- - Friday, January 16, 2015

We hear it all the time from the liberal left: those of us who legitimately question man’s impact on alleged global warming and call out the scandal plagued, phony facts used to support their hypothetical theories, are routinely labeled as, “Climate Deniers.”

Well, I have new term in 2015 for our friends on the left: “Energy Deniers.”

In 2015, the “Energy Deniers” in the White House, the EPA, and the U.S. Senate are out in force. Our misguided President, along with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, are elbowing each other for face time in front of network TV cameras to announce plans to deny the Keystone XL Pipeline, deny access to vast energy resources on federal lands, and deny our potential energy and manufacturing renaissance. And, they’ll do it all by imposing
unnecessary and costly new environmental regulations that will surely raise energy prices for all of us while reducing energy production.

This makes sense to whom? Our “Energy Deniers” pander to the environmental fringe and dream of endless tax revenues that we will all pay for.

Against the backdrop of Sen. Schumer saying we should deny the Keystone Pipeline because it supposedly doesn’t create jobs, and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers’ clarion call for a costly new national carbon tax, we now learn of a new move by the White House and the EPA to impose another strict round of environmental regulations that will only drive up the price of energy in the U.S.

This latest move by EPA will have a harmful impact on countless American workers, small businesses, and energy consumers who desperately need affordable energy to make ends meet.

The EPA has already declared carbon a pollutant and ozone a pollutant. So now, EPA is gunning to declare methane gas a pollutant as well. Why? The obvious answer is that taxing methane is a great revenue-booster for the federal government. Unlimited carbon, ozone, and methane mean unlimited taxes on manufacturers and energy producers, but ultimately you and me (the consumer).

The silo mentality of this White House and the Democrat Party is by any description, amazing. How the President, key Democrats in the Senate, and agency heads can happily line up and announce real efforts to stall or completely choke off domestic energy production is unexplainable - especially given the recent election in which the vast majority of voters sided with candidates who support our energy industry and recognize how energy created here at home can lead us out of long term recession. When will the President and Democrat leaders
realize that a robust energy industry, coupled with a resurgence in American manufacturing offered by lower energy costs, provide a real path to economic prosperity and job creation?

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won resounding reelection in Kentucky on the promise to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants. Other leaders in the Senate won voter support by announcing they want to delay EPA ozone regulations because they are too burdensome and costly to businesses that will never become compliant with the new rules.

When President Obama was on the campaign trail, he told the head of the United Mine Workers Union that if we (the nation) have the technology to put a man on the moon, we have the technology to develop clean coal. Sadly, that was the last we ever heard of clean coal technology. The President clearly wants to shut down the coal industry and now has empowered his EPA hounds to target the natural gas industry with higher fees for carbon, ozone and methane emissions.

The EPA’s energy-denying agenda will likely remain robust and active throughout the year, with new rules expected in February to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas operations. EPA will also target carbon emissions for existing coal and natural gas power plants in rulings expected this summer. Let’s hope our newly elected GOP majority has the gumption to stand up and firmly push back on these
needless and costly new regulations that will only raise energy prices for working families.

Ken Blackwell is a former Ohio Secretary of State and Board Member of
the National Taxpayers Union and Club for Growth.

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