Big Business is joining left-wing activists, high school, and college students in the nationwide tantrum over the election of Donald Trump as president.
Unlike activists and students whose issues with Trump are filled with bumper sticker soundbites, the business community concerns are specific, centering on Trump’s energy policy and his willingness to reverse President Obama’s climate change agenda.
During the past eight years, a significant number of corporations cheered Obama’s climate change agenda, including pushing for regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and subsequently backed the president’s plan to force the use of renewable energy to generate electricity.
Some companies were seeking profit from energy regulations while others were giddy to ride the wave of political correctness and enjoy positive public relations by joining efforts to combat climate change.
Suddenly, with the election of Trump, companies find themselves on the wrong side of the climate change debate. Now they run the risk of being exposed for backing climate change mania over sound business decisions.
Companies that backed Obama’s climate change agenda ignored the adverse impact of higher energy prices on the economy as well as the glaring hole in the president’s command-and-control energy policy; Obama built his climate change agenda on executive branch actions and not new binding law or an international treaty.
Because Obama’s energy plan was not built on legislative rock but executive branch sand, it could be swept away with a new president.
Obama also applied his pen-and-phone philosophy to policy making when he agreed to voluntary reductions in carbon dioxide emissions as part of U.S. participation in the United Nations Paris Climate Change Agreement. Instead of seeking a binding commitment that required Senate approval, Obama took the voluntary agreement shortcut.
With the election of Trump, Obama’s entire climate change agenda is at risk and big business is in a panic.
More than 300 U.S. based businesses, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, signed a statement calling for President-elect Trump and Congress to adhere to Obama’s climate change agenda including the United Nations Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The statement urges U.S policy makers to keep “low-carbon policies,” to invest in “low carbon economy" and to continue to participate in the Paris Agreement.
But denial runs deep in corporate executive suites with companies fighting a losing battle to keep Obama’s energy policy.
Trump is critical of climate change and regulatory policies that force the reduction of coal, oil, and natural gas for energy.
During the presidential campaign, Trump was aggressively pushing a pro-carbon energy policy that is 180 degrees different from Obama and Hillary Clinton's. Trump also wants to significantly expand development of oil and natural gas and relieve the regulatory pressure that has bankrupted the coal industry.
As part of his energy policy, Trump said he would cancel U.S. funding of UN climate change projects and our involvement in the Paris deal.
The Paris Agreement is clearly a bad deal since the U.S. will cut carbon dioxide between 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, while China only agreed to cap emissions in 2030.
Recent news reports that China is increasing its coal-fired electricity generation as high as 20 percent over the next four years. China is the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitter.
Moreover, the Paris Agreement will have a meaningless impact on reducing global temperatures.
Trump’s pro-energy and regulatory reform initiatives reside in the executive branch where he can use his pen and phone to reverse Obama’s energy effort, far away from the congressional lobbying arm of Big Business.
Business backers of Obama’s energy agenda should have realized the risks associated with supporting policies that are easily changed with a new president.
Now companies are signing statements in support of restricting traditional energy sources to save face with environmental activist groups that they sought to appease. However, if they push too much it could backfire by alienating the new Trump administration.
Savvy business leaders would have realized climate change policy peaked during Obama’s first term with cap-and-trade legislation. But after the law failed to get through Congress, Obama decided to implement his energy policy through the EPA regulations, putting the effort on shaky ground.
Companies urging Trump to stick with Obama’s energy policy are also vulnerable to criticism because they are supporting an energy policy that would harm the economy and consumers.
An analysis by NERA economic consulting reported the EPA Clean Power Plan that targets carbon dioxide emissions would cost business and consumers $39 billion a year and result in double-digit increases in electricity prices in 41 states.
Lowering the disposable income of consumers by forcing them to pay more for electricity is bad for companies such as Nike, Starbucks, Kellogg, and General Mills — all of which signed the climate change statement to Trump.
Over time, big business will recover from its climate change tantrum and jump on the Trump train and enjoy the benefits of a pro-growth energy policy that will help the economy and boost corporate revenues.
Dr. Tom Borelli is a contributor to Conservative Review. As a columnist he has written for Townhall.com, The Washington Times, Newsmax magazine, and also hosts radio programs on SiriusXM Patriot with his wife Deneen Borelli. Dr. Borelli has appeared on numerous television programs on Newsmax TV, Fox News, Fox Business and TheBlaze. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
This article originally appeared on ConservativeReview.com.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.