Tom Borelli

The prospect that President-elect Barack Obama may keep the Bush tax cuts until 2011 has some clinging to hope he will postpone his liberal ideas for the economy’s sake.

There’s little chance of that when it comes to global warming, however, an issue on which Obama puts his ideology first and the nation’s economic growth second.

In a recent video statement to the Governors’ Global Climate Summit, Obama displayed unwavering support for strong federal action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sounding like he was auditioning for a role in Al Gore’s next film, Obama said, “The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.”

Obama went on to promote his cap-and-trade policy, which, he said, “will establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80 percent by 2050.”

Through regulation, Obama hopes to transform our economy while “saving the planet.” He says he will accomplish his ambitious goals by investing in “solar power, wind power and next-generation biofuels. We will tap nuclear power, while making sure it’s safe. And we will develop clean coal technologies.”

Obama is creating his own version of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society. In the middle of an economic crisis, Obama’s “Grand Experiment” is to build a federal bureaucracy to transform our economy by forcing it to run on costly unproven energy sources instead of established fossil fuels.

Under Obama’s cap-and-trade scheme, the government would set limits on industrial emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Companies that emit more than their allowance must buy “carbon credits” from businesses whose emissions are under their allotment. Over time, the government ratchets down the allowance for all industry, which will increase the cost of emissions.

Fossil fuels currently supply 85 percent of our energy needs, while non-greenhouse gas-emitting sources (such as nuclear, wind, solar and others) deliver only 15 percent. Since alternative energy supply is limited, emission reductions targets will be met by decreasing demand for fossil fuels by raising prices.

In short, Obama’s “Grand Experiment” will raise energy prices, slow economic growth and increase unemployment.

Tom Borelli

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow with FreedomWorks.

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