Obama Renews His War On Coal

Don’t say he didn’t warn us: “Go ahead and build a coal-powered plant — but it will bankrupt you.” Today President Obama put those words into action. With poverty and unemployment at record levels and his foreign policy in tatters, Obama decided to address a more important problem: Americans aren’t paying enough for electricity! So he mounted a new attack on coal, America’s principal source of power.

His speech was the usual combination of the uninformed and the disingenuous.

The 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15 years.

Recorded history doesn’t go back very far. The thermometer is a recent invention, and anyone who thinks that we know the mean global surface temperature is kidding himself. It is, of course, true that the Earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age, which is what most of the alarmists’ factoids reflect. But it isn’t true that the Earth has warmed in recent years, as we noted here:

Obama served up the same cherry-picked factoids that we always hear from alarmists:

Last year, temperatures in some areas of the ocean reached record highs, and ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record — faster than most models had predicted it would.

Antarctic ice, however, covered a greater area than ever. This was a new, and particularly stupid one:

Just last week, a heat wave in Alaska shot temperatures into the 90s.

Yes, and “the five-week period from April 3 to May 7 was the coldest in 109 years of record keeping at Fairbanks, Alaska, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).” Take your pick.

Obama issued the usual disclaimer about severe weather events not being caused by global warming, but then went on to pretend that they are. He implied that global warming is causing droughts as well as excessive rainfall–global warming causes everything!–but either doesn’t know, or concealed from his audience, that neither drought nor rainfall is, these days, unusual in any way:

Obama repeatedly referred to carbon as a “pollutant,” and even a “toxin.” This is simply insane: carbon is necessary for nearly all forms of life on earth, and more carbon dioxide helps crops, and all other plants, grow better.

It is easy to ridicule Obama’s scientific ignorance, but as always in these matters, the key is to follow the money. Obama wants to pour many billions more into “green energy” scams that mostly benefit Democratic Party donors and Obama administration cronies. Taking advantage of the mathematically illiterate, he touted our ostensibly booming “clean” energy industries:

[T]he year that I took office, my administration pledged to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 percent from their 2005 levels by the end of this decade. And we rolled up our sleeves and we got to work. We doubled the electricity we generated from wind and the sun.

We reduced our carbon dioxide emissions because of the exploding use of natural gas. Doubling the puny wind and solar energy industries amounted to almost nothing, as Steve pointed out here. America’s fastest-growing energy source is coal:

Nevertheless, Obama wants to make coal-fired energy more expensive. The centerpiece of his speech was a directive to the EPA to establish, by fiat, carbon emission standards for power plants. That will make all of us a little poorer by driving up the cost of electricity, while having no effect–zero, nada–on the Earth’s climate.

But along the way, the power of the federal government will be expanded and its ability to shift tens of billions of dollars to the Democratic Party’s cronies will be enhanced. That’s the real point of the potpourri of bad ideas that masquerades as Obama’s energy policy.

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