More job-killing rules from EPA

“Ignores the real, obvious and enormous health impairment from millions more people rendered unemployed, poor and unable to heat their homes. – Paul Driessen________________________________________________

Years into its war on coal, the Environmental Protection Agency has just issued still more job-killing rules that it calls “social cost of methane” regulations, which are patterned after its equally arbitrary, speculative, infinitely malleable “social cost of carbon.”

As this article by Paul Driessen demonstrates, the agency’s duplicitous methods are astounding – but very much what we have come to expect from EPA and the Obama Administration.

More job-killing rules from EPA

Social cost of methane regulations will further constrain energy production, for no benefit
By Paul Driessen

Having already done yeoman’s work stifling economic growth and job creation, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is doubling down again.

The United States created a paltry 38,000 new jobs in May: one for every 8,000 Americans. Its labor force participation rate is a miserable 63% – meaning 93 million Americans are not working, while 6.4 million more are trying to feed their families on involuntary part-time positions and a fraction of their previous salaries. Manufacturing lost another 20,000 jobs in May, as the economy grew at an almost stagnant 0.8% the first quarter of 2016. Middle class family incomes and net worth continue to slide.

Meanwhile, well-paid federal bureaucrats increasingly regulate our lives, livelihoods and living standards, hand down fines and jail terms for some 5,000 federal crimes and 300,000 criminal offenses, and inflict $1.9 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs on families and businesses.

EPA’s war on coal has already cost thousands of jobs in mines, power plants and dependent businesses. Low oil prices amid a tepid, over-regulated, climate-fixated, crony-corporatist American, European and international economy have already killed thousands of US oil patch jobs.

On June 3 EPA issued more rules: methane emission standards for new and modified oil and natural gas drilling, fracking, pipeline and other operations. Under steady environmentalist pressure, it may be only a matter of time before the agency covers existing operations – and maybe even livestock, rice growing, landfills, sewage treatment plants and other methane-emitting activities.

The agency justifies these new job-killing rules by citing something it calls the “social cost of methane,” which is patterned after its equally arbitrary, speculative, infinitely malleable “social cost of carbon.” (Carbon, of course, actually means carbon dioxide – the miracle molecule that enables plant growth and makes all life on Earth possible.) Both the SCM and SCC are needed, EPA insists, to prevent dangerous manmade global warming and climate change, which it claims are driven by these two trace gases.

EPA’s methane claims are absurd. Methane emissions from US hydraulic fracturing operations have plummeted 79% and from the overall US natural gas sector by 11% since 2005.

Moreover, methane is a tiny 0.00017% of the atmosphere, the equivalent of $1.70 out of $1 million. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 17% of that is from energy production and use; 26% comes from agriculture, landfills and sewage; and the remaining 57% is from natural sources. (Carbon dioxide, the other climate bogeyman, is 0.04% of the atmosphere – 400 ppm.)

The United States accounts for a mere 9% of the world’s total manmade methane – and just 29% of that is from oil and gas operations that provide 63% of all the energy that powers America. That means US oil and gas account for less than 3% of global manmade methane emissions – and thus just 0.000004% of all the methane in Earth’s atmosphere. That’s equivalent to 4 cents out of $1 million!

EPA insists that this undetectable amount will cause a global climate catastrophe, and forcing the oil industry to spend billions of dollars to reduce its already minimal methane emissions will bring billions in health and environmental benefits via climate change prevention. It says methane is 23 (or 28 or 35) times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and the USA must lead the way. What nonsense.

The atmosphere contains 235 times more carbon dioxide than methane – so this “ultra-potent” greenhouse gas will have only 10-15% of CO2’s supposed global warming power. The US petroleum industry’s contribution is utterly meaningless, especially compared to the solar, oceanic, cosmic and other powerful natural forces that have driven climate change throughout Earth and human history.

Of course, EPA’s shenanigans don’t end there.

The agency’s “social cost of methane” calculations rely on arbitrary 2.5, 3 and 5 percent “discount rates” that supposedly quantify the present value of future regulatory benefits, derived from preventing climate chaos 20, 50 or 100 years from now. The rates yield miraculous compounded benefits up to $1,700 per ton of methane emissions prevented by 2020 to $3,300 per ton by 2050. They could bring up to $550 million in alleged health benefits by 2025 – for “only” $330 million in oil industry costs.

But if EPA had used the 7% discount rate required under Office of Management and Budget guidelines, the supposed benefits would plummet to only $259 per ton by 2020. Naturally, EPA didn’t use that rate.

Even more dishonest, as it did for its “social cost of carbon,” EPA’s analysis incorporates virtually every conceivable “cost” of methane emissions and thus alleged “dangerous climate change” – to agriculture, forestry, water resources, “forced migration” of people and wildlife, human health and disease, rising sea levels, flooded coastal cities, ecosystems and wetlands harmed by too much or too little rain, et cetera.

But it completely ignores every obvious and enormous benefit of using oil and natural gas: generating reliable, affordable electricity for lights, heat, air conditioning, computers, electric vehicles and countless other applications; manufacturing fertilizers, plastics, paints and pharmaceuticals; and even reducing CO2 emissions by replacing coal in electricity generation. EPA also ignores the real, obvious and enormous health impairment from millions more people rendered unemployed, poor and unable to heat their homes.

That is the critical point. But almost as important, the alleged, exaggerated, computer-conjured and illusory benefits from these SCM regulations accrue to the world as a whole – while the very real costs are incurred solely by American companies, consumers and taxpayers. EPA doesn’t mention that.

And to top it off, the mandated reductions in US methane emissions will be imperceptible amid the world’s enormous and rapidly increasing oil, natural gas and coal production and use. In fact, 59 nations are already planning to build more than 1,200 new coal-fired power plants – on top of what they and developed nations are already building.

China, India, Russia and Europe together emit more than five times the methane that the USA does, and the world just set new oil and natural gas consumption records. In fact, the net increase in petroleum consumption was 2.6 times the overall increase in renewable energy use.

Indeed, fossil fuels now account for 79% of total global energy consumption – compared to 0.7% for wind and solar energy combined. The much-touted figure of 19% global renewable energy cleverly hides the fact that 68% of that consumption total is wood, animal dung and hydroelectric energy. Even more astounding, wood and dung account for 13 times more energy worldwide than wind and solar combined!

India has said it will not ratify the Paris treaty anytime soon, and will continue using fossil fuels to bring electricity to people and businesses and improve living standards. Meanwhile, renewable energy spending fell 46% in Germany and 21% overall in Europe in 2015 from the previous year.

EPA’s SCC and SCM scam underscores the religious dogma that drives the Obama Administration’s climate change agenda and ideological determination to end hydrocarbon use in America. Perhaps worse, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has bragged about putting still more coal miners out of work. She has also said she would ban drilling on all onshore and offshore public lands, and regulate fracking into oblivion on state and private lands. Senator Bernie Sanders will almost assuredly push her and the Democratic Party even further to the Left on energy policies.

These policies would put even more Americans out of work, landing them on welfare rolls and forcing them to depend on unsustainable government handouts that rely on taking more money from an ever-shrinking workforce. Americans would have to get used to the idea of having lights, AC and computers when increasingly expensive electricity is available – instead of when we need it. What a depressing future that would be for our children and grandchildren.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.


15 thoughts on “More job-killing rules from EPA”

  1. Until the US people empower a Politian to reform to EPA and sunset all of its legislation, sack its entire work force. Then replace it with an organisation fit for purpose, to control true pollution of waterways, soil and the air. The previous employees need not apply.
    The American nation can expect in twenty years’ time to be in third rank of developing countries.
    This environmental sabotage of the West has been in planning and execution since the fall of the Soviet Empire. The majority of the Greens are in fact left wing political activists originally funded by the KGB. Their strategy has been brilliant, infect the educational establishment and left leaning press and leave it to time, propaganda, NIMBYism, and Naysayers to build a Juggernaut rolling downhill based on the ultimate lie, that humans are the root cause of every ill in the world and especially their use of technology and energy.
    Less than 10 % of the charitable donations made by the Western Public to fund environmental protection, which support the great lie, is spent on increasing and protecting wild animal and the environment they live, the rest is used to rebuild the Green losses during the recent crash, funding their money collection capability, and junkets to Green events all over the world.

    • Tarring with hydrocarbons and recyclable feathers, and than being ran out of town.
      Having to give up their feather bedded jobs, gold plated civil service pensions, and then get a real job, that creates wealth, and pay taxes like the rest of us at the bottom of the pile.

  2. I assume that the animal rights organisations are behind the vilification of livestock production for its methane emissions.

    Don’t you love how someone will come up a number for the “natural” sources of methane? Are we supposed to believe that someone has actually measured this?

  3. Oil prices are low because, thanks to fracking, supply grew very quickly, out running demand.

    Coal is down largely because natural gas is abundant and cheaper, and because a lot of power generation is shifting to solar and wind.

    The “Deniers” have the science on their side, the geological history, but they have been incompetent to make the public case that a trivial amount of CO2 in the air (0.04%, one part in 2,500) does not cause global warming, or climate change.

    0.04% CO2 is very, very nearly “0%”, one part in 2,500, but few people know this. I have asked many people to tell me how much CO2 they think is in the air, what percentage, estimates have ranged from 5% to 80%, not one has been anywhere close to reality.

    Why the Deniers, the Republicans, the Scientists, anybody, everybody, have been unable to do a better job of public education is a complete mystery.

  4. With the economies of all the world’s major economies treading on very shaky ground, virtually all countries in the world issuing funny money fiat currencies that are back by nothing more substantial than hot air, the unsustainable and still growing debt load of Americans and the world, the fact that the US government is fudging the numbers, and the real US unemployment rate is already hovering around 22%, , the insanely complex health care systems of most countries, especially the US, the onerous and complicated regulatory and legal systems, it is obvious that the whole mess is unsustainable, and some sort of social and economic collapse in inevitable. Such a collapse is very last thing we need with the climate obviously worsening and tilting toward a real ice age, and the collapse will, if Murphy’s Law holds true, probably come at the worst possible moment.

  5. Brazil: Santa Catarina registers -7.2 ° C and waterfall freezes.
    06/12/2016. No wonder that Urupema, Sierra Santa Catarina is considered the coldest city in Brazil. At dawn on Friday, 1, thermometers marked -7.2 ° C, the lowest temperature of the year. The cold also reached other 42 cities, which are below zero. In Bom Jardim da Serra made -6.1 ° C and -5.2 ° C High Bridge. In other parts of the state the minimum did not exceed 7 ° C.
    In the Upper Plateau South, the landscape froze. The trees were decorated with drops of ice crystals, waterfalls stopped running, turned into stones, houses and lawns were painted white. In Urupema, waterfall froze.
    According to meteorologist Gislânia Cruz, the Meteorological Center of Santa Catarina, Epagri / Ciram, the cold will remain intense until next week. On Saturday morning, the forecast is frozen and snow rain.
    In Florianopolis, the mercury plummeted to 2.3 ° C. Over the past 22 years did not like cold in June. Rigidity in temperature is explained by polar air mass reinforced by a coming air mass of Patagonia.–72c-e-cachoeira-congela

    Sierra Santa Catarina has windchill of 26 degrees below zero
    Registration was Urupema, one of the coldest cities in the country.
    In Serafina in Serra Gaucha, thermometer marked -4.9 ° C.
    In the south, temperatures are even lower. In Urupema, Santa Catarina, one of the coldest cities in the country, the thermometer of the square marked two degrees below zero just after 20h Saturday (11). And the temperature keeps dropping. The cold reached seven degrees and two tenths below zero. Then we had a geadão (?) those, leaving the landscape all white. And yet another phenomenon, called icicle. It happens when ice crystals suspended in the mist touch the vegetation and ice. Tourists stopped to record the phenomenon, and also lined up close to see the waterfall freezes.
    A chance of snow has passed it. But the cold continues and will tighten. According to the weather, thermometers in Urupema should reach eight degrees below zero, noting that the thermal sensation this Saturday, which is the cold that we feel on the skin in wind function, reached 26 degrees below zero. Freezer temperature. So much warm clothing to face the cold end of the Santa Catarina mountains.

  6. How much longer will you address these issues on the merits?The government is hostile to the economic development of the United States and is hostile to the survival of the American people. The government is illegitimate.

    I suggest organizing a campaign of disobedience and where possible refusal to cooperate or assist those who comply with the regulations.

  7. agree with all EXCEPT FRAKKING
    theres enough normally located oil gas offshore or on
    frakking is ridiculous price per unit to obtain
    and you do NOT screw round with risking aquifers

    • We will need all sources of energy for our civilisation to survive the coming cold period.
      Even now hydro carbon production is only just in balance, with the newly industrialised Asia centres consuming more and more carbon based energy. That’s were all the globalised economy jobs have gone, leaving the west’s economy in tatters and even deeper in debt.
      Until the EU Euro economy restarts producing growth, jobs, and living wages for people to stay in place, they will up sticks and head west.
      The UK doesn’t have the living space to support another 25 Million European’s who can’t speak English, free moving to the UK over the next 10 years and further depressing the unskilled and semi-skilled wage rates.
      The main reason while wealth hasn’t trickled down to the unskilled and semi-skilled ethic UK workers is because of Mass migration both EU legal and the vastly greater numbers of illegal migrants.
      We now have the Greek Courts refusing to send back to Turkey migrants on the grounds that Turkey is unsafe, If Turkey is unsafe due to its thuggery towards Kurds, and its backhanded support of Sunny ISIS then, Turkey will not qualify for EU membership. Turkey should remember that its Kurds will have the same rights as Turks once in the EU, and if they don’t forget it.

  8. So what are these natural sources of methane ? What do the universities say ?
    Max-Plank in 2006 says “living plants let out some 10 to 1000 times more methane than dead plant material”

    And a more recent study from late 2012 agrees.

    So the EPA plan as I see it is: Starve the trees (and any other plants that may just happen to be edible) by restricting the CO2. That way the trees can’t make any methane. Problem solved. This will also reduce the world population to the point that wind and solar power generation will be sufficient to supply the needs of the surviving few. How many ?

    Well if wind and solar provides .7% of the worlds energy today, then that would mean +/- 1% of humanity could be provided for. Woe to the 99% that need to be eliminated.

  9. Vote Trump. He already has Hillary lined up for jail. Obama, Gore, EPA officials and NASA ‘climate scientists’ are hopefully also in his sights for fraud and crimes against humanity.

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