It’s no secret that North Dakota’s energy industry is booming, between oil and gas development, and the coal and wind industries, North Dakota is flush with energy-rich resources. Republican leaders have done an outstanding job balancing regulation of the industry while promoting development. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency seem to think they can better manage and regulate our resources.
Recently, the EPA released its proposed Clean Power Plan, which simply put is nearly 1,600 pages of regulatory overreach. While touted as “a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution,” these new standards will only lower the global temperature by 1/100th of a degree Celsius. The EPA has offered no explanation as to why the proposed 11 percent cuts in carbon emissions for North Dakota has now skyrocketed past the national average of 32 percent to 45 percent in the most recently released rule. Because of these drastic cuts, the price of power for the American family is going to increase by more than $1,225 per year, coal industry employees will face massive job cuts and the economy will be reduced by $2.3 trillion over the next two decades.
Unfortunately, the EPA’s war on energy does not stop with coal. It also released a new proposal to cut methane emissions from natural gas. In proposing these strict new standards, the EPA fails to acknowledge that, per its studies, methane emissions are down 28 percent since 2005.
North Dakota is one of 14 states that meet all ambient air quality standards, which shows that we know how to set North Dakota standards for North Dakota resources. The new EPA rule is another example of the Obama administration pushing its radical environmental agenda with no thoughts toward the pocketbooks and jobs of the American people.
(Roz Leighton is the executive director of the NDGOP.)