Having trouble paying your Entergy or DEMCO bills every month? Don’t expect relief any time soon. If Washington, D.C., has its way, Louisiana families will face higher utility bills for years to come.
Higher energy prices are just some of the harmful effects of the Obama administration’s new carbon regulations. Enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency — and officially called the “Clean Power Plan” — these carbon regulations would force Louisiana to cut carbon emissions by 30.7 percent by 2030.
Our state’s elected leaders aren’t taking this lying down. The carbon agenda causes enormous disruption to our way of life in return for nonexistent environmental benefits. Gov. Bobby Jindal and state policymakers are rightly opposing this agenda.
Slashing emissions by nearly one-third would be costly. With its onerous new mandates on our state’s natural gas supply, these regulations will more than quadruple its total costs. This is especially problematic because we depend on natural gas for over half of our electricity needs. The EPA’s proposed alternative is relying on more wind and solar, which is plainly unaffordable on such a large scale.
Louisiana families and businesses would pay for these higher costs via higher utility bills. Energy Ventures Analysis estimated a draft of the regulation could increase household gas and electricity bills $759 by 2020.
Of course, these higher energy costs mean it will be more expensive to do business in our state. Businesses, already reeling from the recent utilities tax increase, would see their electricity rates jump 48 percent by 2020 because of this carbon agenda. This is especially devastating for manufacturers, who account for a quarter of Louisiana’s economy. The Heritage Foundation estimates this could cost 6,300 Louisianians their jobs.
Given all of these negatives, you would think the plan’s environmental benefits would be substantial. They’re not. The EPA admits there’s no way to determine the plan’s impact on key indicators of public health. As for measurable effects, the EPA’s own climate models show the regulation would only slow temperature increases by 0.018 degrees over the next 85 years.
These negligible benefits are not worth sacrificing our livelihoods. Gov. Jindal did his part by announcing Louisiana will not submit an implementation plan to the EPA, as did the state legislature by passing legislation protecting us from what they deem an unconstitutional overreach. There is bipartisan support for their arguments that it is unconstitutional and in violation of the Clean Air Act, including from President Barack Obama’s former law school professor Laurence Tribe.
We applaud these efforts by our elected state leaders and encourage them to stand strong. It’s the only way for Louisiana to keep control over our own energy future, rather than give it away to unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
director, Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana