Planet Gore

‘Not on Your Life, My Hindu Friend!’

I had a piece in Human Events yesterday detailing the Obama global-warming tax and the companies that have brought it about. Today, one of those companies, Duke Energy, has come out swearing that — translated — maybe global warming isn’t such a great threat as previously insisted, now that the feds are going to make them pay for their ration coupons. Of course, you foot the bill no matter which course is chosen (as Duke admits in this response otherwise purporting to dispute that). The question is whether the rent-seekers turn a buck off of your pain.
Oddly, their argument against the Obama version of their pet global-warming tax is that it will increase electricity costs — by at least 13 percent by 2012 in the region (Carolinas) they specifically address — despite admitting elsewhere that even their slightly tweaked version of this scheme, which they are pushing through numerous channels, will “more than double” rates by 2030, no matter how it is implemented. Such that if we do precisely what Duke wants, why, ratepayers could delay the onset . . . oh, and steepen the rate-increase curve . . . (does anyone else hear the strains of “Monorail!” in the distance?) I guess when pushing such schemes one isn’t left with many convincing points.

Planet Gore, Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming, and Red Hot Lies readers will all recall how Duke’s CEO Jim Rogers — a protege of Enron’s Ken Lay — apparently broke free from the protective bonds of his general counsel years ago while CEO of Cinergy (which merged with Duke) to run around the country doing his best Ken Lay impression: we must (be paid to) stop killing the planet!

Today, by managing to draw the fire of activists they thought they’d managed to recruit to their side, Duke provides another reminder that you cannot finesse this end-of-days nonsense with cleverly self-serving proposals. Let the tiger out of the cage, and you’d better stand back — but don’t try to ride it or you will end up inside.

More important, Duke also reminds us that the easiest way to abate the threat of global warming isn’t even to “cool the planet” by re-opening those Siberian temperature stations, whose closure in 1990 led to the “hottest decade ever!” It’s to take away industry’s goodies — industry being the sole constituency that could lead Congress to drag this thing over the finish line. Crisis averted. Until then, find comfort in any old oater and see how, in the end, the thieves always fall out when it comes time to split up the loot.