Kreutzer: A clear power grab on climate

11-Sep-2015

Recently President Obama visited Alaska to scare up support for his climate agenda. But it's becoming clear that this agenda is not, in fact, about climate. Instead, it's the typical Washington story of power and money - other people's money.

Alaska provided the apparent novelty of ice that melts in the summer, which was used as a theatrical prop for the president. His photo op in front of the retreating Exit Glacier glossed over another bit of reality: The Exit Glacier started retreating more than 100 years before the start of significant man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

In a bit of bonus irony, the climate research center at the University of Alaska's data show there has been no warming trend in Alaska since 1977. In fact, the trend is slightly negative.

All this misdirection is for promoting an agenda whose most prominent part is the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The agenda and the CPP are based on three bits of, shall we say, fraudiness.

The first bit is the assertion that carbon dioxide is dirty. Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless and non-toxic gas. The president and his supporters keep referring to it as "carbon pollution." They also assert that, until the CPP, there were no regulations on the amount of "carbon pollution" power plants could emit.

To be sure, there is carbon pollution, but it is not carbon dioxide. The common name for carbon pollution is "soot," and there have been regulatory limits on soot for decades. Due to these limits and the general improvement in technology, a modern coal-fired power plant cuts soot emissions by more than 99 percent compared to plants without the new technology. In spite of the phenomenal increase in power production since the late 1970s, total air pollution has actually declined significantly. (by David W. Kreutzer, Heritage Foundation)
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