Heartland Institute Experts React to Published EPA ‘Clean Power Plan’

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The Environmental Protection Agency Friday published its “Clean Power Plan” in the Federal Register, setting off 60 days of official public comment and challenges. The following are comments from scholars at The Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank based in suburban Chicago.

Isaac Orr, Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute

Make no mistake, Clean Power Plan mandates will raise electricity prices for low-income families, who already spend a disproportionately large amount of their income on energy.

The Environmental Protection Agency Friday published its “Clean Power Plan” in the Federal Register, setting off 60 days of official public comment and challenges.

The Clean Power Plan represents the first federal rules limiting the emission of carbon dioxide from existing power plants. The rule aims to reduce CO2 emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 to stop what the Obama administration sees as dangerous, human-caused global warming.

The following statements from environment and energy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely(at)heartland(dot)org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“President Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulations are just like his stimulus package: expensive and completely ineffective.

“These regulations will cost billions of dollars and result in zero meaningful improvement to the environment. One analysis, which uses EPA’s own climate models, found this rule would, at best, prevent 0.018 degrees Celsius in potential future warming by 2100 – and this figure was so small, it was within the margin of error, meaning it could actually have the opposite effect.

“Make no mistake, Clean Power Plan mandates will raise electricity prices for low-income families, who already spend a disproportionately large amount of their income on energy, and saddle our nation’s economy with more expensive, growth-killing regulations, all for zero environmental benefit.

“Sadly, the CPP is just another example of political grandstanding.”

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
iorr(at)heartland(dot)org
312/377-4000

“Now the real battle begins. The publication of the rules in the Federal Register should improve the chances states can get an injunction in federal courts halting enforcement of the new rules. An injunction is warranted so our federal courts can determine whether the rules are constitutional or go beyond the bounds set by the Clean Air Act.

“The Clean Power Plan will do nothing to protect public health or the environment, but it will cripple the economic competitiveness of the United States compared to India, Brazil, and China – who are not constrained in their power use – and will cause lost jobs and diminished lives here at home. One can only hope for court action, or the next administration, to overturn this foolish, anti-human, policy.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
hburnett(at)heartland(dot)org
800/859-1154

“When you break down the Clean Power Plan to its core, it is simply this: federal energy efficiency standards that will apply to the generation of electricity on a state-by-state basis. The goal, such as it is, of the Clean Power Plan is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per megawatt of electricity generated in each state (except for Vermont, which doesn’t generate any power other than all the hot air spewing from Bernie Sanders). Because electricity generated by coal combustion emits more carbon dioxide per megawatt than any other form of generation, the Clean Power Plan is, de facto, a program to reduce the number of coal-fired power plants in the United States.

“But the fact is that coal has become an ever smaller part of our electric generation portfolio because of the myriad EPA regulations targeting coal that preceded the Clean Power Plan and made all but the most efficient coal-fired power plants economically infeasible to operate. The Clean Power Plan simply recognizes that unfortunate reality. It will accomplish absolutely nothing that would not have happened without it, except for creating another pile of pointless bureaucratic paperwork of which the EPA is so fond.”

Richard J. Trzupek
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute
rtrzupek(at)trinityconsultants(dot)com
312/377-4000

“In attempting to justify the Clean Power Plan, EPA Administrator McCarthy said, ‘The first year these standards go into effect, we’ll avoid up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks – and those numbers go up from there.’ These numbers are totally false. No one knows what causes asthma attacks – the cause varies for different people.

“Higher electricity prices cause the less fortunate to forgo health benefits of heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. This leads to unnecessary illnesses and deaths. Can EPA prove the benefits of decreased carbon dioxide output in electricity generation, which will cause price escalation, override the risks of reduced electricity availability? It is relatively simple to show 33,000 death certificates annually due to automobile accidents. Can EPA produce one death certificate they claim is due to carbon dioxide? Can one death certificate be produced saying a child died from asthma due to carbon dioxide? I think not. However, in the future, we may be able to show death certificates due to EPA’s and President Obama’s actions.”

James H. Rust
Professor of nuclear engineering (Ret.), Georgia Tech
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
jrust(at)bellsouth(dot)net
312/377-4000

The Heartland Institute is a 31-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

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