Oh, for crying out loud, Lindsey Graham is simply going to drive me insane. I’ve met him before on a few occasions and he truly is a nice and gracious man, but in terms of politics somebody in the Republican Party really, really needs to put a leash on him.
Not only is Graham crossing the aisle and joining forces with New York Sen. Chuck Schumer in drafting a new comprehensive immigration bill through which 15 to 20 million illegal immigrants will be given amnesty, the Financial Times is now reporting that he and two other senators, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, have come together and sponsored a brand spanking new energy bill which will place carbon emissions caps on utilities by 2012 and on manufacturers by 2016.
That’s right, on the two major issues which will be tackled by the Democratic Party leadership before they lose the majority in November, Graham is single-handedly facilitating the “bipartisan” label on both.
Seriously. A leash.
Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t some good stuff in the bill, some meat and potatoes which will both get Republicans on board in a political sense and actually be good for the country as a whole. There most certainly is. According to the Financial Times, the bill would in theory expand offshore oil drilling and nuclear power generation, both essential components in achieving true energy independence.
The problem I have with the legislation, at least from what I can gather from the smattering of information provided by the Financial Times, is that it will kill whatever business development and job growth the Democrats’ health care reform has left behind, and that it does not account for one very important and very real variable — the worthless word of this administration.
According to the Financial Times piece, the bill has been encouraged by President Barack Obama himself. This is the same president who just ordered a three-year moratorium on offshore drilling. And this is a president who has no problem making promises he never intends to keep in order to secure votes for bills he deems important. If the Republicans get in bed with Obama and the Democrats on this legislation, baited into it by empty promises on offshore drilling, they will come up with nothing to show for it but a carbon taxing mechanism which will destroy whatever is left of American industry.
And, above all else, the environmental concerns upon which all of this is laid are all based on lies. The planet has been cooling for the past decade, not warming. Air quality is exponentially better now than in 1990, not worse. Fish populations are burgeoning thanks to the artificial reefs created by offshore oil platforms, not dying. And new research shows that the polar bear population is actually thriving, having nearly tripled since the mid-1980s, and the species is nowhere near the level of trouble as the environmental left would lead us to believe.
Also, of course, there were the leaked emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit which showed that much of the data upon which the hypothesis that the human race is responsible for global warming was purposefully manipulated to fit a political agenda. Point being, just like health care reform will cause health care costs to rise at a rate higher than costs were rising under the much-maligned former status quo, the energy policy being floated by Graham and his friends could also end up doing more harm than good.
Placing yet another burden on American business, adding the uncertainty of added energy costs on top of added health care costs, will most certainly drive more industry overseas to places like India and China, where pollution controls are virtually non-existent. And, like the smoking section in a completely open restaurant, we all have to breathe the same air.
Graham’s biggest argument, it seems, is that he can distinguish between last year’s failed cap-and-trade bill and this piece of legislation because this one implements a carbon tax on a sector-by-sector basis, affecting utilities first, and then manufacturing. I don’t understand how it matters. It’s uncertainty which has killed job growth in this country, and when business owners large and small look at this new energy bill, the only thing they can be certain of is that, sector-by-sector or not, eventually a carbon tax will be affecting us all.
At the heart of it all, though, I think I speak for a lot of Americans when I say that I’ve just grown tired of the idea that the government is the ultimate arbiter of everyday life in America. And right now, in the midst of a faux economic recovery, with unemployment numbers which still hover at about 10 percent, and with the added burden already placed upon employers already by ObamaCare, this is not the time for new taxes, whether they be added burdens placed on utilities and manufacturers which will be passed down to consumers, or whether they be in the form of a gasoline tax which consumers themselves will see at the pump.
Now is not the time. Now is NOT the time. And while part of me believes that the Democrats are dredging up what they call a watered-down version of cap-and-trade only in order to tire their Republican counterparts in advance of immigration reform, another part of me thinks that this White House and this Congress have been emboldened by the passage of health care reform and understand that everybody on Capitol Hill has a price.
Lindsey Graham, however, sure seems like he’s working pro bono.