In a statement intended to help justify the proposed “cap and trade” energy tax, Barack Obama said:
At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe.
There are so many things wrong with this that one scarcely knows where to begin.
Obama demonizes those who emit “dangerous carbon emissions” (ie, CO2–the same substance you breathe out with every breath, not some exotic poison)…a category which encompasses virtually every electrical utility facility in America, and a high percentage of industrial facilities. Most of these plants were using the best available technology at the time they were constructed. Does Obama really think that a coal- or gas-fired power plant, built in, say, 1985, should have been built instead as a solar plant? Does Obama know what solar cells cost in 1985? Even today, solar and wind power are considerably more expensive than conventional sources, and in 1985, the gap was much, much larger.
The statement “this legislation is paid for by the polluters” is clearly fraudulent. The investors in power utilities include many pension funds, as well as individual 401(k) and other investment portfolios: to the extent that the tax is paid by shareholders and bondholders, it would be felt by individuals in the form of lower investment returns and/or jeopardy to their pension payouts. But in reality, most of the tax would necessarily be passed through to utility bills and manufactured product prices. Obama knows this: during the campaign, he admitted that his energy proposals would cause utility bills to rise. The legislation would also make U.S.-manufactured products, especially those that are energy-intensive in their production, less competitive with those in other countries, and would lay additional heavy burdens on American manufacturing.
In the same speech, Obama says “These incentives will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. And that will lead to the development of new technologies that lead to new industries that could create millions of new jobs in America – jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.” The truth is that–as noted above–the energy tax would cause many existing manufacturing jobs to be shipped overseas, and would prevent other manufacturing jobs from ever being created in the first place. And even with regard to specific jobs in the manufacturing of “clean technology” equipment, the statement is false. Wind turbines, for instance, can come from Vestas or Siemens as well as from GE. Or does Obama also want to prohibit the import of this kind of equipment and start a global trade war?
The Obama/Reid/Pelosi Democrats like to talk about “nuance” and about their appreciation of “shades of gray” when talking about terrorists and dictators. But when dealing with energy and with American business, there is no room for complexity or nuance: only for simplistic black-and-white pictures and demonization of those whom it is convenient to demonize.
Spain’s experience with “green jobs”
Attempted suppression by the Obama administration of a scientific report raising inconvenient concerns about their position on climate change