Greenhouse Philosophy Threatens Economy

President Obama’s plans to make states restrict tailpipe emissions and order the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop higher fuel-efficiency standards are disastrous for the U.S. and the economy.
Federal fuel economy standards are already a hidden burden on the industry, and the president is proposing that make that burden even heavier. Congress is spending billions to bail out the auto industry, and here’s the president, coming up with new ways to sink it, said Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe.
The effect of the plan, with respect to state regulation, would have the Environmental Protection Agency grant a waiver to states, allowing them to establish greenhouse gas emission standards under authority of the Clean Air Act.
That would make carbon dioxide a regulated pollutant under the CAA, which in turn will start the regulatory cascade described in the EPA’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and numerous comments.
We have pointed out the latest ANPR would wreck havoc on the economy and the preposterous idea of making CO2 a pollutant — what we exhale an average eight to 14 times a minute or 17,280 times a day SEmD would expose the American people to new regulation, controls, paperwork and penalties under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration pre-construction permitting program. Millions would potentially be subject to new record-keeping, reporting and emission fees — a virtual carbon tax.
Oklahoma’s Department of Environmental Quality does not plan to address CO2 through the waiver process, said a spokesman.
President Obama has already targeted drilling and oil and natural gas lease policies.
Obama’s pick to head the Energy Department, Steven Chu, believes climate change is a pressing problem.
“It is now clear that if we continue on our current path, we run the risk of dramatic, disruptive changes to our climate in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren,” Chu said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Chu’s statements supporting higher gasoline and electricity prices reveal a belief the American people would be better off if energy — and especially fossil fuels — were deliberately made so expensive that individuals and businesses were forced to use less of it.
This anti-energy, anti-capitalist view is popular enough among environmental wackos inside and outside the federal government, but it has no place at the Department of Energy, where energy affordability should not take a backseat to an environmental agenda.
DOE needs to be realistic about its research into energy alternatives, especially about the time frames it will take for viable alternatives to emerge. But DOE taking the role of Central Planning — picking winners and losers among emerging alternatives ?≠— is disappointing in the least and socialist at worst.
The realistic approach toward alternatives leads to the conclusion that the age of fossil fuels — petroleum for transportation and coal for electric generation — is not over. DOE ought to ensure those energy sources are as plentiful and affordable as possible. To shut the door on conventional energy simply based on wishful thinking that replacements are around the corner, makes terrible energy policy.

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