An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING, W.Va. — Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to extend the public comment period on the proposed Clean Power Plan, which targets coal-fired power plants and attempts to subject those plants to illegal double-regulation.
In defending the Clean Power Plan, EPA official Janet McCabe attacked critics, claiming they have been wrong in the past and are wrong now. She said, “Climate action … spurs innovation, encourages investment, grows industries and creates jobs.” She added, “Choosing between a healthy environment and a healthy economy is a false choice. The truth is a strong world-leading economy depends on a healthy environment and a stable climate.”?She included an eyebrow-raising set of figures, saying, “Throughout EPA history, we’ve cut air pollution by 70 percent while (gross domestic product) has tripled.”
McCabe seems to be implying the EPA’s efforts are responsible for economic growth, despite economists’ proof to the contrary.
Surely someone of McCabe’s status knows there is no correlation between those numbers, but let us take the exercise a bit further. While it is true GDP in the U.S. grew from $4.71 trillion in 1970 to $15.99 trillion this year, it is also true that in China, GDP was the equivalent of $216.5 billion in 1978, the earliest year for which such figures are available. By 2013, GDP in China was the equivalent of $9.2 trillion. It had increased by about 42.5 times.
And, according to the World Bank, 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China.
What is missing in both countries is balance.
It is another example of the EPA’s attempt to confuse the citizens it says it hopes to protect. And speaking of the disingenuous nature of the federal government, while it appears to be a concession to states like West Virginia to extend the public comment period on the Clean Power Plan, McCabe said there have already been more than three-quarters of a million comments on the proposal. What will an agency that has already made up its mind do with those comments?
Because it is uninterested in facts, or balancing real protection of the environment with what is right for the American people and the economy, anyone who keeps an eye on the EPA already knows the answers.