Detroit — At Georgetown University Tuesday, President Obama launched new, far-reaching plans to combat what he calls “the disastrous effects of climate change.” Yet, while economists agree that his remedies would have little impact on global temperatures, the policies his administration has already put in place have had disastrous effects on the U.S. economy recovery, especially in Middle America.
What does Obama’s global warming agenda look like?
It looks like Chase Holcomb, father of a newborn daughter, and one of 318 coal miners laid off by Consol Energy last year as the EPA’s promised emissions caps (effectively eliminating new coal plants) have dried up coal contracts. Holcomb is part of a wave of thousands of miners laid off across Appalachia as the EPA also tied surface mining permits in knots of red tape. The loss of these high-paying union jobs have devastated communities like Clay County, West Virginia, where unemployment is high and mines are the principal source of property taxes that pay for schools.
I looks like green Detroit activists who, at the urging of local Congressman Gary Peters (D., Detroit) this week protested Canadian oil sands and its coal-like petroleum coke (pet coke) byproduct used in electricity generation. Peters and his ilk hope their protests will not only cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline (20,000 new jobs) but also cancel future oil sands refining — even as Marathon Oil’s refinery expansion in near-bankrupt Detroit has brought 5,000 construction jobs and 250 permanent jobs.
It looks like the burning of cheap pet coke exported abroad even as the EPA denies permits for its use in power plants here. So while President Obama preaches American abstinence from carbon — driving up electricity costs in the U.S — pet-coke-fired plants will drive down manufacturing costs abroad for competitors in Canada, China, and South America.
It looks like the Fiat 500e, a money-losing electric car ($10,000 per vehicle) that Chrysler has been forced to produce in California to meet that state’s strict zero-emissions vehicle laws — similar to Obama regulations that go into effect by 2025.
It looks like an increased tax break — from the current $7,500 to $10,000 — for wealthy electric-vehicle buyers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber to buy electric toys like their $100,000 Fisker luxury sportscars.
In a recent Pew Research poll of 21 problems, Americans said that the economy is No. 1 on their list of concerns, while global warming ranked dead last. No wonder. The Obama administration’s War on Carbon is a leading threat to economic growth.