Tom Borelli

Recent news stories asserting that President Obama’s interest in pursuing cap-and-trade legislation is dwindling are premature. These media accounts make too much of rumors that Obama is backing away from auctioning 100 percent of carbon emissions credits and the Administration’s only tepid support of proposed global warming legislation authored by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA).

In reality, sketchy plans and letting Congress take the lead is classic Obama.

Recall that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote the stimulus bill and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s initial bank bailout plan was panned for lacking details.

What Obama lacks in leadership, substance and management skills, he more than makes up for with rhetoric and ideological zeal. Time and again Obama shows he will use his power to drive the left-wing agenda without regard to economic consequences or loss of liberty. Moreover, with the liberal holy grail of penalizing fossil fuel use in his grasp, it’s doubtful Obama will shy away.

Obama’s dealings with General Motors provide ample evidence that his strident left-wing beliefs supersede sound economic judgment. With GM, Obama is leveraging bailout money to shape the automobile industry according to the designs of the environmental lobby.

Soon after Obama fired GM CEO Rick Wagner, the Administration announced it was overriding the recommendation of the president’s own auto task force by deciding to move forward with the Chevy Volt – the company’s electric car.

But it’s no secret that the Volt is going to be a financial loser.

In its March 30 report on the viability of GM, the auto task force said “…while the Chevy Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term.”

GM’s new CEO Fritz Henderson acknowledges that vehicles based on first generation technology such as the Volt will not be profitable. In an interview with Automotive News, Henderson commented on the Volt saying, “…the cost is high. And that means, it doesn't necessarily pay the rent. It actually consumes rent when it's launched."

The political agenda behind the decision to sell the Volt was highlighted by an analyst at the Center for Automotive Research, who said, “But the Obama administration has put such a high priority on the electrification of the vehicle that it would be a very difficult policy decision to drop the Volt.”

Tom Borelli

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

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