Guess What? The Clean Power Plan Isn’t Going to Destroy America After All.

Compliance isn’t turning out to be that much of a burden.

Here’s the headline from the Washington Post: “Outrage over EPA emissions regulations fades as states find fixes.”  Senator Mitch McConnell has been telling all and sundry the plan will be a disaster and states should refuse to have anything to do with it.  But even in his home state, according to the Post, the Clean Power Plan turns out not to be such a big deal:

“In this coal-industry bastion, five of the state’s older coal-burning power plants were already scheduled to close or switch to natural gas in the next two years, either because of aging equipment or to save money, state officials say. As a result, Kentucky’s greenhouse-gas emissions are set to plummet 16 percent below where they were in 2012 — within easy reach of the 18 percent reduction goal proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in a draft of the agency’s controversial carbon-cutting plan.

Kentucky doesn’t seem unique, the Post found.

And actually, it’s not so surprising that compliance turns out to be pretty doable. The plan gives states lots of compliance options, as the Post point outs.  In addition, the Obama Administration is actually very big on cost-benefit analysis, so it isn’t likely they would try to impose something unworkable on the states.  And of course, EPA isn’t crazy and knows that if the plan is too extreme, the backlash might get out of control.

So is McConnell going to back down?  Will the states do the reasonable thing and go along with the plan?  Don’t count on it.

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Reader Comments

4 Replies to “Guess What? The Clean Power Plan Isn’t Going to Destroy America After All.”

  1. Legal Planet, We have a problem!

    Your blog is one of the most important sources of information on the internet, but the Us/Them dichotomy that separates academicians from the public prevents sharing information that can unite us to save the future of our civilization and planet.

    We must produce a better way to communicate and unite or continue to fail the hard way.

  2. Dr. James Hansen: Disastrous Sea Level Rise Is an Issue for Today’s Public — Not Next Millennium’s
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/multi-meter-sea-level-rise-is-an-issue-for-todays-public_b_7875828.html

    “The bottom line message scientists should deliver to policymakers is that we have a global crisis, an emergency that calls for global cooperation to reduce emissions as rapidly as practical. We conclude elsewhere and reaffirm in our present paper that the crisis calls for an across-the-board rising carbon fee and international technical cooperation in carbon-free technologies.”

  3. In his book “What Remains to Be Discovered” the late Sir John Maddox, former Editor of Nature, wrote a chapter on “Avoidance of Calamity” where he concluded with a Manhattan Project type recommendation:

    “— small armies of scientists will be required to remove persisting uncertainties and to devise effective strategies for the avoidance of calamity -”

    He published this conclusion in 1998 and it has been marginalized ever since by intellectuals who refuse to join together to save our civilization from the rapidly increasing, out of control threat of calamity as scientists like Hansen documented yesterday (see previous comment).

  4. President Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address gave us the following “grave” warning:

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    Considering Dr. Hansen’s latest conclusion, the marginalization of Ike’s warning is probably the most calamitous of our civilization.

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About Dan

Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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