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Pruitt Is Right To Withdraw Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’

Executive Director, Climate Science Coalition

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is fully justified to withdraw the Obama administration’s expensive and useless Clean Power Plan (CPP). After all, it only controls emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is simply plant food. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Changecites over 1,000 peer-reviewed studies showing that rising atmospheric CO2enhances productivity of forests and grasslands. Commercial greenhouses run at up to about four times the outside level of CO2 to boost plant growth.

Increasing CO2 poses no direct hazard to human health either. Concentrations in submarines can reach 25 times normal atmospheric levels with no harmful effects on the crew.

Yet the CPP refers to CO2 as “carbon pollution.” It is the exact opposite of pollution.

Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that, by itself, the CPP would have an insignificant impact on climate. Its main purpose was to lead the world in the ‘fight to stop climate change’, she said.

That makes no sense. Even if one accepts the dubious notion that humanity’s CO2 emissions threaten the climate, developing countries have indicated that they will not follow our lead. For example, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines said in July 2016:

You are trying to stymie [our growth] with an agreement [the Paris Agreement on climate change] … That’s stupid. I will not honor that.

Duterte can say this with a clear conscience since all UN climate treaties, including Paris, are based on the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) which states:

Economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.

This stipulation does not apply to developed nations.

Actions to significantly reduce CO2 emissions would require curbing the use of coal, the cheapest power source in most of the world. But that would obviously interfere with development priorities. So, developing countries won’t do it, citing the FCCC as their excuse.