In September, EPA proposed rules that would effectively block the construction and operation of any new coal-fired power plants in the United States.  In October, the agency moved to complete its anti-coal crusade with the publication of a proposal that would effectively shut down nearly every EXISTING coal-fired power plant in the United States.

EPA then announced it would conduct “public listening sessions” in Washington, D.C., and in the 10 cities in which the agency has regional offices.  CFACT sent representatives to five of the hearings, presented expert testimony, and submitted a small mountain of hard facts into the record which exposed the shoddy science behind EPA’s war on coal and the devastation it will wreak on jobs and the economy.   Never forget that these job- and economy-killing rules will do nothing to improve the environment (given that carbon dioxide is not really a pollutant).  At the outset, CFACT announced a  National Petition for Affordable Energy that has been garnering signatures all over the country and the world.

We have previously reported on the work CFACT Collegians did at the October 23 “listening session” in Atlanta, Georgia, at which Georgia State Collegians Chapter leader Jeff Copeland warned, “We believe EPA’s proposed regulations on coal power plants are going to kill jobs, shut down factories, companies and industries and hurt our future. That’s simply unacceptable.”   Moreover, said CFACT Coordinator Rob Harrelson,  “Real science says you change your hypothesis and model if actual facts don’t back them up. What EPA is doing is political science – politics dictating science. That’s wrong.”

As was the case in Atlanta, where only a handful spoke in favor of the EPA proposal, agency staffers got major earfuls in Denver and Dallas.  KVNF public radio (western Colorado) reports that coal miners and power plant and utility workers traveled to Denver on November 4 from Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota to tell EPA not to regulate carbon dioxide.

Duggan at EPA hearingAnd in Dallas on November 7, CFACT Policy Research Director Duggan Flanakin joined 150 determined speakers, many representing coal miners, power plants, and local governments about to be devastated by EPA’s strong-arm, Congress circumventing  tactics.  Flanakin argued that good public policy must be based on truth and serve the public interest – and that the EPA proposal failed both tests.

Not only is carbon dioxide NOT responsible for ozone formation or brain cancer (despite what we heard from some Sierra Clubbers) the whole world now knows that the IPCC computer models, upon which EPA justifies carbon dioxide regulation, have been shown to be poor predictors of real-world conditions, which is what one might expect when politicians ignore real-world data and then manipulate the computer-based  “evidence” to suit their fancies.  Flanakin added that, while EPA is eager to kill coal and power plant jobs, these rules would provide great job security for EPA employees.

Bonner CohenAt the same time, CFACT’s Bonner Cohen was facing a much more hostile audience in Washington, D.C., as he told EPA their proposal failed the science and regulatory tests for good policy.  Noting that the total U.S. contribution to atmospheric CO2 is 0.01%, and the contribution from coal-fired power plants is but a fraction of that amount, EPA cannot say with any accuracy whether the rules would affect the climate.  On the regulatory side, Cohen noted that China and India have both announced they have no interest in denying their citizens and businesses the affordable energy that coal and other fossil fuels provide.  It is economic suicide, then, for the U.S. to shut down 37% of its electricity generation capacity.

Later that day, CFACT Collegians from the University of Washington spoke at the EPA “listening session” in Seattle. Billy SeattleLHStinson stated that it makes no sense for EPA to attack the miniscule amount of carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power plants, especially given that fossil fuels supply 80% of the energy for America’s jobs, living standards, health and welfare.

Laycee Hyde added that the worst impacts of the EPA rules would be felt by the poor through higher energy prices – yet EPA refuses to conduct cost-benefit studies that place quantitative values on lost jobs, injuries to wildlife from wind turbines, lost industrial capacity, and the struggle by the poor to pay soaring utility bills.  Laycee reported that she and Billy were the only two speakers in Seattle opposing the EPA rules – and that she was heckled and Billy’s speech was met with total silence.

CFACT – which is challenging other EPA rules in court – was also represented on November 8 in Chicago by Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen, whose testimony must have burned the ears of EPA minions and President Obama’s Hyde Park neighbors.  Driessen noted that EPA’s climate models have been proven useless by real-world data and that NONE of their claims about hurricanes, tornadoes, rising seas, wildfires, and other alleged dangers of carbon dioxide “pollution” have been accurate.

Driessen stated that the EPA’s goal is to kill jobs, shut down factories, companies, and industries and to devastate families and communities that depend on coal mining, factory jobs, and affordable energy.  In sum, every life EPA claims these rules would improve would in reality be made worse by EPA’s own rules – and EPA knows it.

As the EPA hearings drew to a close, CFACT left determined to go on speaking truth to Green power.  CFACT stands prepared to rebut any new enviro-powered initiative with hard facts.  President Obama, EPA, and other federal agencies have become quite intent on wrecking the American dream.  As numerous Americans have said over the centuries, “We have only just begun to fight!”


  • Duggan Flanakin

    Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas. A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, "Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout."