Screw the Planet
On Monday, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule to reduce carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030—a pollution reduction equivalent to removing two-thirds of all cars from American roads.
“For the sake of our families’ health and our kids’ future, we have a moral obligation to act on climate,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “When we do, we’ll turn risks on climate into business opportunity. We’ll spur innovation and investment, and we’ll build a world-leading clean energy economy.”
President Obama echoed McCarthy’s sentiment.
“This is something that is important for all of us,” he said during Monday’s announcement, as he urged people to work together to protect “this beautiful blue ball in the middle of space.”
Of course, it didn’t take long for opponents and naysayers to start chiming in about this “horrible” idea—by which I mean the GOP and Democrats from heavy coal-producing or coal-using states.
Republican Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, for instance, feels the new EPA rule is “a green agenda that has been dreamed up by the environmentalist community for decades” and doesn’t seem to believe that greenhouse gases are harmful. In fact, he believes the whole “global warming thing” is little more than a United Nations invention designed to grab power.
What a fool, but it gets better.
Representatives from the Heartland Institute—which is funded by the fossil fuel industry—went even further into the realm of stupidity when they made this statement: “Carbon dioxide is essential to plant growth—more carbon dioxide makes for a greener planet… CO2 emissions boost the economy and don’t hurt the planet—in fact they most likely benefit the biosphere.”
Yeah, that’s what we need: more greenhouse gases. Apparently, the people at Heartland are thinking about plants growing in a greenhouse—which is a positive thing—rather than the Earth becoming one big greenhouse filled with poison.
What in the hell is that about?
And we certainly can’t exclude Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—who called the new EPA rule “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class”—or House Speaker John Boehner—who called it a “sucker punch for families everywhere.” They both cited a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that projected such a reduction in carbon emissions could cost $28 billion annually, sacrifice more than 200,000 jobs and even lower the economy by $50 billion a year.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t be more wrong since this report projected a 42% reduction rather than the 30% announced Monday. And the EPA has estimated the actual cost at $8-9 billion per year, not $28 billion or more. Of course, this doesn’t account for the health benefits this rule would produce, as outlined by the Washington Post recently:
“The EPA estimates that the new rule would cut traditional air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and soot by 25 percent, according to those who have been briefed, yielding a public health benefit of between $55 billion to $93 billion when it is fully implemented with 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths avoided and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks a year avoided. The cost, by contrast, would be $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion.”
Again, I can see how this could be problematic. The last things we need, after all, are lower health care costs and healthy people. Heaven forbid!
At the root of opponents’ concerns is—go figure—money. Reducing carbon emissions will hurt corporations that rely on fossil fuels, thus reducing their profits, as well as their ability to donate campaign funds during the next GOP bum-rush to the White House. And we certainly don’t want that, do we?
The sad truth is that reducing carbon emissions should have happened a long time ago. Actually, today’s discussion shouldn’t even be about fossil fuels, which we clearly don’t need given all the clean energy alternatives (solar, wind, wave, tidal, geothermal). In 2012, for instance, coal supplied roughly 37% of U.S. electricity—the rest came from natural gas (30%), nuclear power (19%) and hydropower sources (7%). By 2030—under the EPA’s new rule—only 30% of our electricity will come from coal, but I’m sure we can eliminate it completely if we work together to make this happen.
And there’s the rub: people just don’t want to work together, especially all those jackasses in Washington. In fact, some “lawmakers” actually seem intent on destroying our planet, and for what?
I hate to tell you, but all the money in the world won’t save you once we destroy the environment—unless you can wrap yourself in “Benjamins” to protect you from UV radiation or “breathe through your bucks” to filter out all the poisonous greenhouse gases!
Posted on June 4, 2014, in Perspectives and tagged carbon emissions, climate change, commentary, current-events, entertainment, environment, EPA, funny, GOP, greenhouse gases, humor, news, Obama, perspectives, politics. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.