Biden’s latest effort to make everything you need more expensive

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Biden’s latest effort to make everything you need more expensive

Washington Examiner May 12, 06:30 AM May 12, 12:01 AM Video Embed

The Supreme Court saved consumers billions of dollars from higher prices when, less than a year ago, it struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan rule, which would have shut down hundreds of coal and gas power plants nationwide.

Now, under President Joe Biden’s direction, the EPA is back with a new regulatory scheme designed to accomplish the same result through more direct means. The end result should be the same. The Supreme Court will again strike down Biden’s illegal usurpation of congressional power, saving consumers billions of dollars in higher energy costs.


The last time the EPA tried to shut down coal and gas power plants, it used the 1970 Clean Air Act to establish an industrywide carbon cap-and-trade system for electricity production. This Clean Power Plan did not identify how specific power plants should cut carbon emissions, but the plan required them to do so and created a market for them to offset emissions by investing in clean power or buying carbon emission allowances. The scheme closely resembled a cap-and-trade plan that Congress had just rejected. Seven years later, in West Virginia v. EPA, the court invalidated the CPP, holding that the Clean Air Act was not intended to create an industrywide cap-and-trade regime for any one pollutant and that the EPA was exceeding its statutory authority by creating one for carbon.

This time, the EPA has abandoned its cap-and-trade approach and is instead following more closely to the original design of the Clean Air Act. Under this, the EPA may identify a “best system of emission reduction” for a pollutant and then force power plants to adopt it. This usually means installing a proven pollution control technology.

The EPA’s new regulation would require all coal and gas power plants to install carbon capture and sequestration systems to prevent carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere and instead store them underground. All coal and gas plants would be required to implement this technology and reach zero emissions by 2040. The Biden administration knows the infrastructure needed for this would be prohibitively expensive, forcing most coal and gas power plants to shut down.

That is where the EPA again runs into legal trouble. Because while the Clean Air Act empowers the agency to require a “best system of emission reduction” on power plants, that system must also be “adequately demonstrated,” meaning it must be clear that the cost of installing the technology would not make the operation of the plant economically unviable. The plain intention of the new EPA regulation is to do exactly that.


Coal and gas power plants supply 60% of America’s electricity. Even if Congress passed major permitting reform tomorrow and allowed the building of new nuclear power plants, there is no way electricity providers could replace that much generating capacity by 2040. If Biden’s new rule went into effect, it would send your energy bill through the roof and raise the price of every other product that depends on electricity for its manufacture, which is all of them.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court doesn’t let federal agencies exceed their congressional mandate. That’s why Democrats want to pack the court.

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