His greenness himself, former Vice President Al Gore was in attendance. So
was Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio. The vegans, the shamans, the
commies, big labor, the socialists, and probably more than a few sociopaths
all were on hand at what was billed as the largest climate-related protest
Along the parade route, from Central Park West to West 34th Street, the Big
Apple was filled with an estimated 400,000 (by organizers’ estimates)
trumpet blasting, drum-circle gathering, holistic medicine-ingesting
Welcome here was the Party for Socialism and Liberation and their sign that
Climate change is the symptom
Capitalism is the disease
Socialism is the cure
The People’s Climate March was not a U.S. Chamber of Commerce kind of crowd.
But besides promises of inclusiveness by United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon, who invited world leaders from the public and private sectors
to Tuesday’s Climate Summit 2014, you probably won’t find much sympathy or
support here for the chamber’s point of view. Or the manufacturing sector.
And certainly not the fossil-fuels industry.
That’s because President Barack Obama and the climate-change crowd seem only
interested in dire predictions when it comes to their environmental agenda.
They’re not all that into the disastrous consequences extreme environmental
regulations on business could have on the U.S. and global economy.
“It’s one way to ramp up the messaging and frankly ramp up the sort of
extreme positioning around this issue from that standpoint that they’re not
going to recognize the economic impacts,” Betsy Monseu ,chief executive
officer of the American Coal Council said of the People’s March.
The event was the directed by 350.org, the same climate activist group that
has dogged the Keystone XL pipeline .
While critics have labeled the Obama administration’s proposed stiff
regulations on coal-fired power plants part of a “War on Coal,” Monseau said
the issue is much bigger, and potentially much more economically damaging to
the U.S. economy.
“It’s a movement against the use of fossil fuels,” she said. “And I think
there is some lack of recognition of the benefits of coal and coal-fired
generation and what that means to economic development in the United States
and what that could mean in other countries, especially emerging economies
that will continue to develop coal because it is abundant, affordable and
Leonardo and Al may have turned out, but China President Xi Jinping and
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi are each taking a pass on the Climate
Those nations count for one-third of the world’s population and China ranks
No. 1 and India No. 3 on the list of carbon dioxide emitters.
“We look at this from the lens of how competitive is this going to make us,”
said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy for the
National Association of Manufacturers. “If this is going to make us less
competitive and we can’t get the international piece right (on emission
standards) than why are we doing it?”
Eisenberg said the manufacturers association will be watching closely what
is going on in New York City this week, noting that the EPA’s proposed
regulations on power plants in particular are causing U.S. manufacturers “a
lot of heartburn right now.”
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Coal is vital to these mammoth economies, yet the Obama
administration in particular is much more interested in subsidizing
solar and wind energy than engaging clean-coal technology, Monseu
“We are building some first-generation carbon capture and storage
facilities, but we will need to get to second- and third-generation
technology for them to be cost-effective and to be widely deployed,”
she said. “The U.S. has the opportunity to lead through continued
technological development and deployment that will be far more
effective in reducing emissions around the world than simply
creating artificial mechanisms (regulation) that are burdensome and
costly from an administrative standpoint.”
In short, there’s the world that environmentalists envision and
then there is the real world, where economies are sustained or
destroyed by regulatory actions that governments take.
Solar and wind can’t be developed to the scale necessary to meet the
electric needs of the United States. While there may be a role for
alternative forms of energy, so far those portions of the nation’s
energy portfolio have been heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.
While its total footprint has declined, coal still fulfills
approximately 40 percent of America’s electricity generation needs,
according to a study by the Heritage Foundation.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to significantly
limit carbon dioxide emissions would stall new construction of
coal-fired power plants and could shut down existing facilities.
The Heritage Foundation’s analysis found that by the end of 2023,
nearly 600,000 jobs will be lost, a family of four’s income will
drop by $1,200 per year, and aggregate gross domestic product will
drop by $2.23 trillion during the period should the EPA proposal go
America’s manufacturing sector would be particularly harmed,
accounting for 330,000 of the jobs lost, according to the analysis.
In 2012, the cost of federal regulations cost U.S. companies more
than $2 trillion, according to a NAM study. The analysis estimates
environmental regulatory burden at $330 billion, but that only
includes EPA rules that have cost-benefit analyses, which is not
every rule. Overall, EPA accounts for more than half of the
regulatory cost burden on manufacturers, Eisenberg said.
The UN Secretary General website asserts the price will become much
steeper for the global economy if the world’s nations don’t act now
on climate change.
“Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly
today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition
that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will
enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies,” the
America’s manufacturing sector has led the way on reducing
greenhouse gas emissions, Eisenberg said. Between 2005 and 2013,
U.S. industry cut CO2 by 13 percent. Advances in clean coal
technologies and more efficient combustion systems have enabled U.S.
power plants to reduce their regulated emissions by more than 60
percent since 1970, while increasing electric power output over the
same period by 140 percent, according to the National Mining
“Manufacturers are committed to sustainability and energy efficiency
and eliminating greenhouse gases, but we need to do it in a balanced
way,” Eisenberg said.
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