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.


The EPA Embarrasses Itself Once Again! by The Elephant's Child

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation was asked on Tuesday, during a House of Representatives hearing, if she knew what the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is.

Almost everything the EPA does, the Energy Department does, the Interior Department does, as well as assorted offices, bureaus, agencies, departments, and regulatory bodies of all sorts are basing their efforts on the importance of removing CO2 from the atmosphere to prevent catastrophic global warming.  The basic assumption is that CO2 created by the activities of human depredations on our pristine planet must be stopped, reversed, or sequestered by changing our economy from one fueled largely by fossil fuels into a “21st century”Basic Knowledge economy powered by clean, free, wind and solar energy.

This is the impetus behind enormous government subsidy for wind farms, solar arrays, ethanol, electric cars, high-speed rail, experiments with algae, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, and volumes and stacks of government regulation that will negatively impact American business, employment, transportation, the economy, the pocketbooks of consumers, the power grid, the national debt and the deficit.

When Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) asked Gina McCarthy, head of the Office of Air and Radiation, who has been commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and has “worked at both state and local levels on critical environmental issues,” has extensive experience with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first market-based greenhouse cap-and-trade system” and has a master of science in environmental health engineering and planning and policy from Tufts University, If she knew what the level of atmospheric CO2 was — she didn’t know.

The CO2 level in our atmosphere is roughly 391 parts per million.

This simple fact is available through the simplest of Web searches. That number means that CO2 is merely a trace gas in the atmosphere.  Since we exhale CO2 every time we breathe, it cannot possibly be poisonous or a pollutant.  It is a natural fertilizer for plants, helping them to grow and resist cold, heat and drought.  It is a basic building block of life, and if CO2 were eliminated, life would be eliminated as well.

The EPA seems to know what the proper temperature for the Earth should be.  They seem to know the proper level of CO2 in the atmosphere, which they pegged at 350 ppm a few years back as the top limit for human safety.  Oddly, scientists have learned that CO2 has been much higher in the past, and we are currently at a fairly low level.  The optimum level seems to be around 1,000 ppm.  At least that’s what real greenhouses have found. The Medieval Warm Period is the most beneficial climate known to man, and the CO2 levels were then much higher than at present.

Gina McCarthy’s job is pushing a political agenda, not responding to science or educating the public.  Such a devastating display of ignorance should disqualify her from any government occupation.

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