State Of The Obama Energy Plan: Big Regulations That Bypass Congress

- February 13, 2013

During His State Of The Union Address, Obama Said That He Would Use "Executive Actions" To Address Climate Change During His Second Term. OBAMA: "I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy." (President Barack Obama, Remarks During The State Of The Union Address, Washington, D.C., 2/12/13)

The Hill: Obama Will Use "The Full Weight Of His Executive Powers" To Push Environmental Regulations. "President Obama is expected to launch a serious second-term push on climate change with his State of the Union address. With climate legislation dead in Congress, green groups are hopeful that Obama will follow the 'we must act' mantra of his inaugural address and put the full weight of his executive powers behind their agenda." (Ben Geman, "Executive Action Expected On Climate," The Hill, 2/12/13)

According To A Study By Bloomberg, Obama's Second Term Climate Change Agenda Will "Rely" On The EPA's "Regulation-Driven Approach." "President Barack Obama recently declared that responding to the 'threat of climate change' would be a top priority during his second term, but with Congress unlikely to pass any climate-focused legislation, the president must rely on a regulation-driven approach to dealing with those issues during the next four years, a Bloomberg Government Study concludes." (Rob Barnett, "Obama Climate Policy To Rely On EPA, Not Congress: BGOV Study," Bloomberg Government, 2/5/13)

  • "Despite The Absence Of Legislation, The Environmental Protection Agency Pressed Forward With Climate-Focused Regulations During Obama's First Term." (Rob Barnett, "Obama Climate Policy To Rely On EPA, Not Congress: BGOV Study," Bloomberg Government, 2/5/13)


Environmentalist Said That The Top Of Their Second Term "Wish List" Is "An All-Out War With Coal-Based Power Companies." "At the very top of advocates' wish list is a commitment to setting carbon emissions standards for existing coal-fired power plants. A move in that direction would begin an all-out war with coal-based power companies and some other industry sectors that say there would be huge economic costs from increased regulation." (Ben Geman, "Executive Action Expected On Climate," The Hill, 2/12/13)

The Wall Street Journal: "For Three Years The Environmental Protection Agency Has Imposed A De Facto Ban On New Coal-Fired Power While Doing Everything It Can To Harm Existing Coal Plants." (Editorial, "Killing Coal," The Wall Street Journal, 4/5/12)

During His First Term, Obama's EPA Drafted Power Plant Emissions Rules That "Are Effectively Another Nail In The Coffin For Attempts To Build New Coal-Fired Facilities." "EPA officials last year unveiled draft emissions standards for new power plants that are effectively another nail in the coffin for attempts to build new coal-fired facilities. But with existing power plants accounting for a third of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, advocates say the most important step Obama can take would be setting rules for the current fleet." (Ben Geman, "Executive Action Expected On Climate," The Hill, 2/12/13)

The Wall Street Journal: The EPA "Firehose" Of Regulations Increase Direct Costs To Utilities, Force Plant Closures And Lead To Job Losses And Higher Prices For Consumers. "A utility, for instance, might be able to comply with a single new rule, but under the EPA firehose it might be forced to retire some of its operations. Beyond the direct costs to the utility, plant closures would lead to job losses and higher prices for consumers and business, with their own knock-on effects." (Editorial, "The Cost Of Lisa Jackson," The Wall Street Journal, 8/3/11)

  • 111 Coal Power Plants Closed From 2009-2012 . "But in the past two years, an increasing number of coal-powered electricity plants across the country have announced closures. Estimates vary, but banking and industry analysis firm Credit Suisse put expected and known closures for 2009-2012 at 111 plants, that's one-fifth of the nation's nearly 500 coal plants." (Lisa Desjardins, "The War Over Coal Is Personal," CNN, 7/17/12)
  • New And Pending EPA Regulations Will Cost 1.65 Million Jobs. "Over the period from 2012 to 2020, about 183,000 jobs per year are predicted to be lost on net due to the effects of the four regulations. The cumulative effects mean that over the period from 2012 to 2020, about 1.65 million job-years of employment would be lost." ("Potential Impacts Of EPA Air, Coal Combustion Residuals, And Cooling Water Regulations," NERA Economic Consulting, September 2011)
  • Retirement Of Coal Plants Will Raise Electricity Costs For Consumers. "Some utility officials said the new rules and others that the Obama administration plans to enact in the coming months could force the retirement of several coal plants. That, in turn, will raise electricity costs for consumers, said American Electric Power spokesman Pat Hemlepp." (Juliet Eilperin & Darryl Fears, "EPA To Impose New Power Plant Rules," The Washington Post, 7/7/11)

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