EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: “We know that low-income minority communities would be hardest hit.”
The chief environmental regulator in the United States had some blunt words of reality regarding the administration’s climate change regulations.
The Clean Power Plan that will require drastic cuts in 47 states’ carbon dioxide emissions – consequently shifting America’s energy economy away from affordable, reliable coal – will adversely impact poor, minority families the most.
When speaking about the higher energy prices caused by the administration’s climate regulations on power plants, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said, “We know that low-income minority communities would be hardest hit.”
McCarthy downplayed that fact by saying any minimal higher prices would be offset by implementing energy efficiency measures that would save consumers money in the long run.
In fact, as part of the regulation the EPA “prioritizes early investment in energy efficiency projects in low-income communities by the Federal government awarding these projects double the number of credits in 2020 and 2021.”
Low and fixed income families will be hardest hit by the administration’s regulations and energy efficiency programs will not save them. While the median family spends about 5 cents out of every dollar on energy costs, low-income families spend about 20 cents of every dollar. And the economic pain from the regulations will not be simply the direct costs of higher energy prices, but through higher prices for all the goods we purchase as energy is a necessary component to manufacture those goods.
Furthermore, federal and state programs already exist to promote energy savings for low-income families. Through the Department of Energy’s annual budget, taxpayers fund a weatherization assistance program to make efficiency upgrades in homes and many state programs exist doing the same. However, many of these programs over-promise and under-deliver on energy savings.