American Elephants

Obama’s Climate Action Plan to Kill Jobs, Impoverish America. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama made a dramatic speech about climate, about which he apparently knows nothing whatsoever, and headed off on his very expensive African vacation. He told students at Georgetown University that he doesn’t have “much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real.” The “challenge” is climate change, which nobody denies. The climate is always changing. He is concerned about “carbon pollution” —except that carbon is not “pollution” but one of the building blocks of life.

Obama actually said that “ninety-seven percent of scientists” “acknowledged that the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.” Well, no, that’s not true either. Scientists do question the degree to which human activity causes changes in climate, if any. It doesn’t matter if one hundred percent of all scientists acknowledge anything. Science isn’t determined by a show of hands, but by observable evidence.

It’s hard to know just what motivates Mr. Obama. If climate change is a matter of ideology, it demonstrates that Obama is not open to changing his mind when the information has changed. Richard Epstein who knows him from the University of Chicago and through his own next-door neighbor, has said that Obama does not change his mind. If he once believed something, he believes it today and tomorrow. That would indicate that at some point he received knowledge and sees no reason to change. Another possibility is the need to pay back his supporters in the Big Green non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for their support and financial backing in his elections. What is most interesting is his lack of interest in the 12 million people who are out-of-work and cannot find employment.

Mr. Obama’s “climate action plan” would be an extensive and intrusive reorganization of the entire economy. The most consequential parts of the plan would attack the U.S. electric industry, whose coal-fired plants account for at least 37% of America’s electricity. The idea that you can just shut off a whole sector and replace it with wind and solar energy is ludicrous. Wind energy may be “clean” but it isn’t constant. Promoters talk about “capacity’ which means what a turbine could produce if you had steady wind blowing at just the right speed. Doesn’t happen. Wind comes in gusts, gales, wafts, and may not blow at all for days or weeks at a time. When it does not blow, it requires backup from a conventional coal or gas-fired power plant, which must stand ready all the time to produce electricity when the wind does not blow. Ditto solar. You have noticed that the sun slides beneath the horizon each night (when you need lights) and is not visible on cloudy or stormy days.

After he ran for reelection, Obama vowed to make jobs and economic growth his number one priority. In May, a Gallup poll  and a Pew Research poll found similar priorities 86-90% said creating more jobs should be the top priority in Washington.  “Dealing with global warming” came in dead last at 28%. Gun control and immigration were only slightly more interesting.  Almost everything Obama has done this year will put an additional drag on growth.

In general, every $1 billion spent complying with an EPA rule threatens 16,000 jobs and cuts GDP by $1.2 billion, and the EPA is squirreling away writing new rules. Last month the administration quietly raised the “social cost’ of carbon by 60% in a regulatory finding about microwave  ovens.

Me. Obama also declared that he will approve the Keystone XL pipeline “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” Carbon is not a pollutant.The Keystone XL pipeline represents about 13,000 union construction jobs, 7,000 manufacturing jobs and an estimated 250,000 jobs over the life of the pipeline. Apparently Big Green trumps Big Labor. Labor badly wants the pipeline.

The most stunning revelation from the big climate speech is the utter contempt that Obama has for the American people. He talks concern for the economy and jobs, but his actions are devoted to killing even more.  He talks about helping the poor, but aside from welfare, there’s no there there. No jobs, don’t talk about the rise in electricity rates, talk about health (?). It would be a disaster for the American worker, but there’s always unemployment and food stamps.

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