29 October 2008

Think This Economy is Bad? Just Add Obama's Carbon Caps and See What Happens

Obama has never held a "real job", where he needed to demonstrate judgment and competence. A good thing, too, for both attributes are in short supply in the Obama toolkit. Absurdly soaring rhetoric will have to do, instead. No wonder most of his ideas come across as "half-baked".
Sharp emissions restrictions would also push the costs of energy and other consumer products higher. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the restrictions could raise gasoline prices by 29%, electricity prices by 55% and natural gas prices by 15% by 2015.

The people most vulnerable to such price increases are the poor. A 2007 report by the Congressional Budget Office, examining the costs of cutting carbon emissions just 15%, noted that customers "would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would."

Indeed, the lowest quintile income group would pay nearly double what the highest quintile income group would pay, as a proportion of income, in increased energy costs.

And it appears that all this economic pain would be an utterly meaningless gesture.

Dr. Patrick Michaels, former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, now with the Cato Institute, says reducing U.S. emissions by 63% would prevent a mere 0.013 degree Celsius in warming. With emissions from China, India and other developing nations growing at breakneck speed, even this modest benefit would be completely erased.

Some argue that we should undergo this pain anyway to set an example for others to follow. The European Union tried that and now, apparently, it's throwing in its recycled-material towel.

At a summit in Brussels last month, the EU applied the brakes to its ambitious program to reduce EU carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 after Italy, backed by 10 other EU nations, threatened to veto the plan. They argued that the costs of the climate plan couldn't be justified given the current economic turmoil.

Little wonder that Europeans are balking. Europeans have been paying enormous costs to meet their targets, getting little in return. In the United Kingdom, green tariffs already account for 14% of the average electricity bill. Yet only 2% of Britain's energy needs are met by renewables.

To meet its renewable target of 15%, these fees will have to be raised even further, increasing the number of Britons suffering from "fuel poverty," defined as spending 10% or more of income on energy. Over 4 million Britons currently qualify as fuel-impoverished.

Imposing such costs on Americans promises to do for the economy what Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae did for banking. We should bail out before it's too late. Let's hope that this is one bailout plan all Americans can get behind. _IBD_via_TomNelson
Should Americans elect Obamanation, they had better hope the baby senator from Illinois is "all talk." Because if the hollow man of no practical experience sits in the Oval Office, it will be decision time--put up or shut up.

Most Obama voters have not read anything he has written, have not traced the development of his thinking, his formative influences, his underlying motivations. Imagine their surprise if Obama ever reveals his inner self, without a ghost writer, without any checks and balances except a supermajority of "yes-men" in congress and an overwhelming majority of Obama appointed federal judges who owe him their positions. Checks and balances? What's that?


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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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