Heartland Experts Reject Obama’s Climate Action At Chicago EPA Hearing

Published November 12, 2013

Why the concern over President Obama’s Executive Orders? It is human nature that desensitization will creep in as related to frequency, making felt outrage over each successive mandate seem less intense or serious. The result: executive orders are likely to become more frequent and increasingly more extreme in their content in the absence of any serious push back to reign them in.

Not only concern, but an element of fear should abide in all Americans who believe in free enterprise and freedom of choice over having elected President who is resorting to executive orders, when unable to get legislation passed by Congress, to wrest control away from the American people. The American people didn’t vote for an Imperial president in 2008, such as our President has morphed into.

As was noted in Part 1 , Obama’s latest Executive Order on November 1st was geared at the takeover of this nation’s climate-change policy through measures that would prepare this nation for climate-related challenges.  Reining in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and specifically coal-burning plants, received top billing in keeping with the misguided belief that gas emissions from power plants represent this nation’s largest contributor to global warming.  

During this past week, the EPA held “listening sessions” in eleven cities as part of the administration’s public outreach campaign as it implements harsh new limits on carbon emissions from power plants.  The sessions were hosted at EPA regional offices in cities across the nation.  Cities where listening tours were held to hear questions, concerns and complaints about its new global-warming regulations included San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. Kansas City, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Usually the EPA conducts public hearings after specific regulations are proposed.  Could the unusual step of hosting listening session before starting the process be related in any way to the EPA’s need to seek cover before proceeding with the regulations they already plan to adopt?   Advocates of the Sierra Club and Beyond Coal campaign were most likely present at each of the eleven listening sessions, not shy in giving the EPA cover with messages urging the adoption of the most stringent carbon emissions limits.

Although the EPA sees itself as open to all points of views, why were towns avoided that rely heavily of coal mining, as well as those that depend on coal-fired power plants to support their local economy?   Not surprising at all given an EPA that targets coal-burning plants as the largest contributor to global warming.

The new rules will definitely have a spill-over effect on the mining industry, for as demand for coal decreases, U.S. power-generation facilities will be forced to close resulting in a loss of jobs and economic uncertainty and downturns.

Regarding the implementation of coal plant carbon rules, the Obama administration has requested the EPA to have the rules ready for review by June 1, with finalization to take place by mid-2015. This would gives states a year to implement the new standards, which is not considered a long enough time to comply with the regulations.  The development of technology to solve the environmental challenges will take both time and investments in research. 

Chicago was the second-to-last stop on Friday, November 8th, before Philadelphia later in the day, of the eleven EPA-sponsored “Listening Tours” in major U.S. cities.  The hearing was held at the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago to gather public discourse on the Obama administration’s “Climate Plan.”

The Chicago-based Heartland Institute registered to attend and presented testimony at the EPA-sponsored Chicago event as a well qualified and renowned think tank world-wide in the promotion of sound science and market-based (rather than government-based) solutions to environmental problems.  Headed by President and CEO, Joseph Bast, The Heartland Institute recently released a major new report on climate change science, produced by an international team of 40 scientists, which challenges the overly 2013 alarmist report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The following article was posted by James Lakely, Director of Communications at the Heartland Institute, following the testimony of Heartland’s two Policy Advisors, Steve Goreham and Paul Driessen, on Friday, November 8th at the Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago, Heartlanders at EPA Hearing in Chicago:  Reject Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

The presentations of Steve Goreham and Paul Driessen were limited to three minutes each.  Although it would be prudent to read the two presentations in full, for brevity sake only the first part of each presentation is noted below.

Steve Goreham (Executive Director, Climate Science Coalition of America):

December 7, 2009 is a date that will live in infamy.  Not in memory of Pearl Harbor, but because on that date, the Environmental Protection Agency declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.  Ladies and gentlemen, that is bizarre.  Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant.  It’s an odorless, harmless, invisible gas.  It does not cause smoke or smog.  The white vapor above a power plant’s cooling tower is condensing water vapor . . .

Paul Driessen (Senior Policy Advisor for a Constructive Tomorrow):

The EPA says carbon dioxide from America’s coal-fired power plants is causing dangerous climate change.  It says computer models support these claims.  But the models are useless.  Their predictions have been totally wrong — and none of EPA’s claims about hurricanes, tornadoes, rising seas and other alleged dangers have been accurate.  Climate change has been ‘real’ since Earth began.  The Dust Bowl, hurricanes, the Little Ice Age. . .

Paul Driessen, as the first speaker, took it upon himself to write his impressions of what happened at the Chicago’s EPA “public listening” program following his presentation.  Jim Lakely obtained permission from Paul Driessen to make Driessen’s insightful comments public.  As such they appear on the following blog post by Lakely.

Driessen commented first about the opening statements made by EPA public officers, then a brief capsule of his own there minute presentation, followed by a summary of what happened during the rest of the hearing.

Below is a brief overview of Driessen’s EPA Chicago listening tour writeup:

After Driessen’s presentation, a half dozen citizens, including several Indiana coal miners who had driven all the way to Chicago, outlined how EPA’s proposed rules would put them out of work and devastate their families and communities. . .

Then the alarmists began presenting their remarks.  The first person ignored the purpose of the hearing. . . and made the ridiculous claim that ‘air pollution’ has now been ‘linked to’ cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s! . . . The absurd claim simply underscores the abysmal state of environmentalist ‘thinking”. . .

It’s clear that EPA’s mind is absolutely made up on the issue, and these ‘listening’ sessions are just for show. . . EPA can be assured of plentiful upper class ‘environmentalist’ speaker — who will happily applaud the new rules . . . but these urban elites won’t be hammered immediately the way coal mining, factory and many small business job, families and communities will be. 

Already nine state (Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming) have teamed up against the Obama administration in an upcoming Supreme Court case over the unwise environmental regulation.  Filed was a friend of the court brief opposing the EPA’s administration agenda to reduce air pollution on Thursday, October 29th, with the claim that the EPA doesn’t have the authority to attempt to regulate power plant emissions that cross state line.

As was stated by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) who is leading the states’ effort:

The move is by the EPA is just one more effort to slam the door on energy-producing states.  It is a blatant attempt to promote a reckless agenda that picks winners and lowers and puts our nation’s goal for energy independence in a tenuous position.

Oral arguments are scheduled in the high court on December 10, with the final decision made by next summer.

A possible takeover of this nation’s climate change policy definitely calls for following the money.  For with government in charge of the purse strings to control how and where money is being spent (and lost through failed green energy projects), the additional money and power abducted by the government will grant government more money and power to silence climate change skeptics such as The Heartland Institute.

The final paragraph of Paul Driessen’s writeup sums up the situation: 

EPA’s actions and proposed rules are despicable and absurd.  But they will not be stopped, unless the US Supreme Court and other courts finally step in and say ‘Enough.’

Part 1 is HERE.

[Originally published in the Illinois Review]