Obama’s Energy Power Grab

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


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The USEPA announced its intention to deliver yet another body blow to the power and petrochemical industries, piling on another layer of unneeded, unwanted and economically disastrous regulations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the United States. Before we consider the agency’s latest move, let’s take a moment to consider all that has been done and will be done in the name of fighting the non-existent problem of global warming. States and the feds are already moving forward with at least six major regulatory programs designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels and thus decimate the energy sector:

  • New CAFÉ  Standards – This is arguably the least bad of the bunch, because the due date for the new 35.5 miles per gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard is at least a few years out (2016). Nonetheless, the new CAFÉ standard will make automobiles more expensive – as even the White House admits – less safe (lighter cars don’t do as well in accidents as compared to heavier ones) and will do almost nothing to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Renewable Portfolio Standards – More than thirty states, encompassing about three quarters of the population of the United States, have adopted Renewable Portfolio Standards. These standards require using ever decreasing amounts of electricity generated by the combustion of fossil fuels.
  • Regional Trading Programs – States in three parts of the country, the east coast, the west coast and the midwest, have formed partnerships to create regional cap and trade programs. The east coast cap and trade program has been up and running for two years. The west coast and midwest programs will “go live” in the near future.
  • Permitting of Greenhouse GasesRecent USEPA guidance directed state permitting authorities to treat greenhouse gases as regulated pollutants when considering the construction of new major sources and major modifications to existing sources. Permitting authorities are further directed to apply the Best Available Control Technology standard to the control of greenhouse gases from these sources.
  • New Ambient Air Standards – The USEPA’s new ambient air standards for “traditional” air pollutants are so ridiculously low that it’s virtually impossible for any new facility to comply with them. This is thus a back-door way of ensuring that no new fossil fuel fired power facilities can be built.
  • New Hazardous Air Pollution Rules – The USEPA’s new rules limiting emissions of hazardous air pollutants from industrial boilers are also draconian. Again, the net effect will be to ensure that new industrial boilers powered by fossil fuels are just about impossible to construct.

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  • Theo Prinse

    Carbon dioxide is pure food for plants and trees ! The ‘surplus’ emission of CO2 will be absorbed in richer plants and trees, more food !
    2nd, renewable, sustainable, they are all silly words. It’s not about sun or wind ! Photovoltaic cells and wind turbine require silica, gold, aluminum, copper, glass fibers etc etc. Sun doesn’t shine at night and the wind does‘t blow all the time either. Wind turbines can not operate when its stormy weather. Photovoltaic and wind turbine technology has no potential to deliver vast, substantial quantities of energy 24/7/365. Wind and solar cannot compete with the worlds rapid growing need for mass energy within the near future. Wind and solar are no match for a long term, substantial Nuclear Energy driven large scale world wide Electric Automobile Industry.
    Third: the world wide lie of AGW is subsidized and sponsored by islam-oil and it’s dhimmies at Exxon, Shell and BP. Islam-oil does not want Nuclear energized Electric Cars on US highways. Peak-oil eventually will prove different.

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    The problem isn't just that Obama is preventing economic recovery. The problem is that we face a looming economic disaster. We owe trillions of dollars and we're not even paying any of it off, it's constantly growing. Obama is printing money and preventing production of real wealth from the oil beneath our feet. Obama's policies if they continue will inevitably will lead to hyperinflation. We should pay heed to the warnings of Willy Brandt who said:
    "You Americans simply have never experienced the hell that can take place in a country if it doesn't get inflation under control. It is what brought us Adolph Hitler. It's what transformed, in a hideous way, our entire values and society."
    We should heed Freidrich Kessler:
    It was horrible. Horrible! Like lightning it struck. No one was prepared. You cannot imagine the rapidity with which the whole thing happened. The shelves in the grocery stores were empty. You could buy nothing with your paper money.

    • SharondownunderinNZ

      You are absolutely right Gamaliel, although I did not experience that, I have read about it. BUT we shall see that happen again right before our eyes. What fools these people are!!! And when theyve destroyed the energy producing means – what then? How will they sustain themselves???

    • trodaball

      Can you say Cloward & Piven ? How about Alinsky ? This sham is all about different ways to keep America on course for collapse. The diabolical minds of Marxist type ideologues have the power and we are their little pawns.

  • sflbib

    “These standards will help American companies attract private investment to the clean energy upgrades that make our companies more competitive …"

    More competitive than what?

    Why not take Pelosi's advice and switch to natural gas?

  • Alex Kovnat

    I remember years ago, how sophisticated liberals were crying in their tea about how ANYTHING was better than nuclear power. Now, they don't want coal-burning power plants either. Its about time we started asking ourselves, what is more important? The practical needs of society, or the purely emotional, purely intellectual, purely ego needs of neurotic intellectuals?

    If there is a need to reduce carbon dioxide that justifies demanding 35 miles per gallon CAFE, then wouldn't said carbon dioxide crisis also justify nuclear power?

  • Gamaliel Isaac

    This is about wealth redistribution. The global warming scare is fueled by people who see cap and trade as a way to achieve a socialist Utopia. Only problem is once the dollars are redistributed they won't be worth anything.

  • okrahead

    The EPA has released a memo explaining why it is legitimate to regulate CO2 as a greenhouse gas, you can read it here… http://beautifulletters-bls.blogspot.com/2010/11/

  • Mach1Duck

    Funny thing about GREEN ENERGY, none of these energy producing systems will ever pay for themselves. The government is trying to force feed us on stuff that comes out of the backside of a bull.

  • GOTTPV

    Damn this man and his agenda – STOP THE MADNESS NOW – We must restore USA to it's founding and getting rid of Obama is step #1!

  • Wesley69

    Obama & his EPA will help push the price of gasoline up to $5 and beyond. The standards will cripple the coal, oil and gas industries. WE THE PEOPLE are going to be paying through the nose for energy to reverse the GLOBAL problem of climate change.

    Hey, you guys in China! Have you stopped burning coal for fuel?

    No. We'll let you guys do our bit for climate change.

    The Obama administration and the EPA must be taken on by the Republicans. They must be painted as environmental wackos bent on economic destruction.

    Obama is moving to the center to be reelected. The Republicans in the House need to throw down the gauntlet.

    The House Republicans need to pass a bill reversing, if not abolishing, some of the regulations of the EPA. If the Democrats in the Senate try to stop it, they will have to explain high energy bills in 2012.

    When the bill arrives on the President's desk, if he signs it, the EPA's regulations are canceled. If Mr. O. vetoes it, WE THE PEOPLE know who is helping drive up our energy prices. Start working on your plans for your Presidential library, Mr. O..

    Republicans need to send several bills, not one bill dealing with the EPA regulations, in order to keep it in front of the people.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

    • http://www.mysapce.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

      you are wrong it will go up to $10 per gal and all will pay and do nothing but talk we are not seeing the start of the police state we are living it it. and son the republcans are the system and are behind the climate change boyh political parties are one party and both work for the same monkeys the fact is both have the same message and are one thing in common both hate Americans, just open your eyes a little more and look.

      • Wesley69

        Fred Dawes, as I said $5 and beyond. As for a police state, Obama and his friends are working on it, but it is not time to turn over and play dead. Freedom is worth fighting for. As for the Republicans and the Democrats being different sides of the same coin, in certain cases, yes, particularly the RINOs. Is there foreign influence in this country. George Soros comes to mind. And Fred, believe me, my eyes are open. I knew what Obama was going to be like well before the November election. I was pulling for Hillary to beat Obama. I saw Obama's selection as a historical first and being African-American debating and criticizing him could easily be called racism. Soros was smart to change his support and you can see the result. Look at Obama's debate with Joe the Plumber and you can see where Obama was going to take this country.

        • http://www.mysapce.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

          Thank you and obama has a political police state now just look at the system it is now in the making of the USSR, And at some point will attack any who say or take action against this system of total hate for freedom only a matter of time before mass police state murder starts. By the way your own local police will do the murders and will do the pick-ups of a free people just like in the USSR/GERMANY.

  • RiverFred

    Global warming, I am freezing. Did you know that all our planets in our solar system experienced the same increase temperature change as our planet. So much for global warming.

  • SharondownunderinNZ

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
    (Thomas Jefferson) Well said Mr Jefferson and posted by Wesley69 – keep on protesting all you people who see through the ever increasing reteric, litany of lies and downright foolishness! But let it be said again "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. "

  • http://www.mysapce.com/freddawes1776/ Fred Dawes

    Obama is just doing what the other monkeys started back in the 1970's the fact is obama was put into power to take down the USA You have no hope only the path to total enslavement with obama care and power and water and air and banking and jobs under the political ideals of little monkeys like obama its all over here boys, only one way out to make your own country and fight the good fight against 6 billion monkeys, one other fact tyranny has a total body not just a foothold and the police state is not coming its here. next move in two years is camps and Reeducation camps and you may see political camps for people who just don't get the new order of monkeys.

  • Wesley69

    I refuse to give up on this country or its people. As I said liberty is worth fighting for and as the greatest generation of the 30's and 40's stood up to be counted and face their challenges, it is up to the baby boomers to lead the way this time. I may be a fool but I believe that if Americans are educated in the facts and presented with the alternatives as well as solutions, that they will make the right choices. Freedom is something revolutionary. Whereas, other countries have bloody revolutions, ours is bloodless. Its called elections. And it still works that way. 2012 is coming. Its time to get busy. So stop crying about the police state, enslavement, reeducation camps and the like. Along the way, Obama and his Agencies must be exposed. Republicans and Tea Party supporters have the ball. We need to play to win. The other side is and many don't like what is on their menu. End of Line.

  • jhall9999

    The new congress in January must defund the EPA so it can't impose it's dictates upon America. It should also defund nearly every other agency as well, such as the Departments of Agrigculture, Energy, Education, Labor, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human services, Fish and Wildlife, and many more like Fannie, Freddie, National Endowment of the Arts, and the IRS, BATF, DEA, FDA, NOAA, plus all the others I can't think of at the moment. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security also need to be completey phased out.

  • jhall9999

    Even the Military, Customs, Immigration, and the Border Patrol should be cut back some. They can certainly cut out a lot of spending and still function. For example, there is a small army of Border Patrol officers in my hometown near the Maine/Quebec border for nothing. The new border house looks like a massive prison. Nevertheless it's all just for show. Racial profing and maybe a couple extra Border Patrol officers is all that is needed to stop the small chance of a Muslim terrorist trying to get in from Canada.

    The only way out of this mess is cut federal spending by at least 80% to 90%. It can be done. Congress just needs the will to do so in spite of all the howls of protest from a minority of kook fringe leftists. The people gave the Republicans a large majority in the house in order to cut spending in a big way. Therefore, we must put pressure on them to do what they were elected for.

  • Gil Solnin

    Obama's and liberal ignorance of free market economics never changes. More than real estate, energy is the most volatile commodity because its fluctuations affect EVERY element of a company’s financial statement. Dramatic increases in energy increase not just gasoline and home heating costs, it also affects everything that is manufactured or shipped – everything. When Obama stopped and restricted off-shore drilling he affected future supply and therefore futures commodity prices. That has happened before and the simple rescinding of restrictions has an immediate effect on oil futures and near term prices. Without that we are in for enormous inflation and a reversal of economic recovery.

  • http://www.hyperinflation-schutz.com/ Hwa Odgers

    While inflation is bad terrible in fact, stagnant close minded economic thought repeated by rote is worse.The same people who have engaged in a class war, bordering on genocide, on the working and middle class resulting in falling real wages for the last three decades are concerned about the working and middle class savings being diluted.This ignores the disastrous economic policies, which this Web site to its credit often details, that have led the working and middle not to have savings but higher credit limits. There is a reason the national saving rate from the 1970s crashed from the low teens to negative or close to zero since then.Instead of bailing out the incompetent rich and powerful in 2008, if we had used monetary instead of fiscal policy to enforce accountability the country would be on the road to a real recovery instead of a slow repeat of the fall of the Spanish and Ottoman empires.The financial services industry should have had to come clean that for the last 30 years, since deregulation, it has been engaged in criminal fraud and not living up to its fiduciary duty. The financial services industry should have been forced to write off the trillions of junk options and other junk paper that it has been generating for the last few decades.Let the losses speak for themselves on the replacement of capitalism with casino corporatism for the American and Western economic model that Wall Street had engineered since deregulation.Once Wall Street had to come clean on the trillions of losses it had incurred so as to maximize bonuses the Wall Streeters, the Fed would provide the equivalent in trillions in equity capital in losses that had just been generated.This would lead to no inflation as there is no increase in the money supply. The trillions that the Fed provided would just be a replacement for the trillions that had been written off as losses.The financial services industry would be full funded and strengthened as it would now be completely funded, have all the bad paper off its books, and be forced to be accountable to explain the trillions in losses the whiz kid and sharks of Wall Street had incurred upon their firms which lead Wall Street to act properly again. Win Win Win. Except for the incompetent and amoral former elites and the wealthy and powerful power brokers that were formerly richly rewarded for playing with paper and swishing money around.And the shareholders of the financial firms would be made poorer. But that is as it should be under capitalism. If you let incompetent people run unrestrained in running your companies, then you should suffer the consequences so as not to do so again.This model would also solve the European debt crisis. For some reason short sighted policy makers want to solve a monetary problem with a fiscal solution. Even if their fiscal solutions will sink every economy in Europe.Lastly about economic and monetary policy, why is raising interest rates considered to be the main policy option. Countless economic studies have shown a 1% increase in interest rates leads to an ¼ to 1/3 increase in inflation. Since capital is the most fundamental input in capitalism, making capital more expensive would make inflation worse not better.Yet in spite of all the studies that say otherwise, our economic decision makers still spout the same line and use the same failed policies.Lastly, the trauma of the civil war to be reinacted because of a 5% rate is ridiculous.Of greater concern is that real inflation rate since the 1980s is much higher that officially reported due to changes in method used to calculate economic growth, employment, and inflation.Using pre mid 1980s methods to calculate inflation whould show that the accumulated inflation rate since then to now thas been understated by 80%