Hedge fund hero Tom Steyer has pledged to donate as much as $100 million to "Green" candidates, so he is the latest progressive hero. On Sunday the Times engaged in a bit of pre-emptive hand-wringing about the fact hat he made part of his fortune from invesgtments in coal (better to cover this on a non-news holiday weekend than in the heat of the fall campaign).
The Powerline guys get a nod and a link but I found this admission from the Times to be shocking - they quote a friendly expert admitting thst Obama's war on coal will sock it to the middle class. Ooops!
Here we go. First, the set-up:
“I am disappointed, I have to say,” said Dale Jamieson, a professor of environmental studies at New York University, who said he admired Mr. Steyer’s campaign to curb climate change. When it comes to large-scale investments in coal, Professor Jamieson said, “you can’t undo what you’ve done in the past.”
And a bit later the throat punch:
But detractors see hypocrisy: As coal linked to Mr. Steyer’s previous investments burns in Asian power plants, he is spending a fortune earned from those investments to pursue a green agenda that would shutter similar plants in the United States.
“If my side wins, it will create real costs for ordinary working people,” said Professor Jamieson of N.Y.U. “Hits to their welfare will not be compensated by stacks of money.”
Unlike Mr. Steyer, he said, “they won’t have options.”
I'm reeling. Sure, Republicans say that sort of thing, but the Times? And it is not as if Obama has been candid about the inevitable intrusion of reality on his fine designs. Here he is announcing the latest risky coal scheme:
Now, special interests and their allies in Congress will claim that these guidelines will kill jobs and crush the economy. Let's face it, that’s what they always say.
But every time America has set clear rules and better standards for our air, our water, and our children’s health – the warnings of the cynics have been wrong. They warned that doing something about the smog choking our cities, and acid rain poisoning our lakes, would kill business. It didn’t. Our air got cleaner, acid rain was cut dramatically, and our economy kept growing.
These excuses for inaction somehow suggest a lack of faith in American businesses and American ingenuity. The truth is, when we ask our workers and businesses to innovate, they do. When we raise the bar, they meet it. When we restricted cancer-causing chemicals in plastics and leaded fuel in our cars, American chemists came up with better substitutes. When we phased out the gases that depleted the ozone layer, American workers built better refrigerators and air conditioners. The fuel standards we put in place a few years ago didn’t cripple automakers; the American auto industry retooled, and today, they’re selling the best cars in the world, with more hybrids, plug-in, and fuel-efficient models to choose from than ever before.
In America, we don’t have to choose between the health of our economy and the health of our children. The old rules may say we can’t protect our environment and promote economic growth at the same time, but in America, we’ve always used new technology to break the old rules.
So making coal power more expensive to prompt a shift away from coal power won't actually make power more expensive. Uh huh.