October 27, 2016

Mark Miller: A dangerous alternative for the Railroad Commission

A lot of newspapers, and some Democrats who know that Grady Yarbrough has no business running for the spot, are touting Libertarian Mark Miller for the Texas Railroad Commission seat.

Wayne Christian, the GOP candidate, of course thinks that regulating fracking makes people gay, so he's definitely not an option.

Yes, Miller knows more about the oil and gas industry than Yarbrough, Christian, or Green Party nominee Martina Salinas.

But, he's got some bad stances. Especially on one big issue.

Let's look at his website campaign comment on climate change and global warming.

1. He does — on paper — accept that anthropogenic global warming exists, while trying to fuzz up with the "skeptic" claim how much of global warming over the past couple of centuries is anthropogenic. Therefore, we should put him in the "denier lite" category, per:

2. He outrightly lies, as I see it, with his claim that global temperatures may have declines since 2007.

The reality is a lot different.

First, every one of the 10 hottest years in recorded history has been 1998 or later.

Also, through July, every month this year has been the hottest on global record.

He doubles down on this lie here, when he says:
Existing climate models have failed to predict the recent leveling off of global temperatures.
The first link was from his previous 2014 run, but there's ZERO excuse for doubling down now. I can only consider him to be a conscious, willful liar, in my opinion.

3. He claims, in essence, there's no way to force China (and others) on the same page as us.
WRONG! As both Paul Krugman and I know, the World Trade Organization allows carbon tax PLUS carbon tariff regulations. Period and end of story. A man with a graduate degree in petroleum engineering should know this. And probably does, given Point No. 2.

4. He believes in natural gas as a bridge fuel. Nowhere in that paragraph does he discuss how methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas, before it breaks down, than is carbon dioxide. Nowhere in that paragraph does he discuss wellhead leakage rates.

5. He puts mitigation of climate change effects ahead of trying to prevent more climate change. Since he doesn't mention renewable energy here, this libertarian — like many — ignores the "cost-effectiveness" mantra when it's convenient.

It's interesting that he himself thinks the RRC should be renamed the Texas Oil and Gas Commission but NOT the Texas Energy Commission, which would, of course (theoretically) include wind and solar.

Also, claiming the free market always has the most moral stances, as he does here, is just BS.

Beyond this issue, I have no idea of his stance on moving hearings for drilling permits out of Austin and to the area of the proposed drilling. If he wants to properly regulate the industry, this is a basic.

I will give him a kudo for wanting to raise vehicle fuel taxes, but that's a small one.

The real answer for the RRC, even if she's not perfect and on a shoestring budget, is Martina Salinas.

Democrats who know Yarbrough is NOT the answer but are endorsing Miller should be shot. And, Chris Tomlinson of the Chronic should know better. It's easy to find Miller's stance on global warming, whereas, I can find nothing about either gas wellhead leakage or locality on drilling permit hearings.

That said, Chris, though generally mildly to moderately liberal himself, works for a conservative newspaper. It's no surprise that Texas newspapers that normally tell people to vote Republican are plumbing for Miller rather than Wayne Christian. But, Tomlinson wouldn't even mention Salinas in his column, then sneered at her chances as a third party candidate, even though she got a little more than 60 percent as much vote as Miller did in 2014. And, also contra Chris, noting that she, like Miller, ran before, she isn't totally incoherent, or totally uninformed, on the issues.

Sorry, Wait, no I'm not sorry, Chris, but you kind of pissed me off on this.

That said, one can't find Salinas' detailed stances.

That's because she doesn't have a website, two months after saying she would.

Sorry, Green candidates, and, regional, county and state Green parties, but Facebook pages alone don't cut it for an online presence. I'll speak more about this in a post-election post-mortem post.

1 comment:

TexasLeftist said...

Thanks for this information, and please consider me called out!! I too detected these inconsistencies on Mr. Miller's page, but I will stand by my endorsement.