Posts Tagged ‘greenhouse’

Heritage Foundation: Five Reasons EPA Should Not Deal With Global Warming

April 26, 2009

Five Reasons the EPA Should Not Attempt to Deal with Global Warming
The Heritage Foundation ^ | April 23, 2009 | Ben Lieberman and Nicolas Loris

Posted on 04/26/2009 12:42:44 PM PDT by Conservative Coulter Fan

On April 17, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an endangerment finding, saying that global warming poses a serious threat to public health and safety. Thus, almost anything that emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. This is the first official action taken by the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide.

The endangerment finding is the initial step in a long regulatory process that could lead to the EPA requiring regulations for almost anything that emits carbon dioxide. Automobiles would likely be the first target, but subsequent regulations could extend to a million or more buildings and small businesses, including hospitals, schools, restaurants, churches, farms, and apartments. The following five reasons explain why this would be a big, costly mistake.

1. It’s an Economy Killer

Above anything else, any attempt to reduce carbon dioxide would be poison to an already sick economy. Even when the economy does recover, the EPA’s proposed global warming policy would severely limit economic growth.

Since 85 percent of the U.S. economy runs on fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide, imposing a cost on CO2 is equivalent to placing an economy-wide tax on energy use. The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis study of the economic effects of carbon dioxide cuts found cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses of $7 trillion by 2029 (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars), single-year GDP losses exceeding $600 billion in some years (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars), energy cost increases of 30 percent or more, and annual job losses exceeding 800,000 for several years. Hit particularly hard is manufacturing, which will see job losses in some industries that exceed 50 percent.[1]

High energy costs result in production cuts, reduced consumer spending, increased unemployment, and ultimately a much slower economy. But importantly, higher energy prices fall disproportionately on the poor, since low-income households spend a larger percentage of their income on energy.

2. Negligible Environmental Benefit

The extraordinary perils of CO2 regulation for the American economy come with little, if any, environmental benefit. In fact, analysis by the architects of the endangerment finding, the EPA, strongly suggests that a 60 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2050 will reduce global temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2095.[2]

Some environmental alarmists believe saving the environment should come at any cost, but when the benefit is barely noticeable, such an extreme viewpoint still cannot be justified.

3. Lack of Scientific Consensus

The decision to regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases was supported by supposed compelling scientific evidence. For example, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson “relied heavily upon the major findings and conclusions from recent assessments of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPPC].”[3] Additionally, the EPA cited harmful impacts including increased droughts, floods, wildfires, heat waves, and sea level rises as a result of climate change. But the reality is that natural disasters are just that–they occur with or without global warming.

The scientific consensus behind global warming, especially the seriousness of the impacts, is anything but strong. Last December, the U.S. Senate Minority released a report that included 650 dissenting scientists refuting claims made in the IPCC report.[4] That number has grown to over 700, more than 13 times the number of scientists (52) who had a direct role in the IPCC report.

4. Backdoor Policy

The United States Congress has been reluctant to pass any global warming legislation or engage in international climate reduction treaties. Last year’s most noted global warming legislative proposals was S. 2191, the America’s Climate Security Act of 2007, originally sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).

This cap-and-trade bill would have set a limit on the emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide from the combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas. A number of concerns existed, chief among them the impact on already-soaring gasoline prices, and consequently the bill was withdrawn by its Senate supporters after only three days of debate.

While some Members of Congress undoubtedly support the EPA’s attempt to curb global warming, the fact that unelected and unaccountable EPA bureaucrats are trying to bypass legislative efforts makes it all the more objectionable.

Equally indefensible is any attempt to use the threat of EPA regulations to induce Congress into enacting a cap-and-trade bill it would not support otherwise. Members should not be forced to prematurely pass a bill without fully understanding its effects and consequences.

5. Expanded Bureaucracy

Having EPA bureaucrats micromanage the economy, all in the name of combating global warming, would be a chilling shift to a command-and-control system in which EPA officials regulate just about every aspect of the market.

Beyond the costs of such actions, the red tape and permitting delays are almost unfathomable. Though the Administration recently enacted a stimulus bill and touted “shovel ready” construction projects to boost the economy, EPA regulations would essentially assure that a great deal of such economic activity would be held up for months, if not years.

For instance, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to file environmental impact statements for EPA review before moving forward with projects. According to the Government Accountability Office, normally it takes a federal construction project an average of 4.4 years to complete a NEPA review. Along with the Clean Water Act’s Section 404 requirements, before a shovel can break ground, it could take 5.6 years for a project to jump through all the normal environmental hoops.[5] Granting the authority for one of the largest and unprecedented regulatory undertakings in U.S. history would greatly expand the EPA’s power.

The kind of industrial-strength EPA red tape that routinely imposes hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in compliance costs could now be imposed for the first time on many commercial buildings, farms, and all but the smallest of businesses. Not only would these costs and delays hamper the private sector, but the paperwork could paralyze federal and state environmental regulators, drawing resources away from more useful endeavors.

A Dangerous Step

The EPA’s official announcement commences a 60-day public comment[6] period before the agency issues a final ruling. Using the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 would likely be the most expensive and expansive environmental regulation in history and will bypass the legislative process completely. In essence, the decisions of few will drastically alter the lives of many–all for a change in the Earth’s temperature too small to ever notice.

Ben Lieberman is Senior Policy Analyst in Energy and the Environment and Nicolas D. Loris is a Research Assistant in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.


[1]David Kreutzer and Karen A. Campbell, “CO2-Emission Cuts: The Economic Costs of the EPA’s ANPR Regulations,” Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis Report No. 08-10, October 29, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/cda08-10.cfm.

[2]David Kreutzer, “The Economics of Cap and Trade,” testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, September 18, 2008 at http://www.heritage.org/cda/upload/KreutzerTestimonyTrade.pdf.

[3]Environmental Protection Agency, “Overview of EPA’s Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act,” April 17, 2009 at http://epa.gov/climatechange
/endangerment/downloads/Determination.pdf
(April 23, 2009).

[4]Marc Morano, “UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent over Man-Made Global Warming Claims,” U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, December 10, 2008, at http://epw.senate.gov
/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=2158072e-802a
-23ad-45f0-274616db87e6
(April 23, 2009).

[5]U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “Evaluating the Performance of Environmental Streamlining: Development of a NEPA baseline for Measuring Continuous Performance,” at http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/strmlng/baseline/section2.asp (April 23, 2009).

[6]Comments can be submitted at StopEPA.com, (http://www.stopepa.com/).

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Obama Says He’ll Bankrupt Coal Plants, Wipe Out Half Our Electricity

November 3, 2008

I hope they find out about this in the following states before they make the biggest mistake of their lives: Montana, Illinois, Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Texas, Indiana.  Those are the ten states that collectively produce about 90% of our coal.  They should really know that Obama wants to drive a key national industry into decline and then extinction:

“So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Here’s the video link and here’s the transcript of the entire remark:

Let me sort of describe my overall policy.

What I’ve said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else’s out there.

I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

The only thing I’ve said with respect to coal, I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it.

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

It’s just that it will bankrupt them.

You need to understand something: the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal.  This fossil fuel is an incredibly powerful resource for our energy independence.  Why on earth would we abandon it?

U.S. coal reserves contain 12 times as much energy as all the oil in Saudi Arabia! A brief look at some numbers explains why coal is the country’s most abundant and important energy resource.

According to the United States Geological Survey, we have 1.7 trillion tons of identified coal resources — coal for which geological evidence and engineering studies provide reliable information about location, rank, quality, and quantity. (Geologists recognize that more coal deposits are likely to be discovered in the future, so they estimate total coal resources could amount to 4 trillion tons.)

Ed Morissey has this to say:

Yesterday, we looked at Obama’s notions of government sending “price signals” to change behavior that it finds objectionable, especially on energy.  This is the way Obama intends to do it.  Coal provides 49% of domestic electrical power, and any rise in the cost of producing that energy will raise its cost to consumers and reduce the amount produced.

This comes as no great shock, pun intended.  Obama already called for a 15% reduction in demand for electricity — at the same time he and his allies want transportation to switch from gasoline to electricity.  Obama never explained this particular contradiction.  How does one switch tens of millions of vehicles from gasoline to electricity while not Increasing demand, let alone by cutting it 15%?  And when trying to break free from a recession, the nation will need greater production in energy, not a reduction.

As Wikipedia points out:

Coal fired power plants provide 49% of consumed electricity in the United States.

Obama frankly admitted that electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket under his plan (audio here):

The problem is not technical, uh, and the problem is not mastery of the legislative intricacies of Washington. The problem is, uh, can you get the American people to say, “This is really important,” and force their representatives to do the right thing? That requires mobilizing a citizenry. That requires them understanding what is at stake. Uh, and climate change is a great example.You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.

It is frankly amazing that this is just dribbling out now, when it should have been known for months.  The media has refused to investigate Obama, and there are far too many frightening things we just don’t know even on the eve of the election.  Barack Obama has a dangerous policy that is based far more on naked ideology than on commonsense economics.

Global warming is largely an ideology masquerading as legitimate science.  As though God himself were calling global warming alarmist “idiots,” the first October snowfall since 1922 blanketed London as it hosted a global warming debate.  This kind of massive contradiction goes on all the time, but global warming ideologues ignore the facts and focus only on their theory and the political and economic redistributionism they hope to force upon the world.

The science is actually amazingly clear on global warming; it is primarily a cyclical climatic phenomenon that occurs about every 1,500 years.  But there is a systematic effort on the part of scientists and journalists to stifle the evidence, intimidate those who try to reveal the truth, and, and engage in scientific fraud in order to perpetuate a profoundly flawed theory.

Bankrupting vital job-intensive industries that provide enormous energy resources is hardly a reasonable approach.  Sending electricity rates skyrocketing is hardly a reasonable approach.  But that is what Barack Obama has clearly said he intends to do to groups that WANT those things to happen because they care more about greenhouse gasses than human lives.  Barack Obama delivered this remark to the same sort of San Fransisco elites to whom he delivered his (in)famous line:

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

And the same sort of San Fransisco pseudo-intellectual and ideological elites who nodded over the one discourse nodded over the other.

You can’t trust Barack Obama; he is dangerous.  “Over 70% of CEOs fear an Obama presidency will be a disaster.”  Wall Street is terrified of an Obama presidency.  And you should fear an Obama presidency, too.  You should be terrfied of an Obama presidency, also.