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Hansen to Obama/EPA: State Renewable Credits, Cap-and-Trade Are Special-Interest, Ineffectual GHG Mitigation Policies

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 2, 2014

Today, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a proposed rule to require states to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants with an overall reduction goal of 30 percent by 2030. The states can pick their poison, with cap-and-trade emission reductions or increased renewable-energy mandates. Energy efficiency mandates are in the mix too.

This is the latest and most aggressive battle of Obama’s War on Coal, which is really a starter-program in a war against fossil fuels in electrical generation.

Such is all pain, no gain; fire-ready-aim; a solution looking for a problem. It is ratepayers last, politics and cronyism first. It is a wealth transfer from Joe and Jane to climate-connected lawyers, consultants; the Department of Energy; alarmist scientists; and crony capitalists in the renewable-energy and energy-efficiency business.

So this is what the Party in Power calls helping the Middle Class? Protecting the powerless from Big Business? 

Tell us, how does climate alarmism and energy politicization square with ‘social justice’?

Enter James Hansen

Mr. Climate Alarmist himself, James Hansen, now retired but an activist for his cause, has trenchantly challenged federal and state cap-and-trade proposals, as well as state renewable portfolio standards (RPS). His warnings have, once again, come of age with today’s proposal from Obama/EPA.

Yes, ScientistKing Hansen wants a carbon tax, a tax-and-dividend program as it calls it, believing that his ivory-tower formulation can somehow not be politicized in Washington, D.C. Still, his criticisms of what Obama is proposing for state policy ring true—and predict failure for the futile crusade to undo the (still young) carbon-based energy era.

Hansen on Cap-and-Trade

 In 2009, Hansen eviscerated Big Green for supporting the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill with the fighting words:

The 648-page cap-and-trade monstrosity …. Not a single Congressperson has read it.  They don’t need to – they just need to add more paragraphs to support their own special interests.  By the way, the Congress people do not write most of those paragraphs—they are “suggested” by people in alligator shoes.

Hansen was little kinder toward international programs. As he stated in 2011:

The fraudulence of the Copenhagen approach – ‘goals’ for emission reductions, ‘offsets’ that render even iron-clad goals almost meaningless, an ineffectual ‘cap-and-trade’ mechanism – must be exposed. We must rebel against such politics-as-usual.

California cap-and-trade program was criticized by Hansen in 2012:

You don’t want [California’s] system with caps, where you have trading, you have derivatives, you have markets that then collapse and don’t actually reduce emissions much. That’s been tried in Europe, and it didn’t do much.

Hansen on Renewables Fakery

James Hansen has done the hard math comparing the vast scale of (growing) energy needs versus renewables’ energy pittance. As he told Congress in March: “Non-hydro renewables provide only a tiny fraction of global energy and do not appear capable of satisfying the large energy requirements of developing nations such as China and India.”

“People who entreat the government to solve global warming but offer support only for renewable energies,” he stated elsewhere, “will be rewarded with the certainty that the U.S. and most of the world will be fracked-over, the dirtiest fossil fuels will be mined, mountaintop removal and mechanized long-wall coal mining will continue, the Arctic, Amazon and other pristine public lands will be violated, and the deepest oceans will be ploughed for fossil fuels.”


It is nuclear or bust for reducing GHG emissions, Hansen knows. So how will Obama’s stated goals foster near-term, massive investment in nuclear to put even a small dent into the alleged problem?

Obama and EPA’s latest is doomed to failure. Comments on the proposed rule should begin with Hansen himself.

One Comment for “Hansen to Obama/EPA: State Renewable Credits, Cap-and-Trade Are Special-Interest, Ineffectual GHG Mitigation Policies”

  1. James Rust  

    At least Hansen has some sense regarding President Obama and EPA’s senseless rule against carbon pollution.


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