Tom Borelli from Townhall.com explains the lack of foresight associated with Obama’s misguided theory of Cap and Trade:
The prospect that President-elect Barack Obama may keep the Bush tax cuts until 2011 has some clinging to hope he will postpone his liberal ideas for the economy’s sake. There’s little chance of that when it comes to global warming, however, an issue on which Obama puts his ideology first and the nation’s economic growth second.
In a recent video statement to the Governors’ Global Climate Summit, Obama displayed unwavering support for strong federal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sounding like he was auditioning for a role in Al Gore’s next film, Obama said,
“The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.”
Obama went on to promote his cap-and-trade policy, which, he said, “will establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80 percent by 2050.
Through regulation, Obama hopes to transform our economy while “saving the planet.” He says he will accomplish his ambitious goals by investing in “solar power, wind power and next-generation biofuels. We will tap nuclear power, while making sure it’s safe. And we will develop clean coal technologies.” Obama is creating his own version of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society. In the middle of an economic crisis, Obama’s “Grand Experiment” is to build a federal bureaucracy to transform our economy by forcing it to run on costly unproven energy sources instead of established fossil fuels. Under Obama’s cap-and-trade scheme, the government would set limits on industrial emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Companies that emit more than their allowance must buy “carbon credits” from businesses whose emissions are under their allotment. Over time, the government ratchets down the allowance for all industry, which will increase the cost of emissions.
My Comments: Just as the heavy taxes and regulations imposed on our businesses which force them to look for labor overseas, just as the incoming goods from other countries are less heavily punished through taxes and regulations—so we will add another huge burden to our American businesses already floundering economy. Each year the burden will grow greater and the squeeze of regulations tighter as the bills grow larger and larger for us all.
Fossil fuels currently supply 85 percent of our energy needs, while non-greenhouse gas-emitting sources (such as nuclear, wind, solar and others) deliver only 15 percent. Since alternative energy supply is limited, emission reductions targets will be met by decreasing demand for fossil fuels by raising prices.
In short, Obama’s “Grand Experiment” will raise energy prices, slow economic growth and increase unemployment.
The coal industry will be the biggest casualty. Obama’s commitment to “develop clean coal” is questionable. During the presidential campaign he said,
“[I]f somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
Obama’s attitude about coal is consistent with that of the Democratic leadership and its special interest allies. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said,
“That is coal makes us sick, oil makes us sick; it’s global warming. It’s ruining our country, it’s ruining our world. We’ve got to stop using fossil fuel.”
Vice President-elect Joe Biden has said, “We’re not supporting clean coal” and “no coal plants here in America.”
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is a long-time coal industry foe. Activist groups like the Rainforest Action Network demand a ban on coal use because, “‘clean coal’ doesn’t address the massive social and environmental costs of mining, transporting and refining coal.”
It’s clear that coal, clean or not, is not acceptable. Since coal is used to generate 50 percent of our electricity, cap-and-trade will push utility bills higher. The Congressional Budget Office found that investors and workers in the energy sector would suffer losses due to the decline in energy-intensive industries. Not surprisingly, since Obama’s victory, investors have punished coal stocks. The CBO also says the cost of cap-and-trade will be “borne by consumers, who would face persistently higher prices for products like electricity and gasoline.” The CBO adds that these added costs would preferentially harm low-income households. The cost to consumers in not unknown to Obama, who has acknowledged,
“Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…”
Despite overwhelming momentum for a ban on coal, some companies are in denial about the left’s war against coal. Recently, CEO Jim Rogers of Duke Energy – a coal dependent utility – participated in a press conference to voice his support of cap-and-trade legislation. Rogers hopes a Congress run by Reid and Waxman and a President who promises to bankrupt his company will instead show mercy because he supported their cap-and-trade “solution.” Rogers’ fleeting effort is reminiscent of Neville Chamberlin’s failed appeasement strategy. Obama’s steadfast support for cap-and-trade is increasingly putting him outside the mainstream, even the European mainstream Obama is said to greatly admire.
The European Union’s cap-and-trade experiment has been a resounding failure. Read: http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MjA4MmJmNDNjMWE0OWMwMWY1MGM1MTViYWNlZjMyMDY=
At next week’s United Nations conference on climate change in Poland, nations will seriously discuss reducing commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions because the price tag is too expensive, especially during a global economic crisis.
Will the economic crisis make Obama think twice about cap-and-trade? There’s no sign yet that it will.
Here we see B.O.’s lack of experience and naiveté in ruling a nation and those that would advise him are either naive themselves, foolish, or greatly misinformed. Depending on who is doing the advising, all three adjectives are in play. Obama will be hurting the very people he promised to “care for” in order to get elected. And all of this is based on inaccurate information–hype–which seems to be most of what we are fed to make our decisions some important enough to affect a nation.
Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for the promoting the error of global warming:
Even Greenspan who was not a critic of global warming saw the danger in Cap and Trade: Cap-and-trade systems or carbon taxes are likely to be popular only until real people lose real jobs as theirconsequence,” Greenspan wrote. Greenspan is skeptical of the cap-and-trade system, a system global-warming cheerleader and former Vice President Al Gore said he supported when he testified before Congress in March. “Yet as an economist, I have grave doubts that international agreements imposing a globalized so-called cap-and-trade system on CO2 emissions will prove feasible,” Greenspan wrote.
Greenspan wrote the size of the cap in the system is its “Achilles’ heel.” He pointed to the European Union’s failure to make a meaningful difference with its cap-and-trade system.
“The European Commission reported in May 2006 that the EU’s original fifteen members would cut emissions by 2010 by only 0.6 percent compared with 1990 levels,” wrote Greenspan. “The Kyoto Protocol target is 8 percent by 2012. When that face emerged, the price of permits fell by two-thirds. The system inconvenienced very few.” Greenspan is also not a believer that carbon taxing is a positive means to fight global warming, a method favored by some in Congress. “A carbon tax might not be job-destroying if it were uniform across the globe, but I am skeptical that such uniformity is even remotely feasible,” he said. Still, Greenspan said he believes global warming is a threat and joked that we might have to change the name of Glacier National Park if the glaciers disappear. He warned of rising sea levels and adverse weather conditions and their impact on economies. But he was blunt about how proposed policies could harm the economy.
“There is no effective way to meaningfully reduce emissions without negatively impacting a large part of an economy,” Greenspan wrote. “Net, it is a tax. If the cap is low enough to make a meaningful inroad into CO2 emissions, permits will become expensive and large numbers of companies will experience cost increases that make them less competitive. Jobs will be lost and real incomes of workers constrained.”
So what’s Greenspan’s best solution? He said nuclear energy is the best solution, but Gore and others on the left oppose nuclear power to some extent. When Gore unveiled his global warming plan in New York on Sept. 18, 2006, he said “nuclear power inevitably raises questions of nuclear arms proliferation.”
“Nuclear power is a major means to combat global warming,” Greenspan wrote. “Its use should be avoided only if it constitutes a threat to life expectancy that outweighs it gains it can give us. By that criterion, I believe we significantly underuse nuclear power.”
My Comments: The nuclear power debate has been going on since Three Mile Island. The fact is that nuclear power is extremely safe and has been successful in providing energy across the country. Unfortunately the misinformation about it has reduced our number of nuclear power plants drastically. We are becoming a nation controlled by environmentalists who go well beyond moderation for little result.
From Glen Beck: A little 101 on the dangers of Cap and Trade:
Stopping Cap and Trade: A short essay on how the debacle of passing Cap and Trade may work backwards to help the conservative cause–my concern remains in what we may lose in the interim between the passing of this measure and a hopeful change in administration in 2012:
See hyper-link at right. Write to your Elected Official!!
Click and go to hyper-link embedded and called “Contact Your Elected Officials.” Text to write:
I oppose S. 3036, the “Climate Security Act.” The reasons are as follows:
- Raises our electricity and gasoline bills
- Provides politicians with new tools to control the economy, hand out favors, and punish enemies
- Is as ineffective in doing “research” as the Energy Department has been
- Will probably (if the example of Europe is a reliable guide) have little impact on the over-all level of CO2 emissions
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