Skip to comments.Itís Not Worth It
Posted on 02/10/2013 1:12:33 PM PST by eagleye85
President Barack Obamas upcoming State of the Union address is supposed to be about jobs and the economy. However, it will also likely carry a green message, if Politicos Andrew Restuccia is correct: Youre going to like what you hear, White House aides have told green groups, according to an official at one environmental organization who expects the president to publicly commit to moving forward with EPA climate regulations, writes Restuccia, who asks in his article, which Obama will show up on Tuesday night?
The Administration feels that a 2007 Supreme Court decision giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases will provide the EPA with standing to regulate all power plants, according to a recent New York Times article. In the first term, the E.P.A. relied on that decision to negotiate a steep increase in fuel-economy standards with automakers and to overhaul standards for newly constructed power plants, writes David Leonhardt for the NY Times. The rules for new power plants would effectively halt the construction of new coal plants.
The trick would be to bear down on existing coal plants, which, as I mentioned in my blog entry yesterday, has become an urgent for goal for the green movement. After all, Europe is currently experiencing an energy shortage due to its own regulations and, as a result, is burning more coal, raising its greenhouse gas emissions. Europes use of the fossil fuel spiked last year after a long decline, powered by a surge of cheap U.S. coal on global markets and by the unintended consequences of ambitious climate policies that capped emissions and reduced reliance on nuclear energy, writes Michael Birnbaum for the Washington Post (emphasis added). In other words, according to the greens, cheap coal isnt just bad for the U.S., which is now using more natural gasits bad for anyone around the world who might use it.
U.S. coal exports to Europe were up 26 percent in the first nine months of 2012 over the same period in 2011, Birnbaum reports. Exports to China have increased, too.
Quite frankly, it seems hard to grasp how Obamas State of the Union address, which will focus on jobs, can also be so green. However, we learn from the NY Times that cap-and-tax produces market-friendly permits.
So environmental economists are watching to see if Mr. Obama will also take steps to keep economic growth at the center of his climate policy, by attempting to regulate existing power plants with market-friendly permits, writes LeonHardt (emphasis added). His thesis is that mandates are more harmful to the economy than cap-and-tax, and, therefore, a cap-and-trade system is more economically friendlybecause, of course, we must combat climate change now.
A recent Washington Post article outlines what cap-and-trade has done in some U.S. states, exposing it the regulation as a revenue stream for Northeast America. For the past decade, ten states stretching from Maine to Maryland have been experimenting with their own modest cap on carbon pollution from electric power plants, writes Brad Plumer for the Washington Post. And, this week, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) announced that it would continue to cut emissions by tightening the cap between now and 2020.
power plants dont have to do much to comply with the existing cap theyre already sitting well below the limit, writes Plumer. As a result, permits to emit carbon-dioxide are extremely plentiful and cheap, costing just $1.93 per ton of carbon. If youre an electric utility, theres little incentive to invest in efficiency or renewable power to avoid the cost of buying up pollution permits.
However, The program has also been quite lucrative for the states involved, which have raised about $912 million since 2009 from auctioning off pollution permits. That $912 million in additional costs was indubitably foisted upon the consumer.
Even the NY Times reporter demonstrates some difficulty reconciling a jobs-friendly outlook and climate change regulation. In the end, the strongest economic argument for an aggressive response to climate change is not the much trumpeted windfall of green jobs, writes Leonhardt. Its the fact that the economy wont function very well in a world full of droughts, hurricanes and heat waves. In other words, its worth it because of the otherwise disastrous consequences. No wonder the article was titled Its Not Easy Being Green.
Its only worth it if you believe in man-made disastrous climate change, which, according to Christopher Horner, has in some rhetoric been downgraded to worries about extreme weather. Leonhardt admits this also, writing, And President Obama has subtly shifted his approach, talking less about green jobs and more about extreme weather.
If the President does make the case for climate change (or energy-related) regulation, it will be interesting to see what successful country he points to. EuropeGermany and Spain, in particularare no model for the U.S. energy economy.
More of his "Grow the Government" programs, followed by the GOP falling over themselves trying not to offend anyone, as we sink further into the tar-pit of history.
Want a bet I don't like it, nor should anyone who cares about the future of this once great country.
Please do not take the following rant about the EPA article by Ms Stotts personally eagleye85. Although I recently made a similar post in a related thread, the issue may need a "bump."
Regardless what activist justices want citizens to think about the EPA, here is a simple, constitutionally-based two point explanation as to why the EPA shouldn't even exist imo.
First, probably as a consequence of likely widespread patriot ignorance concerning the Founding States' division of federal and state government powers, patriots don't seem to understand that the states have never delegated to the federal government via the Constitution the specific power to regulate environmental issues. So the federal governent doesn't have the constitutonal authority to regulate the environment.
Next, even if the states had delegated to Congress the specific power to regulate the enviromment, please consider the following. The Founding States had made the very first numbered clauses in the Constitution (that's evidently a good place to hide it from many patriots), Sections 1-3 of Article I, to clarify that all legislative powers of the federal government are vested in the elected members of Congress. So Congress has a constitutonal monopoly on whatever limited regulatory powers that the states have delegated to it whether it wants it or not.
So not only did Congress violate the constitutional clauses referenced above by wrongly delegating non-delegatable federal legislative powers to nonelected federal bureaucrats, but as I mentioned previously, the states have never delegated to Congress the specific power to regulate the environment even if Congress could delegate its delegated powers to third parties.
The bottom line is this. Constitution-ignorant voters can arguably take more of the blame for unconstitutonally big federal government than Constitution-ignoring Democrats and RINOs can imo.
What a mess! :^(
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.