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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Today in Washington, D.C. - June 7, 2010 - Will Obama & Dems Use Oil Spill Crisis To Jam Through Cap-And-Tax?

Congress is back in session. The Senate reconvene at 2 PM today. At 4:30 PM, the Senate will begin consideration of three district judge nominations. Votes are scheduled on the nominations beginning at 5:30. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is then expected to move to consideration of the extenders bill (H.R. 4213), which would extend unemployment insurance and expired tax breaks, but adds billions to the debt, because it is not paid for.

On Thursday, the Senate is scheduled to debate and vote on a resolution of disapproval of the EPA’s actions to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, being offered by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). If passed, the resolution could block the EPA’s action. This is an very important vote; if the EPA is allowed to regulate humans and animals who breath out carbon dioxide then our government will have reached the state of lunacy! Hard to believe, but that only leaves regulating and controlling all plants which provide oxygen. Wait a minute, the government is already regulating water, energy, crops, etc. Are America's elected officials about to sell out their constituents? Tell your Senators to vote "Yes" on the Murkowski resolution to disapprove and hopefully stop the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide (a natural product exhaled by YOU, and all other humans and animals).

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously said after the 2008 election, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” And the Obama administration certainly seems to have governed with that philosophy in mind since then. They’ve used a series of crisis to expand government and spend more and more money. At the beginning of 2009, the deepening recession was used as a reason to spend nearly a trillion dollars on a stimulus bill that was little more than a wish list of Democrats’ pork projects. The bailout of the auto companies was used to reward the United Auto Workers union. And most recently, the financial crisis was used to push a financial regulation bill that will expand government regulations to reach many small businesses not involved in the finance industry.

Well, The Wall Street Journal editors write today, “Not too many weeks ago it looked as if President Obama's cap-and-tax program for energy was dead for this year. But with the political and media left whacking the President for his handling of the worst spill in U.S. history, Democrats have suddenly decided that this is one more crisis that shouldn't go to waste.”

Indeed, the WSJ editors note, “Consult Mr. Obama's remarks last Wednesday about "the future we must seize" at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon. ‘The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future,’ he said. ‘I want you to know, the votes may not be there now, but I intend to find them in the coming months.’”

And Politico reported last week, “Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is calling on the Senate's key committee leaders to come up with a comprehensive energy strategy by July 4, accelerating the push for legislation in wake of the worst oil spill in American history.”

The WSJ explains, “Nancy Pelosi forced House Democrats to walk the cap-and-tax plank last July, and the White House now plans a summer push in the Senate, where Midwest and coal-state Democrats are still leery of imposing huge new energy costs on their constituents. But Democrats won't stop merely because cap and tax is unpopular and destructive. ObamaCare was too. As with health care, the strategy is to ram the thing through by any means necessary.”

In a speech last week, President Obama declared, “[O]ur continued dependence on fossil fuels will jeopardize our national security.  It will smother our planet. And it will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk. . . . The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future. . . . But the only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future -- if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed. And the only way to do that is by finally putting a price on carbon pollution.”

Of course, as the WSJ editors point out, “As policy, this is a non sequitor. Cap and trade will do little or nothing to end U.S. oil dependence. It will merely make a globally traded commodity more expensive domestically.”

They also write, “As for the idea that cap and tax is the best way to punish BP and Big Oil, it'd be more convincing if [Democrats’ energy/climate bill] hadn't been written in concert with ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and—bad-timing department—BP. ‘Ironically, we've been working very closely with some of these oil companies in the last months,’ [Sen. John] Kerry said in early May.”

So apparently the crisis in the Gulf requires imposing a national energy tax and killing countless numbers of jobs across the country while unemployment hover stubbornly at 9.7%. And as a kicker, this is a policy prescription supported by BP. Cap-and-trade for carbon emissions was a bad idea before the oil spill and it’s a bad idea now. Never mind the fact that it has very little, if anything, to do with the current environmental and economic disaster unfolding along our Gulf Coast. Hopefully more reasonable Democrats will decide it’s more important to clean up the oil and find out what went wrong than to use this crisis as an excuse to jam through another damaging, unpopular policy.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, EPA, carbon dioxide, BP, oil spill, crisis management, Cap-and-trade, unemployment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 1:34 PM - Post Link


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