It’s happening: Here comes the EPA’s de facto ban on new coal plants

posted at 2:31 pm on September 14, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

We’ve known this was coming for quite some time now, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant. Via the NYT:

Following up on President Obama’s pledge in June to address climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency plans next week to propose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from newly built power plants.

But even before the proposal becomes public, experts on both sides of the issue say it faces a lobbying donnybrook and an all-but-certain court challenge. For a vast and politically powerful swath of the utility industry — operators of coal-fired plants, and the coal fields that supply them — there are fears that the rules would effectively doom construction of new coal plants far into the future.

While details of the E.P.A.’s proposal remain confidential, experts predict that it will include separate standards for carbon dioxide emissions from plants fired by natural gas and by coal. Plants using comparatively clean gas would be permitted to emit perhaps 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, a ceiling within easy reach using modern technologies.

Coal-fired plants may be allowed to emit up to 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, but that threshold is probably still too high for coal to meet without adding very expensive carbon-capture technology — meaning that the construction of new coal plants will no longer be a cost-effective endeavor in many cases.

Coal plants have already begun shutting down in anticipation of the new regulations, and get ready to see a lot more of that:

When the Longview plant went into operation in 2011 – the first new coal plant to go online in West Virginia in 18 years – its owners wanted to show that there is a future role for coal in the U.S. energy mix.

Located in Maidsville, 10 miles from the Pennsylvania border in West Virginia’s coal heavy northern panhandle, Longview was built to generate electricity cheaply, efficiently and with a smaller carbon footprint than a traditional coal-fired plant.

But on August 30, the 700 megawatt supercritical pulverized coal plant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection along with its coal supplier, Mepco Holdings. It is in the process of financial restructuring.

Longview’s bankruptcy filing cited construction and design issues that led to extended outages as a reason for the bankruptcy. But it also pointed to unfavorable market conditions that made the plant uneconomical.

Eco-radicals and advocates of the administration’s regulatory route will quickly point out that natural gas is proving a highly competitive and ready substitute for coal and that it’s probably destined to take over a large market share from coal in the near future. While that is true to a degree, the point is that the Obama administration is doing an end-run around the naturally efficient free-market process and forcibly bringing about a transition in the way that they deem to be acceptable. That’s going to lead to a lot of job losses and opportunity costs, and of course, “necessarily skyrocketing” energy prices. Ahem.


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Thatcher: Nazi witch for destroying the coal industry.

Obama. A god for destroying the coal industry.

Ben Hur on September 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM

This is a surprise to anyone?

0bama made it clear during his first campaign that he would do this… and it was one of his few promises that he made in a rare moment of truth, not just a campaign lie to fool people into supporting him.

LegendHasIt on September 14, 2013 at 2:37 PM

So, I take it that those natural gas plants are all built and up and running to replace the megawattage of the coal plants going off-line?

No?

Savor the blackouts.

The Left isn’t pro-environment, they are anti-human.

ajacksonian on September 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

because this country’s best and cheapest choice for new power plants is natural gas anyways coal policy for home power plants is a moot point.

I am however for investing federal money to help coal producers export our coal overseas to countries that really want it.

whether its better ports-ways to move the coal etc. this is the way to go.

gerrym51 on September 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Yes his policies ARE hurting the economy.

CW on September 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Following up on President Obama’s pledge in June to address climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency plans next week to propose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from newly built power plants.

As the BS, fraud, and pseudo-scientific idiocy about gloabl warming is exposed, Barky and his junta double down on a discredited theory carried by charlatans and morons. The offense of all this is that all this greenhouse gas BS should be finished with but we have the Indonesian and his leftist junta totally ignoring all the evidence of fraud and the laughably wild misses of the global warming predictions and pushing ahead as if the Earth were burning up as we speak.

Will no one stop this POS?? WTFFFF???? It boggles the mind that the retard is allowed to just continue on destroying everything he sees.

Also, defunding the EPA ought to be high on the House’s list. Put a stake in the heart of that vampire. One would think that the fraud and illegality happening over at the EPA with Richard Windsor and friends would have been enough … but that agency just pushes forth with its idiotic destruction.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 14, 2013 at 2:44 PM

While that is true to a degree, the point is that the Obama administration is doing an end-run around the naturally efficient free-market process and forcibly bringing about a transition in the way that they deem to be acceptable.

Yeah, the Nazis had the same approach toward the Jews. And don’t think that it is just this one time they’ll use executive fiat over legislation and/or free-market processes. This next three years is going to be Christmas every day for the radical left.

Happy Nomad on September 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

The only hope is the 2014 elections. If Republicans don’t make major gains in the elections, it is just another step in the Obama/Democrats/Liberal media ruin of America.

albill on September 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

The only hope is the 2014 elections. If Republicans don’t make major gains in the elections, it is just another step in the Obama/Democrats/Liberal media ruin of America.

albill on September 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Ain’t gonna happen. The GOP is busy helping Barky with all this cr@p and trying to shove their treasonous aid and comfort for illegals down our throats. The GOP is useless and 2014 is meaningless. America is dead and buried. The only solution, at this point, is a national divorce. That’s it.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 14, 2013 at 2:47 PM

we have ceded the county into the hands of crooks, leftists, demagogues and people who have an rather obvious anti-American slant…not to mention a strong bias toward central planning and state-run ‘capitalism’

even the IPCC is finally to moderate some of its shrill dogma

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324549004579067532485712464.html

when you elect those people twice…well, they feel very empowered…and that is what they love…and they make lots of money in the deal.

what a sweet life being in the elites while the peasants watch the latest twerking news

r keller on September 14, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Following up on President Obama’s pledge in June to address climate change

Excuse my language, but … F*** climate change.

Paul-Cincy on September 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

BTW, today marks the day twelve years ago when GWB stood amid the rubble of Ground Zero and declared that the terrorists would be hearing from the United States. It is year ago tomorrow when Susan Rice did the full Ginsberg and knowingly lied her ass off about Benghazi at the start of an administration cover-up that continues to this day. How sad America has fallen so far in such a short period of time (mostly since a filthy rat-eared bastard took office through the lower standards the left applies to minorities). From real leadership to a lazy stupid idiot phoning it in until it is time for the next concert, party, or vacation.

Happy Nomad on September 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Excuse my language, but … F*** climate change.

Paul-Cincy on September 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Climate change happens. That much isn’t in dispute. The problem is the left uses junk science and outright bogus data to suggest that there is such a thing as man-caused climate change and (more importantly) that man can do something about it.

Happy Nomad on September 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

But didn’t one of the WarmMongers say it was the particlluates from coal that had retarded the effects of the co2 on greenhouse warming? What are they trying to do! Destroy the environment?

OBQuiet on September 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

U.S. Coal Exports set record

The increased demand from ASIAN nations accounts for the record setting exports.

How hypocritical is it to force the United States to do away with coal burning plants for ‘environmental reasons’ when you allow that same coal to be shipped to China and India to be burned in plants with MUCH LOWER ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION than existing coal fired plants in the United States?

Someone should point out to the Obama administration and their supporters that the atmosphere envelopes the entire planet… and that pollution produced in China and India… doesn’t stay in China and India.

Since energy is the driver behind manufacturing, cheap and efficient energy supplies and a cheap labor force determine which nation is most competitive. One might well be forgiven for thinking this ‘environmental’ plan to shut down the U.S. coal fired energy plants is really geared to hamstring the United States in terms of being able to compete in the global market.

thatsafactjack on September 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Notwithstanding the long lies by long term liars of the commie Democrat Party , the sun does as the sun does and will do until the last big bang of the super nova event.

As of now Mr. Sun is in a funk aka low output phase and we can look forward to these fools calling it warming as the snow blows cold.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

Truth lives.

Lies die.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on September 14, 2013 at 3:08 PM

When power prices “necessarily skyrocket” – and they will – Obama will escape blame by the low information crowd who will blame those “greedy, dirty utility companies”.

Decoski on September 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Thatcher: Nazi witch for destroying the coal industry.

Obama. A god for destroying the coal industry.

Ben Hur on September 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM

The Iron Lady had two major objectives in her campaign, as per Mountbatten’s axiom of “never try to do more than two things at once in any battle”.

The first was to break the power of the Trade Union Congress,which had controlled Labour and had de facto control of Commons going back to the Jarrow march. Every PM since then had been forced to “come to an understanding” with the TUC. Meaning, the sort of layabout “workers” and political “activism” that they did sketches about on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. And in doing so, had crippled British industry to the point that even nationalization wouldn’t have made things worse.

The second objective was to revive Britain’s nuclear power program, which had been badly crippled by the “green” crowd in much the same way it had been here in the U.S. She believed strongly in nuclear power, on the grounds that as long as Britain had breeder reactors, they were independent of foreign “pressure” from, for instance, the OPEC countries.

She was only partly successful. The “Greens” joined with her in her campaign against coal, and she did accordingly break the TUC.

But then, the Greens turned on her and campaigned against “nukes”. In the end, the UK lost almost all its nuclear power generating capacity due to regulation and political decisions, chiefly made by Thatcher’s successors, Major and Blair.

Lady Thatcher made one very simple mistake. She assumed that once progressives agree to side with you, they will keep their word. In fact, they will simply use you to achieve their objectives, and then double-cross you at the first opportunity.

She did not understand that the “greens’” objective was not “clean energy”- but turning out the lights on civilization.

In the name of Holy Mother Gaia.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Whoo electricity rationing!

Thank you democrats!

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Coal-fired plants may be allowed to emit up to 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, but that threshold is probably still too high for coal to meet without adding very expensive carbon-capture technology

We just learned this past week that the artic ice cover has increased by something like 60%, despite all the “global warming” alarmists’ dire predictions that the artic would be ice free by 2013. We also learned that the earth’s temperatures have not been increasing as predicted by the AGW alarmists’ computer models.

The so-called “science” of global warming/global cooling/”climate change” is nothing but a bunch of hooey, yet the idiotic Obama administration continues their quest to destroy our domestic energy production, in the supposed interest of this junk science. These people should be strung up.

AZCoyote on September 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM

If we lined everyone at EPA up against a wall, shot them, and then recycled the casings, it would be a good start.

Adjoran on September 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

“Hey Dad…My net only works for 3 hrs. a day” – American Teenager

“Hey Daddy…How come the TV is off” – American Tween

“Honey…The dishwasher isn’t working” – American Mother

“OK Folks…One more time…We have an energy allowance” – American Dad

Hope and Change

workingclass artist on September 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

How do ya like that, Manchin?!?!?!!?

ladyingray on September 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM

The Left isn’t pro-environment, they are anti-human.

ajacksonian on September 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

That really nails it, doesn’t it? Not surprising when one considers where their influence REALLY comes from.

Cleombrotus on September 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Is there a bright side?

Bumper Sticker

Hasta Luego Amigos…Mexico Has Air Conditioning…Thanks for all the Fish…

workingclass artist on September 14, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Considering China’s new coal-fired plants, and their CO2 output, whatever we do doesn’t mean squat. Bankrupt the coal industry, or let it thrive; whatever. No effect on climate either way. China and the rest of the world is what matters.

Paul-Cincy on September 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

So long and thanks for all the fish – Hitchhiker’s Guide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_dUmDBfp6k

workingclass artist on September 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

…coal is racist!

KOOLAID2 on September 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

We’re nickel and diming our energy industry to death, meanwhile China is eating our lunch.

Paul-Cincy on September 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Whoo electricity rationing!

Thank you democrats!

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Death Panels

Food/Milk Panels

Kilowatt Panels

workingclass artist on September 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged

“Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed.”

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Nigel Farage just this week. Notice Barasso, embodies everything loathesome of the modern progressive. A human zero in the denominator.

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Ayn Rand – The Anti-Industrial Revolution

Now observe that in all the propaganda of the ecologists—amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for “harmony with nature”—there is no discussion of man’s needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision—i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears . . . .

In order to survive, man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter his background and adapt it to his needs. Nature has not equipped him for adapting himself to his background in the manner of animals. From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire.

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

So when is The Obamassiah and his EPA going to BAN coal exports to other nations?

Or does Jug Ears think that USA air “stays” in the USA?

GarandFan on September 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Without machines and technology, the task of mere survival is a terrible, mind-and-body-wrecking ordeal. In “nature,” the struggle for food, clothing and shelter consumes all of a man’s energy and spirit; it is a losing struggle—the winner is any flood, earthquake or swarm of locusts. (Consider the 500,000 bodies left in the wake of a single flood in Pakistan; they had been men who lived without technology.) To work only for bare necessities is a luxury that mankind cannot afford.

It has been reported in the press many times that the issue of pollution is to be the next big crusade of the New Left activists, after the war in Vietnam peters out. And just as peace was not their goal or motive in that crusade, so clean air is not their goal or motive in this one.

The immediate goal is obvious: the destruction of the remnants of capitalism in today’s mixed economy, and the establishment of a global dictatorship. This goal does not have to be inferred—many speeches and books on the subject state explicitly that the ecological crusade is a means to that end.

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Meanwhile the killing spree by The Sons Of Obama continues unabated and largely unreported

But don’t anyone accuse Obama and his Sons of Obama of waging a war on whites as I’m sure it was just another one of those unfortunate incidents we are all to refer to as isolated.

VorDaj on September 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Meanwhile, the total picture at the Antarctic is one of record high ice. And the Arctic has experienced startling record ice growth. This Daily Mail article has really great comparison pictures of the Arctic in Aug 2012 vs Aug 2013. It really makes the point strongly compared to some more abstract-ish representations of the Arctic ice. Also, just an excellent article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415191/Global-cooling-Arctic-ice-caps-grows-60-global-warming-predictions.html

anotherJoe on September 14, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Energy Prevention As**oles

dmacleo on September 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

How are all the reprobates going to afford to charge their Obamaphones?

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Earth Gains A Record Amount Of Sea Ice In 2013

Earth has gained 19,000 Manhattans of sea ice since this date last year, the largest increase on record. There is more sea ice now than there was on this date in 2002.

It has nothing to do with carbon dioxides in the air. Regulating ANYTHING based on the amount of carbon dioxides it produces is fraudulent.

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Eco-radicals and advocates of the administration’s regulatory route will quickly point out that natural gas is proving a highly competitive and ready substitute for coal and that it’s probably destined to take over a large market share from coal in the near future.

Errr…. no:

This month, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose standards that will establish stricter pollution limits for gas-fired power plants than coal-fired power plants, according to individuals who were briefed on the matter but asked not to be identified because the rule was not public yet.

The left will not rest until America looks like North Korea.

Rebar on September 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

In the War on Coal, the Obama administration doesn’t do pinprick strikes(Or as fragger John F. Kerry says, unbelievably small.)

The Obama EPA is plotting an attack on the U.S. energy industry that would decimate future coal-plant construction in the name of fighting global warming. Doing an end-run around Congress, the EPA edict would essentially put in place the cap-and-trade green scheme that even a Democratic Congress rejected in Obama’s first term. The Wall Street Journal reports that the EPA rule is set to be formally proposed by the end of next week. The new rules would reportedly set an emissions limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour for coal plants — banning new facilities, which typically emit twice that amount.

Consumers are paying higher energy prices in Germany thanks to an “aggressive and reckless” wind and solar power expansion, a story in German magazine Der Spiegel says.

The higher costs affect poorer consumers the most, and Germans already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe.

“Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany,” the magazine says. In the near future, an average three-person household will spend about 90 euros a month for electricity, or $119, it says.

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Obama’s EPA chief Lisa Jackson on Natural Gas.

1 minute in starts discussing regulation on NG production.

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Former EPA chief.

Murphy9 on September 14, 2013 at 4:14 PM

And Obama is doing it all to cut back on CO2, supposedly.

But there’s no empirical evidence that CO2 does anything, and in this short but key 3 minute video on the CO2 lag see Al Gore’s and the ipcc’s faulty claim of evidence on CO2 shot down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&CO2Lag

The above video shows that temperature is the cause of changes in CO2. No evidence exists that C02 is both a cause and an effect of temperature change, but that is exactly what the warmists maintain. They say there is “established century old physics” behind the notion that CO2 has any appreciable effect on climate temperature, but that’s all they have, is an old theoretical model (no evidence) to back everything that they propose they do to our economies, like taking us toward the stone age with the 83% CO2 cuts mandated in the cap & trade bill that passed the US House in 2009! Well, going against their theory on CO2 is, per The Economist is: “The mismatch between [current] rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures [15 year stall out in temperatures].” And even more important is the effectively identical rate of temperature rise during the first (low CO2) and second (higher CO2) halves of the 20th century: http://www.c3headlines.com/2013/06/ipccs-gold-standard-hadcrut-confirms-co2s-impact-on-global-temps-statistically-immaterial-insignific.html

During the more recent time with “dangerous high levels” of CO2, and at low CO2 levels, the climate is acting exactly the same. There is no other explanation but that CO2 is doing absolutely nothing. That is the actual evidence. The only thing the fear mongers have is a theoretical model, but a different theoretical model exists that suggests Co2 has ~ zero effect beyond 200 parts per million (it’s now 400ppm).

BTW, here’s a simple graphic that quickly illustrates the point I made above about the near identical rates of temperature change during low CO2 (early 1900s) and higher CO2 (late 1900s) times: http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01901d26f85e970b-pi

anotherJoe on September 14, 2013 at 4:18 PM

The Left isn’t pro-environment, they are anti-human.

ajacksonian on September 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

.
That really nails it, doesn’t it? Not surprising when one considers where their influence REALLY comes from.

Cleombrotus on September 14, 2013 at 3:27 PM

.

The left will not rest until America looks like North Korea.

Rebar on September 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

.
The political leaders on the left are anti-United States, and will not rest until the United States has been dissolved and liquidated.

listens2glenn on September 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Abolish the EPA, IRS, BATF (it’s tempting to say FBI, but I’ll hold on that), you continue the list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

listens2glenn on September 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Because burning coal makes the earth warm… or is it cool… nevermind… it’s just bad.

MT on September 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Liberals wonder why this country is not growing jobs. Well they think its because of Evil republicans and Big corps, along with some GWB sprinkled in and racism.

We neuter the EPA 50% …. heck make them electable… and I bet this country takes off.

watertown on September 14, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Dear electric industry,

Please just turn off those plants, and don’t de-activate them. It’ll just be about 3 years and you’ll be back in business.

Cordially,

Everyone who doesn’t sit in meetings with Obama

BobMbx on September 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

BREAKING: IPCC AR5 report to dial back climate sensitivity (of CO2)

My feeling, though, is we shouldn’t give these leftist activists (oh, excuse me, “scientists”) any credit. Unless they dial it back to zero. Because there’s no evidence that CO2 does squat. Let’s just get on with our lives, and forget this sorry episode where the leftist activists and leftist media and leftist scientific establishment have co-opted the institutions of govt and procured a huge huge level of funding in order to dupe the public into supporting their extreme leftist agenda.

anotherJoe on September 14, 2013 at 6:48 PM

So, I take it that those natural gas plants are all built and up and running to replace the megawattage of the coal plants going off-line?

No?

Savor the blackouts.

The Left isn’t pro-environment, they are anti-human.

ajacksonian on September 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

If only we could limit the blackouts to the democratic-run states.

slickwillie2001 on September 14, 2013 at 8:00 PM

By the time his term is up, our destruction will be complete.

The great republic–it was a nice idea.

PattyJ on September 14, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Just shut off all electricity to the “Blue” states.
It’s what they want.
Problem solved.

shorebird on September 14, 2013 at 11:58 PM

And when they get done with coal, and converted everyone over to hydrogen, they’ll come after natural gas and H2O.

It’s not like any of them actually understand greenhouse gasses, or what is, and what isn’t. They’re just in it for the demagoguery.

Voyager on September 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM

What the hell, Pennsylvania voted for King Putt … BOTH TIMES!
Energy (if it is affordable or competitive) is the LIFE BLOOD OF AN ECONOMY. If it is insufficient or not available the ECOMONY STAGNATES. (Get it, LIVerals?)
HE said he was going to CRUSH the COAL INDUSTRY! It is happening and much like the nuclear power industry, once you damage it (Thank you James Earl Carter) it just might NEVER RECOVER. EVER!
You know what I say?
Let the Ecofreaks STARVE and FREEZE in the DARK.
Phuck ‘em all.

Missilengr on September 16, 2013 at 1:25 PM