The discreet gloating of the environmentalists 114

The Environmental Protection Agency is a curse on the American nation, and must be abolished.

Its innumerable regulations “to protect the environment”  make energy more expensive, and consumers poorer.

This is from Investor’s Business Daily:

Those [in the US] who fancy themselves to be green progressives are about to get some unwelcome “progress.” Thanks in part to environmental rules, electricity bills are headed for double-digit increases. …

A review of regulatory filings by the news source found that “utilities are seeking permission to pass on hundreds of millions of dollars in new charges to customers to help upgrade aging infrastructure and build new or retrofitted power plants that comply with tougher environmental regulations.” …

Yes, the environmentalists’ bill is now coming due. Some cost hikes are unavoidable. The electrical grid, like other infrastructure, needs to be updated and improved. But the costs due to “tougher environmental regulations” are avoidable. …

Trying to scrub and eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, for instance, is counterproductive. CO2 is not a pollutant. It’s a naturally occurring gas necessary for life on Earth.

But the environmentalists are extreme in their loathing of man-made carbon emissions, and their agenda is supported by many policymakers.

Remember when a 2008 presidential candidate said if he’s elected his cap-and-trade policy would bankrupt anyone who tried to build a coal-fired power plant on his watch?

Well, President Obama has yet to get a cap-and-trade scheme through Congress, yet he is seeing a version of the future he wanted unfold. American Electric Power, which provides electricity to customers in 11 states, plans to retire five of those hated-by-the-left coal plants, which generate enough power to light 3 million homes; retrofit a number of other coal plants at a cost of $8 billion; and add at least two natural gas plants by the end of this decade. …

AEP is not the only power company that is having to pass on the costs of decarbonization and other environmental regulations to its rate payers. The entire industry has to play the game whose rules are fixed in Washington and state capitals. 

Because of this game, “consumers,” the Chicago Tribune reported, “could see their electricity bills jump an estimated 40% to 60% in the next few years” due to “pending environmental regulations” that will make coal-fired generating plants, which produce about half the nation’s electricity, more expensive to operate. “Many,” continued the Tribune, “are expected to be shuttered.”

This is only the beginning of higher prices.

National Economic Research Associates estimates that the cross-state air pollution and proposed maximum achievable control technology rules could cost the electric power industry $21 billion annually (which will be paid by customers), kill an average of 183,000 jobs a year, and reduce the typical family’s disposable income by $270 a year.

The people behind the policies that drive power bills higher will argue that their motives are pure. They’d say they’re simply trying to make the planet a healthier place.

They’re unlikely to say that their real motive is to gain ever more political power, but gain it they do – and bear the burden with beatific equanimity.

More expensive energy cannot make people healthier, only poorer and colder.

As the  IBD editorial rightly concludes:

They  ignore how much cheap energy has promoted health and accelerated the prosperity that has contributed to our wellness. As such, there’s nothing progressive about the environmentalists’ agenda.