Newspapers across the country have been publishing falsehood-laden op-eds attacking the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan written by attorney and former utility regulator Terry Jarrett. But these newspapers have failed to disclose that Jarrett and his law firm have significant ties to the fossil fuel industry.
Newspapers Publish Anti-EPA Op-Eds Without Disclosing Author's Dirty Energy Ties
Attorney Terry Jarrett Authored Numerous Op-Eds Attacking Clean Power Plan. Attorney and former utility regulator Terry Jarrett has penned multiple op-eds attacking the EPA's Clean Power Plan (CPP) -- which establishes the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants -- in newspapers across the country. Over a six-month period, Jarrett has written at least six different op-eds that have appeared in 17 newspapers. [Neosho Daily News, 10/8/15; Messenger-Inquirer, 10/8/15; Claireborne Progress, 10/6/15; News Democrat Leader, 10/5/15; The Ledger Independent, 10/2/15; The Times and Democrat, 9/29/15; Charleston Gazette-Mail, 9/21/15; Muscatine Journal, 9/15/15; The Free Lance-Star, 8/5/15; Courier-Post, 7/29/15; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/7/15; Waycross Journal-Herald, 6/18/15 via Nexis; Palm Beach Post, 6/11/15; Muscatine Journal, 6/9/15; Nebraska City News-Press, 4/22/15; North Platte Telegraph, 4/8/15; Kearney Hub, 4/8/15 via Nexis]
Newspapers Identified Jarrett Simply As “Attorney With Healy Law Offices” Or By Former Utility Commissioner Roles. All of the above newspapers identified Jarrett as an attorney with Healy Law Offices, a former commissioner of the Missouri Public Service Commission, or a former chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Committee on Critical Infrastructure. None mentioned Jarrett's ties to the fossil fuel industry.
Jarrett Has Represented National Mining Association And Utility Companies
Jarrett Criticized Clean Power Plan On Behalf Of National Mining Association. On September 25, 2014, Jarrett appeared before Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection on behalf of the National Mining Association's “Count on Coal Program” to express concerns with the Clean Power Plan. In his remarks, Jarrett stated: “The EPA and the administration are out of step with mainstream Democrats and Republicans and the general public who support a rational, sensible approach, one which is sensitive to the needs both of the environment and of the middle class and the working poor, which will be crushed by the [Clean Power Plan]. We simply can't afford the EPA in its current trajectory.” [Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, accessed 10/8/15]
Jarrett Is Also Listed On Energy Conference Website As Representing Indiana Coal Council. On the webpage for the WIBC Energy Summit hosted by radio personality Greg Garrison, Jarrett is listed as representing the National Mining Association and the Indiana Coal Council. [WIBC, 9/11/14]
Jarrett Has Represented Utilities Through His Law Firm. According to the website of Healy Law Offices, Jarrett “represents clients nationally on a wide range of issues affecting the power sector,” “has appeared extensively before the Missouri Public Service Commission on behalf of utilities and other clients,” and “advises clients on regional electric transmission and grid issues.” [Healy Law Offices, accessed 10/9/15]
Jarrett's Op-Eds Misinformed About Economic, Grid Impacts of Clean Power Plan
Jarrett Cited Debunked NERA Study To Criticize CPP. In his op-ed published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jarrett cited a 2014 study from NERA Economic Consulting to claim that the CPP would cost the economy $479 billion, largely due to increases in electricity costs. But the Washington Post's Fact Checker called it “misleading” to cite electricity price estimates from the study, which has been roundly criticized by economists and other experts for using faulty energy efficiency cost assumptions and outdated renewable energy cost assumptions. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/7/15; Media Matters, 8/26/15]
Jarrett Peddled Debunked Claim That CPP Would Threaten Grid Reliability. Contrary to Jarrett's claims in multiple op-eds that the CPP would threaten grid reliability, nonpartisan energy experts, including utility commissioners and chairpersons from seven of the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), have stated that compliance with the Clean Power Plan can achieved without affecting Americans' access to electricity. They assert that the plan incorporates sufficient flexibility that will allow utilities to reduce emissions while maintaining grid reliability. [The Free Lance-Star, 8/5/15; Courier-Post, 7/29/15; Waycross Journal-Herald, 6/18/15 via Nexis; Palm Beach Post, 6/11/15; Muscatine Journal, 6/9/15; Media Matters, 4/14/15]
Jarrett Baselessly Fearmongered About Rate Hikes For “Low Income, Largely African-Americans Towns And Cities.” In an op-ed published in three newspapers, Jarrett claimed that “the costly [Clean Power Plan] will fall hardest on those who can least afford to pay more for electricity -- the low income, largely African- American towns and cities.” To purportedly back up this allegation, Jarrett cited Charles Steele Jr., a pro-coal advocate with deep ties to the fossil fuel industry. However, an EPA analysis projects that the Clean Power Plan will decrease monthly utility bills about 7 percent in 2030, when it is fully implemented, which will particularly benefit low-income families. Reports from Synapse Energy and Georgia Tech agree with EPA's analysis, showing that electricity bills will decrease over the long term due to greater energy efficiency. Moreover, the Clean Power Plan will provide public health benefits that are particularly important for low-income and African-American communities, who disproportionately suffer from pollution. And it's actually the status quo that harms many of the communities Jarrett referenced, as the per capita income is lower and the poverty rate is higher for those who live near coal-fired power plants, according to reports by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Earthjustice, respectively. [The Times and Democrat, 9/29/15; Muscatine Journal, 9/15/15; Charleston Gazette-Mail, 9/21/15; Media Matters, 7/31/15; Media Matters, 8/4/15; Media Matters, 5/5/15; Media Matters, 8/14/15]