Skip to comments.45 senators, including vulnerable Dems, are asking the EPA to delay incoming emissions regulations
Posted on 05/23/2014 6:48:36 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
It’s only a small matter of time until the Obama administration finally, rapturously releases what its hopes will be the crown jewel of its rise-of-the-oceans-slowing climate-change agenda: Regulations capping the emissions from existing power plants, a.k.a., stamping out coal plants across the country. This set of regs is going to be even more complicated and controversial than the regulations for only new power plants the administration released last year, and as the AP obliquely explains, we’re likely to start seeing those “necessarily skyrocketing” energy prices Obama once mentioned pretty quickly here:
Electricity prices are probably on their way up across much of the U.S. as coal-fired plants, the dominant source of cheap power, shut down in response to environmental regulations and economic forces.
New and tighter pollution rules and tough competition from cleaner sources such as natural gas, wind and solar will lead to the closings of dozens of coal-burning plants across 20 states over the next three years. And many of those that stay open will need expensive retrofits.
Because of these and other factors, the Energy Department predicts retail power prices will rise 4 percent on average this year, the biggest increase since 2008. By 2020, prices are expected to climb an additional 13 percent, a forecast that does not include the costs of coming environmental rules.
The Obama administration, state governments and industry are struggling to balance this push for a cleaner environment with the need to keep the grid reliable and prevent prices from rocketing too much higher.
“Tough competition” from wind and solar? …That’s cute. Our egregiously subsidized wind and solar industries account for about 4 percent of our electricity generation and are terribly unreliable (just ask Germany, which has lately had to bring more coal plants online to make up for their faulty renewables), while coal still provides around 40 percent of our electricity and is the most reliable mass source we have. Natural gas is great with its cleaner-burning emissions, coming in with the really stiff competition at around 30 percent, but it has some infrastructural issues that are currently keeping it at second place in terms of reliability. Make no mistake — the Obama administration swooping in with major regs that deeply affect 40 percent of our electricity generation is going to take its economic toll, and 45 senators — Democrats and Republicans included — would like the Obama administration to step back for a second a perhaps more deeply consider that toll. Via The Hill:
Forty-five senators are pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to delay new rules on limiting carbon emissions from power plants. …
The senators are pressuring the EPA to set a 120-day comment period rather than the standard 60-day comment period. That would double the normal allotted for industry, consumers, businesses, and states to give their two cents on the rule.
Fifteen Democrats signed the letter, including the four seen as most vulnerable in the midterm elections: Sens. Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Warner (Va), Mark Pryor (Ark.) and Mark Begich (Alaska). …
Affordable, reliable, and redundant sources of electricity are essential to the economic well-being of our states and the quality of life of our constituents,” the letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthy said.
“While we all agree that clean air is vitally important, EPA has an obligation to understand the impacts that regulations have on all segments of society, it said.
Delay is another word for screw us later.
...Senators “asking” the EPA...
What a topsy turvey world we live in.
Even the stinking Dems know this is wrong,they just want to be wrong AFTER the next election.
That was my reaction also: WHO WROTE THE LAW LETTING THE EPA DO THIS? It's not like we've got the Roman Senate under Nero...
or maybe we do, which is even scarier
Thanks for posting the entire article.
“Delay is another word for screw us later.”
Yep. Not only that, but does anyone really believe the Democrat senators who oppose this will continue to oppose it if they manage to get reelected?
Question for EPA chief Gina McCarthy: How do you define “clean air?”
Is there some goal you’re trying to reach? When will you be satisfied and back off?
Or is it more like regulate us into becoming a turd world country?
These laws are broadly written to allow the EPA to decide what’s pollution and then regulate it. That’s a huge problem. It’s bad enough that Congress has created the regulatory state, but Congress didn’t craft the laws tight enough to keep these abuses from happening.
As far as I recall, the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 (Massachusetts v. EPA) that CO2 can be regulated as a pollutant. The law gives the EPA wide discretion on how to regulate pollutants. Once C02 was declared a pollutant, the door to regulatory malfeasance was thrown wide.
Congress probably thought the executive branch wouldn’t take advantage of such discretion—bad move! They obviously didn’t count on someone like Obama at the helm. Like it or not, he’s generally walking a thin legal line on his executive orders, too.
The taxpeasants will have to pay more, cut back on their usage, or both.
The EPA will just have CONgress jam the tax extraction gun in our faces to pay for THEIR higher electric bills.
Why doesn't the government ever have to eat its own cooking?
You got that right. “Regulations” are laws which are made by Congress. Here we have Congress begging some bureaucrats not to pass some laws. Insanity.
“Don’t screw over the unwashed masses until they reelect us!” - ‘RAT 2014 Campaign Slogan.
Does it include cow farts?
That reminds me of the commercial of the FRAM oil filter
which states : "You can pay me now (filter replacement), or pay me later "(engine replacment).
Sooner , or later , it all comes due !!
Lets face it, there is a happy medium when it comes to clean air and clean water but the EPA will never find it as nameless bureaucrats tucked away in some back offices suck on their pencils and get a paycheck for cracking out new rules and regulations, week after week.
May be some day it will sink in that you can not rule and regulate as well as tax and spend any country in to prosperity, and the current sluggish economy proves the point. Something what still escapes most politicians. But as the old saying goes, brains were not handed out equally.
...the Energy Department predicts retail power prices will rise 4 percent on average this year, the biggest increase since 2008. By 2020, prices are expected to climb an additional 13 percent, a forecast that does not include the costs of coming environmental rules.
Delay everything until AFTER the elections, a typical demodummie tactic.
The Federal Government is conducting a war on coal. Coal is the most cost-effective way to produce electricity (excluding nuclear). The Feds are screwing over the American People as part of their war on the American People.
We must tame the Federal Government or continue our slide into totalitarian government.
EPA's Endangerment Findings(2009) did determine that CO2 was a risk. This would become the subject of one of the numerous lawsuits filed in 2010.
Even though SCOTUS gave EPA the explicit authority, both Prez Bush and Senator/Prez Obama(and everybody else) wanted Congress to preempt the Prez/EPA and enact legislation regulating CO2. After debate, in 2008, Cap and Trade won out over Cap and Tax, setting the stage for Congress to enact a Cap and trade program in 2009.
That failed and the Senate's scaled back version in 2010 also failed, after which EPA moved forward, setting off the multitude of lawsuits.
When Obama entered office he decided to use the carrot and stick, to force Congress to act. The stick was the threat that he would regulate if Congress didn't. There were several carrots.
First, he would informalize the regulation of tailpipe CO2(mobile sources) making it easier for Congress to deal only with stationary sources. By negotiation, Obama, key members of Congress, the auto and O&G industries would raise the CAFE standards to bring tailpipe CO2 into conformance. EPA signed off on this. This would become the subject of a lawsuit by those who said that the precise wording of the 2007 SCOTUS decision gave EPA the authority to regulate only tailpipe CO2 and EPA had no authority to regulate stationary sources.
Second, Obama/EPA would "stay out of the way of Congress". They would move forward with the regulatory thresholds based on what they thought was Congress' intent, and not set thresholds lower. Based on the House's 2009 legislation, EPA established a regulatory threshold of 25,000 tons of CO2 per year for new facilities. This number was less stringent than the legislation. The Senate's scaled back 2010 version was less stringent than the House's 2009 version so Obama/EPA raised the regulatory threshold to 100,000 tons to "stay out of the way of the Senate".
Third, EPA would "tailor the regulation". The Clean Air act regulates the smog gasses at 250 tons per year, but EPA didn't want to regulate CO2 at 250 tons per year. EPA would "tailor the regulation", raise the threshold to 100,000 tons. This would become a subject of a lawsuit by those who said that only Congress had the legal authority to change the 250 ton number to the 100,000 ton number.
After Congress fails in 2009 and 2010 EPA moves forward. Numerous lawsuits were filed against EPA by many, many plaintiffs. And these suits cover what I mentioned above.
But before these lawsuits could be heard and ruled on, another unrelated CO2 lawsuit reaches SCOTUS(2011), in which a group of states and NYC had joined together to sue a group of power companies saying the CO2 was a "nuisance", thus giving these states and NYC the authority to regulate CO2. SCOTUS ruled against them saying that only the federal govt via the EPA had the authority to regulate CO2, and this language re-enforces the SCOTUS 2007 decision.
The multitude of 2010 lawsuits were combined into one and in 2012 the DC Court of Appeals ruled for EPA, totally.
In 2013, the plaintiffs appealed the DC Court decision to SCOTUS. SCOTUS agreed to hear just one narrow part. And that ruling is due out any day or any week.
It is not clear how SCOTUS will rule or even what significance the ruling will have. Some say a ruling against EPA will shut it down while others say the 2007 and 2011 decisions give EPA all they need.
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