“EPA Pumps Up Benefits of Proposed Carbon Regulation”
In much the same way the US Chamber of Commerce pumps up the benefits of Big Government Republicans and corporatism by backing incumbents, pushing for amnesty, and financing the campaigns of liberal Republicans. But that’s just my editorializing.
Forgive the digression.
EPA argues that its proposed carbon regulations on existing power plants will offer $30 billion in climate benefits by 2030 with only $7.3 billion in costs. Sounds like a great deal, right? Not so fast.
A Brookings Institution white paper finds that EPA pumped up that number by including global climate benefits. If the agency took the standard approach and only examined the costs and benefits to those in the United States—who will feel its full brunt —then the climate benefits from the proposed rule would fall to as little as 7% of what EPA estimates, much less than the proposed regulation’s costs.
Authors Ted Gayer, Vice President and Director, Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and Kip Viscusi, law professor at Vanderbilt University, explain that a basic component to cost-benefit analysis is looking at the appropriate population:
The pertinent populations that are attributed standing in a benefit-cost analysis should correspond to the political jurisdiction that is bearing the cost.
Why is EPA doing this? Because it’ll make the proposed rule more politically palatable, write Gayer and Viscusi:
[I]mposing a global perspective on benefits will increase the apparent desirability of the policy but will overstate the actual benefits to the American people.
However, EPA’s use of global benefits as the justification for the proposed carbon rule crosses Presidential Executive Orders that state that cost-benefit analyses should be limited to the effects on the American public. For instance, President Clinton’s Executive Order 12866 reads: [emphasis mine]
The American people deserve a regulatory system that works for them, not against them: a regulatory system that protects and improves their health, safety, environment, and well-being and improves the performance of the economy without imposing unacceptable or unreasonable costs on society…
President Obama’s Executive Order 13563 is along those same lines: [emphasis mine]:
Federal agencies should promulgate only such regulations as are required by law, are necessary to interpret the law, or are made necessary by compelling public need, such as material failures of private markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well-being of the American people.
In addition, guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) advises regulators that
Your analysis should focus on benefits and costs that accrue to citizens and residents of the United States. Where you choose to evaluate a regulation that is likely to have effects beyond the borders of the United States, these effects should be reported separately.
The U.S. Chamber and several other trade associations have been arguing this exact point. ”Consistent with OMB guidance, the costs of a rule for entities in the United States should be presented in comparison with the benefits occurring in the United States,” states a comment to OMB on the administration’s social cost of carbon estimates.
Gayer and Viscusi go on to write, “If one were to focus on the domestic benefits rather than the worldwide benefits, the [greenhouse gas] benefit component would sometimes be extremely small.”
How small? The Obama Administration estimates that most of the climate benefits of reducing carbon emissions would be outside the United States. “Only 7 to 23 percent of these benefits would be domestic benefits,” write Gayer and Viscusi. This means that “the domestic benefits amount [of the proposed carbon rule] is only $2.1 billion-$6.9 billion, which is less than the estimated compliance costs for the rule of $7.3 billion.”
All of which is itself misdirection, as carbon dioxide — which is the target here (that is, human exhalation, not giant chunks of dirty dirty coal) — is a trace greenhouse gas, albeit one necessary to photosynthesis, which produces the oxygen we breathe. So that we can turn right around and poison the planet with our presence on it.
Our presence. Not China’s. Or India’s. Or Al Gore’s. Or Barack Obama’s. Or Michael Bloomberg’s. Or Chris Christie’s.
Ours. To the point where you have “scientists” writing openly of the need to “humanely” reduce the population. Which I guess means luxury cattle cars, 5-star “showers,” and state of the art ovens.
Limousine liberals — of both parties — give themselves a pass and give only lipservice to other nations’ abuses, because in the end this is about population, densification, location, and mobility control, not about the environment. This is about a return to feudalism and the centralization of power in a faceless bureaucratic apparatus while at the same time maintaining the facade of representative government and scientific “progress.” Transnational progressives and big business GOP hacks looking to win over the “crunchy cons,” however, care little about anything other than entrenching their own power, reworking the world’s RISK board, and dictating that the “masses” live as they’re told by their betters, who it turns out are always more charitable with other people’s money than their own — up to and including their belief in their own entitlement to that money. Because running the world and shaping humanity is a job that deserves a bit more compensation than, say, running your racist and homophobic Christian bakery.
I am not a poison. CO2 is not a pollutant. And the cost-benefit analysis is beside the point, moving us unnecessarily into the weeds and turning what is a moral failing of presumptuous and faux self-righteous environmental crusaders into a spread sheet equation.
The fact is, CO2 emissions are no threat to humanity. “Climate change” is the politicized marker for “weather,” over which we have no control. And Obama’s executive overstep is meant to destroy the coal industry, drive up electricity costs, lower the standards of living in the US (attempting to weaken and eventually defeat the bourgeois class not itself in league with the government as part of its liberal fascist ruling ideology), and make people less mobile, more likely to move toward heavy population hubs where they’ll be stacked like human cord wood, and, ultimately, dependent on government.
The House should send a message by defunding large swathes of the EPA. But they won’t.
Which means states are going to have to, at least in the short run, either capitulate or engage in a bit of 10th Amendment resistance — something that will take stones and will only work with a heavily constitutionalist state legislature and a unabashedly capitalist governor.
The choice is pretty clear. We are where we are because this is who they are and this is what they do.
At this point, we shouldn’t act surprised or even shocked. We should be challenging the feds to try to rule the states by fiat.