On the Antidisenergized Campaigns in Michigan

By August 7, 2008Energy, Global Warming

Henry Payne, a keen observer of the auto industry, takes a tough look at the energy policies — and voting history — of both presidential candidates on their recent visits to Michigan.

Unmentioned in the media coverage of sparring energy plans is that both candidates are ardent supporters of federal cap-and-trade laws. Writing for the Mackinac Center, a Michigan think tank, author Deneen Borelli reports that “the economic cost of a cap-and-trade bill would hit Michigan especially hard. The increase in energy costs would compound the loss of manufacturing jobs in the state and reduce the disposable income of Michigan residents.”

Yesterday we noted Sen. Obama’s floor statement in June 2005 on H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act, which included much criticism of the legislation that he did vote for.

Today, a bit more from Sen. McCain’s statement. Sen. McCain voted no, and one reason was the bill’s failure to include provisions he and Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) proposed to control global warming through cap-and-trade.

Instead of our approach, the American public is going to be saddled entirely with the expense of this bill, which is running on empty– empty of new ideas–and further running up our deficit. The fuel we should be relying on to drive our national energy policy is American consumer demand. If we allowed consumer demand to drive our legislative actions, this bill would emphasize energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy and include a reasonable and progressive CAFE standard for SUVs and all other passenger vehicles. If it were up to American consumers, we wouldn’t be imposing a meaningless 8 billion gallon ethanol mandate, but instead would be making it possible for people to obtain and operate their automobiles using clean and abundant biofuels that actually reduce our dependence on foreign oil and not just provide subsidies to the ethanol producers. If it were to the American public, we would not be repealing the Public Utility Holding Company Act, PUHCA, without replacing it with alternative protections for utility ratepayers, investors, and pension plans. Finally, if it were up to the American public, we would pass a bill that addresses global climate change: more than 75 percent of Americans believe that we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and participate with our allies and other countries in a united effort. And in the process of reducing emissions, we would also improve the health of millions of Americans who suffer from asthma and other air quality related conditions.

It’s almost as if he’s arguing for a complete transformation of the American economy.

But wait, that’s Senator Obama, as Daniel Henninger quotes the Illinois Democrat in today’s Journal, a piece called “Enviromania“: “Breaking our oil addiction . . . will take nothing less than a complete transformation of our economy.”

A top-down, government imposed complete transformation of our economy. History suggests a bad end to that sort of thing.

Leave a Reply