President Obama's carbon tax is sure to hurt consumers

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: June 27, 2013

What's not in doubt is that Obama's policies will hurt consumers by arbitrarily forcing abrupt elimination of viable coal-fired power generation via government edict, not market forces. Public Service Co. of Oklahoma previewed that reality after federal regulators effectively forced the company to phase out its coal plants by 2026. This process will cost more than $350 million and increase customer rates by at least 11 percent starting in 2016. Tom Schroedter, Oklahoma executive director of Industrial Energy Consumers, warned the plan could “result in the largest single rate increase, to my knowledge, ever for PSO's customers in the company's 100-year history.”

The Obama plan would supersize that impact nationally. Higher prices for all; benefit for none.

Obama's focus on this issue is puzzling, and not simply because it won't impact global warming. Polling shows voters rank many issues ahead of global warming and environmental concerns. An April poll by Rasmussen Reports found that likely U.S. voters ranked the environment behind the economy, health care, job creation, government ethics, government spending, taxes, Social Security, education, small business, gun control, immigration, national security and energy.

So Obama is trying to “solve” a low-priority voter issue in a way that could negatively impact voters' actual top issue, the economy. Obama's plan isn't simply a solution in search of a problem. It's worse. This is an expensive nonsolution to a problem that may not even exist, implemented in a way that will create genuine economic harm.

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