By next summer the states are being told by the EPA to submit plans for compliance with its Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon output from power plants or it will impose its own stringent orders.
According to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, the EPA proposal will increase the price of electricity in Nevada an average of 18 percent between 2020 and 2029. That’s money that can’t be spent elsewhere on goods and services and to create jobs.
It is unclear whether these calculations take into account the 2013 Legislature’s decision to prematurely shut down all coal-fired power plants in Nevada, a move that already will destroy 2,630 jobs by 2020 and cut real disposable income by $226 million per year, according to one study.
ACCCE says the EPA proposal would drive up the cost of electricity by about $335 billion. It also will increase the price of natural gas for non-generating purposes by $144 billion. The net cost to the economy would be $479 billion between 2017 and 2031.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Kenneth Hill, a director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority, has called on states to ignore the EPA directive to create compliance plans and let it try to impose sanctions. He notes the agency is legally shaky ground. Remember, the court said the feds could not coerce states into expanding Medicaid by denying funds.
“But the problem for the EPA is that the federal government lacks the legal authority under either the Constitution or the Clean Air Act to enforce most of the regulation’s “building blocks” without states’ acquiescence,” Hill writes. “This severely limits the EPA’s ability to tailor a federal plan to a state’s unique needs.”
After all the spending and draining of the economy, what will be the benefit of these new restraints on carbon output? Nil.
There has been no global warming for 17 years, according to NASA data, and the world has warmed only 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit since they started keeping track in 1979. The bulk of that warming came between 1979 and 1998, and since then temperatures have actually dropped.
A version of this column was originally published in Mr. Mitchell’s blog.
Mr. Mitchell publishes the 4TH ST8 Blog at www.4thst8.wordpress.com.