On clean air, states like North Dakota should be followed

Posted November 13, 2014

Tuesday, the White House and President Obama announced a new goal to further expand the carbon reductions set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to a press release from the administration, “…the U.S. will set a new target of cutting our net greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.”

To put that into perspective, we can compare those numbers with the recent rules established by the EPA on carbon reduction. In 2005, U.S. emissions were roughly 6 billion metric tons of carbon.

The new agreement would require a net reduction of about 1.6 billion tons annually. A NERA study reports that reducing emissions by 730 million tons, as currently proposed by the EPA, will cost $366 billion. The EPA testified that such actions will have no significant impact on the world’s climate.

You can expect the new agreement to double that cost. Americans will spend nearly $1 trillion to comply with the agreement while the Chinese can continue freely expanding their carbon-based economy until 2030. Although this trillion dollar political statement will put our prosperity at risk and make our nation less competitive for our children, it will have no meaningful impact on our climate. In fact, the total reduction by the U.S. in global carbon reduction will be offset by the Chinese in approximately 48 days by 2030.

In the state of North Dakota, our air is already some of the cleanest in the nation with the American Lung Association giving the state an “A” rating for air quality. North Dakota’s lead should be followed for how to keep costs down while protecting the environment we all care so deeply about. The example of China only underscores the negative economic consequences the new EPA rule will have on the U.S. when we willingly increase consumer costs, decrease standards of living and invite the Chinese to take our place as the world’s economic superpower.