With the progressive ecopolitics of climate change undermined by last year’s Copenhagen “climategate,” Gore’s gratuitous green lies and the U.S. Senate’s failure to produce any companion bill to last year’s House climate tax and energy legislation, enviros and other Obama operatives are scrambling to install climate regulations without new formal federal legislation. These moves are necessitated by the likely republican realignment of Congress in the November mid-term elections where congressional democrats are fearful of further climate legislation this year. As with most of Obama’s regulatory agenda, these new and costly climate controls don’t match the realities of economics or climate science, or even popular opinion.
Liberal climate lobbyists such as the ubiquitous Center for American Progress, the Presidential Climate Project, the Center for Climate Strategies, Environment America, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation and others are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to push extracongressional greenhouse gas controls.
Some of the extracongressional schemes include EPA setting stricter carbon standards for gasoline, rolling back federal subsidies for oil and gas development, slashing tax breaks and royalty waivers for energy industries. Also promoted are state and regional regulations to reduce carbon emissions. Some 30 states have individually, or regionally, implemented alternative energy, conservation and other greenhouse gas reduction regulations with influence from green lobbyists. Ten Northeastern states are operating a carbon cap-and-trade regulatory system for electric utilities. While Midwest and Western states struggle with the costs versus benefits of pricing carbon. California adopted climate control legislation via a state ballot initiative in 2006, A.B. 32. In November, a counter ballot initiative (Prop. 23) would allow voters to suspend costly A.B. 32 climate regulations until California unemployment drops below 5.5%.
Climate science remains unsettled. The unpredictable interactions and ultimate atmospheric fates of clouds and aerosols stand in the way of reliable global warming cause-and-effect findings. Truth is, unless and until a cost/benefit analysis can be agreed upon, and world oil prices stay above $80 per barrel, no responsible nation (or state) should self-inflict the higher energy prices that necessarily attach to climate regulations — especially during economic recession. Climate control costs are known. The benefits are unknown.
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