Lisa Jackson: EPA isn’t to blame for coal industry’s problems

posted at 2:01 pm on June 11, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Is this some sort of inept, tasteless joke? Try to read around the relentless environmental bias and feel-good blather of this glowing profile of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson from the Guardian, and you’ll recognize the same sort of economic-language usage employed by the wider Obama administration to try and disguise their many endeavors at central planning.

The president talks about “all of the above” energy, and I think we don’t realize enough how important that is. There are those who would like us to drop everything and say, time for another, a second fossil fuel boom, and the president is saying, but the future for our country is around clean energy, renewables, and getting that technology perfected and ready at a commercial scale here so we can sell it abroad. That will make our country stronger and create jobs as well. We should not put all our eggs in any one basket. And we should not, just because we have it, assume that means we should use fuels as though we have it — because energy independence requires a certain reduced demand. …

And then coal has another pollution problem, and that’s carbon pollution: it’s the most carbon-intense fossil fuel. And the president invested in carbon capture and sequestration technology as part of the Recovery Act. He said all along, I’m from a coal state, so I believe that if there’s going to be a future for coal it has to be one that deals with carbon pollution, with climate change. So in my opinion the problem for coal right now is entirely economic. The natural gas that this country has and is continuing to develop is cheaper right now on average. And so people who are making investment decisions are not unmindful of that — how could you expect them to be? It just happens that at the same time, these rules are coming in place that make it clear that you cannot continue to operate a 30-, 40-, or 50-year old plant and not control the pollution that comes with it.

Really? The problem for coal right now is “entirely economic”?

It’s absolutely true that the energy industry has been going gaga over the possibilities of natural gas, and that this new, plentiful, inexpensive, relatively cleaner source of energy is giving coal a run for its money on the investment scene. But please don’t insult our intelligence and act like the EPA isn’t actively trying to force this process along. One of their latest proposed rules under the Clean Air Act would make it virtually impossible for any new coal-fired power plants to be built, ever.

If natural gas really is all its cracked up to be, let it do its own thing and phase out coal at the productive pace laid out by the free market. Coal still accounts for practically half of the United States’ electricity needs, and letting the growth of a potential substitute run its own economic race can accomplish the same goal as actively persecuting coal, but on a timeline that doesn’t lead to massive disruptions in energy prices or jobs.

Whatever grandiose claims of environmental nobility they may have to justify their regulatory infringement, the federal government is always ill-positioned to pick winners and losers in the marketplace: things can change too quickly, and then you’ve got entrenched laws continuing bad policies. A few decades back, for instance, the federal government was encouraging coal production — Robert Bryce has more.

There’s no small amount of irony in the fact that the EPA — which is pushing a phalanx of new regulations on air quality, coal-ash disposal, and other measures — is now trying to shut down some of the very same coal-fired power plants that were built in the 1970s and 1980s as a direct result of the congressional ban on natural-gas-fired electricity production.

In 1987, Congress reversed course and repealed the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act. Although the law was in effect for less than a decade, it distorted the power sector for years to come. In 1978, natural gas was generating 13.8 percent of U.S. electricity. By 1988 — a decade after the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act was passed — natural gas’s share of the U.S. electricity business had fallen to a modern low of just 9.3 percent. By contrast, between 1978 and 1988, coal’s share of the U.S. electricity generation market soared, going from 44.2 percent to 56.9 percent, the highest level of the modern era.

Congress’s misbegotten effort to ban the use of natural gas for electricity production sounds a lot like the EPA’s proposal to prohibit the construction of new coal-fired plants for generating electricity. The difference, according to the EPA, is that we are now facing a new crisis: climate change. The agency claims the ban on coal plants is needed because greenhouse gases “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”


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Americans are sick of the corrupt socialist narcissistic Failed President and his administration. This black wench has to go also, along with the EPA and the NRLB and ILLEGAL authority they are imposing on America.

These Liberal Progressive Socialists are the PROBLEM period.

Brushjumper on June 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

coal has another pollution problem, and that’s carbon pollution

100% BS.

What she is talking about is CO2. That is the most powerful fertilizer known to man for plants. Not that the level would actually change much no mater how much we put out. First of all termites produce far more than man. Cows produce a lot of the worse Methane as do the termites. But mostly because Plants and algae eat it up and multiply like crazy if there is more. The Arctic is in the middle of a huge Algae bloom right now.

This has to do with one thing and one thing only. They want to destroy America. America depends on cheap energy but they want to make it expensive here and cheap in the Third World so the Third World gets all the jobs and America starves like we deserve. No problems with the two plants a day China is opening we do nothing about that do we?

Of course Cap and Trade Mitt is just as bad as Obama on this. Words are meaningless his actions was passing Cap and Trade. Cap and Trade actually steals money from Americans and gives it to Third World Dictators who plant imaginary forest. Seriously they never plant trees but take billions for supposedly doing so. Not a single new forest has ever been documented to exist. They just claim ones that already did and they had no plans to ever change.

This is a 100% rip off.

Only thing worse is Wind and Solar. Both produce only 1% to 5% of the energy because they depend on back up plants that take so long to start up that they have to run all the time anyway. Thus the electricity from Solar and Wind is never actually needed. Further more they need a lot of maintenance and have an undocumented lifespan. In practice they are only lasting a few years. They are only good for a use that can work when power is available.

Steveangell on June 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Mr. Romney:

Please consider nominating Sarah Palin as the last (as in final) Secretary of Energy and Administrator of the EPA.

Cue music: Dream the impossible dream….

But oh how I love the idea.

sdbatboy on June 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Lisa Jackson is doing fine.

/

hillsoftx on June 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

At the same time the EPA is going after the methodology used to produce cheap natural gas; fracking. The idiots just want to destroy our economy so they can make it into the socialist one they want.

amr on June 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Romney is not really pro-sanity on energy policy. Folks who think he’s going to clean up the mess of our current energy policy are setting themselves up for a disappointment. We are voting for the guy because he is “Not Obama,” end of story.

Doomberg on June 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Exactly, he is staying away from making any definite energy policy statements…but then again, focusing on the economy, and not adding another layer of debate is good strategy.

However he did come out pretty strong on the Keystone Pipeline…

right2bright on June 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

“If natural gas really is all its cracked up to be, let it do its own thing and phase out coal at the productive pace laid out by the free market. Coal still accounts for practically half of the United States’ electricity needs, and letting the growth of a potential substitute run its own economic race can accomplish the same goal as actively persecuting coal, but on a timeline that doesn’t lead to massive disruptions in energy prices or jobs.”

What an excellent articulation of the essence of the conservative position re; competing energy sources in the free market. You’ve boiled it down well Erika.

IronDioPriest on June 11, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Romney is not really pro-sanity on energy policy. Folks who think he’s going to clean up the mess of our current energy policy are setting themselves up for a disappointment. We are voting for the guy because he is “Not Obama,” end of story.

Doomberg on June 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Exactly, he is staying away from making any definite energy policy statements…but then again, focusing on the economy, and not adding another layer of debate is good strategy.

However he did come out pretty strong on the Keystone Pipeline…

right2bright on June 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Romney will pass Cap and Trade with support from some Republicans. He did it in Mass and he will do it in the US.

I will not vote for Mitt. If Republicans had a backbone they would force Mitt to sign a pledge to undo EPA changes and Obama Care. They would make clear in the Pledge that if he did not he would be impeached.

After all that is what we had to do to Nixon the last Establishment Guy that won. The reason they do not win. They walk on over the isle and work with the Democrats. Mitt is NOT a Republican. He never once ran as a Republican. His registration was in his words “A Technicality only”. I never vote for any Democrat Scumbag.

Steveangell on June 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

With the regulations now in place, electricity rates in coal-intensive states (OH, KY, WV, VA, PA, NC) will quadruple by 2015. This EPA MUST be stopped.

TarheelBen on June 11, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Well lisa, what do you have to say about your dandy agency, you are in charge of, on this? This HAS got to stop, and I mean if not, the epa will take control of every foot of America in some form or other!

http://www.humanevents.com/2012/06/11/epa-power-grab-to-regulate-ditches-gullies-on-private-property/
L

letget on June 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Fine! Always blaming something else. I guess its coals fought. Coooaaaallll!!!!

Bmore on June 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Exactly, he is staying away from making any definite energy policy statements…but then again, focusing on the economy, and not adding another layer of debate is good strategy.

However he did come out pretty strong on the Keystone Pipeline…

right2bright on June 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Energy is the economy. We MUST de-burden the energy industry as a prerequisite to bringing back the economy. Just freeing up all the money being sucked up by gas and food prices will help like you wouldn’t believe.

Romney will pass Cap and Trade with support from some Republicans. He did it in Mass and he will do it in the US.

Steveangell on June 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

No, that won’t happen. I’m sure the Republicans would love to pass cap & trade, but that would instantly set the stage for a wholesale abandonment of the party by conservatives. They aren’t that dumb and even the liberal Republicans have figured out by now their dream of replacing the conservative base with a center-left base isn’t happening in this election. They’ll have a hard enough time cramming plain tax increases down our throat let alone a Democrat/liberal Republican wet dream like cap & trade.

More likely, the two sides will just eyeball each other warily while failing to accomplish much for the next four years, until 2016 when this song and dance begins again.

Doomberg on June 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Lisa is a true believer. While she can’t spell environment, she will push the obama ideological agenda to her last breath.

StevC on June 11, 2012 at 4:11 PM

fascism
1. the tenets of a centralized totalitarian and nationalistic government that strictly controls finance, industry, and commerce, practices rigid censorship and racism, and eliminates opposition through secret police.

I’m guessing the secret police would be “…a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

affenhauer on June 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

No one could accuse Obama or his regime of being nationalistic. If anything, quite the opposite. He has no love for this country, at least not as it is.

So it isn’t fascism, but it isn’t classic authoritarian socialism either. That is why I dubbed it Regulatory Socialism. It is derivative, but it effectively winds up in the same place as Classic Socialism.

novaculus on June 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I hate these people and their bold-faced lies. That is all.

totherightofthem on June 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

steebo77 on June 11, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Fulking great. I can barely afford my electric bill now. I can hardly wait until it doubles or triples in cost. I’ll have to sell my house and move in with my mother. Nothing else will make economic sense. I’d swear even more, but I’d get banned.

totherightofthem on June 11, 2012 at 4:56 PM

novaculus on June 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Wait ’til he’s done fundamentally transforming things…

affenhauer on June 11, 2012 at 4:59 PM

So it isn’t fascism, but it isn’t classic authoritarian socialism either. That is why I dubbed it Regulatory Socialism. It is derivative, but it effectively winds up in the same place as Classic Socialism.

novaculus on June 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM

You’re right that it’s not classical fascism nor socialism, though it smells a bit like both. What it is is just plain destruction of the State from the government of the State. I don’t think there is even a name for such governance, as it can never last long. It isn’t exactly treason because it’s done for reasons not exactly allied with foreign enemies, but just … because they hate our nation. It’s not even a nihilist government, as the destruction is just directed at this nation (and maybe the West a little more broadly).

But, America voted for Suicide By Indonesian in 2008 and this is what it looks like. Lots of “precedents” as heads of agencies bent on killing America (“firsts and worsts”, unsurprisingly). It’s still going to be a close call whether we make it to 2009 intact, no matter what.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Or is it Cool?

Bmore on June 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM

No, that won’t happen. I’m sure the Republicans would love to pass cap & trade, but that would instantly set the stage for a wholesale abandonment of the party by conservatives. They aren’t that dumb and even the liberal Republicans have figured out by now their dream of replacing the conservative base with a center-left base isn’t happening in this election. They’ll have a hard enough time cramming plain tax increases down our throat let alone a Democrat/liberal Republican wet dream like cap & trade.

More likely, the two sides will just eyeball each other warily while failing to accomplish much for the next four years, until 2016 when this song and dance begins again.

Doomberg on June 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Many Democrats want Cap and Trade. Romney would not need that many RINOS. They are his friends his fellow Progressives.

If Romney only wants one term like Mass. Then he could care less about the Conservatives in the Party who do not have the numbers to impeach him.

I am not at all sure that Romney would not just plain say well Republicans Conservatives have destroyed the party. So I have made the hardest decision in my life and decided to become a Democrat. Then he might just get a second term. I would put nothing past Romney. After all he did use the Republican Ticket and repudiate it in 2002. I am NOT convinced he is a Republican he is a Democrat in my mind till he proves through actions otherwise.

Steveangell on June 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM

However he did come out pretty strong on the Keystone Pipeline…

right2bright on June 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Many Democrats say that was a mistake by Obama too though.

Saying and doing are totally different things. Romney says whatever helps him get elected. He says things different in 2012 than 2010 for example when he was all for Obama Care.

Steveangell on June 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Today he shuts down coal. Tomorrow it’s oil and natural gas. Give him a second term, and EPA will ban fracking.

petefrt on June 11, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life … unless you have just enough Cherokee or whatever this pig claims to have to support an affirmation action trigger in hiring.

Then it works great.

Jaibones on June 11, 2012 at 7:50 PM

The so-called ‘renewable energy’ touted by the progs cannot meet the current diminished demands of our shrinking economy let alone a growing and vibrant one. This is where the UN’s Agenda 21 comes in, reducing the size and scope of this nation and its peoples by relocating them into ‘sustainable communities’ thereby eliminating the need for excess energy. Oh, my!

LizardLips on June 11, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Geez! Just when you think they couldn’t be more stupid… unbelievable! You can forgive ignorance, but never stupidity. I so look forward to seeing all these morons in the unemployment line next year.

ultracon on June 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM

The 2008 video of Obama promising to bankrupt the coal industry should have been played after every BS answer Jackson gave. She should be tarred and feathered for that malfeasance in office.

rayra on June 11, 2012 at 8:32 PM

They are neither stupid nor ignorant. They are hyperpartisan and evil. They are deliberately acting to destroy the major underpinnings of our society, just as marxists always do. They must destroy the status quo to create chaos so that they can impose their dictats on a larger outnumbering population. They must be stopped, by any means necessary. And flapping our keyboards about a committee performance isn’t getting it done.

rayra on June 11, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Let’s shut down the EPA and see how the coal industry does…

rgranger on June 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Lies. Endless lies. Relentless, enormous, blatant, bald-face lies. Continuous, deliberately false statements, calculated propaganda. Reckless one-offs and throw-away lies, little white lies, criminal lies, deadly evil rotting corpse of truth lies. Belching putrid radioactive poisonous smoke-screen deceptions and F you in your face laughing tyrannical lies. The routine, ordinary, State-sanctioned statistical lies. Drunk-driving-Senator-drowned-a-girl-in-the-river lies. Fudged data, carbon offset, green jobs, solar power unicorn fart lies. Jailhouse lawyer corrupt Judiciary SWATting lies. Logical fallacies and well-meaning wishful-thinking pretense and lies. Government lies. Activist lies. Coverup lies. Gunwalking lies. Totalitarian lies. Wealth-busting, debt-dealing killing-fields lies. Hilarious, preposterous, unstoppable, impossible lies.

Kenosha Kid on June 12, 2012 at 1:10 AM

Kenosha Kid on June 12, 2012 at 1:10 AM

Well, now you’ve just gone too damned far, KK. It was Nantucket Sound, not a river…or was it a bay?

swinia sutki on June 12, 2012 at 5:58 AM

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