10.06.2010 1

More of the Same

By Rebekah Rast –

Now that a health care and financial system overhaul are out of the way, Obama promises to throw the full weight of his presidency behind energy.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Obama said, “One of my top priorities next year is to have an energy policy that begins to address all facets of our overreliance on fossil fuels. We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of comprehensive omnibus legislation. But we’re going to stay on this because it is good for our economy, it’s good for our national security, and, ultimately, it’s good for our environment.”

When it rains it pours.

What can America expect? The threat of carbon caps, renewable energy mandates, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and higher costs for energy.

Obama said so himself. In a 2009 video interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he said, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

What he didn’t mention is that more jobs would be lost — or move overseas.

“Obama has stimulated the Chinese economy quite well through his green jobs initiatives and stimulus packages in the past, while putting more Americans out of work,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “And he’s trying to do it again with his bogus cap-and-tax energy policies.”

In a report by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), found that with the EPA’s new regulations on commercial and industrial boilers called the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (Boiler MACT) almost 800,000 jobs are at risk.

The Cannon Courier newspaper in Tennessee reported that, “The EPA rule… will endanger family wage, American jobs and reverse economic development in the rural communities that need it the most.” The paper estimated 21,704 manufacturing jobs throughout Tennessee and the South could be lost as a result of this new regulation.

The Senate Committee report also found:

• New standards for Portland Cement plants: up to 18 cement plants at risk of shutting down, threatening nearly 1,800 direct jobs and 9,000 indirect jobs;
• The Endangerment Finding/Tailoring Rules for Greenhouse Gas Emissions: higher energy costs; jobs moving overseas; severe economic impacts on the poor, the elderly, minorities, and those on fixed incomes; 6.1 million sources subject to EPA control and regulation; and
• The revised National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone: severe restrictions on job creation and business expansion in hundreds of counties nationwide.

In a press release Sen. Inhofe responded to the findings, “The record as outlined in this Minority report, which includes EPA’s own analysis, is very clear: EPA will make consumers pay more for electricity, shut down the local factory, and give Chinese firms a decisive advantage over America’s manufacturers, which are struggling to meet the agency’s bureaucratic mandates.”

This doesn’t sound good for a country going through the type of “recovery” that it is. Even worse, this Administration has offered no substitutions to the energy-producing mechanisms used to fuel the nation today.

Whether coal, natural gas or nuclear energy, Obama is waging a war against all of them. Each one of these industries would have to drastically alter its operations to fall within the EPA’s guidelines.

Obama doesn’t seem to care.

Further along in the interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Obama said, “Regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations.”

If these industries are still able to survive and don’t go bankrupt after meeting the necessary requirements, the cost it took them to do so will be passed onto all those who use electricity in America.

Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), says that in states where there are energy mandates, electricity bills are about 40 percent higher than states that don’t have mandates. He says much of that is attributed to a host of other regulations that get tacked on to the mandates that result in increased prices for consumers.

Obama has been pushing hard for Renewable Energy Standards (RES) for America with the support of many environmentalists groups and wind farm operations. His fight against America’s traditional energy-producing industries could start as early as November in a lame-duck session — depending on the outcome of the elections.

This country cannot afford the amount of jobs that would be lost as a result of Obama’s cap-and-trade policies, nor can it afford a dramatic rise in energy costs.

If Obama throws all his weight behind cap-and-trade with as much vigor and energy as he did with health care and America’s financial system, the country should brace for skyrocketing energy costs and even higher unemployment.

In other words, America can expect more of the same, unless things change in November.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to the Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau.

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