James M. Policelli, P.E., Consultant Energy & Environment Committee Member
The 2016 presidential election was a turning point for global warming regulatory activities to force fossil fuels out of our energy mix. The premiere initiative to do this is the Obama era “Clean Power Plan,” designed to shut down hundreds of powerplants. Now tied up in the courts, the CPP will likely be withdrawn and not defended in court by the Trump administration. Reversing this initiative will be complex and will take time. Activist groups are preparing to obstruct the move. Meanwhile, its implementation remains halted by a U.S. Supreme Court order.
If the CPP were fully implemented and worked as planned, it would prevent a global temperature rise of only 0.007 degree Celsius.
Germany already has in place an equivalent to the CPP. It produces over 30 percent of its electricity from renewables. This resulted in a destabilized power grid, extremely high electricity prices and a growing segment of its population known as “energy poor.” It is a major factor in companies looking outside of Germany to reinvest earnings.
The state of South Australia gets 40 percent of its electricity from renewables. Recently, major wind farms failed during a storm triggering a statewide blackout that caused at least $367 million in losses.
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce advocated our opposition of the CPP to both the Environmental Protection Agency and to our U.S. Senators and Congressmen. Our Chamber also became a signatory to the Amicus Brief filed by the U.S. Chamber in the suit by 27 states and numerous other interested parties against the CPP.