Manager Report

33 Billion dollar Tax Cut!

Well it’s been just about a year since voters sent one Donald J. Trump to Washington DC to serve as our 45th President. To say the least it’s been an eventful 12 months.  With the media focused on Russian collusion, NFL protests, and talk of impeachment even prior to him taking office, something very important is going on very quietly behind the scenes. If successful it would put an end one of the most overreaching and oppressive pieces of regulation ever conceived.

For those of you who have been paying attention to the real work being done by this administration and have not been distracted by the media dog and pony show, you might have noticed that the Clean Power Plan is back in the spotlight. This time instead of making every energy consumer cringe, there is fresh hope as newly appointed EPA Director Scott Pruitt has formally announced plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan in its entirety. 

So, what does that mean to you? For starters this is essentially a $33 Billion tax cut for consumers, and although you won’t see a significant reduction in your monthly electric bill, it will eliminate much higher costs that the previous administration planned to impose over the next 14 years.

Remember this Clean Power Plan was born not from the passage of bipartisan legislation, but instead was rammed down our throats through the over-reaching arm of the Obama era EPA. As insult to injury, after the open comment period in which over a million concerned citizens and organizations voiced stern opposition, the final draft came back even more obtrusive that the original. So much for your input.

This blatant disregard for our concerns was met with outrage as 150 entities including 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 electric cooperatives and three labor unions filed lawsuits arguing that the Clean Power Plan was illegal. Thankfully the Supreme court issued a temporary stay which put a halt to the program’s implementation.

If the Clean Power Plan had come to fruition, it had been estimated by the American Action forum that it would cost at least 125,000 jobs and result in the premature closure of 66 coal fired power plants.  We would also have been marching head long into a new term “energy poverty” in which energy becomes so costly that many would be unable to afford it.  Combine these excessive costs with the heavy subsidization of alternative forms of energy with their intermittency issues, and we would have been heading down a very treacherous road.

This dramatic about face from the EPA seems to be close to delivering what I considered the biggest promise of the Trump campaign. He promised not to abandon our affordable, dependable coal assets and to listen to all those affected by EPA rules. I believe he’s about to make good on this promise. Although it’s hard these days to turn on the television or the radio and hear much positive news, and I doubt that this issue will garner much national media attention, this is a huge win for America.