EPA chief denies ‘war on coal’ — says just ‘following the law’

The New York Times reports:

Under the president’s timetable, the first of those rules, covering new fossil fuel plants, is due Sept. 20. The agency must produce draft standards for existing plants, a vastly more complex and controversial undertaking, by next June.

“We worked with him on the schedule,” Ms. McCarthy said, referring to the president. “He impressed on us how important it was to get started now. He said to get it done, and get it done right.”

Those rules will require a shift in power generation from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas, or development of new cost-effective means of capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions. The regulations, along with proposed new rules governing coal-mining waste and the disposal of coal ash from power plants, are what Mr. Manchin and others mean when they say the E.P.A. is waging a war on coal.

Ms. McCarthy rejected the charge.

“We don’t have a war on coal,” she said. “We’re doing our business, which is to reduce pollution. We’re following the law.”

She declined to take a position on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, even though the E.P.A. has submitted two harsh critiques of the environmental impact statements produced by the State Department, which must rule on the pipeline project because it would span the border with Canada.

“That’s a matter for the Department of State, and I’m going to leave it there,” she said.

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5 thoughts on “EPA chief denies ‘war on coal’ — says just ‘following the law’”

  1. Howdy ralphcramdo
    I dunno what kind of CO2 leak it would take to create a danger. CO – carbon monoxide — could be a danger. I’ve heard of massive CO leaks from natural sources that wiped out small communities. A CO2 capture system that leaked should have the CO2 dissipate pretty rapidly.
    I guess a CO2 leak in a dip or valley with almost no air movement might reach a toxic level but it’s hard for me to believe it would happen.
    CO2 capture is stupid unless it’s really a harvest — that there’s a market for the CO2.

  2. Obama and the EPA would be following the law IF carbon dioxide was toxic at levels we’re likely to see, which it is not. The Clean Air Act was not written with “climate change” in mind and no legislation based on “climate change” has passed since the Clean Air Act was written. Heck, carbon dioxide isn’t even a haze element.
    There is no such thing as cost-effective capture and storage unless there’s a place to sell the stored CO2, in which case it’s going back into the atmosphere anyway. It’s okay if it does.

  3. And if you believe that I have a bridge I want to sell, only slightly damaged by Sandy.

    I guess they forgot about this video on the internet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-aLcbr63ME

    Obama’s Words:
    Let me sort of describe my overall policy. What Ive said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody elses out there. I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; its just that it will bankrupt them because theyre going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas thats being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches. The only thing Ive said with respect to coal, I havent been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as a ideological matter as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should pursue it. So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. Its just that it will bankrupt them.

    As Obama Promised: Energy Prices to Soon Skyrocket

    Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill
    The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt…. These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level.

    The EPA and Department of Energy drastically underestimated the effects of the new EPA rulings. Many more plants are closing than anticipated. This means electricity prices will sky rocket and the electric grid could become unstable New Regulations to Take 34 GW of Electricity Generation Offline and the Plant Closing Announcements Keep Coming… According to EPA, …. these regulations will only shutter 9.5 GW of electricity generation capacity. OOPS, I guess the government miscalculated.

    So what about the “Green Energy companies funded with tax payer dollars that are supposed to replace these coal fired plants? They are going bankrupt at an alarming rate So far, [thats] 34 companies OOPS, I guess the government miscalculated.

    The Department of Energy Report 2009

    A smart grid is needed at the distribution level to manage voltage levels, reactive power, potential reverse power flows, and power conditioning, all critical to running grid-connected DG systems, particularly with high penetrations of solar and wind power and PHEVs…. Designing and retrofitting household appliances, such as washers, dryers, and water heaters with technology to communicate and respond to market signals and user preferences via home automation technology will be a significant challenge. Substantial investment will be required….

    These controls and tools could reduce the occurrence of outages and power disturbances attributed to grid overload. They could also reduce planned rolling brownouts and blackouts like those implemented during the energy crisis in California in 2000.

    As problems with an unstable grid due to Solar/wind becomes worst expect Smart Meters to become mandatory:

    Don’t want smart meter? Power shut off
    The rollout of smart electric meters across the country has run into a few snags: one woman doesn’t want one, and ended up in the dark as a result.

    You might not think that would be an issue. But it is, because Duke Energy is now beginning to disconnect any homeowner who refuses a new electric meter.

    Other electric companies are not pulling the plug…yet…..

    What the politicians neglect to say is their plan for making this work is to install Smart Meters, an attractive opportunity for Investors This theoretically allows residential electricity to be turned off so the system can be balanced as wind and solar power surges and declines. Of course with renewables bankrupting, smart meters not installed and coal plants closing at three time the rate expected, this put a real big kink in that plan. OOPS, I guess the government miscalculated AGAIN so we are looking at rolling blackouts. Heck they have already started.

    Energy InSight FAQs

    ….Rolling outages are systematic, temporary interruptions of electrical service.
    They are the last step in a progressive series of emergency procedures that ERCOT follows when it detects that there is a shortage of power generation within the Texas electric grid. ERCOT will direct electric transmission and distribution utilities, such as CenterPoint Energy, to begin controlled, rolling outages to bring the supply and demand for electricity back into balance.They generally last 15-45 minutes before being rotated to a different neighborhood to spread the effect of the outage among consumers, which would be the case whether outages are coordinated at the circuit level or individual meter level. Without this safety valve, power generating units could overload and begin shutting down and risk causing a domino effect of a statewide, lengthy outage. With smart meters, CenterPoint Energy is proposing to add a process prior to shutting down whole circuits to conduct a mass turn off of individual meters with 200 amps or less (i.e. residential and small commercial consumers) for 15 or 30 minutes, rotating consumers impacted during that outage as well as possible future outages.

    There are several benefits to consumers of this proposed process. By isolating non-critical service accounts (“critical” accounts include hospitals, police stations, water treatment facilities etc.) and spreading “load shed” to a wider distribution, critical accounts that happen to share the same circuit with non-critical accounts will be less affected in the event of an emergency. Curtailment of other important public safety devices and services such as traffic signals, police and fire stations, and water pumps and sewer lifts may also be avoided.

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