Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | January 21, 2009

Becky FengerBrowner back with a vengence

Like a bad penny, Carole Browner is back. This time she could wreak more havoc than she did as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for President Bill Clinton. As incoming White House energy/environment czar for President Barack Obama, Browner should be examined more closely than she has been by the press. (Well, one can always dream.)

In an article entitled “Browner: Redder than Obama Knows,” junk science watchdog and scholar Steven Milloy explains for us just what the discovery that Browner is a commissioner in an organization by the name of Socialist International means for our country. To wit: We’d all be paying more for our electricity.

Socialist International was founded in 1951 and has a definite anti-capitalist mission. Asserting that “capitalism has been incapable of satisfying the elementary needs of the world’s population” and blaming it for helping “the barbarism of the past to raise its head again in the form of Fascism and Nazism,” Socialist International takes no prisoners. Its adherents should be thrilled with the recent economic developments in the U.S., since it favors the nationalization of industry. Can a statue of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in the town square be far behind?

As Milloy notes, late last month Carbon Control News reported that Browner is a strong backer of utility “decoupling,” meaning that she wants to sever a utility’s profits from the amount of electricity it sells. This is all for the misguided purpose of preventing supposed global warming. Since producing less electricity would reduce a utility’s bottom line, Browner hopes to guarantee profits for the utility while it produces less.

Enter the beleaguered ratepayer and taxpayer. As Milloy points out: There are only two ways for the government to guarantee utilities a steadily increasing profit for selling less electricity. The first is to have consumers pay more for less electricity by means of higher electric rates. The second is to keep the rates steady while having taxpayers subsidize the guaranteed profits. Do I want to be eaten by a tiger or a shark? Gee, let me think.

Listen, if you are a bear, then be a grizzly. And if you’re a capitalist-hating socialist, be one proudly. Instead, less than a week after Browner was outed as a bigwig in Socialist International, the organization—- in true Leninist fashion—— stripped its Web site of her visage and any trace of her being their commissioner. Fengernails to such underhandedness as Socialist International gives a finger to Barack Obama’s beloved transparency. Will Americans demand an airing of this “decoupling” or will they ignore Browner’s “undermining of a basic principle of our economic system?”

Better yet, since Browner is so tied into collectivist thought, why doesn’t she take to heart Pravda’s dire warning two weeks ago of an impending ice age so severe as to cause European scientists to suggest she remove her metal earrings before they freeze to her face?

A little background on Carol Browner is in order. Her pet project was always the IM 240 vehicle emissions test. With a zealot’s fury, she forced the program upon areas of the country designated as “not in compliance” with the EPA’s arbitrary air quality standards.

Huge amounts of time and money were wasted testing clean new cars. In 2002 the EPA was forced to admit that there is no significant difference in average vehicle emissions in areas using IM 240 tests and areas without emissions testing programs. In a New York Times story, the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation declared their $590 million program to be a “mammoth boondoggle.”

Since that time, several other states have opted out of this testing, as allowed by law following these and other findings. Despite this knowledge, Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality signed a 7-year contract with Gordon-Darby Arizona Testing Inc. Well, guess what? Seven years have passed, and it’s time to renew the contract. Unless secret signings have already taken place, it’s not too late for us to jettison this folly. As citizens, we should demand that we will no longer submit to a test that is not worth the cost and substitute a better test for pollutants (like the latest generation of smog dogs that target the gross polluters as they drive by.)

Correction: In my Jan.14 column, I accidently identified Sheila Dixon as mayor of Philadelphia despite knowing that she is the mayor of Baltimore.