Ed Driscoll

We're Not Going to Moscow; it's Czechoslovakia—It's Like Going into Wisconsin

During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama told a rally at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, “where better to affirm our ideals than here in Wisconsin, where a century ago the Progressive movement was born?”

(Born of original sin, as it was chock-a-block filled with racists and eugenicists during that period.)

That was in February of 2008; only a few weeks prior, Obama gave his now infamous interview to the San Francisco Chronicle, when he told them:

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

That quote sat in plain sight for much of the rest of the year in the middle of an hour-long video clip the Chronicle uploaded back then as part of a routine news dump. Thinking it just another dishwater dull routine presser with a candidate, the Chronicle demonstrated a remarkably tin ear for news, but in retrospect, an impressive pioneering servility to what would soon become known as the state-run media. It languished until the nascent “Naked Emperor News” (now part of Breitbart.tv) discovered it, and it rocketed through the last weekend of the election; alas too late to make much of a difference at the polls.

But give the president some credit; while the vast majority of his campaign promises do indeed come with expiration dates, as Jim Geraghty likes to say, he’s at last found a promise worth keeping, perhaps hoping to reverse Bill Murray’s classic formulation in 1981’s Stripes.

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey writes, “One firm in Wisconsin shows exactly what happens when politicians intervene to attempt to conduct social engineering in the energy sector:”

Bucyrus just lost a $600 million project for a new coal-burning electricity plant in India, thanks to a decision by the Congressionally-funded US Export-Import Bank to deny the Wisconsin firm credit, based in part on Barack Obama’s policies:

Up to 1,000 jobs at Bucyrus International Inc. and its suppliers could be in jeopardy as the result of a decision by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, funded by Congress, to deny several hundred million dollars in loan guarantees to a coal-fired power plant and mine in India.

About 300 of those jobs are at the Bucyrus plant in South Milwaukee, where the company has 1,410 employees and its headquarters. The remaining jobs are spread across 13 states, including Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana.

On Thursday, the Export-Import Bank denied financing for Reliance Power Ltd., an Indian power plant company, effectively wiping out about $600 million in coal mining equipment sales for Bucyrus, chief executive Tim Sullivan said.

The fossil fuel project was the first to come before the government-run bank since it adopted a climate-change policy to settle a lawsuit and to meet Obama administration directives.

“President Obama has made clear his administration’s commitment to transition away from high-carbon investments and toward a cleaner-energy future,” Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg said in a statement. “After careful deliberation, the Export-Import Bank board voted not to proceed with this project because of the projected adverse environmental impact.”

This decision won’t stop one carbon molecule from hitting the air.  In fact, it will likely make carbon emissions worse.  India will look for other vendors to supply the equipment, probably from neighboring Russia or China, as they will continue to build and operate the plant.  Both nations compete in the same marketplace as Bucyrus, but they don’t work as cleanly as the American company does, which means the end result will be lower efficiency and more pollution.

Democrats like Obama keep talking about eeeeeevil corporations that export jobs overseas to save costs rather than keep them in the US.  Well, Obama and his Congress just sent 1,000 jobs overseas — jobs Americans lost, and jobs that either Russian or Chinese workers will get instead. And instead of bankrupting this new coal plant, they just made it dirtier.  Good job!

As Nick Schulz, my former editor at Tech Central Station writes this weekend in the Sacramento Bee (a city in which his message will likely fall mostly on the deafest of ears), “Obama’s obsession with ideology dooms U.S. economy.”

Just ask Joe Biden’s favorite ice cream vendor.