President’s Climate Plan Undemocratic, Bordering On Authoritarian, Disingenuous on Keystone

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2013 – President Obama’s climate agenda released today is being done without public or congressional support and is being pursued in this way because he knows the peoples’ elected representatives would never approve these plans, say experts at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“Obama’s all-pain, no-gain agenda will cost jobs, drive up prices and have little effect on global emissions,” said Myron Ebell, director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment. “It is undemocratic, bordering on authoritarian.

“It confirms the Obama administration’s all-out war on coal, calls for more negotiations on a treaty the Senate will never ratify and displays an alarming lack of knowledge about the state of climate science. Congress should move immediately to defund as much of this as possible.”

The president also said his decision on whether to approve the Keystone pipeline project would depend largely on whether it increases total carbon emissions.

“President Obama should’ve announced his approval today of the Keystone pipeline,” Ebell said.  “The fact he didn’t demonstrates that he’s still playing political games with this project, which has overwhelming public and congressional support.” 

The president pledges to impose carbon dioxide emissions limits for existing as well as new power plants, strengthen efficiency standards for homes and appliances and encourage more development of renewable energy sources on public lands. Obama admits his plan calls mostly for actions he can take without congressional approval.

“He doesn’t want to go through elected officials because he knows if he put this plan in a bill and submitted it to Congress, it would be dead on arrival,” said Marlo Lewis, senior fellow in CEI’s Center for Energy and the Environment.

Lewis said all three elements of the president’s plan should be opposed. “Renewable energy is costly, intermittent and unreliable,” Lewis said. “If it weren’t a bad buy for consumers, Congress would not need to subsidize it in perpetuity, and 30 states and the District of Columbia would not need to mandate its use.”

Sam Kazman, general counsel for CEI, said the appliance efficiency standards limit consumer choice and mean “consumers will be victims, not beneficiaries.

“The current standards already have ruined such previously reliable appliances as top-loading washing machines and dishwashers.  If these new higher-efficiency technologies promised by the White House are really so great, then why must they be mandated?”

But the administration’s proposed CO2 emission limits for existing power plants pose “the biggest risk to consumer welfare and the economy,” Lewis said.

Christopher C. Horner
, senior fellow at CEI and author of the 2012 “The Liberal War on Transparency,” research for which turned up the secret “Richard Windsor” email address of former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, said the proposal – which would drive a stake through coal-fired power plants nationwide – should come as no surprise.

“It’s more of the same,” Horner said. “It’s what he has done since this agenda was rejected by the democratic process. But the Constitution still says you have to go through that process to rewrite laws.

“He warned us in the now-famous YouTube video he would shutter all existing coal-fired power plants and “bankrupt” anyone who tried to build a new one – even though they provide 40 percent of our electricity and much of our competitive advantage.”

President Obama touts these measures as necessary to address a growing threat from a warming planet. But even pro-warming scientists have begun to admit a substantial gap exists between observations and climate model projections that suggests the “consensus” may have been wrong about the key issue of climate sensitivity,” Lewis said.

“A slew of recent studies discredit the ‘planetary emergency’ narrative,” Lewis said. “For instance, sea-change over the next century probably will be measured in inches, rather than feet.”