Nearly $300 Billion: The 7 most expensive regs in Obama’s climate plan

By JOHN SICILIANO 8/8/16 12:01 AM

It has been just over three years since President Obama announced his extensive climate change agenda, called the Climate Action Plan.

The plan was his answer to Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive climate legislation, after action stalled in the Senate during his first term. Instead of relying on Congress, with its increased Republican opposition, Obama decided to enact regulations using his executive authority to meet his climate goals.

The Climate Action Plan directed the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Department and other Cabinet-level agencies to begin working on new regulations, while speeding up existing programs to reduce greenhouse gases, which many scientists blame for driving man-made climate change.

The most notorious piece of the president’s plan is the rules for existing power plants, called the Clean Power Plan. The regulations for the first time use the EPA’s authority to hold states accountable for regulating carbon dioxide emissions, rather than just the owners and operators of power plants. While the EPA says it is not the most expensive of Obama’s climate rules, many critics beg to differ.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy was charged with expediting energy-efficiency standards for appliances, placing more stringent requirements on manufacturers.

Increasingly stringent regulations for building low-emission vehicles are also a big part of the president’s agenda, including new rules that go into effect when model-year 2017 cars hit showroom floors.

The cost of the regulations is high, with critics arguing that the rules won’t do much to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising.

Other rules outside of the president’s climate plan, such as those for smog-forming ozone emissions, have been criticized by business groups as the most costly regulations in history because of their potential far-reaching impact on cities’ and regions’ economic growth. But there is no government pricetag for the rules, because the EPA said in the final 2015 rule that it does not have to assess their cost.

Below is a list of seven of the most expensive rules that

Climate Retreat? California Legislature May Ditch Plan to Radically Reduce Emissions

One ominous sign: The Democratic leader of the Assembly has not thrown his weight behind the bill.

“For us, it’s not imperative that it get done this year,” said Anthony Rendon, who has a background as an environmentalist but rose to speaker this year with support from a powerful bloc of business-friendly Democrats. “It’s a program that has had its success, but at the same time there are some corrections that could be made. We just want to make sure that if we’re going to set something up for the long term, that we get it right.”

Senate Bill 32 is shaping up as the biggest fight lawmakers are likely to tackle in what remains of the legislative year. It pits environmentalist Democrats, mostly from the state’s more prosperous coastal areas, against Democrats and Republicans from struggling inland areas who side with oil companies and other businesses, and whose constituents could be harder hit by rising energy prices.

The bill, which sets ambitious targets to cut planet-warming emissions by 2030, faces a critical deadline with the Legislature set to wrap up for the year on Aug. 31.

Scientists: Tropical Pacific Islands Are Not Being Drowned By Rising Seas


By Paul Homewood




From Cato:

According to a conventional narrative, tropical islands are eroding away due to rising seas and increasingly devastating storms. Not really, according to the recent work of Ford and Kench (2016).

Writing as background for their study, the two researchers state that low-lying reef islands are “considered highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” where an “increased frequency and intensification of cyclones and eustatic sea-level rise [via global warming] are expected to accelerate shoreline erosion and destabilize reef islands.” However, they note that much remains to be learned about the drivers of shoreline dynamics on both short- and long-term time scales in order to properly project future changes in low-lying island development. And seeking to provide some of that knowledge, the pair of New Zealand researchers set out to examine historical changes in 87 islands found within the Jaluit Atoll (~6°N, 169.6°E), Republic of the Marshall Islands, over the period 1945-2010. During this time, the islands were subjected to ongoing sea level rise and the passage of a notable typhoon (Ophelia, in 1958), the latter of which caused severe damage with its >100 knot winds and abnormal wave heights.

So what did their examination reveal?

Analyses of aerial photographs and high-resolution satellite imagery indicated that the passage of Typhoon Ophelia caused a decrease in total island land area of approximately five percent, yet Ford and Kench write that “despite [this] significant typhoon-driven erosion and a relaxation period coincident with local sea-level rise, [the] islands have persisted and grown.” Between 1976 and 2006, for example, 73 out of the 87 islands increased in size, and by 2010, the total landmass of the islands had exceeded the pre-typhoon area by nearly 4 percent.

Such observations, in the words of Ford and Kench, suggest an “alternative trajectory” for future reef island development, and that trajectory is one of “continued island expansion rather than one of island withering.” And such expansion is not just limited to Jaluit Atoll, for according to Ford and Kench, “the observations of reef island growth on Jaluit coincident with sea level rise are broadly consistent with observations of reef islands made elsewhere in the Marshall Islands and Pacific (McLean and Kench, 2015).” Given as much, it would thus appear that low-lying islands are not as vulnerable to climate change as previously thought.

Democrat AGs signed secrecy pact to hide details of probe into climate-change dissent

Democratic attorneys general signed a secrecy agreement aimed at keeping hidden the details of their investigation into climate change dissenters, according to documents released Thursday.

The Common Interest Agreement was signed in April and May by representatives for 17 attorneys general as part of their collaborative pursuit of fossil fuel companies, academics and think tanks that challenge the narrative of catastrophic climate change.…

From now on, every government agency will have to consider climate change

In the past several weeks alone, the Obama administration has made multiple new moves to fight climate change. The administration announced new steps to help fill U.S. roadways with electric vehicles. It ruled that greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft endanger human health and welfare. And on the international stage, it moved the world closer to a deal to phase out super-polluting HFCs, chemicals in refrigerants and other industrial substances that warm the climate.

But as Obama’s term dwindles, the act isn’t over — on Tuesday the White Housereleased yet another policy to fight climate change, one with potentially far-reaching consequences. The White House’s chief environmental office, the Council on Environmental Quality, finalized a six-year process of shaping how the government’s agencies, across the board, will factor climate change into their decisions.…

NSIDC on Arctic Sea Ice: ‘A new record low September ice extent now appears to be unlikely.”

NSIDC on Arctic Sea Ice: ‘A new record low September ice extent now appears to be unlikely.”

From the National Snow and Ice Data Center. A cool and stormy Arctic in July An extensive area of lower than average temperatures in the Central Arctic and the Siberian coast, attended by persistent low pressure systems in the same region, led to slightly slower than average sea ice decline through the month. The stormy […]

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