One of the main arguments supporters use in favor of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is that it will help solve the so-called “climate change” problem.  “We are taking the most significant step in U.S. history toward reducing the pollution that causes climate change,” declared the Environmental Defense Fund. Even assuming, for purposes of argument only, that the assumptions about climate change are correct, not only will the Clean Power Plan fail to do anything to reduce climate change, it will wreck our economy by closing our coal-fired generating plants while the rest of the world continues to build coal plants just as fast as they can.

The Clean Power Plan’s goal is to reduce carbon emissions 30% by 2030, mainly by closing coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Contrary to what the liberal environmental crowd will tell you, coal use continues to increase worldwide, especially in developing countries.  China, for example, uses four times as much coal as the United States, nearly as much as the rest of the world combined.  And, China is continuing to build new coal plants.  In fact, China is building one new coal-fired power plant every 7 to 10 days, while Japan plans to build 43 coal-fired power plants to replace its shuttered nuclear units.  By 2030, China alone will add another 1,344 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power. That’s not even counting the new coal-fired power plants that will be built in Japan, India, and the rest of Asia.  Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Clean Power Plan will reduce U.S. coal-fired power by 90 GW by 2030.  The EPA’s plan doesn’t even make a dent in the global increase in carbon emissions, much less lead to any global decrease. Any effect the Clean Power Plan will have on global carbon emissions is miniscule.

Currently, 1.3 billion people in the world have no electricity at all.  They want and need electricity desperately, because they know that electricity will bring them out of the dark ages and give them an opportunity for a better quality of life, the kind of life we Americans take for granted.  Coal is the most reliable and affordable source for generating electricity available, and the developing countries are not going to give up an opportunity to better their lives in order to solve “climate change.”  Apparently, only liberal Americans are naive enough to wreck our own economy for no benefit whatsoever.

If the goal is to reduce the effects of climate change, the EPA’s plan fails miserably. A supporter of the EPA wrote recently, “If we do nothing, the costs of responding to the devastating results of climate change will far outweigh any costs of avoiding its catastrophic effect.” The Clean Power Plan does nothing to relieve global climate change, but it will raise electricity prices for U.S. consumers and put the reliability of our electric grid at risk. No benefits at a big cost—now that’s a recipe for disaster.