At issue is whether the CPP represents a lawful effort to rein in carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power sector. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proudly touts this plan to tackle “carbon pollution,” a closer look reveals draconian impacts that could profoundly affect the U.S. economy.
In a smug Wall Street Journal op-ed, William Galston deemed the “war on coal” a claim perpetuated by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to reinforce the coal community’s perceived “victimhood.” In this election year, Clinton essentially wants to end coal use, and Trump wants to defend it.
Although the president likes to tout the CPP’s projected energy efficiencies, he makes little comment about its economic ramifications. But if there were any doubt as to the plan’s hefty price tag, federal number crunchers at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) have released an analysis of the CPP’s impact.
America’s coal fleet already utilizes 15 different mechanisms to scrub emissions. And carbon capture technology is currently in development. But the administration has simply bypassed carbon storage in favor of heavy-handed mandates to rapidly cut carbon dioxide.
Hillary Clinton continues to create controversy, thanks to her recent pledge to “put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Campaigning in coal country this week, she certainly got an earful from angry residents.
Countries including Germany, Spain, and England are finding that their recent “green energy” experiments are proving too costly to continue. Between 2005—when the European Union adopted its emissions trading scheme—and 2014, residential electricity rates in the EU increased by an average of 63 percent. Across Europe, the cost of electricity has been rising, thanks to a well-intentioned but mistaken plunge into “renewable energy.”
President Obama has declared an all-out war on coal. In no uncertain terms, the president wants to wield a fatal blow to America’s coal industry, even though the nation urgently needs the reliable and affordable electricity that coal provides.
Leading up to the meeting, the president recently announced a “Clean Power Plan” (CPP) to curb carbon dioxide emissions from America’s power plants. Such an effort may bolster the president’s credentials as a climate leader. But his plan requires a staggering transformation of America’s power sector that is simply too costly to implement.
The problem, as legal experts are now pointing out, is that the EPA’s plan oversteps federal authority. Harvard University Constitutional Law Professor Laurence Tribe, who is generally a supporter of the president’s agenda, told Congress earlier this year that that the plan exceeds the EPA’s authority under federal law. According to Professor Tribe, the CPP makes states unacceptably subservient to Washington on energy and environmental matters because it “invades state regulatory control in an unprecedented manner” that “raises grave constitutional questions that the Act must be construed to avoid.”
Under the mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states are now required to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity sector by 32 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2030. Specifically, each state must submit a compliance plan by 2018, with interim targets set for 2022, and final targets in place by 2030. And surprisingly, his plan could draw criticism from both sides of the climate debate.
For those worried about “climate change,” coal is a convenient target. Unfortunately, a plan by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to shutter hundreds of domestic, coal-fired power plants has been hastily thrown together, with no confirmed alternatives for steady, reliable power generation.