Editorial: Consumers Should Be Skeptical of EPA’s Pitch for ‘Clean Power’
Via The Lima News:
Almost daily come reports that this could be the hottest year on record.
All the more reason for President Barack Obama to beat the drum for climate change mitigation strategies. Prime among them is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, announced last year as the heat of August enveloped the nation.
The EPA and Obama pushed the Clean Power Plan as a carbon dioxide emission reduction strategy whose financial benefits will far outweigh its compliance costs. The plan calls for reducing emissions to well below 2005 levels by 2030. To get there would require sea changes in electricity generation that could put the cost of power out of reach for lower-income Americans.
In “Missing Benefits, Hidden Costs: The Cloudy Numbers in the EPA’s Proposed Clean Power Plan,” economist Jonathan A. Lesser argues that the public has been sold a bill of goods. Sound familiar? It should: The administration is adept at selling programs with false advertising.
Lesser’s analysis, published by the Manhattan Institute, says EPA’s cost-benefit claims “significantly overestimated” the level of emission reductions and air pollution as well as “significantly underestimated” the specific costs of mitigation strategies.
Still, it doesn’t take much of a heat wave (or widespread flooding or any other weather phenomenon linked to climate change) to get the public on the EPA’s side. Emotion is a powerful way to move the needle.
But this is too important to let the heart overrule the head. Climate change skeptics have often pointed to the over-reliance on computer models in predicting global temperature trends. The Clean Power Plan’s proponents play the same shell game. Lesser says the fundamental question is whether the EPA’s cost-benefit analysis proves that the Clean Power Plan’s benefits will exceed its costs.
“To this question,” he writes, “the answer is clearly no.” Why? The EPA uses “multiple layers of unrealistic, arbitrary and inconsistent assumptions.” No surprise there. It’s a hallmark of “settled science.”
What consumers should be skeptical about is the effect the EPA says the plan will have on their pocketbooks.
“In effect, the CPP will require U.S. consumers, businesses and taxpayers to incur billions of dollars in higher costs each year for their electricity … in exchange for [carbon dioxide] reductions that will have no measurable impacts on world temperatures and climate.”
No measurable effect. Isn’t that the point of all this?
Having no “settled science” facts to back up his support of the Clean Power Plan, Obama appeals to the heart in fretting over Glacier National Park having no glaciers and Joshua Tree National Park having no Joshua trees. For Americans who will never visit a national park, Obama invoked the ultimate icon of America’s promise. Climate change, he said, could destroy the Statue of Liberty.
We’d all better let the EPA do what it wants, then.
And we would, if the EPA wasn’t carrying the torch of a political agenda rather than a solid science-based blueprint.
See the article here.
- On June 29, 2016