Does the EPA’s selling of the proposed regulations marginalize climate change?Jonathan R. Nash suggests in The Hill that the EPA’s proposed coal plant rule marginalize climate change by selling the health benefits of the new coal regulations. The EPA’s fact sheets do seem to push health benefits over climate benefits. It’s billed as a Clean Power Plan that will cut hundreds of millions of pounds of carbon pollution and hundreds of thousands of tons of particulate pollution, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. “Together these reductions will provide health benefits to the most vulnerable such as children and older Americans.”
The EPA can’t sell this on climate benefits because any CO2-related temperature reductions are not measurable (<0.02°C), so the only sell is health benefits. Notice that the fact sheet wording implies that CO2 reductions reduce health problems. The administration was going to write this rule and is left casting about for something to sell it, or to make a pretense of selling it on benefits.
Given the President’s weekend commencement speech setting up climate change straw men and deriding them as believers that the moon is made of cheese and Kerry’s statements that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism, the political push is likely an all fronts sales effort.
I suppose leaders who believe they can stop the oceans from rising and control the climate and write a rule that has no climate or health benefits can get along with sales pitches.