President Obama Issues Executive Order on Carbon Emissions and Industrial Efficiency

President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House in this file photo. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Between conservatives focusing all their attention on the successes/failures of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and the left having a meltdown over the supposed “racism” and unprecedented disrespect of Clint Eastwood’s “Empty Chair” routine, little attention has been given to an executive order issued last Thursday by President Barack Obama that targets industrial “efficiency” and carbon emissions.

“Today, we are taking another step to strengthen American manufacturing by boosting energy efficiency for businesses across the nation,” said President Obama.

“This action will cut costs, increase efficiency, and help our businesses create strong, middle class jobs.  We’ll continue to do everything we can to put more people back to work and build an economy that lasts,” he added.

The order, which aims to increase the number of cogeneration plants in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2020 and slash carbon emissions by 150 million tons per year, is the administration’s latest effort to “deploy cleaner and more efficient energy production in the country by working around political resistance to climate change and ‘green’ energy legislation on Capitol Hill,” Reuters reports.

“The Federal Government has limited but important authorities to overcome … barriers, and our efforts to support investment in industrial energy efficiency and CHP [Combined heat and power] should involve coordinated engagement with a broad set of stakeholders,” the order says.

Translation: If duly elected representatives of the people get in the way of “climate change” (formerly known as “global warming,” formerly known as “global cooling”) legislation, work around them.

“The man is legislating by presidential fiat!” conservative author and radio show host Mark Levin said Friday. “This is unconstitutional.”

The order dictates that the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency coordinate their actions to provide “policy and technical assistance” to states in order to ensure energy efficiency targets are being met.

What could possibly go wrong?

The order also “establishes a new national goal of 40 gigawatts of new combined heat and power capacity by 2020, a 50% increase from today,” according to a statement from the White House.

“Meeting this goal would save energy users $10 billion per year, result in $40 to $80 billion in new capital investment in manufacturing and other facilities that would create American jobs, and would reduce emissions equivalent to 25 million cars,” the statement adds.

Sure, it sounds nice and (like most things in this administration) it promises a great return on investment, but are there any possible downsides to this executive order?

“This is a fiat from on high for these utilities to change the way they process energy — an enormous capital expense and many of them are going to close down,” Levin argued. “And they only have eight years to do it as part of this ‘cap-and-trade,’ ‘green’ energy, ‘climate change’ bull crap.”

“You’re going to see your bills go up, up, and up some more. And you’re going to see brownouts and one day blackouts,” he added.

But more than the possible economic burden the order may cause, Levin takes umbrage with the fact that the president keeps issuing these types of orders.

“The fact of the matter is he doesn’t have the power to mandate this. We don’t have a king who decides, ‘you know what? You utilities, this is how you’re going to process energy.’ Imperial president! … [T]he very nature of our government, our very constitution is under attack,” Levin said Friday.

Read the full order here.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Front page photo source courtesy the AP. Audio clip courtesy Daily Rushbo.