Editorial: We don't need the Clean Power Plan

Published on Friday, 6 October 2017 11:13 - Written by

President Trump is ready to make good on a promise he made to Texas - and to American consumers - in repealing the Obama administration’s misguided Clean Power Plan.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose repealing the Clean Power Plan - the Obama administration’s centerpiece regulation to fight climate change - and plans to solicit input on a rule to replace it, according to an EPA document seen by Reuters,” that news agency reports. “The decision marks the agency’s first formal step to sweep away the rule intended to cut carbon emissions from power plants, after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March launching the EPA’s review.”

It’s a good first step.

“The Clean Power Plan, or CPP, was challenged in court by 27 states after Obama’s administration launched it in 2015,” Reuters explains. “It is currently suspended by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which set a deadline of Friday for a status report from the EPA on how it plans to proceed. The EPA document, distributed to members of the agency’s Regulatory Steering Committee, said the EPA ‘is issuing a proposal to repeal the rule.’ The agency now intends to issue what it calls an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit input as it considers ‘developing a rule similarly intended to reduce CO2 emissions from existing fossil fuel electric utility generating units.’”

Already, many Democrats are condemning the move. But they’re wrong.

Here’s an analogy: Your doctor says you need to lose weight. So you exercise regularly, eat healthier meals and limit your snacks. The doctor is pleased with your unexpected progress, and notes that you’re well on your way to reaching your target weight all by yourself.

Does it makes sense, at that point, for your doctor to put you on a rigid fad diet?

Of course not. But that’s what s happening with the EPA and the Clean Power Plan. The fact is, we’re already making great progress toward the CPP s targets without the economy-crushing mandates of the EPA.

“The United States is racing toward achieving the goals of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), even as the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raises the prospect of a deadlocked Supreme Court ruling, reported The Hill last year. “Achieving CPP carbon-dioxide emissions targets 14 years ahead of schedule is now likely thanks to a remarkable confluence of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies each achieving affordability after decades of developments.”

In other words, we don’t need the fad diet the exercise and sensible eating habits are working fine.

In this analogy, exercise is the energy efficiency we’re achieving thanks to technology, and the sensible eating is the natural gas we’re using more and more to generate electricity.

Technologies from LED lights to electric cars to heat pumps are leaping past their less-efficient successors and are poised for mass adoption, The Hill explains.

At the same time, market forces are pushing power companies toward using more natural gas, which happens to burn cleaner than coal.

Draconian rules, where none are needed, serve no purpose.