Heartland Institute Experts React to President Obama’s Clean Power Plan

President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy today released the final Clean Power Plan, which requires power plants to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. This plan is more stringent than the one EPA proposed in 2014.

The following research and commentary on the Clean Power Plant is available from PolicyBot, The Heartland Institute’s free database for public policy research:

The Many Problems of EPA’s Clean Power Plan and Climate Regulations: A Primer (The Heritage Foundation)

How EPA Cooks Books to Downplay Costs (Institute for Energy Research)

Study: Assessing Emerging Policy Threats to the U.S. Power Grid (Institute for Energy Research)

Research & Commentary: Requiring Legislative Approval for Carbon Dioxide Regulations (The Heartland Institute)

Research & Commentary: New Study on EPA CO2 Regulations (The Heartland Institute)

The following statements from environment and energy 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 [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“President Obama on the 2008 campaign trail promised that under his administration electricity rates would ‘necessarily skyrocket’ and he would drive the providers of our most affordable power source – coal producers – out of business. These new restrictions will accomplish exactly that. Conveniently for President Obama, the economy-destroying impacts of his new restrictions will kick in only after he leaves office and when he will not have to answer for the economic punishment that will inevitably occur.”

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Obama took a terrible plan and made it worse. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the agency charged with ensuring the reliability of the nation’s electric power system, warned EPA’s earlier Clean Power Plan would result in the retirement of more than 134 gigawatts of generation, which the organization says will threaten the nation’s electric power grid. That’s enough electricity shut down to power every home west of the Mississippi. So what does his EPA do? It increases the target, ensuring more power plants shut down earlier resulting in an even greater threat of brown outs and black outs.

“Obama must really hate coal miners and coal-fired power plant workers because he’s doing everything he can to put them out of work and in the food line. Poor, rural areas of Appalachia – where the coal industry is the largest, most well-paying employer in the region – will be hit doubly hard as all the restaurants, service stations, home builders, truckers, and other industries and companies that service the industry will also suffer cut backs.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
[email protected]

“President Obama’s new Clean Power Plan to combat climate change is built upon a pack of lies. His administration has willfully disregarded thousands of scientific studies that show rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have little impact on global climate; extreme weather events are not increasing and the net impact of rising temperatures on human health will save lives.

“Further, his administration’s ignorant characterization of carbon dioxide as a ‘pollutant’ shows its complete obfuscation of the truth. Carbon dioxide is a well-known aerial fertilizer, and thousands of studies have proven the growth-enhancing, water-saving, and stress-alleviating benefits it provides for the biosphere. The president’s new plan continues his attack on fossil fuels and affordable energy. When will the electorate and the elected stand up to this nonsense?”

Craig D. Idso
Senior Fellow, Environment
The Heartland Institute
Co-editor, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
[email protected]

“Here are some facts: The subject is carbon dioxide emissions, not ‘carbon pollution.’ Power is a physical quantity, not something that is either clean or dirty. Dirty power has no more meaning than, and just as silly as, clean entropy, or dirty momentum. These terms are political terms used to manipulate emotions and impressions of people who do not or should know better. They are distortions of scientific language meant to appear scientific. They are anti-scientific. That they continue to be at the heart of leadership discourse in policy about scientific questions that so many otherwise-educated people have bought into, experiencing primal fear and guilt over, signals something. We are witnessing the ‘madness of crowds.'”

Christopher Essex
Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Western Ontario
[email protected]

“This plan will require closing a substantial number of reliable, cheap-electricity-producing coal-fired power plants. The result is the loss of many jobs and an economy-killing increase in electricity rates. The reliability of our electricity supply is also compromised.

“The administration also announced its will decrease electricity rates. If you believe this statement, you also believed Obamacare would decrease your medical insurance rates.”

James H. Rust
Professor of nuclear engineering (Ret.), Georgia Tech
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The Clean Power Plan is predicated on highly doubtful and almost certainly false claims regarding both climate change as well as its purported effects. It reflects a profound ignorance of the actual status of climate science, the limitations of alternative energy technologies, and the economic consequences of energy constraints.

“If enforced as proposed this plan will wipe out America’s energy advantage and, ironically, it will seriously impair the economic capacity for developing new energy technologies. Attempting to impose technologically and economically impossible demands on energy poses a far greater threat than terrorism to America’s prosperity. It could well be the final nail in its coffin.”

Walter Starck
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 31-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.