New calculations applied to a U.S. Senate report reveal the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to combat global warming through regulation of greenhouse gases would theoretically take over $700 trillion, seven times the world’s gross production, to drop the earth’s temperature only 1 degree Celsius.
The report released last year by Sen. James Ihnofe, R-Okla., then-ranking minority member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, quotes the EPA’s own stats and experts to break down the numbers, including one researcher who called the Obama administration’s plan “absurd.”
Citing a study by the EPA’s Dr. Linda M. Chappell and various other sources, the Senate report asserts, “EPA has called the consequences of regulating greenhouse gases under the [Clean Air Act] ‘absurd,’ affecting 6.1 million sources, introducing $78 billion in annual costs, causing ‘at least a decade or longer’ of permit delays, ‘slowing’ construction nationwide for years, ‘introducing burdens that are administratively ‘infeasible,’ ‘overwhelming,’ that will ‘adversely affect national economic development,’ while impacting sources ‘not appropriate at this point to even consider regulating.’”
And the net effect of the greenhouse gas regulations that the Republican senators are decrying?
The EPA calculates in 75 Federal Register 25,495: “Global mean temperature is estimated to be reduced by 0.006 to 0.015 degrees Celsius by 2100.”
So in effect, by the year 2100, 90 years worth of $78 billion per year in spending – a total of over $7 trillion dollars – would have lowered the earth’s temperature by about one-hundredth of a degree Celsius.
In other words, the U.S. would be paying for a global warming elixir that reduces temperatures at the net rate of $700 trillion per degree. Numbers-crunchers estimate that would amount to roughly 700 warehouses filled with $100 bills, or a stack of the bills nearly 70 miles high.
“[A critic] indicated that the projected changes in climate impacts resulting from this action are small and therefore not meaningful,” the EPA admits in the Federal Register. “EPA disagrees with this view, as the reductions may be small in overall magnitude, but in the global climate change context, they are quantifiable, showing a clear directional signal.”
Republicans on the EPW Committee, however, have joined the critics.
“I have great personal respect for EPA Administrator [Lisa] Jackson, but we disagree fundamentally on EPA’s policies and the economic and financial harm they pose,” Inhofe said in a statement upon release of his committee’s report. “The irony of EPA’s agenda is that, along with higher costs, it will fail to provide the American people with meaningful environmental benefits.”
“With few exceptions,” the Senate report asserts even more strongly, “EPA’s regulations are unrivaled in the harm they pose to America’s economy.”
The EPA’s new regulations, which began earlier this year, are part of a “tailoring” plan that begins with requiring some of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide – such as power plants, refineries and large industrial plants – to obtain operating permits based on their greenhouse gas emissions.
Later this year, and continuing through 2016, the emissions standards will be scaled down, requiring more and more emissions sources to obtain operating permits.
“After extensive study, debate and hundreds of thousands of public comments, EPA has set common-sense thresholds for greenhouse gases that will spark clean technology innovation and protect small businesses and farms,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement. “There is no denying our responsibility to protect the planet for our children and grandchildren. It’s long past time we unleashed our American ingenuity and started building the efficient, prosperous clean energy economy of the future.”
The Senate Republicans, however, fear small businesses and farms ultimately won’t be protected from the regulations.
“The [Clean Air Act] was not intended to regulate [greenhouse gasses]. Attempting to do so leads to, as EPA itself has conceded, ‘absurd results,’” the report states. “A recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gives a glimpse of what EPA’s ‘absurd results’ would [look] like. EPA could be forced to regulate:
- 260,000 office buildings;
- 150,000 warehouses;
- 92,000 health care facilities;
- 71,000 hotels and motels;
- 51,000 food service facilities;
- 37,000 churches and other places of worship;
- 17,000 farms.”
“So EPA will make energy less affordable, less secure, destroy thousands of jobs, restrict and slow down construction of schools, hospitals, commercial buildings and much else, with rules that achieve environmental benefits that are barely discernible,” the report concludes. “EPA should rescind the endangerment
finding and dismantle its greenhouse gas regulatory regime.”