Far from damaging the economy, the president said that the new regulations will create vast numbers of jobs, with over a million inspectorate positions at the newly formed WCA alone. Millions of additional jobs will be created by the expansion of production at manufacturers of EPA-approved condensing systems. Beyond this, enormous economic growth could be expected from the new “blue technology” sector, devoted to advanced water vapor recovery technology. As an example of such growth, Mr. Obama pointed to a $550 million contract recently awarded by the WCA to Biolyndra, a hi-tech Silicon Valley startup backed by billionaire investor George Soros that proposes to use genetic engineering to create plants that will capture water vapor out of the atmosphere with their leaves and return it as liquid to the ground via their roots. “This is only the first such grant we have awarded,” the president said. “Many more will follow. The benefits to all concerned will be incalculable.”
In fact, according to leading Wall Street figures close to the administration, the new regulations offer the potential to spur economic growth in ways that go far beyond what is currently envisaged. “I like the plan,” said Steven Ratner, a noted financial veteran who played a key role in implementing the 2009 stimulus program. “But it’s just the beginning. While initially it might be appropriate for the EPA to give out DHO vapor waivers as advisable, looking to the future, it would be better for the agency simply to approve or disapprove the use of a waiver on a case by case basis, but then require the approved parties to buy the actual waiver on the open market. The federal government could then acquire substantial revenues by issuing waivers for sale to major investment houses, which could then hold, trade, or market them retail to the public. As the EPA incrementally increases the penalties for violators, the value of the waivers would be certain to rise strongly, creating trillions of dollars in equity. This could then be used as security to issue credit for further waiver purchases, which will drive prices still higher. The sky is the limit with this one.”
International reception for the plan was also sharply favorable. Exemplary of the response was a statement issued by Supreme Revolutionary Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which read in part: “This is exactly the kind of program we have always dreamed that the United States would implement.” Similar warm responses were also voiced by the governments of China, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and the Sudan, as well as al-Qaeda, a prominent Middle East-based non-governmental organization.
Meanwhile, in Oslo, authorities with the Nobel Committee quickly put to rest rumors that the president’s previous award might prevent consideration of the historic plan as the basis for another. “Einstein won two Nobel Prizes,” said a source close to the committee leadership. “Why not Obama?”