A Nixonian approach to Climate Change

U.S. President, Barack Obama is about to bring a blast from the past to deal with the supposed threats posed by climate change. In doing so, he and his environmental team has already made sure that the Federal Government is exempted from all regulations.

By MARK DRAJEM | BLOOMBERG | MARCH 15, 2013

President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they have to consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.

The result could be significant delays for natural gas- export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists warn.

“It’s got us very freaked out,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based group that represents 11,000 companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Southern Co. (SO) The standards, which constitute guidance for agencies and not new regulations, are set to be issued in the coming weeks, according to lawyers briefed by administration officials.

In taking the step, Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House of Representatives unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases. He’d expand a Nixon-era law that was intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution.

“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” Obama said last month during his State of the Union address. He pledged executive actions “to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

The president is scheduled to deliver a speech on energy today outside Chicago.

Long Delays

While some U.S. agencies already take climate change into account when assessing projects, the new guidelines would apply across-the-board to all federal reviews. Industry lobbyists say they worry that projects could be tied up in lawsuits or administrative delays.

For example, Ambre Energy Ltd. is seeking a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to build a coal-export facility at the Port of Morrow in Oregon. Under existing rules, officials weighing approval would consider whether ships in the port would foul the water or generate air pollution locally. The Environmental Protection Agency and activist groups say that review should be broadened to account for the greenhouse gases emitted when exported coal is burned in power plants in Asia.

Similar analyses could be made for the oil sands that would be transported in TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline, and leases to drill for oil, gas and coal on federal lands, such as those for Arch Coal Inc. (ACI) and Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU)

Targeting Keystone

If the new White House guidance is structured correctly, it will require just those kinds of lifecycle reviews, said Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity in Washington. The environmental group has sued to press for this approach, and Snape says lawsuits along this line are certain if the administration approves the Keystone pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“The real danger is the delays,” said Eisenberg of the manufacturers’ group. “I don’t think the answer is ever going to be ‘no,’ but it can confound things.”

Lawyers and lobbyists are now waiting for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality to issue the long bottled-up standards for how agencies should address climate change under the National Environmental Policy Act, signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970.

NEPA requires federal agencies to consider and publish the environmental impact of their actions before making decisions. Those reviews don’t mandate a specific course of action. They do provide a chance for citizens and environmentalists to weigh in before regulators decide on an action — and to challenge those reviews in court if it’s cleared.

FULL ARTICLE…

U.N. Official: Climate Issue is for Wealth Redistribution

by Raven Clabough

Assertions made by climate-change skeptics that there are ulterior motives behind climate-change legislation were confirmed by a leading member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

During an interview with Germany’s NZZ Online Sunday, UN official Ottmar Edenhofer declared, “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

The interview went as follows:

(NZZ AM SONNTAG): The new thing about your proposal for a Global Deal is the stress on the importance of development policy for climate policy. Until now, many think of aid when they hear development policies.

(OTTMAR EDENHOFER, UN IPCC OFFICIAL): That will change immediately if global emission rights are distributed. If this happens, on a per capital basis, then Africa will be the big winner, and huge amounts of money will flow there. This will have enormous implications for development policy. And it will raise the question if these countries can deal responsibly with so much money at all.

(NZZ): That does not sound anymore like the climate policy that we know.

(EDENHOFER): Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet — and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11,000 to 400 — there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.

(NZZ): De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.

(EDENHOFER): First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

The Media Research Center reports that Edenhofer was “co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III, and a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007 which controversially concluded, “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

Edenhofer confirmed what many Americans have asserted all along: cap and trade will penalize Americans and American industry. The American Chronicle article entitled “Cap-and-Trade Energy Tax will Cause Redistribution of Wealth Among States and Working Families” cites the Congressional Budget Office as stating that cap and trade would cost the average American household an extra $1,600 per year. It would increase the price for a gallon of gasoline between $0.61 to $2.53, and would increase electricity costs anywhere from 44 percent to 129 percent.

In 2009, Our Changing Globe wrote of cap and trade: “The intention is that the industrial world would pay the underdeveloped world huge sums of money for doing nothing at all, and you can easily imagine the bureaucracy and corruption that would occur if this nonsense were ever to come into being.”

It added, “The flawed idea behind Cap and Trade is that companies that were penalized would work hard to reduce their pollution, and even though the technology is presently not available and won’t be in the foreseeable future, Obama is promising that the U.S. will reduce its pollution by 80 percent, which would take it back to levels that existed before the industrial revolution.”

Evidence of this plot for the world’s wealth redistribution dates back as far as 1990, when Maurice Strong, head of the United Nations Environmental Program, suggested this scenario: “What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principle [sic] risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t it the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?” Strong allegedly posed this scenario as a speculative plot for a novel that he considered writing, though he has never penned a novel in his life, either before or after 1990.

Today, progressives and Marxists have seized upon claims that the planet is in peril in order to negotiate cap-and-trade and climate change policies. Through the formation of the Chicago Climate Exchange, coupled with the potential passage of the cap-and-trade bill, innocuously named the “American Power Act,” industrialized “wealthy” nations, such as the U.S., are forced to pay for carbon credits. The process takes American wealth and redistributes it to the rest of the world.

Ironically, confirmation that cap and trade is in fact a scheme comes in the same week that “marks the one year anniversary since the ‘Climategate’ scandal erupted,” as noted by The Blaze.