FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail Eric Allie / Cagle CartoonsBy Susan Stamper BrownLike the road to Hell, liberal ideas are usually paved with good intentions. But, as Ronald Reagan once said, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” And all that vast un-knowledge births monster government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, which end up doing more harm than good.Today, with more than 15,000 fulltime employees-strong and led by environmental extremists, Obama’s EPA is an agency gone-wild. A report just out by the Institute for Energy Research [IER] concludes the EPA’s finalized “Clean Power Plan” is filled with about as much junk as the EPA and contractors just pumped into Colorado’s Animas River.The Clean Power Plan effectually triggers the skyrocketing electricity prices Mr. Obama duly promised years back. Nevertheless, the EPA says the plan will save thousands of lives, improving the climate and our health. That is, barring additional EPA-caused environmental disasters.I presume then, we should trust the EPA, naively ignoring the effect high energy prices would have on low income families. Even EPA Chief Gina McCarthy admits, “Low income minority communities would be hardest hit.” Should we also ignore that former Obama administration Assistant Secretary of Energy, Charles McConnell says the costly and burdensome Clean Power Plan will, at best, only reduce global temperatures by a negligible one-hundredth of a degree, Celsius?The IER report says the plan could trigger “14,000 more premature deaths than it prevents by 2030″ because higher electricity costs reduces the ability to afford basic needs, effectively “making the poor poorer and the sick sicker.” Presumably also making the big government bigger and fat environmental activists like Al Gore, fatter. His wallet, I mean, of course.Apparently, it’s also tough luck for millions of Americans burning wood to stay warm. The same plan proposes an across-the-board ban — no matter where you live or what you can afford — on the sale and production of 80 percent of America’s wood-burning stoves. Forbes.com says, “Most wood stoves that warm cabins and homes from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t, cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.”Or maybe the EPA will just throw scrapped stoves down the Animas River.In the aftermath of the recent toxic spill, and with likely infinitesimal accountability for its actions, the EPA marches forward in an unrelenting mission to empower itself and control our lives, regulation by unlegislated regulation.As I write, a Wyoming man faces the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine for building a stock pond on his property the EPA says includes “a dam on a waterway.” The pond purportedly violates the Clean Water Act because it lacked an Army Corps of Engineers permit and alleged “material” from his pond flows into other waterways. It matters not that the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office permitted the pond. Likely, the “material” from his pristine pond, fit for fish and waterfowl to flourish and cattle to drink, did not turn waterways a toxic Animas River orange.As usual, conservatives showed up to help the little guy fight big government. The Casper Star Tribune reports that GOP senators wrote to the EPA saying the agency’s actions are a “draconian edict of a heavy handed bureaucracy” more interested in “bankrupting” the landowner. You think?We know by watching all those lousy pharmaceutical ads that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. It’s the same with the EPA. Back in the 1970s, it banned mosquito-killing DDT after an overreaction to an unsubstantiated book. Scientists today credit tens of millions of needless malaria-related deaths to the ban. And it continues. Seemingly, for every benefit derived from EPA meddling, there’s a list of damaging side effects as long as the Animas.