On September 20, the EPA proposed strict new limits on emissions form coal-fired power plants. The regulations would limit carbon emissions for new coal plants to 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour. The technology is so expensive that the coal industry says it will effectively prevent new coal plants form being built. The EPA secretary Gina McCarthy insisted “we don’t have a war on coal”. (REALLY??)—DID YOU TELL OBAMA
The US Energy Information Administration predicts that 175 coal plants, representing a 8.5% of all of the electricity produced by coal will closed by 2016. More than 280 coal plants are slated to close and EPA regulations are largely to blame. Since coal power plants generate over 40% of the nations electricity, these closures are bound to result in significantly higher electricity bills.
So how can the EPA justify regulations that amount to a regressive tax on poor people and reduce desperately needed energy production? McCarthy told the times she wouldn’t have accepted the job at the helm of the EPA if she hadn’t been confident the president was serious about addressing climate change. “Since just before the s tart of the 21st century, the Earths average global surface temperature has failed to rise despite soaring levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and years of dire warning form environmental advocates”.
The real reason behind the EPA’s move is to circumvent congress, which four years ago failed to pass a law-requiring cap and trade limits on carbon emissions. The EPA’s new rules could give energy producers no choice but to create their own regional cap and trade systems to meet the strict standard. The push for energy derived form renewable sources has been one of the Obma’s ill-advised efforts. The DOE recently announced that is was revitalizing its green energy loan guarantee program, the very same program responsible for the Solyndra debacle and dozens of inspector general investigations into corruption. The DOE also revealed earlier this month that a failed renewable energy loan to the Michigan Company Vehicle Production Group would cost taxpayers $42 million.
But the EIA optimistically estimates renewable sources will meet 16% of the country’s energy needs by 2035. if you get rid of coal today, renewable sources won’t even come close to filling the vacuum.
Devin Nunes of CA proposed a “A Roadmap for American Energy Future” that would expand domestic energy production and ensure that subsidies for renewable are awarded on merit rather than cronyism or bureaucratic whim. (THINK IT WILL PASS?)
Sources—weekly standard, nyt, la times, mark hemingway