Republicans made a promise to American taxpayers that no money would go toward the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF), yet the new $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled this week has earmarks that do the exact opposite. In exchange for lifting the ban on exporting oil to other countries, the new budget would allow President Obama to shunt millions of taxpayer dollars into the UN’s slush fund to fight global warming. This is causing a bit of an uproar on Capital Hill, but few see a chance to put the brakes on a spending bill that would keep the government running. Not before Christmas, at least.
Expected to be voted on Friday, the bipartisan spending bill wending its way through congress puts no limitations on how the president can spend money from certain earmarks. Senator Rubio told Fox News Channel today that this omnibus bill is being “rushed” and “rammed down people’s throat” and he “plans to slow it down.” A slower pace, he says, will allow more Americans to learn what’s in the trillion dollar spending bill and voice their opposition to congressional representatives. But with the clock ticking, a majority could overrule any amendments or objections and force it through anyways.
Coming on the heels of the largely symbolic and toothless global warming “accord,” which is not legally binding, Democrats are using the latest budget bill to spend taxpayer money to fast-track the latest UN accord. Even India, which is the fourth largest emitter of CO2 (coming in after the European Union, which is a collection of countries), said “India’s contribution to global greenhouse gases emissions was just 2.5 percent,” while “developed countries contributed a fifth of emissions with just 5 percent of the world’s population.” Hence it plans to double coal output despite the recent climate deal.
To get around Republicans’ insistence it would not participate in the UN’s GCF, the bill earmarks “$170,680,000 to the Clean Technology Fund and another $49,900,000 to the Strategic Climate Fund. The bill also hands out $168,263,000 to the Global Environment Facility.” But the bill allows the president to divert the money to the UN’s GCF, giving him (and Democrats) a blank check to go on a legacy-building spending spree. According to American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle, the bill actually “strengthens Obama’s ability to pursue his climate agenda at the expense of poor and middle class families.”
But Democrats and the U.N. are not the only beneficiaries. The spending bill also includes and renews subsidies for companies that produce “everything from green energy to electric cars.” As the Daily Caller reported yesterday, wind and solar aren’t the only ones making out like bandits on this free-for-all spending bill that promises something for everyone this Christmas. If you own a biofuel company, you’ll get “massive tax breaks from Congress,” thanks to lobbyists who have powerful sway over both parties.
Whether selling or buying, electric car makers and consumers will also make out like gangbusters with this new spending bill. Companies will get tax credits for having alternative fuel stations (e.g., charging stations) to the consumers who actually purchase an e-vehicle. Interestingly, the electricity these cars gobble up comes from what environmentalists call “dirty” fossil fuels.
That’s based on the current mix of energy that generates electricity (data available for 2014) in the United States. Because wind and solar is spotty and unreliable, it makes up roughly 5 percent of America’s energy portfolio. Hydro fares a little better at 6 percent, but the bulk of our power still comes from coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy, in that order.
Even coal and natural gas companies are getting tax relief for “producing energy and implementing safety programs.” If you want to make your home more green, you can thank congress for subsidizing your contractor who will get your hard-earned money as well as a a tax credit, just not you. So when you hear the presidential candidates talking about tax reform, look no further than the current spending bill full of waste and being rushed through congress by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R).
Most of the Republican presidential hopefuls say they are going to repeal every single tax credit and loophole, but they are actually beholden to the laws congress puts in place. “Speaker Ryan promised to change the way the House does business, but this bill is just more of the same backroom deals, out-of-control spending, and special interest handouts we’ve come to expect from Washington.” Pyle writes. “This deal is a terrible beginning for Speaker Ryan and is a tacit admission that comprehensive tax reform is dead, deader, deadest.”
Pyle also said in his emailed statement that the new spending bill is an enormous giveaway to big business and special interests. To get all these green goodies stuffed in the bill, Republicans were able to eliminate the 40-year-old ban on oil exports instituted during the oil crisis. “Republican leadership paid too high a price, capitulating on nearly every demand from the Left. Extending corporate handouts to the wind and solar industry will cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars and hike electricity prices on middle class Americans, all while putting a down payment on Obama’s climate agenda.”
And Paul Driessen, a senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, said the bill is “despicable when the energy policies are based on lies and fraud about ‘dangerous man-made climate change,’ and on blatant crony corporatism” where “taxpayer subsidies to companies” are then used to “make campaign contributions to helpful legislators.”
Is it any wonder, Driessen continues, why voters are “spitting mad” and “outsiders” are more popular in the current presidential race than more experienced, lifelong politicians struggling in the polls? Solar and wind need these subsidies so they don’t go into bankruptcy, at least until we reach a carbon-free future, which is unlikely to happen in the next 100 years. When less-developed countries signal they plan to bring their nations out of poverty, so that every person has access to affordable energy, clean drinking water, and higher standards of living, wind and solar just aren’t going to cut it.