- - Thursday, March 18, 2021

Americans freely give their time and money for worthy social objectives. President Biden has a new cause to champion: paying for the social cost of carbon. The supposed collateral costs of powering the nation with carbon-based fuels comes with a hefty, multitrillion-dollar price tag. His campaign to halt the use of affordable energy sources would make Americans poorer and lead to a future of deprivation.

One of Mr. Biden‘s first acts upon taking office was to authorize the creation of the so-called Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases. The group, composed of high-ranking administration officials, have wasted no time placing a price tag on U.S. greenhouse emissions: $9.5 trillion. With the social cost of the nation’s environmental malfeasance added up, the goal is to erect a massive regulatory regime over the economy that puts a lid on the emissions and erases their costs over time.

In short order, the president’s fellow Democrats in the House have stepped forward with their plan for going carbon-free: the Clean Future Act. The legislative proposal calls for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 on the way to creating a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

The bill calls for a host of drastic measures that include requiring retail electricity suppliers to provide 100% “clean” power by 2035, creating a $100 billion fund to support innovative energy technology, setting aside $2.5 billion for electric school buses and $500 million for public charging stations, and mandating numerous programs for the purchase of EVs and other “clean” products for government use.

If these actions were economical, Americans would already be taking them without the force of law. Fortunately for hardworking citizens, the attorneys general of 12 states are fighting back. Led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, they are suing the Biden administration over its creation of the interagency working group formed to justify Democrats’ “green” future.

The impact upon the U.S. economy would be more devastating than the supposed benefits, write the plaintiffs: “If the Executive Order stands, it will inflict hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars of damage to the U.S. economy for decades to come. It will destroy jobs, stifle energy production, strangle America’s energy independence, suppress agriculture, deter innovation, and impoverish working families. It undermines the sovereignty of the States and tears at the fabric of liberty.”

Families trying to make ends meet in a pandemic-pounded economic era can only hope that the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against the Biden climate-change working group prevails in its contention that the president’s diktat is unconstitutional.

Mr. Biden and his fellow Democrats have already cost Americans an extra 45 cents per gallon for gasoline. The Clean Future Act would push Americans further into the red. Washington’s climate-change solution is deprivation.

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