The PJ Tatler

Of Course Obama's Regulatory Job Killing Is No Accident

Mackubin Thomas Owen writes in the Boston Herald:

Many analysts — including yours truly — have made the mistake of arguing that the Obama administration has no energy policy. But the evidence increasingly reveals that the administration does indeed have an energy policy, one that is designed to reduce access to fossil fuels by raising their price, thereby making “alternate” or “green” energy sources more attractive.

The administration’s approach is constantly on display: Use government policy to raise oil and gas prices, subsidize alternative energy sources, then mandate the use of the latter. The EPA, far from being a rogue agency, remains an important tool for implementing this policy.

In addition to the postponed ozone plan, here are some other plans the EPA has in store for us.

First, the agency recently issued final regulations curbing power plant emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The so-called Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which takes effect in 2012, aims to slash power plant emissions that drift across state borders.

The new rule comes only six years after the EPA ordered a 70 percent reduction in the same emissions by 2025. The new rules have the potential to severely impact nearly 20 percent of the nation’s coal-fueled power plants. Financial analysts estimate that the cost of this rule will be $130 billion by 2015.

In March of this year, the EPA proposed new standards for coal-fired plants that would establish a “maximum achievable control technology” standard for mercury and other hazardous air emissions, requiring utilities to install equipment that is prohibitively expensive or, in some cases, doesn’t yet exist. The resulting closures of coal plants due to the ruling would reduce the output of electricity by 30,000 to 70,000 megawatts.

And there’s more, read the whole thing. If Obama had a problem with all this, Lisa Jackson would be out of a job.

But Candidate Obama told us he was going to do this, during a 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

That clip proves a couple of things. One, that the EPA’s actions have Obama’s backing. Two, that he’s actually capable of following through on something. The problem is, he’s following through on an explicit threat to kill jobs for the sake of pushing his pet green energy projects. And that follow through had some consequences in Texas this week, when energy giant Luminant announced that due to the new EPA cross-state pollution rule it would have to lay off 500 workers.

Within days of that, the Obama Dept. of Energy doubled down on its bad bet on green energy.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said today that his department had finalized a $1.2-billion loan guarantee to Mojave Solar for the development of the Mojave Solar Project. When complete, the 250-megawatt solar generation project in San Bernardino County will increase the nation’s currently installed concentrating solar power capacity by approximately 50%.

Abengoa Solar Inc., the project sponsor, is the source of the estimate on construction and permanent operations jobs.

Obama is using the regulatory state and the power of the federal purse to move jobs from fossil fuels to green, despite green energy’s record under his watch. As Solyndra turns into a bona fide scandal for the Obama administration, they’re pushing even more tax dollars toward a “green” company.

None of this is accidental. It’s a deliberate strategy pushed by a man with no experience in any industry, who can’t change course when his plans fall apart.

The most shocking thing in all this isn’t that Obama is using the regulatory state to kill jobs and hurt Americans via higher energy prices. He told us he would do that, and has spent his time in office doing it. The most shocking thing is that he expected that none of his actions would end up weakening and jeopardizing his presidency. In the wake of yet another rejection by the voters, this time in a district the Democrats have held since the Coolidge administration, Barack Obama is awakening to a very basic truth: Americans love our jobs and our lives a whole lot more than we love any individual politician, even one who billed himself as a messiah.