Via the Colorado Springs Gazette:
The newest version of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Clean Power Plan,” announced last week, stands to devastate Colorado’s coal-based economy.
In Colorado Springs, it could negate the more than $100-million in upgrades to improve emissions at the city’s coal plants and would almost certainly force closure of at least the downtown Drake power plant. This local decision would suddenly become federal.
Colorado Springs relies on coal for about half its electrical generation. Statewide, nearly 65 percent of power demands are fulfilled by coal. About 20 percent relies on natural gas, and the remaining 15 comes mostly from hydroelectric, solar and wind.
How Colorado powers its grid should mostly be a Colorado decision, not a sweeping, authoritarian mandate of the Obama administration’s EPA – the agency that just spilled 3 million gallons of toxic sludge into West Slope waterways, tried to downplay the disaster and failed to warn New Mexico authorities downstream. Please, someone protect us from the EPA.
NERA Economic Consulting, a global firm of economists, estimates the EPA plan may bring double-digit rate increases to Colorado and 42 other states. In all, the firm estimates the plan would cost the American economy $366 billion. That’s $366 billion that cannot be used to expand businesses, pay for education or assist the needy. It is $366 billion just to power our grid in a fashion more amenable to President Barack Obama’s EPA.
As explained in a Wall Street Journal article, the plan could weaken reliability of the electric grid by forcing plants to close before replacements could be built.
“Yet even the administration admits that the EPA plan will have only a trivial impact on the climate,” the article states. If so – if this proposal won’t dramatically alter the climate – it sounds like another feel-good plan, at an enormous price, designed mostly for the sake of a president’s legacy.
Gov. John Hickenlooper is enthused about the regulations, and said he won’t join other state leaders who are considering the option of noncompliance.
Fortunately, the governor does not unilaterally control our fate in a system of checks and balances. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman maintains a skeptical view of the EPA’s anticipated overreach and is open to the possibility fighting for hardworking Coloradans. It is possible, in fact likely, the EPA lacks authority to impose such draconian rules.
“I will carefully review the EPA’s plan and evaluate its long term consequences for our state,” Coffman explained in a written statement. “But as I put the best interests of Colorado first, it may become necessary to join other states in challenging President Obama’s authority under the Clean Air Act.”
Colorado has a proud history of progressive environmental policies and is ahead of much of the rest of the country in setting high renewables mandates. But the EPA’s proposed new policies are unrealistic – too much too fast – even for Colorado.
“This expansion of federal power has the potential to put Colorado’s nearly $9 billion mining industry in jeopardy and threaten more than Colorado’s 74,000 jobs,” Coffman wrote.
The Supreme Court of the United States slapped down the EPA’s 2012 regulations with its ruling in Michigan v. EPA. In a nation of laws, the federal government’s executive branch has limited authority over individuals and the state governments that serve them. We encourage Coffman and other state attorneys general to seek justice against mandates that will harm the people who elected them.
See the article here.
- On August 11, 2015