The Conservative Corner – November 2014

The Conservative Corner

By Martita Noon


United-states-constitutionEPA Clean Power Plan: All pain – no gain for American jobs and energyA diverse coalition, has sprung up in opposition to the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Yet most people are unaware of the potential impacts or of the deadline for public comment. This week’s column was written to make it easy to add your voice.

The CPP will radically alter the way electricity is generated in America. It is based on the discredited theory that climate change is a crisis caused by the use of fossil fuels emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It aims to reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The combination of the CPP and previous regulation will shut down more than 40 percent of coal-fueled generation—representing 10 percent of all electricity-generation capacity. What will this forced, premature elimination of America’s electric capacity do? 

The proposed EPA plan will seriously threaten America’s electric reliability—Unless the EPA backs down on its harsh regulations and coal-fueled power plants get a reprieve, blackouts are almost guaranteed. During the 2014 “polar vortex” that crippled the U.S., the Northeast narrowly dodged severe blackouts that could have resulting in freezing deaths. Many of the power plants that produced that power are scheduled to be shuttered. This is before the projected closure of an additional 75 megawatts of coal-fueled electricity generation due to the new regulations. If McCarthy was serious when, prior to the release of the proposed regulations, she stated: “Nothing we do can threaten reliability,” she’d withdraw this plan, as it will do just that.

The proposed EPA plan will chase away more American industry

While the CPP appears to be about forcing the power sector into reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, there are spillover impacts of higher electricity rates on overall economic activity—especially energy-intensive industries such as steel, manufacturing, and chemicals. America’s abundance of affordable, reliable energy provides businesses with a critical operating advantage in today’s intensely competitive global economy. If industry continues to leave the U.S., emissions will increase as companies move to countries with cheaper energy due to lax environmental regulations.

The proposed EPA plan will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs

In late July, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International President Edwin D. Hill said: “If these rules are implemented as written, dozens of coal plants will shut down and with no plans to replace them, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost and global carbon emissions will rise anyway.” Investor’s Business Daily reports: “The IBEW has now joined the United Mine Workers of America [UMWA], the Boilermakers and several other unions opposed to the new anti-carbon rules.” The UMWA has estimated that the rule will result in 187,000 direct and indirect job losses. No wonder the economy is sluggish and the jobs picture continues to be bleak.

The proposed EPA plan will cause harsh economic consequences while having virtually no impact on the reported goal of stopping global climate change—From increased energy costs to job losses, the CPP will further damage the economy. Carbon dioxide emissions from countries—such as China and India—are projected to grow by nine billion tons per year. Our reductions in 2030 would offset the equivalent of just 13.5 days of carbon-dioxide emissions from China alone. The CPP will become the definition of “all pain and no gain.”

Take a few minutes now to add your comments: Use the above suggestions, customize them as you please, and send them on to the EPA. For America to grow, we need energy that is effective, efficient, and economical, rather than that which is threatened by the EPA’s flood of excessive and burdensome regulations.


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