"The night he locked up the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama predicted that generations hence, people would look back on the historic day as "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." At the time, his words reeked of hubris. Today, they look positively delusional.
. . . .
"The Obama administration can't stop the oil flow -- only the oil industry has the expertise to do so. But the administration can and should be doing more to protect the shoreline. The president has yet to suspend the Jones Act, which limits the ability of foreign-flag ships to join the effort to contain the spill. Why? Because U.S. maritime trade unions might complain. And he has not done enough to enlist the help and support of other oil companies who have experience dealing with spills. Why hasn't the president asked for help from the Saudis, for example, or enlisted supertankers and foreign skimmers?
"Instead, the president delivered an Oval Office address this week -- the first of his presidency -- to try to turn the oil spill disaster into an argument for ending "America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels." And his primary means of doing so is to discourage further exploration for oil and gas on U.S. land and to further tax oil consumption.
"The president claims that cap-and-trade legislation -- which would cost Americans up to $200 billion a year in new taxes, according to the Treasury Department's own estimates -- will help create incentives for new, green technologies. But whatever hypothetical jobs might be created in the future, the effect of the legislation would be to kill current jobs today. And with unemployment at nearly 10 percent and sluggish economic growth, the last thing we need is a job-killing tax amounting to $1,700 per year on the average household.
"Americans don't want the president to transform the U.S. economy. They don't want him to cure us of addictions to oil -- or anything else for that matter. They don't want him taking over companies like GM or driving other companies out of business -- not even BP. They don't expect him to stop the ocean's rise or heal the planet either. But they do expect him to engage in effective emergency preparation and crisis response. And so far, he's failed to lead the government's efforts at both."
The democrats in Congress finally jumped into action. The tax-and-spend liberals decided the best thing they could do to help out in the Gulf after the disastrous oil spill was to quadruple the gas tax.
. . . because what's wrong with America is that taxes arejust too darn low.
And if we want a stronger economy, there's nothing like quadrupling taxes to really shake things up!
Thanks to Congress and its foresight, we'll never have another oil spill.
Or if we do, we'll have lots of money that Congress collected and -- spent on something else.
J.R. Dunn at American Thinker writes of Death by CAFE Standards:
Media discussions of the administration's new mileage rules have covered about everything except how many people they will kill.
Manipulating fuel efficiency standards has been a favored method of fulfilling environmental prerogatives for thirty years and more. Like most Green initiatives, it is essentially ritualistic. Rather than actually confront the problem at issue, it is instead intended to instill a sense of virtue (what economist Robert J. Samuelson calls "psychic benefits"), while at the same time acting as a punitive measure against those opposed to Green ideology. As is true of many environmentalist programs, it has the unintended side-effect of killing large numbers of unknowing individuals.
. . . .
Fuel standards are the longest-lived of an entirely futile array of attempts to address 1970s oil shortages. They first went into effect in the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program, better known as CAFE. Under the CAFE standards, domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers had to meet a certain mileage standard in their cars and light trucks. They were allowed a very short time to carry this out before fines were levied, so they met the challenge in the easiest way possible: by designing small engines that used less fuel while lowering the size and weight of new vehicles to preserve performance.
The new standards had no success in lowering fuel consumption. Quite the contrary -- since it now cost less to fill the tank, people drove more. Within a few years, this "rebound effect" doubled average fuel usage. As a result, oil imports increased from 35% of consumption in 1975 to 52% by the year 2000.
The new regulations did accomplish one thing -- they killed drivers and passengers in large numbers. By lightening cars and removing material, auto companies were inadvertently discarding the armor that protected motorists in the event of a crash. Similarly, the compressed new models lacked space for impact forces to attenuate before causing damage and injury. Drivers in lightweight cars were as much as twelve times more likely to die in a crash. It was once said about American autos that they were "built like tanks." Many of the new models from the late '70s onward more closely resembled go-carts -- and proved to be about as sturdy.
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the fatal results of mileage regulations, starting in 1989 with the Brookings Institution (in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health), followed by USA Today in 1999, the National Academy of Sciences in 2001, and at last the federal government's own National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration in 2003. This formidable lineup of organizations all came to the same conclusion: Fuel standards kill.
According to the Brookings Institution, a 500-lb weight reduction of the average car increased annual highway fatalities by 2,200-3,900 and serious injuries by 11,000 and 19,500 per year. USA Today found that 7,700 deaths occurred for every mile per gallon gained in fuel economy standards. Smaller cars accounted for up to 12,144 deaths in 1997, 37% of all vehicle fatalities for that year. The National Academy of Sciences found that smaller, lighter vehicles "probably resulted in an additional 1,300 to 2,600 traffic fatalities in 1993." The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration study demonstrated that reducing a vehicle's weight by only one hundred pounds increased the fatality rate by as much as 5.63% for light cars, 4.70% for heavier cars, and 3.06% for light trucks. These rates translated into additional traffic fatalities of 13,608 for light cars, 10,884 for heavier cars, and 14,705 for light trucks between 1996 and 1999.
How many deaths have resulted? Depending on which study you choose, the total ranges from 41,600 to 124,800. To that figure we can add between 352,000 and 624,000 people suffering serious injuries, including being crippled for life. In the past thirty years, fuel standards have become one of the major causes of death and misery in the United States -- and one almost completely attributable to human stupidity and shortsightedness.
. . . .
But the mileage standards as applied by the Obama administration (not to forget the Bush administration before them) are different. They are different because everybody knows about them. No serious dissent exists concerning the fact that the CAFE standards have killed tens of thousands of Americans. If a private company were to be found responsible for even a small fraction of this level of fatalities, the sky would crack, Congress would go into twenty-four hour sessions, and John Edwards would experience a new lease on life. (Anyone doubting this should consider Toyota's recent travails. It is uncertain that anything, anything at all, is wrong with Toyota's products. Yet the media and government are tearing at the company like a pack of wolves after an injured deer.)
But in the case of fuel standards, the government itself is responsible -- and that's different. Governments get away with things that private companies can't. Even policies that enable deaths outnumbering those of all American wars of the past seventy years. Deaths that are unnecessary, deaths that can be avoided, deaths that are being encouraged in order to solve problems that can be overcome in any number of other ways. (Not to mention those problems -- such as global warming -- that can't even be demonstrated to exist.) Yet the topic doesn't even come up in debate. Did anyone involved in the health care "debate" ever mention how many people the British National Health Care system kills every year? That number is 95,000. The equivalent number for the U.S., adjusted for population, would be 450,000 a year. That's the "change" that's coming our way.
Such regulations embody the next step in the process by which the relationship between government and people begins to resemble that of a lawnmower and an anthill.
Regulations cost Americans a mind-boggling $1.2 trillion every year. But that is just part of the story. As the unintended but entirely predictable consequences of fuel efficiency standards demonstrate, federal regulations may also cost you your life.
Yes, the MSNBC host has blown the doors off the greatest conspiracy of all! Clearly Barack Obama is a mole, a Laurence Harvey-style Manchurian Candidate programmed by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney in the secret Haliburton labs to ensure that no one vote for a big government “progressive” statist ever again.