The so-called Clean Power Rule (CPP) being imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires cutting “carbon” emissions and will result in shuttering many coal-fired electrical generating stations. This is said to produce climate benefits by reducing atmospheric CO2, and health benefits by reducing small particulates (“PM2.5s”), as in soot and diesel exhaust.
Last week’s ruling from Judge Hollis Hill of the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington, is said to be a landmark precedent for the government’s authority to impose such rules. The court held for eight child petitioners, one of whom said, “we have a right to a healthy atmosphere, and the government can’t allow it to be harmed.”
Judge Hill declared that “[the youths’] very survival depends upon the will of their elders to act now.”
“The Judge’s statement refers to global warming, which the CPP cannot measurably affect,” states Jane M. Orient, M.D., president of Physicians for Civil Defense. “But the EPA’s claimed health benefits are all related to PM2.5s.”
The EPA’s evidence consists of small associations between population mortality and average level of PM2.5s. “The association is so small that it means nothing. Moreover, EPA simply ignores studies that find no association.”
The scientific process has been corrupted, Orient maintains, and so has the advocacy process. Governors who publicly state that the CPP will devastate their state’s economy support its implementation behind the scenes to get funding from major environmental donors such as billionaire Tom Steyer.
To believe the EPA’s assertions that tiny changes in “carbon” (soot) in the air can prevent premature stroke or heart attack, one should follow the White Queen’s advice to Alice in Through the Looking Glass, Orient suggested. “With practice, one can believe six impossible things before breakfast.”
The economic devastation is, however, indisputable. The destruction of more than 100,000 jobs, the loss of a huge part of our electrical generating capacity, and soaring prices of energy along with everything that requires energy to make or transport is a prescription for poverty, ill health, and even death, Orient states.
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