by Van Helsing | March 3, 2009 11:32 am
Chairman Zero’s ability to slip carbon caps into law without any serious debate may cripple our already hobbling economy, but there is one group that will benefit, other than antihuman enviromaniacs: lobbyists. The Heritage Foundation quotes a study by the Center for Public Integrity:
…more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal policy on climate change in the past year, as the issue gathered momentum and came to a vote on Capitol Hill. That’s an increase of more than 300 percent in the number of lobbyists on climate change in just five years, and means that Washington can now boast more than four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress.
Their inclination to use lobbyists has inspired even some energy corporations to climb about the magic bus to global warming loony-land. The defunct Enron, for example:
Enron became one of the biggest corporate boosters of the Kyoto global warming treaty, which would require huge reductions in energy use by consumers and industry. According to an internal Enron memo, quoted by The Washington Post, the Kyoto treaty would “do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.”
In addition to all its political lobbying and contributions, Enron became a founding member of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change’s Business Environmental Leadership Council, a leading industry front group pushing the Kyoto agenda. Enron chairman Ken Lay also served on the board of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, along with Fred Krupp of Environmental Defense, and former Alcoa CEO and current Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.
Even after President Bush decided to withdraw the U.S. from the Kyoto treaty [which the Senate had made clear it wouldn’t ratify anyway], Enron continued to push for a domestic regulatory scheme known as cap-and-trade, whereby the government would set a cap on the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions allowed in the U.S.
Why would energy companies support global warming lunacy, which is explicitly intended to hinder their operations and raise the price of their products? Because when Big Government picks winners and losers, you don’t have to offer the public the best product at the best price; you just have to grease the right palms.
Enron executives believed that a cap-and-trade program would put them in a position to dominate the U.S. energy market. Electric utilities, required to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, would be forced to switch from coal to natural gas as the only practical alternative to electricity production. As a leading trader of natural gas, Enron would be the recipient of a huge financial windfall.
Maybe it’s for the best that Enron is gone now. But there are plenty of other greedy schemers who want Washington to tilt the playing field to their advantage — and the public’s disadvantage.
There’s a word for the unholy alliance of unscrupulous corporations and authoritarian politicians: fascism.
On a tip from Kevin R. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.
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