EPA: Rules Won’t Slow Climate Change Much, but They Will Slow the Economy

October 19, 2010

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=climate+change&iid=2265183″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/2265183/report-blames-human/report-blames-human.jpg?size=500&imageId=2265183″ width=”234″ height=”154″ /]A few years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had the authority to regulate certain greenhouse-gas emissions. But those environmentalists excited about the dramatic and beneficial effects such regulations would have on global ‘climate change’ (the newer, more politically acceptable name for global warming) make want to take heed of the EPA’s own recent analysis.

A recent CNS News report notes the following:

Tough new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency restricting greenhouse gas emissions would reduce the global mean temperature by only 0.006 to 0.0015 of a degree Celsius by the year 2100, according to the EPA’s analysis.

Self-proclaimed protectors of the planet may be a little disappointed by this revelation, but even more worrisome is the predicted effect these rules would have on the already struggling economy:

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The Limitations of Human Government

June 6, 2010

With the continued concern over the seemingly never-ending BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, many in the media are criticizing President Obama for anything from his lack of empathy to his lack of leadership. In short, they are mad that the government isn’t more involved and actually fixing the problem.

But if this incident tells us anything, it is that government, despite its massive size and pervasive influence in our lives, isn’t some magical entity that can solve all of our problems, small or great. President John F. Kennedy once famously said when referring to the possibility of ending war, “Our problems are manmade — therefore, they can be solved by man.” But, despite what some progressives may hope, human government still has its natural limits.

U.S. President Barack Obama picks up balls of tar while touring the beach on May 28, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. The oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster now officially ranks as the worst in U.S. history. UPI/David Grunfeld/Pool Photo via NewscomThere are two main reasons for these limits. The first is that government is not some omniscient force; it’s nothing more than a group of fallible human beings. As such, it, too, is fallible. The second point is that, in several instances, government has limitations that the private sector does not. Since government is essentially a monopoly and not beholden to the type of competition and market forces which act to improve the performance and efficiency of firms in the private sector, there are tasks that the private sector is simply better at performing.

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Your Tax Dollars: Gone With the Wind?

April 9, 2010

The U.S. wind industry is doing so well — reportedly growing at a record pace in 2009 — an industry association is predicting even more growth … that is if the government steps in. According to a recent MarketWatch report, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has stated that, “Comprehensive federal policy needs to be put into place in order for the industry to continue growing.”

This begs the question: Why would a supposedly booming industry need government to step in to aid its growth? The answer: The industry can’t actually rely on consumer demand and private investors to support its product.

A leader in the AWEA was quoted in the article seemingly complaining that, “We are the only major developed country that does not have a renewable energy standard or a functional standard.” Translation: We are the only major developed country that does not yet heavily subsidize “renewable energy” — although, that is arguable given the subsidies included in last year’s stimulus.

Listed among the AWEA’s legislative goals (read: list of political favors) are the following: Read the rest of this entry »


Truth in Labeling?

April 1, 2010

According to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, it looks like just about anything can be deemed energy-efficient by the federal government these days. The GAO covertly submitted fake products to the Energy Star program to see if they would be approved. No surprise:  Most of them were.

In total, 15 of the 20 dubious products submitted were awarded the certification. One product was actually a gas-powered alarm clock … let the thought of that set in for a minute. Another was a feather duster attached to a space heater, dubbed a “room cleaner.” One of the fake products was actually approved within 30 minutes of submission. Now, that’s efficiency!

What’s particularly troubling is that Americans are often incentivized through various subsidies and tax rebates by the federal government to purchase products with the Energy Star seal as a means of saving the environment and reducing energy costs — much to the glee of the lobbyists for those producing such items. Americans could be nudged to actually purchase non-energy-efficient products.

So, not only can lobbyists for actual energy-efficient products use government to boost their sales, lobbyists for non-green products can as well. Everyone is on board this gravy train.

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Green Lobbying

March 13, 2010

A recent Time magazine story displays an example of how the “green” industry has used campaign funds to garner political support and subsidies. The following is one telling quote from the article:

[Dick] Cheney’s task force, which operated almost entirely in secret, produced $14 billion largely for drillers and miners in 2005. Obama’s greener advisers have helped produce six times that amount, much of it for the comparatively smaller reusable-energy industry.

One need not think long to name all of the incentives government has for individuals and businesses to be more “green.” They range from more innocous programs like “Energy Star” labeling to subsidies and credits that are often written into the tax code and energy bills. John Doerr, the green lobbyist who is the large focus of the Time story, has been pushing for “Home Star,” a new proposal for tax credits to incentivize retrofitting houses to lower their energy use.

A less noticed aspect of this push is the financial benefit to those individual investors and companies with stakes in the success of “environmentally friendly” products and the “green” movement. While many see green energy and products as a worthwhile endeavor, the cozy relationship between lobbyists and government is something to remain skeptical of. There may be a fine line between the good intentions of “green” supporters and their intention to make a profit.

Take for example this passage from the Time article:

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Climate/Population Change

December 12, 2009

It seems some climate-change (now the more politically correct term for “global warming”)  alarmists believe population control is an answer to preventing what they view as a pending destruction of our planet. Examples include the following two articles:

Both cite China’s one-child policy, which has been criticized often over the years for leading to forced abortions and sterilization. But the statist mentality in China, and many other societies, persists. Whatever is best for the collective is what matters. Forget individual rights; we’ve got a looming global climate disaster on our hands! Oh, and forget data that may contradict that prediction, too.


American Public Like Teenage Kids?

September 29, 2009

Indicative of the general attitude members of the Obama administration have toward regular Americans is this latest musing from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. It seems Chu views ordinary Americans in the following way when it comes to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions:

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”

This type of paternalism is typical for many politicians and bureaucrats, and it seems especially true for members of the current administration. Believing themselves to be wiser and more reasonable than the average American, these technocrats see it as their duty to nudge the public into conforming to their vision of behavioral norms — ranging from conservation habits to eating habits to health-coverage habits.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy later tried to clarify Chu’s words to make them sound less offensive, but the clarification doesn’t really make any sense in relation to Chu’s words. In sum, this is just one more example of the ever-popular but naively arrogant belief in paternalism among government officials.