August 22, 2018

EPA Proposes New Rule

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

... The proposal broadly increases the authority given to states to decide how and how much to regulate existing coal power plants.” (AP News)

The new plan would formally replace the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which was

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The left worries about the adverse public health effects of the proposed rule, but is hopeful that the energy sector has already begun replacing coal with cheaper alternatives.

“Because of an increase in a tiny air pollutant known as PM 2.5, which contributes to smog and is linked to asthma and heart disease, the EPA predicts between 470 to 1,400 more deaths... Depending on how aggressively states make efficiency standards for individual power plants, those numbers could decrease.”

Mother Jones

“The Trump administration analysis also found that its plan would see 48,000 new cases of what it described as ‘exacerbated asthma,’ and at least 21,000 new missed days of school annually by 2030 because of an increase of pollutants in the atmosphere.”

New York Times

The proposed rule “would produce modest savings for power [plant] owners, while potentially adding billions of dollars in new health costs on the population at large to address problems such as heart and lung disease caused by an increase in pollution.”


“At this point, the marketplace is doing more to cut emissions than the Environmental Protection Agency is... With the price of natural gas, wind and solar power falling steadily, power plant owners have closed or announced plans to close 270 coal plants nationwide — more than half the total — since 2010... The country is on track to lower carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent by 2030, close to the Clean Power Plan target, with no EPA power-sector rules in force.”


According to the managing partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a sustainable energy investment firm, “we should be supporting 21st Century technologies that employ far more Americans instead of trying to prop up a failing 20th Century energy technology."


“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

The right supports the plan, arguing that the Obama-era CPP was an unconstitutional executive power grab and existing policies are sufficient to protect the environment.

The right supports the plan, arguing that the Obama-era CPP was an unconstitutional executive power grab and existing policies are sufficient to protect the environment.

The [CPP] wasn’t just bad policy — it was also illegal... The Supreme Court immediately recognized the legal flaws of the rule and took the unprecedented step of putting it on hold... It is the states that can best tackle the question of how we reduce emissions without raising people’s electric bills and hurting our economy. The Obama top-down mandate from Washington wasn’t legal and wouldn’t work.”

USA Today

Some point out that “power plant C02 emissions are still estimated to fall under the EPA’s proposal to 33% below 2005 levels by 2030, but without the costs to consumers of the Obama plan. The Trump plan also doesn’t ‘roll back’ Obama-era reductions since the Supreme Court stayed the Clean Power Plan in February 2016 and likely would have struck it down as an abuse of regulatory power.”

Wall Street Journal

It’s also worth noting that under current regulations, “not only are our emissions not going up, but in 2017 we reduced our emissions more than any other developed country in the world... Of all the EU signatories to the Paris climate treaty, not one of them is meeting their current goals for emissions reduction. Only five of them – Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Portugal and Sweden – are even at 50% of their targets.”

Hot Air

“The CPP's champions were wealthy liberals like Tom Steyer and its victims were the poorest Americans... Lower-income families dedicate a higher portion of their budget to electricity. And if families are forced to pay more in energy bills, they obviously cannot use the lost money on other things... In 2017, the price-per-kilowatt-hour in CPP-supporting California was twice that of its next-door neighbor, Nevada.”

Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

This job will pay you to travel the world drinking gin and you can take a mate too.

Wales Online

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