Economy, Regs, & Taxes

States Challenge Obama's 'Clean' Power Play

Half the states take the EPA's regulatory burden to court.

Allyne Caan · Jan. 28, 2016
Obama's plan

With the June 30 deadline looming for states to submit plans to the EPA showing how they will comply with Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), 29 states and state agencies — along with 60 utility companies or energy industry trade groups — have taken their opposition directly to the chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts. Their request? Halt Obama’s environmental takeover until the legal challenges to the plan can be resolved. The petitions came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to block CPP’s implementation.

By far the most the far-reaching environmental regulations ever foisted on states, the CPP requires states to meet power-plant carbon emission reduction targets by 2022 and again by 2030. As The Daily Signal notes, however, this has nothing to do with mitigating health risks or negative environmental impacts. It’s all for reducing global warming — supposedly.

Ironically, according to an EPA model, the CPP would avert rising global temperatures by a miniscule 0.02 degrees Celsius. This means, of course, that the CPP’s real purpose is simply increased government control of every aspect of the American economy.

Not surprisingly, the CPP would deliver disastrous results. As a Heritage Foundation analysis notes, the regulations would lead to an average employment shortfall of nearly 300,000 jobs and a peak shortfall of more than one million jobs, the loss of 500,000 manufacturing jobs, the elimination of more than 45% of coal-mining jobs, an aggregate GDP loss of more than $2.5 trillion (adjusted for inflation), and a total income loss of more than $7,000 per person (also inflation-adjusted).

Indeed, as we noted earlier this month, Obama’s war on coal is already leaving casualties, as Arch Coal, America’s second-largest coal company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Certainly, other factors contributed, but Obama’s regulations played a big part.

With the clock ticking, Chief Justice Roberts called for the EPA to respond to the petitions by 3 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 4. Then, Roberts can either approve or deny the requests himself or convene the full Court to consider.

To say the stakes are high is severely inadequate. If CPP advances unchecked, Americans will lose jobs; companies will close; and thanks to threats to reliability, consumers will find turning on the lights may not actually turn on the lights.

That’s a hefty price to pay for 0.02 degrees.

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