01 April 2009

Obama Tells G20: "I'm Putting a Gag Order on Greenhouse Gases"

LONDON, April 1 - US President Barack Obama today told the leaders of the G20 that he was "putting a gag order on greenhouse gas emissions" and that the US was going to start at home, with Congress and members of his own Administration.

"Today I have imposed a gag order on the most harmful greenhouse gas polluters in the United States," President Obama told the group of leaders gathered in London. "I have put a gag order on certain members of Congress and on members of my own Administration."

In an unusual move, the President revealed details of his plan, which many are calling the "Greenhouse Gag-order," specifically referencing some of the most wasteful CO2 polluters in Washington.

"I have put Representative Barney Frank on notice," Mr. Obama told an enthralled crowd. "Look, it's as simple as this: If he opens his mouth again, he will have to pay a hefty fine."

In addition to Congressman Frank, Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Mr. Obama named Timothy Geithner in his gag order, suggesting that his Treasury Secretary will only be allowed to speak during the work week. This move may be designed to help curtail the Secretary's long-winded explanations on weekend television news media, which have only exacerbated the financial picture.

"Look, we have to do something about the windbags in Washington," Mr. Obama said. "It is my hope that the Secretary and Mr. Frank will be leaders in putting a cap on the greenhouse gas emissions in our own hallowed halls."

Mr. Obama went on to say that he hoped others in Washington would follow suit, and that he was considering a voluntary carbon credit option to be implemented as early as this summer.

Secretary Geithner, when asked for comment on the President's plan, said, "This is consistent with the Administration's plans to tax wealthy individuals across the board. We feel a carbon cap on loquacious individuals is totally within our reach."

A person close to the Office of the President indicated the Administration was considering similar sanctions on vociferous celebrities, such as Rush Limbaugh, Oprah Winfrey, and Robert Scoble.

Calls made to Rep. Frank's office for comment went unanswered.

President Obama wants to help fight climate change by capping emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, or CO2, from big industries -- and now individuals -- and allowing them to trade rights to pollute. Such systems are commonly called "cap and trade."