Thursday, August 6, 2015

Running On Fumes

President Obama recently set forth ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gases that cause climate change by targeting coal-fired electric-power plants like this one.
The plan is to have carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. cut by 32 percent by 2030, with greater investments in renewable energy to replace coal-fired plants, hastening a move away from coal that's already taking place as more power stations seek cleaner fuel sources.  The states have until 2022 to meet carbon-cutting objectives and will have the flexibility to meet the goals  that are compatible with their own specific circumstances.
What do I think of this?  I don't.  Because none of this is going to happen!
Lawsuits against Obama's plan, claiming that he's unconstitutionally overreaching (he's a constitutional law professor, but never mind that), have already been filed against it, and Republicans on Capitol Hill and on the presidential campaign trail are calling it irresponsible and undemocratic.  Not surprisingly, many of the states filing suit against the President's plan are coal states, and the attorney general of West Virginia, who took great pains to avoid saying whether or not he supports the general objective toward cutting emissions (he likely doesn't), said that Congress, not the White House, decides energy policy, and that the Environmental Protection Agency, which claims to have the regulatory power to enforce Obama's plan, is only allowed to enforce clean-air standards under the Clean Air Act, not state energy portfolios.
Congress doesn't want to act on climate change.  No Republican presidential candidate for 2016 wants to acknowledge it.  And half the judges who would review these suits are probably bought off by the Koch brothers anyway. Three strikes and you're out.
Obama hopes to make a definitive statement about how the United States is ready to combat climate change going into talks on the issue in Paris later this year.   Please, we can't even do little things to go green, like ride our bikes to work.  And this grandiose plan has a chance of succeeding? 
I'm green.  I'm green with envy looking at other countries and seeing how their leaders are smart enough to recognize the threat of climate change.  Except, of course, the leaders of Australia, whose anti-climate-change rhetoric is even more lunkheaded that what comes out of Washington.  Having one James Inhofe is bad enough, but down in Canberra they seem to have dozens of them.   

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