By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2014, 1:50pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

As we noted last night, the global warming deniers were sure to start firing on all carbon-emitting pistons this week in response to the Obama EPA's landmark announcement today of proposed new rules to decrease harmful, climate-destabilizing CO2 pollution from existing dirty power plants, as per the U.S. Supreme Court-mandated enforcement of the Clean Air Act.

The deniers haven't disappointed.

The following quotes come from a press release sent out this morning from the fossil fuel industry-funded "Heartland Institute," which pretends to offer science-based arguments in support of their " discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems."

In fact, the group serves as little more than a mouthpiece for Big Carbon and the modern Republican Party which, largely thanks to Citizens United in 2010, now eschews the use of actual science in the public sphere.

Despite their ironic "non-profit" status --- enjoying government subsidies for promoting "free-market solutions" --- the Heartland Institute is also little more than an arm of the Republican Party. In one of the responses to today's announcement, the Heartland Institute President argues that "Republicans in the House and Senate are right to oppose EPA's new global warming rules," and "Voters will do well to remember who was on their side during the coming political battles."

In another response, the "non-partisan" group says that challenging the Obama EPA's proposed policy could be great for the GOP. "If done intelligently," Heartland's Science Director(!) Jay Lehr writes, the challenge "could cost [Obama's] party the Senate in the November elections and dramatically increase the Republican majority in the House of Representatives - which will enable the Republicans to stymie any further legislative action by the president for the remainder of his term."

Now that's some good Science Directing! And some good non-partisanship! Of course, this is also the same group that purchased billboards comparing those who believe in science to "The Unabomber" and Charles Manson, so it's not as though anybody would take these folks seriously, right? Wrong. They are consistently featured and quoted by theoretically legitimate mainstream media outlets in coverage of the pretend "global warming debate".

Here then, in no particular order, are the top 7 most amusing responses from the Heartland Institute's "experts", as released this morning in response to today's EPA announcement...

"This is Obamacare for the environment: guaranteed to raise costs, reduce choices, and destroy an existing industry. By the time EPA is finished, millions of Americans will be freezing in the dark." - Joseph Bast, President, The Heartland Institute

Well, Republicans were completely wrong about the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), and now, wisely, are quickly abandoning their attacks on it in advance of the 2014 election, so why not double-down and call conservative, flexible, market-based, state-controlled regulations to curb emissions "Obamacare for the environment"?! Sure. That should work!

As to "Americans freezing in the dark", thanks to the EPA, we'll keep that in mind next time we hear how climate scientists are "alarmists" for producing peer-reviewed, independently verifiable science.

"It could be the greatest miscalculation of his presidency if, in fact, cooler minds in the opposition can mount a sensible campaign to educate the public as to why he is wrong and how the economic impacts will be absolutely disastrous in the immediate future. If done intelligently, this draconian action by the president could cost his party the Senate in the November elections and dramatically increase the Republican majority in the House of Representatives - which will enable the Republicans to stymie any further legislative action by the president for the remainder of his term." - Jay Lehr, Science Director, The Heartland Institute

Who knew "Science Directing" was so similar to Political Consulting?! Oh, that's right. The folks who claim that climate science is "junk science" and that is has been "politicized" do so all the time. For profit.

"Carbon dioxide is essential to plant growth - more carbon dioxide makes for a greener planet ... CO2 emissions boost the economy and don't hurt the planet - in fact they most likely benefit the biosphere." - S.T. Karnick, Director of Research, The Heartland Institute

Karnick must have a different idea of "research" than most folks. In any event, water is also "essential," particularly for the "benefit" of human beings. So the more of it the better, right? Therefore, Karnick may want to drink several gallons of it within the next 15 minutes, just to be safe, and then "research" what happens to him! What could possibly go wrong?!

"[I]t appears the entire debate is now political, not about the bad science." - John Coleman, Meteorologist, Policy Advisor, Environment, The Heartland Institute

Right. As we noted last week, it's about the politics of "the handful of folks who profit off of the oil, coal and gas extraction industries, and the personal pain they would like to avoid in cutting into a single cent of the most profitable industry the world has ever known."

Other than that, the only "bad science" seems to be the laughable, easily-debunked pretend "science" that the Heartland Institute publishes on behalf of the sociopathic fossil fuel industry and the Republican Party they now own.

"Lives will be lost as people forgo heating and air conditioning in times of extreme cold or heat. All this loss for naught." - James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering (ret.), Georgia Tech, Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute

Apparently, Mr. Rust's alarmism about "lives lost" due to a pretend lack of heating and A/C is fine. The actual evidence of lives lost due to the already occurring direct and indirect effects of global warming should be completely ignored.

"Simply put, the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations to require further reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by coal-fired plants that produce 40 percent of the nation's electricity - down 10 percent since President Obama took office in 2009 - have no basis in science or truth. ... These regulations will also affect other industries and business sectors that emit CO2, causing costs to rise. ... The president's animus toward coal-fired energy defies any rational explanation." - Alan Caruba, Founder, The National Anxiety Center, Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute

The "no basis in science or truth" charge seems to be straight out of the Obi-Wan Kenobi "These aren't the droids you're looking for" Jedi Mind Trick school of politics. If you say there is "no basis in science or truth" often enough --- despite all the decades and decades of independently verifiable climate science and truth available out there on this issue --- perhaps someone will believe least if they are under a Jedi Master's use of The Force.

And, finally, our favorite...

"Thanks to the Obama administration's EPA and the new regulations released today, America is poised to become the 'no pee' section of the global swimming pool ... Just because we declare that we won't pee in the pool, won't stop the others. ... We'll be stuck in our little no-pee section with a crippled economy while the rest of the world will be frolicking in unfettered growth." - Marita Noon, Executive Director, Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy

This response is very helpful. What she seems to be saying here is that everyone should always pee in the swimming pool unless and until it can be proven that everyone else has also stopped doing so. In the meantime, it's best for everyone to keep peeing in the swimming pool as much as possible.

Smart stuff. No wonder the vast majority of Americans reject the alternate reality being presented by the desperate dead-enders and fossil-fueled clowns like the folks at the Heartland Institute.