• 45°

Here’s a promise Obama kept — but not as intended

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama said: “…if somebody wants to build a coal power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them…” He added that under his now defeated Cap and Trade bill, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

In 2010, Cap and Trade died in the Senate, but the president’s goal of bankrupting the coal industry never waned. Monday he announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will impose new regulations throughout the country limiting carbon emissions from power plants powered by fossil fuels. Several states are challenging the EPA rules “that aim to cut carbon emissions in the power sector by 32 percent.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, testifying before Congress, was asked about claims that the new EPA plan would only impact global warming by a measly .01 degrees Celsius, to which she replied, “…I’m not disagreeing that this action in and of itself will not make all the difference we need to address climate action, but if we don’t take action domestically, we will never get started…”

The Washington Post, which believes the Earth is warming and humans are responsible, acknowledged the regulations have “shortcomings,” but endorsed them because they set a good example for the rest of the world.

So, these regulations are likely to cost jobs, raise electricity prices and have a minimal effect on global temperatures, but they will set a good example? Is that the new policy standard?

Among many reasons Americans should be suspicious of this climate change push is that Administrator McCarthy has refused to release the “secret science” her agency used when drafting the new regulations. This “most transparent administration in U.S. history” has now added to the secret side deals with Iran, secret scientific “evidence,” which may not be evidence at all. Cults do that by suppressing any information and facts contrary to the imposed orthodoxy.

After the initial fusillade from critics, the president fired back, arguing that addressing “climate change” is a moral obligation and a matter of national security.

It would be helpful to know the president’s standard for determining what is moral and what is immoral, especially since he has said nothing about those Planned Parenthood videos in which high-level employees are shown explaining how the organization can abort babies in ways that preserve body parts. And there is ISIS, which continues to operate and appears not to have been “diminished and degraded,” as the president promised it would. Is ISIS not a bigger national security issue?

Instead of attacking coal plants and other users of fossil fuel that have produced electricity and elevated the American lifestyle, the president should have launched a campaign to deprive terrorists and Islamic fundamentalists of oil revenue. Instead of picking the controversial “climate change” horse to ride roughshod over Congress and a skeptical public, the president might have embraced an alternative fuel agenda that would have achieved his desired end without the crushing blows that almost certainly will impact states where fossil fuels have provided jobs that probably will evaporate,.

The EPA regulations are likely to reach the Supreme Court. In 2007, while the Court did grant authority to the EPA to regulate carbon emissions (Mass. v. EPA), it said it was not giving the agency an unrestricted license to do what it wants. It ruled that costs and outcomes must be taken into consideration as part of its regulatory mandates. The Court decision was one of two rebukes it has delivered to the EPA in the last two years for exceeding its statutory powers.

As the Court noted, “When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate a significant portion of the American economy, we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism. We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast economic and political significance.”

These are bound to be the issues should the EPA regulations again reach the Court, as they should.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras