Keystone Haters Kill Jobs

Blog Articles · Jan 7, 2013 · Regulation

There are a number of good contenders for "the great challenge of our time." There are a whole host of social issues, cultural and moral degradation, educational decline, economic debt and deficits that have reached unfathomable, ungraspable heights --- issues of great magnitude that need fixing. It would be difficult to decide what takes the cake, but not for 70 green groups that have boldly declared that "climate change" is "the great challenge of our time."

The Hill reports that these 70 green groups sent President Obama a letter "to kill the Keystone XL pipeline to make good on a promise to address climate change." These groups have also called on Obama to "speak more often on climate change, impose emissions limits on existing coal-fired power plants and focus on creating clean-energy jobs." Really? Is Obama talking more going to fix anything?

This group ignores the real jobs the pipeline has already created and will continue to create, encouraging the President to instead focus on creating farcical clean energy jobs.

While they express their desire to leave behind a "historic legacy," they willfully ignore history and brush common sense aside, as they claim that global warming caused Hurricane Sandy. Seriously? Their letter is pretty comic, actually. It reads:

Hurricane Sandy made it tragically clear that many communities are extremely vulnerable to climate change. We can and we must build back better - with investment in sustainable infrastructure, not the kind of carbon-intensive development that helped drive this problem in the first place.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure hurricanes --- including even more severe hurricanes --- occurred long before "carbon-intensive development" ever began on planet earth. And even some of the most ardent global warming scientists admit you cannot pin a single event on human behavior.

Here's another amusing nugget:

Reject dirty fuels... the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is not in our national interest because it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we can't afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.

If only Congress and the President pass laws and regulations that are more restrictive global temperatures will change, right? Wrong. The EPA admits as much. Rather, such laws and regulations only result in more hardship for hardworking American families.

Heritage's Nick Loris and David Kreutzer explain:

Since an overwhelming majority of America's energy needs are met by carbon-emitting fossil fuels, regulations of these fuels directly raise the cost of electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, and home heating oil. Since low-income families spend a larger proportion of their income on energy, a tax that increases energy prices would disproportionately affect the budgets of the poorest American families.

Requesting the President to "use [his] executive authority" to micromanage American energy consumption more than he already has is bogus and totally unhelpful. The following analysis of cap-and-trade makes clear just how ridiculous that notion is:

The cap-and-trade target was to reduce carbon 80 percent below 2005 levels of emissions by 2050. To put that number in perspective, climatologist Paul C. Knappenberger says that an 80 percent reduction would moderate temperatures by only hundredths of a degree in 2050-and no more than two-tenths of a degree by the end of the century.

Other proposals, such as former Sen. Jeff Bingaman's (D-MN) Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, call for even smaller reductions in emissions, and would therefore produce an even more miniscule effect on so-called global warming. Moreover, carbon dioxide is an odorless, non-toxic gas that plants need to survive. Can you think of something more insidious and ridiculous to regulate? Well, let's not underestimate liberals --- they would probably tax and regulate oxygen levels too if they could figure out how to get it labeled dangerous and dirty as well. (The EPA has already said water can be regulated as a pollutant, by the way.)

These regulations impose "significant costs for consumers" result in "significant government meddling that restricts consumer choice" but do nothing to change global temperatures. Similarly, opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline is bad for American jobs. Rather than acknowledge these facts, these green lobbyists will continue their crusade against job creation. These people will make history alright, but for all the wrong reasons.