NCPA June 24, 2013
If President Obama’s proposed power plant emissions controls are enacted, it will destroy utilities burning coal, hike energy costs while making zero impact on earth’s climate, according to National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett.
President Obama is expected to unveil a “climate change” plan in a speech tomorrow, announcing a series of executive actions to control emissions.
“Should these regulations actually come into effect someday, President Obama will have fulfilled his pledge made as a candidate for president in 2007, that he would bankrupt coal fired power plants and the utilities that build or use them,” said Burnett. “While environmentalists may cheer, the poor, who the president pays a great deal of lip service to helping but actually supports policies that hurts them worse than any other economic quintile, will once again be hit hard by steeply rising energy prices. This is especially troubling since polls show that 76 percent of Americans report that they are living paycheck to paycheck.”
Burnett points out that the poor spend more of their discretionary dollars than any other economic group on food and fuel, so increases in fuel and electricity prices will hit them twice, both directly from higher energy prices and indirectly as the cost of food rises due to higher prices for inputs including pesticides and fertilizers and from higher shipping costs.
Various studies have shown that significant cuts in CO2 emissions from power plants, threaten the reliability of the power grid due to earlier than anticipated power plant closures, and will impose significant job losses. For instance, the economic research firm, Management Services Inc., concluded that EPA greenhouse gas regulations similar to the ones likely to be proposed could:
- Reduce Gross Domestic Product every year for the next two decades, with GDP dropping $500 billion by 2030;
- Reduce U.S. employment, culminating in the loss of 2.5 million jobs by 2030;
- Reduce U.S. household incomes, with average household.
- income dropping by about $1,200 annually by 2030. Increase U.S. energy costs, with increases of 50 percent for gasoline and residential electricity prices, 75 percent for industrial electricity prices and residential natural gas prices, and 600 percent for electric utility coal prices.
“And all of this for no environmental gain since it won’t move temperatures one iota,” said Burnett.
“Fortunately, EPA rule making is a long process and with challenges and state opportunities for input and to write their own plans, it is likely that no final regulations will be put in place before Obama’s term in office is over. The next president should act to prevent this disaster from coming to be, especially since countries in Europe and elsewhere that have heretofore led the call for tight greenhouse gas regulations are abandoning their own plans and moving back to fossil fuels,” concluded Burnett.