Cross-posted from ThinkProgress Green.
Thursday morning, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue argued that “free enterprise” requires a future of accelerated, unending global warming. Supporting expanded fracking, shale oil, and tar-sands development, including the Keystone XL pipeline, Donohue said that the United States should burn hundreds of billions of tons of fossil fuels for hundreds of years:
We have 1.4 trillion barrels of oil, enough to last at least 200 years. We have 2.7 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to last 120 years. We have 486 billion tons of coal, enough to last more than 450 years — and we need to use more of this strategic resource cleanly and wisely here at home while selling it around the world.
Burning that amount of fossil fuel would generate 444 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the oil, 135 billion tons from the natural gas, and 1.3 trillion tons from the coal. To maintain a climate compatible with civilization, all of humanity needs to limit future greenhouse pollution to less than 650 billion tons [PDF].
Far from “keeping the American Dream alive for generation after generation,” as Donohue claims, his promotion of catastrophic global warming would grant a diminished, deadly world to future generations.
Read Donohue’s remarks promoting the destruction of civilization:
Let’s start with a big one — energy.
Our nation is on the cusp of an energy boom that is already creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, revitalizing entire communities, and reinvigorating American manufacturing.
Unconventional oil and natural gas development is on pace to create more than 300,000 jobs by 2015 in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia alone. Take a look at what’s happening in North Dakota. The state is booming. Unemployment is at 3.4 percent. Oil production just surpassed that of Ecuador — one of the members of OPEC.
Energy is a game changer for the United States. It is, as the saying goes, “the next big thing.” With the right policies, the oil and natural gas industry could create more than 1 million jobs by 2018. Not only can we create jobs, but we can cut our dependence on overseas imports while adding hundreds of billions of dollars to government coffers in the coming years.
Recent discoveries have confirmed that this nation is truly blessed with energy resources. We have 1.4 trillion barrels of oil, enough to last at least 200 years. We have 2.7 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to last 120 years. We have 486 billion tons of coal, enough to last more than 450 years — and we need to use more of this strategic resource cleanly and wisely here at home while selling it around the world.
To tap our energy resources, we must speed up permitting and end many of the restrictions that have put key areas off-limits. Instead of handpicking a few technologies, we must harness all our resources, traditional and alternative — while expanding nuclear power and driving greater efficiency.
Our biggest and most reliable foreign energy supplier is Canada. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would bring Canadian oil sands down to our Gulf Coast refineries and to other destinations along the way.
This project has passed every environmental test. There is no legitimate reason — none at all — to subject it to further delay. Labor unions and the business community alike are urging President Obama to act in the best interests of our national security and our workers and approve the pipeline. We can put 20,000 Americans to work right away and up to 250,000 over the life of the project.
Donohue also expressed disappointment with Republican attacks on Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, calling them “foolish” and “not doing anything other than setting up the ad base for their opponents.”