Filed under: Politics, Environment, Global Warming, Energy, Capitalism, Junk Science, Regulation, Progressives, Bureaucracy | Tags: The EPA, Clean Power Plan, The Climate Agenda
President Obama is embarked on his Clean Power Plan, in an effort to fulfill the last of his campaign promises, and put in place some kind of legacy — so he has something to put into the billion dollar presidential library he is planning.
You remember the megalomaniacial claim — “this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” It just hasn’t gone well. Health Care costs are spiraling out of control, we are in the most sluggish recovery ever, millions have just dropped out of the job market. The oceans rise only in millimeters, not the feet that Obama seems to fear.
The Clean Power Plan is one of the most controversial mandates ever to be attempted. The EPA has received over 1.6 million comments on the proposed rule which attempts to reduce CO2 emissions from conventional power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. But the American power sector’s CO2 emissions are now at their lowest level since 1988, and this is with a larger population and increase energy use. In 1988 we had a population of 245 million, today there are 319 million energy consumers. Roughly 50 percent more electricity is generated, yet emission levels are low.
So will the Clean Power Plan have a significant impact on global carbon dioxide emissions? No. The expected reductions in emissions would reduce global temperatures by about 0.03 degrees Celsius by 2100. An analysis of the proposed ruling by NERA Economic Consulting estimated that the Clean Power Plan could cost the electric sector between $41 billion and $73 billion per year, and accomplish nothing, nothing at all.
The Reason Foundation takes on the Clean Power Plan’s main claims and finds them wanting. The White House claims that the plan will “Save the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy ill in 2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes, and save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020 -2030.”Sounds like a lot like the expectations for ObamaCare. In reality, Reason says, the rule will almost certainly spend more in total on energy and energy saving devices than without the rule. Do read the whole thing, it’s a significant debunking.
Britain, Canada and Australia are all cutting back on subsidies for renewables, as is Germany as well. Spain ended their subsidies some time ago.
Anthony Watts at wattsupwiththat writes about a report “exposing coordination between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” network of advocacy groups to advance the “climate” agenda, revealing a vast, coordinated, three track effort by public officials and private interests to promote EPA’s expansive, overreaching and economically devastating greenhouse gas rules, specifically the section 111(d) regulation to shut the nation’s fleet of existing coal-fired power plants, as well as the December Paris climate treaty President Obama is expected to sign to replace the Kyoto Protocol.”
The exposé details a campaign to use public offices, in very close collaboration with wealthy benefactors, to advance and defend President Obama’s climate change regulatory and treaty agenda. This quasi-governmental campaign involves more than a dozen governors’ offices with a parallel advocacy network and political operation funded and staffed by activists paid through ideologically and politically motivated donors.
So there you go. In spite of the attractive sounding name, the Clean Power Plan is just not what it is cracked up to be. It has been suggested that the States can just refuse to go along.
Filed under: Environment, Health Care, Freedom, Progressivism, Taxes, Capitalism, Regulation, Bureaucracy
The Cato Institute, the Libertarian think-tank, publishes an annual Human Freedom Index, ranking 152 countries in the world according to the level of liberty enjoyed by its citizens.
The index represents a broad measure of human freedom. which can be understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 76 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in these areas:
Rule of Law
Security and Safety
Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
Size of Government
Legal System and Property Rights
Access to Sound Money
Freedom to Trade Internationally
Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business
This reflects the degree to which people enjoy the freedom to engage in voluntary exchange and enjoy major liberties such as freedom of speech, religion and association. Also measures freedom of movement, women’s freedoms, safety and security and the rule of law.
Hong Kong and Switzerland top the list, followed by Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Malta, Luxembourg, Chile, Mauritius —and finally, The United States at Number 20, followed by the Czech Republic, Estonia, Belgium, Taiwan and Portugal.
The U.S. was 17th in 2014. but think of EPA regulations, scheduled speakers disinvited, the government confiscating a big chunk of a raisin farmer’s crop, ObamaCare regulations, you might try tallying up the new constraints you have seen or felt. Swat teams breaking into the wrong house, Lois Lerner, the attack by the Left on anything connected to the South and it’s Civil War history. The attack on free speech has been not only notable, but widespread — things you cannot say. So we are at number 20 and declining. We talk a lot about the Left’s drive for increased regulation and increased control — and just look at where that’s got us!
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Freedom, Health Care, Regulation | Tags: Free Speech, Food and Drug Administration, Aggressive Prosecutors
I’m afraid I’m becoming something of a crank, grumbling constantly about the depredations of bureaucracy. The Food and Drug Administration has believed its powers so encompassing that it can even prohibit drug companies from making true statements about their products unless they are approved by the FDA.
A federal judge has just called this political control a violation of the First Amendment. Once the FDA has approved a new drug for FDA specified uses, physicians often repurpose them in other doses, or for other diseases, or for entirely different patient populations. A drug designed for breast cancer might prove effective against tumors in other parts of the body, or a medicine for adults may prove effective for pediatric care. About one of every five U.S. Prescriptions is for non-FDA approved uses.
In a small miracle, these off-label experiments are legal, and they drive innovation. The artificial conditions that the FDA demands for clinical trials are increasingly divorced from how medicine is practiced, and modern care advances far faster than the FDA’s regulatory molasses. Off-label use is vital for complex conditions like cancer and psychiatric disorders that require trial and error for individual patients, who can’t wait years for the FDA’s blessing.
But the FDA and Justice Department are targeting off-label prescriptions as a threat to their hegemony. Their goal is to force drug makers and physicians to seek FDA approval for every new real-world use, as if it were an entirely new drug. Until recently, drug makers were banned from making off-label claims backed by solid evidence or even from distributing peer-reviewed journal articles.
Prosecutors have also become increasingly aggressive. In 2012 GlaxoSmithKline paid $1 billion for encouraging doctors to use Paxil to treat depression in patients under 18, which research shows helps although the FDA has not endorsed this conclusion. The FDA construes some forms of off-label promotion as crimes, and people are serving jail time.
The nature of a bureaucracy is to grow, prosper, be better rewarded monetarily and extend its reach. Was there ever a bureaucracy that thought that much that they did was unnecessary, and they should probably downsize for the benefit of the taxpayers? I rest my case.
Judge Paul Engelmayer explained to the FDA that if they believed that a different use of a drug gravely undermined the drug approval process, it should have sought review of that decision, not tried to liken distributing information to an assault on their drug-approval authority, and tried to compare it to illegal speech such as blackmail or insider trading. Free speech wins one!
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Global Warming, Junk Science, Science/Technology | Tags: Climate Consulting, Relies on Coercive Government, The Climate Change Industry
The Climate Change Business Journal has calculated that Climate Change is now its own $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” that is growing at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008. Following the recession, growth slowed to between 4 to 6 percent with the exception of a bump in 2011 of 15 percent growth. These results were published in the Insurance Journal, for the climate journal is not available for free online.
The publication includes nine segments and 38 sub-segments including renewables, green building and hybrid cars. It also includes the climate change consulting market which the journal estimates at $1.9 billion worldwide, and $890 million in the U.S. The consulting market is expected to double in the next five years. The report’s authors believe the climate change industry as a whole will grow even faster. The Climate Change Consulting market had billings of $600 million in 1976 and today generates $27 billion.
One of the most lucrative segments of the industry is consulting, risk management, and of course legal and other professional services. That’s why “green” businesses donate so heavily to politicians who believe in global warming issues. Policy is one of the biggest drivers of growth in the industry. If Obama’s Clean Power Plan survives legal challenges it may be a big driver of further growth.
So if “Big Green” is a $1.5 trillion industry, that will buy a whole lot of scientists around the world. It is a major funder for the Democratic Party along with unions. And it is an industry that can survive only by relying on the coercive powers of government. That’s a lot of crony capitalism.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Free Markets, Politics, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Overregulation and Overtaxation, Free Market Capitalism, Supply Side Economics, Four Percent Growth
So the job situation for the month of July remains — dismal. There were 215,000 new jobs in July, a little less than the expected 225,000. 93,770,000 working-age people, 16 and older, aren’t working. This takes us back to 1977 levels of employment, and we are a bigger country now. This is a 36-year low. A record 56,209,000 women are not in the work force.
Since 2007, 1.4 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. There are 1.4 million new waiter and bartender jobs that have been created in the same time period.
Possibly a more interesting discussion for the debates? How are you going to fix this one?