When the Wall Street Journal describes a government action as showing “flexibility”, what it really means is that someone in the business world is about to make a lot of money at the public expense. So, now that the Wall Street Journal has written a story with the headline White House Flexibility Signaled on Climate Bill, you ought to be worried about the integrity of the Obama White House’s climate change policy.
The fundamental fact you need to keep in mind is this: Carbon dioxide emissions are a hidden cost of industry that is shoved out onto federal, state and local governments, as well as private individuals. When the sea level rises, coastal communities pay the cost to take care of the problem. When huge areas of the country undergo extreme droughts and wildfires, it’s the government and individuals who pay. Extreme weather events, infestations, fishery collapses and the other climate effects are expenses to us all.
Corporations cause these problems with their huge carbon emissions, but they don’t pay to clean up the mess. A cap and trade system of carbon credits is supposed to address this problem. Corporations are forced to buy carbon credits under such a system, to compensate society for the problems that their pollution creates.
That’s what Barack Obama originally proposed, anyway. But now, the Obama White House is showing “flexibility”. That means, of course, that yet another big government giveaway to the corporate sector is about to begin. The flexibility that the Wall Street Journal refers to is Obama’s new willingness to give away carbon credits to corporations, instead selling them at auction.
Giving away carbon credits is like handing corporations a Get Away With Pollution For Free Card. It’s reallocating the cost of greenhouse gas emissions back to the American public, and letting corporations get off the hook again.
They pollute, we pay. Thanks for nothing, Mr. Obama.