CRC President Terrence Scanlon has an op-ed in today’s Washington Times.
Here it is:
President Obama has his second term and will never face voters again. On one of his highest priorities — energy and the environment — he’s free to be the “transformational” figure he always wanted to be.
Since the beginning, Mr. Obama’s main goal on energy and the environment has been clear to anyone listening to him and his advisers: to make energy — at least, the carbon-based energy on which contemporary civilization was built — more expensive, forcing us to use other forms of energy or do without.
During the 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that under his “cap-and-trade” plan, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” He added, “Under my plan electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
After being elected, he brought in allies to support his misguided schemes. In September 2008, Steven Chu talked about the dilemma of finding out “how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” The European price of gas was roughly $8 a gallon. Soon afterward, Mr. Chu became U.S. secretary of energy.
Van Jones, the administration’s first “green jobs czar,” saw the energy agenda as a means for radical societal transformation. He declared in February 2009, “We want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to something eco-capitalism [sic] where at least we’re not fast-tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won’t be enough. We want to go beyond the systems of exploitation and oppression altogether . [T]he green economy will start off as a small subset, and we are going to push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society.”
The administration can drag us into an energy utopia using creative means. It can continue to funnel grant money to questionable enterprises in the name of “green” energy, to subsidize those projects with special-interest tax breaks and to guarantee business for those companies with “renewable energy” mandates. A president has a thousand tools, from national-monument designations (which can be used to block oil drilling), to building-efficiency standards (which can put “global warming” rules into effect), to fuel-economy standards for cars (which, incidentally, make cars less safe, causing people to die).