A Pointless Presidency

Jun 3, 2014

In an effort to defend his new climate regulations, the President argues that the rules will actually help the economy and reduce climate change. In both cases the President has already proved himself wrong.

The President was critical of those who say the EPA regulations will “kill jobs or crush the economy,” arguing instead that new regulations will spur innovations and help business. We are wondering how the President came to that conclusion, seeing as it is hardly easy for business to comply with 645 pages of new rules that distort the market with limitations on energy that just about everyone uses. After all, when supply is artificially cut, prices go up.

But you don’t even need to ask businesses if the regulations will hurt. Just ask the President, who said in 2008, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”. These EPA regulations are an administratively imposed cap-and-trade, so it seems in the past six years the President has forgotten the truth of energy economics he previously espoused so confidently.

Disregarding costs, if the goal of the President’s environmental policy is to combat climate change, his own EPA admits the regulations will fall far short of that goal. “Based on the EPA's own carbon accounting,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board says, “shutting down every coal-fired power plant tomorrow and replacing them with zero-carbon sources would reduce the Earth's temperature by about one-twentieth of a degree Fahrenheit in a hundred years.”

The President’s State Department said the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t contribute to climate change, and yet the President delays for environmental reasons. Now his EPA says it’s new carbon regulations won’t even reduce climate change in any discernible way. What, then, are the American people paying for?

The President seems to have one concern in all of this: to establish a legacy of battling climate change. The state grows larger and bureaucratic power increases as the American worker is squeezed—facing artificially imposed price increases and regulatory burdens—all while the Administration admits that what it is doing is practically pointless.

Americans want jobs, Mr. President, not a stagnant economy tied down by regulations. Only you care about your legacy.