GOP: Don't Excuse Emission Controls

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Regulars here will know that I am (1) agnostic on the scientific question of whether man-made global warming is happening, but (2) certain about my answer of "absolutely not" to the political question of whether the government ought to respond to such a phenomenon (if it exists). Such policies are outside the proper scope of government, whose sole purpose is to protect individual rights. It should be obvious, then, that my idea of a proper response to politicians like Barack Obama, who want to enact massive economic regulations, is not to squabble with them over whether global warming is happening or how effectively their proposals would reduce emissions, but to ask, "By what right do you dictate what people use as an energy source?"

Considered as a response to the President's upcoming push for new energy regulations, then, I see Dick Morris's latest column to be an abject failure. However, when I consider the facts Morris puts together in light of Obama's own premises, I see the piece as an excellent expose of the cynicism of Obama and his party. For example:

According to Bloomberg News, US carbon emissions are down 13% over the past five years and ... they are now the lowest since 1994. In fact, we are more than halfway to President Obama's goal of a 17% reduction below our peak year of 2007.

Free market developments like the higher cost of coal relative to natural gas, the high price of gasoline, and greater energy efficiency in commercial buildings are all doing the job. ...
Unfortunately, Morris continues the above with, "We don't need big government here." No: We don't need inappropriate government, ever. Morris does end slightly beter by stating that "Obama is using climate change as an excuse to regulate and tax American business..." Morris is right, but I wish that he and the Republicans would go a step further and recognize that there is no valid excuse whatsoever for the government to regulate or tax economic activity so long as it does not violate anyone else's rights. If they would, they would stop providing cover for cynics like Obama, who could no longer plead that there is a time or a place for their statist schemes.

-- CAV

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