06.03.2014 0

New EPA regulations a death blow to American energy

America_PowerBy Tom Toth

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced new regulations that place at risk something Americans all now take for granted—turning the lights on.

After “Cap-and-Trade” bills failed to attract even modest traction when his Party had a supermajority, President Barack Obama made good on his promise to step over the will of the American people in his vendetta against American energy. Taking specific aim at coal-fired power plants, Obama’s EPA is attempting to mandate that all fossil fuel power plants must reduce their emissions by 30 percent before the year 2030. This blow comes in the wake of recent regulations from the EPA that make building new power plants — that can operate on American coal — prohibitively expensive.

Together, these regulations have the bite to purge a natural American resource that powered 37 percent of all domestic energy in 2012, with enough coal lying naturally on American soil to power the nation for over 500 years, at current rates of usage.

And America’s energy infrastructure after six years of being hyper-regulated by Obama’s EPA is ill-prepared for the consequences.

American electricity spare capacity — the difference between generation and end use — was narrowed between 2007 and 2012 from 115 billion kWh to 58 billion kWh, respectively—a staggering 49.5 percent drop over a five-year period. The United States is in no way capable of facing the arbitrary annihilation of a prominent energy producer at a time when “renewable” energy sources have been proven to be presently unable to scale to broad portions of the economy, and spare electrical grid capacity are half of what they were in 2007. If these new EPA rules are allowed to be fully implemented, Americans will likely face a very immediate reality that the power will simply no longer be available on demand.

At a time when the United States is at the precipice of attaining true energy independence through the development of new resources with enough domestic energy available to power a dynamic American economy into the indefinite future, Barack Obama is squandering a chance to make this energy resurgence a positive cornerstone of his Presidential legacy; instead opting to score quick political points with his extreme environmentalist supporters.

Obama has chosen immediate expedient regression over a legacy of enabling hard-earned, long-term American progress, putting the American standard of life at risk in the process.

And lest anyone frame this decision as “progressive,” Obama’s new regulations foundationally compromise FDR’s famed 1935 Rural Electrification initiative, which delivered electricity to previously unreached, rural areas of the United States, raising millions of Americans’ standard of living to 20th century norms. Over the coming years, the coal-fired plants that power these rural regions very well may cease to exist. And to pile on, the consequential cost increases of energy from these regulations (cost increases Obama has openly admitted to being an inevitable outcome of this energy policy) will disproportionately hurt families in the economic middle and lower-classes.

One imagines economically disadvantaged rural families caring very little about unnoticeable carbon dioxide reductions in the air when forced to make a decision between meals with vegetables and paying the electric bill. “Progress” indeed.

True, if the United States hopes to progress into another century of rigorous growth and technical innovation, it will need a fully functional electrical grid uncompromised by the whims of elitist regulators serving an anti-economic growth master.

But more importantly, if you want to continue taking for granted that flicking switches on the wall will reliably produce light, climate control, and smart phone charging, the time to stop this radical administration from depleting America’s standard of living is now.

Tom Toth is the social media director for Americans for Limited Government

Copyright © 2008-2021 Americans for Limited Government