NTF Issue Paper: energy8.doc. 10-14.

THE PROBLEM. Australia repealed its carbon tax that harmed consumers by raising electricity costs, damaging the economy, cutting manufacturing jobs, and reducing competitiveness. Its carbon tax caused over $15 billion in economic mayhem in its first 2 yrs. of implementation. The Australian prime minister declared that this tax, voted in, was useless and destructive for jobs, hiked costs of living, and failed to remediate the environment. The tax gone, average Aussie families save over $550 annually. Instead of learning a valuable lesson from Australia and rejecting onerous regulations and renewable energy standards that drive up energy costs and reduce our competitiveness, the Obama Regime EPA instead proposed regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Obama blames coal for global warming, poor public health, and gross pollution. His administration presses with the EPA burdensome regulations to limit carbon pollution from new coal plants, despite protests from industry and conservatives that such regs would doom coal use. This proposal would set the first national limits on future power plants, removing coal as a primary energy source. Next, Obama wants to institute carbon control at existing coal plants. Private economists and the feds both conducted analyses showing that these regs would have little impact on carbon dioxide emissions, prove costly to industry, and provide slight health benefits to the public. These rules will face hard legal challenges. Thousands will lose jobs in the energy sector, electric prices will skyrocket, especially in rural NE, the power grid will become unreliable in specific areas, causing shortages, and the economy will stall. Already, several companies have announced stopping plans for new power plants. 14 of 17 NE power plants will suffer. Their power plant owners must either install prohibitively expensive pollution control equipment, switch to natural gas, or close. These rules will impact Nebraska heavily with higher monthly electric bills. Both OPPD and Lincoln Electric System have increased consumer bills because of projected added costs. California passed a model of EPA proposed rules, resulting in power prices 40% higher than U.S. average, 700,000 fewer jobs, and many businesses fleeing the state. Supporting these yoking regs are leftist groups like Nebraskans for Peace. Liberals next want to institute a national carbon tax on consumers.

THE REACTION. Congressional conservatives, states, business, industry, labor, and other groups joined to protest. 41 GOP senators told the EPA to withdraw coal regs. 150 business groups representing over 80% of our economy mustered opposition. 9 state governors beseeched the President to abandon the EPA regs, while 20 governors oppose EPA greenhouse gas rules. NE congressmen and Att.-Gen. Bruning challenged these rules, Bruning joining in a lawsuit against the EPA, arguing that the regs were unfairly burdensome on industry and improperly implemented. The U.S. Court of Appeals declared that the EPA had violated the Clean Air Act by imposing a federal solution instead of permitting states to submit individual compliance plans, yet the EPA continues to promulgate its rules. This action has caused huge opposition throughout our nation among both business sector and consumers. Around the world, support burgeons for greater use of coal to meet the growing demand for cheaper energy. Japan and Pakistan are increasing use of coal domestically, as India increases its manufacturing economy with greater coal use. The World Bank president declared that coal is essential to help Africa meet its demand for power. In this century, coal will see a crucial role in increasing access to cheaper electricity while utilizing modern technologies to improve emission pollution. Momentum is building to oppose Obama and international carbon regulations. People around the globe reject burdensome carbon regulation and renewable energy mandates that raise our power costs and hamper economies. Presented by Russian threats to cut off oil and gas, European nations are restricting their renewable plans.

THE CASE FOR COAL. Coal is the fastest-growing major fuel and will surpass oil as the largest international energy source in future years. Most coal provides power production but also used to make plastics, tar, and fertilizers. Coal generates over 50% of the electricity generated in the U.S. and will continue as such while cheap and plentiful. It is crucial that the U.S. focus on investing in and deploying advanced technology coal plants and continue research and development of new coal technologies. Technology, not taxes, is the key to improving carbon emissions. U.S. industry must move toward a positive energy future based on affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supplies. Clean coal technology now reduces pollution by using many techniques to clean and contain emissions. Coal washing removes undesirable minerals by mixing crushed coal with a liquid, forcing impurities to separate and settle. Other means control coal burn to minimize emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates. Wet scrubbers remove carbon dioxide, which causes acid rain, by spraying flue gas with limestone and water. This mixture reacts with sulfur dioxide to create synthetic gypsum, a byproduct used as drywall in building. Hybrid integrated gasification technology permits coal used to generate electricity to burn as cleanly as natural gas.

TAKE ACTION NOW. Immediately contact your representative and 2 senators to sponsor and support legislation to prohibit implementation of and nullify these EPA rules, write a guest editorial to your local newspaper, and lobby your local utility board members to continue to use coal to provide economical and plentiful energy.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 10-14. C

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