❝ Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told coal miners in Kentucky on Monday that he will move to repeal a rule limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, assuring them, “The war against coal is over…”
A 43-page draft of the proposal, which was obtained by The Washington Post and other news outlets last week, argues that the agency overstepped its legal authority in seeking to force utilities to reduce carbon emissions outside their actual facilities to meet federal emissions targets. It does not offer a replacement plan for regulating emissions of carbon dioxide, which the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA is obligated to do. Rather, the agency said it plans to seek public input on how best to cut emissions from natural-gas and coal-fired power plants…
None of which involves science or the reality and results of carbon pollution.
❝ “With this news, Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt will go down in infamy for launching one of the most egregious attacks ever on public health, our climate, and the safety of every community in the United States,” Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. “He’s proposing to throw out a plan that would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year.”
RTFA for the details. The POST fulfills the All-American requirement for a certain amount of sophistry; so, you shall, of course, encounter the required percentage of lies from the Trump government, the Republican Party and other pimps for coal profiteers.
I rely not only on current science for my condemnation of this crappola; but, my own childhood growing up in a New England factory town powered entirely by coal. Two of the three biggest factories in town were just uphill from my neighborhood. Breakouts of coal gas from the private power plants providing electricity to those plants were common enough, dangerous enough to lay bodies low on the streets and sidewalks of the neighborhood. The factories were required to have sirens in place to activate in such instances. Not a big deal. They were leftover from the War.
Nothing else was done until the introduction of natural gas to our city. The switchover saved money for the factory owners so, of course, it was done. Only incidentally were the sirens finally removed as no longer needed.
❝ The Obama administration took a small step on Thursday to prevent coal companies from fleecing taxpayers.
Until now, the biggest coal conglomerates were getting away with scamming the government by selling coal mined on federal land to their own subsidiaries for a discounted, below-market price. Since the government’s royalties from that coal are a percentage of the sale price, that meant the companies were paying lower royalties than they should have been. Forty-two percent of the coal produced in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin — the biggest coal-producing area in the U.S. right now — was being sold through these “captive transactions,” according to Public Citizen, a good government advocacy group.
❝ “One of the things Cloud Peak [Energy] and other coal companies were doing is selling to an affiliate at the mine mouth and then selling it in the export market at a significantly higher price,” says Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program. This new rule will allow the department to more accurately calculate the “market value” of coal, oil, and gas extracted on public land and make sure it’s getting paid fair royalties. Slocum estimates that this could bring in an additional $300 million per year in royalties…
❝ Crucially, unlike many other rules issued by federal agencies, this new rule will apply not just to future leases but also to ones that already exist. So even under a coal lease bought five years ago, a company will now have to pay fairer royalty rates going forward.
❝ This is just the beginning of reforms needed to the federal fossil-fuel leasing system. A bigger issue is that coal, oil, and gas lease rates have failed to keep pace with the market, and on top of that they do not factor in the social costs of pollution and climate change. If they did those two things, the cost of fossil-fuel leases would be prohibitive. As it is, the leasing program is a big money-loser for the federal government…
Hillary makes promises about this. If she’s elected, we need to hold her feet to the fire – and keep the promises. If the Trumpkin is elected – we’re all screwed, anyway.
From the editors of Bloomberg News
Mitt Romney sets an ambitious goal with his pledge to achieve U.S. energy independence by 2020. It’s just too bad his plan relies almost entirely on fossil fuels and largely ignores the solid promise of clean energy.
Romney’s plan, rolled out Thursday in solar-friendly New Mexico, focuses heavily on oil, gas and, most unnecessarily, coal. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee promises to expand drilling on federal lands and to roll back environmental rules his campaign adviser Ed Gillespie says are “destroying the coal industry.”
When it comes to renewable sources such as solar and wind, Romney’s plan says more about what he won’t do — namely, provide any more of the subsidies and loan guarantees that have allowed those technologies to gain a foothold. Instead, he offers to relax barriers he says are stymying clean energy and expand government funding of research. We also favor supporting clean-energy research, but question Romney’s assertion that simply “streamlining” regulations and permitting will somehow catapult clean-energy projects…
On balance, though, his plan threatens to upend the progress that has been made toward enabling the U.S. to meet much of its energy needs with less reliance on dirtier fuels like coal.