POLITICAL THEATER: News reports hailed President Obama’s “historic” greenhouse gas agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping. What China says and what it does may be two different things.
By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. — China’s agreement to reduce coal emissions isn’t worth the paper it was printed on, an energy research group says.
Noting that Beijing made no binding promises, the Institute for Energy Research said President Obama “got swindled” during his appearance with Chinese leaders Wednesday.
The swindle ultimately hits the American taxpayer.
“The president is making costly promises that will hurt Americans in the long run,” said Chris Warren, communications director for IER in Washington, D.C.
Rules enacted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will shut down 72 coal-fired electric plants across the nation over the next decade. The move will eliminate enough gigawatts to power 44.7 million U.S. homes.
China’s pledge to curb coal contradicts that country’s energy policy, which depends on the black ore for cheap power. Significantly, none of Beijing’s cohorts in the international BRICS alliance — Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa — have joined the anti-coal push.
When Obama attended the U.N. Climate Summit in September, neither China nor India sent their leaders.
“The U.N.’s summit platform included an energy agenda that aims to limit greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of costly, ineffective renewable technologies and energy efficiency standards,” reported the Economic Times.
“China and India recognize that this agenda will raise electricity and gasoline costs, unfairly stifle their nations’ economic growth and leave their citizens worse off,” the Times concluded.
To prod China — which generates massive amounts of air pollution that drift daily across the East China Sea to Korea — and to stick his thumb in the eye of the new Republican Congress, Obama ramped up his call for more government funding of renewable energy ventures. That includes taxpayer subsidies for controversial solar and wind projects.
“It will happen with the support of the U.S. government and American companies,” assured the left-wing Mother Jones magazine.
“China is doing this with its eyes wide open,” said Scott Morris, a policy analyst at the Center for Global Development. “It’s a complicated issue, and it reflects self-interest” of the Chinese leadership.
Meantime, the European low-carbon model copied by Obama is reversing course in Germany. That country is now back to building coal-fired electric plants.
While the mainstream media trumpeted the president’s China trip – USA Today declared “Obama clears the air on climate-change deal with China” – Warren said the Beijing gambit was more style than substance. “With the repudiation of president’s policies in the election, this was a photo-op for him. Obama was saying, ‘I don’t need you, Congress.’”
Kenric Ward is a national correspondent for Watchdog.org. Contact him at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward