Government Eyes Crippling Climate-Control Measures; Raising Energy Costs Will Stifle Economy, Kill Jobs

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Driessen, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to unleash its first wave of carbon-dioxide regulations. Some members of Congress want to tax hydrocarbon use and carbon-dioxide emissions. Moreover, United Nations climate alarmists are trying to devise a new treaty to regulate energy use at the international level. Even one of these government actions would send shock waves through the economy. If all three are imposed (or worse, imposed in conjunction with Obamacare and other tax increases on job and wealth creators) the impacts will be devastating.

This climate crisis threatens our energy use, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare. The actions are being justified by assertions that they will stabilize the Earth's climate, prevent global-warming disasters and raise hundreds of billions of dollars to cover essential government spending.

Our planet's climate has never been stable and never will be. Despite rising carbon-dioxide levels, average global temperatures have not risen for 16 years. There is no empirical evidence to support assertions and computer models that claim carbon dioxide drives climate change or to suggest that greenhouse gases have supplanted the complex natural forces that have produced big and little ice ages, floods and droughts, and stormy and quiescent periods throughout Earth's history.

These inconvenient truths are irrelevant to anti-hydrocarbon campaigners, who are using dangerous man-made climate change as the best pretext yet devised to control energy use and economies. They simply hypothesize, model and assert that every observed weather phenomenon is due to human carbon-dioxide emissions. Whether it's warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more ice or less, more storms or fewer storms, It's exactly what we predicted, climate alarmists say.

This is not science. It is political science, rooted in an ideological loathing of fossil fuels, economic growth and humanity itself.

The consequences for average workers and families will be dire.

These actions are intended to increase the cost of the hydrocarbon energy that powers our economy. Yet raising the cost of transportation fuels, electricity, lighting, heating and air conditioning will raise the price of food, materials and equipment. This will severely impact the bottom line for factories, utilities, offices, farms, shops, airlines, shippers, hospitals, schools, churches, charities and government offices. The poorest families may get rebates for their increased energy costs, but institutions will not. They will be forced to reduce wages, hours and benefits, hire fewer full-time employees, lay off people, outsource operations to countries where energy costs are lower or even close their doors.

Taxes paid by companies and employees will dwindle. Instead of paying taxes, newly jobless workers will collect unemployment and welfare benefits from shrinking government coffers. Charities will have much less money, even if deductions for donations remain in the U. …