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Obama’s EPA Imposes Cap & Trade

Written By : Dave Blount
August 24, 2011

Remember Cap & Trade? Obama promised to use it to make energy costs “skyrocket” — with predictable effects on the entire economy. From before his catastrophic election:

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“…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket … even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas … you name it … whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations.

“That will cost money … they will pass that money on to the consumers. You can already see what the arguments are going to be during the general election. People will say Obama and Al Gore … these folks … they’re going to destroy the economy.”

Yes, that is what any reasonable person would say. Unfortunately reasonable people are in short supply these days, or this socialist saboteur would not have been elected president. Even so, Cap & Trade was so obviously a deliberately orchestrated disaster that it could not pass through the Democrat-controlled Senate.

No matter. As with amnesty for illegal aliens, Obama just imposes his malevolent will through the backdoor. Unlike Senators, the malignant ideologues of the EPA have no accountability to the public, so they’ve been doing the dirty work. Here’s how it’s playing out in Wisconsin:

Two state utilities said this week new federal pollution rules will lead to higher electricity costs come January. …

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month finalized stronger regulations for Wisconsin and 26 other states aimed at curbing air pollution from long-distance sources. …

Nationwide, the EPA estimated that utilities are projected to spend $800 million on the rule in 2014, in addition to $1.6 billion a year that’s been spent to satisfy an earlier version of the regulations.

Needless to say, the real numbers will be much larger than the EPA’s official estimates.

The new rule has been in development for several years but the first phase of compliance hits utilities in 2012. WPS [energy provider Wisconsin Public Service Corp.] said it won’t have time to install pollution controls by next year at its plants, but will be able to comply by purchasing credits from other utilities that have cut emissions.

Sounds kind of like Cap & Trade, doesn’t it?

The utility also said it plans to operate its coal plants less next year than it otherwise would have, and will buy more power from the Midwest wholesale power market as a result, a move that it said is also a factor in higher costs for customers.

“This is the best option we have to meet power supply needs for 2012 and comply with the new EPA rule at this time,” said Karen Kollmann, WPS director of fuels management in a statement.

On Thursday, Wisconsin Power & Light Co. of Madison said it would face an additional $9 million in costs linked to the air pollution rule.

To keep people from getting quite angry enough to do something about it, the worst of the damage is being directed at those we have been conditioned by the Marxist media to hate: job creators.

Todd Stuart, executive director of the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group, criticized the increases, and he noted that large energy users like paper mills will see higher than average increases, compared with homeowners and small businesses. Paper mills served by WPS could see a 9% hike, he said.

As always when our anti-capitalist rulers target industry, all of us will be effected through higher prices and unemployment.

The unfolding disaster is of such a scale that even the Washington Post has noticed it:

Over the next 18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake, coal ash — it’s all getting regulated. And, not surprisingly, some lawmakers are grumbling.

Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs.

This while unemployment remains in the stratosphere, inflation climbs, and the economy staggers toward collapse under the crushing weight of a monstrously bloated government that arrogantly disregards the public’s will and interests.

Even if the adolescent autocrat in the White House were removed from office — or rather from the golf course — tomorrow, it would take years of determined work to get the better of a bureaucracy committed to choking the economy until it stops breathing altogether.

On a tip from G. Fox. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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