EPA THREATENS FOUNDATION OF U.S. ECONOMY
Michael S. Coffman
August 12, 2012
As the EPA creates thousands of pages of highly questionable new rules on CO2 emissions, they are rapidly becoming the high priesthood over our economy and the lives of every man, woman and child in America.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seems to be on a drunken binge to impose increasingly economy-killing regulations to reduce CO2 emissions. These new regulations are based on flimsy pseudoscience and what amounts to religious tenants of faith that humans are destroying mother earth. Nonetheless, the EPA claims that current air and water emissions endanger human health. The most ridiculous of these assertions is carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
CO2 Emissions and Global Warming
Nearly a half of the U.S. electricity production is from coal and another 23 percent from natural gas. Only 2 percent comes from wind and solar.
The United States (U.S) currently produces nearly 70 percent of its electricity from coal and natural gas; both of which emit millions of tons of CO2. Because of their near-religious belief that this is causing global warming, relentless environmental pseudoscience has convinced President Obama that this perceived warming will destroy the earth. Obama has therefore committed the U.S. to drastically reduce CO2 emissions by converting to green alternative energy, which currently only produces 4 percent of our electricity, even though it will “cause energy prices to necessarily skyrocket.”
Economy-wrecking cap and trade legislation has been introduced in Congress over the years to force the U.S. to go to green energy. Although Americans rejected all of these efforts, President Obama had a backup plan; have the EPA create regulations without Congressional approval that would cut just as much CO2 emissions.
The EPA got its authority to impose these economy-wrecking rules from none other than the U.S. Supreme Court in a ruling on Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007. The Court based its entire ruling on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claim that man is causing global warming. The Court said in a 5-4 decision that that CO2 threatens the world through global warming. Therefore CO2 is covered by the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of an “air pollutant.”
Since then, the Climategate email scandal and a series of revelations that the IPCC’s 2007 report was fraught with pseudoscience and errors has all but thoroughly discredited the IPCC as a source, despite a huge government effort to whitewash the revelations. A new release of another 5,000 emails was released in November, 2011. This new damning set of pirated emails is being called Climategate 2. In spite of this avalanche of contrary evidence, the EPA did none of its own research to show CO2 was truly a pollutant, as is required by law, but instead based its endangerment ruling solely on the “findings” of the IPCC.
Alan Carlin, a mid-level employee of the EPA since 1967 wrote a critical 98 page report in 2011 asserting, “We believe our concerns and reservations are sufficiently important to warrant a serious review of the science by the EPA.” Carlin’s supervisor (an Obama appointee), quashed his report and warned him in an email, “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change. No papers, no research, etc.” So much for an unbiased EPA.
The EPA’s ruling is so bad that the EPA’s Inspector General (IA) released its own highly critical report on September 26, 2011 stating the EPA’s scientific findings “were not made available to the public as would be required for reviews of highly influential scientific assessments.” The report went on to say, the EPA “did not fully meet the independence requirements for reviews of highly influential scientific assessments because one of the panelists was an EPA employee.”
To be sure, the IA’s report was based on procedural, not scientific matters. But the cat is out of the bag now which appears to be forcing the IPCC to back off of its man-is-destroying-the-earth proclamations in its 2007 report. In its upcoming 2012 report the IPPC states in the draft executive summary,
Projected changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these [man-made] signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this time frame. Even the sign of projected changes in some climate extremes over this time frame is uncertain. (Italics added)
This astonishing admission by the IPCC may in part be the result of new research in 2011 that shows that the man-made warming theory is wrong because it is based on the wrong assumptions. Dr. Roy Spencer, former head of NASA’s Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer unit and now principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville has clearly shown that the theory of man-made global warming is incorrect; finding that the theory’s required increase in cirrus (thin high elevation) clouds is just not happening. In fact, he found that ‘the satellite observations suggest there is much more heat energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show.” So far the challenges to Spencer’s research by alarmist scientists have not shown that Spencer is wrong.
The theory of man-caused global warming is based upon the fact that a slight increase in atmospheric CO2 caused by burning oil, gas and coal results in a slight increase in temperature, which then leads to increased thunderstorm activity in the tropical region from 30oN to 30oSouth of the Equator. As these thunderstorms decay, they theoretically leave high, thin cirrus clouds behind which then trap heat at about 6-16 km in height (left graphic). It is the cirrus clouds that cause warming of the entire earth, not CO2. There is no disagreement among scientists on this. However, actual temperature readings (right) show no evidence of this. Research in 2011 clearly shows that this extra heat quickly dissipates into space and does not cause warming.5 Source of graphics: S. Fred Singer. Nature, Not Human Activity Rules the Climate. The Heartland Institute, 2008, p. 6. Used by permission.
Additionally, there is the glaring admission by NOAA and NASA that the sun is going into hibernation similar to the Maunder Minimum in the 1800s, in which earth’s temperatures were much cooler than today. That means we may be heading into 25-30 years of significant cooling. This is supported by the past 11 years of highly variable temperatures which do not show any warming of the earth as it transits into a cooling period.
The EPA has ignored this compelling contradictory evidence, and is moving full-steam ahead to implement its draconian regulations. By doing so it also ignored the fact that plants must have CO2 to survive and grow. CO2 is literally what plants take in as food. Science has shown that nearly all plants are starved for CO2. More CO2 means more plant growth and therefore human food production. Plants then give off the oxygen all animals must have to live. CO2 is essential for life on earth and there is actually too little of it!
So zealous is the EPA in ignoring real science that it had to bend the Clean Air Act to the breaking point to implement its new regulations. The Act requires the EPA to regulate any facility emitting more than 250 tons of pollutant a year (in this case CO2). According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, however, this would include “literally millions of small entities — big box stores, apartment and office buildings, hospitals, schools, large houses of worship, Dunkin’ Donut shops.” It would also require an army of 230,000 full-time EPA employees, producing 1.4 billion work hours to administer, cost billions of dollars and wipe out millions of jobs, year after year.
The EPA knew that fielding an army of 230,000 EPA storm troopers to stop Dunkin’ Donuts from baking our morning pastries would never fly. So the EPA simply, unilaterally and arbitrarily rewrote the Clean Air Act, revising the emission minimum for CO2 from 240 tons to 25,000 tons, a mere 100 times what the law required. Never fear though, the regulation will be incrementally increased to include more and more businesses and people as environmentalists file premeditated lawsuits in the future.
Called the Boiler MACT Rule (Mercury and Air Toxics Standards) , the regulations are allegedly designed reduce CO2 emissions. The EPA’s new minimum of 25,000 tons per year primarily targets coal and natural gas fired electrical generating facilities and refineries – two primary targets that Obama has said during his 2008 campaign that he wanted to make so expensive that his green energy program would look cost competitive. However, this comes with severe consequences. Along with other new EPA regulations, many coal-fired generating facilities will just close their doors. Analysts predict the United States as a whole will lose 17,000 to 60,000 Megawatts by 2017. Seventeen thousand Megawatts is about equal to all the power produced for use in Wisconsin in 2011, while 60,000 megawatts will supply about 60 million homes.
That’s not all. According to a major report by Paul Driessen, senior policy advisor at CFACT (Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death, gives this warning:
Consumers in many states will pay 20% more for electricity by 2014 or shortly thereafter. In Illinois, electricity rates are expected to skyrocket 40-60%. For businesses, these price hikes will be major disincentives to hiring new workers. Struggling families will have even less for basic necessities…. Even the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers says within a few years EPA’s new rules will cost up to 50,000 jobs in the utility, coal mining and railroad industries alone – and 200,000 jobs overall.
The longer the time the EPA rules are in place the worse it gets. The highly respected and non-partisan American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published a detailed 91 page analysis which found that Boiler MACT will shut down or negatively impact 753 coal-fired electricity-generating plants with a concurrent loss of 827,000 jobs and up to 272 gigawatts of electricity of the total of 1137.3 (25 percent) produced in 2010 at a cost of $33.4 billion annually. An additional 7.3 million jobs will be threatened by 2020. All this without ANY demonstrated benefits in health.
For consumers, ALEC determined Boiler MACT regulations impact on refineries and home electricity costs by 50 percent, 75 percent for industrial electricity and residential natural gas prices, and 600 percent for electric utility coal prices. The EPA’s only justification for these economy- and job-destroying regulations is that it will reduce CO2 emissions that these progressive scientists, bureaucrats and politicians claim is causing man-caused global warming. As demonstrated above, that claim has no basis in fact. Hence, ALEC concludes, “These costs come with little to no environmental benefit.”
That’s not all. The Wall Street Journal reports that the EPA’s new ozone requirement (another greenhouse gas) by itself will add over $90 billion dollars in compliance costs to manufacture’s. Worse, 85 percent of all counties in the U.S. will be in violation of the new standards costing hundreds of billions more as they try to comply “in vain attempts to meet unachievable standards.” That’s not including the tens of billions more that will result from the full implementation of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act. That, however, is another story. The EPA predicts huge benefits from these draconian regulations, but independent analyses show only a few cents of benefits for every dollar of cost.
Apparently Obama doesn’t care as much about jobs and affordable living for the poor as he claims. He is hell-bent to force us to use green energy at any cost to the citizens of America; rich or poor. The EPA claims the benefits of its new regulations will exceed costs by tens of billions of dollars while improving the health for millions of Americans. To paraphrase Driessen, only environmental and community organizer ideologues can believe in the tortured logic used to justify such hogwash.
Our economy is wholly dependent on cheap energy. While testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Ohio Coal Association’s president, Mike Carey warned,
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The current Administration is using EPA and other agencies to stop the use of affordable energy at every turn. Their actions are leaving investment dollars on the sidelines due to uncertainty. They have ground the permit process to a halt. New regulations on power plants are making it costly and impractical to burn coal to provide electricity. It’s [an] all-out effort to stop the ability to access coal, and where they can’t do that with a straight face, they will look to eliminate all of our customers. Apparently EPA believes they can control the laws of both supply and demand, all to the detriment of our economy.
Carey’s warning is very serious. Obama and the progressives in Congress have put us on a very dangerous path to economic ruin based on an unscientific, fear-driven belief that man is causing global warming. Along with thousands of pages of other rules ostensibly to make us more “sustainable,” the EPA is morphing into a high priesthood for an emerging new environmental religion that is based on nothing more than pseudoscience created to justify their fear that mother earth is being destroyed by capitalism and the free market system.
1. Michael Coffman. Rescuing a Broken America. (New York: Morgan James), 2020, Chapter 5, pp. 75-94.