On Monday, the Obama Administration laid out its energy policy for the remainder of Obama's presidency. While President Obama did not personally present the damaging regulations he hopes to see implemented, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy sought to justify the EPA's sweeping new regulation on power plant emissions during a Washington press conference.
McCarthy blamed climate change for rising medical bills, higher insurance costs, and an increased frequency in devastating storms.
“If we do nothing, in our grandkids' lifetimes, temperatures could rise 10 degrees and seas could rise by 4 feet," she claimed. “Climate inaction is costing us more money, in more places, more often. 2012 was the second most expensive year in U.S. history for natural disasters."
On Monday morning, the EPA released its regulatory plan, which seeks to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent in 2030, compared to 2005 levels. Early assessments of that plan indicate that many power plants are nearly halfway to that mark, since the baseline of 2005 was before the recession hit.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he would propose legislation this week to stop the EPA rule from taking effect, and called it a job killer that would also raise prices on Americans who use energy.
The EPA is planning for its rule to take effect in June 2015, and on Monday it started the process of taking public comments on the rule. The EPA plans to take comments for 120 days, and will hold hearings in late July in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington DC.
While on the campaign trail in 2008, then-Senator Obama promised that under his energy policy “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." It now looks as though that promise is closer to becoming a reality. On radio this morning, Glenn took a look at the potentially crippling economic side effects of the new regulation.
As Glenn explained, the quality of life in the United States is what we enjoy today largely because we have enjoyed relatively cheap energy prices. Once those prices necessarily skyrocket, the spending power of the American people will evaporate.
“Do you know we're the only country really that's buying the iPhone? This is why Apple is, in the end, doomed for failure… This is all about who can have the lowest price, not the highest price… My kids think that because we have the iPhone, the rest of the world does, too. No, it doesn't. We are a unique group of people," Glenn explained. “You get to decide whether you want to live that way or not, and we can decide together whether that is worth, you know, $1,000 or $600 for an iPhone or not… That's for each individual to decide, but at least you have the power to make that decision in America. You have the spending power. And the reason why we've always had that is because we've always had cheap energy."
Ultimately, Glenn fears what will happen if we have another summer or winter of extreme temperatures if the emissions really are to be cut as President Obama hopes:
Now, here's the most terrifying thing that no one in the press has reported. Our last winter was so bad, we were one power plant away… from shutting the entire grid down. We were taking so much electricity out of the power grid to keep our homes warm… if we would have had one power plant go down, it would have spiraled the power grid in the Northeast, and the Northeast would have had a blackout for God only knows how long. We were one power plant down last year.
[President Obama] wants to reduce emissions by one-third. There is no way for that to happen unless you turn off power plants, unless you say, 'I'm just gonna turn this one off.' That's what he wants. That's what he's saying here. He's saying, 'You can have a power plant. You'll just go bankrupt doing it.' So what are they going to do? They'll shut it off. Don't you understand, America? It might sound fine and dandy, but by reducing the emissions, you won't be able to charge your fancy iPhone or your fancy iPad. You won't be able to have all of your TVs running in all of your big, spacious house. And you won't be able to keep it warm. You won't be able to keep it cold. You won't have the power to do it.
More importantly, what's going to power our universities? Nothing, I hope. What's gonna power our businesses? How much more are the people who are using a lot of energy to make paper, to make plastics, to make anything – I'm trying to think of things that we make in America anymore. I don't even know what we make here. How are you going to keep the ports open to be able to use the big cranes to get all the ships off from all the crap we purchased from China that we no longer make? How are you going to do that? You won't have the energy to do it.
"This is suicide," Glenn concluded. "Suicide."
Front page image courtesy of the AP