July 15, 2009
Cap and trade: The path to 'global governance'
It has been nearly one year since President Barack Obama spoke in Berlin as the presumptive Democratic nominee. There, he described himself as not merely a citizen of the United States, but as a "fellow citizen of the world." What was originally a rhetorical flourish has become a particularly revealing indicator of the president's sentiments on national sovereignty.
Look no further than Monday's seemingly unnoticed report from the American Petroleum Institute that oil and natural gas drilling activities in the U.S. fell nearly 46 percent in the second quarter from a year ago. Drilling now stands at the lowest level since 2003. A small portion of this change is attributable to the drop in the price of oil, but the elephant in the room is Obama-Waxman-Markey, the cap-and-trade anti-global warming energy bill that recently passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. Energy companies know that legislation is aimed directly at them and are reducing drilling operations accordingly.
And for what? This is a sacrifice that will force American consumers to pay much higher energy bills. Yet cap-and-trade proponents seem startlingly comfortable with the fact that no such sacrifice is ahead for the rest of the world. Al Gore happily announced that cap and trade would drive change through "global governance and global agreements." But these global agreements don't exist. In sworn congressional testimony, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency concedes that "U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels."
Unilateral U.S. actions, however, will affect U.S. competitiveness, sacrificing jobs, growth, opportunity and prosperity, quite possibly for generations to come. In other words, Obama has not hesitated to surrender U.S. sovereignty piecemeal to suit the global governance crowd. Yet this relish for global governance stops at the water's edge. The president hasn't demanded similar action from India and China. And nobody seriously expects him to do so, ever.
It should also be noted that Ken Salazar, Obama's interior secretary, has effectively slow-walked the bidding process for oil and natural gas exploration on the outer continental shelf along the U.S. coastline, and on federal lands in the West, to a near-halt. The U.S. has more than sufficient untapped oil, coal and natural gas resources to achieve Obama's endlessly repeated goal of energy independence. The problem is, his actions are putting U.S. energy producers and consumers in a straitjacket, while rivals like Russia, China and India watch in rapt -- and enthusiastic -- amazement.
Global governance must not take precedent over American sovereignty. Obama should be reminded that his first, sworn duty is to defend American sovereignty as established in the Constitution, rather than relegate authority to countries that have their own interests in mind.