Breaking Down Obama’s Energy and Environment Plans in his #SOTU

Breaking Down Obama’s Energy and Environment Plans in his #SOTU
February 4, 2014

Kenneth Haapala

Kenneth Haapala is executive vice president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project,... (read full bio)

Barack Obama is fortunate to be president during the U.S. energy revolution. Extraction of oil and natural gas from dense shale is occurring with no help from the administration. It is occurring on private or state controlled lands and driven by private initiatives.

According to 2012 statistics compiled by the Energy Information Administration, the production of oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids and coal from federal lands and waters all fell.

The difference between what is occurring on non-federal lands and federal lands demonstrates the economically punitive policies of this administration.

Mr. Obama correctly stated that climate change is a fact. It has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years and there is little governments can do to stop it. The great fear of global warming was artificially contrived. In its claim that carbon dioxide emissions endanger public health and welfare, the EPA claimed its findings are supported by science and cited three lines of evidence.

1.)   EPA claims a distinct human fingerprint — a hot spot in the atmosphere centered over the tropics at about 33,000 feet. It does not exist. Satellites and weather balloons have failed to find it.

2.)    EPA claims late 20th century surface global warming was unprecedented and dangerous. It was not. A similar warming occurred in the early 20th century, which was not associated with carbon dioxide. The late 20th century surface warming stopped 16 years ago.

3.)    EPA claims climate models are reliable. Climate models failed to predict that global warming would stop and greatly exaggerate the warming over the past 30 plus years.

The EPA finding that carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare is based on failing science and sub-prime climate models that are wrong.

For a president to declare that he will expand executive powers, without congressional approval, to fight this non-threat is a drastic step towards authoritarian government. Already, the administration has contrived an artificial concept called the social cost of carbon. All life on the planet is carbon based. Is life a pollutant? Does life have a social cost? The concept is an insult to logic, language, and science.

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) has produced reports reviewing the appropriate scientific papers and concluded carbon dioxide emissions are not a major cause of global warming or climate change. Also, the reports cited thousands of studies in laboratories and in the field that demonstrate increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations promote growth of virtually all forms of green plants and are a tremendous boon to agriculture and the environment. Three decades of satellite observations confirm these findings. The earth is greening. Though the greening is occurring everywhere, it is particularly noticeable in arid or semi-arid regions. This should not be a surprise, because carbon dioxide is the principal food for green plants.

In an October 2013, Craig Idso of CO2 Science published an independent analysis in which he estimated that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide would yield about $9.8 Trillion in total benefits to the global society over the period from 2012 to 2050.

In August 2013, the White House reported that in FY 2013 U.S. government climate change expenditures amounted to $22.6 billion. Based on previous reports by the GAO and the Congressional Research Service, this brings the total expenditures to over $165 billion since 1993. With all that money, we did invent some very good instruments to measure climate change, particularly from satellites; but those are largely ignored.

Where has most of the $165 billion gone? Much has been spent on failing science, failing climate models, failing alternative energy policies, and extreme exaggerations of the human influence on climate.

Western Europe has led the fight on global warming/climate change with dire economic results. Those industries that can are fleeing high electricity costs brought on by a big commitments on renewable energy. Countries such as Germany and the UK face unpleasant choices – subsidize electricity costs for industries or face enormous job losses. The promised green jobs are unsustainable without continued government subsidies and/or mandates.

Now, President Obama desires to lead the U.S. into adopting similar economically disastrous policies, without bothering to obtain congressional approval. There is no justification for ignoring the Constitution in a constitutional democracy. Global warming/climate change is not a dire emergency and should not be used to justify ignoring the Constitution.

Kenneth Haapala

Kenneth Haapala is executive vice president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project,... (read full bio)