Editorial: Don’t overcorrect on EPA’s Clean Power Plan rules
According to William Murray at R Street, a public policy think tank, this is a terrible idea.Such a plan would reward coal-fired power plant if they improved their boiler heat-rate efficiency, even though the improvements could only cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2-3 percent, as opposed to the additional 10-12 percent the previous administration wanted to see,” writes Murray. And later, he adds, “But just because the revised rule wouldn’t be as powerful doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be just as damaging to the economy over the long run. Dictating winners and losers in energy markets is always a bad idea. This is as true of the bias against coal and nuclear energy shown by regulators during the second Obama term as it would be of this new proposal to upgrade coal-powered electricity plants to a point where they still won’t be as clean as a new natural gas-fired plant.”
Right now, the markets are driving emissions in the right direction. Cheap natural gas has led to an incredible decrease in CO2 – to levels not seen since the 1990s.
“Leaving an ineffective regulatory structure in place of the original CPP may save the Trump administration a lot of time and effort, but it isn’t the principled approach to energy development this country needs in the 21st Century,” Murray writes.