11:31 AM, Jul 23, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Conservatives of America, unite. You have nothing to lose but regulations and subsidies. Hark. Listen up. Pay attention. And if there is any other cliché that might get your attention, pencil it in.
The window of opportunity is closing for those of us who mourn the murder of the coal industry, the pouring of billions in subsidies into technologies to capture the wind and the sun to produce power at high cost and in locations far from markets, the payment of $7,500 subsidies to rich people so that they can buy $85,000 electric cars to substitute for their SUVs on short trips to the golf course, the growth of an Environmental Protection Agency that refuses to reveal the data underlying its outpouring of regulations, the use of a presidential pen to eliminate the need to involve congress in shaping the rules that govern our economy -- there’s more, but you get the idea.
The forces pressing for more of the above are meeting in, if not secrecy, obscurity in venues around the world, preparing for the final push in Paris in December. The Pope of Rome has thrown his divisions, armed with copies of Laudato Si’, behind the President of the United States to bolster the drive for an international pact aimed at enshrining costly regulations to reduce carbon emissions and redistribute some $100 billion every year from developed (that’s us) to undeveloped countries, billions that experience teaches will end up in the Swiss bank accounts of African dictators. No sense waving banners saying that the earth is not warming, or that if it is CO2 emissions are not the cause. Those skirmishes have been lost, and a new battle line must be drawn. Even the regulation-loving Chinese communists know that, and have dusted off the battle manual prepared, not by Mao, but by Adam Smith in order to hold back the retrograde forces of the regulatory state.
We have no one to blame but ourselves for the fact that the American president goes into the meeting in Paris to devise a system for controlling emissions armed only with regulatory weapons. Conservatives in congress long ago denied him the market-oriented system of cap-and-trade that would have permitted low-cost solutions to replace more expensive one, and that Republicans had developed for use in cleaning our air. And the no-new-taxes, even if they are offset by lowering older taxes, crowd has prevented the adoption of carbon taxes that would provide an efficient method of controlling emissions, and funds with which to cut growth-stifling employee payroll taxes.
There is still time to salvage something from the wreckage of a sensible, market-based policy. Jeremy Rabkin (TWS July 27) has suggested several ways that congress might make clear to the delegates that Obama does not speak for congress, which would surely reject whatever emerges from the Paris synod, and that our Constitution means he therefore cannot bind America. That’s fine, as far as it goes. But conservatives might pre-empt the EPA-heavy regulatory nightmare to which the president will attempt to commit his predecessors – who knows what this erratic Supreme Court might say about the binding nature of the Paris Accord, or Manifesto, or Deal – by getting behind a carbon tax that directs the proceeds to the reduction of the workers’ share of the payroll tax, without whatever anti-regressivity wrinkles are required.
Remember: if legislation forces the President to alter his plans in Paris, he will have an important ally: communist China is submitting a plan that relies on market forces to reduce its emission.
10:59 AM, Jun 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
EPA chief Gina McCarthy agreed with Bill Maher on Friday that the Obama administration is engaged in a war on coal:
"The clean power program," Maher said. "Some people called it a war on coal. I hope it is a war on coal. Is it?"
"Actually, EPA is all about fighting against polution and fighting for public health," McCarthy said before answering Maher's question. "That's exactly what this is."
"Oh, great," Maher said to applause.
Has the desperate global warming crusade reached its Waterloo? Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By STEVEN F. HAYWARD
The climate change crusaders, who have been at it for a quarter-century, appear to be going clinically mad. Start with the rhetorical monotony and worship of authority (“97 percent of all scientists agree!”), add the Salem witch trial-style intimidation and persecution of dissenters, and the categorical demand that debate about science or policy is over because the matter is settled, and you have the profile of a cult-like sectarianism that has descended into paranoia and reflexive bullying.
1:09 PM, Jun 2, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Obama administration will roll out a plan, today, for fixing the climate, having already fixed foreign policy and the economy. As Wendy Koch of USA Today reports:
Oct 7, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 05 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
On September 20, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed strict new limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants. Energy industry critics, along with a number of influential unions, were quick to decry them. The regulations would limit carbon emissions for new coal plants to 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour. The technology to meet this standard, which involves pumping carbon dioxide deep underground, is so expensive that the coal industry says it will effectively prevent new coal plants from being built.
9:29 AM, Jun 25, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
While Daniel P. Schrag, White House climate adviser, tells the New York Times that "a war on coal is exactly what's needed," so far the Obama administration has been a boon for U.S. coal exports.
7:21 AM, Jun 25, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Daniel P. Schrag, a White House climate adviser and director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, tells the New York Times "a war on coal is exactly what's needed." Later today, President Obama will give a major "climate change" address at Georgetown University.
3:18 PM, Oct 30, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Mitt Romney's campaign has a new television ad directed at voters in Pennsylvania. The ad juxtaposes Barack Obama's record and rhetoric on the coal industry with Romney's plan.
12:00 AM, Oct 13, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
We are entering an age of energy abundance. Or not. In keeping with the great tradition of economics, dubbed by Thomas Carlyle the dismal science, let me raise a cautionary note.
Obama deserts coal; Democrats desert Obama.Sep 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 02 • By HENRY PAYNE
Charleston, W. Va.
The billboard high over I-64 outside the capital of this blue-collar state minces no words: “Obama’s NO JOBS ZONE: The President talks about creating jobs but his EPA is destroying jobs.”
Businessmen across nearly every American industry cite the Obama administration’s regulatory assault—from Obamacare to bank lending restrictions to fuel-economy mandates—as a cause of America’s jobless recovery. But perhaps no industry can count job losses the White House is causing like the coal industry.
7:39 AM, Aug 15, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Bill Kristol, with Juan Williams and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
3:00 PM, May 11, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Now that President Obama's reelection team wants to include coal on the agenda, it's worth remembering that Obama himself warned in 2008 that his policies would bankrupt anyone who started a coal power plant. Here he is in 2008, speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle:
And Biden was scared of coal.2:04 PM, May 11, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
After a disappointing showing in West Virginia, where President Obama received only 59 percent of the vote against a prison inmate in the Democratic primary, the president's reelection team decided to highlight the importance of coal (or clean coal, to be exact) on its website. (West Virginia is a major mining state.) Well, the Obama team has had problems with coal in the past.
Environmentalists block coal exports to China.9:00 AM, May 20, 2011 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Longview, Washington—When an Australian shipping company named Millennium Bulk Terminals announced plans last November to open a coal export terminal in this port city of 36,000, few predicted any trouble. Millennium quickly bought the site on which the terminal would be located, a property on the banks of the Columbia River that was once the home of an aluminum smelting plant.