“Global Warming”: The “Biggest Challenge for Our Time” According to the Left
Today, President Obama gave a major address outlining the White House’s “sweeping initiative to counter the affects [sic] of global warming.” This morning The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris debated Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress about the actions the President has taken thus far and about cap-and-trade legislation.
There were a lot of interests who didn’t want to have a big cap and trade bill, so what the President has done is recognized that he can’t get action through the Congress, but he’s still responsible as President for action on this issue… He’s taking series of steps — it’s really all the tools in his tool box – to address this challenge.
He sure has; and he plans to continue to act without congressional approval. Liberals don’t value that pesky separation of powers and checks and balances thing, as President Obama’s actions and Tanden’s remarks illustrate.
When asked whether the federal government should have a role in preparing communities for extreme weather – whether those changes are man made or not – Loris said yes, having people better prepared for severe weather is perfectly fine. But he also immediately explained cap and trade was going to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket” for little to no change in the climate.
The President’s request to reduce CO2 emissions from new and existing power plants isn’t going to do anything to slow temperatures. Again, even if we stopped all of our carbon dioxide emissions today, by 2050, you’re talking about a 0.08 degree change in Celsius of the Earth’s temperature. So all of these things are going to come at great cost but have little impact on the climate.
On the other hand, it WILL have a hugely negative impact on American families. Loris, David Kreutzer, and Kevin Dayaratna recently explained significantly reducing coal’s share in America’s energy mix would, before 2030: 1) Destroy more than 500,000 jobs; 2) cause a family of four to lose more than $1,400 in annual income; and 3) increase electricity prices by 20 percent.
Does the Left care about this or the fact that it will do next to nothing to change the climate? No.
One of President Obama’s scientific advisers just said, “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” Similarly, Neera Tanden insisted that there have been “large scale reductions” – she didn’t specify to what but presumably she means coal — thanks to “actions the President has already taken.” She said these are “serious, common sense measures to make sure the United States is leading on climate change… and we can address the biggest challenge for our time.”
Interestingly, the polls do not indicate that “global warming” is considered the “biggest challenge of our time.” In June of 2013, only 1 percent of Americans considered the environment the most important problem of our time.
Actually, the economy in general takes the cake with 25 percent of Americans citing it as the most important problem. President Obama’s plans to control the amount of carbon dioxide in the world will almost certainly fail (China and Russia are laughing right now); but it will not fail to harm the economy.
Concern about the economy is followed by “dissatisfaction with government” at 17 percent. And you know what makes us dissatisfied? When the President forgets the United States Constitution, which tells him to execute the laws, not make them. That’s Congress’s job.
Does the Left care that the President has sidestepped Congress yet again? Of course not.
Case in point: Tanden opined that nothing about the measures the President has taken has been radical, and stated, “I would hope that there’s bipartisan support, but if there isn’t, the President can lead on his own.” There isn’t bipartisan support; but the real question is how hard conservative lawmakers will fight.
Time and time again, President Obama has demonstrated a willingness to bypass Congress to advance his big-government agenda. Now, by executive fiat, he is pushing regulations that will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs. Conservatives in Congress must be willing to use the appropriations process to rein in this overreach.