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Who’s Afriad of the EPA?

On June 2, 2014, the Obama Administration unveiled its key climate change initiative, the Clean Power Plan, targeting CO2 emissions from U.S. electrical power plants. In its proposal, the Administration took the unusual step of claiming Chevrondeference — preemptively asking federal courts to defer how the plan will be interpreted entirely to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Chevron deference, named for a seminal 1984 Supreme Court ruling, is an oft-used administration principle of law claiming that federal courts should defer to reasonable agency construction of the statutes they are charged with administering. Fundamentally, the principle is an extension of Congress’ lawmaking powers whereby agencies are delegated authority by Congress to interpret congressional mandates.

  • The D.C. Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction for judicial review of the Clean Power Plan, applies the doctrine of constitutional avoidance in instances where the agency’s interpretation of its mandate would raise constitutional difficulties.
  • The Supreme Court ruled in King v. Burwell, that the presumption should be against Chevron in instances when the agency’s interpretation of its mandate would expand agency control over issues of “deep economic and political significance.”
  • The EPA’s Clean Power Plan contravenes every principle undergirding Chevron deference. For starters, the agency enjoys no delegation of congressional authority to remake the retail electricity market, nor does the rule enjoy any semblance of electoral accountability. Also, the agency lacks expertise in overseeing the nation’s electric grid.

The EPA’s track record does not suggest that it can be trusted to take a reasonably transcribed interpretation of any congressional mandate to regulate emissions from any sector of private life or industry. The agency’s expansive interpretation of the Clean Air Act, for instance, should give federal judges pause when considering whether or not to grant Chevron deference to a repeat offender.

Source: William Yeatman, “EPA’s Clean Power Plan Overreach.”

Head of EPA: Obama’s Clean Power Plan will hit low-income minorities hardest, but they’ll get ‘incredible savings’ by 2030

**Written by Doug Powers
August 20, 2015

Barack Obama admitted in 2008 that energy prices would “necessarily skyrocket” after his war on coal commenced, but what he didn’t share for obvious political reasons was who would feel the pinch the most. EPA chief Gina McCarthy, still reeking of Animas River pollution, had more details the Dems would rather remain swept under the rug until next year’s election is over:

When speaking about the higher energy prices caused by the administration’s climate regulations on power plants, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “We know that low-income minority communities would be hardest hit.”

But low income Americans can rest easy, because just prior to that, McCarthy claimed that because of the new regs the increased energy price “tapers off to incredible savings by 2030?:

 In other words, “your energy bill will heal itself after another mess we’re about to cause.”

The “future huge savings” dangling carrot is an eco-friendly hologram. And even if somebody were to catch up to that carrot, they’d find that the price of carrots will have also at least doubled thanks to these efforts to “save the planet.”

 

You know, Obama’s Clean Power Plan sort of punishes states that voted for Romney

By:  HotAir, August 20, 2016

So, another major policy battle is brewing. It pits the president against GOP governors once again, with some presidential candidates possibly weighing in as this regulatory nightmare draws nearer. Carly Fiorina was the only 2016 Republican candidate who mentioned the Environmental Protection Agency’s new policy aimed at combating the non-threat of global warming during the “happy hour” debate on August 6.  Remember, ever since Malia had an asthma attack, fighting global warming has become personal to Obama. The policy has been announced; it aims to cut greenhouse gas emission by nearly 30 percent from 2005 levels; it will gut millions of jobs for blacks and Hispanics; and will burden rural Americans. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Clean Power Plan punishes red states (via Politico):

The original draft took it easiest on states with the heaviest reliance on dirty fossil fuels—states that nevertheless complained the most about Obama’s supposedly draconian plan. The final rule cracks down much harder on those states, while taking it much easier on states that are already moving toward cleaner sources of electricity.

Check out this excellent chart compiled by my colleague Alex Guillen. North Dakota would have been required to cut emissions just 10.6 percent to comply with the draft rule, the least of any state; it will have to cut emissions 44.9 percent to comply with the final rule, the most of any state except for similarly fossil-fueled Montana and South Dakota. Coal-rich Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana were also among the biggest losers in the revised plan. Meanwhile, the states that are already greening their grid—led by Washington, Oregon and New York—were the biggest winners in the final rule.

That is a radical change. The EPA acknowledged in the plan that it “rectifies what would have been an inefficient, unintended outcome of putting the greater reduction burden on lower-emitting sources and states.” As EPA air quality chief Janet McCabe explained to me in an interview: “We got a lot of comments making the same point you did.” But it hasn’t gotten attention, perhaps because coal-state politicians cried wolf so loudly about the draft. It’s the result of a decision to calculate emissions according to a uniform measurement for every power plant rather than a weirdly calibrated analysis of what’s reasonable for individual states.

But whether or not the new approach is more technically or legally defensible, getting tougher on dirtier states could have a dramatic effect on results, because states like Kentucky and West Virginia were always unlikely to do any more than the legal minimum, while states like California and Massachusetts are unlikely to stop their transitions to cleaner energy once they achieve compliance.

After reading that this plan will increase electricity costs by 10-15 percent, which would torpedo any hope of reviving manufacturing in this country, which is a sector that usually carries seven support jobs, you can see on paper that this administration, nay, this Democratic Party has no interest in creating a serious jobs program.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute noted that this policy is cap-and-trade by another name:

Continue reading “You know, Obama’s Clean Power Plan sort of punishes states that voted for Romney”

New EPA Regulations Could Cut 296,000 Energy Jobs

April 21, 2015

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) own estimates, its proposed power plant regulation could eliminate one-fifth of existing coal generation facilities and 80,000 energy jobs. The regulation, set for final publication this summer, would regulate emissions at existing coal and natural gas power plants, while also ensuring that consumers use less energy from coal facilities.

  • Based on American Action Forum (AAF) research, this means that more than 90 coal-fired power plants could be retired across the country. Here is how this affects the economy: To put the figure of 296,000 lost jobs in context, the average annual pay in the “fossil fuel electric power generation” industry is $103,645 and the average coal mining salary is $82,068. This means that by 2030, the economy could lose $27.7 billion in wages, larger than the GDP of Jamaica.
  • EPA predicts that if states adopt only options one and two of the administration’s plan for power plants, 80,000 energy industry jobs will be lost to EPA climate regulations. However, EPA never quantifies the secondary employment effects of these lost jobs. A 2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that one energy job supports 3.7 additional jobs. Using a jobs multiplier of 3.7, applied to the 80,000 lost jobs that EPA concedes, yields about 296,000 lost jobs across the United States.

Professors Jonathan Masur and Eric Posner of the University of Chicago have devised a central figure of the costs of a lost job: $100,000. Using this data point, the broader economic implications of 296,000 lost jobs become bleak. The employment costs could eclipse $29.6 billion. That figure alone would make it one of the costliest regulations of all time, but it is absent from EPA’s RIA because agencies typically refuse to incorporate employment projections with regulatory analysis.

Source: Catrina Rorke and Sam Batkins, “93 Power Plants in Danger from EPA’s Climate Rule,” American Action Forum, April 16, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=25580&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD#sthash.8hY2hq6w.dpuf

Obama Seeks to Nationalize Each State’s Electric Power Sector

electric power gridApril 24, 2015

A new publication by Texas Public Policy Foundation’s distinguished senior fellow Kathleen Harnett White identifies key points in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Consider:

  • The EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) is a sweeping as­sertion of federal power over states to radically overhaul the entire system of electric power.
  • The federal government has nationalized the health care system through ObamaCare and nationalized banks through Dodd Frank. Now, the EPA would nationalize each state’s electric-power sector.
  • But there is a huge distinction between these laws and the proposed rule: ObamaCare and Dodd Frank Con­gress enacted new federal law. Here, with no new law, EPA has acted in spite of Congress’s continual refusal to regulate CO2.
  • The rule’s purpose is to reduce carbon dioxide from the electric power sector by 30 percent. When you do the climate arithmetic, this rule would reduce supposed glob­al warming by 0.02 degrees Celsius. This is an irrelevant change.
  • Compliance with the EPA’s require­ments would cede fundamental state authority over elec­tric utilities. Commissioner Tony Clark of FERC testified to Congress that the EPA’s rule fundamentally re-orders the longstanding relation between the feds and states to create a “mother-may-I” relationship that has never be­fore existed.

One of the nation’s preeminent Constitutional schol­ars, Laurence Tribe at Harvard Law School, denounced this rule. His Wall Street Jounral editorial recently stated, “Frustration with congressional inaction cannot justify throwing the Constitution overboard to rescue this lawless EPA pro­posal.”

Source: Kathleen Harnett White, “The Facts About the Clean Power Act,” Texas Public Policy Foundation, April 2015.

– See more at: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=25593&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD#sthash.TNjhkQ9p.dpuf

Texas to Lead In The World of Oil Production

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Eagle Ford, Permian fueling ‘greatest comeback story’

By Jennifer Hiller San Antonio Express-News

SAN ANTONIO — By the end of this year, Texas’ oil production could exceed the output of every OPEC country but Saudi Arabia.

The state’s production, driven mainly by the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and Permian Basin in West Texas, will reach about 3.4 million barrels per day, propelling Texas past Iraq and Iran, said Greg Leveille, manager for technology program-unconventional reservoirs at ConocoPhillips.

Among non-OPEC countries, only Russia, the United States as a whole, China and Canada would exceed Texas’ oil production, making the state the world’s sixth-largest producer.

“This is the greatest comeback story you can possibly imagine,” Leveille said this week at the Eagle Ford Consortium conference here.

Continue reading…

7 Reasons Nothing Should Stand in the Way of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Photo: Newscom

From The Heritage Foundation

The Washington Post slammed the Obama administration’s continued delay of a Keystone XL decision, calling it “absurd” and “embarrassing.” And for good reason—in fact, many good reasons. Below are seven of the most compelling.

  1. Jobs and economic growth. Opponents will minimize the job numbers, saying that the pipeline will create only “a handful” of permanent jobs—and that’s correct. But that argument also dismisses the tens of thousands of construction jobs that the pipeline project will create. In fact, simply building the southern portion—which didn’t need President Obama’s approval—has already created 4,000 construction jobs. Keystone XL also will add economic value, and will result in billions of dollars of tax revenue for states it runs through.
  2. Can be built without the help of the taxpayer. Building and operating Keystone XL will result in real private-sector jobs that will grow the U.S. economy. This is much different from the president’s taxpayer-funded green jobs plan that merely siphons resources out of the market and forces pricier energy on the American public.
  3. Safest mode of getting oil and gas to Americans. Many in the United States live near a pipeline without even knowing about it. America has more than 500,000 miles of crude oil, petroleum and natural gas pipelines and another 2 million miles of natural gas distribution pipelines. When it comes to accidents, injuries or fatalities, pipelines are the safest mode of transporting oil and gas.
  4. Environmentally safe. It was Albert Einstein who said the definition of insanity was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The State Department must be teetering on the edge of insanity, because after multiple environmental reviews concluding that Keystone XL poses minimal environmental risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife, we’re still without a pipeline.
  5. Negligible climate impact. In a speech last June, Obama said the climate effects of Keystone XL would have an impact on the administration’s ultimate decision. These effects, however, would be minimal. The State Department’s final environmental impact statement concludes that the Canadian oil is coming out of the ground whether Keystone XL is built or not, so the difference in greenhouse gas emissions is miniscule.
  6. Stable supply of oil from an important trading partner. The pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, where U.S. refineries are already equipped to handle heavier crudes. The pipeline will efficiently provide supply from a secure source and a friendly and important trading partner.
  7. The people want it. Lots of people want it. A new Rasmussen poll shows that 61 percent of the American public favor building the pipeline. Many unions want it. When Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and was asked about the pipeline approval, she answered, “We are inclined to do so.” Former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar called the project a “win-win.” These comments put Salazar in the company of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

It was former Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu who said it most accurately: “The decision on whether the construction should happen was a political one and not a scientific one.”  It’s time to stop politicizing and start building.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

 

Six Things You Didn’t Know About the Texas Oil Boom…

Operations At An Orion Drilling Co. Oil Platform

The energy revolution in the United States is transforming communities across the country, but the effect is felt nowhere more acutely than in Texas. No stranger to the oil business, Texans have seen boom times before as well as the busts that tend to follow close behind. Still, even with the accumulated experience of generations reliant on the local oil industry, Texans are in uncharted territory today.

In its November 2013 issue, Texas Monthly devoted a series of articles by Bryan Mealer, Katy Vine, and Loren Steffy to exploring the myriad ways the oil boom is affecting the state. TIME picked out some of the most fascinating tidbits from this remarkable package.
1.     By 2014, the state of Texas is expected to jump ahead such oil-producing heavyweights as Venezuela, Mexico, Kuwait and Iraq to become the ninth-largest oil producer in the world. According to one study, the industry has directly created well over half a million new jobs since the start of the boom.

CONTINUE READING HERE…

TOP TEN GAS PRODUCING STATES

The Energy Information Administration released figures on the ten top natural gas producing states and the big news is: 1) Texas is still #1; 2) Pennsylvania is moving up fast; 3) West Virginia isn’t doing badly, and 4) the biggest decline is in federal offshore production.

Texas still blows everybody away, producing over 7 trillion cubic feet in 2012 and actually pushing up production by 5 percent.

Pennsylvania is moving up fast, increasing production an incredible 72 percent and moving firmly into 3rd place. The EIA says it expects the Keystone State to pass Louisiana for 2nd place this year – an extraordinary achievement since Texas and Louisiana have been the workhorses of the nation since the 1940s.

West Virginia is making progress. Although the state only holds 10th place, it increased production 37 percent last year, giving hope that gas production may take up some slack for the state’s collapsing coal industry.

Finally, the biggest drop – 17 percent – was in offshore production on federal lands. This makes almost laughable President Obama’s taking credit for the big burst in the nation’s gas output. All the trends on federal land, both offshore and in the West, have been downward. But then what are politicians do for a living except claim credit for other people’s accomplishments?

Public Utility Commission of Texas To “Share” Your Information

The Public Utility Commission of Texas is at it again.  They have initiated a rulemaking project (click here to view) that will determine who the Power Companies will share your information with and how.  This should concern everyone, whether you are a fan of smart meters or not, this new rule will map out how your information will be shared.
 
If you want to have a say in what information is shared, who it is shared with, and how the utilities will share that information, now is the time to let the PUCT know that you want a public hearing on this new project number.
 
All requests for a public hearing must be sent in to the PUCT by January 24, 2014.
We strongly urge you to send a letter (ALONG WITH 16 COPIES) to the PUCT requesting
a public hearing on project number 42029.
PUCT RULES DICTATE THAT YOU MUST SEND 16 COPIES!
 
A sample letter is below.
 
Remember, this is YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION AT STAKE!
********************************************************************************
SAMPLE LETTER:
 
(Insert Date)
 
Public Utility Commission of Texas
Central Records
1701 N Congress PO Box 13326
Austin, Texas 78711-3326
   
(Insert Your Name)
(Insert Address)
(Insert City, State and Zip)

RE: Project Number 42029

 
Honorable Commissioners Nelson, Anderson, and Marty,
 
As a ratepayer and landowner in the State of Texas, I am requesting a full public hearing for project number 42029.
Thank you,
 
SIGNATURE
 
(Insert Your Name)