President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently unveiled a series of new regulations likely to devastate the American coal-power industry and turn out the lights by increasing costs, reducing the standard of living. Under the regulations, all coal-fired plants that are slated to remain operational in the long-term and all new baseload gas-fired plants will be required to effectively eliminate 90 percent of their carbon emissions, a wildly impractical target.

“The administration has chosen to press ahead with its unrealistic climate agenda,” Shelley Moore Capito, the Republican senator from coal-rich West Virginia and ranking member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, said in a statement. “With the latest iteration of the illegal Clean Power Plan 2.0 announced today, President Biden has inexplicably doubled down on his plans to shut down the backbone of America’s electric grid through unachievable regulatory mandates.”

The original Clean Power Plan (CPP) was proposed by former president Barack Obama in 2014. It was estimated to cost a staggering $41 billion annually, according to a study by industry groups. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found green policies would increase the tax burden of the poorest households three times more than that of the richest households.

CPP would increase the cost of living for the poorest American families by an additional $19 billion per year, equivalent to increasing their taxes by 166 percent, according to a Manhattan Institute study. The tax increase would also raise taxes on other poor families by an extra $25 billion, equal to a 33 percent tax increase. Living costs for the richest households would only increase by 4 percent.

“Electricity demand is set to skyrocket thanks in part to the EPA’s own electric vehicles mandate, and unfortunately, Americans are already paying higher utility bills under President Biden,” Capito’s statement continued. “Despite all this, the administration has chosen to press ahead with its unrealistic climate agenda that threatens access to affordable, reliable energy for households and employers across the country.”

The new rules consist of a whopping 681 pages of unreasonable demands that will kill the American coal industry. One example: mandating that coal plants somehow install not yet commercially available carbon-capture technology to be allowed to continue operating. In otherwise-favorable coverage of the regulations, Politico makes note of their length and characterizes the move as largely political, and wonders whether the “aggressive” attack on coal “will appease progressive voters worried about climate change without losing centrist Democrats wary of the costs.”

The rules will effectively ban coal power in the United States, fail to decrease worldwide carbon-dioxide emissions at all, and lead to less reliable energy for Americans.

If it had been fully implemented, the CPP would only have prevented 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can’t be detected, according to an analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute using models created by the EPA. The EPA actually omitted the amount of warming the Clean Power Plan was supposed to prevent from its own analysis because it did  “not have sufficient confidence in available data or methods.”

Republican senators and the state of West Virginia successfully challenged CPP in the Supreme Court after Republicans in the House and Senate failed to overcome President Obama’s veto of attempts to repeal the plan.

These flaws in the plan’s cost-benefit calculations prompted former president Donald Trump to order an EPA review of the CPP by his administration, which ultimately rolled it back and forcing the agency to reconsider. However, on the last full day of the Trump administration, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump ruling, allowing the Biden administration the opportunity to “improve and clarify” the regulations.

“The Biden administration has specifically targeted coal power plants in these regulations and created unrealistic and unworkable emission reduction goals with the intention of driving coal-fired power plants off the nation’s electrical grid . . . . Existing coal generation assets would be required to install carbon capture equipment that is not yet commercially available or shutdown,” notes a press statement responding to the new EPA announcement from the office of Senator Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.).

“The regulation also sets arbitrary operating limits on new natural gas generation before imposing carbon capture requirements on those facilities too. President Biden learned nothing from the Supreme Court’s landmark West Virginia v. EPA decision and is again trying to circumvent the law by mandating unrealistic standards in the hopes of shutting down coal generation,” the statement continued.

West Virginia attorney general Patrick Morrisey, who spearheaded the legal charge that led to the Supreme Court’s ruling that the EPA had overreached with the original CPP, has already promised to challenge the new regulations in court.

The far-left crusade against coal didn’t begin with the CPP in 2014, though. Every time Democrats are in power, the EPA goes beyond its mission of protecting the environment to engage in actively targeting entire industries with virtually no justification. This process began in 2012. That’s when the agency attempted to roll out its Utility MACT Rule, which forces utilities to meet stricter air-quality standards or shut down, would raise electricity rates by approximately 20 percent, cost $10 billion, and shutter 81,000 megawatts of power generation.

The EPA contended this was necessary to prevent mercury emissions from harming a purely theoretical population of unborn children whose mothers annually consumed more than 225 pounds of local freshwater fish caught from the most polluted 10 percent of U.S. inland waterways. When prompted, the federal government was unable to find a single individual who met this criterion. Yet this massive governmental overreach is an attempt to prevent a predicted loss in IQ by an undetectable 0.00209 IQ points in this non-existent population.

The agency’s strategy is always the same: use speculative and likely imaginary benefits to artificially raise the price of electricity generation above its market value by increasing compliance costs via overregulation of politically disfavored industries such as coal and natural gas. Supported by its environmental-lobby allies, the Biden administration is attempting to shutter these industries to make unreliable wind and solar power more competitive by fiat. When that leads to rising electricity costs and erratic energy availability, households across the nation may be forced to ration electricity and switch off the lights. The future of Biden’s America looks dark, quite literally.