In between waxing poetic about the coming climate apocalypse and exchanging no less than two dozen self-congratulatory praises for being such an awesome guardian of Planet Earth, Secretary of State John Kerry rejoiced during a panel discussion on climate change that a great American industry responsible for supporting hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs is “now bankrupt.”
At a screening of Leonardo diCaprio's new global warming film, "Before the Flood," Kerry lamented that it took this long for coal companies to go out of business – a fate brought on largely by President Obama’s aggressive environmental regulations – saying that it would have happened earlier if “big coal” hadn’t been so busy buying political support during Kerry’s time in the Senate.
“Big coal – which now, by the way, is bankrupt – spent enormous sums of money against other colleagues, scaring them and making it clear to them that they were going to have a very difficult re-election because of the funding mechanisms we have in America for our elections, and that’s why people backed off. We never got to that critical mass,” Kerry said of his past efforts on climate change.
“We were deprived of the opportunity to ever get a vote because not enough people felt compelled to move by this,” he whined. “They were compelled to move by fear.”
Or maybe it was because anyone with a shred of common sense knew an all-out assault on coal would devastate local economies, cause unemployment rates in many coal towns to skyrocket past repair and cost tens of thousands of miners their jobs, all without reducing CO2 emissions or significantly impact alleged climate change – a fact Obama’s own EPA was eventually forced to admit.
Keeping one foot perpetually lodged in his mouth, Kerry also praised Obama for getting around that pesky “checks and balances” problem, hailing the president for his ability to “circumvent Congress” (and its publicly-elected representatives) and make sweeping unilateral changes that have devastated large swaths of America’s energy sector.
President Obama put in place a national climate action program – a plan for America – and I think history is going to be very respectful of the way in which he has been able to circumvent Congress, who didn’t want to do anything, and so he’s really found what are the constitutional powers that he can exercise administratively, and he’s done administratively what he hasn’t been able to get out of Congress.
So whether it’s truck standards, efficiency standards for appliances, or set-asides of marine protection areas, or national parks and so forth, I think not since Teddy Roosevelt have we had a president who has been as forward-leaning on the environment as President Obama has been.