A Free-Market Energy Blog

Clean Power Plan Repeal: The March to Deregulating Climate

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- October 12, 2017

“The war against coal is over.”

– EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, quoted in Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, “EPA Chief Tells Coal Miners He Will Repeal Power Plant Rule TuesdayWashington Post, October 9, 2017.

“We are committed to righting the wrongs of the Obama administration by cleaning the regulatory slate.  Any replacement rule will be done carefully, properly, and with humility, by listening to all those affected by the rule.”

– EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, quoted in EPA, “”EPA Takes Another Step To Advance President Trump’s America First Strategy, Proposes Repeal Of “Clean Power Plan” News Release, October 10, 2017.

On Tuesday, EPA Scott Pruitt issued notice of a forthcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR) to repeal the (misnamed) Clean Power Plan (CPP). This action is the latest step away from the climate road to serfdom–and a signal to the world, not only the US, to focus on real here-and-now problems, not hypothetical futures ones with no clear solution.

The anti-fossil-fuel ‘environmentalists’ (they support wind power and solar farms, hardly environmental) are worried. Natasha Geiling at ThinkProgress (Center for American Prosperity) stated:

[R]epealing the regulation will mean that states that have not begun transitioning to a low-carbon energy mix — places like Kentucky, or West Virginia — will no longer have any incentive to change their policies. Without a nationwide framework to drag laggard states into a clean energy mix, it will be difficult for the United States to achieve the kinds of deep, economy-wide reductions necessary to make progress on slowing climate change.

And, repealing the regulation will mean years of regulatory uncertainty, as the administration’s repeal and potential replacement plans are challenged in courts. Already, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) have pledged to fight the administration’s efforts to repeal the plan in court.

Yes, and with each day of increasing carbon dioxide emissions, the alarmists’ climate math gets worse and worse because of the long-lived existence of CO2 in the atmosphere and the logarithmic (not linear) effect of CO2 forcing. And expect some if not many states to chose to be energy strong, not energy weak given their freedom to choose.

In tandem with the Paris withdrawal, CPP repeal makes good on the president’s America First strategy. Importantly, the CPP is all pain, no gain. Its negative effects on electricity prices and free-market-driven jobs would not have any appreciable effect on climate change. In fact, the very failure of the law to impact climate would be the excuse to ratchet up regulation further.

The EPA’s reversal of climate policy cannot stop here. Next in line is a rethink of the so-called social cost of carbon to redo the flawed, pro-intervention calculus of the Obama Administration. Then comes the real challenge: reversing the endangerment finding to get the albatross of climate regulation off the necks of business.

CO2 is not a pollutant. There are significant benefits in a CO2 enriched world.

I’m CO2 positive, and so are you. Those few who are not CO2-positive are living in energy poverty–and have a way out with economic freedom.  

I’m proud to be CO2 positive, and you should be too.


  1. Jon Boone  

    “In fact, the very failure of the law to impact climate would be the excuse to ratchet up regulation further.”

    A never ending feedback loop, like a snake swallowing its tail. Of course, the “Endangerment Finding,” truly one of the daffiest documents ever issued by government, is a detail spawned by a host of devils.


  2. John W. Garrett  

    National Propaganda Radio:


    My only question is this: Did the authors get anything right in that report ? I’ve rarely seen a larger collection of flat-out factual inaccuracies. How do they get away with this stuff?


  3. Geert F de Vries  

    When CO2 absorbs the energy of an infrared photon coming from the warm earth surface, it goes into an excited state, and can emit that same energy later in the form of a similar photon. On average half the photons so given off go upward and get lost into space, the other half goes downward and warms the earth. Sofar the alarmist story.
    However, the lifetime of the excited state is of the order of 0.000006 seconds (6 millionth). During these 6 microseconds, the CO2 molecule is hit around a 1000000 times by other air molecules because the time between collisions (at sea level) is around 0.000000000006 seconds (6 trillionth). During these collisions, no photon is emitted, instead the energy exchanged results in increase of kinetic energy (iow speed) of the colliding air molecule. This means air warms. The process is called thermalisation. Air is already in contact with the warm earth surface and warms by conduction and then convection, on a scale 2500times more intense than the contribution from the 0.04% CO2. In other words, CO2 does not do its alarmist warming-the-surface trick at all. The air blanket around the earth keeps us warm, and its temp-vs-height profile is determined primarily by gravity.
    Incidentally, the type of atmosphere molecules is not a factor. If the whole atmosphere were CO2, and no nitrogen or oxygen, the temp profile is the same. Case in point: Venus has around 96% CO2. The satelite that visited Venus in 1994 measured that ground level pressure is about 60 atmospheres and drops to 1 atm at 56 km height. And at that height, the temp measured by that 1994 probe is (after correction for Venus’ closer distance to the sun) the same as at earth surface at 1 atm. The same temp at the same pressure and a totally different composition. Hence the composition does not determine the temp profile. Indeed gravity does.
    Any regulation based on CO2 action is without basis, and can safely be scrapped. The whole multi-trillion$ alarmist industry has no basis and is wasting humanity’s capital.
    It will take a whole generation (maybe longer) of humanity to pass away to rid ourselves of this nonsensical behaviour. Small consolation we have is that our generation is not the only one to behave stupid, past generations did so too. But we are stupid on a macro scale not seen before, while having better science at our disposal than previous generations. We should be deeply ashamed.
    But humanity being what it is, I wonder what the next wave of stupid behaviour will be about in the further future, after we have left behind the present CO2 myth.


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