Free-Market Energy Is Voter Popular
By Robert Bradley Jr. -- November 7, 2018
“Interestingly, (otherwise greenwashing) BP led the fight against the Washington State carbon-tax initiative, donating $9.5 million. It would be far more honest and effective for Big Oil (including Exxon Mobil) to come out against any and all carbon tax schemes in the name of consumer sovereignty.”
“Overall, free-market energy policy had a good day yesterday. The fossil-fuel boom in the marketplace has a political corollary. Call it a victory for blue-collar energy. And may it be another wake-up call that climate alarmism/forced energy transformation is a siren song, a futile crusade, of all cost and no benefit.”
Overall, yesterday was a good election for consumer-first, taxpayer-neutral, market-order energy policy. According to the American Energy Alliance, “the 2018 midterms were mostly positive for the cause of affordable, abundant energy through freer markets.”
The continued disdain from voters in a variety of states for the more foolish energy policy ideas shows that there is still a strong bedrock of common sense that a free market energy policy has to build on. The opportunity to consolidate and improve upon the policy gains of the last two years, thanks to a pro-energy Trump Administration, is still very much alive.
Angst and Spinning at ClimateProgress
“Big Oil spent big and won in Washington and Colorado,” read one lament at the climate website of the Center for American Progress. Author E. A. Crunden wrote:
Ballot Initiative 1631 (or I-1631) in Washington state had only 43.7 percent of the vote with 64 percent of precincts reporting by Wednesday morning. More than 56 percent of voters opted against the historic measure, which would have established a landmark carbon fee. Proposition 112 in Colorado saw similar numbers, with nearly 57 percent of voters rejecting the effort to establish a new minimum distance for oil, gas, and fracking projects.
For both measures, Tuesday night served as a test of the oil industry’s muscle.
Is big money spent on the Left okay but not from industry? And what a waste from everyone’s perspective–the world would be richer if the above initiatives would have never been pursued. Interestingly, (otherwise greenwashing) BP led the fight against the Washington State carbon-tax initiative, donating $9.5 million. It would be far more honest and effective for Big Oil (including Exxon Mobil) to come out against any and all carbon tax schemes in the name of consumer sovereignty.
And in Colorado? Crunden wrote:
Proposition 112 faced similar hurdles. The proposal would have increased the distance between fossil fuel extraction sites and homes, parks, schools, and some wildlife areas. Currently, oil and gas operations are allowed to come within 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools. Under Proposition 112, the setback would have been 2,500 feet.
Proposition 112 would have barred oil extraction on more than 85 percent of Colorado’s non-federal lands, something the oil and gas industry have argued would devastate the state’s economy. Colorado is the fifth largest gas producer and seventh largest oil producer in the United States.
Joe Romm, oblivious to the above setbacks, focused on several races to see the Statist glass as full. “With midterm election results still coming in late Tuesday night,” he wrote, “several decisive victories pointed to a clear trend: candidates who embraced policies to fight climate change and expand clean energy won the favor of voters.”
But Romm dares not mention the defeat of the Republican congressman who sponsored a federal carbon tax bill, Carlos Curbelo. Other Republicans in the Climate Solutions Caucus fared poorly, a reminder of what happened to South Carolina U.S. Representative Bob Inglis eight years ago.
California voters defeated a measure to rescind a 2017 gas tax increase, leaving a 71 cents per gallon burden, the country’s highest. In Nevada, voters rejected an effort to allow more competition into energy markets and adopted a costly, renewable energy mandate. And Florida voters enacted enacted a constitutional ban on offshore drilling.
“Efforts to nudge the nation away from burning fossil fuels and toward harnessing renewable source of energy were rejected by voters Tuesday across a swath of resource-rich states in western states,” concluded Brady Dennis and Dino Grandoni of the Washington Post. “The failure of environmental ballot measures in Arizona, Colorado – and the likely defeat of a proposal to impose fees on carbon emissions in Washington state – underscore the difficulty of tackling a global problem like climate change at the state and local level, where huge sums of money poured in on both sides.”
Indeed. Overall, free-market energy policy had a good day yesterday. The fossil-fuel boom in the marketplace has a political corollary. Call it a victory for blue-collar energy. And may it be another wake-up call that climate alarmism/forced energy transformation is a siren song, a futile crusade, of all cost and no benefit.