Heartland Institute Experts React to President Obama’s Power Plant Emission Rule to Fight Global Warming/Climate Change

June 02, 2014

The Obama administration today mandated a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions at power plants by 2030. The 645-page rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be made final next year after a period of public comment.

The following statements from energy, environment, and legal 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@heartland.org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.


“President Obama and the Democrats are once again unleashing the Environmental Protection Agency on the American people. This is Obamacare for the environment: guaranteed to raise costs, reduce choices, and destroy an existing industry. By the time EPA is finished, millions of Americans will be freezing in the dark.

“The proposed rules on electric power plants’ carbon emissions would cost approximately $51 billion a year and destroy 224,000 jobs each year through 2030. The poor and people on fixed incomes will be hurt the most. And all this pain will be for absolutely no gain: It will have no impact at all on the global climate.

“Republicans in the House and Senate are right to oppose EPA’s new global warming rules. They are based on junk science and a cavalier disregard for the impact of higher energy prices on the typical family. Voters will do well to remember who was on their side during the coming political battles.”

Joseph Bast
President
The Heartland Institute
jbast@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“The Obama administration is declaring war on affordable energy, targeting the coal power that is America’s least-expensive source of electricity. The rising electricity costs that will necessarily follow EPA’s new restrictions will reduce Americans’ standard of living and give a competitive economic advantage to foreign nations such as China and India.

“None of these new restrictions are necessary or justifiable. American carbon dioxide emissions are lower now than they were at the turn of the century. Global temperatures have not risen since the Clinton administration. And 97 percent of United Nations climate models cannot account for the ongoing global temperature stagnation.”

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
jtaylor@heartland.org
727/215-3192


“The president’s term in office has created so many issues which have undermined the public’s confidence in him, that he has chosen to double down on an issue that few people fully understand from a scientific position but will generally believe is making an effort on behalf of the nation’s health and future well-being. While he is technically 100 percent incorrect as to the environmental benefits of his actions, he believes the public will support him.

“It could be the greatest miscalculation of his presidency if, in fact, cooler minds in the opposition can mount a sensible campaign to educate the public as to why he is wrong and how the economic impacts will be absolutely disastrous in the immediate future. If done intelligently, this draconian action by the president could cost his party the Senate in the November elections and dramatically increase the Republican majority in the House of Representatives – which will enable the Republicans to stymie any further legislative action by the president for the remainder of his term.”

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute
jlehr@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“In his Saturday address, the president said, ‘We don’t have to choose between the health of our economy and the health of our children.’ He’s right about that, and dead wrong in his CO2 policy. Carbon dioxide is essential to plant growth – more carbon dioxide makes for a greener planet – and human emissions are a very small influence on the overall amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 emissions boost the economy and don’t hurt the planet – in fact they most likely benefit the biosphere. The new EPA rules are as wrongheaded as they can be.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute
skarnick@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“I just don’t buy the argument that the United States has to be a ‘leader’ in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order for most prolific carbon dioxide (CO2) emitters, China and India, to hopefully pursue similar policies. The European Union already tried to be that leader and their energy prices rose so high that EU leaders are seriously reconsidering them. Knowing this, why shouldn’t our own leaders think to avoid the EU’s mistakes altogether?”

Taylor Smith
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
tsmith@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a naturally occurring trace gas in the atmosphere that is essential to life on Earth. All fauna, including humans, emit CO2 when we breathe out. All flora, from vegetables to weeds to trees, must have CO2 for photosynthesis. It is invisible and odorless.

“The president’s plan will destroy jobs and raise costs for families across America. This proposal may be Obama’s last best chance at strengthening his position with environmentalists who were disappointed in his failure in his first term to create a cap-and-trade system for limiting carbon emissions.

“Fossil fuel-fired power stations comprise almost 75 percent of the generating capacity and nearly 66 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.

“Here’s the bottom line: This policy will cause U.S. consumers to pay nearly $290 billion more for electricity between 2014 and 2030. And it appears the entire debate is now political, not about the bad science.”

John Coleman
Meteorologist
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute
media@heartland.org
312/377-4000


“Thanks to the Obama administration’s EPA and the new regulations released today, America is poised to become the ‘no pee’ section of the global swimming pool – and the useless actions will cost us a bundle-raising energy costs, adding new taxes, and crippling the economy.

“Australia has already walked away from its previous administration’s stringent climate policies due to economic pain and public backlash. Germany is becoming more dependent on coal-fueled electricity. Wood is the number one renewable fuel in Europe. Following what has already taken place in England and much of Europe, Spain just announced it is cutting back on its green energy programs. China and India have repeatedly refused to cripple their growing economies by cutting back on their fossil fuel-based energy usage.

“But Obama needs his legacy. If Congress doesn’t do something to stop or block the new regulations, he’ll get his legacy: Hurting our economy and killing American jobs.

“All the regulations the administration may impose will not motivate the rest of the world to follow our bad policies. Just because we declare that we won’t pee in the pool, won’t stop the others. And, just like the water in the pool, CO2 emissions are fungible. We’ll be stuck in our little no-pee section with a crippled economy while the rest of the world will be frolicking in unfettered growth.”

Marita Noon
Executive Director
Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy
marita@responsiblenergy.org
505/239-8998


“The Obama administration rule to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electric power generation by 30 percent by 2030 will have no influence on global warming or the new words for this event of climate change or climate disruption. It most certainly will increase electricity bills for the entire country – in particular in the Midwest, where coal is used for the majority of power generation.

“Higher utility bills mean suffering for middle-income Americans and those with less financial means. Lives will be lost as people forgo heating and air conditioning in times of extreme cold or heat. All this loss for naught.”

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


“Simply put, the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations to require further reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by coal-fired plants that produce 40 percent of the nation’s electricity – down 10 percent since President Obama took office in 2009 – have no basis in science or truth.

“These regulations will also affect other industries and business sectors that emit CO2, causing costs to rise. This is occurring at a time when the economy is still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis.

“The EPA refers to carbon dioxide as ‘pollution’ when it is, in fact, an atmospheric gas vital to all life on Earth, responsible for all the vegetation on which we depend in so many ways, particularly as food. The EPA is deliberately trying to blur the line between CO2 and ‘soot’ when, in fact, the EPA’s own data about the presence of soot puts it below its own standards, having declined 50 percent since 1999.

“The president’s animus toward coal-fired energy defies any rational explanation. A proposed cap-and-trade plan regarding CO2 was defeated by the Congress and now he is using the EPA to bypass legislators and the public in ways that will increase the cost of electricity for everyone for no legitimate reason. Congress must act to remove these regulations and restrict further attacks on the nation’s economy by the EPA.”

Alan Caruba
Founder, The National Anxiety Center
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
acaruba@aol.com
312/377-4000


The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, 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.