Via USA Today:
The Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plan unveiled Monday reflects political expediency, not the reality of supplying the nation with low cost, reliable power. The revisions that EPA made to this plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions amount to changes without any real difference.
States face even tougher targets for replacing affordable energy with more costly energy. This will burden Americans with increasingly high costs for an essential service and lead to a less reliable electric grid.
EPA concedes its plan is unrealistic by belatedly postponing the initial deadline for reducing emissions. But the targets left in place merely force rate payers into steeper cost increases in later years. In effect, EPA is insisting that families accept a subprime energy mortgage, but now with a balloon payment.
Low-income families will be hit the hardest. Higher costs for electricity are unendurable for many seniors on fixed incomes and for those in minority communities who have little or no discretionary income to pay for the lighting, heating and cooling of their homes.
Just when the nation’s employment picture is beginning to brighten, the EPA plan will cloud it as higher energy costs feed through the economy, forcing employers to cut payrolls. Low-wage jobs could be the first to suffer, but high-wage job growth will eventually slow as manufacturing industries struggle with the rising cost of power. A recent study from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association found that a 10% increase in electricity rates would destroy an average of 882,000 jobs annually between 2020 and 2040.
These sacrifices might be more palatable if EPA’s rule achieved commensurate environmental benefits. But it will not. American households and businesses will be forced to pay significantly higher electricity rates in exchange for what EPA admits are climate benefits so insignificant that it has never bothered to measure them.
The nation’s governors have a clear choice to make: Accept this flawed plan and put their citizens at risk, or reject it and challenge EPA’s authority and competence to manage their state’s energy economy from Washington.
Hal Quinn is president and CEO of the National Mining Association.
See the article here.
- On August 4, 2015