Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Five things the President will not say tonight

In keeping with his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's exhortation to never let a serious crisis go to waste, tonight President Obama will speak in prime time from the Oval Office and try to convince the American people that the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is definitive proof of the need for cap and tradeclimate change clean energy legislation.  Here are five things you won't hear him say:

1.  "Under my plan, electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket:"

2.  It's time to destroy the coal industry in the U.S. so we can buy coal from China.  Charles Krauthammer put it succinctly on Fox News:
He [Obama] wants to tax carbon, which means they want to include coal, of which we are the Saudi Arabia of the world, we do not import it. We have an abundance of it. And it's not going to help us on global warming. The Chinese have said they are going to be opening a new coal-fired plant every week for the next ten years, so it will be a transfer of wealth out of our treasury into China's. (emphasis mine)
3.  Implementation of a cap and trade system in the U.S. will have no meaningful effect on global greenhouse gas levels unless China follows suit.  Obama EPA administrator Lisa Jackson admitted as much in a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last summer.

4.  There is virtually no chance that the Chinese will follow the U.S. in implementing a cap and trade system.  From The Heritage Foundation:
It is unreasonable to expect the PRC to follow the U.S. on climate change. China has rejected American leadership on security issues in Iran and North Korea and on human rights matters in Sudan and Burma. In economics, the PRC's existing and anticipated coal dependence dwarfs America's, making a serious adjustment far more difficult.

Moreover, China does not compete in most goods and services with the U.S. but with other suppliers to the American market, such as Mexico. These nations'--not American--climate change restrictions are more pertinent to Beijing's decision making.[7] And the PRC has steadfastly avoided the Western European cap-and-trade experiment (wisely so, as the EU has failed to cut emissions while harming its economy). That China will follow an American lead in cutting greenhouse gases flies in the face of all available evidence.
5.  My cap and trade plan will create thousands of cushy government jobs, but its net effect will be to increase our nation's overall unemployment rate:
Cap and trade has macroeconomic effects that would do economic harm that no rebate check would cover. Higher prices lower consumer demand, and the lower demand prevents higher prices from completely offsetting production cost increases. As a result, businesses must make production cuts and reduce labor. The Congressional Budget Office recently affirmed that job losses from a slower economy would outweigh those created by clean energy investments: “Job losses in the industries that shrink would lower employment more than job gains in other industries would increase employment, thereby raising the overall unemployment rate.”

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