The Natural Resources Defense Council's Frances Beinecke finds it so difficult to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's claim that its new carbon dioxide regulations will save consumers money and their jobs that she prefers to criticize the EPA's critics instead. But their logic is unassailable: Driving out low-cost electricity and replacing it with more expensive and less reliable sources will stick American households and businesses with higher utility bills. ("Don't buy the smear of the EPA," Opinion, June 3)
The EPA's rosy cost estimates inspire no confidence. Two years ago, the EPA predicted that other power plant rules would close only 5,000 megawatts of low-cost power. The Department of Energy says the EPA was off by a factor of more than 10.
Beinecke can't defend the climate benefits because the EPA never claims its carbon dioxide rules will have any material effect on global temperatures. To get health benefits, the EPA double counts those it has attributed to other regulations. The Brookings Institution found that the EPA even padded those by adding benefits that accrue to other countries.
Elsewhere, the NRDC has called the EPA's regulations "the Super Bowl of carbon politics" — namely, Super Bowl XLVII, when the lights went out.