White House: Obama not planning to propose a carbon tax

Earlier this week, I wondered how much more we’re going to see Obama’s climate-change sympathies show their true colors in his more “flexible” second term, seeing as how he doesn’t have any personal qualms with “necessarily skyrocketing” energy prices. The political trickiness of a carbon tax, ergo, is likely the only thing saving us from such an economically costly imposition, and the White House says that it’s not something they’ll be floating as a measure to stave off the fiscal cliff. From The Hill:

“The Administration has not proposed nor is planning to propose a carbon tax,” [a White House] official said.

Imposing a tax on fossil energy sources to curb greenhouse gas emissions faces huge political hurdles. But the idea has nonetheless received increased attention of late, especially as policymakers seek ways to address the deficit.

The concept drew fresh buzz this week when an analyst with banking giant HSBC predicted that Obama might pursue a carbon tax.

“A second Obama Administration could also explore the potential for raising revenues from a carbon tax as part of a wider package of measures to avoid the 
‘fiscal cliff,’ ” said HSBC’s Nick Robins in a Nov. 7 research note…

So, that’s good news I suppose, but the growing clout of the environmentalist movement continually infiltrating the federal government means that this is hardly the last time we’ll hear about the idea, and let’s not forget about Democrats’ attempts at cap-and-trade during Obama’s first term… (A quick word to the wise, by the way: A carbon does not mean greedy oil executives will be deprived of their ostensibly ill-begotten and immoral profits, or wherever it is proponents claim the money will come from; a carbon tax is a tax on your usage of electricity and gas, and your bills will get more expensive.)

Not to worry, however; the Obama administration has plenty of other ideas for limiting American’s job- and wealth-creation opportunities and restricting energy companies’ access to our abundant natural resources — and who knows what sort of Solyndra-repeats they’ve got up their collective sleeve? It’s okay, guys; it’s all for the noble sake of green energy and sage grouse! Also via The Hill:

The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

The proposed final plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration.

The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

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