What People Are Saying About The EPA’s Regulations

Posted on Thu 02/19/2015 by

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Tubb_Katie_TDS_loBy Katie Tubb ~

On Friday before leaving his position as a senior counselor to President Barack Obama on climate policy, John Podesta warned:

Those in Congress who question the need and efficacy of the President’s actions on climate change will find themselves on the wrong side of science, on the wrong side of history—and on the wrong side of the American people, as bipartisan majorities strongly favor controlling carbon pollution.

What’s Congress—or for that matter, states, businesses, and individual Americans—to do? According to Podesta, opposing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) to cap carbon dioxide emissions from current and future electricity resources would put people in the same camp as Cheetos-flavored lip balm and the USSR.

20100601_EPALogoYet there are many good reasons to reject the EPA’s proposed regulations. Here’s a small sampling of the reasons, mostly from the people whose job is to keep the lights on affordably:

EPA Extremism

“Each of these requirements may seem reasonable on the surface, however as we dive into the details, significant problems arise for each.” —Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler

“The EPA and the administration are out of step with mainstream Democrats and Republicans and the general public who support a rational, sensible approach, one which is sensitive to the needs both of the environment and of the middle class and the working poor, which will be crushed by the EPA rules. We simply can’t afford the EPA in its current trajectory.” —Current and former public utility commissioners from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee

“There’s no smooth glide path here.” —Edison Electric Institute Vice President of Environment Quin Shea

EPA’s Inventive Assumptions

“[The CPP] seems to assume that a significant amount of new natural gas pipelines needed to fuel power plants, along with a similarly significant expansion of the nation’s electric transmission system, will suddenly appear so as to meet the new demands under the CPP.” —Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Philip Moeller

“These proposed rules create sweeping, untested and technically unproven changes to our nation’s utility system, which is the pillar of our economy, public safety and way of life. The rules pose serious threats to reliability while promising negligible, if any, environmental gains.” —North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak

“Imagine being 200 pounds overweight and setting a goal to lose those pounds with a crowning achievement of running the Boston Marathon. Your trainer in Washington, however, says that because you planned to run the race and paid your registration fee before her dietary regiment was created, you can’t count the weight loss that will occur as a result of that training. That is what has happened in Georgia. We set out to build a new state-of-the-art nuclear power plant and we are about half way done. But the EPA trainer in Washington is assuming that the carbon reduction achieved by the plant is already in place. You can see how demoralizing such a calculation would be.” —Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols

Costs to Customers

“It’s unfortunate that the President and his EPA refuse to acknowledge how reckless this plan is and that it threatens to destabilize the power grid and drive up electricity costs for families and businesses.” —North Dakota Public Service Commission Chairman Brian Kalk

“It’s a sad day when Barack Obama and the federal government get to tell the people of Alabama how to handle our own energy production. The men and women who work at these facilities have families who depend on these jobs for their livelihood.” —Alabama Public Service Commission Chairwoman Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

“The links between affordable energy and economic growth are inextricable. Affordable energy, as we all know, is a vital necessity for every residence and business alike, and is the cornerstone to a vibrant U.S. economy.… With this in mind, the APSC strongly encourages the EPA to avoid energy policies where the costs and risks are real and substantial while the benefits are not.” —Alabama Public Service Commission

Grid Reliability

“The proposed timeline does not provide enough time to develop sufficient resources to ensure continued reliable operation of the grid by 2020. To attempt to do so would increase the use of controlled load shedding and potential for wide-scale, uncontrolled outages.” —North American Electricity Reliability Corporation

“Unless the proposed CPP is modified, the Southwest Power Pool region faces serious, detrimental impacts on reliable operation of the bulk electric system—introducing the very real possibility of rolling blackouts or cascading outages that will have significant impacts on human health, public safety, and economic activity.” —Southwest Power Pool

“This move away from a multi-fuel generation system to what would effectively be a single-fuel system in much of the U.S. could have serious, negative repercussions for energy security and electric reliability.” —Unions for Jobs & Environmental Progress

Impact on Carbon Capture (CC) and Storage Technology and Innovation

“[The proposed rule] will inevitably discourage industry from further investment in R&D of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage technologies, and in the end will eliminate coal as a future energy option for the U.S.” —Kiplin Alexander, Vice President Technology, Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc.

“[The proposed rule] relies on the faulty presumption of the existing commercial availability of carbon capture (CC) technology for coal-fired units.… We are concerned that EPA has ignored extensive past experience and many of the practical aspects of bringing a complex emission control technology to the commercial demonstration stage. As a result, the proposed standards have created a business environment that delays future investment in CC technology.” —Institute of Clean Air Companies

Rural Concerns

“The economy in rural America particularly cannot afford to suffer this type of impact nor can the economy as a whole.” —Western Farmers Electric Cooperative

“The proposal will likely result in the premature closure of a number of power plants owned by electric cooperatives—placing even greater financial burdens on the cooperatives and the consumers who own them.… These plants have a useful life that extends well beyond 2030. Cooperatives have played by the rules, but moving the goalposts again—like this proposal would—will result in stranded assets and premature shutdowns. For co-ops, this outcome is unreasonable, unjustifiable, and arbitrary.” —John Novak, Executive Director for Environmental Issues, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Legal Objections

“The central rationale for promulgating the rule—that the proposal will protect public health and address climate change—is undercut by EPA’s own admission that the proposed standards ‘will result in negligible CO2 emission changes, quantified benefits, and costs by 2022.’ The agency predicts no costs and no benefits for natural gas plants.… In addition, EPA predicts the same for coal plants.… Thus, the agency concluded that compliance with the rule will cost nothing and accomplish nothing because the rule is not predicted to result in any actual CO2 reductions.” —State Attorneys General of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming

“The EPA’s proposed power plant rule is an attempt to bypass the legislative process to impose the president’s climate action plan which has no legal basis or force of law.” —Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

No Promises from Obama

President Obama amazingly claims the Clean Power Plan won’t increase electricity prices, but he’s notably not making any promises that “if you like your current electricity bill, you can keep it.”

Katie Tubb contributes Posts at The Daily Signal, and she is a research assistant for the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation . http://www.heritage.org/

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