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Obama revisits energy policy, cap-and-trade and EPA regulation


Besides acknowledging a "shellacking" in midterm congressional elections, President Obama on Wednesday addressed some of the fronts on which Republicans and "tea party" activists claimed victory: Environmental Protection Agency regulation on greenhouse gas and the cap-and-trade approach to energy policy.

Although he said there were areas where Republicans and Democrats agree on energy, the president offered a dismal prospect for comprehensive energy legislation at least until 2012.

"I think there are a lot of Republicans that ran against the energy bill that passed in the House last year, and so it's doubtful that you could get the votes to pass that through the House this year or next year or the year after," Obama told reporters at the White House.

The president also defended the legal basis for the EPA to focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions: a Supreme Court decision directing it to do so under the authority of the Clean Air Act.

"The EPA is under a court order that says greenhouse gases are a pollutant that fall under their jurisdiction. One of the things that's very important for me is not to have us ignore the science, but rather to find ways that we can solve these problems that don't hurt the economy, that encourage the development of clean energy in this country, that in fact may give us opportunities to create entire new industries and create jobs ... that put us in a competitive posture around the world."

The president also appeared to nuance his stance on a "cap-and-trade" bill to control greenhouse gas emissions through a trading market. Several analyses showed more than two dozen members of Congress who voted for the Waxman-Markey bill lost their elections. And he hinted at a more conciliatory tone between Congress and the EPA, which reportedly will be a target of GOP House committees.

"Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I'm going to be looking for other means to address this problem. And I think the EPA wants help from the legislature on this. I don't think that, you know, the desire is to somehow be protective of their powers here. I think what they want to do is make sure that the issue's being dealt with." 

Obama twice brought up the nation's reserves of natural gas and mentioned a revived nuclear power industry as an avenue of enhancing energy independence. 

"We've got, I think, broad agreement that we've got terrific natural gas resources in this country. Are we doing everything we can to develop those? ...There's been discussion about how we can restart our nuclear industry as a means of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gases. Is that an area where we can move forward? ...So, you know, I think when it comes to something like energy, what we're probably going to have to do is say, here are some areas where there's just too much disagreement between Democrats and Republicans. We can't get this done right now. But let's not wait."

Related: Proposition 23: Backers were out-spent, out-organized

-- Geoff Mohan

Photo: President Obama during a press conference Wednesday during which he addressed Republican gains in Congress. Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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Come January, the Marxist Democrats will have less than 200 seats in Congress.

You have to go back six decades, 62 years, in fact, to the 80th Congress (1947/1948) to find a time when we had fewer Marxist Democrats in Washington.

America has had her Marxist president and her Marxist economics lesson and she’s had enough.

You can put a fork in him.

Clueless Comrade Barry is done.

Will it become a footnote in history books, like The Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich's Population Bomb and of course the Malthus myth "Essay on the Principles of Population."
Where will the Environmental Science departments get their funding? I am buying futures on plots of sand in Nevada, Utah and Arizona which should run up as solar becomes the dominant source of energy in the US. We need to continue our climate research but the management under UN/IPCC has been a disaster and the conflict with the politicians, NGOs and the media as well as for non profits such as Gore inc. who has personally profited a great deal. The issue is not does one believe or not believe... believing has no place for one not deeply trained in science especially the likes of Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman etc. Science is either science or it is not. Long term scenario models are not science and not a basis for making policy that becomes a multi-trillion dollar restructuring of the global economy. The issue is attribution. The Climate consensus has pinned their story on greenhouse gases esp. carbon dioxide. But lead IPCC climate scientists Trenberth, Jones etc. acknowledge 1) the models are not useful for informing on decadal changes in climate/warming (they are akin to economists' macroeconomic models of the economy but using in 100 year forecasts) 2) the models do not account for major feedbacks such as moisture, clouds, particulates which are not primary forcings but feedbacks however account for 70% of the "net forcing". A model that does not include major factors is under, or better said, mis-specified. Importantly the alarmism has come largely from the 100 year projections of the climate models (100 years because the damage does begin to show up until the last two decades of the 100 year forecast). Then they do a straw poll sitting around a table and assign 95% "highly likely" discriptors to their results. Stephen Schneider (rest his soul) and others even pushed to have the models run out to 200 years so that the outputs would show huge modeled damages to Gaia earth. The UNFCCC and the climate communicated which has developed have created an environment of fear, driven by a precautionary principle rather than rational sound science mentality, and this has been fed by and has fed back to liberal thinkers who would like to restructure society.

Feed in tariffs are the fastest, cheapest, cleanest way to get our grid strengthened and cleaned up AND WE GET THE MONEY, NOT BIG ENERGY.

This is a bipartisan policy, with Reagan right-handers George Schultz and James Woolsey strongly supporting, as well as all REAL environmentalists (as in, ignore the Big Enviros, bought off by Big Energy). Not only will there be incredible property value increases, local jobs and economic stimulus (the opposite of what will happen in a Big Solar nightmare), but NON-generating ratepayers will save tons of money if their neighbors produce clean power!

The LA Business Council and UCLA Luskin Center put out a study this summer showing that a generous rooftop FIT would end up REDUCING ENERGY BILLS for everyone within 10 years compared to the status quo (and even faster when compared to Big Solar). CARB proved that rooftop solar creates twice as many jobs as Big Solar, and the Appraisal Institute proved that our property values will increase at least as much as the cost of the system, if not more, immediately upon installation.

Sign up at today (I'm not affiliated) so you can get substantial discounts on systems through group purchasing and consolidation. And LOBBY YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS FOR GENEROUS FEED IN TARIFFS FOR ROOFTOP SOLAR!

If President Obama is admitting that cap and trade is dead, it's really dead. With this midterm GOP take-over, what clean energy lobbyists ought to focus on is private sector solutions to climate change. Support green businesses that create jobs, remove the government bureaucracy, which has gotten us nowhere, and let private industries take the carbon offset torch. Nonprofit businesses like have been successfully making inroads on reducing the carbon footprint of corporations like Jet Blue and Staples.

Funding clean energy R and D would help develop possibilities that are cheaper than coal.

One possibility is . . . note the Google Tech Talk by Eric Lerner. Cost projections are a little optimistic, but good stuff nonetheless.

"Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end"

Oh c'mon. It was an "end", and that is why he's denying it. Cap'n Trade has been an Obama thing since his days at the Joyce Foundation. Cap'n Trade was a way around cutting emissions invented by Enron. (Really!) Goldman Sachs would be crying, but I think they knew the scam was up a year ago with the CRU emails release, so they sold the CCX (Chicago Climate Exchange) for a gazillion dollars to some suckers months ago.

Cap'n Trade dead in America. Hard to believe. Biggest financial scam in world history, money wise. Still going on in Europe, some bottom feeders will milk it for what its worth in the progressive New England and Cali that have embraced this desecration of environmental good intentions.


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