by Sen. Doug Whitsett
President Obama has selected the illegal expansion of EPA administrative authority as his tool of choice to ignore both the rule of law and the orders of the U.S. Supreme Court
The stated goal of President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” is to cut carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants to 32 percent below 2005 emission levels by 2030. His alleged purpose for the Plan is to save the environment by reducing climate change.
His administration is employing climate change hysteria to advance his political goals of gaining more control over the public and the free market economy. The Plan represents his administration’s latest policy created to benefit well-connected entities in the government-dependent renewable energy industry, at the expense of society’s most vulnerable citizens.
The 1560-page “plan” is the product of administrative rules developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through executive fiat, to advance his personal anti-fossil fuels agenda. He has selected the illegal expansion of EPA administrative authority as his tool of choice to ignore both the rule of law and the orders of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Other choices for achieving similar carbon reduction goals are available without relying on the heavy, coercive hand of government. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) can and are being accomplished through free market principles based on voluntary actions.
Two days after Obama announced his “Plan,” the U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report stating that monthly power sector carbon dioxide emissions in America reached a 27-year low in April. The report concluded that the U.S. leads the world in natural gas production, and that increased use of natural gas was responsible for over 62 percent of electric power sector CO2 savings in the years between 2005 and 2013.
The Bend-LaPine School district offers another example of emission reduction through voluntary, market-driven means. This case study explains how Oregon’s seventh-largest school district created a win-win for the environment and its own budgets by substantially reducing both its fuel costs and its GHG emissions.
District officials converted 40 percent of the district’s bus fleet to propane autogas, creating significant fuel cost savings. Propane actually outperforms diesel in mileage, as well as engine performance and maintenance, while costing 57 percent less than diesel, at $1.31 per gallon compared to $3.11 per gallon for diesel.
The District’s cost savings were accompanied by an 80 percent reduction in total hydrocarbon emissions and the virtual elimination of particulate pollution. During its useful life, each converted bus will eliminate 169,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the District’s carbon footprint.
The combination of emission reduction and the cost savings to the District make this a practical, realistic, market-driven approach to solving excessive diesel emissions.
The inescapable fact is that wind and solar renewable energy simply do not pencil out for consumers. They are entirely dependent upon big government subsidies that divert taxpayer and utility ratepayer funds from other, more beneficial purposes.
Several states, including Oregon, have been adopting the European Union’s renewable energy strategies. Those policies have caused average European residential electricity rates to be more than double the rates in the United States in 2013.
The economic realities of those policies have prompted some of Europe’s political leaders to reconsider their green energy mandates. They have recognized their ill-advised green energy programs have caused disastrous economic outcomes, including sharp downturns in their business economies and rapidly escalating job losses.
Implementation of Obama’s Clean Power Plan will nearly guarantee rolling blackouts caused by even more of our electricity being produced from unreliable and inefficient renewable sources. Moreover, the sharply increased cost of energy is already challenging the budgets for minority families and people living in poverty.
The environmental movement is often predicated and defended upon the basis of “social justice” for the poor. Obama’s Clean Energy Plan will certainly cause higher priced food and energy, which will disproportionately harm the poor, because they spend a significantly higher percentage of their household incomes on energy and food.
All of the money derived from increased spending by people in poverty is shuttled-off to enhance the profits of the purveyors of green energy.
Senator Doug Whitsett is the Republican state senator representing Senate District 28 – Klamath Falls