Who Will Be Hurt Most By Obama’s Proposed EPA Carbon Rule? The Poor

The Obama Administration, in an attempt to distract the American People from his other disasters such as Obamacare, the Bergdahl debacle, and the deaths of veterans waiting for healthcare at the VA, released new proposed EPA regulations today:

The Obama administration took aim at the coal industry on Monday by mandating a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions at fossil fuel-burning power plants by 2030 — despite claims the regulation will cost nearly a quarter-million jobs a year and force plants across the country to close.

The controversial regulation, which some lawmakers already are trying to block, is one of the most sweeping efforts to tackle global warming by this or any other administration.

The 645-page plan, expected to be finalized next year, is a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change agenda, and a step that the administration hopes will get other countries to act when negotiations on a new international treaty resume next year.

“We have a moral obligation to act,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, in announcing the plan Monday morning.

Pro tip: Whenever the government talks about “moral obligation” — run.

Alternatively — what about the “moral obligation” to the taxpayer?

The entire assumption of the Obama Administration and others on the left is that carbon dioxide–a naturally occurring gas that is emitted by plants (when not photosynthesizing), and by other organisms, and used by plaints to photosynthesize–is harmful. It is with great hubris that mankind thinks that any changes contained in this proposed set of rules and regulations will actually accomplish anything (and that the ecosystem won’t compensate anyway for any changes). That aside, and without getting into the science in this post, there are other glaring problems with this new EPA rule which the left simply ignores.

The new proposed EPA rules will cost people more money.

The Chamber of Commerce found that the new EPA regulations will:

-Lower U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $51 billion on average every year through 2030
-Lead to 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs on average every year through 2030
-Force U.S. consumers to pay $289 billion more for electricity through 2030
-Lower total disposable income for U.S. households by $586 billion through 2030

The EPA concedes that the new regulations will cost billions more every year, but suggests that the cost will be closer to $10 billion per year.

OFA’s twitter account (which uses Barack Obama’s name) tweeted this nonsense:

DYK: New emission standards will shrink electric bills by about 8% by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 2, 2014

Yes, America. We will lower your energy bills by making energy more expensive. It worked so well for health insurance, right? Lest we forget, Obama promised a $2500 cut in health care costs and delivered the opposite. Why would we believe that the new EPA rules would cost what Obama’s White House projects? Make no mistake, the proposed EPA rule is a regressive tax on poorer Americans, who will most certainly pay more for their energy costs due to these ridiculous regulations. Lowering disposable income and increasing the costs for energy disproportionately affects poor folks, who pay a larger percentage of their income for energy costs because their income is limited.

The EPA’s own analysis projects an increase in the cost per kwh of electricity of up to 11.7%. Imagine being poor or on a fixed income and being told that your energy costs, conservatively, will be going up by nearly 12% by 2020. Remember–this is the government’s prediction. We know how the numbers are fudged…I mean, underestimated. Obamacare, for example, was originally projected by the CBO to cost ~$900 billion, but a more recent projection pegs it at double that. Another problem is that energy companies are semi-monopolies.

Because they are utilities, governments grant them monopoly status in exchange for limits on the amount they can charge folks for energy. However, when the federal government forces these regulations on states and companies, the costs will simply be passed down to the consumer. Because of the power companies’ monopoly-like status, consumers will have no recourse other than to pay more, or reduce consumption. Of course, “reducing consumption” is really just limiting the consumer’s standard of living.

Regulations are a stealth tax on consumers. Companies can avoid the cost of regulation by passing the costs downward. Consumers are stuck paying for it.

The EPA regulations are another example of government picking winners and losers.

For example, energy companies which produce limited carbon dioxide emissions are able to comply with the regulations easier than carbon “polluters.” This includes nuclear energy and natural gas, versus coal.

The problem is that a large portion of Americans gets their energy from coal plants.

When government picks winners and losers with its energy policy, the consumer is the real loser.


Another “interesting” fact about the proposed EPA rule is that the plans are to be submitted by states in 2016, but states can ask for more time and submit their plans in 2017. For some reason, Obama is allergic to proposing rules which destroy economic growth in advance of elections. Finally, it should be noted that China and India don’t have similar carbon reduction proposals for their countries. This is likely because such regulations will stunt economic growth and hurt their large, growing middle classes. Granted, it’s not apples and apples–China and India have real polluters to deal with. America has less of that. At the same time, it’s not unfair to observe that these regulations will slow down American economic growth while our competitors will not be subject to the same impediments to growth.

US Corporations vs Chinese How is this remotely fair @EPAresearch @EPA ? #Coal #energy pic.twitter.com/R1hcmb2y8p

— Lawrence McDonald (@Convertbond) June 2, 2014

Also, do you notice the leveling off and downturn of carbon dioxide emissions in the USA–without the proposed rule having been in effect?

Bottom line: the new proposed EPA carbon dioxide regulation will cost consumers (particularly lower income households) a lot more money and will be destructive to American businesses. In today’s society, where viral posts and stories can sway public opinion quickly, one wonders why we need the government regulating energy companies ir (or when) We The People can self-regulate, buy our own low-carbon energy generation systems (such as solar panels) and campaign to companies to be “greener” without raising costs on consumers.

As always, free markets are better markets.