Friday, June 25, 2010

Martin O'Malley's Energy Policies: Dumb, Green, and Dangerous.

Martin O’Malley’s "goofy, "absurd," prevarication linking Bob Ehrlich to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a deflection away from jobs and the economy the central issues of the 2010 election.

After all, where is the logic in attacking Ehrlich for his support for more oil—a substance that has brought the world unparalleled prosperity and is the building block for many items we use on a daily basis.

Under Martin O’Malley though, prosperity is a lost artifact. O’Malley’s soak the rich tax policies are driving out the entrepreneurial class, who create jobs. Data compiled by the Baltimore Business Journal shows that while Maryland gained a net of 31,200 jobs over the last decade, the state shed 91,100 under O’Malley’s tenure compared to a gain of over 98,000 under Ehrlich.

However, since we’re talking about energy though let’s examine O’Malley’s vaunted green energy agenda and how it will further harm Maryland’s economy and kills jobs.There are, of course, O’Malley’s energy taxes: increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard and participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (a regional cap and trade system). However, O’Malley reeled in the big fish of his agenda in 2009 when the General Assembly passed the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act. The GHG Act was written by environmental special interests based on sham recommendations from a climate commission report paid for and written by those same special interests.

A Beacon Hill Institute peer review of the commission report written by the global warming alarmist advocacy group Center for Climate Strategies revealed:

1. CCS failed to quantify benefits in a way that they can be meaningfully compared to costs;

2. When estimating economic impacts, CCS often misinterpreted costs to be benefits; and

3. The estimates of costs left out important factors, causing CCS to understate the true costs of its recommendations…

The CAP report provides zero guidance to policy makers regarding the desirability of policies aimed at reducing GHG emissions. It fails to perform the most basic task of any cost-benefit analysis–quantifying both the costs and benefits in monetary terms so that they can be directly compared. The analysis mistakes costs for benefits. Astonishingly, the report posits net economic savings from policies intended to reduce GHG emissions without counting the value of those reduced emissions. Unfortunately for Maryland policy makers, these same three problems plague the CAP report, rendering it unsuitable for making any informed policy decisions.


Yet O’Malley and the Democrats championed legislation based on this flawed (read cooked) report. The GHG Reduction Act calls for the Maryland Department of the Environment to create a plan to meet impossible to achieve goal of a 25 percent reduction in 2006 greenhouse gas levels by 2020. The law also specifically states the plan must “produce a net economic benefit to the state’s economy and a net increase in jobs in the state,” in addition to maintaining affordable and reliable fuel and electricity. The law specifically targets transportation and electricity production for reductions.

Everything we know about carbon reduction schemes tells us they are job killers and have no effect on carbon emissions or global temperature. The European Union has had the most progressive climate policies in place since the mid 1990s and yet they have achieved no effect on Co2 emissions and in Spain every “green job” created kills two other jobs.

As it did with information about the state’s climate commission, O’Malley’s MDE is stonewalling public information requests on which special interests are writing the law’s regulations. Since O’Malley’s MDE isn’t down with the new mood of transparency sweeping state government, we don’t have any potential GHG reduction plan to analyze. However, we can glimpse any potential impact on the state’s economy by looking at the effects of the Waxman-Markey federal cap and trade legislation on Maryland:

Reduction of gross state product by $10.35 billion
Destroy 17,781 jobs
Raise electricity rates over $820 per household
Raise gas prices by $0.64 per gallon

Now keep in mind even if Maryland ceased all GHG emissions it would produce a climatically meaningless two thousandths of a degree reduction on global temperature by the end of the century. The GHG Act falls well short of that mark.

Simply put, Martin O’Malley’s green agenda inflicts all economic pain for no environmental gain. .

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