Our imperial president is planning to push forth with more executive action on climate change. It’s freezing cold, there’s a propane shortage, and he wants to put even more restrictions on energy production. Expect his climate action plan to cost you a lot of money.
When Congress refused to pass cap-and-trade legislation, intended to slash greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, President Obama announced there was more than one way to skin the cat. Through climate plans, executive orders, and regulatory action, he directed his agencies to find ways to curb the country’s carbon dioxide output and commit to reducing GHG emissions.
Leading the charge, unsurprisingly, is the Environmental Protection Agency. The forthcoming regulations on new and existing power plants are simply a bureaucratic alternative to cap-and-trade. They will effectively bar construction of new coal-fired power plants and force existing plants to retire sooner than they otherwise would. Removing coal — an affordable, reliable energy source — will stick Americans with higher energy bills and higher prices for a wide variety of goods and services. This will slow the general economy, hitting our manufacturing base especially hard. Heritage economists modeled the effects of a 20-year phaseout of coal generation and found annual household-income losses of $1,200 per year and annual job losses of nearly 600,000 as early as 2023.
Efficiency regulations are another tool the administration favors for curtailing GHGs. The EPA, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Energy have all gotten into this act. Vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, now jacked up to 54.5 miles per gallon for 2025, will increase sticker prices $3,000, by the government’s own account. And, as my colleague David Kreutzer writes, new efficiency standards for microwave ovens on standby mode will save you an estimated $1.20 per year — although you’ll have to replace the ovens far more frequently. (Read More)
American household budgets are under assault. Obamacare, higher energy costs, lower income, and higher prices for everything – is it any wonder the economy is doing so poorly?