Thursday, June 5, 2014

Morgan Griffith on Emissions Regulation

From Congressman Griffith's E-Newsletter:

President Allows Nations with Emerging Economies to Pick Carcass of U.S. Economy
Monday, June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new regulations that would require our nation’s existing power plants to cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.  This rule will impact approximately 1,000 fossil fuel-fired plants, particularly those that burn coal or natural gas.
In issuing these regulations where Congress has refused to legislate, the President and his EPA are seeking to fulfill his 2008 promise that, “…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”  (Interview with the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board, 1/17/08)
Amazingly, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in her statement unveiling this latest attack on the American family, “Critics claim your energy bills will skyrocket.  They’re wrong.” 
Let’s see.  The President says it will make your rates skyrocket, but because they know that’s politically unpopular, Administrator McCarthy tells you the opposite. 
Somebody is trying to fool the American people.
A reporter asked me last week if I thought that developing nations would see what the United States was doing and then issue similar regulations for emissions from existing power plants after President Obama does so. 
I told the reporter, Matt Laslo, a freelance reporter covering Congress, that what I think the other nations see is an opportunity to pick the carcass of the American economy.
After nations with emerging economies watch this Administration’s unreasonable regulations damage our economy, negatively impact our jobs and our access to reliable energy, and raise our electric rates, do you expect that these nations will “follow our lead?” 
I am of the belief that these developing nations will promote their own country’s energy needs.   They want what we have – prosperity – and this Administration’s policies are making it easier for them to take our jobs. 
A company choosing to open a facility in one of these countries – which do not have the environmental standards we currently have or had 10 years ago – will be able to more cheaply produce products.  In doing so, they will damage the quality of the air for the world. 
Since we live in the Northern Hemisphere, we share air with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Myanmar, etc.  All of us in the Northern Hemisphere share the same air.
According to a NASA study, it takes just 10 days for the air from the Gobi Desert in the middle of China to reach the eastern shore of Virginia.  Instead of implementing regulations or policies that discourage the domestic production of goods, we ought to encourage manufacturing in the United States – where we do care about our air quality.  This would benefit the world’s air quality, and certainly would benefit our economy as well.  We can have balanced, reasonable regulations, but this new proposal by the President is neither balanced nor reasonable. 
I am of the belief the President’s expectations that other nations will “follow our lead” will be dashed, just as his expectations for a “reset” of our relationship with Russia – which has been described in a New York Times story as “…a very climate-change-skeptical society” – were dashed...  
I am deeply concerned about the impact that these regulations will have on our electric prices, our economy, our access to reliable energy, and more.  I vow to continue fighting these regulations and additional efforts the President may undertake to advance his War on Coal, which is, in turn, a war on middle class America.

Fair disclosure: This web site has suspected for a very long time that the corporations that collect money for providing energy could reduce nasty emissions, continue to employ local people at decent wages, and also reduce our bills, if they got serious about reducing the waste at the top of the corporate pyramid. This web site has nothing to offer, other than the force of opinion, toward making them get serious about that.

This web site has also felt distressed for a long time by travellers' reports of how careless with the environment people are in some of these countries from which the calls for tighter regulations in the U.S. have come. There's a very famous, beautiful picture of one specific place in China that dominates my favorite Chinese restaurant. An iconic place, like Mount Hood or Lake Louise. That place, its names, and what it's like there, now, are discussed in Peter Hessler's book River Town (which I discussed at 

Last year, when this web site received correspondence that I thought was worth sharing even if I had some misgivings about it, this web site just posted it and waited for readers to comment. This year, having read my own Yearbook (which is now available to sponsors with any donation over $75), and felt misrepresented by my own web site, I feel obligated to comment. I don't know exactly how a real conservative, one who wants to conserve our environment as well as our money, would go about encouraging corporations to set responsible policies for themselves and thus limit their own economic growth. I do understand that, in the absence of the kind of religious fervor observed in a few very small Protestant groups, in some not all Catholic monasteries, and in the Old Left Wing, it's extremely hard to motivate an American to choose to pass up any opportunity to bank more money this year than he banked last year. So hard that I'm not sure how anybody could blame Congress for being unable to do this. But this web site would like to see them at least give it a good try

Please keep up the good work, Congressman Griffith.

"As always, if you have concerns or comments or wish to inquire about legislative issues, feel free to contact my offices.  You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671.  To reach my office via email, please visit my website at"