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There have been many great rivalries throughout history: Foreman and Ali, the Celtics and the Lakers, Less Filling and Tastes Great, the list goes on and on.
Add to it the occasional Twitter sparrings of David Roberts and Steve Everley. Roberts is a reporter for environmental news site Grist, and Everley is the manager of policy research at American Solutions, a policy group founded by Newt Gingrich.
The Roberts-Everley exchanges are something to behold when they spring up. They even inspired a full-fledged video debate on the Huffington Post in October.
Below is an unvarnished exchange, complete with links, that took place earlier this afternoon.
Roberts: @saeverley Y’all must have a truly low opinion of the intelligence of your readers.
Everley: @drgrist What’s false, that rules and regulations will force the retirement of tens of thousands of megawatts?
Roberts: @saeverley See if you can follow: they close a coal plant … and substitute efficiency, wind, or natural gas. Power stays on. Crazy!
Everley: @drgrist The natural gas argument is a Trojan horse. Enviros and Congress are doing everything they can to regulate it out of existence.
Everley: @drgrist Offshore drilling bans, canceling permits, fact-less criticism of hydro-fracking… Yeah, I’m SURE they’ll let gas replace it.
Roberts: @saeverley Are you seriously arguing, in good faith & with a straight face, that EPA will force power outages for millions of homes?
Everley: @drgrist Power outages or enormously higher costs, it has to be one or the other.
Roberts: @saeverley Not what you said. You said EPA is going to “cut off power to millions of homes.” Embarrassing, even by standards of agit-prop.
Everley: @drgrist Follow ME here: If E costs go up, and the consumer can’t afford to pay the bill, what happens?
Roberts: @saeverley You’re telling absurd scare stories to your gullible audience to protect the coal industry. Just own up to it.
Everley: @drgrist The only thing absurd here is the notion that we can impose enormous new regulations without cost.
Roberts: OMB: over last decade, fed regulations have cost $43-$55 billion. Benefits? $128-$616 billion. http://bit.ly/hPy3J3 (PDF) Pretty good deal!
Roberts: Costs are concentrated on wealthy, politically connected interests. Benefits widely dispersed. Former has voice in DC, latter has none.