Skip Navigation

PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts Applaud Trump’s Affordable Energy Plan

August 22, 2018

“For Americans looking to see the definitive end of Obama’s war on fossil fuels, this is an important victory” – with hopefully more ahead. - Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a new rule to regulate emissions from power plants, reversing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP would have shut down most coal-fired power plants in the United States. The new rule allows states more flexibility to reduce emissions, rather than a universal rule dictated by the federal government.

More than half of the states sued to stop Obama’s CPP, and the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on the rule pending the result of those legal challenges in 2016. The Trump administration noted in its rule proposal that power plant pollutants have declined 73 percent under the Clean Air Act and U.S. carbon dioxide emissions continue to fall while overall global CO2 emissions have increased more than 20 percent since 2005.

On August 7, The Heartland Institute hosted the America First Energy Conference in New Orleans.

The following statements from energy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program – including a live TV remote from Heartland’s studio, which can connect to any station or network in the world – please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at and 312/377-4000.

“This proposed rule was a long time coming, but worth the wait. For Americans looking to see the definitive end of Obama’s war on fossil fuels, this is an important victory – with hopefully more ahead.

“Obama’s Clean Power Plan was an unnecessary and ideological move to regulate human emissions of carbon dioxide, which are not driving climate change, and would have dramatically hiked energy prices for all Americans. Obama’s war on our wallets is over, and every American can now look forward to lower electricity bills.

“President Trump knows that affordable energy is the lifeblood of a strong economy. We can achieve this through the continued use of fossil fuels with the addition of new technology that has helped make America’s air cleaner than it has been in decades.”

Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
The Heartland Institute

Dr. Huelskamp represented Kansas’ 1st District in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017.

“The objective science shows any threat posed by global warming is speculative and remote. Accordingly, EPA should not restrict carbon dioxide. However, this plan is an improvement over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and is an improvement over probably anything else that another administration would have offered.

“With publication of the proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule, the Trump administration has yet again fulfilled an important campaign promise. The Obama Clean Power Plan is history. The Trump EPA hit a triple with this new rule. The administration will hit a home run if it takes the final step and revisits and repeals EPA's Endangerment Finding.”

James Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute

“Although there is no question that the changes being made to the Clean Power Plan are a step in the right direction for keeping with sensible science, it is not nearly enough.  The new rule puts the states in charge of controlling power plant emissions. It focuses on making power plants more efficient regardless of emissions. The new rule also dramatically improves the ability to improve power plants without signaling a New Source Review, which in the past could cause the plant to be shut down. Overall, this is an excellent step in the right direction. The next step should be to repeal the Endangerment Finding.”

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute

“The rule still perpetuates too much Obama era mythology. States should not sacrifice economic growth to fuel energy at all. EPA should ebrace the Enlightenment and rescind the witch doctor 2009 Endangerment Finding altogether.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute

Mr. Ferrara is the author of Power to the People: The New Road to Freedom and Prosperity for the Poor, Seniors, and Those Most in Need of the World’s Best Health Care (2015), and The Obamacare Disaster (2010).

“Unlike the Clean Power Plan, this plan is legal and consistent with the Constitution. However, it is still unnecessary because carbon dioxide should not be regulated as a pollutant because it is not one.

“This rule was necessitated by the continued existence of the Endangerment Finding, which forces the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. This shows why the Endangerment Finding must go if the Trump administration wants to truly make American energy dominant and great again. Otherwise, all of Trump’s progress on freeing up fossil fuels from the strangling hand of big government will be in vain.”

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

“EPA’s proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule is the first step in removal of the CO2 anchor around the neck of coal in the United States. Al Gore and the environmental community started the jihad against coal in the late 1980s with a closing crescendo by President Obama and his administration. The goal was to kill coal use in the United States for many reasons. It was and is political control and power that is the main driver of the anti CO2 agenda. 

“Fortunately for us all, the arrival of President Trump and his strong team led by Andy Wheeler at EPA are at the helm and rolling back onerous regulations.”

Fred Palmer
Senior Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute

“Great news from EPA today on replacing the Clean Power Plan.

“President Trump is correct that the Obama era clean air plan was detrimental to the economy, and based on fake science. The supposed benefits came at the expense of the consumer and the poor and elderly were the hardest hit.

“The howling and hyperbole from Big Green has started. “People will die” say the radical environmentalists. That is, if there is anyone left after net neutrality, the tax cuts, and changes to Obamacare. This is all simply hyperventilating without facts.

“The Clean Power Plan was unlawful overreach and has never gone into effect. It is time to remove it completely. The Trump administration continues to return power and authority to the states, and that is welcome news!”

Bette Grande
Research Fellow, Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute

Ms. Grande represented the 41st District in the North Dakota Legislature from 1996 to 2014.

“If ending the endangerment finding can be accomplished, the new membership of the U.S. Supreme Court may more narrowly define the Clean Air Act to not include greenhouse gases, which should only be regulated by Congress.”

Steve Goreham
Executive Director, Climate Science Coalition of America
Policy Advisor, Environment and Energy
The Heartland Institute

“Although the new rule by the EPA reverses certain aspects of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and alleviates unnecessary regulations that have burdened American energy production, today’s action is simply a window dressing that fails to address a more important need of repealing the so-called Endangerment Finding. As a signature accomplishment of the Washington D.C. Swamp during Obama’s tenure, the Endangerment Finding represents the worst of government action, labelling atmospheric carbon dioxide—a substance that all humans and animals exhale with each and every breath—as a pollutant.

“The Endangerment Finding keeps in place the underlying ability of a future administration to return to applying stricter regulations against CO2. There is little solace in the EPA administrator’s action today, for it has kept the door open for a future war on American energy production when the political timing is ripe. The Endangerment Finding must go if the Trump administration is to keep its word on supporting energy independence and fully draining the swamp.”

Craig D. Idso
Senior Fellow, Environment
The Heartland Institute
Co-editor, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

“The true purpose of the so-called Clean Power Plan was to destroy coal corporations. There was no credible scientific basis for Obama’s war on coal. Modern coal-fired power stations, burning pelletized or pulverized coal at very high temperatures, emit few particulates and provide the cleanest, cheapest, most efficient and most reliable electricity in the world. Obama’s regulations should be swept away altogether.

“It is also now demonstrable that global warming was not, is not, and will not be a problem. There will be too little of it to matter. The scientific rationale for regulating emissions of greenhouse gases was always poor and is now non-existent. The EPA, which has repeatedly grabbed power by impertinently proposing unnecessary regulations in this and other fields purely with the objective of increasing its own influence and wealth, should be firmly reined in. The days of environmental over-regulation are long gone. Let freedom ring!”

Lord Christopher Monckton
Chief Policy Advisor, Science and Public Policy Institute
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute

“President Trump is keeping his promises to reduce economy-killing regulations the Obama administration put forth on the ill-advised premise carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes catastrophic global warming. 

“The Obama administration Clean Power Plan was to show the rest of the world the United States is doing its part to reduce greenhouse gases.  If the premise that carbon dioxide caused global warming was true, this plan would have caused immeasurable reductions in global temperatures due to rapid expansion of coal-fired power plants in China and India.

“The Trump administration's letting states control power plant emissions will stop unnecessary increases in electricity rates for all Americans.”

James H. Rust
Professor of nuclear engineering (ret.), Georgia Tech
Policy Advisor, Energy & Environment
The Heartland Institute

Article Tags
Environment Energy
Tim Huelskamp served as president of The Heartland Institute from 2017 to 2019.
James Taylor is president of The Heartland Institute.
Jay Lehr is an internationally renowned speaker, scientist, Senior Policy Advisor with the International Climate Science Coalition and Senior Science Analyst at CFACT.
Frederick D. Palmer is a policy advisor for energy and climate at The Heartland Institute.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
Peter Ferrara, J.D., is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute and an advisor for entitlement reform and budget policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation.
Bette Grande is a State Government Relations Manager at The Heartland Institute. Prior to coming to Heartland, she served as a North Dakota state representative from 1996–2014, representing the 41st district. @BetteGrande
Steve Goreham, a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, is a speaker, author, and researcher on environmental issues as well as an engineer and business executive.
Dr. Idso is the founder, former president, and currently chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.
Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, was Special Advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1982 to 1986.
Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (ret.), Climate Change and Energy

Related News & Opinion View All News