One president and founder of a coal mining company, who started his business in 1979, employs over 1,000 workingmen and women. He sees the Clean Power Plan (CPP) as a direct threat to the millions of dollars in investments he and his customers (power plants and mills) have already made to comply with the Clean Air Act. If implemented, the additional regulations of the CPP, “would force power plants to reduce carbon emissions to a level that is technically unachievable and would force the closure of coal fired power plants across our country.”
By Monica Morrill | October 6, 2015
EPA nominee, Regina McCarthy with President Obama/Source: CFACT.org
It’s time for a confession by regulators, and that’s not a consequence of the Pope’s recent visit to Washington, DC. With the burdens of Federal regulatory mandates, the fossil-fuel energy sector in the United States is beginning to weaken, with dire consequences throughout the American economy.
The fog of regulatory war is spreading from the Capitol and it is coercing state governments. The policy aggression this time is coming from the White House and the EPA, and the casualties are the working class and entrepreneurs alike.
But first, it helps to clarify that less than two years ago, one state, Pennsylvania, was on the right regulatory path. Former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Christopher Abruzzo wrote to EPA Administrator Regina McCarthy on April 10, 2014 explaining that Pennsylvania was recommending a framework for emissions guidelines:
- Making great strides in positioning “the state as a world leader in the energy economy.”
- Maintaining a “stable and diverse supply of electricity” to address economic demands and national security concerns.
- Proposing a “flexible” incentive framework solution to the challenges of reaching lower carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants.
- Empowering “states to design the most cost-effective compliance options for their constituents.”
The EPA and the White House’s response to Pennsylvania and many other states’ request to come to an agreeable solution has been countered with the Clean Power Plan (CPP), announced by President Obama on August 3, 2015.
A similar attempt has already failed in Congress. Obama tried to get Cap and Trade through Congress in 2009 while he then had a Democratic supermajority in the Senate. He still couldn’t get his Cap and Trade bill passed. Congress simply rejected the concept.
Now the EPA has joined Obama in an attempt to be the Legislators-in-Chief and it appears that they prefer an illegal option that massively oversteps their authority and ignores the expressed will of the Congress, which makes the laws as the legislative branch, but now it seems that this has become legislation by regulator.
So, the fact is, CPP is nothing more than a cloaked attempt to enforce regulatory Cap and Trade – this time without Congress’ permission. Obama and the EPA’s CPP are clearly an end run around the constitutional authority of the legislative branch.
Secondly, American families are already weakened from the Great Recession of 2008-09 and should not be further burdened by increases in their utility bills.
In Obama’s August 3rd speech, he said that special interest groups and their allies in Congress were “mobilizing to oppose” his Clean Power Plan – and he claimed a defeat of CPP would cost Americans money. The true fact: This CPP has already used taxpayer’s money – and it will cost Americans even more in the future if implemented.
To illustrate, Dr. Dayaratna, a Senior Statistician and Research Programmer used the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) to review the CPP’s economic impacts. He modeled his data based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s analysis and predicted that the electricity rates will increase at a cost of $2,000 per family in the year 2025. This obviously conflicts with what Obama claims his analysis shows. He says CPP “will save the average American nearly $85 a year on their energy bills.” Working families cannot afford to possibly save $85 per person every year, or pay an estimated $2,000 a year for a family of four. The risk from the CPP is too great.
As an economist, I understand that productivity is dependent on low-cost energy. If energy is not affordable, productivity suffers, it lowers the standard of living, and we will fail to achieve economic growth. If we do not aspire to economic growth, jobs are lost.
Questions must be asked: Why would rigorous Economic Impact Reports conflict with Obama’s promises? What is Obama’s record in his honesty regarding his own policies? What is the actual cost of the Clean Power Plan? How much money in government grants has been distributed to experts to promote the CPP? What sort of government waste has occurred to “save” Americans money?
The answers: No one has a convincing economic answer to any of the latter three questions.
Obama and the EPA are setting impossible parameters for businesses, individuals, and especially the working class. The EPA wants to improve the environment. That’s good. But I think it’s fair to say we all want to see a healthier atmosphere. But the question arises: ‘At what cost?’
Here’s a headline press release from the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance: “Pennsylvania Coal Industry Targeted With Continued Onslaught Of Federal Regulations.” Vilifying the coal industry has been Obama’s game because coal is the only threat as a low cost energy source to his unproductive renewable energy scheme.
We can’t play games on this issue.
Higher energy prices mean that states will either lose more manufacturing jobs to competitive states that have successfully rejected the CPP, or that those higher costs will be transferred to the consumer and hence a drop in demand, among other negative consequences.
Testimonies by the Casualties
Perhaps the most heartbreaking testimonies are from small, sometimes family owned businesses who are now taking notice of the EPA’s fog of regulatory war tactics, “I don’t exactly remember when the first time I heard some of the sanctions that were being proposed by the EPA against coal fired plants. Honestly, I probably didn’t give it much thought. How could this possibly affect me and my family?” But now this same family is against the CPP.
They are not alone. One president and founder of a mining company, who started his business in 1979, employs over 1,000 workingmen and women. He sees the CPP as a direct threat to the millions of dollars in investments he and his customers (power plants and mills) have already made to comply with the Clean Air Act. If implemented, the additional regulations of the CPP, “would force power plants to reduce carbon emissions to a level that is technically unachievable and would force the closure of coal fired power plants across our country.”
Lastly, Obama claimed broadly in his August 3rd speech, “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.” But then in the next breath, he quickly states his disclaimer: “While we can’t say any single event is entirely caused by climate change.”
This is classic double-speak. It’s how this White House covers fact with fiction. There is “the fog of war” – CPP is the fog of regulatory war.
Then, to link climate change to the doubling rate of children with asthma in Obama’s CPP launch speech is frankly, a desperate fabrication. Obama doesn’t mention that America’s ability to detect asthma in children has improved over time, putting into question the proper past diagnosis of asthmatic children; nor does he state that second-hand smoke could be a factor in increased asthma in children; nor does he even consider the CDC and health workers’ viewpoint that obesity in children can be linked to several childhood diseases, of which asthma is one. No, Obama simply states that because of climate change we’ve seen a doubling in asthmatic children. That is absurdity.
Just when one thinks that we couldn’t have a worse President, we consider that he might try to be a scientist, and find an equally frightening scenario. It’s “the fog of regulatory war.”
Monica Morrill is the co-author of: Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as Told by a Navy SEAL’s Father. She holds university degrees in Environmental Economics and Policy, Geography, and International Relations and writes about government policies. Ms. Morrill is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.