Obama’s EPA Coal Plant Regulations: “Obamacare for the Atmosphere”

By:  William F. Jasper
Obama’s EPA Coal Plant Regulations: “Obamacare for the Atmosphere”

The Obama administration has thrown down its latest gauntlet in its “War on Coal.”

On Monday, June 2, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced unprecedented restrictions on power plants, the alleged purpose of which is to combat global warming by drastically cutting carbon dioxide emissions.

The Daily Beast, a left-wing site that views global warming as a top threat to the planet, enthusiastically endorsed the move in an article by Jason Mark entitled “EPA’s New Regulations to Cut Carbon Emissions Are Obamacare for the Air.”

“Just like health care,” wrote Mr. Mark, “the plan to change the energy industry relies on a complex set of rules that harnesses the power of the marketplace — and it will be as controversial.” This is cause for cheer, he says. “Environmentally concerned voters will finally get what they paid for by giving their political support to President Obama when, Monday morning in Washington, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy unveils the draft of sweeping new regulations on existing power plants.”

Jason Mark’s Daily Beast article continued: “You can think of the power plant rules as Obamacare for the atmosphere: numbingly complex in an effort to ensure flexibility and fairness, based on a market system, and likely to transform a key sector of the economy for decades to come.”

Numbingly complex like ObamaCare, yes; But “based on a market system”?  Perhaps a fascist, corporate-state market system, in which politically connected companies reap huge cap-and-trade profits, but certainly not a “free market” system.

Administrator McCarthy’s draconian proposals are turning out to be even worse than many critics expected. In a May 30 commentary, the Cato Institute’s Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, who is past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and a research professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia for 30 years, speculated that the new regulations would most likely require a 20-percent reduction in allowable carbon dioxide emissions. “The only way this will be possible,” he said, “will be by upgrading almost all combustion units, and the ultimate cost of the upgrades will make coal noncompetitive with much-less-expensive natural gas–fired facilities.”

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