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Previewing Obama’s Climate Speech

My segment on the Kudlow Report (I’ll post a link when I can) went really fast, as these cable TV shows usually do, so I didn’t have time to cover much ground.  A few observations on what Obama is going to do with his climate speech tomorrow, which the White House has been building up for the last 10 days or so

—Obama is desperate to placate the greens, for whom he did not lift a finger in any significant way in his first term.  He was completely AWOL on the cap and trade bill as it was dying in the Senate.

—Most of what has leaked out is just the same-old-same-old.  Emissions standards for coal-fired power plants?  Check.  Increased efficiency standards for homes and appliances?  Check.  More solar and wind on federal lands?  Check.

—Yet environmental leaders are nearly orgasmic today in anticipation of a speech, calling it a “major turning point in the climate fight,” which shows what cheap dates they remain for the Democratic Party. (By the way, EPA coal regs will take five to ten years to develop and implement, and might be vulnerable to legal challenge depending on how they unfold.  They will be litigated, no matter what.)

—There was one truly ludicrous statement from Obama’s Saturday radio address preview.  He said we’d need scientists to develop new forms of fuel, and farmers to grow it.  This sounds like he’s doubling down on the corn- and switchgrass-ethanol boondoggles, which don’t even impress most environmentalists any more.

As it stands now, this speech is going to be largely a farce.  If he was serious, from a conventional environmental point of view, he would re-commit the U.S. to negotiating a binding international treaty to replace the failed and now expired Kyoto Protocol.  He’d also call for banning American coal exports, since the object is to kill coal everywhere, and he might also move to prevent exports of America’s newfound bounty of natural gas.

And if he wanted to be unconventional but actually gain some new support, he’d call for replacing coal power plants with nuclear power.

Don’t hold your breath.  Actually, do hold your breath; it’s about the only effective thing you can do as an individual to hold down CO2 emissions.  Too bad Obama doesn’t follow this advice.

Further media: right now I’m scheduled to be on the Bill Bennett radio show Wednesday morning at 7:30 am eastern time to review Obama’s speech.  This is subject to change, of course.

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