The topic of clean energy has conservatives turning red in the face, while President Obama debates in opposition until he turns blue. In this latest round of verbal fisticuffs, Republicans fight to keep profits rolling in while Democrats are determined to save the environment, to put it simply.
The Clean Power Proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the Obama Administration, requires that the country cut its carbon emissions by 32 percent from the previous level in 2005, by the year 2030. The plan also proposes the idea of working towards replacing coal-produced power with renewable energy such as solar and wind power.
As valuable of a proposal this is for the environment, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton and Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, have been two, among many Republicans, are providing the friction needed to take their fight to the Supreme Court.
The two Republicans have been active in their campaign against the new proposal, recently issuing a statement on Monday in response to Obama’s CPP.
“It’s lights out for jobs and the economy,” the statement read. “The administration has defined itself by its unilateral regulatory overreach – this plan goes well beyond the authority Congress granted to EPA and will be challenged in the courts.”
Even the wealthy Koch brothers are joining in the fight against clean energy, as they are set to spend up to $1 billion in campaign contributions for the upcoming 2016 presidential election, according to The Guardian.
Obama’s rebuttal to these claims came during his speech on Monday concerning the CPP.
“There will be critics of what we’re trying to do,” Obama said during the speech. “There will be cynics who say it cannot be done. Long before the details of this clean energy plan were even decided, the special interest and their allies in congress were already mobilizing to oppose it with everything they got.”
Obama also began disproving the fables presented by his Republican counterparts during his speech on Monday concerning the CPP.
“They will claim that this plan will cost you money,” Obama said in his speech. “Even though this plan, the analysis shows long-term, will save the average American eighty-five dollars a month on their energy bills.”
Money-hungry conservatives who oppose this proposal have no interest in providing a safer environment nor do they want Middle America to save a hard-earned dollar, especially when they feel it should be going to their pockets.
During the heated debate over the Keystone XL pipeline construction, Republicans also hid behind the security blanket of providing jobs. However, the construction of the pipeline will do more harm than good for the country.
Analysts state that if the pipeline were built, it would produce carbon emissions equivalent to 46 coal-fired power plants, according to the Huffington Post. The jobs for constructing the pipeline would also be temporary, meaning once the pipeline is constructed, only an insignificant amount of workers will be needed to maintain the pipeline.
A similar situation applies for the CPP against coal production. While arguing that the new energy proposal isn’t a “job killer,” Obama claims that the green energy industry has created jobs “ten times faster than the rest of the economy.” That includes the coal industry, which Obama has also proposed to reform by providing miners with better healthcare as well as healthier jobs.
With debates taking place this fall, the subject of clean energy will definitely be one of the topics up for discussion in the upcoming presidential election of 2016. But regardless of who is right and who is wrong, the bottom line is about who has the most money to bankroll their party’s viewpoints.