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President Obama’s reported end-run around Congress to seek an international agreement to cut carbon emissions could be the opening shot in a larger executive-action scheme that could see billions spent on the so-called clean energy sector.
The New York Times reported Obama is seeking to sign the sweeping international agreement in Paris in 2015. The treaty would require nations to cut their emissions or face political and other consequences.
Obama is attempting to sidestep the constitutional requirement for a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate before signing any binding treaty.
To do so, he is devising what the New York Times ambiguously described as a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions, instead of a legally binding deal.
The treaty may not be the only coming attempt to bypass Congress on so-called climate change.
Last year, the White House named Center for American Progress Founder John Podesta to the position of “counselor” to focus largely on climate issues.
Podesta’s work and some recent White House moves may be telling.
In January, the White House announced a presidential memorandum establishing a Quadrennial Energy Review.
The announcement said the new review will focus on how to implement new energy policy for the nation’s “infrastructure for transporting, transmitting, and delivering energy.”
It will offer recommendations that could result in “additional executive or legislative actions to address the energy challenges and opportunities facing the Nation,” the White House said.
The review will collect input from “nongovernmental, environmental, faith-based, labor, and other social organizations; and contributions from the academic and non-profit sectors” in addition to governmental recommendations.
While Obama’s Quadrennial Energy Review was widely covered by news media, largely unmentioned is that the review apparently is executive implementation of legislation that twice failed to pass.
The presidential memo is largely a rehash of the Quadrennial Energy Review Act of 2013 introduced by Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and left in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The website Govtrack.us gave the bill a 29 percent chance of getting past committee and 4 percent chance of being enacted.
The Quadrennial Energy Review was one of the recommendations made last March by Obama’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.
The new review was announced days after Podesta assumed his new role as White House counselor. Podesta’s emphasis reportedly includes environmental issues.
Solyndra corruption madness coming to your neighborhood
Podesta has been spearheading a push for massive new federal funds to finance local “clean energy” projects nationwide, as WND previously reported.
A review of recent Center for American Progress, or CAP, research papers finds specific plans for the Commerce Department to finance so-called clean energy projects throughout the nation.
Last December, Podesta’s CAP released a 32-page paper, “The Green Industrial Revolution and the United States: In the Clean Energy Race, is the United States a Leader or a Luddite?” The paper recommended new “clean energy” manufacturing projects be funded.
The paper was also sponsored by the Institute for America’s Future and the BlueGreen Alliance, formally known as the Apollo Alliance.
Obama’s controversial former “green” jobs czar, Van Jones, is on the board of all three groups, the Institute, CAP and the BlueGreen Alliance. Jones resigned from the White House in 2009 after it was exposed that he founded a communist revolutionary group.
Jeff Jones, who heads the BlueGreen Alliance’s New York branch, is a former top leader of the Weathermen terrorist organization, while Alliance associate Joel Rogers is a founder of the socialist-oriented New Party.
Podesta’s new “Green Industrial” report, meanwhile, is mostly a rehash of an extensive CAP recommendation paper titled “Regional Energy, National Solutions: A Real Energy Vision for America.”
The new report asserts the U.S. “would greatly benefit from fostering a regional approach to clean energy.”
The report argues strongly for a new “set of national policies that provide a framework for this regional action: a price on carbon, a true national clean energy standard, certainly and stability in the alternative energy tax credit market, and strong support for advanced energy manufacturing, to name the most critical.”
The report provides what it sees as an “alternative, sustainable vision” for each of the six major multi-state regions of the country, with each vision based on what is perceived as the region’s unique strengths.
Namely, “offshore wind off the Atlantic, solar in the Pacific, advanced vehicles in the Midwest, smart grid in the Southeast, large-scale renewables in the Mountain West, and coastal restoration in the Gulf states.”
One of the main objectives of the CAP report is to advocate use of the Commerce Department as the central agency for funding so-called clean energy regional projects.
States the report: “With solid leadership and increased capacity, Commerce could be the central department ensuring that energy programs out of the Department of Energy, environmental programs out of the Environmental Protection Agency, and workforce training and standards programs out of the Department of Labor, all work together to support regionally specific economic development plans that will help America consolidate global leadership in the green industrial revolution.”
Federal ‘green’ bank
The new CAP report builds on a second CAP action paper from 2011 that calls for the founding of a federal “green” bank or “Energy Independence Trust.”
The trust would borrow from the federal treasury to provide low-cost financing to private-sector investments in “clean energy.”
The trust aims to hold sufficient reserves to protect the Treasury Department from loan losses and would offer a variety of debt- and equity-based financial instruments, loan guarantees and tax incentives to draw a wave of private capital into the so-called clean energy sector.
Obama himself signaled support for the “green” bank trust concept in his February 2013 State of the Union. He used the address to announcement what he called an Energy Security Trust.
He said the trust will “drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”
Obama did not go into more detail about the composition of such a trust.
In a conference call in December presenting the new CAP paper to reporters, Kate Gordon, senior fellow with the Center for American Progress, claimed, “Ninety-seven percent of scientists believe the world is warming due to human behavior.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, participated in the CAP conference call.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.