The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is taking a stand for electricity consumers in the face of President Barack Obama's new Climate Action Plan. On Friday his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced extreme limits to so-called greenhouse gas emissions on future power plants, targeting coal-fired plants for their release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
CEA is hosting a nationwide series of events providing affected stakeholders a platform to respond to "EPA's proposed regulations and the potential impact of the Obama Administration's climate change initiative on consumers and electricity generation."
The first of CEA's events will be the Southeast Powering Our Future Forum in Nashville on September 25. It will feature a keynote address by U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) as well as panel discussions involving representatives from public and private sectors including the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the National Mining Association, the Virginia Manufacturers Association, and many other utilities and manufacturers, as well as elected officials.
Electricity producers and consumers will discuss the impact of Obama's regulations on future competitiveness of the southeast region of the United States. CEA considers economic growth inextricably linked to affordable power and believes the Obama administration's climate change initiative could have long-lasting negative impacts.
"Nearly every stakeholder I speak with in the region, including both producers and consumers, has the same three questions — what will these new regulations from D.C. look like, how will they affect my bottom line, and what can we do?" said Adam Waldeck, executive director of CEA Southeast. "The first step to answering those questions is getting everyone in the same room."
Catherine Glover, president of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said of the upcoming forum,
Power throughout the Southeastern U.S. is among the most affordable and reliable in the country. Tennessee's position on sound energy policy, along with our lower taxes and more favorable regulatory climate, has made the state a magnet for business relocation and expansion. Our goal at this forum is to tell our story and discuss the opportunities for continued economic success in Tennessee.
Coal fuels "45 percent of the country's annual four trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity," according to Ed Hiserodt, reporting for The New American, and Obama's proposals ignore the country's dependence as well as legitimate climate change science. The new regulations are "just a punishment on the coal industry and coal-using utilities," Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, told the State Journal prior to EPA's announcement.
He anticipated bad news, expecting requirements of technology that is still a decade away and pollution-control equipment that cripples efficiency, drives up costs, and shuts down production. This vision is exactly what EPA unveiled Friday. Under the proposed restrictions, new power plants are allowed only about half the carbon dioxide emissions as an average existing plant. Raney said, "It's just too much too soon, and really a questionable motive why it needs to be done."
His last comment may refer to the growing tide of global warming skepticism. The Daily Express (U.K.) reports, "The number of people who do not believe climate change is real has increased by 400 percent since 2005." The Australian government is dismantling its Climate Commission and laying off the agency head, reports the Herald Sun. The Financial Post speculates that United Nations climate models are worthless. Even the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently admitted its computer models drastically overestimated warming based on actual measurements during the past decades.
Unfortunately, it is IPCC data on which most of Obama's Climate Action Plan is based.