EPA to kill new coal-fired plants through first-ever greenhouse-gas regulations

posted at 8:40 am on March 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

If you thought gas prices will never stop rising, just wait until you see what happens to electricity after the Barack Obama’s EPA gets its way.  The agency will deliver on Obama’s election promise to bankrupt any new coal-fired electrical production in its first-ever regulations on greenhouse-gas emissions, the Washington Post reports.  The new regulatory regime will all but guarantee that new coal-fired plants won’t be built to replace others shutting down:

The Environmental Protection Agency will issue the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants as early as Tuesday, according to several people briefed on the proposal. The move could end the construction of conventional coal-fired facilities in the United States.

The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.

Industry officials and environmentalists said in interviews that the rule, which comes on the heels of tough new requirements that the Obama administration imposed on mercury emissions and cross-state pollution from utilities within the past year, dooms any proposal to build a coal-fired plant that does not have costly carbon controls.

“This standard effectively bans new coal plants,” said Joseph Stanko, who heads government relations at the law firm Hunton and Williams and represents several utility companies. “So I don’t see how that is an ‘all of the above’ energy policy.”

Well, it’s not, obviously.  Nor has Obama ever honestly intended to apply an “all of the above” energy policy; he mouths the words, but his actions are hostile to hydrocarbon-based energy.  The most honest discussion on energy policy from Obama came in the January 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, in which he promised to bankrupt new coal-based facilities:

The problem is not technical, uh, and the problem is not mastery of the legislative intricacies of Washington. The problem is, uh, can you get the American people to say, “This is really important,” and force their representatives to do the right thing? That requires mobilizing a citizenry. That requires them understanding what is at stake. Uh, and climate change is a great example.

You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.

They — you — you can already see what the arguments will be during the general election. People will say, “Ah, Obama and Al Gore, these folks, they’re going to destroy the economy, this is going to cost us eight trillion dollars,” or whatever their number is. Um, if you can’t persuade the American people that yes, there is going to be some increase in electricity rates on the front end, but that over the long term, because of combinations of more efficient energy usage, changing lightbulbs and more efficient appliance, but also technology improving how we can produce clean energy, the economy would benefit.

If we can’t make that argument persuasively enough, you — you, uh, can be Lyndon Johnson, you can be the master of Washington. You’re not going to get that done.

This leads us to the natural-gas option mentioned by the Post.  The response might be, “Well, okay, Obama’s bankrupting the coal industry, but we can still use natural gas.”  That’s only true if we can get the natural gas.  The EPA has also begun blocking the use of hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, which allows for massive improvement in extraction and access to vast amounts of natural gas. Note well that Obama included natural gas among those sources to which his policies would be hostile, and so far he’s proving it.

Obama has no interest in an “all of the above” policy on energy.  He wants to drive up energy costs in order to make his favored alternatives somewhat competitive, even though none of them can match the production scope of hydrocarbon sources that are found in abundance in the US.  Obama has less interest in producing power than in exercising it, and Congress needs to put shackles on this EPA before working-class families have to start lighting candles rather than flipping on the light switch.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Congress needs to cut the EPA off at the knees- particularly considering this-

What is happening to global temperatures in reality? The answer is: almost nothing for more than 10 years..The latest (February 2012) monthly global temperature anomaly for the lower atmosphere was minus 0.12 degrees Celsius, slightly less than the average since the satellite record of temperatures began in 1979.

And if the GOP doesn’t start running some attack ads slamming Obama for rising gas prices (and tell people that- contrary to the President’s repeated lies- production on Federal lands is down) and soon for rising electricity prices then they are incompetent.

Jay Mac on March 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Sorry if I’m repeating others, but what we need is a president/congress with the minimal-sized stones necessary to kill the EPA. It should be buried right next to the Education Department.

swinia sutki on March 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM

armygirl on March 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Just some information not nitpicking on you. All fluorescent lights contain mercury, even the straight ones that we see all over the place. They all contain about the same amount too. The amount of mercury has been reduced over the years. Mercury in the CFLs is just a scare tactic bug-a-boo there is nothing new or unusual about the mercury in a fluorescent light.

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM

The acute lethal dose of rat poison is X. Would you eat x/1000 rat poison every now and then just for kicks? Why not?

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM

I know you were just trying to make an argument but people take rat poison for health reasons every day. It’s called Coumadin, the generic is warfarin and it’s the active ingredient in one type of rat poison.

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM

42 USC § 17142 – Procurement and acquisition of alternative fuels

No Federal agency shall enter into a contract for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel, including a fuel produced from nonconventional petroleum sources, for any mobility-related use, other than for research or testing, unless the contract specifies that the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and combustion of the fuel supplied under the contract must, on an ongoing basis, be less than or equal to such emissions from the equivalent conventional fuel produced from conventional petroleum sources.

This originated as Section 526 (added by Henry Waxman) of the 2007 energy bill for the purpose of blocking military sponsorship of synthetic fuels made from USA coal and other domestic hydrocarbons. Nonconventional petroleum sources refers to oil shale, tar sands and heavy crude.

How long before the EPA writes a similar regulation applying to the rest of us?

agmartin on March 27, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Mercury is all around us every day.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 10:04 AM

So is CO2, yet our air quality agencies want us to pay fines for emitting “plant food” based on junk science that was dispelled by a graph based on false data?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11646-climate-myths-the-hockey-stick-graph-has-been-proven-wrong.html

GAME, SET, MATCH

dthorny on March 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM

dthorny on March 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Yep, that is why it is so important to get the more easily swayed among us to educate themselves. Or the Dihydrogen Monoxide will kill us all.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Obama is shutting down America. That’s the goal.

CO2 does NOT drive temperature. CO2 is beneficial to the planet in every way. The only reason it is demonized by Leftists is because they want to tax it and because people literally cannot live without creating it. We exhale it after all.

Watch some of the world’s top climate scientists expose man-made Global Warming for the globalist SCAM that it is.

The Great Global Warming Swindle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaTJJCPYhlk

Global Warming Doomsday Called Off
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3309910462407994295#

———————–

Axion on March 27, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Global warming was considered a radical, fringe theory through the ’90s. It was a liability for Gore in his 2000 run, that he subscribed to the nutty agw.

BUT, through a series of propaganda and public relations coups (often deception fueled!), and by the apparent assent of many key Republicans (why??) as GWB, by ~2005 AGW was not only mainstream, but now backed by a (deception fueled) virtual “100% consensus.”

How close were the nuts to implementing their leftist dream? That close people. In the summer of ’09 the U.S. House passed a radical cap & trade scheme which mandated 83% cutbacks in CO2 by 2050. This would bring per capita CO2 use to 1867 levels! Talk about taking a wrecking ball to industrial civilization.

All the energy shenanigans the Dems are doing now is an attempt to realize their leftist de-development dreams (see J Holdren quotes) through back door / piece meal means.

A for what? There is nothing wrong with the climate, and CO2 has nothing, or effectively nothing, to do with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg

anotherJoe on March 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM

And in Wisconsin, mercury is history.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/article_ecea6164-e370-11df-a8e3-001cc4c002e0.html

dthorny on March 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

arnold ziffel on March 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Heh, some noobs are worth keeping around as they are, some need seasoning, and some need to be beaten about the head and shoulders with thorny sticks.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

And in Wisconsin, mercury is history.

dthorny on March 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I guess those nihilists want to just jump to the end and freeze in the dark. Good for them! Nothing like sticking to principles.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

And in Wisconsin, mercury is history.

dthorny on March 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM
I guess those nihilists want to just jump to the end and freeze in the dark. Good for them! Nothing like sticking to principles.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

You’ve stocked up on “chicken coop”, 100 watt bulbs, I see.

Your Wisconsin sales should be brisk.

dthorny on March 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

You’ve stocked up on “chicken coop”, 100 watt bulbs, I see.

dthorny on March 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

I didn’t need to stock up. I have plenty of mostly new one’s.

I just educated myself on what 100 watt bulbs are now called. Plentiful if you know what to look for.

If the law lasts long enough to affect the 60watt bulbs, I may have a problem. Texas is already working around that though. Incandescent bulbs can still be manufactured if they will only be sold in-state (the Lighthouse for the Blind up the street from me used to make them, they can again). It reminds me of the days when I would have to stock up on Coors before visiting relatives in state where Coors was not allowed. “Smokey and the bandit” time again. This time with light bilbs.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

They want to kill the country. Must be a death wish.

rjulio on March 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Here you go. If you want light bulbs this guy’s got light bulbs. They’re just not light bulb, light bulbs. How does that Shakespeare thing go? A rose by any other name…

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM

They want to kill the country. Must be a death wish.

rjulio on March 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

.
They wish death to the U.S., which they don’t view as being the same thing as wishing death to themselves.

listens2glenn on March 27, 2012 at 4:19 PM

But, But, But… Romney Cap & Trade first… Just another position the GOP will out left Obama on… Like Federally Funded Mandates…

Y314K on March 27, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Here you go. If you want light bulbs this guy’s got light bulbs.
Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM

But, but, but…those things are supposed to be illegal now?

Seriously, where in the hack am I gonna’ put a case of those things.

Don’t you know we need to be stocking up for the Trayvon/0bama defeat riots peaceful demonstrations?

Hmmmmm, a case of bulbs takes up about as much space as about 8,000 rounds of ammunition, a mixture of .223, 7.62, 9mm, .45, .357, 12guage and .22, which to keep…no contest.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 4:35 PM

CO2 does NOT drive temperature…

The Great Global Warming Swindle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaTJJCPYhlk

Axion on March 27, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Yes, Axion, the G G Warming Swindle was the key to de-duping me on agw. But it really came down to just 3 1/2 minutes of that show, where it shows the pivotal deception made by the AGW dupers, on CO2, as repeated in Al Gore in his movie.

Spread the word on this excerpt. Everybody should at least see this 3 minute video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg

anotherJoe on March 27, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Yep, that is why it is so important to get the more easily swayed among us to educate themselves. Or the Dihydrogen Monoxide will kill us all.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Hey – careful there throwing around that dihydrogen monoxide stuff – it kills millions of people every year and causes billions in damage. That stuff needs to be banned as soon as possible after we ban CO2…..//

BTW – I have regular flourescent lights in my garage, and I don’t really care that much about the mercury in them – but the straight flourescent bulbs are a heck of a lot cheaper than the curlyQs.
I just hate the blind hypocrisy of the left that years ago pushed to eliminate mercury everywhere they found it, and pushes to shut down coal power plants because of a little mercury in the exhaust, got all bent out of shape about mercury in fish and ground water, and now in the name of Gaia they mandate that we buy lightbulbs that contain mercury without so much as a blink of the eye.

dentarthurdent on March 27, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Axion on March 27, 2012 at 1:17 PM

anotherJoe on March 27, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Some of us were talking about just that back around 1200 pm post time (page 2).
algore outright lied about CO2 causing warming – it’s actually the other way around with higher CO2 levels following warming by about 800 to 1000 years.

dentarthurdent on March 27, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Ok I have a solution to this CO2 thing. Instead of just blowing air in to burn the coal we’ll seal the system and use chlorine gas to support burning the coal. Chlorine supports combustion like oxygen but without all that horrible polluting CO2. Instead we’ll just be putting harmless non polluting carbon tetrachloride into the atmosphere. As far as I know carbon tet is not a greenhouse gas either. See, win-win. I suggest that we put the first test plant upwind of Washington D.C. I’m sure Congress and the POTUS will support this to show their confidence in this new green technology. Chlorine gas is, after all, green. /s

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

You are an evil man.
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I knew there was a reason I liked you.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Put your clothes outside on a line and get them drycleaned!

slickwillie2001 on March 27, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Put your clothes outside on a line and get them drycleaned!

slickwillie2001 on March 27, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Yeah and if the operator gets a little heavy handed on the chlorine injectors you get ‘em bleached for free too.

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 7:22 PM

They will run out of juice for the electric cars.

And on another note, enviro scientists push push pushed the curly light bulb with mercury in it, because some egg head claimed that it put less mercury in the landfill than the coal fired electricity put in the air and water while running lots of regular light bulbs. If you take the mercury poisoning coal plants away, then you don’t have a comparison and the curly light bulb is as toxic as it ever was.

I have better things to do now…

Fleuries on March 27, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Chlorine gas is, after all, green. /s

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

You owe me a new keyboard. That is one on the best play on words I’ve seen in a long, long time.

chemman on March 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Somehow people thought Obama was lying about wanting to raise energy prices -on purpose- during the campaign. Liberals never really mean what they say, right?

Whatever the case, it’s a massive tax hike on the poor and middle class.

scotash on March 28, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Chlorine gas is, after all, green. /s

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

You owe me a new keyboard. That is one on the best play on words I’ve seen in a long, long time.

chemman on March 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM

LOL, thanks. You know the whole time I was pecking that out I was thinking about what your reaction would be :-)

Oldnuke on March 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Oldnuke on March 27, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Sounds like a good idea – very green thinking…..
If we could do that and eliminate the evil CO2, then we can work on getting rid of the deadly dihydrogen monoxide – which in vapor form is the most prevalent and highest impact greenhouse gas of all – perhaps replace it with a non-greenhouse gas producing liquid such as hydrogen peroxide. And the added benefit of that is we all get to be perfectly blonde and disinfected just from taking a shower.

dentarthurdent on March 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM

The main source of gaseous dihydrogen monoxide is evaporation from large bodies of water. A gas imperiable coating will stop this greenhouse gas from forming. BP should be congratulated for their efforts in the Gulf of Mexico to control H2O vapor at its source.

/s

RobBert on March 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3