PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts Applaud EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule
“This new EPA rule demonstrates that draconian government impediments are not necessary for sound environmental stewardship.” - James Taylor
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (June 19, 2019) – Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler today finalized the new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, which replaces the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). The new ACE rule directs operators of existing power plants to reduce greenhouse gases by improving the efficiency of their facilities. It does not impose emissions caps, as CPP did, and gives states flexibility to come into compliance.
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“The ACE rule is a vast improvement on the Obama administration’s CPP. This new EPA rule demonstrates that draconian government impediments are not necessary for sound environmental stewardship. Count this new rule as a victory for common-sense environmentalism over onerous environmental extremism.”
“Affordable energy is the key to productivity growth and the production of virtually all goods and services. Cheap, bountiful, and reliable fossil fuels keep the costs of these goods and services low and make people’s lives easier.
“This finalized ACE ruling is a vast improvement over the Obama Administration’s CPP and by replacing it will save American consumers around $400 million a year. Further, EPA’s new regulatory framework will help advance federalism by giving states more control over regulating their emissions.”
“Contrary to climate alarmists’ claims, EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule does not spell doom for the earth, will not result in dangerous climate change, and will certainly result in fewer people dying than the Clean Power Plan (CPP) it is replacing. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, not being toxic at any foreseeable levels, and therefore, unchecked human carbon dioxide emissions would not result in human deaths.
“The CPP was terrible, but at best ACE is only a small step in the right direction. ACE is modestly less prescriptive and costly than CPP, but it is still unnecessarily prescriptive and costly.
“ACE is dangerous because it cements for a second time, this time by a Republican, supposedly skeptical administration, the idea carbon dioxide is a pollutant that needs to be regulated. This gives the endangerment finding the Trump administration’s stamp of public approval, which environmentalists will cite when they fight this in court saying, ‘even the Trump administration acknowledges carbon dioxide is damaging the U.S. but they are unwilling to take the steps necessary to truly fight carbon pollution.’”
“The original Clean Power Plan setup by the Obama Administration was too aggressive, and put people at risk by weakening our national power grid by assigning too much generating capacity to wind and solar power, which don’t produce electricity when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
“While cleaner air and water are admirable goals, they should not come at the expense of thrusting America into a Third World energy dynamic where electricity becomes unreliable. The new ACE plan strikes a much better balance, at a lower cost to consumers, while retaining electric grid reliability.”
“The previous administration’s Clean Power Plan not only would have dramatically raised energy costs across the country, and in some instances, shut down whole towns that depend on coal production for their livelihoods, but also was imposed by fiat with no Congressional approval. Putting the misguided plan in the past is not only a victory for jobs and energy consumers but also for citizens of all partisan viewpoints who believe policies that impact our lives should not be imposed without the input of our elected Congressional representatives.”
“The Trump Administration should be applauded for finalizing the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, a common-sense reform which correctly scales back the EPA overreach that occurred under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). This overreach is why the Supreme Court took the unprecedented step to stay the Clean Power Plan before it was ever implemented.
“According to research published by American Experiment, Minnesota would save $7.4 billion dollars, compared to 2018 costs, by 2050 under the ACE rule. In contrast, the Clean Power Plan would have forced Minnesota households to pay more for their electricity for no measurable environmental benefits. In fact, the climate models used by the Obama administration found the CPP would avert only 0.018 degrees Celsius by 2100, an amount far too small to be measured.”
EPA’s action to finalize ACE puts the ideologically motivated CPP to rest. CPP was never implemented but cost states and the energy industry dearly. Good riddance.
ACE moves power back to the state level – where it belongs - and gives utilities clarity to move forward.
Those of us who rely on the coal industry for heat and electricity applaud today’s action. ACE will save consumers millions of dollars each year.
There have been too many casualties in the war on coal - coal producers, miners, industry and consumers, especially the poor and elderly. Today we celebrate the victory.
Research Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Ms. Grande represented the 41st District in the North Dakota Legislature from 1996 to 2014.
One thing that strikes me already about this is the sneaky way the MSM is colluding with Democrats and radical greens to twist, spin and pervert this very thoughtful ACE approach – to make it look like a despicable, irresponsible, environmentally destructive action by the Trump-Wheeler EPA ... without exactly lying about the new rule. It’s more what the media leave out, or mischaracterize, or slyly suggest ... than it is outright lying.
They’re generally too clever to flat out lie, especially with Trump’s willingness to jump on them for lies and fake news. But they sure do know how to promote the Dem-Green agenda on energy, fossil fuels and climate.
Nevertheless, what they are doing STILL leaves them open for the kind of hammering that Trump gave CNN during his speech last night. So maybe some of your folks can elaborate on this. I do think this aspect of the decision is at least as important as the regulatory decision itself and the generally very positive effects it will have overall, for the economy and environment alike.
Besides, as I noted in my last op-ed, CO2 emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing countries now dwarf US emissions. In fact they now total almost 62% of global emissions. So even total elimination of US fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions would have zero effect on atmospheric CO2 levels. But it sure would have serious to devastating impacts on factory, farming and blue collar America, our daily mobility, and our living standards.
“While clearly less severe that the Obama administration’s flawed CPP, the Trump administration’s ACE rule is still fundamental misguided. This is because, like the CPP, the ACE rule is largely based on the mistaken idea that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial activities need to be controlled due to their supposed impact on climate. And including CO2 emission reductions, as a result of ACE, in a list that includes real pollution reductions gives the misleading impression that CO2 is pollution, when, in fact, it is the exact opposite. Were it not for life-giving CO2, Earth would be a dead world.
“EPA asserts that CO2 emission reduction due to the ACE rule will result ‘in combined domestic climate benefits and ancillary health co-benefits.’ But there are no known climate benefits from CO2 reduction and certainly no direct health benefits since CO2 is benign. Even activists’ claims that CO2 emission controls will bring important pollution reduction co-benefits makes no sense. EPA data show that total emissions of six major air pollutants dropped 62 percent since 1980, amid a 14 percent increase in CO2 emissions. Using climate regulations to reduce pollution is obviously an expensive blunder.
“Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, explained that ‘climate change is a non-problem, and the correct policy response to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing.’ Aside from sensible adaptation measures to prepare for our continually changing climate, it is disappointing that the Trump administration is not following Lord Monckton’s sensible advice.”