How Daring is President Obama's New Climate Action Plan?

COMMENTARY Environment

How Daring is President Obama's New Climate Action Plan?

Jul 25th, 2013 1 min read
Nicolas Loris

Fellow in Energy and Environmental Policy

Nick is an economist who focuses on energy, environmental, and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow.

President Obama’s climate plan would have a chilling effect on the economy, not the environment.

If the Environmental Protection Agency moves forward on greenhouse gas regulations for new and existing power plants, which would particularly impact coal, it will cost more to heat and cool your home, to cook your meals, to light your home.

Phasing out coal, electricity prices would increase 20 percent and cause a family of four to lose more than $1,000 in annual income. Higher energy prices would ripple through the economy. Consumers would have less money to spend. Businesses would face higher operating costs and pass those costs on to the consumer.

As the economy is squeezed from both ends, Heritage found that significantly reducing coal as a source of energy would destroy more than 500,000 jobs by 2030. All of this economic pain would come with no real impact on the climate.

Even if the U.S. stopped emitting all carbon dioxide today (virtually halting all economic activity), the Science and Public Policy Institute found that the global temperature would decrease by 0.17 degrees Celsius by 2100.

The president is right to say that we can have economic growth and an improved environment. But this isn’t the plan to do it.

- Nick Loris is senior policy analyst at Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

First appeared in Yale Environment 360