Draconian energy regulatory policies are being premised upon tax-funded climate alarmism promulgated by government agencies we are supposed to trust. The latest and arguably most dangerous example is the Obama administration’s proposed “Clean Power Plan” (CPP).
CPP enactment is currently subject to a pending District of Columbia Court of Appeals decision following a Supreme Court stay on constitutional challenges.
If allowed to proceed, sweeping new EPA rules will effectively nationalize control over all power generation and consumption, thereby usurping authority previously exercised by individual states.
Compliance will require state legislatures to pass new laws or regulations to shift energy mixes from fossil fuels to heavily subsidized wind and solar, impose costly and useless carbon cap-and-trade programs, or both.
Putting vitally important constitutional issues aside, what about the underpinning scientific foundations that framed CPP in the first place?
Most of us grew up with the idea that science is supposed to be objective . . . impartial . . . challenging uncertainties . . . critically checking and retesting facts. And of course, who better to assure this than our government experts that finance and conduct lots of it?
Like the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) for example.
One might imagine that if any organization can be trusted for objective climate information, it would be an organization named after Dr. Robert H. Goddard, widely recognized as the “father of American rocketry."
Well perhaps also consider that up until three years ago GISS was headed by another famous fellow. NASA’s much chronicled “top climate scientist” James Hansen had been arrested four times for noncompliance with police orders during public anti-fossil energy demonstrations.
On the most recent February 13, 2013 occasion the $180,000 yearly taxpayer-paid civil service employee was handcuffed in front of the White House alongside actress Daryl Hannah, Sierra Club founder Adam Werbach, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, former NAACP president Julian Bond, and a few dozen other eco-activists protesting to block the Keystone XL pipeline.
Hansen’s long-time retention in a high profile scientific position is particularly noteworthy given the fact that GISS, a small climate modeling shop located in a Midtown Manhattan office building, is virtually always the source of media trumpeted claims that “NASA reports this or that day, month or year the hottest since. . . . ”
And then there’s NOAA.
Last January, NOAA and GISS rolled out a “hottest year ever” (a major El Nino year) press briefing to report a supposedly dramatic warming trend purportedly based upon 57 years of radiosonde (balloon) records.
Strangely, their presentation graph only showed the last 37 years dating back to 1979. Data going back another 22 years to 1957 would have revealed a very different trend line, with no overall warming since the late 1950s.
GISS and NOAA both have histories of tweaking global surface temperature measurement data and abbreviating recorded timelines to make the past colder in order to have recent temperatures appear remarkably warmer. NOAA accomplished this by throwing out global-coverage satellite-sensed sea surface measurements taken since the late 1970s — the best data available — and upwardly adjusting spotty and unreliable hit-and-miss temperature readings taken from oceangoing vessels.
Even EPA admits that if such global temperature data were to be trusted, CPP regulatory mandates which force shifts from coal-fired plants to expand natural gas/renewables will have no detectable impact on climate whatsoever.
Nevertheless, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy recently estimated that those non-climate-impacting rules will cost $8.4 billion annually by 2030. The Heritage Foundation estimates that CPP will cost about 500,000 lost jobs, close to $100 billion annually in lost GDP output, and more than $1,000 per year in higher household energy expenditures.
NERA Economic Consulting estimates that the plan will cost $366 billion through 2031 and bring double-digit electricity rate increases to 43 states.
Compliance with this unnecessary regulatory pain will bankrupt industries and businesses, imposing disproportionate stresses upon the poorest households. Prices of everything manufactured, grown, eaten or needed to keep lights on and buildings air conditioned will be adversely impacted.
And don’t expect climate alarm-premised fossil industry carnage to end there. The politically-powerful Sierra Club’s “Beyond Dirty Fuels” campaign leader Lena Moffitt told S&P Global Market Intelligence, “We are doing everything we can to bring the same expertise that we brought to taking down the coal industry and coal-fired power in this country to taking on gas in the same way.”
While previously touting natural gas as a lower carbon emission bridge fuel to renewables, Moffitt emphasizes that the Sierra Club’s current policy is working towards “ . . . getting us to 100 percent clean energy, which, of course, would include no new gas.”
Congress never intended that the 1970 Clean Air Act authorize EPA to regulate “climate pollution” by CO2, a natural fertilizer essential for plant growth.
Yes, we should all support responsible rules to ensure clean air, water and land. While we’re at it, let’s demand clean taxpayer-funded science as well.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom”(2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012). Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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