July 29, 2015

No Surprises Here; NRDC Ally Boosts EPA’s Costly Power Plan with Faulty Projections

Heath Knakmuhs

In the lead up to what is expected to be an unprecedented gathering of back-slapping environmentalists and Administration allies in the Rose Garden next week, Synapse Energy Economics released a report last week in the final push to try to convince Main Street America that crushing regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will actually be good for them.  The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which is the anticipated target of the President’s pen next week, proposes to reconfigure how American electricity is generated, delivered, and sold.  Through a combination of top-down, Washington-knows-best mandates, the Clean Power Plan promises to reduce reliable and affordable electricity resources in favor of costly “green” technologies that literally depend upon the weather to generate electricity.  In order to counter a reduction in reliable and affordable energy resources, the plan counts on consumers to dramatically curtail their energy usage – either voluntarily or through rolling blackouts.  The latest Synapse report attempts to sew a silk purse out of the sow’s ear that is the Clean Power Plan’s energy rationing mandate. 

You may remember Synapse’s earlier work to support the EPA’s carbon regulation push.  In particular, Synapse was hired as a cheerleader for the carbon-targeted proposal from the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), upon which many – and even the New York Times – believe the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is based.  Pursuant to this engagement, Synapse issued a June 2013 report asserting that unprecedented growth in energy efficiency would lower electricity bills, even though actual electricity rates would increase.  Synapse last week regurgitates this earlier analysis to assert that the rationing of electricity use will be good for our wallets. 

Not too surprising that a consultancy that has been supportive of EPA’s carbon agenda from the very beginning is now trying to push the Costly Power Plan across the goal line.

Instead of relying on biased studies, Main Street America should instead take notice of the independent analysis of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).  The EIA is an independent agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that has served for nearly forty years as the “primary federal government authority on energy statistics and analysis.”  The EIA’s unbiased, nonpartisan analysis of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan unequivocally found that both electricity prices and expenditures will increase under the EPA’s plan to redesign our electricity system. 

In addition, the EIA found that Economic activity indicators, including real gross domestic product (GDP), disposable income, industrial shipments, and consumption, are all reduced under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. 

Just as a fan could not be expected to fairly officiate a football game, Synapse clearly cannot be trusted to provide an unbiased review of the carbon proposal it has supported since its inception in the hallways of the NRDC.  The EIA plays the role of neutral officiant, and therefore presents the real story about the EPA’s Costly Power Plan; electricity prices will increase, and so will the hit to Main Street America’s wallet.