American Elephants

Obama Said He Would Bankrupt the Coal Industry: The EPA is Doing It For Him. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama said on Friday that wilderness conservation provides an environmental and economic lift to the country.

We’re not just preserving our land and water for the next generation, we are also making more land available for hunting and fishing, and we are bolstering an outdoor economy that supports more than nine million jobs and brings in more than a trillion dollars a year.

Obama, in the speech, said that having to choose between environmental protection and growing the economy is a “false choice,” and also touted administration efforts to develop renewable energy on public lands.

But while it is important to use public lands to develop things like wind and solar energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we have also got to focus on protecting our planet, and that is why Teddy Roosevelt made sure that as we build this country and harvest its bounty, we also protect its beauty. That is part of our national character, and historically it has been bipartisan,” he said at the conference.

Once again, Obama demonstrates that he does not understand that wind and solar energy do not reduce our dependence on foreign oil. They make a little electricity — approximately one tenth of one percent of our national electricity. No solar energy and no wind energy go into our gas tanks. These casual fallacies indicate that we shouldn’t depend much on his other statistics either.

Obama, in the speech, also touted recent Environmental Protection Agency rules to curb mercury and other air toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants, a regulation that many Republicans say will burden the economy and are seeking to scuttle.

“When we put in place new common-sense rules to reduce air pollution, like we did in December, it was to prevent our kids from breathing in dangerous chemicals,” Obama said. “That’s something we should all be able to agree on. But it will also create new jobs, building and installing all sorts of pollution control technology.”

Unfortunately the rules have nothing to do with common sense. The 1,117 pages of the EPA’s rules are designed to shut down the workhorse of the U.S. power system — coal-fired power plants — in the name of climate change. And they are succeeding. Two utilities  have announced the closure of ten aging power plants. GenOn will close plants  in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 3,140 megawatts; and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the closure of two Midwest Generation plants in 2012 and 2014.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club called the closures “a giant leap in our work to move America beyond coal.” Uh huh. This is a massive power play by the EPA to shut down coal plants, in obedience to Obama’s promise to bankrupt coal. What will replace these plants that produce a total of 5,512 megawatts? Nobody knows. That is not, the EPA says, their concern. The cost of your electricity is sure to rise.
1 megawatt = 1 million watts = enough electricity for 1 hour of use for 1,000 homes.

The Sierra Club claims to have stopped more than 150 coal plants from breaking ground, and the Fisk and Crawford plants are the 98th and 99th plants to be retired since the “beyond Coal” Campaign began.

The EPA claims all sorts of mythical health benefits from removing mercury as the justification for the shutdown, though the U.S. power plant contribution of mercury is close to a 0.5% value. The other 99.5% of mercury in the air comes from other sources like forest fires , Chinese power plants, volcanoes and geysers. Completely consistent, as always, the EPA and their Green buddies are mandating mercury containing CFL light bulbs into every home in America. Steve Milloy points out that the EPA junk science is not “to prevent our kids from breathing in dangerous chemicals.”

The scientific and medical reality is that ambient air pollution – even as grimy, stinky, eye-watering and ugly as it is in China – does not kill or hasten death. Fine particulate matter was such a public health problem, in fact, that no one knew about it until EPA-funded researchers invented it in 1993 – 30 years after the Clean Air Act was enacted.

Since the Clinton administration, the agency has been using its invention to impose billions and billions of dollars of costs on our economy in return for the entirely imaginary benefit of tens of thousands of lives saved annually.

The EPA estimates the cost of all this to be around $9.6 billion. This a gross, deliberate underestimate. The EPA told FERC economists that the EPA does not directly answer anything associated with local reliability. They told Congress that they had very frequent and substantive contact and consultation with FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). The cost of degrading the grid, potential blackouts or brownouts, economic harm are unbelievable. This reckless agency should be shut down.

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