If Obama Triggers Blackouts, GOP Triggers Apocalypse
The accusation that Obama triggers blackouts may be unfounded, but climate deniers may well trigger a climate apocalypse.
Alex Jones and the site Infowars today fired a scathing accusation at the Obama Administration: “the rolling blackouts now being implemented in Texas and across the country as record cold weather grips the United States are a direct consequence of the Obama administration’s agenda to lay siege to the coal industry, launch a takeover of infrastructure under the contrived global warming scam, and help usher in the post-industrial collapse of America.”
The site insists that the power shortages incurred as a result of the extreme weather enveloping most of country in the Blizzard of 2011 are actually part of a plan on behalf of the Obama administration to bankrupt the coal industry and send the U.S. energy infrastructure toward disaster. “The Obama administration is conducting industrial warfare against the United States,” the site claims.
To back up their claim, they take twelve seconds—a single sentence—completely out of context from an interview President Obama gave in 2008 about the possibility of introducing a cap and trade system to curb carbon emissions.
Both the 12-second clip and a bigger segment of the interview that provides the full context are listed below. In the 12-second clip, Obama says, “So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
In the same interview, he says “The notion of ‘no coal,’ I think, is an illusion.” He discusses a hypothetical future in which cap and trade is imposed to motivate coal energy providers to figure out how to sequester and store their carbon emissions instead of releasing it into the environment. In that hypothetical future, coal providers who choose to dump all of their emissions into the environment instead of figuring out how to sequester them to provide “clean coal” energy would be bankrupted by stiff fees. He’s discussing establishing motivating markets, not bankrupting them.
In any case, we don’t have a cap and trade system. No legislation of the sort has been passed. In reality, Obama’s effectiveness at regulating traditional energy giants has been so small that his Administration couldn’t trigger rolling blackouts if they wanted to.
Infowars’ argument is all backwards: In reality, the energy policy that has allowed coal energy to spew ungodly amounts of emissiosn into the environment without any oversight has led to climate change, which led to this year’s brutal blizzard, which turn led to the blackouts.
The accusation that Obama triggers blackouts may be unfounded—but the climate deniers may well trigger a climate apocalypse.