What could possibly be worse than having Washington DC impose a de facto nationalization of energy production through Barack Obama’s cap-and-trade policies? Having Turtle Bay do it instead. Fox News reports on a draft document that will get distributed to nations participating in the Copenhagen Accord, the follow-up to Kyoto, for which the Obama administration has already signaled support, emphases mine:
A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body. …
Among the tools that are considered are the cap-and-trade system for controlling carbon emissions that has been espoused by the Obama administration; “carbon taxes” on imported fuels and energy-intensive goods and industries, including airline transportation; and lower subsidies for those same goods, as well as new or higher subsidies for goods that are considered “environmentally sound.”
Other tools are referred to only vaguely, including “energy policy reform,” which the report indicates could affect “large-scale transportation infrastructure such as roads, rail and airports.” When it comes to the results of such reform, the note says only that it could have “positive consequences for alternative transportation providers and producers of alternative fuels.”
In the same bland manner, the note informs negotiators without going into details that cap-and-trade schemes “may induce some industrial relocation” to “less regulated host countries.” Cap-and-trade functions by creating decreasing numbers of pollution-emission permits to be traded by industrial users, and thus pay more for each unit of carbon-based pollution, a market-driven system that aims to drive manufacturers toward less polluting technologies.
The note adds only that industrial relocation “would involve negative consequences for the implementing country, which loses employment and investment.” But at the same time it “would involve indeterminate consequences for the countries that would host the relocated industries.”
There are also entirely new kinds of tariffs and trade protectionist barriers such as those termed in the note as “border carbon adjustment”— which, the note says, can impose “a levy on imported goods equal to that which would have been imposed had they been produced domestically” under more strict environmental regimes.
Where to begin? Let’s start first with “industrial relocation”. Barack Obama ran for President in part by demanding an end to the exportation of jobs from America. In fact, he mentioned this again in his “virtual town hall” when asked specifically about it via a YouTube question prepared specifically for the event. Now Obama has given a green light to a process that appears will demand “industrial relocation” as a policy from Western producers, apparently as bait to get developing countries like China and India to agree to the new Copenhagen Accord.
Next, it appears that the UN has taken Steven Chu’s high-tech Smoot-Hawley ideas seriously. In the middle of a severe global recession, the UN proposes to set up punitive trade barriers not for those who cheat on free trade, but for those who don’t sign onto Copenhagen (or at least meet its strictures). That’s the stick that Copenhagen will pair up with the “industrial relocation” carrot. If we want a new global depression, the quickest and stupidest way to get there is to start a global protectionist war, especially over the issue of CO2 rather than human rights, unchecked cheating, theft of intellectual property, or other real trade issues.
But by far the dumbest idea is to put the UN in charge of this regime. Not only does it mean an end to sovereignty on trade, manufacturing, energy production, and business in general, but the UN has a horrible record on global trade controls. Does anyone remember the UN Oil-for-Food Program, otherwise known as the largest corruption scandal in human history? Tens of billions of dollars got stolen by bureaucrats and governments around the world, and it wound up enriching the man targeted for isolation — Saddam Hussein — beyond the dreams of Croesus.
If one tried to get as many foolish ideas into one 16-page document as the UN does here, they’d be hard pressed to do so. If Obama cooperates with this, we will have willingly traded American sovereignty for rule by thieves and knaves. Republicans need to win some seats back in the Senate to ensure this treaty never gets ratified.