JUNEAU: Epoxy In The Wheels Of Commerce

Folks who are working hard to expand our stagnant economy in the face of government-imposed headwinds had to be upset if they read the March 14 article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek entitled “Obama Will Use Nixon-Era Law to Fight Climate Change.” President Obama enjoys expanding laws he likes beyond the edge of the envelope and ignoring laws he doesn’t like. He knows that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives do not share his views on “climate change,” formerly referred to as “global warming.” He once again plans to go around them.

According to Bloomberg, the White House plans to impose a requirement that all federal agencies must consider climate change impacts prior to any approval of pipelines, highways or any other major projects. The end result, from an economic standpoint, will be to significantly delay many major job-creating activities in the U.S. Since time is money, it will mean that some major initiatives simply won’t happen.

It would be ironic if this “initiative” is the vehicle that the Obama administration uses to finally poison the XL Pipeline that has been languishing for years waiting for approval on the U.S. side of the Canadian border. But the XL pipeline won’t be the only potential casualty if Obama moves forward with this gambit. The coal industry has already been eviscerated by Obama administration policies. The U.S. exports much of its coal to Asia from West Coast ports. If some federal agency finds that U.S. coal exports have a significant impact on “climate change,” that agency could conceivably ban the exports. That would cost jobs not only in the mining of coal but in the export activity as well. In essence, the president and his regulators could assume the role of an international Mayor Bloomberg, denying raw materials to nations that need them for adequate, affordable energy supplies and telling them that we know better than they do about what is in their best interest.

This approach by Obama and Company could also have a major impact on the oil and gas industry. This new approach could severely hamper offshore drilling permits and leasing activity. Some agency of the federal government could stifle the shale drilling boom that significantly turned around domestic U.S. oil and gas production. The shale revolution that is creating jobs and tempering domestic energy prices could quickly become a victim of ideology gone awry.

President Obama said in his State of the Union address: “If Congress won’t act to protect future generations, I will.” He is apparently moving forward with that ultimatum. Protecting those future generations by lessening the amount of federal debt that will diminish their standard of living and reduce the amount of federal services available to them is not his concern. Those things aren’t important to him and the elitists in his base who think their crusade for climate change is more important than the impact it could have on the poor and the middle-class in both the present and the future.

There is still a huge discussion going on in scientific circles about how much and for what reasons the climate is changing; what impact human activity has on any of those changes; and whether adaptation or prevention is the more feasible route to take to address any changes occurring. Even some of the most outspoken “warmest” climate scientists admit that warming of the planet paused for the last 17 years while the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere increased. But undeterred, Commodore Obama is damning the potential torpedoes and going full speed ahead, endangering the jobs and economic expansion that large majorities of the American people say is their top priority.

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