EPA readies rules on CO2
Next month, if all goes according to plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will launch the most serious assault on American business since the 1970's. New regulatiosn governing the release of Carbon Dioxide will hit every corner of the economy, causing your electric bill to skyrocket (as promised by candidate Obama) and adding billions in costs to manufacturers and other businesses that generate CO2.
The move could produce a dramatic makeover of the power industry, shifting it away from coal-burning plants toward natural gas, solar and wind. While this is the big move environmentalists have been yearning for, it also has major political implications in November for a president already under fire for what the GOP is branding a job-killing “War on Coal,” and promises to be an election issue in energy-producing states such as West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana.
The EPA’s proposed rule is aimed at scaling back carbon emissions from existing power plants, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gases. It’s scheduled for a public rollout June 2, after months of efforts by the administration to publicize the mounting scientific evidence that rising seas, melting glaciers and worsening storms pose a danger to human society.
“This rule is the most significant climate action this administration will take,” said Kyle Aarons at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, one of a host of groups awaiting the rule’s release. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has urged the EPA to “go ahead boldly” with the rule, saying the agency must step in where Congress has refused to act.
But for coal country, the rule is yet another indignity for an industry already facing a wave of power plant shutdowns amid hostile market forces and a series of separate EPA air regulations. Coal-state Democrats like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin have joined the criticism, echoing industry warnings that the fossil fuel was crucial to keeping the lights on in much of the U.S. during this past brutal winter.
“You have another polar vortex next year, how many people will lose their lives?” Manchin asked at a POLITICO energy policy forum Tuesday.
Other red-state Democrats like Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s Senate race, have disavowed Obama’s EPA proposals — she denounced an earlier agency power plant rule as an “out-of-touch Washington regulation.” West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in November, complained last year that “this callous, ideologically driven agency continues to be numb to the economic pain that their reckless regulations cause.” And Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), a top Republican target this year, has voted with Republicans to hobble the agency’s rules.
The reason the administration is giving for these draconian rules is ridiculous:
Next month’s debut comes after a series of scientific reports warning about the rising seas, worsening storms and other havoc that global warming will bring to people around the world, including effects that have already started to appear in the U.S. The White House has spent months in a steady effort to call attention to those findings, as part of an outreach that included having Obama give one-on-one interviews with television meteorologists this month.
If the crisis is this dire, it's already too late.
Also, don't these people read what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is saying? There is no rise in sea level. Storms are no worse now than they were decades ago. The earth hasn't warmed in 17 years. If you're going to justify this action based on "climate change," why ignore the one international group of scientists who are charged by the UN to investigate?
The reason is that this is not about saving the earth. It is about control. Even if you accept the theory of global warming, there is no way you can prove that the measures being ordered by the EPA would reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by one, single molecule. That's because countries like China, who are building a coal burning electric plant every month - are not subject to any mandated reduction in CO2 emissions. Ditto for India. For every molecule of carbon dioxide we don't put into the atmosphere, someone else will do it for us.
In short, the rationale for burdening Americans with these new regs is non existent.