The Obama administration has been marked by many scandals and questionable policies demonstrating its incompetence in leadership, its sleaziness, and its disregard for the Constitution. If Benghazi, the IRS, AP/Fox and NSA scandals were not enough, Obama’s Climate Action Plan, may be his stupidest policy (even considering Obamacare). Remember Bill Clinton’s admonition: “It’s the economy, stupid?”
Obama’s war on coal and carbon dioxide will have the effect of making everything more expensive and endanger our electricity supply. The Heritage Foundation estimates that Obama’s anti-coal policies will cause a family of four to lose more than $1,000 in annual income. The Science and Public Policy Institute estimates that Obama’s proposed reduction in carbon dioxide emissions might, theoretically, reduce the global temperature by 0.17 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. Much more pain than gain. Obama’s plan will harm America. Is he doing it through sheer naive zealotry or by calculated intention?
Obama’s plan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3 billion metric tons by 2030. Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University says, “It’s amazing how little this all actually does.” “In many ways, this makes things worse.” How? One scheme to reduce emissions is by carbon capture (and storage) at electrical generating plants. The trouble is that such systems use about 40% of the energy produced so that they may actual result in more emissions. So called “clean coal” systems would almost double the cost of electricity produced from natural gas and coal, making it almost as expensive as wind-generated electricity. The feasibility of this scheme is questionable since the technology is largely unproven.
The usually liberal Washington Post opines:
“If you accept the science of global warming, then you accept the fact that the president’s unilateral action on climate change will have absolutely no effect in terms of adjusting the global thermostat to a temperature Obama finds desirable. The rest of the developing world, anchored by India and China, are building carbon-burning factories, power plants and even whole new cities that will overwhelm any new rules the president may impose on Americans and our struggling economy.”
Meteorologist Anthony Watts, proprietor of the “Watts Up With That?” blog has an analysis of the plan in which he makes these points:
→More hand-outs for an already bloated climate science culture, $2.7 billion in FY 2014.
→More regulations on existing power plants, as if they don’t have enough already. This will translate into higher electricity prices everywhere.
→The trucking industry is going to get hit again. This will translate into higher cost for goods.
→Fast-tracking green energy – more pie in the sky since just about every green initiative and handout in Obama’s first term has ended in failure.
→No comprehensive nuclear power plan, no mention of a Thorium reactor initiative, much like China is doing.
→Giveaways: approximately $7.5 billion for climate assistance to developing countries.
As British blogger Bishop Hill (Andrew Montford) opines, “The general theme seems to be some more fixing of markets to favor his supporters in the renewables industry and some more regulations to tie up the fossil fuel bogeyman.”
In some respects, Obama’s plan seems largely to appease environmental activists whose support he has been losing. For instance, The Huffington Post reports: “President Barack Obama will ask the State Department not to approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline unless it can first determine that it will not lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.”
Anthony Watts responds: “Well, the State Department has already found that Keystone XL will have no impact on the climate because Canada will still develop its oil sands. In fact, if Keystone XL isn’t built, global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase because more oil sands crude would be refined in countries like China where current emissions standards allow three times more sulfur dioxide than in the United States. Canada accounts for only 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions and emissions from oil sands are a small fraction of that.”
The Competitive Enterprise Institute opines that Obama’s plan is “undemocratic, bordering on authoritarian, disingenuous on Keystone” and that it “is being done without public or congressional support and is being pursued in this way because he knows the peoples’ elected representatives would never approve these plans.” Furthermore, “Obama’s all-pain, no-gain agenda will cost jobs, drive up prices and have little effect on global emissions.”
Dr. Tim Ball, retired climatology professor from the University of Winnipeg, says that Obama’s climate speech was “riddled with lies.” “President Barack Obama’s naïve and error-riddled speech at Georgetown University…clearly demonstrated that he is serious about trying to stop global climate change.” “Obama also seems oblivious to real-world economic evidence that the policy path on which he is setting the U.S. has already been tried and has failed in other countries.”
The Washington Times claims: “Mr. Obama is about to hammer the American energy industry, and he’s doing it for money.”
The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil not only from Canada, but also from the booming oil fields of North Dakota. Currently, the North Dakota production is carried by rail, specifically Warren Buffet’s Burlington Northern railroad. Mr. Buffet also owns Union Tank Car, one of the biggest makers of oil tank railcars.
“Running Mr. Buffett’s name through the Federal Election Commission data bank reveals page after page of contributions to Mr. Obama and every conceivable Democratic Party-affiliated organization, amounting to uncounted millions.”
The common theme in the Obama administration scandals is abuse of power or incompetence. Mr. Obama, in his climate address, claims he is doing it “for the children.” Yeah right!
Obama calls carbon dioxide a pollutant, even though it is necessary for all life on the planet. For some real science on the beneficial effects of carbon dioxide see an editorial from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change here.
(This article was originally published in the Arizona Daily Independent)