An open letter to Leilani Munter

Matt Mercer@@mattmercerCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2008

My messages sent on MySpace received no response (you too can add Leilani as a friend there) so I’m issuing a public response to her first column on the liberal-socialist website the Huffington Post. In this column, she refers to an ESPN story calling her a “tree hugging race-car driver” and describes her vision of racing blending with environmentalism. Her desire is great, and she’s attracted attention for her efforts.

It’s just unfortunate she has misplaced those efforts on global warming schemes that will cost Americans taxpayers, while accomplishing nothing – and making problems worse.

Munter appears to like these carbon offsets and even does a version of it herself. OK… how’s that working out in countries that have them? Well, for starters, the emissions in Europe are rising, and are on track to miss their “goal” of reduction by 2010. On top of that, one of the smartest guys I’ve had the privilege to meet, Christopher C. Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, has this to say about US emissions versus European admissions:

“U.S. emissions have risen far more slowly than those of its noisiest antagonists. For example, over the past 7 years for which we have data (2000-2006), the annual rate of increase for U.S. CO2 emissions is 0.38%, compared to the EU’s 1.07%. Indeed, over the same period even the smaller EU-15 economy has increased its CO2 emissions in real terms greater than the U.S. by more than 20%.”

It’s not only irresponsible, but the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade legislation that Ms. Munter likely supported was shown to cost Americans trillions by 2030, among these a loss of $1.7 trillion in GDP and the cost of permits to reach $100 billion by 2020. No wonder this thing didn’t even get a majority of votes. (Much more on those numbers available at the Heritage Foundation)

The next point I want to address is her support the following: CFL lightbulbs. CFLs, also known as fluorescent bulbs, are great in theory. They’re cheaper than incandescent bulbs, and they last for years. In practice, as with most of these environmental schemes, they can do great damage. CFL bulbs contain Mercury. God help you if you break one of those things, as Mercury fumes can spread throughout your home and damage your health (read this tale to see first-hand). Plus, has anyone even used a CFL bulb? The light they produce is dimmer than incandescents, and they have a buzz to them as well.

Uncomfortable yet? Consider this: the energy bill that passed Congress and signed into law by President Bush will ban incandescents by 2014, so each and every bulb in your house will need to be a CFL… or you’ll be breaking the law.

So in effect, having a higher-quality light in your home will be a federal offense.

I hope this letter finds Leilani Munter well. If not, I hope after reading this, you’ll congratulate her on the new gig, but realize what she is advocating will result in disastrous effects to this country – and it may already be too late in some cases. I'd look forward to a meaningful debate on the issue, should she accept.

Matt Mercer