- - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The biggest excuse made for crony capitalism is that it’s necessary to fight global warming and climate change.

Lest the Earth catch on fire, government mandates and subsidies have created multimillionaires (including Al Gore) from those who cash in. Then the lucky recipients recycle that cash to support the politicians who provide taxpayer money to their green cronies.

Not only is the agenda a threat to consumers (since “green” energy is the most expensive kind), but now it’s a threat to global health.

Federal regulators have been instructed by President Obama that even global anti-poverty and anti-disease programs must slow down or stop so they can first divert their time, effort and money to his green agenda. That makes foreign aid more expensive and less effective.

It’s “an unnecessary hurdle” according to an official of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who spoke anonymously to London’s Daily Mail. But American media ignored the story. The CDC official said the new bureaucracy is threatening to undermine or at least slow the fight against the outbreak of Ebola.

Despite an 18-year absence of global warming, Mr. Obama insists that it’s still the world’s biggest threat. He told the United Nations this week it ranks above terrorism, hunger, poverty and disease. Even as he spoke, however, the National Academy of Science published a new official study from government scientists.

SEE ALSO: Obama to announce new executive action in climate speech

Poring over data since 1900, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington found that 80 percent of climate change on the West Coast is due to natural causes and was not caused by humans. If even California is safe, then everybody else surely is also.

Yet in November, 2013, Mr. Obama issued Executive Order #13653 to federal agencies, subordinating domestic policy to his climate change agenda. This week’s new executive order extends that new priority to international policy and foreign aid.

Mr. Obama’s new order doesn’t mention Ebola, but does cite fighting malaria as one global priority that must take a back seat to his climate agenda. According to a White House information sheet, “Investments in areas as diverse as eradicating malaria, building hydropower facilities, improving agricultural yields and developing transportation systems will not be effective in the long term if they do not account for impacts” that the president attributes to global warming.

Tell that to the 1.4 million people that CDC estimates will be hit by the current Ebola outbreak. Victims don’t want to be told, “Sorry, we can’t send help until we do an environmental impact study. It’s orders from the White House.”

Executive orders are but the tip of the iceberg. In the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress, a top Obama priority will be to provide billions more in subsidies for his friends. They are the millionaires who profit handsomely from the mandates and subsidies that raid the federal treasury while sending electric bills soaring for consumers and businesses.

For example, the Production Tax Credit expired at the end of 2012, but Mr. Obama and liberal Democrats want to revive it — retroactively — when Congress returns from its election break. In addition to increasing your electric bills, the estimated direct cost to taxpayers is $12 billion.

This tax credit gives money to anyone who starts a wind or solar energy project — even if they don’t finish it. It’s a gold mine for the wealthy. As Warren Buffett said, “On wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

The wind itself is free but it’s not constant, and it lacks the concentrated power contained in fossil fuels. This is why mandates that electric companies use wind and solar power increase electric bills for consumers and businesses. If they saved money, the technology wouldn’t need government subsidies or mandates for utilities to use them.

Now Mr. Obama wants to impose this not only on the domestic front but now in foreign policy as well. We spend plenty on foreign aid already. Adding in the costs of crony capitalism and the red tape of the climate change agenda will mean foreign aid will cost taxpayers more than ever.

Ernest Istook is a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma. Get his free email newsletter by signing up at eepurl.com/JPojD.

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