Wind Subsidies Won’t Make America Great Again

WASHINGTON — American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement after presidential candidate Donald Trump came out in support of wind subsidies:

“Donald Trump’s new position in support of wind subsidies is an obvious pander to Big Wind and their lobbyists. Mr. Trump seems to know that wind power doesn’t make sense, and won’t be built without subsidies and handouts. As he stated while in Iowa, ‘It needs subsidy, otherwise they’re not going to get built,’ and ‘They’re very expensive to build and they’re very expensive to maintain.’ What he may not understand is that electricity from new wind sources costs three times as much as electricity from existing coal plants.

“We hope Mr. Trump will come back to his senses and remember that in a country with a $19 trillion national debt, paying Big Wind billions of dollars in taxpayer cash makes no sense, especially since wind energy only works when the wind blows and leads to higher electricity bills to pay for backup generation that other reliable sources don’t require. We can’t make America great again running it on wind turbines and handouts to Big Wind.”

Click here to view AEA’s presidential candidate tracker.


CRA Votes Could Undermine UN Climate Talks

WASHINGTON — American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement after the Senate voted 52-46 to block EPA’s carbon regulations and the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced two resolutions to block the regulations:

“Congress is sending a clear message to countries around the world that there is significant opposition to President Obama’s unlawful carbon regulations. World leaders who are banking on the U.S., and our resources, being a part of a global agreement should take note of this opposition.

“Those who voted to block the carbon regulations should be applauded for their effort. The Obama administration’s agenda will unavoidably damage the economy, kill jobs, and raise energy costs–hurting America’s poor and middle class families the most. The president’s promise to veto this resolution proves once again that he cares more about preserving his climate legacy than the interests of the American people.”

Click here to read AEA’s key vote alert on the Senate resolutions.


ICYMI: Carbon Doesn’t Kill — Poverty Does

This week, Dr. Jane Orient penned an op-ed in the Investor’s Business Daily which shows how EPA’s carbon regulations will harm public health. Orient, a general internist from Arizona, illustrates how despite EPA’s claims, the regulations actually make Americans poorer and sicker. Below is an excerpt from the piece:

As a physician with decades of experience treating thousands of patients, I believe the EPA’s “carbon” regulation would do tremendous harm to no benefit. EPA’s purported health benefits are purely speculative, and ignore the fact that making people poorer also makes them sicker.

Obviously, low-income communities are hurt the most by rising energy costs. Government data indicate that households in the lowest quintile spend more than 10% of their after-tax income on electricity, on average, compared with less than 3% for all households.

To keep the lights on, or to heat the baby’s bedroom, people may decide to skip a doctor visit, not fill their prescriptions, or forgo new tires for the car or other items needed for safety.

Dr. Orient also explains how EPA’s health claims are based on shoddy science that conflicts with the every day experience of practicing physicians:

Based on a few studies of differing death rates in areas with different levels of particulates, which could result from many other factors, the EPA just extrapolates to large populations, claiming that a small increase in particle levels can cause thousands to die or have an asthma attack.

Physicians simply do not observe this to happen. We also do not expect to see fewer asthma attacks, strokes or heart attacks if our already clean air becomes slightly cleaner.

In fact, a growing body of research suggests that EPA air regulations have reached a point of diminishing returns. A study published in the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology concluded that toxicological data on particulate matter “strongly suggest that current ambient concentrations in the U.S. are too small to cause significant disease or death.”

Ultimately, Dr. Orient concludes that from a public health perspective, EPA’s carbon regulations do more harm than good:

A doctor would not prescribe a medicine that frequently sickened patients in order to treat a cold. But the EPA is trying to force states to adopt a remedy certain to cause unemployment and deeper poverty, based on dubious theoretical calculations that it might possibly prevent an asthma attack.

In the end, by increasing poverty, EPA’s “carbon” rule would hurt people more than it cleans up the air.

Click here to read the rest of the op-ed.

EPA’s Carbon Regulation Harms Coloradans

WASHINGTON — Today, the EPA began public hearings in Denver to fulfill the agency’s public engagement and outreach obligations for their carbon regulation. The American Energy Alliance is providing the below background information to demonstrate how the Obama administration’s carbon regulation stands to impact energy costs, jobs, and the economy in Colorado. In fact, the latest study from NERA Economic Analysis released this month reports that under this regulation, electricity prices in the Colorado could increase by an average of 31 percent from 2022-2033.

American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement:

“The Obama administration’s anti-energy agenda will hurt those with the least power in Washington, including poor and middle class Coloradans. By shutting down affordable and reliable coal power plants, the EPA’s carbon regulation will raise electricity prices and drive jobs out of Colorado. Governor Hickenlooper has refused to put up a fight to protect Coloradans and instead is helping the administration advance their agenda. Fortunately, AG Coffman is taking a stand for Colorado families by joining with 26 other states in a lawsuit against the EPA. Coloradans can help fight back by urging Governor Hickenlooper and other state leaders to resist implementing the rule until the legal challenges are resolved.”


Rep. Palmer Stands Up to EPA Overreach

Rep. Gary Palmer has introduced legislation aimed at combatting the EPA’s aggressive and controversial regulation of greenhouse gasses. H.R. 3880, the Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2015, has already garnered significant Congressional support with 107 original cosponsors. Rep. Palmer’s bill is the latest in a series of Congressional attempts to fight the Obama Administration’s attempt at a federal takeover of the electrical grid.

Obama’s carbon regulation will require states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Energy bills will skyrocket from the ensuing loss of affordable and reliable electricity. While Obama’s carbon rule will hurt all Americans, it will especially affect minorities and the poor, who spend a higher percentage of their income on utility bills. The carbon rule could result in thousands of premature deaths because regulatory costs reduce people’s ability to protect their health by forcing people to spend money on complying with the regulation and less on things that protect their health. All of this pain will be for naught, as the regulation does nothing to impact the climate: using the EPA’s own climate model, the rule would produce a mere 0.02 degrees Celsius change in global temperatures.

Further, the carbon rule amounts to a federal takeover of the electricity grid. Under the current system, states are in charge of regulating electricity markets. They choose what mix of electricity generation works best for their unique situation, and respond to market factors when producing electricity. Thus, Americans enjoy some of the most affordable and reliable electricity in the developed world. Obama’s carbon rule will undermine the electrical system that Americans have come to enjoy and depend on for affordable, reliable power. As the 24 states that sued EPA explained (26 states counting those that filed separate suits), the regulation “unlawfully expands the federal government’s regulatory power over electricity production and consumption in nearly every State.” Attempting to take over the electric grid under the auspices of greenhouse gas regulations is an affront to state sovereignty and the Constitution.

While the courts have determined that EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, there is considerable debate regarding whether that was ever the intent of Congress. In fact, former Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Congressman John Dingell (who helped write the Clean Air Act) said that “the Supreme Court came up with an erroneous decision on whether the Clean Air Act covers greenhouse gases. Like many of the members of this committee I was present when we wrote that legislation, and we thought it was clear enough that…we didn’t clarify it, thinking that even the Supreme Court was not stupid enough to make that finding.”

Citing the EPA’s lack of explicit statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Rep. Palmer’s bill confronts Obama’s carbon regulations head on. The bill explicitly looks to nullify both the EPA’s proposed carbon rules for new sources and for existing sources, both of these regulation will have enormous negative impacts for all Americans. Additionally, Rep. Palmer prescribes limitations on future rules promulgated by the EPA, requiring the EPA to consider any impacts their rules will have on employment. If the rule has a negative impact on jobs it cannot be implemented, unless approved by Congress and the President.

Rep. Palmer’s bill seeks to prevent the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Under current law, the EPA has virtually unfettered authority in determining what exactly constitutes an ‘air pollutant,’ and thus can be regulated by the EPA. Rep. Palmer’s bill includes language that tightens the EPA’s authority by excluding carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases, from being considered air pollutants, and thus not subject to EPA regulation. This will help rein in the EPA from its continued abuse of power, and protect Americans from further job-killing and costly rule-making.

Rep. Palmer has taken a strong stand against the EPA and its abusive regulatory agenda by introducing H.R. 3880. The strong support behind this bill sends a strong message that the U.S. Congress is not supportive of Obama’s climate agenda and will not capitulate to the Administration’s demands leading up to and resulting from the Paris climate talks.

How EPA’s Carbon Regulations Harm Pennsylvanians

WASHINGTON — Today the EPA will hold a public hearing in Pittsburgh as part of the EPA’s public engagement and outreach obligation. The American Energy Alliance is providing the below background information to demonstrate how the Obama administration’s carbon regulation stands to impact energy costs, jobs, and the economy in Pennsylvania. In fact, the latest study from NERA Economic Analysis released just last week reports that under this regulation, electricity prices in the Keystone State will increase by an average of 17 percent from 2022-2033.

American Energy Alliance President Tom Pyle issued the following statement:

“The Obama administration’s carbon regulations will undoubtedly increase electricity costs for Pennsylvanians. Higher costs will hurt poor and middle class families the most, and will drive away Pennsylvania’s thriving manufacturing industry. Pennsylvania state leaders have an obligation to their citizens to resist implementation of this federal takeover until the courts have weighed in.”


Ethanol Group Misses Mark on Energy Scorecard

Throughout the presidential campaign thus far, several candidates have made energy issues key aspects of their platforms. In Iowa, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been of particular import due to the heavy influence of the ethanol lobby. One group, America’s Renewable Future, is looking to pressure candidates to support its position by releasing a scorecard tracking where each of the candidates stand on the RFS. Yet ARF has it backwards: to protect American families, the RFS should be fully repealed.

ARF’s message to the candidates is simple: support the RFS, or lose Iowa. The RFS is a federal policy that mandates ethanol in gasoline and raises gas prices. It is no coincidence that the group is heavily backed by ethanol lobbying groups who stand to gain from the status quo. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, and Growth Energy are among the groups that finance this latest pressure campaign.

ARF’s scorecard simply rates candidates on their positions on the RFS, giving those willing to keep the mandate a “good rating,” those with unclear records a “needs work” rating, and those indicating they will get rid of the RFS and protect American families and businesses a “bad rating.”

Of course, ARF is interested in protecting the RFS mandate, which guarantees a market for corn ethanol. In reality, the RFS is bad policy that increases costs for all Americans: the energy-adjusted average price of ethanol is nearly 40 cents more than standard gasoline. While the RFS was initially mandated to address America’s dependence on foreign oil and declining domestic oil production, the U.S. has since become a global leader in energy production. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, oil and natural gas production increased by 3.1 million barrels per day and roughly 4.7 trillion cubic feet, respectively, since 2010. And that was accomplished with no mandates from Washington.

Candidates who support the RFS should be held accountable for supporting an outdated, harmful policy. For example, Gov. Christie has struggled to make sense of the RFS and seems to blindly support the mandate without fully understanding its impacts. Even worse, Hillary Clinton’s ethanol plan will not only ramp up subsidies for ethanol, but also increase the mandate for the production of costly cellulosic and advanced biofuels, of which production has failed to materialize even with generous government handouts.

Candidates should oppose the RFS and support free market energy policies that protect American families. The American Energy Alliance’s 2016 Presidential Candidates Energy Scorecard tracks each candidate’s position on energy issues, including the RFS, so voters can hold the candidates accountable. Unlike ARF, the AEA scorecard provides extensive quotes, vote histories, and policy platforms for each candidate, allowing voters to make informed decisions on energy in the 2016 presidential race.

Rather than rely on ARF’s scorecard, tailored to the special interests of entrenched lobbyists, see where candidates stand on a wide variety of energy issues by visiting the AEA 2016 Presidential Candidates Energy Scorecard.

Energy Questions for the 2016 Candidates

WASHINGTON – Ahead of tonight’s GOP debate in Milwaukee, the American Energy Alliance has compiled a list of questions for each of the candidates. The questions relate to the findings of AEA’s newly released 2016 Presidential Candidates Energy Scorecard:

Trump-crop Donald Trump
Will you release a detailed energy plan like other candidates so the American people understand what your administration might do in this policy area?
800px-Marco_Rubio,_Official_Portrait,_112th_Congress Marco Rubio
Will you oppose efforts to revive the Wind Production Tax Credit in the Senate this fall?During the campaign you have not provided a clear explanation on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Would you favor repeal of this mandate?
Ben Carson
Will you release a detailed energy plan like other candidates so the American people understand what your administration might do in this policy area?
Carly Fiorina
Can you explain why you would not be willing to address the Renewable Fuel Standard before 2022 when it will be responsible for increasing gas prices for American consumers in the near term?
Ted Cruz
Will you oppose efforts to revive the Wind Production Tax Credit in the Senate this fall?
Bush-crop Jeb Bush
Can you explain why you would not be willing to address the Renewable Fuel Standard before 2022 when it will be responsible for increasing gas prices for American consumers in the near term?
With the release of your energy plan you made clear that states like Alaska should be allowed to develop their own energy resources, but earlier you gave a tepid response in regard to the development of ANWR in Alaska. Would your administration support the development of energy in ANWR?
Rand Paul
Will you oppose efforts to revive the Wind Production Tax Credit in the Senate this fall?During the campaign you have not provided a clear position on the Renewable Fuel Standard. Would you favor repeal of this mandate?
John Kasich
You and your administration have been vocal critics of President Obama’s power plant regulations. Will your state of Ohio follow other states like IN, WI, OK, and TX that have signaled they will follow a “do no harm” approach by not submitting a state plan until legal resolution?
huckabee-crop Mike Huckabee
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the RFS will cause gas prices to increase by 13 to 26 cents by the year 2017. Since you have vocally defended the RFS during your campaign, how high would gas prices have to be increased due to the RFS before you would change your opinion of it?
There is video evidence of the fact that you supported cap and trade in 2007, yet later you vocally denied that you said it. Are you prepared to admit that you made a mistake in supporting cap and trade and pledge to undo the President’s regulations if elected?
Chris Christie
You have been vocally critical of President Obama’s power plant regulations, which threaten to pull New Jersey back into a cap and trade system you rejected. Will your state of New Jersey follow other states like IN, WI, OK, and TX that have signaled they will follow a “do no harm” approach by not submitting a state plan until legal resolution?
santorum-crop Rick Santorum
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the RFS will cause gas prices to increase by 13 to 26 cents by the year 2017. Since you have vocally defended the RFS during your campaign, how high would gas prices have to be increased due to the RFS before you would change your opinion of it?
Bobby Jindal
You have said that you support a phase out of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), but you have not provided specifics on how soon that should occur. How soon would you seek to completely phase out this mandate?


Question for all candidates:

President Obama intends to use the carbon rule as the basis for US support of an international agreement at the Paris Climate Conference. Do you plan on being bound to this agreement if he does not receive approval from the US Senate? Would such an agreement developed outside the Senate’s approval influence your promise to withdraw the carbon rule?

Click here to view AEA’s 2016 Candidate Scorecard.


How States Can Fight Obama’s Carbon Rule

ICYMI: Yesterday, AEA President Tom Pyle penned an op-ed on National Review Online explaining why states must utilize all three branches of government to prevent EPA from imposing President Obama’s carbon regulation. Below is an excerpt from the piece:

The most effective way for a state to protect its citizens is for the governor to refrain from submitting a state implementation plan before there is legal resolution — the “do no harm” approach. This will help send a clear signal to utilities and state regulators that no steps shall be taken to implement the rule until its legality is determined.

There is no reason for governors to submit a state plan in 2016. The EPA wants states to believe they have two choices — a state plan or a federal plan — but this is a false choice. States can instead submit an “initial filing” that criticizes the rule and requests a two-year extension. The initial filing does not force states to make any binding commitments to implement the rule. In fact, states should be able to acquire an extension simply by saying the regulation is so drastic and expensive that they need more time to consider options and engage with “vulnerable communities” (EPA’s words) who will suffer the most. Such a filing would be consistent with the bold leadership of Governors Fallin (Okla.), Pence (Ind.), Walker (Wis.), and others who have said they do not intend to submit a state plan.

State legislators also have a role to play, especially in states where the governor is uninterested in stepping up or intends to support the Obama administration. Already more than half of the states have introduced or enacted measures that ensure legislative accountability. Arkansas, for instance, passed a law last year that requires the legislature to approve any state plan before the governor submits it to the EPA.

The legislative role is overlooked but important. To comply with the EPA’s requirements, many states would need to pass new laws mandating renewables or setting up cap-and-trade systems. The EPA has no authority to tell states to pass laws they may otherwise oppose, and legislators should assert their right to refrain from being commandeered to do the EPA’s bidding.

The president’s carbon regulation is so legally vulnerable that states actually have a chance to defeat it. However, states will lose if they bank on legal challenges alone. Without strong signals from the executive and legislative branches in the states, utilities will begin to comply with the rule well before the courts decide its fate, rendering hollow any future legal victory. To protect their citizens, state leaders should reject calls to implement Obama’s federal energy takeover before full legal resolution.

Click here to read the full op-ed.


Report: Big Green Pressure Groups Invade College Campuses

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) published a damning report today detailing the fallacies and consequences of the fossil fuel divestment movement. It is the single most comprehensive study to date on the false claims and sinister motivations of divestment activists, who are controlled by national pressure groups that use college students as a front to advance their political causes. In short, the study criticizes divestment as “an attack on freedom of inquiry and responsible social advocacy in American higher education.”

The goal of the divestment movement is to pressure institutions, including universities, to sell investments in the oil, gas, and coal industries, with the ultimate goal of eliminating all fossil fuels. If divestment activists were to succeed in their efforts, the result would be to keep billions of people in poverty, denying them access to electricity and to lifesaving products like steel and pharmaceuticals that come from fossil fuels. Divesting from fossil fuels would amount to divesting from modern life.

Most Colleges Reject Divestment

Fortunately, and despite the fact that divestment activists have grown louder, a mere 0.24 percent of colleges and universities worldwide have divested from fossil fuels, according to the NAS report. Moreover, only 34 percent of “divested” colleges and universities have fully shed their fossil fuel investments—NAS calls these colleges DINOs (divestment in name only).

According to the Institute for Energy Research’s Robert Bradley, there are at least three reasons for the lack of divestment success:

First, every American is a prolific fossil-fuel user, and substitutes (ethanol for gasoline, wind/solar for electricity) are limited, expensive, unreliable options. Second, many—if not most—Americans are rewardingly invested in the oil, gas, coal, and electricity industries. Third, profit-seeking investors can be expected to buy as fringe emotional investors sell, leaving stock prices unchanged.

As a result, at least thirty-five American colleges and universities who have been pressured have declined to divest. According to formal statements issued by twenty-nine of these institutions, the single most popular reason they chose to reject divestment was its ineffectiveness at improving the environment, followed by the high costs of divesting.

figure 26 divestment
Even the divestment advocates themselves acknowledge that divesting from fossil fuels will not decrease the share prices of fossil fuel companies or shrink their profits. And yet, activists continue to escalate their efforts, encouraging a generation of students to reject intellectual integrity and give in to environmentalist groupthink.

Divestment is Astroturf

The NAS study points out that although students are the face of the divestment movement, it is actually controlled by professional pressure groups like Bill McKibben’s

[NAS President Peter] Wood explained, “The divestment campaigns have been organized by professional activists.  Our report peels back the image the campaign projects of an organic student-led movement.  In fact, it is a nationally orchestrated campaign with top-down directives.”, the organization that brought the campaign to national prominence, pays and trains students for activism and schedules campus protests. “The divestment movement is astroturf,” said [NAS Director of Research Projects Rachelle] Peterson.

These national activist organizations train college students to act as front-runners for the crusade, with the goal of advancing their political agenda. It is therefore unsurprising that divestment efforts have intensified in the midst of legal challenges to EPA’s carbon regulation and in the months leading up to the UN Climate Summit in Paris. In fact, the divestment movement calls this fall “escalation season.”


The divestment movement is morally bankrupt. As we continue to point out, eliminating fossil fuels would consign billions of people to poverty and darkness. Divestment also hurts poor students by leaving universities with less money to spend on need-based financial aid. If left unchecked, this immoral attack on human development will continue to invade colleges and universities across America, undermining intellectual integrity and promoting policies that hurt the poorest among us.