The Environmental Protection Agency has been all over the new recently with a flurry of activity. Joining the President’s strategy of going forward with their agenda and without Congress, the EPA is taking bold steps while receiving some harsh criticism.
The latest action by the EPA directs bold new standards/regulations on carbon emissions. According to the EPA, by 2030:
- Cut carbon emission from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide below 2005 levels, which is equal to the emissions from powering more than half the homes in the United States for one year.
- Cut particle pollution, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide by more than 25 percent as a co-benefit.
- Avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children, and up to 490,000 missed work or school days — providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits.
- Shrink electricity bills roughly 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.
While the EPA clearly states some benefits to the new carbon emissions regulations, greater consequences could result from such carelessly calculated action. Electricity rates could skyrocket and the entire economy suffer.
According to the Heritage Foundation there will be serious economic damage:
- Cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) losses are nearly $7 trillion by 2029 (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars), according to The Heritage Foundation/Global Insight model (described in Appendix A).
- Single-year GDP losses exceed $600 billion (in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars).
- Annual job losses exceed 800,000 for several years.
- Some industries will see job losses that exceed 50 percent.
Further action by the EPA has modified the Clean Water Act and directly affects the definition of water ways and the productive aspects of agriculture. EPA also modified the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA).
The EPA ruling on carbon emission gives the opponents of the Keystone XL Pipeline greater hope that they will succeed in their fight on the pipeline front.
“Going it alone” is a reckless decision for the entire Obama administration. Already reinforcing greater partisan divisions in Washington, completely ignoring entire branches of our government will only lead to greater problems for our entire country.