So today we have the benefit of cherished insights from the economic basket case and pioneer of the current recession, Michigan. Quoted in E&E Daily (subscription required), one of the Wolverine State’s leaders offers the following, for lack of a better word, argument as to why yesterday’s executive order–calling for EPA to review its denial of California’s requested Clean Air Act waiver to set its own greenhouse gas vehicle standards–really means Congress should adopt cap-and-trade rationing (emphases added in particularly enlightening passages):
Representatives from auto-producing states used Obama’s White House announcement as the launching pad to call for a national greenhouse gas standard for motor vehicles — something that they said could be accomplished when Congress moves over the next few months onto a broader cap-and-trade measure.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), for example, pointed to the large new revenue stream often linked to a cap-and-trade system, saying that the money would help domestic automakers retool their plants to meet a tighter suite of emission standards.
“I think that ultimately this gets addressed in the energy bill to slash cap and trade,” [WHA?] Stabenow said. “It’s not enough just to talk about the regulations. If we want to have a domestic auto industry, we have to be provided support, particularly in the middle of this global credit crisis where we have to invest massive amounts of money and aren’t able to get credit.”
Stabenow added, “It’s critical we set up a manufacturing strategy that holds them accountable but makes sure they have the resources and technology they need.”
Now, there is an alternative to this approach, and that’s to repeal the regulatory morass that has brought our automakers to this point. But this is Washington. Still, it is not yet written in this country that, after reaping the havoc we have sown, we must then sow some more. Speaking of accountability, however, the less accountable government is with other peoples’ money, the slower they learn.
So here’s what the estimable Ms. Stabenow has uttered:
* Cap-and-trade is a tax, and we want the revenue to fund a relationship with domestic automakers–do not be distracted by Nancy Pelosi telling the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month, “I believe we have to (vote on cap-n-trade by Copenhagen) because we see that as a source of revenue. Cap and trade is there for a reason. You cap and you trade so you can pay for some of these investments in energy independence and renewables. That’s one mighty big energy tax!, a vehicle, one might say, for a long-held wish-list; and
* This government-automaker relationship will be, in practice, one of at least partial nationalization.
More important than this muddled rhetoric and thinking is how this affirms my previous analysis of how lawmakers who want to impose the global warming agenda on you–but who don’t want to take responsibility for it in the eyes of the broader public (beyond their pressure group allies)–will continually point to the false urgency of EPA action as supposedly forcing their hand. Of course, Congress can quite readily stall or stop any truly harmful idea–as Stabenow’s comments reveal she recognizes the waiver to be, on its face, if usefully so–in order to allow themselves to proceed deliberately. The effort can be one or two lines long–is that such hard work, gentle public servants?–and are called quick-fixes for a reason.
But there is no desire on the part of the “global warming” agenda proponents for a fix to the dilemma created by activist attorneys general (and courts) and now the Obama administration. Nor do they desire deliberation on this matter. They require crisis, because with crisis there is no debate; if there is debate, they lose.
There is nothing “forcing” Congress’s hand to pass a cap-and-trade rationing scheme (or the less harmful carbon tax . . . which they fear even more). These executive endeavors are no more than excuses. It’s business’s fault if they shuffle along with it, fearing to upset the gaoler as they walk to the gallows. But the public can still rise up and say that they are not impressed by the cover whatever trade associations and rent-seekers provide.
Congress would never adopt any meaningfully painful GHG regime without being enabled by those at whom such a regime takes aim. They are terrified of it. Their chosen approach is cynical, and the result of the scheme is fairly certain. The good news is that this damage is being peddled in the name of catastrophic man-made global warming, and the public ain’t buying. The only question is whether the public, with or without business, will energize for the fight. Al Gore claims to have been given $300 million to re-brand “global warming” into the “climate crisis.” Let the games begin.