Cap and Trade Catastrophe

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Yet as this administration continues to demonstrate, a lack of support from the legislative branch of the federal government is nothing more than a minor impediment. “What has been stated from the White House is that the president’s advisers would advise him to veto any legislation that passed that would take away the EPA’s greenhouse gas authority. Nothing has changed,” said EPA head Lisa Jackson to reporters last February. This was her response to congressional threats aimed at thwarting her intention to impose new regulations without legislators’ input. The House of Representatives passed the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011” prohibiting the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act by a 255-172 margin. Yet the bill failed in the Senate, where a 50-50 vote fell short of the two-thirds needed to over-ride a certain veto by the president.

Thus, the power of the EPA and its intentions to implement a broad scope of measures designed to combat global warming remains largely undiminished. Where could this be leading? Bill White from the Office of the Federal Coordinator for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Project explains. “Federal environmental regulators have proposed four sets of rules that together act as kind of a quadruple whammy on the coal-fired power generation industry…they likely would cost the industry billions and pull the plug on many gigawatts of coal-fired electricity generators,” said White.

Mr. White’s assessment was echoed by Bruce Braine, vice president for strategic policy analysis with American Electric Power company (AEP), who noted that, while the proposed rules would go into effect in four years, “It can take five years to install a major piece of pollution control equipment.” As a result, he predicted his company would then be forced to buy power from other providers, driving customer rates up “20 to 30 percent.”

In fact, last Thursday the 9th, White’s prediction became reality. American Electric Power announced it was closing five coal-powered plants “to comply with a series of pending Environmental Protection Agency regulations.” 6000 megawatts of coal-fired power generation will be retired, and $6 billion to $8 billion in capital investments will be spent to upgrade the facilities. AEP calculates the required changes will increase electrical bills 10 to 35 percent and result in 600 lost jobs.

The EPA’s cost calculations for the four new regulations combined were $16.2 billion, and an average increase of 7.5 percent in electricity costs for all Americans. Yet as AEP has demonstrated, the EPA’s estimates may be off substantially, and given this administration’s track record of manipulating data for its own ends, one would be wise to remain skeptical. AEP CEO Michael Morris certainly is. “We support regulations that achieve long-term environmental benefits while protecting customers, the economy and the reliability of the electric grid, but the cumulative impacts of the EPA’s current regulatory path have been vastly underestimated, particularly in Midwest states dependent on coal to fuel their economies,” he said.

Reinforcing that skepticism is the president himself during the same 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. Despite the reality that coal-generated electricity accounts for half of the electricity produced in the country, Mr. Obama was disdainful regarding the impact of EPA regulations on America’s primary energy providers. “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted,” he said.

Since 2008, nothing, ideologically speaking, has changed. This president and his administration remain committed to aligning the country with a progressive agenda, even as economic data continue pointing to the futility of command-and-control economic policies, coupled with a “save the planet” mentality based on dubious scientific evidence. In Britain, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) points out that many of the country’s poor will be faced with a choice between “heating and eating” next winter. They’ve already instituted the same cap and trade plans the Obama administration intends to inflict on America — by fiat if necessary. Considering the current trajectory of food and fuel prices, one can only wonder if Americans are ready for another shock to the system similar to the one Great Britain will shortly endure.

Arnold Ahlert is a contributing writer to the conservative website

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  • geez

    Another picture of useful idiots, Obama loves them.

  • Alex Kovnat

    HIgh electric power cost is the price we are paying for not implementing nuclear power. And again I would like to point out that if carbon dioxide buildup in our atmosphere is indeed a problem, the method of coping with this problem that will yield the greatest reduction in CO2 in proportion to cost, is to levy a carbon tax on all fossil fuels.

    • Rifleman

      Another tax, yea, that'll fix everything.

    • davarino

      Ya and when we cant afford to heat the house guess what will happen. Its back to choppin down your precious trees and burning them in the fire place.

      Oh wait we can blanket the US with solar panels to provide 10% of our energy needs.

    • Jim

      Alex… Do you work for Al Gore, or are you just retarded?

    • Asher

      In their Obsession To get America off fuels that are in place, the Left is destroying what sources we have to run this planet on…It takes time to build Nuclear facilites, which is hindsight on their part..We should have been building Nuclear power plants 20 years ago….Well Obama said, "Under my plan Electricity rates will necessarily Skyrocket. Look at Oil prices too from the Moratorium on Drilling….

    • ajnn

      we need to go with nuclear power. good point.

  • johnwp61

    Just watch. Obama will blame rising energy costs on greedy capitalists.

    • dan

      …and as Maxine Waters alluded to a couple of years ago during a hearing, "socialize, er, uh, er, I mean, nationalize" (at that hearing) the oil companies. Just look how the Democovets are building a case to "socialize, er, uh, nationalize" ALL energy industries as publically/government owned "utilities" (as they can't help but continue to throw monkey wrenches into the private machinery that must continually bob and weave to keep from getting a knockout blow — like what's already happened to nuclear).

  • Cuban Refugee

    Well, we cannot cry and moan that we did not have plenty of inadvertently-made, self-issued warnings from Obama about his destructive agenda even before he assumed control of power in order to bring down our republic. When he talked to Joe the Plumber about "redistributing the wealth," the corrupt state media swept the classic communist statement under the rug of lies and leftist propaganda they have lain all over our country. When candidate Obama asserted that "under my plan … electricity rates would naturally skyrocket," were the alarm bells rung to alert the drones, robots, and useful idiots who had already made up their minds to vote for Hope and Change about the potentially catastrophic mistake they were about to make? No, all the chess pieces of the elites were in an advantageous position on the board for the chosen one to lift his arrogant chin, and bring America to its knees with his malevolent "Checkmate!"

  • Alex Kovnat

    Rifleman notes:

    >Another tax, yea, that'll fix everything

    I have said a number of times that, in evaluating whether carbon dioxide really is a crisis, we can't ignore the idea that those who have a philosophical peeve against the automobile or our way of life in general, are going to have an emotional vested interest in the idea of global warming. This, I believe, is as much a vested interest as if one were to hold stock in oil or coal companies.

    But if carbon dioxide is indeed a problem, I believe a tax on fossil fuels according to carbon content is the most flexible way of incentivizing us to reduce fossil fuel consumption by driving a smaller car, driving less, or some combination of both – whatever is most convenient for any given individual.

    • albert

      an emotional investment is the same as a monetary one? surely you jest, just as you jest about imposing a tax based on an "if." and believe it or not, some people have no "flexibility" about, nor do they find any "convenience" in, freezing to death in the winter to satisfy the emotionalists.

    • winoceros

      So what if they have an aversion to cars and want to hold their breath to save the planet? Let them ride their bikes and stay home in the dark. Nothing else "needs" to happen as the "feelings" of these individuals have no bearing on our liberty as individuals nor our right to property.

      You segue from "bad feelings" to "what THEY need to do about it."

      THEY don't need to do a thing. Greenies can cower in the corner and write opinion pieces, which is how things get done in society.

  • winoceros

    He has a lot to ponder every weekend at the golf course.

  • doug

    He must be voted out before he does further damage…he is the Jimmy Carter of our era, only more eloquent. Ron Reagan, where are you?

  • Ghostwriter

    We may soon have a rush of immigration from Great Britain to the United States for this. It won’t surprise me if that happens.

  • Alex Kovnat

    Reason I propose a tax on fossil fuels if AND ONLY IF carbon dioxide buildup in our atmosphere is a genuine problem is, its more flexible than rigid cap and trade schemes.

    If its possible to prove that carbon dioxide buildup in our atmosphere is NOT a problem, then I would favor neither cap and trade nor carbon taxes.

  • Ghostwriter

    I predict that there will be a large wave of immigration from Great Britain to the United States. This may happen and it will also not help President Obama win reelection.

  • Raymond in DC

    "In Britain, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) points out that many of the country’s poor will be faced with a choice between “heating and eating” next winter." If the same thing happens here (which it will), not to worry… We'll just expand the Fuels Assistance programs using money borrowed from China and Saudi Arabia.

    Responding to Alex' call to tax fossil fuels, it would be one thing if it would be implemented on a truly free market base (no picking winners and losers, no special tax breaks and subsidies) *and* if it were revenue neutral. (Good luck with that.) Recall John Anderson's proposal in 1980 to increase the tax on gasoline to deal with the second oil crisis, while *reducing* social security taxes. Creative, but not necessarily the best solution.

    Of course, in the end we got out of that crisis after Reagan removed the ridiculous distinction between "old" and "new" natural gas and oil, followed up later by eliminating price controls on the interstate sale of natural gas, regulations promoting coal over gas for power generation, etc. Once the dead hand of government control was lifted, the market did what it does best.

  • robertg222

    You want a good source of renewable energy. Burn environmentalist for heat. That solves 2 problem and once.

  • jlori

    We have been warned by economists and climate realists that the economic policies of the global warming alarmists would destroy our economy, destroy jobs and reduce us to 18th century energy poverty. I would argue this is already happening. We are in a “death spiral” brought on by Obama and the EPA’s insane crusade against CO2. If you don’t think this is the case, just look at our economy – sick and sinking.

    If you want a look at the future, look to California. The countries highest unemployment, the most anti-business state in the union all a result of the most destructive environmental policies of any state. No wonder businesses are fleeing as fast as they can.

    If the EPA does not show some common sense, the ruin that is California is going to be brought upon us all.

  • monst0r

    A factor is 10 is the usual deflator. Think increases around 75% and up.

  • Know your Daddy

    Why does America need to continue to remake the wheel – at taxpayers expense, when people are TaxedEnoughAlready? Existing technology/coal has proven to outperform solar and wind.
    – townhall-com/U.S. Has Cut Emissions … Without Cap and Tax Feb 19, 2011 “…While the federal Environmental Protection Administration is about to impose regulations and taxes on carbon emissions by executive fiat — in the name of stopping global climate change — the United States has already dramatically cut its emissions and probably has already complied with the Kyoto/Copenhagen goals for reduced emissions. And this has been done without taxes, without regulations and without government intervention…Just as the Obama stimulus package was designed to increase public spending, not to stimulate anything, so the environmental regulations are exploiting public concern over climate change to ratify a growth in government power and oversight. And that's the inconvenient truth…”
    Supply and demand has always been better than forced federal mandates – when will people demand to be represented – are people not concerned that we are getting used? One way to “fundamentally transform” a nation is through education – and the referenced is prof of how the far left will diligently work for their end – whatever it takes to get what they want.
    -Washingtonpost-com White House Adviser Van Jones Resigns Amid Controversy Over Past Activism
    the blaze-com – GREEN MAKE BELIEVE: Van Jones Admits Left is ‘PRETENDING’ Need for Regulations in Green Movement – VIDEO – Dec 21, 2010 In this video he is encouraging young folks to go to the EPA, and Congress and show your support for the carbon tax/cap and trade. He states there are only 3 options regulation, tax, or permits. Apparently he is saying the carbon [crisis] is damaging the planet; and by not taxing people to put an end to this horrendous atrocity, thereby providing environmentally friendly, [federal,union, and public service] jobs for people, the economy will suffer.
    – riehlworldview-com/carnivorous conservative/2007/03/Al Gore's Inconvenient Loot “… Gore's company, GIM was specifically established to take financial advantage of new technologies and solutions related to combating Global Warming… this all means higher prices and taxes with more regulation and an altered standard of living for people like you and me, while Al Gore sits ensconced in his other America reaping profits from each new government mandate for us, business and even government itself. It's win win, alright, but mostly for Al…. To add insult to injury, Gore chose Peter S. Knight, an old friend and colleague some are sure to recall, as the US President of GIM…”
    generationim-com/about “… generation investment management … is an independent, private, owner-managed partnership …The firm was co-founded in 2004 by Al Gore and David Blood. – Sustainable Investing for the Long Term

  • Whose your Daddy

    —– “now that the republicans have worked so hard to hand over America to their corporate benefactors and their policies have failed … the repo plan ???
    double-down on the deregulation that bankrupt America …” – REPLY – Yes – double-down on the deregulation – if you were told what you must do to keep your businesses running by someone that never held a corporate position, or a hypocrite who has held a corporate position, and add to the insult by told you're too big, so you need to shoulder more of the financial burden – (although friends in crime, such as unions, health “care” supporters, and EPA are exempt) – because the “rich” can afford this leveling of the playing field – would you feel secure in hiring more employees? – As usual, (with the far left) the opposite of the truth is believed/ double-down on the deregulation that bankrupt America.
    CAPITALISM trumps Socialism/Totalitarianism anyday – search socialists ideals, which are very similar to this neo-democrat administration, and also warnings from socialist news writers, and support from dictators.
    -investors-com/-investors-com/The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud 04/28/2010 “Al Gore is co-founder of an investment management firm that is now the fifth-largest shareholder in the Chicago Climate Exchange…Cap-And-Trade: While senators froth over Goldman Sachs and derivatives, a climate trading scheme being run out of the Chicago Climate Exchange would make Bernie Madoff blush. Its trail leads to the White House…” 04/28/2010 “Al Gore is co-founder of an investment management firm that is now the fifth-largest shareholder in the Chicago Climate Exchange…Cap-And-Trade: While senators froth over Goldman Sachs and derivatives, a climate trading scheme being run out of the Chicago Climate Exchange would make Bernie Madoff blush. Its trail leads to the White House…”
    -mountainwestmilitia-com America transformed (Cloward-Piven Strategy)
    –reason-com June 10 2010 Senate votes to let the EPA ration energy, ah, carbon
    *heritage-org/Research The EPA's Global Warming Regulation Plans January 20, 2010 – “… The EPA's attempt to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2), in addition to being the most expensive and expansive environmental regulation in history, would bypass the legislative process completely. Congress should amend the Clean Air Act in order to prevent unelected government bureaucrats from bankrupting the nation…”
    Please at least subscribe to e-mail from your reps.

  • John Lukens

    CO2 can't be a problem if it is increasing while (as NOAA/ NASA satellite data shows), the global climate is cooling. The real problem is Obama, his democrat cronies, and the green loonies. The solution? Kick them all out in 2012.