President Obama, through the EPA, is mandating a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions, by 2030, from fossil-fuel fired electrical generating plants. The regulations will require each state to come up with a plan specifying the method for the reduction by 2017, and if they don’t, the EPA will impose a plan upon them. The net effect of this would be to prevent possible warming of 0.018ºC by 2100 according to the EPA.
Why a 30 percent reduction? No reason; that’s just a random number picked by a bureaucrat. There is no scientific basis for it.
This mandate will hit coal-fired plants the hardest. We currently get about 40 percent of our electricity from such plants. These regulations have the potential to make our national electricity grid much less secure because plant closures will reduce our reserve capacity to weather times of high electrical demand.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a new report on the effects of the Obama administration’s proposed new carbon dioxide emission regulations. “Our analysis shows that Americans will pay significantly more for electricity, see slower economic growth and fewer jobs, and have less disposable income. Potential EPA regulations would result in a very slight reduction in carbon emissions, which would be overwhelmed by global increases.”
The Chamber estimates that as many as 224,000 jobs would be eliminated through 2030 and that the new regulations would impose costs on industry of $50 billion per year through 2030. The report also estimates that if the regulations are enacted, consumers would have to pay an estimated $289 billion more for electricity and their disposable income would decrease by $586 billion thus producing a “sustained lower standard of living for the U.S. population.” Read the full report here.
These draconian regulations are part of Obama’s Climate Action Plan to fight the phantom menace of global warming. So what will be the effect on global warming?
As noted in a National Review article by Patrick J. Michaels of the CATO institute, “The EPA’s own model, ironically acronymed MAGICC, estimates that its new policies will prevent a grand total of 0.018ºC in warming by 2100…In fact, dropping the carbon dioxide emissions from all sources of electrical generation to zero would reduce warming by a grand total of 0.04ºC by 2100.”
Comment by Alan Carlin, former EPA researcher: “It is important to note that the EPA proposals are not only attempts to circumvent Congress and the provisions of the Clean Air Act but also the separation of powers enshrined in the US Constitution. The separation of powers were built into the Constitution for a reason–to keep ideologues of any persuasion from being able to impose their views on the nation merely by controlling one branch of Government. The new EPA proposed rules are not based on any act of Congress but rather on an outrageous rewriting of the Clean Air Act by EPA on the basis of green ideology with all its bad science, bad economics and bad law.”
S. Fred Singer opines: “Why would the White House want to make energy more expensive and depress the standard of living for most of the US population? The problem becomes very acute for those in the lower income brackets where they have to decide between food and heat; whether to starve, or to freeze. Of course, they won’t be permitted to starve or freeze; they will now receive energy vouchers in addition to food stamps. These subsidies will have to be paid for by taxes — mainly from middle-income earners; they are the ones who will lose out in this scenario.”
“But perhaps that’s the ultimate purpose: To make a larger fraction of the population more dependent on government handouts — a Machiavellian scheme.”
In other words, these new regulations will have no effect on climate even if you believe that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role. It is just an exercise in radical environmental religion with perhaps some crony capitalism thrown in. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail in the next election.
By the way, East Antarctica is accumulating snow and calculations show that the mass balance is negative, i.e., there is a net drop in sea level. Even the UN IPCC AR5 agrees. Their report says “Projections of Antarctic [sea mass balance] changes over the 21st century … indicate a negative contribution to sea level because of the projected widespread increase in snowfall associated with warming air temperatures.”