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The threat of climate change.
Knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.
Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report I'm -- Yugo that was President Obama.
In his inaugural address Monday promising to make global warming.
A top priority and a second term it's an issue.
That sure to bring some fierce policy showdowns the first of which may come over the keystone XL oil pipeline which has been under review since 2008.
Governor Dave Heineman approved a revised root for the pipeline through Nebraska.
This week the final hurdle to the project at the state level.
And 53 senators including nine Democrats.
Sent a letter to the white house on Wednesday urging President Obama to expedite its approval.
Joining the panel this week Wall Street Journal assistant editorial page editor James Freeman senior economics writer Steve Moore.
And Washington columnist Kim -- also -- Where did that come from I don't remember.
Climate change being something the president talked about a lot in the campaign if at all.
It's sort of the sort of issue and not even wait for the state of the union -- in the end not -- drafts.
So what's going on -- politically.
Letting some of us and did think this was coming remember this was a high priority of his back in 2008 when he campaigned.
But they got beat up on it they lost that fight in 2009.
So they decided to put it aside.
And and not talk about -- the election here we are back with his promise and what was more interesting too is not only did he make that promise but you had.
So like Barbara -- Barbara Boxer who is the senator from California have big climb -- person and she gave some details too about how they intend to pursue this namely they're gonna go -- the EPA.
To do a big carbon regulation program and they are also thinking of putting in place a carbon -- Acts and well we'll talk a little bit about that Steve so is this really a regulatory -- and I don't think cap and trade the old.
The -- program can pass even a democratic senator couldn't the first time when they controlled everything.
Yeah there's a there's a reason that President Obama but almost never mention the words climate change and cap and trade -- -- the campaign.
-- that's because -- political losers they're big tax increases on workers on union workers at manufacturing workers.
And so the Democrats have avoided that issue now that they've won this election they have sort of sprung people.
I still don't believe the boats are they are in the United States senate and -- To pass anything like either of the carbon tax or by the way the Democrats are also talking about maybe an energy tax like -- gasoline that.
There's no political support there and that's why I think Kim is right if they're gonna do this it's gonna have to be through the regulatory angle basically trying to outlaw and I am confident.
And that way -- that but then James why mention it so prominent was this sort of of a bait and switch for the environmentalists see you mentioned it rhetorically and you say oh boy I'm really behind you.
And then and -- in policy terms you don't give them.
Well they're they're maybe some big -- -- I think this is the QB doesn't need to get anything through the congress.
As the the Potomac watch column -- -- Friday's journal that's what about the and so are against Russell so well the there's a lot of regulatory authority they think they have court to a decision a few years ago.
Empowers them to regulate carbon they think they're off to the races here so this suggests to me that may -- the play is.
-- all of the business community expecting in approval of the Keystone Pipeline.
The president might approve the pipeline.
But then it really ratchet down on the use of the oil going through that pipeline that I I think he might be able to sit and I was having to do that.
And I'm gonna build this thing went which I don't think there's a lot of oil that's gonna go through well.
Certainly the people who want that -- are expecting a big market but if he's at the at the end of that pipeline once it goes out to the economy.
If the president is severely restricting -- use -- it's used in transportation and manufacturing as a as senator boxer has said I think he could say the environmentalists like the the end user is gonna get hit hard here we're gonna reduce this energy consumption and maybe he goes -- and provides those construction jobs with the pipeline is that.
Don't like -- -- -- a related point here -- about the pipeline and -- change because.
You know it's interesting if you really if you really care about global warming you wanna reduce carbon emissions.
There is no question -- the most important thing America could do would be to transition towards natural gas which we have a huge abundance out it is cheap it's it's it is a -- in the United States and it does not met met very many carbon into the atmosphere and up a lot to the guys that joke and we need pipelines to get the natural gas to the market.
It's sad because natural gas would take the place of coal which is on my right exact carbon that's -- and especially in terms of utilities like electricity.
Kim is that the play what -- train was talking about the trade of maybe get keystone.
Allow fracking to go ahead by the impose a carbon tax here which would be potentially a huge revenue raiser.
But if you start small.
On it you still get raise a lot of money but over time you can ratchet that thing -- You have to assume that that's the -- when play for the president because look what he's got a balance here is making his environmental left happy.
Which she did by putting out there the comment that they're gonna address climate the climate threat.
But he's also sitting on top of this energy -- songs in the country this of this huge new boom in natural.
Gas and -- we saw on the election he wanted to take some credit for that.
So one way you could potentially -- -- releasing did you do green light some of these natural gas -- projects and oil projects and on the other end.
You do try to get an energy tax out of it or something that makes it look as though you are.
You're ratcheting down on -- -- and you get the bonus of a huge new revenue stream for that -- -- country.
To see briefly hearing it Democrats are or are Republicans gonna go along -- this would they buy an energy tax.
If the president really pushes it.
I'll help now we're happy I don't think it gets any Republican -- -- -- like.
You know the president talks he's gonna caucus state of the union but we knew -- more investment we need more infrastructure in this country you know it got an infrastructure project by the way about it doesn't cost the government virtually indictments all private sector they add up there appalling and it makes our sons.
All right we sure hope he -- all right still ahead.
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