Poised to fulfill President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to ensure electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket,” the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule which would limit power planets to 1,000 pounds of carbon emissions per megawatt-hour. Fox News reports:

As a part of its controversial proposed rule to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants, the EPA held simultaneous public comment sessions in Washington, Atlanta and Denver Tuesday. The comments, designed to help shape the formulation of the final rule, may have complicated that task, given the often diametrically opposed opinions expressed.

At the Washington event, one of the speakers, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., told the panel, “The planet is running a fever and there are no emergency rooms.”

His admonition to address the urgent climate crisis contrasted with satellite data that shows no global surface warming for 17 years and 10 months. That, in turn, is at odds with NASA’s findings that 2013 tied as the seventh warmest year since 1880.

Lost amid efforts to make sense of seemingly contradictory information is an essential moral consideration. Should your government have the power to keep you from heating your home? Should your government have the power to keep you from feeding your children? We should ask, because this proposed EPA rule would effectively kill domestic energy production from coal, which would increase energy prices. And when energy prices go up, all prices go up. It turns out modern living is made possible by energy.

In a way, offering public comment to the EPA as they consider arbitrarily increasing the cost of living and lowering our quality of life lends legitimacy to the claim they have made over our lives. Perhaps the only proper public comment would be, “How dare you.”

It’s easy from a position like United States senator to value the planet’s imagined “fever” over cheap abundant energy. But when you’re living a hairsbreadth from devastation, barely feeding your family or struggling to heat your home, the value of cheap abundant energy trumps pseudo-science any day of the week. The same people so eager to flaunt the poor when it proves politically convenient ignore the same when the topic turns to climate change.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 16:05 minutes long; 15.51 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)