It’s a little bizarre how the Left has always conflated statism with modernity and progress. The idea that rulers — be they chieftains, kings, priests, politburos, or wonkish bureaucrats — are enlightened or smart enough to tell others how to live is older than the written word. And the idea that someone stronger, with better weapons, has the right to take what is yours predates man’s discovery of fire by millennia. And yet, we’re always told that the latest rationalization for increased state power is the “wave of the future.”
Well, well, well. The Obama Administration is preparing to declare war. No, no you Nervous Nellies, not on Syria. That will be a collective police action where we help Al Qaida by leading from behind. This will be an all-out frontal assault. A veritable Pickett’s Charge of the Paper-cut Rangers. President Barack Obama is out to slay Man-made Cooling, Global Warming, Climate Change once and for all. According to the always entertaining Henry Waxman, it involves his legacy.
“This is an important issue to the president. It’s a question of his legacy,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “Five years from now, people will be talking about what the Obama administration did on climate change, not entitlements or the deficit or whatever they are talking about now. Because climate change is here and real, and we have to address it.”
Of course there will be travails before we carve this great and lion-hearted President’s smirking benevolent visage into the hard, enduring granite of Mount Rushmore. But if Congress won’t act to protect future generations, Barack Obama will. He currently proposes to issue a new regulation in July that would limit source emissions from Power Generation Facilities to 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour.
This is not the most unreasonable standard – for a plant using nuclear, natural gas or a water-driven turbine to generate the juice. There is, however, one, little niggling detail. The United States gets 45% of its electrical power from coal-fired generators. These facilities typically run between 1,700-2,200 pounds of CO2 emissions per megawatt hour. They are as likely to meet that standard as I am to be the next Pope. And I’ll drop you a hint – I ain’t Catholic.
This naturally concerns states that produce coal or who have far more than 45% of their actual electricity from coal-fired generation facilities. You see, they haven’t relied much on candlelight for illumination as they worked their chores since Edison perfected the light bulb. They aren’t quite sure how to react to all this new progress going on. Governor Jack Dalrymple of the Great State of North Dakota writes The Honorable Barack Obama, President of The United States below.
The proposed rule will set a standard that is unprecedented under The Clean Air Act….and I urge you to consider an alternative approach intended to address GHG emissions in a way that will not harm our economy or endanger the affordable electric supply the residents of my state and region need to live and prosper.
Governors from Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Mississippi, and Virginia have written similar pleas for clemency. So yes, Virginia this is all about the future and relates very much to power. It relates to the future ability of our Federal Government to control more of your life and the power it can get by using bogus science to support unfounded regulatory hysteria.
The climate hasn’t warmed for going on 13 years now. It has not warmed despite the massive increase in GHG pollution in the form of CO2 from India, China, Brazil, and formerly Communist Eastern Europe as all of these nations industrialize up to the modern standard. They so do without the same ecological technologies that are available to the Western Democracies. Therefore a lot more CO2 flies aloft than there was in 1998. The temperature readings have basically treaded Waterworld ever since that long, hot Summer of Enviropanic. If the climate was Barack Obama’s overriding concern here, he would succeed without ever going to war.
What Barack Obama is doing here is akin to something Henry II Plantagenet did after he put down a civil war in 12th Century England. Castles in Jolly Old England were power in that era. Power plants in Modern America are quite literally power of a different sort. Dominating all the castles in England gave Henry II unquestioned dominance over the feudal, agricultural economy of his age. Controlling the right to enjoy electricity gives a post-modern American President similar dominance over the hydrocarbon, digital economy of Post-modern America.
The people pushing for that power may or may not really care about slaying Man-made Cooling, Global Warming, Climate Change. They may no longer have a clue whether this war is athwart Eurasia or Eastasia. They do understand the awesome, almost life-or-death power they have over communities when they can shut down the local power generation facility by bureaucratic whim.
So these poor governors can all relax. There is a remedy to all of this fear. They just need to appear in court prepared to be properly humble before the iron throne upon the Potomac. Gifts and feudal oaths can change hands, and a few of these annoying rules can be wavered. It’s for the children. Never mind the principles of Federalism and local control. Panem demands loyalty. The lights will forever remain lit as long as proper fealty is given.