EPA’s Energy Cost Prediction Akin to ‘If You Like Your Doctor, You Can Keep It’

By Melanie Arter | June 19, 2014 | 12:30pm EDT

The coal-burning Hunter Power Plant near Castle Dale, Utah. (AP Photo/Al Hartmann)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Thursday compared the Environmental Protection Agency’s prediction that electricity bills will go down as a result of proposed carbon emissions regulations for power plants, because people will use less energy to the campaign promise that then-candidate Barack Obama made that health insurance premiums would go down and his pledge that “If you like your doctor, you can keep it.”

“When you say that utility bills are gonna go down by 8 percent, it reminds me of candidate Obama saying that under his health care plan, insurance premiums would decrease by $2500 per family without increased taxes and without a mandate. Of course now they’re up $2500 per family. When you say that you’re gonna give states flexibility, it reminds me of ‘If you like your doctor, you can keep it,’” said Cassidy.

On June 2, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the Clean Power Plan. Among other things, the EPA predicts that by 2030, these new measures will “cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels” and “shrink electricity bills roughly by 8 percent by increasing energy efficiency and reducing demand in the electricity system.”

“And we show that with the significant increase in energy efficiency that will be implemented as a result of the rule, that electricity bills in 2030 we predict will go down, because ... people will be using less energy,” EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe testified Thursday before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on the EPA’s proposed carbon emissions regulations.

“We also show that the price of electricity will go up a little bit -- but overall bills will come down,” McCabe added.

Cassidy told the story of a family who was in danger of losing their home. Refinancing saved their mortgage, and they ended up paying less, but the cost of food, gas, and insurance went up.

“They’ve been denied the economic benefits of projects like Keystone XL Pipeline, which now Canada’s gonna ship their oil to China to create Chinese jobs, and you want to raise their utility prices,” he said.

“Now you may say that conservation will on net decrease, but let’s be clear. Let’s not mislead. The reality is poor people – those who are lower income – are less able to invest in those conservation measures. This is just going to be a bull’s eye on other family’s ability to do things such as keep their homes,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy accused the administration of raising to “an art level,” the misleading of the American people by manipulating statistics. He said companies will lean towards investing outside the U.S., because “their input cost of energy” will go up.

McCabe disagreed with this assessment, saying “there are many things that go into making those decisions.”

Cassidy noted that Louisiana has announced $90 billion in “construction projects involving polymer, petrochemical, gas to liquids – industry that will create great paying jobs for working Americans.”

He asked McCabe if her agency has analyzed the impact that the new EPA regulation would have on the expansion of the manufacturing base.

“No, no we didn’t,” McCabe said.

“Yeah, so these jobs are on the bubble. There are more families that will lose their homes, and you’ve not done the analysis,” Cassidy said.

“This administration is so busy saving the earth. They’re willing to sacrifice the American family,” Cassidy said, adding that the president and his administration have been insensitive to their plight.

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