Obama’s/EPA’s Sleazy Tactics to Promote Their Skyrocketing Rates Power PlanAlan Carlin | October 8, 2015
On August 3, 2015 President Obama and EPA announced their final “Clean Power Plan” regulations, which I call the Skyrocketng Rates Power Plan (SRPP). In addition to all the other problems with the SRPP previously discussed on this blog and in my new book, Environmentalism Gone Mad (available from the book website), the Obama Administration has adopted several sleazy tactics to sell and frustrate opposition to the Plan.
The most recent was the October 6 appointment of Thomas Reynolds to a new position dedicated solely to “messaging” Obama’s climate change initiative. Before joining EPA two years ago he directed regional media operations for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. According to the New York Times, Reynolds’ EPA efforts have already raised questions as to whether he has violated Federal lobbying laws, which prohibit agencies from engaging in grass-roots lobbying for proposed policies. The issue is whether taxpayer funds should be used by agencies to try to directly influence taxpayers to support an Agency’s programs.
According to another new report, those trying to sell the SRPP fear that opponents will blame increases in electric rates on the SRPP since their research has suggested that voters (correctly) believe such increased electric rates will result from the SRPP despite EPA statements to the contrary. So they have decided on a public relations strategy to blame “evil” power companies and “other polluters” for rate increases rather than their own actions in trying to force states to use expensive and unreliable “renewable” sources of electricity.
Apparently Deliberate Delays in SRPP Publication in the Federal Register
Another sleazy tactic is to make it difficult for opponents to attack the SRPP in either Congress or the courts by delaying publication of these regulations in the Federal Register, which is normally done within a day or two rather than two months and counting for the SRPP. This delay appears to be deliberate.
One possible explanation is that the Obama Administration is trying to avoid an embarrassing loss in either the courts or Congress just prior to the UN COP21 meeting to be held in Paris in early December. If such a loss should occur, it would hurt Administration efforts to persuade other countries of the likelihood of US government action to decrease US CO2 emissions. Since the less developed countries appear to be primarily interested in delivery of the long promised climate financial aid from developed countries, this may not actually make much difference, but it would expose the Administration’s argument that SRPP will encourage an effective world CO2 reduction agreement at the UN for what it is–baseless propaganda.
A second possible reason for this unusual delaying tactic is that it will give EPA more time to threaten and harass states to increase the use of non-hydro “renewable” sources of electricity prior to a possible court decision finding the SRPP illegal. This would increase the likelihood that states will voluntarily force power companies to build non-hydro “renewable” sources in fear that the SRPP will be found legal. This tactic was used with some success in dubious EPA regulations to reduce mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, which reportedly resulted in widespread adoption of EPA’s required controls before the regulation was invalidated by the Supreme Court in late June for failure to take account of costs. So they may be trying the same tactic in the case of the SRPP.
It is hard to see these sleazy tactics as anything other than a very hard-nosed approach by the Administration to trying to impose SRPP and other CO2 emission reduction regulations. The net result of all these tactics is that ratepayers and tax payers are more likely to pay dearly in terms of increasing rates for electricity and decreasing electric reliability since each month will bring further EPA efforts to force states to build “renewable” sources of electric power.