President Obama issued a staggering new environmental order Monday. States are to slash their carbon emission levels by a third. Details of the momentous environmental regulation are set to be released later this week.
The mandate will specify how power can be generated and used. States will be given menu options of alternative energy mixes to help move them towards energy compliance – that or they will be given the option to “buy and sell permits to pollute.” States must reach their 30 percent compliance levels by 2030.
As much of the country continues to thaw from the third coldest winter on record since 1895, the President and climate change warriors at the E.P.A. are doubling down on their contention that America’s energy consumption is the largest contributing factor to global warming. It is our fossil fuel addiction that is “trapping heat in the atmosphere and dangerously warming the planet.”
Implementing such an aggressive measure could prove fatal to the nation’s economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that the rule could lower the gross domestic product by $50 billion annually.*
The new energy rule would likely prove most cost prohibitive and cumbrous to households. What besides coal-fired electricity is going to power the light switches on, run the washing machine and open the garage door?
The burden of regulatory compliance will be felt when costs shift onto the consumer. The price of goods and services will reflect the cost incurred to produce them.
Cost shifts will be felt when homeowners no longer can afford to replace flooded kitchen floors because Lumber Liquidators shifted the compliance costs to procure wood onto the homeowner. Car maintenance will be prohibitive when Midas shifts the compliance costs of oil removal unto the drivers. Patients will be further burdened with the increased cost of hospital stays when medical bills reflect costs of environmental compliance standards of biohazard waste management. But the poor will be subsidized. The working class will continue to get squeezed.
Punitive percentage pledges and government interventionism is no match for private innovation when it comes to motivating the public to consume and conserve more efficiently.
Brands like Brita, who makes a water filter where just one replaces 300 plastic bottles; or Tide, who has reduced its plastic container size by 43 percent since concentrating its detergents; and even McDonald’s, who switched from polystyrene foam packaging to paper-based wraps, has eliminated over 300 million pounds of packaging, recycled 1 million tons of corrugated boxes and reduced restaurant waste by 30 percent; all have made strides in environmental stewardship without making corporate sustainability burdensome to its consumers.*