Obama’s Eco-Assault on America

Obama speaks at the G8 Summit in Northern IrelandOn Tuesday, President Obama announced a sweeping series of initiatives, including the use of executive powers, to combat global warming. The plan will involve federal funding for renewable energy technology, and spending for areas hit by storms and droughts aggravated by an allegedly changing climate. Yet the most ambitious part of his agenda is an effort to force a reduction in so-called greenhouse gases from the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Prior to the speech, Daniel P. Schrag, a White House environmentalism adviser and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, got to the nub of that agenda: “Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal,” he explained. “On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explained the consequences of such a war. “Declaring a ‘War on Coal’ is tantamount to declaring a war on jobs,” he  said. “It’s tantamount to kicking the ladder out from beneath the feet of many Americans struggling in today’s economy.”

McConnell is exactly right. While the percentage has been declining, coal-fired power plants are still responsible for producing 40 percent of the nation’s electricity. Yet that is an overall number. Some states are far more dependent, including West Virginia, which garners 97 of its electrical needs from coal. Curtailing coal usage for generating electricity will invariably drive up the cost of purchasing electricity for households and businesses.

The president couldn’t care less. Like so many leftists, he has bought into the idea that any challenge to the global warming agenda is tantamount to heresy. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society,” Obama said. “Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.”

The so-called coming storm may take a while to get here. A report released by Spiegel science journal reveals that global warming has stopped. “[Fifteen] years without warming are now behind us” writes Spiegel journalist Axel Bojanowski. “The stagnation of global near-surface average temperatures shows that the uncertainties in the climate prognoses are surprisingly large.” Moreover, despite a report in March by The Economist noting that the world has added “roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010,” comprising “about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750,” no global warming occurred during that time frame. In fact, some scientists are actually predicting that we may be on the verge of another Little Ice Age similar to the one that occurred from 1275 to 1300 A.D., due in large part to an unexplainable collapse in sunspot activity.

Which scientific camp is right? That is something the scientific community must determine, based on scientific evidence — not the political coercion that far too often accompanies government-funded studies. Yet the president has staked out his position irrespective of science. He is directing the EPA to draft rules on the allowable levels of carbon emissions by existing coal plants, rules he expects to be completed by 2015. Obama intends to reduce Americans’s greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Under current law, the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases, due to a 2007 Supreme Court decision. However, under the provisions of that Clean Air Act, the EPA cannot do so on its own, but must develop standards in accordance with the states.

Congress is another story. As far as the president is concerned, congressional input is completely unnecessary. “This is a challenge that does not pause for partisan gridlock,” Obama contended.

Ironically, partisan gridlock on this particular issue is nowhere to be found. No Congress, controlled by either party, has been able to approve anything resembling the kind of carbon reduction scheme being proposed by the president. That includes a cap-and-trade plan that died in 2010, when Democrats had unassailable control of both houses of Congress and the presidency.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) directly addressed that reality, and the economic one as well. “These policies, rejected even by the last Democratic-controlled Congress, will shutter power plants, destroy good-paying American jobs and raise electricity bills,” he said in a statement. Scott H. Segal, who represents utilities at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani was even more direct. “The administration needs to explain why it needs old-style, command-and-control regulation when the market is moving in that direction anyway,” he said, referring to the reality that both falling prices of natural gas and increased use of it is already moving the nation away from coal.

The president’s plan would dramatically alter that trajectory. According to the Heritage Foundation, the artificial shrinkage of coal supplies would drive up the cost of natural gas by as much as 42 percent by 2030. Furthermore, as Heritage’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow Nicolas Loris notes, even measures far more radical than those proposed by the president will be of little consequence:

But let’s pretend we were able to stop emitting all carbon immediately. Forget the electricity to cool our homes in the summer months. Shut down the power plants. Stop driving our cars. No talking. The Science and Public Policy Institute found that the global temperature would decrease by 0.17 degrees Celsius–by 2100. These regulations are all pain no gain.

They are also completely anathema to emerging nations like India, China, and a host of other countries who aren’t about to reduce their standards of living to accommodate Obama’s pie-in-the-sky priorities.

Those priorities more than likely include killing the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The president insisted it can only be approved if it would not “significantly exacerbate” greenhouse gas emissions. Russell K. Girling, the chief executive of TransCanada, the company seeking a permit to build Keystone, contends the project meets the president’s proposed standard, even as he warned that substitute transpiration for Canadian oil, such as trucking or rail, poses significant environmental problems as well.

Even more disastrous is the president’s call for massive investment in “renewable electricity generation,” meaning large-scale wind- and solar-generated electrical facilities. Because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, such facilities would require conventional backup systems. As the Energy Information Agency reveals such inefficient and costly systems only become feasible “in response to federal tax credits, state-level policies, and federal requirements to use more biomass-based transportation fuels.”  In other words, without government coercion, no one would build an electrical generating facility requiring backup — or use food food fuel — simply to assuage environmentalist sensibilities.

Or is that the sensibilities of the so-called one-percenters? It is truly remarkable how many wealthy individuals are dedicated environmentalists, as long as that dedication only applies to “other people.” Perhaps the ultimate personification of such overt hypocrisy is Al Gore, who has made millions promoting the cataclysmic effects of climate change, even as he rides around in private jets and limousines, maintains a 20-room home and pool house that used more than 20 times the national average of electricity usage in 2006, and recently sold his media network to an oil-funded company for $500 million.

Gore is far from alone. As a 2007 Wall Street Journal column by Robert Frank reveals, the rich long ago reconciled the disconnect between their environmentalist sensibilities and lavish lifestyles. Their purchases of “carbon offsets” ostensibly atone for the sin of living large, and frees them to pressure “lesser mortals” to embrace a more “environmentally correct” lifestyle, also known as a lower standard of living. It’s a nice racket if you can afford it. Not so nice if you are poor or middle class and the radical one-percenters expect you to make do with less or do without.

Whether the president himself embraces such overt hypocrisy is irrelevant. There will never be a single moment in which he or any member of his family will be forced to “walk the environmentalist walk” he would readily impose on the American public, whether they want it, or not. That would be the same American public who will bear the brunt of higher costs for virtually everything, which means higher standards of living will be even more difficult to obtain for the less (and least) well-off.

Americans will also bear the brunt of unintended and unforeseen consequences, best described by the Washington Times’ Paul Driessen. He explains the EPS’s heavy-handedness will lead to “unprecedented sleep deprivation, lower economic and educational status, and soaring anxiety and stress…likely to lead to greater risk of strokes and heart attacks; higher incidences of depression, alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse; more suicides; and declining overall life expectancy.” He further notes the government’s push with regard to fuel-efficient cars “will force more people into smaller, lighter, less-safe cars–causing thousands of needless additional serious injuries and deaths every year.”

Driessen then illuminates the Obama administration’s modus operandi, explaining that “increasingly powerful bureaucrats–who seek and acquire ever-more control over our lives–remain faceless, nameless, unelected and unaccountable. They operate largely behind closed doors, issuing regulations and arranging sweetheart ‘sue-and-settle’ legal actions with radical environmentalist groups to advance ideological agendas, without regard for the impacts on our lives.”

Tellingly, on the same day the president gave his speech, CNNMoney.com published the results of a sobering survey conducted by Bankrate.com. It revealed that a whopping 76 percent of Americans are “living paycheck-to-paycheck.” Less than 25 percent of Americans have enough money saved to cover six months of expenses, 50 percent have a three month total, and 27 percent have no savings at all. “After paying debts and taking care of housing, car and child care-related expenses, the respondents said there just isn’t enough money left over for saving more,” the article reported.

That’s the real catastrophe most Americans face. Yet a president whose most recent pressing initiatives have included gun control, immigration reform and combatting global warming, not only remains willfully oblivious to that catastrophe, but bound and determined to exacerbate it.

In short, Obama is determined to destroy America in order to save it. Unfortunately, there is no “offset” for such unbridled hubris.

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  • Naresh Krishnamoorti

    For Obama, it’s all about attacking the middle class through higher energy prices. Plus, he wants all the old people to die of cold during the winter, so they won’t become a burden on Obamacare.

    People like Gore, on the other hand, are no different from Jim Bakker. They are cult leaders who exploit the blind faith of their followers to make money for themselves. Buy Green! Pay 50% more! And I will absolve you of all the guilt you feel for wasting away your lives playing computer games.

    • Holly L Carlson

      Excellent point on wanting the oldsters to die off. Remember, the faction of the planet (leftists) who believe we have overpopulated it, instead of thinking how to better manage our resources, have probably predicted all those “unforeseen” consequences Mr. Driessen’s Washington Times article points out and actually DO intend them! Harsh accusation, I know, but thuggery is still thuggery even when sugar coated.

  • Paula Douglas

    Obama is not willfully oblivious to the damage his policies are wreaking, nor does he care one way or the other about climate change–not even enough to regard anti-warmists as heretics. He sees climate change as a useful tool for expanding government power–his power–and little else. The more people thrown out of work and turned into wards of the state, the better. The higher the resulting misery index, the better. The faster the US slides into second-class status, the better. It’s no use pretending that the guy is naive or misinformed or misguided or honest but flailing. He’s a hater. He hates and fears every Western virtue that made this country great–reason, individual rights, capitalism–and is determined to destroy it. Why not? He’s impotent otherwise: a no-talent hack who can create nothing, build nothing, achieve nothing, and who finds temporary relief from his doubt and self-loathing by tearing down what men many times his betters have achieved. “The greater the feeling of inferiority that has been experienced, the more powerful is the urge to conquest and the more violent the emotional agitation,” said Alfred Adler, and that fits Obama to a T.

  • g..man

    When does the Sharia push start

  • http://www.durangobill.com/ Bill Butler

    “One of the false claims that Global Warming Deniers have
    been making in recent years is that “Global Warming Stopped in 1998”.
    (Alternately they may pick some other year that “global warming stopped”.) As
    per usual, this claim is another deliberate GWD falsehood that can be easily
    debunked by looking at the actual observations.”
    The “Global Warming Stopped in 1998” Lie
    http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdGlobalWarmingStoppedIn1998.html

    • SteveMGD

      The world has been alternately warming and cooling for approximately 4.5 billion years.

  • tokoloshiman

    OBAMA has no shame , he has no game , all he has is that idiotic grin and the ability to charge in , relentlessly accumulating votes , now not needed, he can charge ahead unimpeded , regulating co2 and canceling coal all he is doing is building a big hole.
    but his admirers flock brainlessly forward peering for a view of their hero , perhaps one day to discover he was actually another Nero, a zero.

    • mplo

      I have to disagree with you here, tokoshiman! Obama advocates “clean” coal (as if there WAS such a thing!), and he doesn’t care about regulating the environment, along with CO2, either. He screwed his voting base…hard. Don’t kid yourself.

  • tokoloshiman

    wind and solar are useless – let us see farmers plowing their fields with wind or solar driven machines.
    the rich first world has now gained ascendancy via the use of fossil fuels( still the most practical and affordable source of energy by far) but now the first world wants to deny the 3d world those same benefits.
    Do you think CHINA cares? China is going ahead with massive projects that are not environmentally friendly at all, they are expedient and necessary to support growing demand , but where does the world focus, on the 0.16 % the oil sands of alberta contribute to co2. ( still btw not linked to warming, oh i forgot there has been no warming for 17 years, well never mind lets just follow obummer , he must be right, after all he is the president although he may not be a citizen, oh never mind about that either, lets just block out all inquiry and act like the ostriches we are becoming…

    • SteveMGD

      I’m still waiting for my thorium-powered tractor which I will say, is quite possible. (1 g thorium = 7500 gallons of gasoline.

  • Anamah

    What is incomprehensible to me is the submission to such psychopathy. At this point is no need elaborations complicated to interpret it intentions.

    He talked repeatedly about it: His plan was to lower the American power and diminish the living standard of the American people… so the question now is: the American people crazy or terminally stupid, or what?

    When you come from the hell of Progressive destruction and find this here, is like to die for the second time in slow motion knowing that there is no other place to go.

  • John Edward Coleman

    Since becoming of legal voting age, I have voted in every Presidential Election and am now 73 years old !
    I have not always voted in favor of any one party !!

    I will be darned if I can find Anyone who Admits Voting for OBAMA !!

    How in the dickens did he win twice ?

    Would someone please explain that ??

    • SteveMGD

      Funny, one liberal woman I work with raged against Todd Akin but interestingly at first wouldn’t say who she voted for to be President! (later she admitted to leaving that one blank)

  • tagalog

    The coming climatic crisis is so imminent that there’s no time to waste in discussing government programs that extend the power of the federal government in our lives. Just pass the dang laws or die. No need to read them: we mean well, everyone knows that.

  • trapper

    So being opposed to the Global Warming hypothesis is like believing that the earth is flat? Well, the National Academy of Sciences just blessed the Keystone Pipeline as environmentally safe. Will Obama follow “Science” now?

  • tidegateguy

    We let Al Gore off the hook with his Global Warming and Cataclysmic Sea Level Rise hoax. In case you haven’t noticed, the sea levels are not rising catastrophically…

    For a retrospective critique of Sea Level Rise Propaganda over the past 25 years, and a practical environmentally sensible conservative alternative to Obama’s coercive and futile attempts to reduce CO2 emissions, see http://issuu.com/jueltidegates/docs/chinook_river_-_the_indisputable_truth_about_sea_l

    Al Gore should have his Nobel Prize revoked and be run out of the country on a rail.

    The scam morphed into Obama’s unscientific and nebulous “Climate Change”. We should get a rail for two…

  • cxt

    The Left NEVER cares about the human cost of its schemes.
    1-Many of them have the means to avoid the petty to serious rules and burdens they place on others.
    2-They largely consider the suffering of OTHERS to be “worth it” for the “greater good.” as defined and controlled BY THEM.
    The Left likes to say “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs” of course to them YOU are the “eggs” and THEY will be doing the “breaking.”

  • tracy

    How do you figure global warming has stopped?has the world stopped turning too?you political pundits with your no-expertise opinions are wasting people’s time,money and live’s get a clue.

  • SteveMGD

    ‘Which scientific camp is right?’
    Both. We may go into a little ice age all right but it won’t be quite as bad as the last one thanks to increased atmospheric CO2. And when we come out of it, three or four hundred years from now, things are going to get sweaty.
    You see, the effect of CO2 will ALWAYS be superimposed on the natural cycles. Global warming is not a linear trend; it is the delta effect compared to the temperature the world WOULD HAVE BEEN without it. So, if the global temperature drops only 5 degrees instead of seven, you can blame or thank the CO2.