Before you got out of bed this morning, these men stuck their heads between two rocks, 500 feet beneath the surface, to deliver the abundant, affordable, and reliable energy that powers our way of life. So thank a coal miner when you plunk down five bucks for your grande, skinny, half-caf, soy Frappuccino on your way to the office.
Last week we commented about this meeting. We intended to let it speak for itself, but AEI went and tried to have it both ways – yet again. If this is really “an academic meeting” and “not evidence that AEI supports a carbon tax,” then why are there no opponents of a carbon tax on the agenda? While it is increasingly clear that AEI has jumped the shark, we will not give up. We are holding a place for Arthur Brooks on our list of think tank heads who are opposed to a carbon tax. Come home, Arthur, come home. The Hill (10/26/12) reports: “A conservative think tank will host a forum next month on carbon tax proposals — and this time it’s on the record… The American Enterprise Institute is the venue for the Nov. 13 event on the economics of carbon taxes, which AEI is hosting with two other think tanks, the Brookings Institution and Resources for the Future, and the International Monetary Fund.”
We told you this would happen back in 1997 when Enron was celebrating the Kyoto Accord. Reuters (10/25/12) reports: “EU talks to agree tactics ahead of an international climate summit in Doha next month ended in disarray on Thursday, after coal-dependent Poland led opposition to more ambitious attempts to curb atmospheric pollution.”
Here’s what this article tells us: neither Glenn Hubbard nor Greg Mankiw should be allowed anywhere near public policy. And yet, they are going to be two of the most important people in a Romney Administration. Financial Times (10/29/12) reports: “Discussing the size of a carbon tax, rather than alternatives to it, would be a big step forward compared to where the public discussion is right now,” Hubbard wrote. “As judged on purely political terms, higher Pigovian taxes are a wacky idea. I have yet to see a major candidate for President endorse the concept….We can hope that in future elections the gap between the advice of the economic advisers and the advice of the political consultants will become a lot smaller.”
Of course the White House exerted pressure on DOE to sign off on these deals. This whole mania for expensive, unreliable energy was their creation. National Legal and Policy Center (10/29/12) reports: “The claim that the many beneficiaries (like Solyndra and Fisker Automotive) of President Obama’s green energy stimulus program received their millions of taxpayer dollars based on measurable metrics rather than political favoritism has always been undermined by the circumstantial evidence, but documents obtained by Complete Colorado indicate the White House applied direct pressure to its own Department of Energy to reward (another) one of its allies.”
We have discussed this before, but it is worth another visit. The long and short is that the State Department could not find resources or time to save American lives in Libya, but did manage to find time and resources to install charging stations for electric vehicles in Austria. So at least the parents of the dead can take solace in the idea that diplomats in Vienna can drive around in expensive, unreliable cars. Washington Times (10/10/12) reports: “In a May 3, 2012, email, the State Department denied a request by a group of Special Forces assigned to protect the U.S. embassy in Libya to continue their use of a DC- 3 airplane for security operations throughout the country… The subject line of the email, on which slain Ambassador Chris Stevens was copied, read: “Termination of Tripoli DC-3 Support.”… Four days later, on May 7, the State Department authorized the U.S. embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool’s new Chevrolet Volts.”