The good news is not many Americans—barely one in three—are much concerned about global warming. This despite the ceaseless drumbeat of apocalyptic propaganda from campaigners for big government and the chiselers angling to cash in on taxpayer subsidies for producing more expensive energy.
The bad news is, for once, the Obama administration has done something politically smart. The global warming rule it rolled out last week for carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of power plants may be the kind of assault on our economy that would have us shooting at a foreign adversary, but the political setup ensures that a lot of the rhetorical bullets will be mis-aimed.
The new CO2 rule, which soon begins a four-month public comment period and a year or two of further development sure to be followed by prolonged litigation, is what candidate Barack Obama was talking about in his belatedly famous remark that “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket.”
He hoped to launch the skyrocket in 2010. Because the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to take up the legislation, we now get to ride the rocket by executive fiat.
The grab for one-man rule probably isn’t politically smart, but what is smart is the Environmental Protection Agency’s gambit of setting a 30 percent nationwide average CO2 reduction target and pretending each state gets to reach the target however it wants. Watch for spineless energy executives selling out their rivals for favorable treatment, rather than oppose an EPA that’s arguably exceeding its authority.
Meanwhile, it’s nearly 18 years since global temperature averages have trended recognizably up or down, but in the vicinity of Lake Superior, some warming might be welcome right now.