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Despite the fact that the majority of Americans oppose carbon regulation that will drive up the cost of energy, President Obama is determined to use the EPA to bulldoze any and all opposition to his reckless climate agenda. The EPA will force states to figure out how to pick up the pieces and rebuild their electricity grids once the President’s death sentence for coal is implemented. And if EPA doesn’t like whatever plan a state develops, the Agency will prescribe the poison and its dosage.
Reminiscent of a movie scene where the villain asks a victim how he or she wants to die, EPA will hold public listening sessions in eleven cities “across the country” to get the public’s input on how coal plants should be killed, along with the end of affordable electricity and countless jobs attached to mining and energy-intensive industry. These public discussions have been scheduled this fall to help prepare for the EPA proposed rule in June of next year. According to the EPA press release, “The feedback from these 11 public listening sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart (sic), cost-effective (sic) guidelines that reflect the latest and best information available.” Cities on EPA’s tour include Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Denver, Linexa, Kansas (part of the Kansas City metropolitan area), San Francisco, Washington, DC, Dallas, Seattle, and Chicago.
This tour schedule would make Beyoncé proud. It doesn’t take an advanced degree to notice that the vast majority of cities on the tour will generate large crowds of environmentalist groupies, expressing their enthusiasm for the upcoming funeral for affordable electricity. Most of these people lack the understanding that they too will suffer because of the death of coal – all in the name of a religious devotion to increasingly shaky climate science. Followers of this cult don’t seem to understand how electricity is made or even know that their air conditioning probably won’t work if the grid is solely driven by windmills and solar panels. They’ve watched too many zombie movies where world civilization collapses and millions of people die but lights and appliances in New York City and Los Angeles still magically work.
Judging from the schedule, EPA’s band of merry regulators will depart the vast majority of the cities on the tour with a clean conscience. When they leave worried Georgia, they will fly across the country to hang out with California progressive transplants in Denver, and after interacting with concerned citizens outside of Kansas City, they’ll relax in Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco. We expect the crowds in Dallas to present a challenge, but the EPA tour group will enjoy friendly faces in Seattle and Barack Obama’s Chicago before settling down to map out the death of coal.
Instead of stacking the deck with a schedule of meetings that will create Astroturf support for its job-killing regulations, EPA should have the courage to face Americans who have real skin in the game – the power plant operators, the miners, and workers in energy-intensive industry. Then, EPA – rather than repeat the superstitions and mythologies perpetrated by cult environmentalists and crony capitalists in the renewable energy sector – should explain to working families that their electricity prices will definitely increase, substantially in some states. EPA regulators should point out to many elderly that they’ll probably need to turn off their air conditioning to afford their utility bills. And they should tell the poor that they’ll be forking over even more of their hard-earned paychecks because of the President’s plan. Of course, that would shatter the myth that the President actually cares about working families, the elderly, and the poor. So they won’t.
Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly called EPA out on its quest to generate Astroturf support and avoid real discussions with working families affected by the forthcoming regulations. In a statement released the same day as the EPA announcement, Senator McConnell pointed out that no discussions are planned in any of the three largest coal-producing states: Wyoming, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Moreover, McConnell urged “President Obama and the EPA to come to Kentucky, speak directly to those most impacted by the EPA’s regulations, and get a first-hand view on how the economy is being brutalized by the Administration’s War on Coal.” Obviously, the White House and EPA won’t respond.
But perhaps EPA, drunk on the cheers of environmentalists, in the early hours of the morning will write Senator McConnell back, suggesting that Kentuckians fly up to New York or make the long drive to the suburbs of Kansas City. If EPA doesn’t care about Kentucky miners losing their jobs, why would they care if Kentucky miners had to pay hundreds of dollars in gasoline or buy an expensive plane ticket just to be heard?
Trouble is we imagine that EPA would care about all of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the travel of thousands of citizens to participate in the “listening” sessions. Perhaps, that argument, wrapped around the desire to protect Mother Earth, would persuade the President and EPA to actually engage working families on the issue.
For those readers who wish to participate in the planned Astroturf discussions, please register online at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/public-listening-sessions. Or please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 8, 2013. You can bet that environment groupies will swamp the EPA sessions and email inboxes with tales of windmills, unicorns, and fairies.