Don’t Crack Open A Coaled One Just Yet

The EPA’s new regulations on building new coal-fired power plants are expected to go into effect today, requiring strict new pollution controls that energy companies say will make it “impossible” to build the plants, only that’s not actually true.

The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.

Industry officials and environmentalists said in interviews that the rule, which comes on the heels of tough new requirements that the Obama administration imposed on mercury emissions and cross-state pollution from utilities within the past year, dooms any proposal to build a coal-fired plant that does not have costly carbon controls.

This standard effectively bans new coal plants,” said Joseph Stanko, who heads government relations at the law firm Hunton and Williams and represents several utility companies. “So I don’t see how that is an ‘all of the above’ energy policy.”

Except for you know, the coal plants being built anyway.

The rule provides an exception for coal plants that are already permitted and beginning construction within a year. There are about 20 coal plants now pursuing permits; two of them are federally subsidized and would meet the new standard with advanced pollution controls.

Oops.  It’s like the Obama administration is actually doing something to help the energy industry transition and to make sure new plants meet the new pollution standards.  Funny how that works.  And hey, natural gas plants are half the pollution and natural gas is cheap right now, because we produce so much of it.  It’s better than coal, and I say this living in a state where you can get “Friends of Coal” license plates.  From the state.  Official and everything.

Somehow, the dire predictions of the end of America over these rules keeps failing to come true.

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23 replies
  1. 1
    Scamp Dog says:

    And all those fiery liberals in the biased mainstream media never bring any attention to these failed predictions. Huh.

  2. 2
    Schlemizel says:

    I posted this late in an open thread earlier today – sorry for the dup but it fits so well.
    Its from here:
    http://gizmodo.com/5896429/the.....we-run-out
    .
    The important part:

    Here’s a little story for you. Once upon a time, one of the greatest threats to the lives of American children was the common household refrigerator. This was because refrigerators closed with big honking latches that couldn’t be unlatched from the inside. Kids, being creatures with underdeveloped brains as a rule, climbed inside them to pretend to be glazed hams or something, and they couldn’t get out and suffocated.
    .
    So people got upset about this, as Americans are wont to do when children die and are American, and the refrigerator manufacturers quickly formed a commission dedicated to informing consumers that a commission had been formed. They did not redesign the refrigerators. They resisted any government attempts to force them to redesign the refrigerators. They used a set of excuses that are so standard they should be sold on Amazon as the Corporate Excuses Starter Kit.
    .
    • The problem is not really a problem.
    • To the extent that the problem is a problem, the problem is not our problem.
    • You know who we blame? The victims. If they weren’t so dumb, they wouldn’t have been victimized.
    • The problem cannot be solved.
    • To the extent that the problem can be solved, it can’t be solved by us.
    • To the extent the problem can be solved by us, it can’t be solved by us without destroying the United States economy and plunging us into a despotic nightmare of government mandates and low-quality products.
    .
    While Big Refrigerator was a powerful lobby, it was nowhere near as powerful as Big Oil is today, so these excuses were seen as a pathetic attempt to maintain the status quo, rather than a wise pronouncement from those able to see past the greed and power-lust of a monolithic conspiracy of, um, research scientists, and the Refrigerator Safety Act was passed.
    .
    Fridge makers were required to do what they claimed was impossible: create a refrigerator that does not kill children.
    .
    They put their best minds to the task, because they had to, and came up with an incredible invention called a “magnet.” Turns out if you line the doors with magnets, then the door stays closed and dumb little kids can get out if they need to. Go fig.
    .
    By the way, no child in the U.S. has died from suffocating in a fridge designed after the Refrigerator Safety Act was passed. Not bad for impossible.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    Just wait until the USSC declares coal regs unconstitutional, quoting the Constitution’s Article Fuck You, Section Stupid Libs.

  4. 4

    We need to change the National Anthem to this.

  5. 5
    srv says:

    The legacy of Three Mile Island is the quality of the air you breathe.

  6. 6
    pragmatism says:

    i hear some of those mountains asked to have their tops removed.

  7. 7
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @Punchy:

    Just wait until the USSC declares coal regs unconstitutional, quoting the Constitution’s Article Fuck You, Section Stupid Libs

    Wait… I thought that was section “Shut up, that’s why”.

  8. 8
    Martin says:

    This falls under the lies, damned lies, and statistics category.

    Yes, the average CO2 output for current plants is really high. Most current plants are really fucking old, too. But the standard only applies to new plants. So what’s the average CO2 output for new plants being built? Well, for new high-efficiency plants like you find in Europe, it’s well under 1000 lbs per MW. And it’s the coal industry themselves that have been championing how efficient their plants can be against competition from gas.

    So, bottom line, there’s no problem building coal plants that meet the standard so long as they don’t cheap out. There’s plenty already built that meet the standard.

  9. 9
    SenyorDave says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    By the way, no child in the U.S. has died from suffocating in a fridge designed after the Refrigerator Safety Act was passed. Not bad for impossible.

    I suspect if Newt Gingrich was elected, he’d have something to say about that!

    Seriously, the current “conservative” mindset has become a series of very simple tests:

    1. How does Obama feel about an issue?
    2. Be opposite his position
    3. If there is a new issue and you have a position prior to Obama having a position, be ready to change said position based on #1.

    I assume that Obama is against children being suffocated in empty refrigerators. Therefore, the current GOP position must be pro children suffocating in refrigerators.

  10. 10
    Martin says:

    @Schlemizel:

    By the way, no child in the U.S. has died from suffocating in a fridge designed after the Refrigerator Safety Act was passed. Not bad for impossible.

    However, no child in the US has been able to use a refrigerator to survive a nuclear blast, either. When Iran is raining nukes down on our cities, we’ll only have the Refrigerator Safety Act to blame. And Al Gore for being so fat.

  11. 11
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Therefore, the current GOP position must be pro children suffocating in refrigerators.

    Or pro- children being employed as an unpaid union-busting labor force in refrigerator factories, and then suffocating only after they’ve put in a full 16 hour day (with no bathroom breaks), while wearing a hoodie which shows that they totally had it coming.

  12. 12
    S. cerevisiae says:

    Yep, refrigerators, car fuel standards, CFC’s, secondhand smoke all were supposed to bring down the economy if regulated. They have been playing this tune forever.

  13. 13
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @S. cerevisiae:

    Yep, refrigerators, car fuel standards, CFC’s, secondhand smoke emancipating the slaves, all were supposed to bring down the economy if regulated.

     
    Mr. Lincoln says: welcome to my world.

  14. 14

    No more General Stuck. Time to bury that handle, and move on. Too much bad blood with too many folks here, and that is not a good thing. I might come back with my real name, at a later date. Elroy Dipthshod. Don’t laugh now.

  15. 15
    srv says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication): Who will the Stuckians follow? You should at least give eemom or someone a field promotion.

  16. 16
    jenn says:

    Doing a little bit of women’s labor movement research, and came up with a piece of coal mining history, popped over here to B-J, and, voila!, here’s a coal thread!
    .
    So here’s my tidbit: 1919, United Mine Workers organizer, Fannie Sellins, widowed mother of 4, shot and killed by coal company guards, while leading strike in PA.

  17. 17
    Clime Acts says:

    This standard effectively bans new coal plants,”

    If only this were true…

    OT, are the HUMONGOUS comment numbers meant to be a fuck you spoof to us commenters from Cole, in return for all the bitching?

  18. 18
    Clime Acts says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication):

    No more General Stuck. Time to bury that handle, and move on.

    If only this were true.

  19. 19
    Clime Acts says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication):

    Too much bad blood with too many folks here, and that is not a good thing

    Why Stuck, why would you have bad blood with anyone here? I can’t imagine why…no, can’t think of one single reason…

    Why are you doing another GBCW? Drinking tonight?

  20. 20
    honus says:

    @jenn: Was she wearing a hoodie?

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Stuck (on self glorifiication):

    Well, if you do change it, don’t bother pretending to be someone new and different. We can always figure out when Timmeh or toko_loco are back no matter how many times they change their names.

  22. 22

    @Mnemosyne:

    We can always figure out when Timmeh or toko_loco are back no matter how many times they change their names.

    Don’t worry, You will know it’s me if I comment on this blog in the future. I got no problem with a single thing I’ve said on this blog. Nice of you to lump me in with those two clowns, though.

  23. 23
    Groucho48 says:

    @Schlemizel:

    That was great!

Comments are closed.