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In a speech at the National Press Club Friday morning, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced long-awaited carbon dioxide emission standards for new coal- and natural gas-fired power plants that supporters hope will have major repercussions and be a milestone of policy realism on climate change.

“The president’s Climate Action Plan calls on federal agencies to take steady, sensible, and pragmatic steps to cut the harmful carbon pollution that fuels our changing climate, to prepare our communities for its unavoidable impacts, while continuing to provide affordable and reliable energy for all,” McCarthy said.

Her announcement, most of it leaked two days ago, was prefaced in her speech by an extensive, straightforward discussion of the realities of the environmental and health impacts of climate change that surely must have set on edge the teeth of those who deny it is actually happening. Indeed, the opposition began immediately:

Opponents of the new E.P.A. rule quickly vowed to take measures to stop it. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader and a senator from coal-dependent Kentucky, promised to use his legislative skills to prevent the measure.

“The president’s decision today is an escalation of the war on coal and what that really means for Kentucky families is an escalation of his war on jobs and the Kentucky economy,” Mr. McConnell said. “I will file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating E.P.A. rule.”

Given the nature of the crisis that has spurred the proposed standards into existence, a war on coal—though, of course, not on coal miners—is exactly what is required. We have to stop burning the stuff, the sooner the better. That's also true for natural gas, something viewed widely by experts as a transition fuel but seen by many environmental advocates as a snare and delusion even though when burned its emissions of CO2 are about half that of an equivalent amount of coal.

The proposed standards would limit emissions of CO2 from new coal-fired plants to a level that many in the industry claim will make it impossible to build such facilities. New large natural gas-fired turbines would be limited to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt-hour of electricity generated. New small natural gas-fired plants would be limited to 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New coal-fired units would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, and would have the option to meet a limit of 1,000-to-1,050 pounds if they choose to average emissions over seven years.

Although it varies widely from region to region, the average American residence consumes 11 megawatt-hours of electricity each year.

Please read below the fold for more analysis.

Currently, the newest coal-fired plants emit between 1,800 to 2,100 pounds of carbon per megawatt-hour. The American Public Power Association, a group of publicly owned utilities, had argued at the beginning of this month for setting the new standards at 1,900 pounds. New natural gas plants already maintain emissions below the range the standard would set for them.

Strip-mining coal in the Powder River Basin
Strip-mining coal in the Powder River Basin
To make sure everyone was clear, McCarthy repeated twice that the standards would only apply to new plants, not existing ones.

As controversial as the proposed new plant rule will certainly be, the one for existing plants will face tougher opposition still. Setting an emissions limit for those plants is in the works, with a preliminary rule expected in June of 2014. President Obama has said he wants that existing-plant standard implemented by the time he leaves office in January 2017. He sees standards for both new and existing plants as key to his commitment under the Climate Action Plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Before being finalized, the new plant standards will undergo a 60-day public comment period. The EPA already has reviewed 2.5 million public comments on the standards. McCarthy said in her speech, "We did what democracy demands. We paid attention. We listened to those comments, and that is what today's proposal reflects." Technically speaking, the agency has until next fall to implement the new standards, but depending on how much resistance is launched, it could happen sooner.

The standards have technically been in the works since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA had a mandate to control greenhouse emissions, including CO2 under the Clean Air Act.

Friday's announcement marks the Obama administration's second attempt at setting limits. The standards are more flexible than what was proposed 18 months ago when electricity-generating plants fueled by either coal or natural gas were slated to be held to the same limit. But the instant it was unveiled in March 2012, it collided with strong objections from politicians and the coal industry. Under this intense onslaught of criticism, the White House chose to hold off and revise the original proposal for fear of the damage and delay that industry lawsuits might do.

Even with the new, more flexible arrangement, industry opposition can be expected to be turned into litigation before the proposed limits go into effect. In Congress, there is significant right-wing opposition to any limits placed on greenhouse gas emissions. That's partly because nearly 60 percent of the House Republican caucus deny outright that climate change is happening at all or deny that it is caused by humans. And it's partly because many in Congress, including a couple of dozen Democrats, receive major campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, especially if they represent states rich in these resources.

In June, in the first major speech about climate change of his presidency, President Obama addressed industry complaints head on:

Now, what you’ll hear from the special interests and their allies in Congress is that this will kill jobs and crush the economy, and basically end American free enterprise as we know it. And the reason I know you'll hear those things is because that's what they said every time America sets clear rules and better standards for our air and our water and our children’s health. And every time, they've been wrong.
A can-do spirit reflective of Obama's June speech infused McCarthy's announcement. "The argument that we must choose between economic growth and environmental protection is a false one," she said. Limiting emissions boost the economy, not be a burden on it, she said, adding that the sky will not fall. She noted that new automobile efficiency standards imposed by the Obama administration have not hamstrung that industry.

The only way most experts believe coal plants can possibly meet the standards is by
using carbon capture and storage—CCS. That's a technology McCarthy said is "proven."
"Carbon capture and sequestration technologies will eventually mature and will become as common in power plants as scrubbers are today," she said.

However, energy companies, most Republicans and some coal-state Democrats say the proposed standards for coal are too tough and no commercially available technology is ready or will be ready any time soon to meet them. They claim the proposed rules would make building new coal plants impossible and eliminate thousands of jobs in the coal-mining industry.

Carbon-capture and sequestration involves scrubbing coal, gas or oil before they are burned and then storing the CO2 underground or injecting it to recover oil from wells that are otherwise at the end of their productive life. A number of CCS demonstration projects are currently under way. But they've run into complications. A federally subsidized $4.7-billion CCS plant built by Southern Company in Kemper County, Mississippi, is already $1 billion over budget. Eco-critics say the whole idea is a will-o'-the-wisp and that the "clean coal" objective of such measures can't be met.

The Congressional Budget Office reported last year that CCS power plants will likely cost 75 percent more than regular coal-fired plants. Short of a major technological breakthrough that nobody sees in the immediate future, that cost is not likely to drop by much.

But there's another factor at work that could make the proposed standard for new coal plants moot. Cheap natural gas prices, combined with industry concerns about the proposed standards have already made building coal-fired generators an ever rarer occurrence. In fact, according to the Energy Information Administration, none of the 136 U.S. power plants that will open or expand its electricity-generating capacity in 2013 burns coal. And of the 127 plants on the calendar to open or expand in 2014, only two will burn coal.

As Josh Dzieza of the Daily Beast wrote this week:

If coal jobs are destroyed in the near future, it will more likely be the fault of natural gas companies than EPA regulations. Put another way, the practice of liberating natural gas from shale rock through hydraulic fracturing—fracking—is waging a war on coal.

Eco-activists strongly criticize fracking as well. It's been tied to water pollution, earthquakes, methane leaks and other problems, and it will certainly face extensive legal and other challenges in the years ahead. For now, however, the natural gas bonanza is having a tremendous impact on what now gets built to generate electricity in the United States. The top two contenders are wind turbines and natural gas turbines, with wind in the lead for the past two years.

Jessica Goad at ThinkProgress spotlighted the fact that when the Bureau of Land Management held a competitive lease sale for the Hay Creek II coal lease tract in Wyoming Wednesday, it was forced to reject the sole bid it received. This was $35 million from Kiewit Mining. That's just 21 cents a ton. Reuters reported that it was “the lowest top bid in 15 years." Goad wrote:

As Mark Northam of the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources said of yesterday’s lease sale: “The bottom has just dropped out of the market … This represents a high degree of uncertainty about whether coal will stay robust in the future.”
One positive reaction to the proposed new rule came from France Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. In a blog published on the organization's website, she wrote:
The Obama Administration struck a forceful blow against climate change today. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed standards that will limit dangerous carbon pollution from new power plants.

No longer will new electric plants be allowed to endanger our health with unchecked carbon pollution and the climate change it causes. Instead, our nation can start creating a 21st century power fleet—one that uses the latest clean technologies and reduces the threat of climate change.

That's an understandable bit of hyperbole after so many years pushing for the emissions standard. New electric power plants that emit any carbon dioxide do, in fact, endanger our health and add to the accumulated carbon already in the atmosphere. But the proposed standard does mark a serious, welcome move in the right direction.

••• •• •••

VL Baker has post on the subject here.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 08:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  GOP freakout in 5...4...3...2..... (9+ / 0-)

    maybe some coal state Dems also.

    •  What will happen to coal plants (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet, 714day, lcrp, Eric Nelson, LinSea

      that refuse to abide by the EPA reg's?   Will they receive fines?  Fines of what amount?  Will they be enjoined from operating until they meet the regulations' targets?  What if they continue operating?  Who will enforce these regulations?  What if the state has told the plant owners to continue operations regardless of EPA regs?

      I ask these questions because I live in Texas, and our governor has already made public statements that he will "refuse new EPA regulations."  I have no idea what that means.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:34:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the usual is to fine the gummint a million (0+ / 0-)

        dollars a day until they come around....icbw.

      •  This EPA rule only applies to new plants (10+ / 0-)

        All new coal plants will have to be constructed and operated in a manner than sharply limits their CO2 emissions.  EPA has not issued regulations curtailing CO2 at existing plants.  We are working furiously to ensure EPA issues regulations covering existing plants before the end of this Administration.

        Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

        by gloryous1 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:47:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There really seems to be an efficient, (0+ / 0-)

        economical way to solve the problem on the horizon. From Oil Price.com:

        HydroInfra Technologies, based in Sweden, claims to have developed the answer to greenhouse gases and fossil fuel emissions, stating that their Hydro Nano Gas (HNG) “instantly neutralises carbon fuel pollution emissions.”

        Following years of research and development the company believes it has created a safe, cost effective way to reduce all carbon emissions to zero, and is now looking to bring its technology to market, having already signed a joint venture to convert ships to use HNG.

        http://oilprice.com/...

        Members of congress are aware of this new development, but they're ignoring it because it would prevent them from playing politics.
        •  I wouldn't be investing my mortgage/rent... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe, Larsstephens

          ...money in that if I were you.

          HydroInfra Tech mentions in its brochure that “the technology can be used to extract water from air.” Clean water literally from thin air. Riiiiiiight.

          If it works, it's the greatest discovery/invention of the 21st Century and they shouldn't have any trouble getting peer-reviewed journal coverage.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:06:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  snort (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          HNG sounds too good to be true. In my experience, that always means: "It really is too good to be true".

          I do research in this area. There are no easy solutions, and I guarantee you, there are no viable solution approaching commercial viability. In another 5 years, maybe- oxycombustion, chemical looping combustion... but not now.

          And most definitely not HNG

          -5.38, -2.97
          The NRA doesn't represent the interests of gun owners. So why are you still a member?

          by ChuckInReno on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:28:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Posting hype about fantasy gee-whiz (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          technology claims that violate Conservation of Energy does not advance the discussion. In fact, it counts as threadjacking.

          This is snake oil, pure and simple.

          Splitting water (H20) is a known science. But the energy costs to perform splitting outweigh the energy created from hydrogen when the Hydrogen is split from the water molecule H2O.

          This is where mainstream science usually closes the book on the subject.

          We took a different approach by postulating that we could split water in an energy efficient way to extract a high yield of Hydrogen at very low cost.

          A specific low energy pulse is put into water. The water molecules line up in a certain structure and are split from the Hydrogen molecules.

          The result is HNG.

          HNG is packed with ‘Exotic Hydrogen’

          Exotic Hydrogen is a recent scientific discovery.

          HNG carries an abundance of Exotic Hydrogen and Oxygen.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 05:58:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Very good news. (10+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:05:25 AM PDT

    •  The pessimist in my worries this could be a (0+ / 0-)

      gesture by Obama to balance a future announcement approving the Keystone pipeline.

      •  Assuming the worse always (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waiting for lefty, willyr

        seems counter productive.  The truth is that Obama will be presdient for three more years and he does not need the approval of environmentalists.  I have no doubt the Keystone pipleline will be detemrined on its merits as he (and Kerry as the actual approval  person) see them.  I amy or may not like their decision, but an assumption that it is linked to this is without evidence.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:00:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It is true that around the margin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        there will be a few more fossil carbon projects. We must fight against them all, but we do not expect to win against them all. This five-year-old Keystone XL fight could, as far as we can tell, still go either way. I have some hope that a new State Department study could tell the truth next time.

        The Guardian, Aug. 20, 2013

        US Department of Interior criticises State over Keystone XL impact report

        Letter calls draft environmental impact statement on controversial transnational oil-sands project 'inaccurate'
        But this is the tipping point, when no more such deals can be proposed. As Churchill put it, is not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. It is when things start to happen, and soon they start to happen all at once.

        We in Indiana, for example, are still fighting the Edwardsport Coal Gasification Boondoggle (where the legislature has put a carbon tax on Hoosier consumers), but we are starting to get deals to close down existing and far more highly polluting plants.

        As Meteor Blades points out, there are hardly any coal-fired power plants coming online, and it will soon be impossible to get funding for coal-fired plants anywhere in the US. Goldman Sachs has been advising that they are uneconomic, and that nobody should invest in them, nor in coal export terminals. We are actually going net negative on coal-fired power plants, with more shutting down than being built.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:42:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  will GOP stop fracking as part of war on coal? (12+ / 0-)
    As pivotal as these regulations are, they won’t have much immediate impact on either the environment or the coal industry. That’s because, thanks to cheap natural gas, building a new coal plant is already uneconomical. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects coal consumption to remain essentially flat until 2030, and according to the Energy Information Administration, none of the plants set to open or expand this year are coal. If coal jobs are destroyed in the near future, it will more likely be the fault of natural-gas companies than EPA regulations. Put another way, the practice of liberating natural gas from shale rock through hydraulic fracturing—fracking—is waging a war on coal.
    Excellent analysis MB. great way to start my day!
  •  A three year old piece (10+ / 0-)

    from NRDC but still pertinent.  I hadn't realized that NRDC was established the same year as the enactment of the Clean Air Act -- 1970 (along with EPA and other foundational enviro legislation).  In The Clean Air Act at 40:  Still Vulnerable to Polluters' Falsehoods John H. Adams reminds us that industry and politicians have been making precisely the same arguments for over 40 years.  And they have been wrong.

    I'm old enough to remember the drives up from Maryland through NJ and how orange the air was -- how sweet/acrid it smelled.  I remember dead rivers, belching autos and no seatbelts and industry crying all the time about job losses if any regulation were to be enacted.

    I like McCarthy -- she was an excellent DEP Administrator in CT.  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:07:04 AM PDT

  •  How are we helping refugees from War on Coal? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, SolarMom

    Does anybody even give a damn?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:10:12 AM PDT

    •  I give a damn. So far, production for the past... (14+ / 0-)

      ...52 weeks is down 55,000 tons (to 996,000 tons). Not a huge amount.

      But we're going to see all kinds of refugees from climate change and coal miners (and associated workers) are just a sliver of a splinter of the total. The number of miners has been going down for decades because more and more coal is coming from strip-mining, which requires far fewer workers. Even underground, automation continues to reduce the numbers.

      Something should be done across the entire economy to deal with displaced workers, not just in coal. Look at the lower numbers in the auto industry over the past 40 years, for example.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:20:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are many who face similar situation (7+ / 0-)

      Who's jobs are in an industry that is going away for one reason or another. We need to find ways to help the displaced workers, but continuing mining coal is not the answer here.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:32:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The deal is simple: You care about workers or you (0+ / 0-)

        do not.  If you are going to put policies in place that are designed to elminate industries -- and we have to consider that the CO2 fight does just that, it is a societal imperative to do something about the natural consequences of your act.

        So far, the standard progressive response is, "Oh my, that's too bad.  Somebody really ought to do something."

        Under the expression, of course, is an inaudible "Glad it's not me."

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:48:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do not disagree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, dinotrac

          Honestly I cannot remember anyone from either party really working on ideas to help displaced workers. BUt this is something progressives care about MORE than conservative politicians, they only seem concerned with the coal company profits!

          Please do not suggest I care nothing about them, I do. I just do!

          What is your solution?

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:58:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Really? The standard progressive response... (9+ / 0-)

          ...is to shrug? I think that's bullshit. It certainly is not the response of progressives I have hung out with.

          That shrug, in fact, is the standard conservative and, most assuredly, the libertarian response.

          And why is it that the jobs that have been cut out by CORPORATE action aren't given any attention.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:04:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are free to disagree, and to understand that (0+ / 0-)

            groups do not equal individuals.

            Corporate cuts do get attention -- unemployment compensation, training programs, displaced workers programs, etc

            In a non-terrible economy, those things help a lot because corporate cuts don't tend to eliminate entire industries and skills are transferable.  Often, the newly-unemployed need only enough time for things to pick up again.

            Should we do more? Hell yes.  That's plain to anybody looking Eat labor force participation rates over the last 30 years.

            A government policy to inflict massive and expensive change should not be carried out with cavalier disregard for the ordinary citizens who get hurt.  It should not be directed by "friends of the earth" who fail to understand that people are part of the ecosphere.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:37:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oops, bopgeyman alert, also horseshit alert. (0+ / 0-)

              The gummit should do more, your job, should you dare to accept it, is to work on that. Meanwhile, the key constraint is that the solution cannot be either:
              1) The status quo
              2) Slowing progress to a snail's pace while we argue about it.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 12:31:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hmmm...sounds like a friend of the earth. (0+ / 0-)

                Why am I not surprised.

                And why am I not surprised to find more binary thinking.

                Oh no, Mr. Bill!

                We can't cut back on CO2 AND create a dynamic economy with opportunity for everybody!

                So....let's just screw everybody who's not, shall we say, one of us?

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:11:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Speak for yourself, all I see there is some sort (0+ / 0-)

                  of projection. Nice try at vilification , though.

                  We can't cut back on CO2 AND create a dynamic economy with opportunity for everybody
                   Sez you, others differ.

                  That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                  by enhydra lutris on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:25:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Too few differ, or, more accurately, see a need to (0+ / 0-)

                    care.  

                    Kind of like you.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:34:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nice try, more brain dead slander because you (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dinotrac

                      haven't any ideas for a solution or even an approach to one. Yet elsewhere you declare a touching faith in the market, which. if it in fact worked, would remove these problems before they arise.

                      Most do care, they also care for the multitudes who will lose their livelihoods and even their lives if we just sit and do nothing. They are developing small independent approaches because corporations won't help, and the current government won't either. The mining companies won't help, and those that will be doing the replacement technologies won't help either, unless they can massively exploit the displaced miners and their families.

                      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                      by enhydra lutris on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:45:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You've actually got that right, and that's part of (0+ / 0-)

                        the problem.

                        I'm not at all sure of the best way to deal with disruption on the scale we will see. I'm quite certain that you aren't either.  The kind of change we're talking about is unprecedented -- more disruptive than, say, putting the country on a war footing for WWII.

                        That's why I'm so concerned that this issue isn't on the front burner getting lots of serious attention.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 03:31:52 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Senator Muskie was already way ahead of everybody (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, SolarMom, LinSea

            in 1970 in the Clean Air Act:

            See this section of the CAA on employment effects:

            http://www.gpo.gov/...

            See also these sections of interest on employment and economics in the Federal Clean Air Act:

            employee protection

            economic impact analysis

            labor standards

            •  Muskie was indeed on the ball. (0+ / 0-)

              Eliminating fossil fuels will go so far beyond anything we have done before -- remembering that our entire society, not to mention the world , pretty much runs on the stuff, that a level of monitoring and action never undertaken before will be required to ensure that the elites don't get their sustainable future by stomping the rest of us into the ground.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:32:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  CO2 removal, and coal replacement both also (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChuckInReno

          create jobs, unfortunately, they do not go to unemployed coal miners.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 12:25:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As a Democrat, when CO2 removal and coal (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enhydra lutris, Meteor Blades

            replacement create jobs, I want those jobs to go to union Democrats in the Building and Construction Trades and union Democrats involved manufacturing and service-related industries.

          •  They don't have to directly, but somebody needs (0+ / 0-)

            to be on top of this to encourage growth that will reach folks like that.

            Luckily for all of us, the market works and CO2 removal will create demand that somebody will rush to fill and that will create jobs.

            The speed with which things need to happen, and the non-market jolt it will take to get there provides an imperative to pay attention that might not be required under more normal circumstances.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:15:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The fault and failure lies in predatory (0+ / 0-)

      capitalism and the government's determinatin to go along with that. In case you haven't noticed, we never helped buggy and buggy whip makers, blacksmiths, pony express riders and stagecoach drivers, etc.

      The only refugees we tend to help are fascist murdering bastards like General Key and Posada Carrilles.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 12:13:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fine. Then counter that. We are preparing to (0+ / 0-)

        enforce a massive disruption.  Don't expect all of those predatory capitalists to make it work well for the people.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:33:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  oh, how the GOP flip! remember when loved (8+ / 0-)

    clean coal?

    Remember the coal industry was buying billboards promising us coal could be "clean and green with new technologies"?

    Ah, but that was before the coal industry blocked a clean energy and climate bill that would've provided billions in taxpayer subsidies for "clean coal." Without taxpayers footing the bill, suddenly the idea of "clean coal" seems crazy to coal lobbyists.

    picture of billboard at link.
  •  Obama tired of playing nice (5+ / 0-)

    I think this is a great move anytime but especially right now.  I would love to see him do something like this every day the Republicans keep threatening the economy.

    Tomorrow, Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline.  

    The next day???

    Let the GOP know they can't keep fucking the country with no consequences.  If they are only interested in energizing thier base, two can play that game.

    The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well - Joe Ancis

    by TexasJay on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:17:44 AM PDT

  •  It must have been satisfying to make this (8+ / 0-)

    announcement after the Congressional hearing.  

    If we really want to straighten out all this crap we really need to think about shit - Holy Shit.

    by John Crapper on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:19:02 AM PDT

  •  This is promising and step in the right direction, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SolarMom, sturunner, LinSea

    but If I had my druthers I'd have rather seen some significant regulations put on the existing power plants. According to a recent report from Environment America that ranks the top 100 dirtiest power plants in the nation, those 100 produce as much CO2 as all the passenger cars in the U.S. That's huge and needs to be addressed yesterday.

    Thirty miles down river from me number four on that list merrily spews out it's poison daily while the Missouri legislature (and most of the citizens) turn a blind eye.

    Just give me some truth. John Lennon

    by burnt out on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:21:45 AM PDT

    •  The controls on existing plants, as I noted... (11+ / 0-)

      ...in my post is coming. First round due in June 2014; in place by early 2017. That standard is going to be much harder to get people to swallow.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:27:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, know that, but as I said, I'd have rather (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea

        seen some regs put on the old plants (the ones poisoning the air right now) first and then deal with future ones. And I agree, that will be a very steep hill to climb.

        Just give me some truth. John Lennon

        by burnt out on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:36:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That isn't how the Clean Air Act works (6+ / 0-)

          New Source Performance Standards applicable to new sources are always published first, and then guidelines for existing sources come after the New Source regulations.  See, in general, Section 111 of the Clean Air Act.

        •  We need to prevent the building of future (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW

          coal-burning power plants, to keep them from becoming current power plants.  Allowing more coal burners to be built is wasteful, because they would have to be shut down long before they were worn out.  Those construction funds would be better spent building wind turbines, solar thermal power plants and new or upgraded transmission lines, including high voltage DC trunks.  

          Existing coal burning power plants will be shut down sooner or later, either worn out past repairing or uneconomical to upgrade to improved environmental standards, or just unable to compete with ever-cheaper and more abundant wind and solar power.  Every person who installs photovoltaic panels on a rooftop strikes a small blow toward making coal plant shutdowns happen sooner.  

          The burning of fossil fuel is an enormous problem.  The only way to deal with it is to break it down into smaller pieces, and future plants vs. existing plants is a logical place to break it.  

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:04:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That will be an explosion of 'outrage' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burnt out

        It will dwarf this kerfuffle.

        An industry attorney says this rule is no big deal, in reality.

        (see my post below)

  •  Kind of a tough one for us, isn't it? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SolarMom, burnt out

    I mean, coal sucks, but coal miners are good. WTF are we supposed to do with this?  

    •  What we need is a system like, say, Denmark... (8+ / 0-)

      ...where displaced (or soon to be displaced) workers are trained for new jobs while they continue to be paid. Not training for jobs that will soon be obsolete but for jobs that will actually be there. Keeps the jobless rate low and gives people real skills for decent work. In other words, no worries about what happens if they get laid off. (Of course, they have guaranteed health care, too.)

      The truth is that given the relatively small number of coal miners, the federal government could buy all of them out or all of them over 30 and it would hardly be a blip in the budget.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:33:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you haven't noticed (0+ / 0-)

        There are no "new jobs" - manufacturing, construction/infrastructure, etc etc all have backlogs of laid off employees with relevant skills.  So we're gonna retrain a 50 year old coal miner to work in Retail or Fast Food...

        What utopian bubble is are we operating in here?

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:37:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm talking about what we should have,... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willyr, LinSea, Eric Nelson

          ...including borrowing at still-low interest rates to spend on infrastructure—repairs, upgrading, innovating. As I noted, we could buy out older workers in coal. Short of a stunning breakthrough, coal is not the fuel of the future. So those coal-related jobs are going to go away, period. It behooves to come up with a means to that end. Say, as some of us have been saying for a long time, an industrial policy.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:18:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  MB's comment above was spot on... (7+ / 0-)

      Coal miners are in trouble with or without this rule, as strip mining (and mountaintop removal) has been reducing their numbers for years.

      Also no new coal-fired power plants are being built in this country anyway because natural gas is cheaper.

      What WV and Kentucky need is economic development to diversify their economies.

      “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

      by SolarMom on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:35:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The U.S. is not building new coal plants anyway (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SolarMom, LinSea

      As MB noted, this only covers new plants.  The U.S. has only built a couple of new coal plants in the last 6 years anyway because natural gas is cheaper.  

      So this new rule, while nice, will not greatly change the current rate of new coal plants. There just aren't any.

      Dogs have so many friends because they wag their tails instead of their tongues. -Anonymous

      by gloryous1 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:50:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And we need to keep it that way. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW
        So this new rule, while nice, will not greatly change the current rate of new coal plants. There just aren't any.  

        "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

        by Calamity Jean on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:13:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  OMG he said we were waging war on coal (0+ / 0-)

    because, like, Democrats SO need Appalachia votes nowadays.

    I'd say McConnell's welcome to them but... heh... he's going to be lucky to survive the GOP primary. :)

  •  "escalation of the war on coal" (0+ / 0-)

    Yep he's running for Re-Election

    For Pete's Sake™

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:24:20 AM PDT

  •  Focus on Pollution, we can all see it and smell (0+ / 0-)

    it, much easier sell than climate change.

    If we fixed the pollution from coal plants we help the climate

    Why aren't most concerned that pg women and children can't eat much fish for the mercury....

  •  What, Me Air Standards? /nt (0+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:38:38 AM PDT

  •  Typical bloviating (4+ / 0-)

    As part of my job, I just ten minutes ago spoke with an attorney who represents utillity companies before the EPA and federal appeals courts.  He said this proposal breaks little new ground; that no one is planning any new coal-fired plants; that if they were, they could easily meet these limits.  And this from an industry attorney.

    He said the true explosion will come next May when EPA proposes rules for existing plants.

    But of course the GOP will hop all over this with their nonstop 'job killer' lies and all the rest.

    Have I mentioned how much I despise them all?

    •  Stop saying that President Obama's regulations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SolarMom

      addressing new steam electric power plant CO2 emissions are part of a "war on coal."

      You may think you're conducting a 'war on coal' but Gina McCarthy and President Obama are not conducting a 'war on coal.'  

      Neither President Obama nor EPA' Gina McCarthy would call what they are doing a 'war on coal' and you should not either.

      What President Obama and Gina McCarthy are doing is issuing a regulation which complies with their statutory duties under the Clean Air Act.

      More specifically, President Obama and Gina McCarthy are issuing a New Source Performance Standard under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act which provides:

      "(1)  The term "standard of performance" means a standard for emissions of air pollutants which reflects the degree of emission limitation achievable through the apoplication of the best system of emission reduction which (taking into account the cost of achieving such reduction and any nonair quality health and environmental impact and energy requirements) the Administrator determines has been adequately demonstrated."
      Every time you use the phrase "war on coal" which is the illegitimate, but preferred way of the coal industry for talking about the effect of these regulation, you're agreeing with the intimation of the coal industry without challenging their characterization.  

      Environmentalists using the coal industry manner and vernacular for attacking this regulation is not in keeping with the best interests of prosecuting CO2 emissions reduction control from new power plants and undermines the credibility of EPA's statutory determination under Section 111.....a determine which enviros should agree with a support and not one to be diminishment by calling it a "war on coal."

    •  McConnell Bloviating (again) For Money! (0+ / 0-)

      So then, Sen. McConnell was just fund-raising (from struggling coal miners and their families and the towns they live in) by, as you say, bloviating about costing Kentuckians jobs.

      People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. - George Orwell

      by paz3 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:35:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
    Technically speaking, the agency has until next fall to implement the new standards, but depending on how much resistance is launched, it could happen sooner.
    Under Section 111(a)(2) of the Federal Clean Air Act, this proposed regulation is binding on any new power plant now and does not require the publication of a final New Source Performance Standard regulation.
  •  Sorry, I'm confused by this statement (0+ / 0-)
    Given the nature of the crisis that has spurred the proposed standards into existence, a war on coal—though, of course, not on coal miners—is exactly what is required. We have to stop burning the stuff, the sooner the better.
    What are coal miners supposed to do when the plants they supply are shut down and prevented from opening?

    How are you compartmentalizing this to think coal miners are not affected or also by proxy under proposed regulation?

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:31:00 AM PDT

    •  you said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SolarMom
      What are coal miners supposed to do when the plants they supply are shut down and prevented from opening?

      How are you compartmentalizing this to think coal miners are not affected or also by proxy under proposed regulation?

      The current proposed regulation only affects new or modified existing electric utility plants.   By "modified" I mean existing power plants that become subject to the rule because of a major modification as defined in EPA's rules.

      Because present coal miners supply coal to existing power plants, the requirements of the rule for new power plants don't affect present coal miners present production.  

      The only way the present rule could affect existing coal production would be if an existing power plant was reconstructed within the meaning of regulations at 40 CFR 60, Subpart A and became subject to the new plant NSPS requirements.

      •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

        The EPA is doing its best to shut down coal plants through regulation because there is no Congressional support to do so.

         I am not disagreeing with the intent.  I am disagreeing with this fantasy that we're not taking down coal miners and supporting businesses in its pursuit.

        This doesn't affect "present coal miners:?

        Sure

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:02:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SolarMom
          The EPA is doing its best to shut down coal plants through regulation because there is no Congressional support to do so.
          They are doing nothing of the sort and claiming otherwise is not helpful....not to coal miners, the environment nor the EPA.
          I am disagreeing with this fantasy that we're not taking down coal miners and supporting businesses in its pursuit.
          If the pursuit only involves combustion of coal in newly constructed or reconstructed power plants, and not in existing plants, then no part of the present regulation on new plants can have the effect you're claiming on coal miners.
          •  The "enviroenforcer" is strong in this one..n/t (0+ / 0-)

            "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

            by EdMass on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:22:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Your Plan B? (0+ / 0-)
          This doesn't affect "present coal miners:?

          Sure

          Yes it may, but what's your alternative?

          People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. - George Orwell

          by paz3 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:39:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm saying that in the process... (4+ / 0-)

      ...of weaning us off coal, we need to find a means to transition the miners into new employment, or in the case of older workers, give them government-subsidized early retirement. I'm not compartmentalizing anything. I'm sharply aware of the miners' situation, which, for the record, has been most affected in terms of reducing the number of jobs by corporate, not government action.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:24:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or a combination. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW
        ...we need to find a means to transition the miners into new employment, or in the case of older workers, give them government-subsidized early retirement.
        How about a "National Coal Miners' Pension", $100 per month for life, for every year a miner worked in mining.  Mine coal for 10 years, get paid $1,000 every month for the rest of your life.  Mine for 35 years, get $3,500.  Yeah, it's not what they were getting in the mine, but they don't have to do anything for it and it's in addition to any other income they might have, specifically including Black Lung payments and earnings from subsequent jobs.  And collecting a NCMP won't drop rocks on their heads, or explode and blow them to bits.  The only rule is that the payment gets cut off permanently if they go back to work in coal mining.  

        Then let the ex-miners decide what they want to do.

        "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

        by Calamity Jean on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:37:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The RW is only too happy to expropriate dangers of (0+ / 0-)

    fracking in their 'kitchen sink' propaganda war lead by Big Coal on many boards.

    Actual studies conclude that on balance fracked NG properly done is safe and clean, something that cannot be said for coal.
    Too many people here are entrenched in their bubbles.

  •  Why proposed standards? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SolarMom, LinSea

    Does congress (and the coal fueled legislators) even have a say in the matter?

    The standards have technically been in the works since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA had a mandate to control greenhouse emissions, including CO2 under the Clean Air Act.
    Just do it.
    A can-do spirit reflective of Obama's June speech infused McCarthy's announcement. "The argument that we must choose between economic growth and environmental protection is a false one," she said. Limiting emissions boost the economy, not be a burden on it, she said, adding that the sky will not fall.
    This sounds like a very good direction. Under the Clean Air Act. Follow the courts ruling and let the extraction industries figure out how they will comply with the new standards put IN PLACE. Not as proposals for futher negotiation (?)

    Maybe I'm missing something about law but it seems that industry has had way too much say in matters they don't actually have any legal say in.

    Even Mitch McConnell admits..  

    “I will file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating E.P.A. rule.”
    ..that it is a rule he must "disapprove" of and do what republicans do - obstruct.
    .....................................

    Do it

    Any lip (lawsuits included as lip), remind them of this - no more free ride: And make the extractors pay the Royalties they owe at the true modern day value, maybe up front this time, and for sure catch up any back payments .

    - And that the old way of the extration industry running the show, controlling both the Bureau of land management and the regulators is over.  

    There's a new sheriff in town - (so to speak - in GOPeez)

    Thx MB

  •  Here is today's EPA News Release on the action (5+ / 0-)

    CONTACT:
     Julia P. Valentine
    valentine.julia@epa.gov
     202-564-0496
     202-564-4355

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
     September 20, 2013

    EPA Proposes Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants

     Agency takes important step to reduce carbon pollution from power plants as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed Clean Air Act standards to cut carbon pollution from new power plants in order to combat climate change and improve public health. In addition, EPA has initiated broad-based outreach and direct engagement with state, tribal, and local governments, industry and labor leaders, non-profits, and others to establish carbon pollution standards for existing power plants and build on state efforts to move toward a cleaner power sector.

     Today’s proposal achieves the first milestone outlined in President Obama’s June 25 Memorandum to EPA on “Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards,” a major part of the President’s Climate Action Plan.

    “Climate change is one of the most significant public health challenges of our time.  By taking commonsense action to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, we can slow the effects of climate change and fulfill our obligation to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “These standards will also spark the innovation we need to build the next generation of power plants, helping grow a more sustainable clean energy economy.”

    Under today’s proposal, new large natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New coal-fired units would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, and would have the option to meet a somewhat tighter limit if they choose to average emissions over multiple years, giving those units additional operational flexibility.

     These proposed standards will ensure that new power plants are built with available clean technology to limit carbon pollution, a requirement that is in line with investments in clean energy technologies that are already being made in the power industry. Additionally, these standards provide flexibility by allowing sources to phase in the use of some of these technologies, and they ensure that the power plants of the future use cleaner energy technologies -- such as efficient natural gas, advanced coal technology, nuclear power, and renewable energy like wind and solar.

     In response to recent information and developments in the power sector and more than 2.5 million public comments, including those from the power sector and environmental groups, today’s proposal sets separate standards for new gas-fired and coal-fired power plants.

     Power plants are the largest concentrated source of emissions in the United States, together accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, nearly a dozen states have already implemented or are implementing their own market-based programs to reduce carbon pollution. In addition, more than 25 states have set energy efficiency targets, and more than 35 have set renewable energy targets. While the United States has limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead pollution that power plants can emit, currently, there are no national limits on the amount of carbon pollution new power plants can emit.

     In 2009, EPA determined that greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans' health and welfare by leading to long lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment. Taking steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution from new and existing power plants will protect children’s health and will move us toward a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations, while supplying the reliable, affordable power needed for economic growth.

     The agency is seeking comment and information on today’s proposal, including holding a public hearing, and will take that input fully into account as it completes the rulemaking process. EPA’s comment period will be open for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. In a separate action, EPA is rescinding the April 2012 proposal.

     Separately, EPA has initiated outreach to a wide variety of stakeholders that will help inform the development of emission guidelines for existing power plants. EPA intends to work closely with the states to ensure strategies for reducing carbon pollution from existing sources are flexible, account for regional diversity, and embrace common sense solutions, allowing the United States to continue utilizing every fuel source available. In accordance with the June 25 Presidential Memorandum, EPA will issue proposed standards for existing power plants by June 1, 2014.

     President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, announced at Georgetown University on June 25, 2013, takes steady, sensible, and pragmatic steps to cut the harmful carbon pollution that fuels a changing climate, prepares our communities for its impacts, while continuing to provide affordable, reliable energy for Americans.

     More information:
    http://www2.epa.gov/...

    More information on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan:
    www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf

     To hear an audio message on today’s announcement from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: http://go.usa.gov/...

     R160

  •  i like the title photo (0+ / 0-)

    where I live and work looks exactly like that and it has a romantic element that one grows into.

  •  Mitch McConnell can just go eat coal. Srsly. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Meanwhile... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LakeSuperior

    On Maui, HC&S, subsidiary of Alexander & Baldwin and former sister company of Matson Shipping (the molasses spill) is operating a 1952 coal plant without continuous monitoring.

    They got away with inadequate pollution control because they left the EPA with the impression that this was a co-gen plant.

    But for 3 months/year they ONLY generate with coal and oil while their sugar operations are stopped.  They generate 9% of Maui's electricity.

    They have a sweetheart deal whereby the Maui electric company curtails the wind turbines to buy HC&S's coal power.  

    This company burns their sugarcane daily 9 months a year, adjacent to towns, putting choking smoke into people's houses.

    I sure wish the EPA had made this rule apply to existing plants.

    Help us out on Maui by signing this petition asking for A&B to clean up their bad environmental actions:

    http://petitions.moveon.org/...

    •  EPA could NOT make this rule apply to... (0+ / 0-)

      ...existing plants because that is not how the process is specifically designed to work.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:31:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The company imports coal to Maui? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW
      But for 3 months/year they ONLY generate with coal and oil while their sugar operations are stopped.
      That has to be astoundingly expensive, worse even that oil which is pricey enough.  I was under the impression that all non-renewable and non-biomass electricity on the Islands was generated with oil.  

      I hope you succeed in getting the power plant shut down for good.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:48:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  EPA to Exempt Michigan Wolverine Coal Plant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SolarMom, LinSea

    Here is the preliminary version of the FR notice on the new power plant rule

    http://www2.epa.gov/...

    Michigan citizens, in particular, should note that the proposed Wolverine coal electrical generating plant in Rogers City has been exempted from the latest proposed NSPS new source performance standards rule.  

    Do a search on "Wolverine" to find the provisions affecting that plant specifically.  

    Here is the specific web page everyone will want to review during your commenting on today's EPA rule on this and other parts of the new proposed electric generating unit CO2 emissions rules.

    http://www2.epa.gov/...

     

  •  A Historic turning point for the US (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, LakeSuperior

    and long overdue.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 12:52:13 PM PDT

  •  Here in Virginia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, LinSea, Eric Nelson

    Here in Virginia, we are in the midst of a gubernatorial election with a slate of moderate, experienced Democrats facing a slate of wackadoodle, rightwingnut, Republican idjits.

    Following the EPA announcement, Republican candidates Ken Cuccinelli (governor) and Mark Obenshain (attorney general) issued the usual ignorant statements.

    I have prepared the following that will be a letter to the editor in our local papers as well as a handout at our county Democrat's  booth at our local farmer's market.

    This week, the EPA announced rules for NEW coal-fired power plants.  As expected, Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain immediately denounced these rules.
    •    Cuccinelli:  The new rules on future power plants will “crush Virginia jobs and hike energy prices for businesses, families, and workers.”
    •    Obenshain:  “. . . as Attorney General, I’m going to stand up for coal jobs, and for all Virginians, in opposing these overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs and economic opportunity in Virginia.”

    Nonsense and more nonsense.  Let’s examine the FACTS.

    ONE.  “Did the EPA just kill coal plants?” Mark Obenshain asks.  No.  Not even close.  These EPA regulations apply only to NEW coal-fired power plants, not EXISTING plants.

    TWO.  It is entirely possible that no coal power plants of any type will be built for years, regardless of what the EPA did, because natural gas is so cheap right now it is not economical to build coal plants.  Cheap natural gas has already made new coal-fired power plants non-competitive.  This situation is likely to continue decades into the future, given the boom in natural gas production in the USA.

    Speaking of economics:  Natural gas prices will have to fall below $7 per million BTU for new coal plants to be competitive.  The U. S. Energy Information Administration projects that natural gas prices will stay under $6 million per BTU for the next twenty years or more.  As a result, the agency projects that no new coal-fired power plants will be built until after 2035, if then.  Thus, the EPA rules will make no difference to coal-fired power plants, now or in the future.

    THREE.  Coal-fired plants increasingly are not competitive with clean energy.  The U.S. is now undergoing a clean energy revolution.  For example:
    •    In 2012, wind was the largest source of America’s new electrical capacity, accounting for 43 percent of all new electrical-generating installations.
    •    Since 2008 the price of solar panels has dropped by 75 percent and solar installations have multiplied ten-fold.

    FOUR.  Coal mining is NOT an economic benefit to the areas in Virginia where coal is mined.  Virginia's coal fields are significantly behind the rest of the state and nation in terms of household income, jobs, unemployment, health, mortality, and every other measure of well-being.

    In the US, since 2010, clean energy jobs have grown at FOUR TIMES the rate of all other employment.  Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring are committed to preserving jobs in Virginia’s coal fields while, at the same time, moving Virginia forward into the world of clean energy production.  

    •  Old Redneck understands what it means to have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea

      Daily Kos-induced activity be an act by which progressive DK Democrats participate in an act of governance.....getting the NSPS regulations finalized by the Obama Administration.

    •  Um, I think you might mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      "rise above" rather than "fall below" in this sentence: "Speaking of economics:  Natural gas prices will have to fall below $7 per million BTU for new coal plants to be competitive."  And in the next sentence, "$6 million per BTU" should probably be "$6 per million BTU".

      Also you might want to replace the word "NEW" with "FUTURE" in this sentence: "These EPA regulations apply only to NEW coal-fired power plants, not EXISTING plants."

      Other than those little quibbles, it's great.  Go for it!  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 02:07:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  online working (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    LakeSuperior

    my co-worker's half-sister makes $73 every hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for five months but last month her pay check was $20490 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to this website....

    MAKE MONEY ONLINE

  •  Solar & Wind, Solar & Wind!! (0+ / 0-)

    F#*k the fossil fools -- they'll make the planet uninhabitable for all of humanity in the name of GREED and Selfishness.

  •  Two words (0+ / 0-)

    Using "Mitch McConnell" and "legislative skills" in the same sentence - priceless!  Mitch McConnell has one legislative "skill" - obstructionism.  His proposed solution?  To file a resolution of disapproval  - predictable!

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