Monday, June 16, 2008

Climate security & economic ruin

From the 02 June 2008 Greater Niagara Newspapers

By Bob Confer

We live in an era of much unrest in which people fear for their security, be it socially (terror threats), economically (recession), or environmentally (global warming). Feeding off this, our elected officials have been quite successful in using fear-mongering to introduce endless amounts of legislation that do much more harm than good.

The terror fears have been addressed by the Patriot Act, a series of intrusive laws that are unconstitutional and un-American. The economic fears have been satisfied with an economic stimulus package which has produced reams of worthless fiat money.

Up next on the list is global warming, a fear yet to be rectified. What could sound more comforting to the masses than something called “America’s Climate Security Act”? This act, also known as the Lieberman-Warner Bill, will be debated by the US Senate this week. One can only hope that the many atrocities of this bill come to light over the next few days, preventing its adoption. Its scope is more insidious than that of the aforementioned pieces of legislation; were it to be passed, continued economic ruin of the American Empire is guaranteed.

The bill does what everyone under the influence of the Pied Piper and flute (Al Gore and his Inconvenient Truth) wants: it caps greenhouse gas emissions. Essentially, the government would make the right to produce CO2 a pay-to-play affair. The bill would introduce a system of cap-and-trade through which businesses (utilities, “Big Oil”, manufacturers) would be assigned a cap on the amount of their greenhouse gas emissions. If they don’t meet the cap, the affected businesses can sell or trade their remaining allotments to those who need to emit more. The federal government will also auction off unused and new allowances to industry. This glorified tax would net the federal government $1.2 trillion from 2009-2018.

This is not only a cap on greenhouse gases. Above all, it is a cap on the US economy. It will severely limit what manufacturers can produce, therefore making it logical to send even more jobs to nations with less-restrictive regulations such as China and India. Senator James Inhofe, an opponent of the bill, says the bill will force 3.4 million manufacturing jobs overseas in the ten years following its passage. Even the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency one would think would spin this bill in a way to suit its needs, admits that it would reduce the growth of our Gross Domestic Product by nearly 4% in the next two decades. Those numbers are significant. You think we’re in a recession now?

Speaking of recessions, the current one is being strengthened by escalating oil prices. This bill does nothing to satisfy that problem and will only make matters worse, even though we’ve been hearing for months that Congress will do their best to lessen the pain at the pumps. The double-speakers supporting the Climate Security Act will ultimately forgo overall national security (by increasing the reliance on foreign oil) so they can win votes now by pushing the currently popular green agenda. Because of the limitations of the cap, oil companies will wisely invest overseas. The American Petroleum Institute says investment in domestic oil research and production will decrease by $3 billion per year in the very near future and ten years out that loss of investment in the America’s will reach a frightening rate of $11.5 billion per year. Those who do remain will be forced to increase the costs that they pass on to consumers. The bill alone will account for an immediate (5 year) growth in gas prices in the range of 25 to 29 percent.

The Lieberman-Warner Bill will have no positive impact on our economy and therefore our society. Our quality of life will tank. Reasons like that accounted for America’s disdain for and disinterest in the Kyoto Protocol. Yet, here we are 11 years later, our elected officials attempting to ram down our throats legislation much more onerous. This at a time when Europe - the holier-than-thou hypocritical supporters of the Kyoto Protocol - are investing in 67 coal-based electrical generation plants that will break their own promises to the tune of 700 million tons of new carbon dioxide emissions every year.

Fortunately, George W. Bush has sworn to veto the Climate Security Act were it to make it to his desk this year. But, that is only a temporary reprieve. The two main presidential candidates - Senators John McCain and Barack Obama - have expressed their support for the bill. So, anyway you put it, there’s a very good chance this bill could become law in the next couple of years, much to the detriment of America as we know it.

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