In the Pipeline: 5/15/13

A senior adviser to McCain 2008 wrote this piece, arguing (I kid you not) that a carbon tax is a good thing because it is “relatively hidden.” Since when did hiding taxes from the American people become fashionable for conservatives? RealClearEnergy (5/14/13) reports: “Enter the carbon tax. Besides its intended purpose of reducing carbon emissions, it is politically advantageous, in that it is a tax that is relatively hidden. If phased in over a decade, the annual increase in gas prices that would result would be less than the typical annual fluctuations we already observe. And its other manifestations are also somewhat less than obvious—power bills will go up, but they’ve been inexorably increasing since time immemorial, even in places that get most of their power via natural gas.”

The rule of law? Screw it. FuelFix (5/14/13) reports: “The Obama administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind farm for killing eagles and other protected bird species, shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret, an Associated Press investigation has found… Each death is federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines. No wind energy company has been prosecuted, even those that repeatedly flout the law.”

This study raises interesting questions not only about suicide rates in counties where coal-fired electrical plants operate, but also about the suicide rates among individuals who are forced to fend off this nonsense on a daily basis. Science Daily (5/13/13) reports: “New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center finds that suicide, while strongly associated with psychiatric conditions, also correlates with environmental pollution… Lead researcher John G. Spangler, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of family medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, looked specifically at the relationship between air pollution and emissions from coal-fired electricity plants.”

What happens when the greenies realize they’ve lost the scarcity narrative? I hope they don’t think they can compete on price… The Atlantic (5/13/13) reports: “That’s the big story: Like whale oil in the 1860s, oil has become uncompetitive even at low prices, long before becoming unavailable even at high prices… This comparison doesn’t even consider hidden or external costs. Just the economic and military costs of U.S. oil dependence, if paid at the pump rather than through taxes and reduced wealth, would triple the price of oil — plus any costs to health, safety, environment, climate, global stability and development, or our nation’s independence and reputation.”

We call this a dangerously maligned incentive structure. Denver Business Journal (5/8/13) reports: “After a mad dash throughout 2012 to install wind turbines across the United States — ahead of the expiration of a federal tax credit for wind-generated energy at the end of 2012 — Vestas Wind Systems didn’t deliver a single machine to a U.S. wind farm during the first three months of 2013.”

These kids put on a pretty show, and it’s good to see that not all 11 year olds are wasting their lives on Playstation 7. But it’d be cool if they also learned about the consequences of top-down, anti-growth government policies. Free markets and free people are their best bet for a bright future and a cleaner environment… It’s science. Huffington Post (5/13/13) reports: “The youths presentation included a rap that they wrote about the dangers of fracking stating, “poisoned the water, poisoned the air, poisoned the people, do you think that’s fair?” and included a call-and-response for the students, ‘When I say what the, you say frack. What the… frack, what the… frack.’”


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