Do you remember the Obama years? Countless terrible ideas were put into policy for stupid reasons. Not least of those were environmental regulations that stifle economic growth. We’ve seen since Trump took over that removing those regulations was all we needed to get the economy churning again.
Still, one might consider a loss of money worthwhile if it made the earth a safer place. Unfortunately for Obama and his ilk, that’s not at all what happened. New reports show that the bulk of his policies were worse for the environment than doing nothing.
Now, I’m not using this to try to lecture you about climate change. But, for the sake of argument, we’ll assume that greenhouse gases are real and bad. Doing so will prove that everything Obama did as President was a lie — and a dangerous one at that.
Obama made it clear that he wanted to transform the energy industry. Under the guise of environmentalism, he invested heavily in alternative fuels. He also used unilateral regulation to force biofuels into many sectors.
The result is that today, you can scarcely find gasoline anywhere in the country that is without ethanol. The proposed theory behind the process is that ethanol is a better fuel in terms of greenhouse gases. The truth is not quite so favorable.
In 2011, a Congressional study showed that ethanol biofuels were not the promised savior in terms of environmental impact. The study made it clear that Obama’s policies had indeed increased ethanol biofuel consumption, but that it had actually had a net negative impact on the environment.
The first problem is with water pollution. Ethanol production produces phosphorus which is toxic and easily gets into water tables, and that happened on a large scale thanks to Obama.
Other problems were related to the agricultural production of ethanol. Soybeans and corn are the primary sources, and the study showed that ethanol demand had increased production of both crops in unfavorable ways. They contributed to soil degradation and increased water consumption.
The last thing the study showed is that ethanol usage led to a net increase in greenhouse gas production. It’s pretty simple. Ethanol does produce fewer emissions per gallon burned than some traditional fuels, but it produces so little power that you have to burn more of it. In the end, that led to a spike in greenhouse gases that wouldn’t have happened if Obama had left everything alone.
After reading the study, Obama doubled down on his policies and forced even more ethanol on the American people. A follow up study was released this summer, and it showed the exact same things. Obama’s ethanol policies had a net negative impact on all of the environmental factors he claimed to be combating.
If ethanol was Obama’s only failure, we could probably all let it slide. It’s only the beginning. Another effort from the 44th was to ramp up EPA oversight. He expanded the offices and budget and pushed them to meddle in more things. After eight years, they only had two significant accomplishments to their name.
One of those was the Animas River incident. In 2015, the EPA tried to clean up a mining site. If left alone, the metal toxins in the mine would never have hurt anyone. After the EPA meddled, they dumped over a million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River. That’s a major water source for thousands of people living in Colorado and New Mexico. After they ruined a major water source, they were charged with cleaning the river. They never did.
The other major accomplishment of Obama’s EPA was in Flint, Michigan. You might remember this one. The city government followed an EPA-approved plan to switch the city’s water supply. The result was widespread lead poisoning. When things went from bad to worse, the EPA took over the whole situation. Nothing was resolved for several years. It wasn’t until a new EPA chief in 2017 changed the approach that progress was finally made. And, in the summer of 2018, water samples finally tested to have safe levels of everything.
If you watch the news then you might know that California is battling the largest forest fire in the state’s history. That’s a pretty big deal. Climate change alarmists will tell you that it’s because hotter temperatures have increased dryness in the forests and made them more flammable. This is utter nonsense. California was far dryer a year and a half ago at the peak of their drought. There were fires then too, but they were contained. The truth is that California is currently enjoying the highest soil humidity levels they’ve seen in decades.
The real problem with forest fires was predicted years ago. Obama wasn’t the first president to go after loggers and foliage management, but he was the most recent. He doubled down on policies crafted by Al Gore in the 90s, and the result is that Californians are largely unable to do things that prevent the spread of fires. Controlled logging and general caretaking are essential to mitigating fire risk, and California has abandoned those practices. And, the result isn’t just a record fire. The fire is also releasing tons of toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It’s a pretty big disaster all around.
Easily Obama’s most dangerous approach to climate safety was in natural gas. Once again, purporting environmental safety, Obama went after natural gas production. The most prolific way was regulating fracking into the ground. Since fracking is the cheapest way to get natural gas, Obama’s regulations inflated prices. That led to a massive shift in burning coal and oil for the same purposes. The result is that greenhouse gas production ran away during the Obama Administration.
Since taking office, Trump overturned a number of those regulations and natural gas prices fell. As a result, the United States cut greenhouse gas production in 2017 by more than every single member of the Paris Climate Accord combined.
These are just the biggest stories. The truth is that Obama’s policies have proven to be bad for everyone at every turn. His flimsy justifications don’t hold. He said he was hurting the economy to save the environment. He said he signed a deal with Iran to prevent them from having a nuclear program. He claimed he bombed countless countries for the good of mankind. All of these claims have been proven to be equally false.
In the end, he hurt the economy, bungled foreign policy and trashed the environment for no discernable reason other than expanding his own power. Thanks Obama.