The EPA’s grip, coal industry is headed to Washington!
Besieged by the Obama administration and its host of new environmental regulations, the U.S. coal industry is beginning to fight back. Thousands of miners and their families will descend on Washington, for the “Count on Coal” rally, bringing with them a simple message for the Environmental Protection Agency and other arms of the federal government that seem intent on relegating the fuel to the ash pile of history.
Coal is still is responsible for providing about 40 percent of American electricity, already under economic pressure from the rise — and near record low prices — of natural gas, coal also could fall victim to the Obama administration’s climate change agenda, which the president said is a key goal in his second term. Central to that agenda are regulations put forth by the EPA last month to limit carbon emissions from new power plants. The rules also apply to natural gas facilities, but those plants should be able to meet the new standards easily.
For coal, it’s a different story. The EPA has proposed a limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour for coal facilities; a figure the industry and energy analysts say is virtually impossible to meet with current commercially available, financially viable technology. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, when announcing her agency’s new regulations, said coal can remain a part of the mix with the right technological breakthroughs.
“They have a path forward for the next generation of power plants in this country,” she said last month. But Mr. Quinn and others dispute that “path forward,” which relies on carbon-capture technology that would trap emissions before they are released into the air. Such technology exists, but it’s not commercially available nor close to being financially feasible. Supreme Court decision expected next year. The high court this month announced that it would review a lower-court ruling that the EPA was forced by law to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from power plants after implementing similar restrictions on automobiles.
The agency contended that tackling automobile emissions triggered a portion of the Clean Air Act that made them also address power plants.
Sources—gop usa, the blaze, Washington times, yellowbrix inc.