Segments in this Video

Introduction: Climate Change Debate (04:08)


Moderator John Donvan explains the role of the audience in the debate on the EPA's actions and climate change and how to use the keypad to record a vote.

Debate "Housekeeping" (07:59)

Donvan frames the debate on whether or not the EPA has gone overboard about climate change, instructs the audience to vote, and introduces panel members.

For the Motion: Charles McConnell (06:48)

Executive Director, Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative, McConnell states that the EPA has provided a false sense of accomplishment in terms of environmental protection and that the Clean Power Plan is not environmental legislation; science does not support it. He believes we are missing opportunities to "advance science and create pathways to transformative technology."

Against the Motion: Carl Pope (06:26)

Former Executive Director Sierra Club and strategic advisor to Michael Bloomberg, Pope states that the rules proposed by the Obama Administration are not enough, but they are important. Moving to cleaner technologies is good for the climate and economically beneficial. Pope cites coal plant statistics.

For the Motion: Michael Nssi (07:19)

Environmental and energy lawyer and Jackson Walker LLP Partner, Nasi highlights two fundamental legal aspects of how the EPA has gone overboard— the "outside the fence issue" and unenforceable rules. He cites section 111 of the Clean Air Act and the Federal Power act.

Against the Motion: Jody Freeman (07:41)

Founding Director Harvard Law School Environmental Law and Policy Program, Freeman outlines four reasons to vote against the motion: benefits outweigh costs, it is a meaningful policy, it combines smart regulation with technological innovation, and allows states the ability to devise and implement plans.

Carbon Reductions (05:46)

Donvan summarizes the panelists' opening statements. McConnell states that shutting down coal-fired plants will result in the loss of opportunity to innovate technology; a 6% reduction in emissions is not worth the loss. Pope explains carbon capture and sequestration; there is no conflict with technology.

Clean Power Plan (06:35)

Nasi (for) reiterates the loss of innovation technology opportunities. Freeman explains what the Clean Power Plan does; McConnell argues that seven states bear 40% of the plan implementation. Pope (against) cites the Sandy Creek power plant court case; Nasi argues that the market is distorted.

EPA and the Clean Air Act (04:37)

Freeman argues that the EPA does not have a blank check for the Clean Power Plan; she explains energy dispatch under the plan. McConnell argues that the EPA overrode collaboration talks with the Department of Energy. Freeman argues regulatory authority and the collaboration between the EPA, FERC, and DOE.

For the Motion: What are Opponents Getting Wrong? (02:30)

Donvan explains the volley round. Nasi states that the EPA does not have the authority to enforce standards. Freeman rebuts that the burden is on private utilities, not the states.

Against the Motion: What Are Opponents Getting Wrong? (01:43)

Pope questions why opponents are attacking the Clean Power Plan. McConnell argues that many industries are trying to advance technology at shareholder expense while the EPA has a high R&D budget. Nasi states that you have to allow commercialization partnerships to occur.

QA: Chevron Deference (03:05)

Nasi explains that justices "eroded" the Chevron doctrine; the Supreme Court ruled that implied congressional delegation does not exist when the rule is of great consequence. Freeman explains the meaning of "Chevron" and "the best system" stated in the Clean Air Act; the system has to be influenced by the sector, available technologies, and CO2.

QA: Energy and Reduction Costs (03:29)

McConnell states that costs will go up in the seven states that bear 40% of the target responsibility. Pope counters that coal in the U.S. is not economically competitive. McConnell argues that renewables available in the U.S. are not available to everyone else. Pope argues that the more cleaner technologies we use, the cheaper wind and solar will be in Africa.

QA: Clean Power Plan Technology Enhancement and Hindrance (02:07)

Pope states that seven coal-fired power plants in Colorado could be replaced and power would be cheaper for consumers. Nasi states the plan undermines the economics of investing in power plants; carbon capture utilization and storage is not deployed because of economics.

QA: Cost-Benefit Analysis (04:56)

Freeman explains the EPA's projections about the benefits of the Clean Power Plan and social costs. Nasi reiterates the Supreme Court's position on clear authority regarding economically and politically significant issues. Freeman cites the Supreme Court's position on the EPA's management of carbon regulation.

QA: Cost-Benefit Analysis— "Cooking the Game" (03:18)

Freeman states that the EPA used well-established economic principles and regulatory impact analysis to identify the cost and benefits of the Clean Power Plan; the Supreme Court enforced the requirements. Nasi states the courts did not give the EPA a "blank license to regulate."

Concluding Statement For: McConnell (02:30)

McConnell states that 65% of world emissions will come from China and India by the year 2030; he cites statistics on CO2 and renewables in the U.S. The Clean Power Plan is a passive aggressive approach to stopping technological development.

Concluding Statement Against: Pope (02:27)

Pope summarizes the proponents' arguments against the Clean Power Plan. New coal plants in the U.S. have not been economically viable. The EPA is a regulator not a technology developer.

Concluding Statement For: Nasi (02:23)

Nasi states that the EPA does not have the authority to implement what they are talking about in the Clean Power Plan; rural electric cooperatives and small businesses are negatively impacted by the rule.

Concluding Statement Against: Freeman (02:23)

Freeman quotes Southern Company President Edward Addison's statements on the 1989 acid rain program and compares them to the proponents' arguments against the Clean Power Plan; the coal industry repeatedly takes the same position on emissions.

Time to Vote (04:27)

Donvan instructs the audience to vote, thanks panelists for their participation, introduces future debates, and highlights several ways to watch Intelligence Squared debates. He explains IQ2's petition for presidential debates to adopt the Oxford style.

Audience Vote Results (01:14)

Pre-Debate - For: 18% - Against: 59% - Undecided: 23% Post-Debate - For: 25% - Against: 71% - Undecided: 4%

Credits: Climate Change: The EPA Has Gone Overboard: A Debate (00:50)

Credits: Climate Change: The EPA Has Gone Overboard: A Debate

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Climate Change: The EPA Has Gone Overboard: A Debate

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Reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change benefits the environment yet can often impose substantial costs. Such costs are most obvious when coal companies go bankrupt but can affect everyone indirectly through higher energy prices, slower economic growth, reduced employment, and lower business profits. In 2015, President Obama authorized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the Clean Power Plan, a program designed to set and enforce standards among the states to limit carbon emissions. Some hailed the president's action as a bold initiative to cut pollution and fight climate change, but others denounced it as executive overreach and an unconstitutional usurpation of power. In imposing the Clean Power Plan, has the EPA gone overboard?

Length: 101 minutes

Item#: BVL124510

ISBN: 978-1-63521-882-4

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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