Friday, July 24, 2009

Kerry Boxer Op Ed: Giving it Another Shot

As we head into the Fairbanks picnic on Sunday, we watch as liberal Senators join the editors and executive board at the Washington Post in an attempt to pre-empt the Palin bounce that will occur next week when she is free of the nonsense that has become ankle-biting Alaska. And since Kerry missed with the first swipe, why not go get some help from Barbara Boxer and give it a second shot?

So right before the picnic, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer release an op-ed piece (this is Kerry's second try) arguing against Palin's position on Cap & Trade.

Surely Palin is proving to be a tougher opponent than they expected. Let's just be thankful he brought Boxer in on this one and not for a debate about racial issues. And please, don't call her m'aam. She's a Senator whose worked hard to earn that title.

I have to admit after looking down the bridges of their upturned noses, they are engaging her in the arena of ideas. I like that. I think it's good for the political discourse. They had to call in reinforcements to do it, but again I like that they want to take her on here.

I join Kerry and Boxer in their request to "respectfully invite Gov. Palin to join that reality-based debate -- one that relies on facts, science, tested economics and steely-eyed national security interests." I would be interested to look into the facts and science especially while the northeastern United States is experiencing their 5th coolest summer on record and while cooling units are down significantly this summer across the nation.

Palin's article is not about global warming, however. It's about the economic impacts of Cap and Trade.

But since we are engaging in the political arena, it must be pointed out that if you are going to take a position, intellectual honesty requires that you be able to walk the walk if you're going to talk the talk.

"By creating powerful incentives for clean energy, it will create millions of jobs in America -- building wind turbines, installing solar panels on homes and producing a new fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles," Kerry and Boxer write in the Washington Post.

Kerry says in the WaPo piece "Our country needs nothing less, and our planet depends on it" just a little over a year after his aggressive silence when Ted Kennedy "was more concerned about the view from the back porch of his Hyannis Port mansion" as he "tried subtly to kill Cape Wind's attempts to site an off-shore wind farm in Nantucket Sound by slipping an amendment into the Coast Guard Reauthorization bill," according to Cape Cod Today.

"Kerry wants to be known as a leading voice for the environment," according to an op-ed in The Metrowest Daily News. "So it's inexcusable that he refuses to be pinned down on what is arguably the most important environmental debate in his own backyard."

Nowhere in Sarah Palin's op-ed does she stand against or straddle the fence in her position on developing alternative sources of energy. In fact, her "everything inclusively" plan would allow Kerry and Boxer to continue their "planet depends on it" argument for alternative energy; just not at the expense of the American taxpayer.

"Big corporations like Goldman Sachs and big guys like Al Gore could make many millions of dollars off cap-and-trade, while the regular folks will pay more for just about everything," Bill O'Reilly says.

Palin's main point is not to argue the theory of climate change or be critical of alternative efforts. Her main point is to argue the economics of Cap and Trade. It's the undue burden on the engine of American jobs that would be hit hardest by the cost of trading carbon credits that concerns her the most. O'Reilly goes even further, calling Cap and Trade a "scam."

It turns out Kerry's and Boxer's numbers might be a scam also.

Even the President said the cost of electricity would skyrocket. Increased costs lead to lower job growth as those costs are factored in when companies hire workers.


Conservatives4Palin pointed out that the Heritage Foundation calculated:
The reality is that it will destroy 1.15 million jobs. Higher energy prices ripple through the economy producing slower economic growth and higher unemployment. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that, for the average year over the 2012-2035 timeline, job loss will be 1.1 million greater than the baseline assumptions. By 2035, there is a projected 2.5 million fewer jobs than without a cap-and-trade bill. But Heritage isn’t alone in these estimates.

Kerry and Boxer can talk all they want about the "$150 billion in clean energy investments" that "would create more than 1.7 million domestic and community-based jobs that can't be shipped overseas." But, they conveniently omitted the fact that there would be the offsetting job losses that would require "accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years," as Palin states and which is also supported by

"The tragic results of the do-nothing policies" Kerry and Boxer accuse Palin of are the results of the do-nothing policies of Kerry and Boxer. They're the ones that oppose drilling in ANWR. And until they change their position on that, Palin will have no choice but to do nothing there.

At least she has the foresight to clear the path for the AGIA gas pipeline, which will bring clean natural gas energy to emerging markets over the next few decades. I hardly call that "do nothing."

Proven and developed technologies already exist in conventional energy production while those technologies are still in the developmental and infancy stages in alternative energy production.

Wouldn't it make sense that we max out on what we know already works while we wait for sources of energy that are not yet market ready to mature to the point where they can compete in the free market? BP recently announced that they were shifting their focus away from solar power because the technology was simply not there to make it profitable at this time.

I wonder if it would have helped our economy in the late 1800's if the government would have curtailed horse and buggy production as a social engineering project designed to get people to invest in building gas engine powered automobiles.

Transportation vehicle manufacturing ran into the same issue BP did. The combustion engine had been developed, but it wasn't cost effective yet. Time was still needed to get to the point when Henry Ford could bring the automobile into the free market profitably.

And while we waited for that to happen, noone criticized people for supporting horse and buggy development or created a fictitional product to make cronies rich at the expense of the horse and buggy manufacturers and their customers.

Palin would have argued that the answer doesn't lie in making high speed transportation "scarcer and more expensive" by taxing and stifling horse and buggy development. Kerry and Boxer would have prefered that the consumer pay through the nose for a combustion engine that was not yet ready for prime time, an event which would have caused real job losses in the horse and buggy sector while they dreamed of the 1.7 million jobs that would be created 10 - 20 years down the road with advent of assembly line mass production.

If the planet is in immediate peril and soldiers are going to be in harm's way because we're dependent on foreign oil, why not drill more here, even if it is just to bridge the gap while we wait for alternatives to become marketable at a price that will not break the back of the consumer?

"Our nation's approach to energy must be balanced and must provide incentives for all the available clean energy sources to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil," Kerry and Boxer say. Are they asserting that capping and taxing domestic oil production and the jobs it would create right now represents balance?

That's not balance. That's win / lose. Balance would be doing both. Get your argument straight and stop the rhetorical bull.

Will the not yet "shovel ready" green technology instantly become market ready as soon as we limit domestic production of oil and coal? I don't think so.

It sounds to me like they're asking us to give up the horse and buggy and walk while we wait for the automobile to be perfected and they cash in on the process. I prefer to keep my horse and buggy until the car is ready, and do it without being penalized or taken by fat cat politicians.