to do said would take a month. you should always be very suspicious. they wanted me to take a look at what happened in 2009 and 2010 when there was an effort by environmentalists and business people and democrats and cap and tradess a system. a system that would place limits on greenhouse gas and allow companies to trade permits by themselves and with the idea that over time to my this market friendly system would reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the fight against global warming and possible ill effects on our society and the world.
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failed., that effort many of you may know that legislature passed the house of representatives in june of 2009 and then and went to die in the endless desert of the u.s. senate. it was a long death. on theend, the vote legislation did not pass. that was a shock to a lot of environmentalists and even some others who had supported the effort because they thought it was a pretty market friendly bipartisan effort and that they were proposing. i was brought in a couple of years later by people who wanted a hard look at the politics of what happened and that is what i am here to talk about. so we can understand what it meant for the possibility of
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building any kind of political coalition to support what ultimately really is not an environmental set of regulations, it is really an effort to change the way that americans produce and use energy. central to our this is economy and to all of us , all of our way of life. i agreed. a couple of journalists were commissioned to do what is toc to interview people to get a sense of what happened. some very good journalistic accounts written at the time. is ative a sense of what they were trying to do. my job was to put in a longer historical perspective to try to see what kind of window this offered to american politics and to say where things might go
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next if they go anywhere at all. in efforts to place cap on greenhouse gas emissions. that is what i am going to present, some highlights of the report -- the full report is available online. i figure the handout that direct you to where it is. there is plenty of argument all meantut what it with many people being upset that the argument and others supporting it. it is always fun when people disagree. that veryrt by saying quickly, i is a little scientist, beside it was not really that interesting to get bille question, why the that barely passed the house of representatives with namely democratic votes ended up not being voted on in the senate quest mark for those of you who
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follow politics these days, the filibuster is used to prevent most things for passing with 51 votes. 60 votes are needed. point during this entire your legislative struggle did anybody try to change the role to make it 51 votes. that meant the hurdle was very high in the senate and from the perspective of a political scientist, it was not possible even during the nano second with democrats had the votes -- really 58. and bernie sanders from vermont was not possible to envision that in the senate. always going to be senators representing midwestern states have burned a lot of coal to get electricity, let alone
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senators representing states that produce a lot of oil, gas, or call that would not -- or coal that would not vote for the legislation. that would be a lot republicans that would have to be brought onboard to get to the 60 vote margin at from a perspective tom a that is not going to happen. i'd turned the question around. i became much more interested in why anybody thought this had a so, i went back and started looking at public opinion and voting patterns in the congress on environmental issues generally including things that have to do with global warming. data i putrst together. i can tell you i put this as i was doing some interviews with people who supported cap and trade and said, it is not a
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partisan issue. this is just common sense. anybody of goodwill would agree with this bill. what is here in the dark blue and red are scores that the leak of conversation -- conservation voters in which they rate every single member of congress on whether they vote for or against the priorities that in the environmental movement defined for the year. it is interesting because it goes back to the birth of modern withonmentalists movement the clean air and clean water act was first passed and epa agency. blue is the the average with the democrats. average for the house and said and together -- and the senate and together.
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the red is republicans. around -- trying was and diamonds. i wanted to find some kind of indication of how americans think about in general, in national surveys, about environmental issues. it turns out the pollsters asked different questions but that is the problem, that as different questions at different times. there's only one question that was asked again and again over the entire your ego -- entire sandy's to from 90 present. that was, do you think we are spending too little or too much on environmental protection? is a pretty good question to ask because people always tend to be against spending more through government. and liberals tend to be for spending more.
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i rate that over the same time -- here's a very interesting figure. the modern environmental movement was born back with earth today at all kind of social movements in the 1970's. add to that point on average, democrats and republicans voted differently. not all that different. .ot so much different sort of what you would expect, slightly pro-business party and the party more for environmental regulation. .ook at public opinion in that time from 1970's to almost 1990, public opinion was very separate. these are people willing to tell national pollsters they are a democrat or republican. furthermore, public opinion is much closer to what the
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democrats were voting for over that period. we get to 1990, that is when global warming emerges as a big issue in the international conferences. you began to get reports from scientists that it is a serious rack to the environment -- wreck to the environment and ways of life around the globe. look at what begins to happen. that issue comes to the forefront and there are big changes that occur in the republican party with the rise of the newt gingrich movement throwing out republicans were willing to copper mice with the democrats. part companies. that is an important moment.
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senior, w bush, bush amendments were passed on the clean air act they use a kind of system to control after the raid in the northeast. acid rain in in -- the northeast. from then on, come worst parts of ways. you see an extraordinary polarization. zerolicans tending toward and democrats gradually up. and i'm really heard as you look -- an unruly heard as you look. public opinion splits from then on. near as the elected leaders. opinion isblic closer to the democrats up through the end of this.
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for one take away was that anybody who thought an issue having to do with global warming was not a partisan issue in the 2007 was not looking at the data with the environmental movement itself generated. this is their data. now, let me take us on to the next slide. this picks up the story in the middle of the 2000's, the other ended around this time around 2006. an interesting point in the whole development of public opinion on whether we should actively engage in global warming because that is when al gore movement came out. saw it and hee got a lot of publicity. he won a nobel prize and there .as a lot of coverage of that
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there was a major scientific reports. once again pointing to the threat of global warming and are going that something had to be done in the united states and other countries. is if youf the matter look at questions that were asked, i cannot use the old gallupns but more about, was asking about how serious a was asking if they believed global warming was happening. we may have to flip it. the people do not think it's a big threat or higher here, case, oninion in this both questions, split along party lines. not so much around 2006. actually not that are apart
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right around here. suddenly, a new media campaign was launched, which one scholar tracked by coding all the stores on fox news, msnbc, abc, cbs. particularly the stories on fox news, went from night to day to featuring stories about climate change as a hoax that scientists were trying to perpetrate on the public or the idea that climate change regulation would kill the american economy. so you see those stories shoot in 2006 and 2007. in this data and other data i have looked back, conservatives republicans and if i broken down between concerns republicans and -- conservative
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republican's and others -- they started saying it was not a threat and it was a hoax. we would hurt the economy to act on it. in short, the polarization that started back in 1999 the at the inte level took firm hold 2007 really at the level of popular opinion and average voters. this another interesting figure showing what is going on here in the congress with the league of conservation voters. green is john mccain. [laughter] everybody in the u.s. climate action ownership which is the name of the coalition of environmentalists and business men are pushing for cap and trade were counting on john mccain to be the leader of a
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group of republicans who would compromise with democrats to pass legislation. people assured me that john mccain is really their friend. that they did not understand what happened. they were remembering the john when herom 2004 or so was thinking about running for president as a moderate. that is when he went into new --pshire to try and build challenge george w. bush from center. then john mccain realizable party he was in. [laughter] -- he moved even further to opposing all environmental priorities.
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so, let me say that what i concluded from all of this is this was an extremely polarized issue before barack obama moved to the white house. democratsissue where and republicans had parted company's active the elite level and bed the left -- and then the level of average voters. the data international opinion surveys from pew. stood inwhere things 1987 in terms of a split between parties and where they stood in 2012. you can see environment as one of the issues where polarization had the, much more extreme -- become much more extreme , by the timeine this campaign was launched in the first two years of obama's
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presidency, it was virtually impossible for elected office holders in the republican party to consider joining the bipartisan coalition that would've been necessary to pass the legislation. question, whyg did the people who were supporting it think it would work? i'm going to leave that question talk about.or us to i do believe many of the business people and environment was who supported cap and trade were so focused on working out the details of a bargain inside of washington, d.c. trying to figure out how many allowances to give to which andons and how to reach out rope in more business leaders to support the legislation. the just operate on assumption that if they could get business support, that would li