Via The Desert News:
In a nation still seeking to find its economic footing from the crash of 2008, Utah has a lot to be proud of. It has the third-lowest unemployment rate among the 50 states, and was recently ranked as the No. 1 state in terms of overall economic performance by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
There are many factors that contribute to Utah’s strong economy, but one of them — relatively low energy costs — might soon be a thing of the past if the Obama administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) get their way.
The EPA has proposed a sweeping emissions reduction mandate, called the Clean Power Plan, designed to cut carbon emissions from electric power generation by 30 percent by 2030. The impact could be crippling unless Utah takes a stand and just says “no.”
Economists predict that the EPA plan will cause a huge increase in Utahn’s electricity bills — a jump of at least 24 percent and possibly as much as 55 percent. That’s a mind-boggling jump in the price of a basic necessity like electric power. Every family will take a hit. And Utah’s seniors and the one in four Utah households that rely on Social Security to make ends meet will be financially devastated.
My organization represents more than 77,000 seniors in Utah, and I speak with the elderly every day about their worries and concerns. Living hand-to-mouth on a fixed income and meager Social Security check is not the future most seniors envisioned for their golden years. Sometimes they have to make choices nobody should have to make to get through the month. A skipped meal here. A month without medications there. The thermostat turned uncomfortably low. Skyrocketing electricity prices will make choices like these all too common, and will push too many of our seniors and other vulnerable citizens across the line from struggling to impoverished.
Utah should be a model for the nation. The state has built a thriving economy and improved the lives of its citizens while much of the country still struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Sadly, however, instead of studying what Utah has done right, Washington is pushing policies that threaten to put Utah and the rest of the nation in economic reverse.
Fortunately, Utah’s leaders understand what is at stake. Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a letter to President Obama asserting that the Clean Air Act does not give the federal government authority to regulate the coal-fired power plants that generate over 80 percent of Utah’s electricity.
Utah can do even more to force the EPA to rethink its plans: it can refuse to play the EPA’s dangerous game and simply say “no thanks.” Under the EPA proposal, each state is required to submit a plan for meeting Washington’s carbon reduction targets. By refusing to submit a target, Utah can show that its people and their hard work mean more than abstract targets dreamed up by Washington bureaucrats.
Utahns are always there for a neighbor in need or to lend a hand to the less fortunate. They’re not ones to shrug and turn away when government policies threaten to make basic necessities, like the energy we all rely on, unaffordable. The best way for Utah to extend a helping hand today is also the simplest: just say no to the EPA’s cruel power plan.
Jim Martin is chairman and founder of the 60 Plus Association.
See the article here.
- On April 28, 2015