The Clean Power Plan Cannot Succeed

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By Harry C. Alford

Beyond the Rhetoric

This is déjà vu all over again. Sometimes big government gets too big for reality. It oversteps its boundaries.  Such was the case when the Obama Administration first came into power. It decided to become an environmental zealot. They began to implement a plan known as “Cap and Trade.”

Cap and Trade reminded us of the old Kyoto Treaty protocol. This was implemented back in 1992 and it was going to “bulldoze” environmental regulation at the expense of our general economy. The economically efficient population would decrease their overall economy and the lower income populations such as Hispanics, Blacks, and fixed income lower class would suffer.

We proved Cap and Trade to be a clone of the Kyoto Protocol and since have proven the Clean Power Plan to be a clone of Cap and Trade. The “bullheaded” environmentalists don’t seem to understand that people will not desire to live impoverished and unemployed while nations on the other side of the world continue to maintain their lifestyle at the expense of ours. The ironic thing about the Kyoto Protocol was that the United States, despite refusing to adopt the plan, achieved better environmental improvement than those nations that professed to believe in the plan. It is our improving technology that is working to make our environment better – not adverse regulation.

So, as we continue to improve the quality of our environment at a reasonable pace, the extremists are demanding unreasonable demands that cannot find a “happy medium” in the improvement of our environment. Such is the case of the Clean Power Plan.

The following information is an actual timeline on the ongoing debate, and parts of a study by “Climate Wire.”

President Obama decided to give his unrealistic environmental goals another last try. “On August 3, 2015 the Obama administration released the final Clean Power Plan. The U.S. EPA would cut carbon emissions 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. Each state must achieve a specific level or rate of emissions. States decide how much to ramp up natural gas, renewable power or energy savings and how much to reduce coal use. Companies can buy and sell allowances to balance their carbon emissions.”

All hell has broken loose. Just like with Cap and Trade reasonable industry leaders, state governments, etc. are resisting with a vengeance. Twenty-seven states oppose this plan while 18 others approve it. States and business groups sued in federal court. Hence, the Supreme Court has halted implementation of the Clean Power Plan. A federal court is weighing the rule and the Supreme Court could take it up shortly. President Trump has directed the EPA to review and possibly rescind the rule. It is in his campaign platform to stop this onerous rule. The Trump administration is going to kill the Clean Power Plan.

Environmental extremists thought that Donald Trump would not be elected President. His election is secured, and his platform is going as directed. The industry is experiencing a fantastic comeback. In fact, all the closed coal mines are starting to reopen. Peabody Energy, a major coal producer that fell into bankruptcy, is now out of bankruptcy and flourishing once again. The United States is becoming a major coal exporter.

Since the election, the United States is becoming a major coal decarbonizer due to its improving technology. Our emissions are improving at a great pace without all the unemployment and production losses. It is our improving technology that makes the difference. There is no need for economic devastation like the environmental extremists thought.

Nations in Asia are importing our coal production at record pace. Job growth will be steady in our coal industry. Thus, all the threats of making the Clean Power Plan a reality are quite doubtful. African American and Hispanic employment levels do not have to be sacrificed. America will continue to grow, and the latest records are showing a great increase in Black employment and home ownership. The nation’s gross domestic product is growing at a record pace of 3% and will reach 4% shortly. The stock market is more robust than ever before.

There is no need for the Clean Power Plan. It is wasteful and unnecessary. Despite its absence, America is becoming great again!

Mr. Alford is the Co-Founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®.  Website: www.nationalbcc.org  Email:  halford@nationalbcc.org. Follow the conversation @NationalBCC.

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