Bad Policy That Won't Stand in Court

The EPA is essentially “energy profiling” by picking favorites to drive U.S. energy policy, and there are questions concerning whether EPA’s proposed rule, if enacted, will stand in court.

This policy play has been tried and failed many times. In Australia, a carbon tax drove up energy costs to double that of other nations. Outrage over soaring electricity costs, lost jobs and a soft economy resulted in the worst Labor defeat in eight decades, with recent installation of the new liberal party government.

"Beware the Faddish Politics of Climate Change"
- Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9, 2013

Australia's Carbon Tax Creates Highest Electricity Prices in Developed World

Australia's Carbon Tax Creates Highest Electricity Prices in Developed World

The Australian carbon tax sent electricity cost soaring to averages costs that were more than 175% higher than the average cost per kilowatt hour in the United States.

In Europe, a longstanding emissions trading system has raised electricity prices, increased national debt and driven out businesses and jobs. Electricity prices rose 37 percent higher than those in the United States when indexed against 2005 prices, according to the European Commission. And the region suffers a 26 percent unemployment rate. Sadly, about 1.4 million European households are expected to be pushed into energy poverty as soon as 2020.

Europe's Carbon Emissions Trading System Sent Prices Soaring

Europe's Carbon Emissions Trading System Sent Prices Soaring

The average electricity prices in the European Union are 37 percent higher than those in the United States when indexed against 2005 prices. High energy costs contribute to unemployment and lost manufacturing jobs.

In California, where coal is essentially left out of the energy equation, electricity prices are among the highest in the nation. The state has a negative net worth of $127 billion.

These are lessons, not models for U.S. energy policy.

California's Energy Policies Significantly Drive Up Power Costs

California's Energy Policies Significantly Drive Up Power Costs

California's electricity rates are 40% higher than the U.S. average. The state has lost 700,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000.

Beyond the issues with poor policy, there is an important legal question about the agency's actions: The EPA seeks a rule that will mandate carbon capture and storage technology for all new coal plants. While this technology is promising for the future, it is not commercially available, and certainly not able to satisfy the nation's need for low-cost power.

Many believe the agency is acting outside its authority under the Clean Air Act by attempting to rewrite energy policy and force a standard that is impossible to achieve. Congress never intended the Clean Air Act to be used this way.

The EPA withdrew the first carbon proposal it made last year. Its second attempt will likely be overturned in court. Click here to listen to a podcast about EPA's overreach with nationally recognized environmental attorney Peter Glaser, who is based in Washington, D.C.

Back to Top