Both sides hating a bill doesn’t mean the bill is good
There’s not much new in this story about Dingell — yeah, yeah, he’s going to move slowly and deliberately on climate change — but I really hate this way of framing things:
Speaking with reporters, Dingell said that he expects the end result to elicit complaints from both environmentalists and industrialists.
“I seriously doubt if anybody is going to be happy with what we do, and that may be the best test of whether we have written a good bill,” he said.
The "best test," really?
First of all, no. Memo to Dingell: it’s entirely possible that if both environmentalists and industrialists attack your bill, one is right, or both are right, and the bill sucks. Who attacks your bill has precisely zero relationship to how good it is.
More to the point: by "industrialists" Dingell, and most media reports, are not referring to the American private sector in general. They are referring to a particular subset of industries that produce, or create products that produce, lots of greenhouse gases. That subset of industries is going to complain about any restriction on GHGs, because their financial health is tied directly to creating GHGs.
On the other hand, environmentalists are not in the private sector, and do not profit if GHGs go down. They are speaking up for the public interest — the interest of all human beings, and the entire biosphere, in not having the climate screwed up.
So when Dingell says “both environmentalists and industrialists” will complain, what he’s saying is that his bill will satisfy neither the broad public interest nor the narrow financial interests of a subset of industries.
Why are those considered equivalent? Why should he spend any time trying to satisfy the demands of a narrow subset of industry at the expense of the public interest?