Economy, Regs, & Taxes

The White House Watermelon Plan

The EPA is preparing new regulations while leftists push to subsidize favored energy.

May 21, 2014

Fresh off its win before the Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to issue another round of big-time regulations. The Court’s ruling validated the agency’s expansion of its regulatory power under the Clean Air Act, and more burdensome exercise of that power is coming down the pike.

“The EPA will launch the most dramatic anti-pollution regulation in a generation early next month, a sweeping crackdown on carbon that offers President Barack Obama his last real shot at a legacy on climate change,” Politico reports. “The EPA’s proposed rule is aimed at scaling back carbon emissions from existing power plants, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gases. It’s scheduled for a public rollout June 2, after months of efforts by the administration to publicize the mounting scientific evidence that rising seas, melting glaciers and worsening storms pose a danger to human society.”

The administration’s climate change agenda includes the recent National Climate Assessment, an 800-page warning siren about man’s supposedly devastating impact on the weather. The White House is making climate change a big election issue despite polling that shows voters don’t put it high on the priority list. The administration’s reason is still political – more control means more favors for constituent groups.

As John Kerry might ask, however, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

One result of the EPA’s power play will be that electricity rates continue to necessarily skyrocket as coal power plants close because they can’t meet new standards. And while Obama wages a war on coal with one hand, he’s working to offer more secure subsidies to alternative energy with the other.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) is spearheading that effort in the House. “[W]e have introduced the Green Bank Act of 2014 to establish a Federal Green Bank as an independent, self-sustaining, not for profit, wholly owned corporation of the United States,” he said. “The bank would be authorized to provide a comprehensive range of finance and support to qualifying clean energy and energy efficiency projects across the country.”

Van Hollen’s effort isn’t new – he first tried it in 2009. But in the interim, we’ve seen the disastrous failure of federal “investment” in green energy. Remember Solyndra, the failed California solar panel maker that cost taxpayers half a billion “stimulus” dollars? And Solyndra was just a chip off the melting iceberg.

In the Senate, Mark Udall (D-UT) and Michael Bennett (D-CO) are pushing to renew billions in tax credits for wind energy. Those are the same tax credits billionaire Warren Buffett says justify the very existence of wind farms. “[W]e get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms,” he said. “That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

So Democrats’ play is essentially this: Crush traditional energy sources such as coal while propping up otherwise non-viable energy sources like solar and wind, all to please their ecofascist base of climate change alarmists. And the government just happens to gain more power along the way. There’s a reason why environmentalists have been called “watermelons” – green on the outside, red on the inside.

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