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Jan 23 2021

First Cigarettes, Next Energy

The average price of a pack of Marlboros in New York City is a staggering $15. In the 1950s, cigarettes nationwide averaged 25¢ per pack. This massive markup is due not only to the government taxing us by inflating the currency, but to the jihad waged against cigarettes, which has featured confiscatory levels of taxation and looting sprees posing as punitive lawsuits.

Some will have no problem with this, because cigarettes are bad for health. The problem is, once progressives get a whiff of power and money, they always want more.

Now the supposed threat to our health is energy. Liberal jurisdictions have already pushed this to the punitive looting stage. A case in point is Baltimore:

The city is suing ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and 20 other energy companies, citing strains on the city’s electric grid and the growing risk of extreme floods in low-lying neighborhoods and its popular inner harbor. Baltimore’s case is one of two dozen brought by states, counties, and cities that make similar claims.

It isn’t really about the polar bears. It is about money:

Rhode Island, like Baltimore, is suing a group of energy providers for climate-related harms. The oversight group Energy Policy Advocates obtained records from Rhode Island state officials under freedom of information laws showing that one goal of the lawsuit is to secure a “sustainable funding stream” for state spending priorities.

It is also about political power:

“The new generation of climate nuisance suits, just like its predecessor, ask the courts to substitute their authority for that of the political branches of government on matters of policy,” Energy Policy Advocates wrote in a brief to the justices. “Such suits seek billions of dollars in revenues for ambitious political spending programs, as well as distribution to preferred constituencies.”

The looters are trying to get these cases settled in regional courts that might be sympathetic, just as trial lawyers used to jury shop to achieve extravagant jackpot justice payouts at the expense of tobacco companies. Imagine the greed with which energy companies might be looted out of existence if it were up to the moonbats running hellholes like Baltimore.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court is likely to shoot down the Baltimore bid. A ruling is expected by summer.

Less fortunately, Biden pointedly left open the option of packing the Supreme Court. If the same guy who just shut down the Keystone XL pipeline packs the court with pawns, the price of energy will follow the same trajectory as the price of cigarettes. Unless you are rich, learn to like the idea of shivering in the dark.

There is zero possibility that this greed and tyranny will have a measurable impact on weather conditions, as if the climate were a problem anyway.

Hat tip: Maggie’s Farm.


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