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GOP: ‘Impossible to Say Anything Good’ About EPA Carbon Pollution Standards

But administrator argues that regulations will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution.

by
Bill Straub

Bio

July 29, 2014 - 12:01 am
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WASHINGTON – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy vigorously defended the Obama administration’s new carbon pollution standards for coal-fired power plants, insisting that the emissions reduction plan will provide important health benefits to the nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including children.

Appearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee – and fending off a barrage of criticism from the panel’s Republican members – McCarthy said coal-fired power plants are the largest carbon producers in the U.S., accounting for about one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA plan will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of other harmful air pollutants.

“All told, in 2030, when states meet their goals, our proposal will result in about 30 percent less carbon pollution from the power sector across the U.S. when compared with 2005 levels – 730 million metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the air,” she told the panel. “In addition, we will cut pollution that causes smog and soot by more than 25 percent.”

In the first year alone, McCarthy said, the reductions will result in 100,000 fewer asthma attacks and 2,100 fewer heart attacks. Those sorts of benefits will steadily rise. By 2030, the regulations will result in climate and health benefits resulting in a savings of up to $90 billion.

“And for soot and smog reductions alone, that means for every dollar we invest in the plan, families will see $7 in health benefits,” she said. “And because energy efficiency is such a smart, cost-effective strategy, we predict that, in 2030, average electricity bills for American families will be 8 percent cheaper.”

But McCarthy’s claims were quickly dismissed by the committee’s GOP members, who maintain the strict new regulations represent a sop to environmental interests. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the ranking member, said there are “so many issues with this proposal that it’s impossible to say anything good about it.”

The new standards, Vitter said, are “fundamentally similar” to proposals issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council and result in the EPA “insisting that states ration electricity and limit consumer choice, especially if that choice involves using more electricity.”

“EPA’s proposed rule will increase costs to families, schools, hospitals, and businesses, and will, as always, hit the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes the hardest,” Vitter said. “In reality, it is essentially a federal takeover of the American electricity system.  I, for one, am not comfortable with this EPA takeover, and neither are the people of Louisiana.”

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) asserted that the EPA is implementing an “oppressive climate agenda” that could “negatively impact every single American.”

“The consequences of the administration’s proposed rule would be disastrous for our economy and would have miniscule impact on the environment,” Wicker said. “In summary, the proposed rule is a breathtaking regulatory overreach. It is a job-killer. It is based on questionable science. It is of dubious legality under the Clean Air Act. It amounts to an end-run against Congress. It is inflexible. It would have no effect on the climate and is therefore pointless, and it is punitive.”

Wicker, and other GOP lawmakers, cited the new regulations as another example of what they have termed the Obama administration’s “war on coal.” McCarthy said her agency is reacting to the threat of global climate change.

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” McCarthy said. “It already threatens human health and welfare and economic well-being, and if left unchecked, it will have devastating impacts on the U.S. and the planet. The science is clear. The risks are clear. And the high costs of climate inaction are clear. We must act.”

Top Rated Comments   
No one ever analyzes the facts about CO2 emissions. 97% of CO2 emissions are produced from non human sources i.e. decaying plant matter, volcanoes and forest fires. Do the math. Besides the CO2 increases are a lagging indicator of warming by 400-800 years.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Administrators (and whack job consultants) evidently know squat about chemistry and CO2.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is all so insane I don't know where to begin.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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Volcanic CO2 emissions are relevant to this argument. CO2 emissions from animals' respiration, forest fires and decaying plant matter are not, for at least two reasons. One of the reasons is that the organically derived CO2 hasn't changed much in the time period of interest - which is since the industrial revolution. The other reason is the issue of how long that carbon has been sequestrated. In the case of organic emissions it's anything from a month or two (breathing) to a few hundred years (forest fires). In the case of fossil carbon it's hundreds of millions of years. A matter of a mere six orders of magnitude, which matters just a little bit in science. /sarc

There is, however, a reason to be concerned about forest fires as CO2 emitters in some cases. Where those fires are deliberately set in order to clear land, permanently reducing the carbon locked up in millions of tons of wood and also reducing the amount of CO2 that is being extracted from the atmosphere, that is a concern. Forest clearance has many other disadvantages as well.

Incidentally, coal-burning plants are remarkably dirty. Quite apart from the CO2, fly ash and soot, there is the small matter of the heavy metals and radioactivity released by burning coal. A typical coal plant releases several times more radioactivity than a typical nuke; this is because of trace impurities in the coal.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ask a plant if carbon dioxide is a "poisonous gas", these "green" morons seem dead set on killing all the vegetation on this planet! Leave it to the states to decide, on a state by state basis, whether to implement ANYthing the EPA mandates. Let California go with those EPA regulations so we can watch as it becomes the plantless desert those Westcoast weirdos aspire to have.

Simple solution: GET RID OF THE EPA and let this country, especially the plants that produce the oxygen we must have, breathe again!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Straub, is the following your own words?:

"The EPA plan will cut hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of other harmful air pollutants."

If so, I must infer that you are on board with the climate clinger cult by your acceptance of the silly premise that carbon is pollution and that anthropogenic global warming is a real crisis that calls for international bureaucratic response. How does the Kool-Aid taste?

Frankly I have issues with any narrative that doesn't take the extra step in crediting compliance with a new regulation for effecting a desired change as opposed to the regulation itself. Laws and regulations in and of themselves achieve nothing apart from bloating and already hopelessly corpulent legal code- and exacerbating its complications, redundancies, contradictions in order to perpetuate and extend the need for legal specialists... and in this case the specialty would be mandatory hoaxes.

Enough about you- let's move on to the topic of your piece of brain-washery and touch upon the political faction that is the stuff of urban legend- the Republican... at least the true conservative Republican as opposed to the progressives dressed up as republicans (lower case "r") who persist in the national charade designed to fool the gullible that the US federal government is running as a two party system.

A true counter balance to the progressive usurper party would vet the subversion of these nefarious laws and regulations and would have been mounting effective campaigns against the entire agenda. They wouldn't even be in a position to denounce the proposed regulations because the agenda would have been long ago derailed and the Treasodent would only be making headlines in fending off his impeachment.

Instead we get theater.... a toothless lawsuit filed by the Speaker of the House who just happens to be up for reelection and thus has a reason to play the part of Republican to a constituency that rightly ought to be furious at the complete absence of resistance from whipping boy designate, John, tan man, Boehner.

Instead, we have an agenda that grinds on- largely in the face of increasing public disapproval. The job killing regulations persist despite a labor participation rate that hovers at levels not seen since the late 70's. Where are these Republicans with THAT information? *crickets*

The thing seems to be calculated to undermine the US economy- that is the only way it makes any sense. Surely the crisis climate situation being promoted isn't going to be mitigated through the creation of a commodity market where licenses to emit this supposedly planet killing substance, carbon, are peddled in an overpriced global marketplace. The narrative does not make sense- yet we're handed a piece of political tripe that would have us assume that a bunch of words on a piece of paper will magically clean the atmosphere of this poison simply because bureaucrats put them there?

Hogwash.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, I forgot to mention the coal surplus in the US (due to the shutdowns of coal generation plants) is being sold and shipped to China. Where they do no scrubbing or other pollution mitigation; isn't China on the same planet as the rest of us?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can we dispense with the progressive democratic BS, this has nothing to do with children, it's about control, agenda 21, a dictatorship through regulation.
If they really cared about children, someone explain to me (us) why they have supported the murder through abortion of over 50 million (at least 20 million of those were partial birth). And now with all these invaders (illiterate, moochers, freeloaders etc.) our utility bills will further skyrocket, well somebody has to pay and these cretins won't be that somebody.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the committee chairwoman, said the proposal “will not only protect public health and save lives, it will enable America to lead the way to avert the most calamitous impacts of climate change"

It's funny how the liberals scream bloody murder about certain Presidents nation building but they then pontificate how we can show the world how to act right when it comes to climate change.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Being that I am a research chemist with 30+ years of experience and having taught Toxicology at the University for many years, I likely have a different view point than most.
>
One of the techniques used to justify laws and behavior changes is to use statistics and extrapolate the result. The technique they use is to doe a population with a high concentration of something. This high concentration overwhelms the body's ability to repair or control the insult so a certain portion of the population gets sick and dies. What then happens is that they assemble a dose response curve and that curve assumes the curve remains the same all the way to zero, but by doing this they assume the body has no repair mechanisms to deal with low concentrations of the insult. So, for example , if 50% die at a concentration of 1 million whatever and 5% die at a concentration of 100,000, then they assume the curve is linear and that 0.005% will die at a level of 1000. In reality, we all live with this material in our lives every day at this concentration, but they ignore this for calculation purposes. So if the extrapolation says 0.005% will die at a level of 1000 then in the US which has a population of 300 million, this means that 15,000 will die each year from this material. It does not matter that we live with this stuff all the time, their numbers are gospel. They then attach a value for each theoretical death an then you have an incredible savings of life which costs a lot, is necessary, and accomplishes nothing.
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If you don't believe it, go back and read about Chernobyl. After the initial number of deaths from high acute exposures, the predicted deaths from lower exposures were never observed. In fact, there wasn't the slightest blip in the epidemiological data. Just another example of your tax dollars at work to provide you great expense for nothing other than to protect the job of anther ideologue.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
But wait they are shipping our coal over seas to be burned so the CO2 argument is null.
the fact that coal is an abundant and cheap source of energy for our nation is why the EPA and Obama's administration have striven so hard to destroy the industry as an adjunct to ruining the nation.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
No one ever analyzes the facts about CO2 emissions. 97% of CO2 emissions are produced from non human sources i.e. decaying plant matter, volcanoes and forest fires. Do the math. Besides the CO2 increases are a lagging indicator of warming by 400-800 years.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey all you lemmings, no-goodniks and leeches of America.... GOOD NEWS!!!

.... Dodd-Frank will come to your rescue when yo 'lectric bill bees 4 times what it be now.....

The "consumer protection" in it allows the federal government to nationalize (read steal private property) any company, business or private enterprise it deems "not working in the best interests of society".....

...... and that law says it will do this with "no judicial review allowed"....

....Soooo- 'Bama gots yo back.....

----- oh... you middle class guys.... maybe you can pimp yo daughters in order to afford the quadruple energy bills.....

..... or sweat your balls off in the summer - throw on extra quilts in the winter.....

Welcome to the new USSA !!!!!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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