In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, John Kerry (who is technically still the chairman of that committee) demonstrated that he doesn’t know any more about job creation than his soon-to-be new boss.
The incoming secretary of state has already decided that fighting so-called climate change will be among his top priorities, which has environmentalists exuberant but is bad news for oil companies and the rest of us.
The climate change crowd wants a heavy tax on carbon emissions, which will represent a crushing new burden on American industry. Kerry is even vowing to negotiate a bilateral climate treaty with China, which along with India is one of the two biggest emitters of carbon in the world.
Even before you get into the question of other countries having a say in what American manufacturers can do, the costs alone are going to present a massive impediment to growth, prosperity, and job creation for American manufacturers if the Obama administration succeeds at implementing the carbon tax it wants.
And yet Kerry claims the energy policies that he and Obama want will create jobs! And not just jobs for the government bureaucrats who would enforce these new rules and collect the taxes. He thinks they would create real, private-industry jobs in the energy sector. How’s that?
Because Kerry thinks the key to all this is to get the federal government four-square behind the development of alternative energies – like wind, solar, biofuels, and more. In typical Kerry fashion, he scolds those who oppose bankrupting the oil industry and traditional manufacturers, and insists the key to our long-term prosperity is that we (this means the government) “get into the energy race.”
Whenever a liberal insists that we have to get into a race, what they mean is that governments all over the world are propping up alternative energy companies, so we have to do the same because it’s a “race” and we have to “win.” They don’t really care if the “race” is worth “winning.” It’s merely an excuse to expand the tentacles of government into one more area, and that alone is a win as far as the left is concerned.
Now look: I have nothing against alternative energies per se. I love the idea, in theory, that the wind and the sun can help us to power this nation. And if algae can be turned into fuel, so much the better.
I love the potential of all these fuels. But the mistake government always makes is in trying to force the issue to serve a political motive when markets and technologies are not ready for the change politicians are seeking.
We already have seen from the bankruptcies of companies like Solyndra that solar energy is not ready to be the job creator Democrats desperately want it to be. Its costs are too high and its output is too low. I think that can change in time — and I hope it does — but it has to happen as a result of real technology breakthroughs that will come from the private sector.
The government has to learn that it can’t make something work that isn’t ready to work just by throwing money at it.
And once we start with these subsidies, they become political sacred cows more than any kind of real strategy. We’re still subsidizing ethanol, which is making no positive impact on the overall energy picture and is driving up the price of food as we keep diverting corn for it, because it benefits Iowa and every presidential candidate is terrified to yank the subsidy.
The last thing we need is for the federal government to dive even more headlong into the so-called energy race, competing with other nations to see who can throw the most money at unproven energy technologies that need far more time to develop than politicians want them to have. And as Obama and Kerry proceed down this road, they will make it even more expensive for proven fuel sources like oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear to do what we need them to do.
Even if man-made climate change was 100 percent real, which I do not think, the only reason Democrats push it is that it’s an excuse for them to implement policies they’ve wanted for decades. They want massive new taxes on industry. They want to use the money they raise to subsidize industries that will do their bidding and will be beholden to them. This has always been the left’s motivation for pushing “climate change.”
And when they say it will “create jobs,” what they really mean is that they intend to subsidize short-term job creation in non-viable industries using tax money they collect from proven industries that can no longer grow or prosper because they are not among Democrats’ favorites.
There are a lot of reasons John Kerry should not be secretary of state, but the fact that he intends to push climate change as a major priority is one of the biggest.
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