Destroying The Coal Industry is an Investment Opportunity

epaEPA administrator Gina McCarthy admitted in recent Senate hearings that the proposed restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions have nothing to do with reducing pollution, they are nothing more than an investment opportunity. Although McCarthy was silent as to who would profit from all this investment opportunity, a look at the long list of billionaire elites, big donors to the Democratic machine, Obama’s buddies, and environmental activists that have ‘invested’ in the big green machine will make it clear.

McCarthy’s investment strategy didn’t settle well with Daniel Simmons, director for state policy at the Institute for Energy Research. “Other countries have seized that investment opportunities. Spain heavily invested in wind and solar with taxpayer money and preferential treatment and lost 2.2 jobs for every green job created. The UK invested in wind and solar and lost 3.7 jobs for each green job created. Those were remarkably bad investments. While McCarthy is wrong to say these are investment opportunities, she is correct in saying the regulation is not about pollution.”

The National Black Chamber of Commerce isn’t excited about the EPA regulations either. “African-American businesses, entrepreneurs and workers need to understand this rule because the potential impact may hit them more directly, and more severely, than any other group. Higher energy costs could be devastating. Thousands of jobs will be eliminated by these rules and the same certainly does not exist in the promise of creating new jobs. With energy costs rising at a pace greater than the average family income, families, especially low-income families, are forced to make difficult decisions between other critical needs, like food and housing.”

According to a US Chamber of Commerce report, the EPA’s carbon rules will actually cost the U.S. economy a cool $50 billion a year through 2020, the equivalent of $500 per household per year.   Even Obama had to admit in 2008 that under his green scheme electricity rates would skyrocket because the industry would pass costs to consumers.

Around the world, countries are revising extreme environmental policies when faced with the negative economic and energy supply impacts of such pledges.   Australia is the first nation in the world to repeal a law that placed a tax on carbon emissions in July of this year, citing electricity costs for businesses and households that had nearly doubled partly due to the carbon tax. Similarly, Japan chosen not to sign on to a second round of the Kyoto Protocol, arguing that additional emissions reductions are meaningless and recently announced plans to build new coal units domestically, and invest in coal plants internationally.

Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in December 2011, noting that withdrawal could allow them “to continue to create jobs and growth.” China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, has excluded the primary coal producing and consuming region from their pilot carbon trading programs. Economic growth, not carbon emission reduction is likely to remain the top domestic priority.

Indian Prime Minister Narendre Modi, the leader of the third largest greenhouse gas emitting nation is refusing to join China and the U.S. at the UN Climate Summit in September. Even though India’s carbon emissions from the energy sector in 2035 is projected to be more than double what they are today, much of the countries rural areas are poor and lack electricity. Fortunately for India’s poor, they happen to have a significant amount of coal and are focusing on economic growth.

Russia has also refused to sign on for a second round of the Kyoto Protocol. A Russian energy company says they have plans to build the world’s largest coal-fueled power plant to provide electricity to China. Germany has experienced three years of carbon emission growth despite a $140 billion green energy plan.

Poland vetoed a 2012 plan to set stringent emissions targets from the European Union citing economic impacts from reducing its reliance on coal which makes up 90% of their electricity generation. Austria, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands are far from meeting their Kyoto targets due to the recent financial crisis. Norway stopped its CCS project at a refinery due to delays and budget issues. At the time of cancellation the project was more than $300 million over budget.

Africa has experienced an average of 6% growth a year despite the fact that nearly half of the continent’s 1.2 billion people have no electricity.  But for Africa to reach its growth potential of 8 to 9 percent, they will need natural gas and coal.  And even though Obama stopped financing overseas coal projects that didn’t include carbon capture, Jeffrey Immelt says that GE plans to plow $2 billion into the country by 2018. The World Bank committed $5 billion in technical and financial support for 6 African countries on top of the $8.2 billion they approved in 2013 for energy and mining and the $3.75 billion loan they provided in 2010 to build a coal plant, which by the way, did not include carbon capture.  According to Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, “we know that intermittent energy (wind and solar) will not lead to economic development. We have made a clear commitment to battle global warming but we are also serious about African access to energy. In some places the only option is coal.”

There is also tremendous opposition mounting in the U.S. toward proposed regulations that drive up electricity prices, cost jobs and damage economies. This is to be expected, especially at a time when nearly half of the world’s 7 billion people live without proper access to energy for basic human needs, and 115 million Americans qualify for energy assistance.

These new EPA regulations will do nothing but line the pockets of the wealthy green machine while punishing consumers who are already struggling to pay energy bills, and destroy jobs.

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