By Keith Calder
The EPA’s plan to cut greenhouse gas emission in half by 2030 will get its fair share of feedback this week when companies, citizens, and even some elected officials get involved in the agency’s four, two day “listening sessions” from July 29th through August 1st .
Since launching its draconian regulatory initiative on June 2, the EPA has received 300,000 written comments in addition to the 1,600 people expected to make oral comments this week.
The sold-out sessions were held simultaneously in Atlanta, Denver, and Washington DC this Tuesday and Wednesday, and continue in Pittsburgh on Thursday and Friday.
The oral hearings are supposed to give critics and supporters alike the opportunity to voice their opinions in front of EPA officials regarding their proposed rules before the 120-day public comment period comes to an end on October 16.
The proposed rules have become a heated and heavily debated topic between those who support EPA’s war on coal despite the fact it will have no discernible impact on global warming, and those who are concerned about thousands of jobs lost and sharply higher energy prices for consumers.
Business groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufactures have pleaded with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy—who is not attending the hearings—to scrap the plan, arguing that the proposed rules go too far and that it will cost the American economy $50 billion dollars a year. Analysts have also iterated that coal plants across the country will close shop due to cost associated with the EPA’s regulations, causing energy prices to spike.
Unfortunately, the hearings are heavily stacked in favor of special interest green groups, which comprise up to 60 percent of the approved speakers listed. There are almost no conservative organizations represented, and many prominent conservatives who requested time were denied. (Among them was American Commitment president Phil Kerpen, who was rejected from the Washington, DC hearing.)
Special interest green groups, on the other hand, have not reported any rejections, and outfits like Moms Clean Air Force, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council were out in force supporting the costly new rule.
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy has already admitted the greenhouse gas rules will have no impact on global warming, but has expressed a hope that they are “part of an overall strategy that is positioning the U.S. for leadership in an international discussion.”
By Keith Calder