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Depending on the source, the recently announced newest volley in the war on coal in the name of global warming, or climate change, is either the greatest thing to ever happen or it is an economic apocalypse in the making. Given the Obama track record, it is most likely the latter. Apparently trying to leave a legacy for his presidency that does not include Obamacare, he has now delved into totally wreaking havoc in the energy sector also.
Eugene Robinson, writing for the Washingto Post states:
The Obama administration’s proposed new rule for existing power plants…is ambitious enough to get anyone’s attention. No, this one measure will not halt or reverse human-induced warming of the atmosphere. But the rule is necessary in the context of seeking international consensus on solutions- and also significant in its own right.
In typical Obama fashion, the rules are timed to go into effect after public comment well after the midterm elections this year. I urge every voter with an ounce of intelligence to listen closely to what Democratic candidates for the Senate say this year about these rules. Rest assured we will hear people like Allison Lundergan Grimes, Natalie Tennant, Mark Udall, Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu lambasting these rules today, but quietly accepting them in 2015 and beyond.
Robinson admits in his quote that the rules will not halt global warming, but they are significant “in the context of seeking international consensus…” If Obama’s “foreign policy” is any indication, don’t even count on that. It is true that the United States was at one time the largest producer of greenhouse gases, but we have since been surpassed by China and will be by India sooner rather than later. So, Obama is going to lead by example as if emerging economies and even existing large economies will fall in line. Sure, they will sign some international protocol while doing whatever they feel is necessary to advance their economy which includes burning coal.
The rules are designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Overall, the administration’s stated goal is to reduce emissions 80% by 2050. Considering that 75% of GHG are produced by coal-fired plants in the energy sector, these rules will not even decrease carbon dioxide emissions 30%.
Reducing emissions 80% by 2050 would push the emissions to their lowest point in over a century. In effect, according to many sources, it would reduce US emissions equivalent to the year 1910. In that year, the population was 92 million and per capita income was $6,200. By 2050, the US population will exceed 400 million which means that per capita carbon emissions will have to be 75% below their 1910 levels in order to achieve this goal. That then takes us back to a period roughly equivalent to per capita carbon emissions known as Reconstruction. Even France, which derives the bulk of their energy from nuclear sources, does not have per capita emissions that low. Hell, even Botswana would be putting out more carbon emissions per capita.
Obama and company like to talk about income inequality. Assuming this is a problem, these rules are expected to cost the average family about $1,000 a year in additional energy costs. Of course, the lower one moves down the income scale, the more important that $1,000 becomes. Thus, this is a hidden regressive tax on every American, except the likes of Al Gore who can afford to pay it. Furthermore- and again, it depends on the source- these rules are expected to cost somewhere between 240,000 and 600,000 jobs between now and 2023. Now, there is a real income equalizer, isn’t it? Inflate energy prices chasing the proverbial climate change unicorn AND eliminate 240,000-600,000 good paying energy and manufacturing sector jobs to boot.
The most despicable part of this whole ordeal is that the Obama administration is portraying this as necessary in the interest of public health. No doubt at some point he will tout his policy in some speech surrounded by children suffering from asthma while they suck on their inhalators. He has already made a fool of himself while befuddling West Point cadets by asserting that the military will be fighting the bad effects of climate change in the future.
The Chamber of Commerce estimates that these regulations will cost at least $50 billion annually. The EPA is portraying this program as leaving states leeway in how they proceed. Coal producing states will be given “flexibility” in how they proceed. But the regulations are actually an unwritten mandate for states to enter into interstate cap-and-trade compacts which is something that has proven a disaster in Europe and ripe with fraud (thanks to people like George Soros). It should also be mentioned that when the Democrats held the House and Senate, a cap-and-trade scheme was defeated. It is obvious that there is no legislative stomach for such a program so Obama does the next best thing. He creates the crisis by mandating that existing coal fired plants reduce their carbon emissions 30% by 2030 knowing this is unrealistic. This then forces the states to establish these schemes. It is the classic Cloward-Pivens strategy: create the crisis to force your solution.
And the kicker is that even if we assume climate change is manmade, unilateral action by the United States will do very little to alleviate the alleged problem. As the Robinson article assumes, the US will achieve some “moral leadership” in this area and the rest of the world will follow our lead. Except there is one glaring problem with that assumption. Besides ruining the United States, our international image has been tarnished by Barack Obama and what passes for a “foreign policy.” Whether it is drawing false red lines, having ambassadors killed, trading scum for a captured deserter, or watching Putin gobble up large chunks of Europe, the United States with Barack Obama as president has no “moral authority” in the world. While the United States decreases per capita carbon emissions to 1870 levels or decreases them below that of Botswana, the rest of the developed and the developing world will surpass us economically. Meanwhile, Obama will be relaxing in Hawaii playing golf.