Obama’s Disastrous Clean Power Plan
by DEROY MURDOCK
October 15, 2015
Harry Alford is right.
The president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce lately has taken heat from liberals for opposing Obama's Clean Power Plan. The Left finds it inappropriate that a black man, who represents 2.4 million black-owned businesses, would dare to criticize Obama's latest bid to foil so-called "global warming." This regulation spans 1,560 confounding pages and gargles 76 different acronyms.
"The proposed Clean Power Plan would impose severe and disproportionate economic burdens on poor families, especially minorities," Alford told the Senate Judiciary Committee's Oversight Subcommittee on Tuesday. "The EPA's regressive energy tax threatens to push minorities and low-income Americans even further into poverty."
Alford cited a study that his group had commissioned. It found that by 2035, the CPP would have boosted energy costs for blacks by 16 percent and Hispanics by 19 percent.
For further proof of the CPP's enormous burden, Alford easily could have turned to Obama's own Energy Information Administration. Its May report titled Analysis of the Impacts of the Clean Power Plan and data on its website echo Alford's warnings and show, if anything, that he should slam this draconian scheme even harder.
Using EIA data, I calculate that - between 2015 and 2040 - the CPP will:
- Slash real GDP by $993 billion, or an average of $39.7 billion per year.
- Slice real disposable income by $382 billion, or $15.3 billion annually.
- Chop manufacturing shipments by $1.13 trillion, or $45.4 billion a year.
- Cut light-vehicle sales by 310,000 units, or 12,400 yearly.
- Hack non-farm employment by 900,000, or 35,000 per annum.
- Whack manufacturing employment by 1.7 million, or 68,000 each year.
(For my detailed analysis of this pending fiasco, please click here.)
On the bright side, Obama estimates that the CPP will save American households $7 per month on their electricity bills, come 2030.
A White House fact sheet says that the CPP sets a "goal of reducing emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025."
This sounds lovely. However, mandating that emissions be 27 percent below 2005's 6 billion metric tons of energy-related carbon dioxide would slash such output to 4.4 billion metric tons - an amount last observed in 1983.
#share#It seems cruel to demand that the 335 million Americans who the Census forecasts will live here in a decade produce as little carbon dioxide as just 234 million Americans yielded 42 years before 2025. Such lofty, fanciful central plans are a blueprint for economic stagnation. Because of the anticipated padlocking of coal-fired plants under the CPP, the Southwest Power Pool predicts that "the power grid would suffer extreme reactive deficiencies," including "cascading outages and voltage collapse."
Despite its immense costs, the CPP is expected to deliver paltry ecological "benefits." By 2050, carbon-dioxide concentrations would drop by less than 1 percent.
When he secured the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Obama crowed, "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow." Now we know by how much. The CPP would limit sea-level rise by 1/100 of an inch - as high as three sheets of paper.
Satellite data demonstrate that Earth's average temperatures have been stable since 1998. Even if one embraces Obama's breathless fantasies about a planet boiling in its own pressure cooker, the CPP does remarkably little about this. The EPA estimates that Obama's contraption will cut Earth's expected warming by 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050. If such a temperature trim costs $382 billion in disposable income, a 1-degree Fahrenheit reduction would require $19.1 trillion - with a T - slightly higher than today's $18.4 trillion national debt.
"The value of this rule is not measured in that way," EPA administrator Gina McCarthy told Representative Lamar Smith (R., Texas) at a July hearing of the House Committee on Science. "It is measured in showing strong domestic action which can actually trigger global action to address what's a necessary action to protect" the planet.
So, as the EPA's chief admits, Obama has concocted a vastly expensive symbol. It kills jobs and, its authors hope, will inspire foreign governments to handcuff their economies and shackle their people.
A version of this piece previously appeared on National Review Online.
National Review Online contributing editor Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor. His column, "This Opinion Just In...," frequently appears in the New York Post, Washington Times, and Orange County Register, among other papers across America.