Obama’s Climate Scheme Failed on All Accounts

The Trump administration is dismantling President Barack Obama’s climate legacy piece by piece, and this week it’s taking an axe to arguably the biggest piece.

In an expected move, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt officially began the process of rolling back the incorrectly named Clean Power Plan.

If the Trump administration is intent on achieving 3 percent economic growth and rescinding costly regulations that carry negligible climate benefits—and if it is concerned about preserving our energy grid—the Clean Power Plan is a must-go.

Under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the Obama EPA formalized regulations to reduce carbon dioxide from existing power plants.

Using a name that surely message-tested well, the Clean Power Plan had nothing to do with eradicating hazardous pollutants from power generation. The U.S. already has laws on the books to protect Americans’ health from emissions that have adverse environmental impacts.

Instead, the Clean Power Plan regulated carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless, nontoxic gas, because of its alleged contribution to climate change.

From Day One, Obama’s Clean Power Plan was fraught with problems—economically, environmentally, and legally.

For starters, families and businesses would have been hit with more expensive energy bills.

How so? The plan set specific limits on greenhouse gas emissions for each state based on the states’ electricity mix and offered “flexible” options for how states could meet the targets.

But no matter how states would have developed their plans, the economic damages would have been felt through higher energy costs, fewer job opportunities, and fewer energy choices for consumers.

The EPA’s idea of flexibility would not have softened the economic blow. It merely meant that Americans would have incurred higher costs through different mechanisms.

Environmentally, the climate impact of the Clean Power Plan would have been pointless. According to climatologist Paul Knappenberger:

Even if we implement the Clean Power Plan to perfection, the amount of climate change averted over the course of this century amounts to about 0.02 C. This is so small as to be scientifically undetectable and environmentally insignificant.

Legally, the Clean Power Plan was on shaky ground, to say the least. The regulation grossly exceeded the statutory authority of the EPA, violated the principles of cooperative federalism, and double-regulated existing power plants, which the Clean Air Act prohibits.

Take it from Laurence Tribe, Harvard University professor of constitutional law and a “liberal legal icon” who served in Obama’s Justice Department.

Tribe stated in testimony before Congress that the “EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the states, Congress, and the federal courts—all at once. Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy.”

It’s no surprise that more than half the states in the country petitioned the Supreme Court to pause implementation of the regulation, and judges obliged, issuing a stay in 2016.

Pruitt, who led the charge against a rogue EPA as attorney general in Oklahoma, will respect the limits of the EPA as head of the agency. The EPA will now go through the formal rule-making and public comment period in order to repeal the Clean Power Plan.

What comes after that remains to be seen. State attorneys general in New York and Massachusetts, as well as environmental activist groups, are lining up to sue. The EPA could offer a far less stringent replacement regulation, which some industry groups are pushing for to buttress against lawsuits.

If members of Congress are fed up that policy continues to be made through the executive branch with a phone and a pen, they should step to the plate and legislate.

In this case, the solution is clear. The Clean Air Act was never intended to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Congress should pass legislation prohibiting the EPA and other agencies from implementing harmful regulations that stunt economic growth and produce futile climate benefits.

Commentary by Nicolas Loris. Originally published at The Daily Signal.

I Told You So: US withdrawal from Paris climate scheme unlikely to impact emissions

LONDON (Reuters) – The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate pact is unlikely to have a direct impact on the expected decline in global carbon emissions, BP’s chief economist said on Tuesday.

“Nearly all the improvement in (carbon reduction) comes from the developing world, it isn’t coming from OECD or America,” Spencer Dale said during a presentation of BP’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy.

The reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in recent years has been a result of cheaper natural gas pushing out more polluting coal rather than regulations, he said.

 

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by David Clarke)

 

Trump admin says it is still committed to global climate controls

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said on Monday the United States was committed to the environment despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 global agreement to fight climate change.

Trump’s decision last week prompted criticism from allies and environmentalists alike but Perry, in Tokyo to discuss energy issues, said the United States would continue to work to cut emissions.

“The United States is not backing down from its role as a leader on cleaning up the climate,” Perry told reporters, adding he hoped that China would take this as “an opportunity to step forward and be real leader”.

China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon emissions blamed for causing atmospheric temperatures to rise.

Perry spoke after meeting Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, who told him that Japan was sorry the United States had decided to pull out of the Paris accord, a ministry official said. Seko was reassured the U.S. remained committed to reducing emissions, the official said.

Perry said the two nations would continue working together in decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which he visited on Sunday.

The two countries agreed to share information on Toshiba Corp and Perry said that issues involving the bankruptcy of Toshiba’s U.S. unit Westinghouse Electric Co should not affect their cooperation in the nuclear sector.

 

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Nick Macfie)

 

‘President Trump believes the climate is changing’: Ambassador Haley

Contact the White House!  Tell President Trump to DROP his belief in liberal hoaxes! – Donald Ferguson

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump “believes the climate is changing,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Saturday after Trump’s decision to take the United States out of the Paris climate accord sparked dismay across the world.

“President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation,” Haley said during an excerpt of a CNN interview released on Saturday. The interview will be broadcast on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Trump “knows that it’s changing and that the U.S. has to be responsible for it and that’s what we’re going to do,” Haley said.

On Thursday, Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate change pact, tapping into his “America First” campaign theme. He said participating in the pact would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage.

“Just because the U.S. got out of a club doesn’t mean we aren’t going to care about the environment,” Haley said.

Later on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence said that remaining in the accord would have proved costly to U.S. economic growth and to the working-class Americans at the core of Trump’s political base.

“By withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump chose to put the forgotten men and women of America first. And he always will,” Pence told a political rally in Iowa.

On Friday, nobody at the White House was able to say whether Trump believed in climate change. In recent years, he has expressed skepticism about whether climate change is real, sometimes calling it a hoax. But since becoming president, he has not offered an opinion.

The decision to take the United States out of the pact prompted a negative reaction around the world, and world leaders redoubled their commitment to an accord agreed to by every country on the planet save Nicaragua and Syria.

China and Europe on Friday pledged to unite to save what German Chancellor Angela Merkel called “our Mother Earth,” standing firmly against Trump’s decision.

The vast majority of scientists believe global warming is mainly the result of human activities, including power generation, transportation, agriculture and industry.

A small group of skeptics, some of them in the White House, believe the Paris pact threatened business.

 

(Reporting by Mike Stone; additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

 

BetterEconomy.org: ‘Paris withdrawal good start, but we want more’

WASHINGTON — Americans for a Better Economy President Donald Ferguson released the following statement Thursday:

We hope today’s announcement is a total and immediate withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement as a participant, funder and signatory. The U.S. must have no involvement whatsoever with this agreement, starting immediately.

Thousands of Americans for a Better Economy supporters signed our petition at BetterEconomy.org demanding total and immediate withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement. We hope today’s announcement by President Trump fulfills that demand made by thousands of voting conservatives.

The U.N.’s own figures show the agreement has virtually no impact on global temperatures.  it would, however, cost 400,000 Americans their jobs and send electric bills skyrocketing by between 13 and 20 percent.

In fact, the existential threat posed by U.N. climate agreements requires even further steps.

Total and immediate withdrawal from the Paris agreement is only the first step.  So long as the U.S. remains in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, these threats to our jobs, our economy and our personal freedoms will always loom over us.

President Trump and the United States Senate must fully withdraw the U.S. from the U.N.F.C.C.

We urge President Trump submit this request for the Senate’s consideration and vote.

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Americans for a Better Economy (http://www.BetterEconomy.org) is the nation’s most effective grassroots opponent of liberal environmentalism.