Imagine that your employer informs you that a 25 percent tax will be withheld from your paycheck, with that money going to help achieve world peace. While the sacrifice will be difficult, the cause is just and something you support, so you agree.
You find out later, however, that yours is the only company that has taken this action. As a result, you are now at a significant competitive disadvantage among your neighbors, and, sadly, there has been no progress toward world peace. You now realize that world peace isn’t something you can achieve through unilateral action.
But even if you accept, without questioning, the arguments put forth by climate alarmists, the plans to address climate change supported by the Obama administration will have no measurable effect — a fact the administration does not deny because it is in its own documentation supporting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
It may feel good to believe you are doing something to address the issue of climate change. But the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan will drive up electricity costs by double-digit percentages, cost thousands of jobs, devastate local economies based on traditional fuels, and reduce property tax revenues essential for the operation of local governments and school districts.
Here’s the problem: The Clean Power Plan, according to the models supported by the EPA, will affect less than 0.18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the rise in the sea level by 0.016 inches, and reduce global average temperatures by less than 0.02 of a degree Celsius. Essentially, the administration is demanding that every citizen and business absorb significant costs to accomplish what will be so small it cannot be measured.
We truthfully don’t know whether all nations acting together can have a measurable impact on the climate. What we do know is that if programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are to be imposed, every nation must be part of the effort.
Under the Paris Accord, designed to address climate change, China will continue to increase carbon emissions until 2030 and only then will consider a reduction. Without China, India and the other emerging nations willing to fully participate, the only result of this plan will be self-inflicted wounds on the U.S. economy. Americans will face lost jobs, lost income and huge utility bills, with minimal impact on the actual issue. That seems like a high price to pay.
The only real answer to reduced emissions is reduced power consumption. There are many ways that electricity use can be reduced through voluntary, free-market means. Texas has been a leader in those efforts, but we need to continue their development. We also must continue to invest in fundamental research to find new ways to generate large amounts of power cleanly. Solar power and wind power have their place but will only become relevant on a large scale when, and if, we can come up with new battery or other storage technology.
We must advance our development of improved nuclear power technology. The development and deployment of standardized nuclear power plant design in Europe is a model that should be expanded to the U.S. — not abandoned due to unreasonable fears that force us to consider only less cost-effective energy solutions.
This is one of those issues that does not have an immediate quick fix. We are going to have to be patient, and let science and technology work at a careful and reasonable pace to find the best energy solutions instead of crippling our economy and becoming less competitive with the rest of the world.
See the article here.
- On February 9, 2016