American Elephants


President Obama’s Misguided “War on Coal” by The Elephant's Child

I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.
 …………..Barack Obama, Georgetown University, June 25, 2013

FirstEnergy Corp. announced it would close two coal plants in Pennsylvania, resulting in 380 lost jobs and 2,080 lost megawatts. American Electric Power will be closing its coal-fired plant in Beverly, Ohio, with the loss of 95 jobs, and 585 megawatts of electricity.

New EPA chief Gina McCarthy said petulantly: “Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs, please?” EPA officials understand that their preferred regulatory policies will destroy coal communities. They have decided that natural gas plants are the performance standard.  Yet coal plants remain the one source of energy that produces more of this country’s electricity than any other single source.

Pennsylvania Democrats have joined the opposition to Obama’s “War on Coal.” Since he never worked in the private sector, Mr. Obama remains unfamiliar with the operations of the private economy, and how the actions of government can kill jobs even as the president makes speeches about how job creation is at the very top of his concerns. The extent to which his actions have destroyed jobs and negatively affected the economy escapes him completely.

Mr. Obama speaks of “carbon pollution” — but carbon is not a pollutant. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. We are carbon-based life forms. If we had no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we would have no food and no life on Earth.

Back in the 20th Century when everyone was captured by the idea that global warming was going to cause the oceans to rise and the planet to sizzle, it was thought that the amount of CO² in the atmosphere was the cause of increasing climate temperatures. But the temperature stopped rising, and cooled a little and CO² kept on rising. It has not warmed at all in the 21st century, and even in the 20th century the net warming amounted to about one degree — not exactly a reason to panic.

The EPA has been authorized by the Clean Air Act to see that the air and water are clean. The agency has pushed that law far past its intent. They have taken the task of keeping the navigable waters clean up the rivers to the tiniest trickle of snowmelt in a roadside ditch. Carbon is not a pollutant in the air, and it is not the job of the EPA to control the climate, nor to monitor the health of the nation. Air quality and water quality are their job.

Environmental regulations have been a major job killer. The agency does not consider unemployment — a fairly major national problem — to be one of their concerns. That is a problem.

 




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