Obama’s War On Energy

 Posted by on February 27, 2012  Energy
Feb 272012

In a legislative move that can only be considered masterful by lefties and greenies, Obama has done it again. He’s stuck it to industry and the American public, simultaneously. How?

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (Utility MACT) and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) regulations, will shut down, per the EPA, 14.5 GW of electricity generation capacity (a gigawatt is a measurement of electrical generating capacity (1 GW will provide enough energy for about 700,000 homes, if I got the math right).

Most of the losers will be coal-fired power plants, but not all. Other victims include those unlucky citizens that rely on those power plants for energy. It means less energy for America, so sounds like good policy already, doesn’t it? But, as always, there’s more. And it’s technical, complicated and wrapped in government speak. Don’t believe me? Try this sample from an EPA website:

Q: My State is a NOX SIP Call state, and, as part of its compliance strategy, large non-EGUs (i.e., non-EGU boilers and combustion turbines with a maximum design heat input greater than 250 MMBTU/hr and, in New York, certain cement kilns) were brought into the CAIR NOX Ozone Season trading program. These units cannot be brought into the Transport Rule trading programs. Are these “large non-EGU boilers and combustion turbines” (which phrase should be read hereinafter to include, for New York, the relevant cement kilns) still required to comply with the NOX SIP Call?

A: Option 1: Streamlined demonstration. Demonstrate that total ozone-season NOX emissions from large non-EGU boilers and combustion turbines in the State that were included in the NOX Budget Trading Program but will not be included in the TR ozone-season trading program could not exceed the large non-EGU budget imposed by the NOX SIP Call even if these units were to operate every hour of the ozone season…

Enough! Pretty painful, yes? And there was more to the answer to — whatever the question was. Unfortunately, it’s important legislation, with big ramifications, so I’ll take a shot at communicating it in way that can be understood. It goes something like this.

Energy producing power plants are evil because they pollute. They also produce energy so you can be warm when it’s cold, have light when it’s dark and you can keep food for longer than a couple of days. Oh, and they employ folks. But, ultimately, they pollute so they’re evil. Now, to limit the amount of stuff a plant can cough up into the air you make laws, we’ll call them standards. So, that’s what our fearless leaders did. And if you apply these standards to all power plants, everywhere in America, suddenly you’re regulating clean air on a national level. Simple enough.

Now, air moves because of air pressure differences. Air under high pressure moves toward areas of low pressure. We call this wind. Sometimes it blows north to south, other times east to west. You’ve experienced this is your daily life, I’m sure. It turns out, on a national scale, wind often follows repetitive patterns of movement. One, as an example, is that wind will originate somewhere in the south, say Texas, and sweep up through Oklahoma or Arkansas and maybe die out in Michigan or Ohio. Another example is wind from the north, Canada say, will move through Ohio ending up in New England. Not too tough, right? But what the hell does this have to do with anything? Hang in there.

Now we just add the two together.

Fire up a power plant and it coughs out pollution from the chimney stack. The pollution in the air can now be carried by the wind. Eventually, the wind stops and the pollution settles to the ground. That means, a power plant in Ohio can actually pollute Connecticut. Or any of the states in between, depending on when the wind stops. Who knew?

So, now we have the fine citizenry of Connecticut potentially walking around in green-brown slime because of a plant in Ohio. That’s not good. But there’s still more. There are pollutant laws already in effect. So, the government goes into Connecticut, to inspect Connecticut’s plants. The guys in the hazard suits find that Connecticut has spent the time and money to get all their plants to conform to the existing standards. But the state still fails environmental tests. Now Connecticut has to find the money to do a clean up.

Meanwhile, other hazard suits guys are in Ohio. They inspect the Ohio plants. Remarkably, the plants pass and the environment meets EPA regulations, so no fines and no clean-up fees. You see the problem, right? Ohio plants can be squeaky clean, as clean as required that is, but when the wind takes the crap to Connecticut, not once, but month after month, it accumulates, and that’s why Connecticut folks are walking around in green-brown slime and having to spend their hard earned money cleaning things up. And it’s not even their pollution, it’s a gift from Ohio. Ultimately, you can have power plants that are meeting EPA guidelines and yet still polluting particular pockets of the country. So, if you’re a lawmaker in charge of this, what do you do? (continued – page 2 link below)

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