EPA is waging its war on coal under false pretenses

Newly sworn in EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, responding to criticism of her agency’s proposed new carbon capture rules from coal state Senators Joe Manchin (D, WV) and Mitch McConnell (R, KY), disavowed the idea that these rules are based on ideology. Instead, she claimed, the rules are based on “world-renowned science” — the 1993 Harvard University Six Cities Study on the link between air pollution and health.

Coal shippingManchin charged in the Christian Science Monitor that EPA rules would “have devastating impacts on the coal industry and our economy.” And McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor, called the rules “the latest Administration salvo in its never ending war on coal – a war against the very people who provide power and energy for our country.”

Perhaps Ms. McCarthy is simply ignorant of her boss’ rhetorical history. Back in 2008, Senator Barack Obama (D, IL) told the San Francisco Chronicle that, “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

Of course, President Obama never got his carbon tax or his much desired cap and trade program. But he did find ways to “invest” in alternative energy technologies (wind and solar, in particular) by funneling large sums of subsidy money into “cutting edge” companies – many of which are now belly-up. And through it all apparently he never forgot his promise to bankrupt the coal industry.

Back in June, as the President was gearing up for a major climate chat with John Q. Public, Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post noted that the Administration had pursued a string of policies unrelated to “climate change” that make it more costly for businesses to extract and burn coal. And an ecstatic Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune was licking his chops at the prospect of closing down more coal plants: “The President realizes that you can’t combat climate change without a direct confrontation with the fossil fuel industry,” he eagerly said.

Such sentiments were also echoed in ivory halls of Harvard, where Presidential advisor Daniel P. Schrag of the school’s Center for the Environment told to the New York Times that “a war on coal is exactly what’s needed” to address global warming. Apparently, neither Schrag, nor the President, nor Ms. McCarthy have gotten the message that there has been no meaningful global warming since the nineties and that many scientists today are much more concerned that we are entering a longer period of cooling.

It is one thing to further restrict emissions of known air toxins, soot, NOx or airborne contaminants, as EPA has already done. But it is far different to claim that science justifies a war on carbon dioxide emissions – despite the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling that EPA can, but is not obligated to, control CO2 emissions pursuant to the Clean Air Act.

Ms. McCarthy’s proposed rules could not be linked to the 1993 Harvard study, which did not address carbon dioxide as a pollutant at all. Nor did the 1995 ACS study. Even the Court’s 5-4 declaration that CO2 is an air pollutant cannot establish a scientific link to either of those studies.

What is truly needed is for the Court to revisit its 2007 ruling, in light of new evidence that suggests the alleged link between CO2 levels and world temperature trends has been far overstated. Despite the oft-repeated, bogus claim that “97% of climate scientists” believe that CO2 emissions are so high the planet is about to burn up, new science, a lack of warming for 16 years, and now a growing number of skeptical scientists – tell a far different story.

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This article originally appeared at the National Journal

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.

About the Author: Duggan Flanakin

Duggan Flanakin

Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with both the Texas and Arkansas Public Policy Foundations, Mr. Flanakin has a Master's in Public Policy from Regent University. During the years he spent reporting on environmental regulation in Texas and nationwide, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas.

  • roberta4343

    I usually love the weather channel, but that is starting to change for two reasons, they started going into world and business news, (nothing to do with weather) and two pushing the consences of climate change, what people fail to realize consenses does not make it so nor does science ever reach a consenses until something is repeated enough to prove cause and affect whatever that may be sometimes that takes generations of experience before scienctists can say with certainty that the earth is round and not flat and that climate has changed many times in the past, before man ever drove cars. they keep pushing all these scarey scenarios which I know are false, they are basically indoctrinating people, I noticed they do not talk about teh sceince or have real scienctists on there, or show alternative explanations for weather events, and of course they act like many of hte weather events are some how new or special when in reality it is just repeat of weather over the generations. do you know that the reason weather events seem worse is because there is more people and thus more asset damage and insurance payouts. they base it on property damage, not on history of a particular area. naturally it seems worse but really there are just more people affected and one cannot rule out the political gain for those crying fowl in getting grants, bailouts and thelike, money is a strong motivator to cry wolf., second bad managment of building cities and towns, frankly cities and towns should be more spread out, people are not designed nor meant to live in a box (we are not bees you know) it was nimrods idea to box people up in the name of making a name for themselves of course nimrods real agenda was to become king, you can’t do that if eveyrone is spread out and self sufficient. genesis 11 agenda 21 in simple terms is just a way to box the slaves in so you can have full control of them and they have no excape and thus you will always have a labor pool, that will be unable to resist or say no to orders given.and you will also prevent uprisings as well.

  • jim

    When anyone is campaigning for an office and say they will bankrupt the oil and gas industry and they don’t hear of believe what is said, this is what the voters get.

    • Dale300

      What is wrong with having choices of different forms of energies! That is what democracy is about. Why limit our choices. But again just proves the stupidity of the Democrats and wanting to limit choices and thinking that government knows best what is good for us. That shows total contempt of our education and judgment of our people!! The government wants us to be totally dependent on them so they can take control over our lives and if we the people don’t stop this, then yes, we deserve to have more O’Bama’s policies to be put into affect. I pray not!!!

      • Michael Castillo

        Republicans say you should be free to choose whatever you want. Democrats believe they know better than you what is best for you and that it is the governments responsibility to to shove their choice for you down your throat, regardless of what you actually want.

  • shearwater

    For a person to single handedly close down an entire extraction industry vital to United States security and robust industry takes your breathe away. Such a person should be classified a national security threat! We should tell him, “You can’t do that!” and throw him in lock up or deport him back to his roots in Kenya!! This guy should have been vetted and impeached long ago!! Republicans in the House of Representatives are afraid of racial backlash.

  • Arationofreason

    Google the 50:1 project which address the cost benefit ratio of CO2 reduction even if the UNIPCC claims were true. (Using their own figures)

    Of coarse the science is now showing no benefit (no significant warming, AR5 will predict 1.2 degC) so the real ratio is approaching 50:0.

    Assuming the EPA regulations would eliminate coal power completely at even more $ billions in cost to the power companies (and thus to you) to replace coal burning plants it would according to their own AR4 figures , reduce this 3 degrees rise by 0.00101 degrees C. to 2.99899 degree C rise.
    But we would never know since we can’t measure global temperature with sufficient accuracy to know it, let alone feel it.
    The people proposing these carbon reduction mandates must be totally brain dead not to look at the consequences of their own proposals.

    Reference to check the calculations: http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2009/04/30/what-you-can

  • Annette Rose Giesbrecht

    The reason that Obama and his minions want to destroy the coal industry is because it contributes to America’s prosperity as not allowing the Keystone project. It is to destroy America’s prosperity and make it into a third class nation. I am sure that they are smart enough (after all, they did go to University) to know that green energy is no good and very expensive and destructiive (birds flying into those wind mill towers, even those that are protective species –but they do not care.) but they probably think, well they do think that some other country or countries deserve the wealth such as China.

  • Marilynne L. Mellander

    Not only does this woman repeat the climate change guvmint lies, but she appears to be yet another homosexual placed in a position of power by our Satanic government –
    think Janet Napolitariano