Regardless of one’s personal opinions on the effect man-made greenhouse emissions have on the climate, the Obama Administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan will exact a high price on Americans and have a negligible impact – if any – on global temperatures. NERA’s economic consultants estimate a temperature reduction of only 0.018 degrees C in 2100 at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars. In August, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its final rule to achieve a 32% reduction in “carbon pollution” from the electric power production sector by 2030.
Experts estimate a significant impact on the cost of electricity to all consumers and businesses. President Obama has kept his promise that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” as a result of his policy. The poorest and most vulnerable members of society will be disproportionately harmed by these impending spikes in energy prices. Europe is already experiencing “energy poverty” where families and the elderly are being forced to choose between eating and heating. Tens of thousands did in the United Kingdom in several recent winters because they are unable to pay their electricity bills and still buy enough food. Will this happen in America next?
The world’s poorest – the 1.3 billion in developing countries who depend on wood and dried dung as primary cooking and heating fuels, smoke from which kills 4 million and temporarily debilitates hundreds of millions every year – will be condemned to more generations of poverty and its deadly consequences. Instead, developing countries desperately need to replace such primitive and dirty fuels with electricity, the most affordable sources of which are fossil fuels.
The Honorable Kathleen Hartnett White
Distinguished Senior Fellow and Director,
Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment, Texas Public Policy Foundation
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
President, National Black Chamber of Commerce
E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D.
Founder and National Spokesman, The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow