Pro-Obama group to environmental activists: It’s probably best to just avoid economic arguments altogether

posted at 12:41 pm on June 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

No kidding.

Ahead of President Obama’s big ‘climate change action plan‘-reveal yesterday, a talking point memo circulating among Obama supporters and environmentalist allies pretty aptly demonstrated exactly what many of the real-world affects of the president’s energy-sector overhaul are going to look like — which is why they’d really rather that we just avoid mentioning them. Via National Journal:

The memo, obtained by National Journal, includes a “do’s and don’t’s” list of phrases to use (and not use) when advocating for action on climate change. “Do discuss modernizing and retooling power plants and innovation that will create green jobs…Don’t try to suggest net job increases,” reads one part of the memo.

Ken Berlin, chair of the Energy & Environment Team, a group of national, state and local energy and climate leaders, distributed the memo to his group of about 1,300 people who have organized around these issues for the Obama campaign.

Berlin said the memo was written by the Climate Action Coalition, a new coalition of most major environmental groups. He added the umbrella group is coordinated in part by Kevin Curtis, who is also affiliated with The Climate Reality Project, an advocacy group founded by environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore. …

More from the 14-page memo’s “do’s and don’t’s” list: “Do inform audiences about the nature of the problem, who is at fault, and what can be done…Don’t debate the increase in electricity rates. Instead pivot to health & clean air message.” Another one says: “Do use ‘cutting carbon pollution from power plants’…Don’t use ‘regulations to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.’ ”

Remember how, during last year’s campaign season, the Obama campaign was pretty serious about climate change staying firmly in the election’s background? There was some very smart logic going on there, because the Obama administration, organized environmentalists, and their ilk are all too perfectly well aware that further federal regulations and top-down control are going to have some very unpopular ripple effects. The WSJ nails it:

President Obama’s climate speech on Tuesday was grandiose even for him, but its surreal nature was its particular hallmark. Some 12 million Americans still can’t find work, real wages have fallen for five years, three-fourths of Americans now live paycheck to check, and the economy continues to plod along four years into a quasi-recovery. But there was the President in tony Georgetown, threatening more energy taxes and mandates that will ensure fewer jobs, still lower incomes and slower growth.

Mr. Obama’s “climate action plan” adds up to one of the most extensive reorganizations of the U.S. economy since the 1930s, imposed through administrative fiat and raw executive power. He wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020, but over his 6,500-word address he articulated no such goal for the unemployment rate or GDP. …

The higher costs will ripple through the energy chain, which is precisely Mr. Obama’s goal. Only by artificially raising the cost of carbon energy can he make even heavily subsidized “renewables” competitive. …

For all his talk about helping and raising people into the middle class, it’s a highly regressive burden coming at a time of extended economic hardship and joblessness for many — and I don’t interpret it as the president “Doing Something in the face of an Obstructionist Congress” as much as him deliberately skirting the democratic process.


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