Wednesday, August 5, 2015
The Obama War on Coal Continues
Senator Obama said at a January 2008 editorial board meeting of the San Francisco Chronicle: “So if someone wants to build a coal power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt hem because they are going to be charged a high sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” He said at the University of Missouri at Columbia five days before his inauguration that “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” He is succeeding in fundamentally transforming America. In his eyes, America succeeded as an unequal society by exploiting the world’s resources. The military has been used to extend America’s rule around the world. A reset, starting with Russia, will extend to the traditional enemies of the United States. Our special relationship with Great Britain will be abandoned. Similarly, Israel has been an oppressor of the Palestinian people, although he carefully couched it as a bad relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will pivot America’s support to Iran as the source of stability in the Mideast. One of his first acts was to unilaterally scrap the anti-missile systems being installed in Poland and the Czech Republic as a sign of goodwill to Russia. As usual, he got nothing in exchange. He’s made peace with Iran, the Munich peace of appeasement. He recognized Cuba. He let Russia invade Ukraine, offering the Ukrainians MRE’s to fight tanks. He substantially shrunk the military, essentially neutering it with a weak Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He abandoned Iraq, giving rise to ISIL His domestic policy would be to implement the Liberation Theology of reverend Jeremiah Wright coupled with protecting the core constituencies of the Democratic coalition. He will support the teachers unions and other public sector unions (The Stimulus Bill). His NLRB, nominally an independent agency, will do everything to support unions and penalize management. His Federal Communications Commission, again a nominally independent agency, will regulate the internet. The nation’s police, viewed as oppressing African Americans, will be neutered through “oversight” by his Justice department. He will consult with the Reverend Al Sharpton. He will impose high taxes on Americans, corporations, and the cost of capital because none of them made it on their own. They made it with the help of government on the backs of the poor. He quasi-nationalized healthcare, 1/6 of the nation’s economy. He will convert America’s energy base to a green economy, funded by the Stimulus Act funds not going to the unions. Solyndra was but one of scores of failing green energy companies receiving Stimulus funding. He believes green energy will create millions of jobs, the proof in Spain to the contrary notwithstanding. High taxes, high healthcare expenses, and high energy costs are squeezing America’s economy, especially small business, the creator of jobs in America. He has substantially increased the number of Americans receiving government assistance, thereby increasing American dependence on the government rather than themselves and the private sector. His economic ignorance is shown by thinking that healthcare and green energy will be the economic stimulus of the new American economy, eventhough they do not add to American productivity. They add costs to the economy. That brings us to the War on Coal. The Supreme Court in the 2007 5-4 decision in Massachusetts versus Environmental Protection Agency gave the EPA the power to regulate greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide, under the Clean Air Act. His EPA, which is not an independent agency, does not therefore need a new act of Congress to regulate coal power plants. It is doing it under the proposed rules issued last Monday. Its earlier attempt to regulate the power plants by restricting their mercury emissions was struck down this term for lack of an adequate cost-benefit study. In his mind climate change is the greatest threat to Americans. He addressed the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit: “For all the immediate challenges we gather to address this week – terrorism, instability, inequality, disease, there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” He addressed the graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy on May 19, 2015. He said: “Cadets, the threat of a changing climate cuts to the very core of your service.” He stated “climate change is one of the most severe threats” and that it is ‘dereliction of duty” to deny climate change. His, the EPA, plan will require power plants to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 32% from the 2005 levels by 2030. The draft plan was 30%, partially met by a shift to natural gas and only 22% from renewables. The new rule requires at least 28% from renewables, which have shown themselves so far to be expensive, often unreliable, and damaging to the environment, as well as meeting local opposition, such as with the wind farm off Martha’s Vineyard. The War on Coal is a proxy for the War on Fossil Fuels. The EPA is setting specific emissions levels for each state to meet, in theory giving the states flexibility in doing so. It appears at this point a large number, if not majority, of states will refuse to cooperate with the EPA. It remains to be seen if under our state sovereignty the EPA can set state standards when its power under the Clean Air Act is to regulate emissions from individual plants. Of course, this Supreme Court can arbitrarily rewrite the statute to accommodate the Administration, as it has done twice with ObamaCare. All the while, the BRIC Nations, China, India, Brazil, and Russia are plunging ahead with coal power.