Curbing carbon dioxide pointless and expensive, says Heritage researcher

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Chris Woodward (

A critic of government efforts to clamp down on carbon pollution continues to speak out on that effort. 

President Obama, through the Environmental Protection Agency, wants to curb carbon emissions from power plants, saying it's contributing to climate change and impacting the health of Americans.

David Kreutzer, research fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change at the Heritage Foundation, says calling carbon dioxide "pollution" is wrong.

Kreutzer, Dr. David (Heritage)"It's non-toxic, it's invisible and it's necessary for life," Kreutzer argues. "And it's not going to be directly harmful to human health at any level that we're likely to see in the next million years."

The argument against carbon dioxide, he says, is that the levels must be cut because the earth is experiencing too much warming, with scary stories and predictions.

"What they never point out is how much difference it would make with their rules," says the Heritage spokesman.

According to Kreutzer, even the most stringent efforts like a cap-and-trade bill from years past would result in only a small decrease in temperature, whereas billions of dollars in economic damage would occur.

The Associated Press reported this week on the EPA's proposed plans to limit pollution from power plants, with the intention to "curb" global warming.

A county commissioner in the Denver area told an EPA hearing this week that EPA rules aiming to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030 would be damaging to his county, home to a power plant.

The same story quotes a coal miner from Kentucky, who says coal-fired plants are crippling the health of miners with black lung and other respiratory diseases.

Asked about those claims, Kreutzer says mines and power plants have seen significant improvements over the years.

"We have cleaned up dramatically the actual pollutants from coal-fired power plants over the past 40 years," he says.

The issue of government actions targeting coal, often referred to as the "war on coal," is not a partisan topic.

Democrats like U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia have been critical of the impact it will have on the coal industry, which plays a significant role in the economy of Manchin's home state.

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