January 26, 2007

The Perfect Storm

Kim Strassel has a bang-on column today about the strengthening "Climate Change" merger of Big Business, Big Lobbying and Big Guv'mint in Dee Cee:

Washington this week officially welcomed the newest industry on the hunt for financial and regulatory favors. Big CarbonCap may have the same dollar-sign agenda as Big Oil or Big Pharma, but don't expect Nancy Pelosi to admit to it.

Democrats want to flog the global warming theme through 2008 and they'll take what help they can get, even if it means cozying up to executives whose goal is to enrich their firms. Right now, the corporate giants calling for a mandatory carbon cap serve too useful a political purpose for anyone to delve into their baser motives.

The Climate Action Partnership, a group of 10 major companies that made headlines this week with its call for a national limit on carbon dioxide emissions, would surely feign shock at such an accusation. After all, their plea was carefully timed to coincide with President Bush's State of the Union capitulation on global warming, and it had the desired PR effect. The media dutifully declared that "even" business now recognized the climate threat. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who begins marathon hearings on warming next week, lauded the corporate angels for thinking of the "common good."

Another sign I've noticed recently is the announcement by various big gun law firms of the creation of "Global Climate" practices. Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching!

But it's all for the good, right? Well, not so much:

What makes this lobby worse than the usual K-Street crowd is that it offers no upside. At least when Big Pharma self-interestedly asks for fewer regulations, the economy benefits. There's nothing capitalist about lobbying for a program that foists its debilitating costs on taxpayers and consumers while redistributing the wealth to a few corporate players.

This is what comes from Washington steadily backstepping energy policy into the interventionist 1970s, picking winners and losers. In ethanol, in biodiesel, in wind farms, success isn't a function of supply or demand. The champs are the ones that coax out of Washington the best subsidies and regulations. Global warming is simply the biggest trough yet.

And we all remember how cheap and worry-free energy was back in the 70's, don't we.

Meanwhile, Krauth has a four word solution to the energy problem: Gas-tax, ANWR, nuclear. Yeah, sure...But how's that going to get you a plush office suite on K Street?

UPDATE: BTW, it's the coldest freakin' day of the year here in NoVa. Okay, so I took the day off for my birthday, but I still had to go outside to move the trash cans in. AlGore can kiss my frozen Llama backside.

Posted by Robert at January 26, 2007 09:38 AM | TrackBack

Happy Birthday! Yip!

Posted by: Ted at January 26, 2007 11:47 AM