Tuesday, March 27, 2012

EPA revives cap-and-tax

Make it end. I'm talking about the insanity of the Obama administration in general and regarding energy policy and oil, in particular.

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new U.S. power plants, circumventing the Obama administration to push through cap-and-trade through Congress. Why would Obama use this strategy in an election year knowing it will be strongly contested by Republicans and the industry? To ask this question is to answer it. The Obama administration wants this fight.

There is a microcosm of Obama's philosophy within this decision -- ideology trumps realism. It's a desperate move to appeal to the the political left -- environmentalists who think the country should subject itself to great financial pains associated with extremely expensive energy and gasoline for an ephemeral benefit.

That's right. I give no credibility to the fear-mongering associated with CO2. The idea that CO2 has resulted in global warming is total baloney, as the Climate Research Unit effectively admitted recently. There's no uniform warming of the planet. The Earth temperatures have been completely in accord with the Sun cycle, for as long as accurate records have been kept.

Carbon dioxide happens to be essential for plant life, and unlike oxygen is not toxic. There's also the inconvenient fact that all of use exhale CO2, just like those evil power plants. So, what's to prevent the government for taxing you for you carbon footprint? How would you like to be taxed not just for oil and gas you use, but also the air breathe?

There's no fundamental justification for CO2 tax, beside tax revenue and increased government control.

The politics of this decision appear to be simply nuts. Consider, that a similar set of regulations - the so-called cap-and-trade, more accurately described as cap-and-tax, was rejected by Congress over a year ago. Then Obama has shut down the majority of exploration in the Gulf, sending dozens of off-shore pumping platforms to China, and costing many thousands of jobs. More recently Obama has rejected the Keystone pipeline. The gasoline has nearly doubled in price since Obama took office. External factors had a lot to do with this increase, but Obama administration's antagonism to oil development has not helped.

Yes, he can (and he did).
Democrats continue to use fallacious numbers. On March 7 Obama declared: “We've got 2% of the world oil reserves; we use 20%. What that means is, as much as we're doing to increase oil production, we're not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices.”

The 2% number, in particular, is based on a very strict definition of proven reserves, which conveniently discounts more than half of the oil which could be economically extracted. The conclusion from Obama's description seems clear - the U.S. must be running out of oil. However, nothing is further from the truth. The known, financially lucrative reserves have actually grown -- due to improved technologies for detection that allowed identification of resources like shale oil that have become lucrative to develop consider given current prices. The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” columnist Glenn Kessler dismissed Obama’s figures as a “non sequitur”, which is exactly how I first thought of these figures, because the expected conclusion does not follow from these false statistics.

Even some Democrats from energy-intensive states have complained. "The overreaching that EPA continues to do is going to create a tremendous burden and hardship on the families and people of America," said Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia.
No, he can't (and he didn't).
Obama once said regarding cap-and-trade: "Under my plan the energy costs will necessarily skyrocket". Is the Obama administration so obtuse as to double down with a losing hand in the debate on carbon-based fuels? They must be desperate to energize their left-wing base, despite the fact this issue is a loser with the general public. The geniuses in the Obama administration have not considered that the vacation season is around the corner. When gas approaches $5 per gallon, they will rue this short-sighted strategy.

Five dollar gasoline will certain results in an "O'bummer" summer of discontent for travelers, although nobody should be bummed too much. The pain at the pump serves a greater good. The true believers in the pie-in-the-sky alternative energy can look forward to decreased use of pricey oil in the U.S., while the rest of us can look forward to Obama's early retirement.

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