Carbon Cuts

140610carbonPresident Obama made another end run around Congress in order to end the basis of all life on earth.

A 30% cut in carbon emissions from 2005 levels and must be achieved by 2030, or else.

Not a big deal says Robert Samuelson. Carbon emissions are already declining without EPA orders.

By 2012, CO2 emissions had already dropped to 2,023 million metric tons, a decline of 379 million metric tons. That’s 53 percent of the 2030 target. All of this has occurred without federal regulation of greenhouse gases.

The proposal’s real significance is that, if blessed by the courts, it would create a complex and costly regulatory apparatus that, in the future, might govern much of the U.S. economy.

China and India will more than make up for any U.S. cuts. But if you’re going to do it, Samuelson thinks the best way to reduce carbon emissions is to tax them.

If you want less of something, tax it… But there’s little public taste for this. Indeed, support for any anti-global warming legislation is weak. In 2009, when Democrats controlled the House and Senate, they could not pass a bill.

So Obama resorted to regulatory fiat: The EPA sets emission limits under the Clean Air Act. The proposal is hugely complex. Each state receives a target that can be met in many ways, subject to agency approval. This will be challenged in court and, if upheld, will strain the EPA’s administrative capacity. Winners and losers would be determined as much by political pressures as by market forces. It would be a bonanza for lawyers, lobbyists, economic consultants and public relations advisers. Whether it would affect the world’s climate is more questionable.

 

Krauthammer says the whole thing shows Obama is operating under his own constitution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *