Clean Power Plan will remain an issue

While it is good for North Dakota’s economy, and it is particularly good to see the issue uniting the state’s delegation, the Clean Power Plan getting unceremoniously dumped by the Trump administration is not going to end the overall issue of energy over-regulation.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed rescinding the Clean Power Plan enacted by President Barack Obama, an initiative which was to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030. The cut was considered excessive by many in the coal power industry. In addition, 28 states joined in a lawsuit against the Obama administration over what they contend was a vast over-reach of presidential authority. The Supreme Court put the issue on hold in February 2016.

As sure as the sun comes up in the morning, there will be further assaults on coal and oil and gas, whether from the next president, the next congress or overzealous bureaucrats empowered by the fringe environmental activists who all but dictated policy for the eight years prior to Trump’s election. There is very little that the EPA or White House (or even SCOTUS) can do about that will stop this effort; opponents of fossil fuels and energy independence see the long-term.

A healthy debate on such issues would be wonderful for Americans. Wouldn’t it be spectacular to see two honest, eloquent, talented debaters go toe-to-toe to win support of American voters?

That will never happen. Energy over-regulation sorts too often rely on disingenuous arguments in the first place – primarily that all scientists agree with their plans, and also that anyone who disagrees with their specific opinion and proposals wants to destroy the planet. You can’t have a debate without two parties willing to be honest.

Not that regulation isn’t needed for the energy industry. Regulation is an absolute necessity in any industry. Period.

That said, the free market remains the best and most honest regulator. And there seems to be a cabal, often controlling the regulatory agenda, that is committed to a nation in which affordable energy is restricted to a small number of (presumably “important”) people, while the average American struggles.

Recent decisions advantage the average American, and particularly those in energy producing states. But do not, for a second, think that the assault on fossil fuels is going away any time soon.