Jun 20, 2014 - 2:30pm

This Graphic Shows How Fruitless EPA’s Carbon Regulation Is


Senior Editor, Digital Content


The Newsweek graphic above sums up the wishful thinking behind EPA’s proposed carbon regulations. The story that's attached to it delivers some “coal, hard” facts [emphasis mine]:

Five countries dominate the global consumption of coal. China, the U.S., India, Russia and Japan are the world’s biggest coal burners. In recent years, the growth in coal consumption of developing countries, especially China and India, has overtaken growth in developed nations like the U.S.

The U.S. is the second largest consumer of coal in the world today, but China’s consumption dwarfs all others. Last year, while the U.S. consumed 925 million tons of coal, China is estimated to have consumed 4 billion tons. Each year China consumes almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined.

Here's another fact. As the Christian Science Monitor reports, demand for coal will continue to rise:

For now, coal remains behind oil in terms of its share of global energy demand, capturing 30.1 percent compared to oil’s 32.9 percent. But that could change. In a December 2012 report, the International Energy Agency predicted that by 2017, coal would become the world’s top source of energy. Between 2012 and 2017, annual global coal consumption is expected to jump by 1.2 billion tons, which is equivalent of adding the coal consumption of Russia and the US combined.

Even if these proposed regulations are implemented, by 2030 global emissions will still be about 29% higher than in 2011.

President Obama can say all he wants, “We cannot exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everyone else.” The truth is that with these proposed carbon regulations, we’ll have less-affordable, less-reliable electricity production. When the number one goal on most people's minds is generating faster economic growth to put more Americans back to work, imposing a costly burden like this is counterproductive. 

Follow Sean Hackbarth on Twitter at @seanhackbarth and the U.S. Chamber at @uschamber.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.