Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Obama Delivers a Death Blow to the Coal Industry
rontPage Magazine ^ | March 30, 2012 | Rich Trzupek

Posted on 03/30/2012 5:03:44 AM PDT by SJackson

The coal industry and coal-fired power has been dealt a series of body blows by the Obama administration over the last four years. Yesterday, the EPA delivered the coup de grace to coal, in the form of a new rule that – unless overturned by Congress or a future administration – will ensure that no new, modern coal-fired power plants will be built in the United States.

The EPA released Subpart TTTT of New Source Performance Standards yesterday, a proposed rule that limits carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. No coal-fired power plant can meet the emission limit (1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of power produced), but natural gas-fired power plants can. This will lead to some significant changes in the power energy once the rule goes final, sometime next year.

It is now estimated that around 50,000 to 80,000 megawatts of coal fired power will be retired from the grid over the next few years. Coal fired power is base load power (that is, power that has to be available all of the time) and neither solar nor wind can provide base load power anywhere but in the President’s green fantasies. Biomass (wood, energy crops, etc.) can provide base load power, but there’s not nearly enough of the fuel to replace so much coal. More nuclear power could easily shoulder the load, but there’s no way that we can permit and build enough nuclear plants in the time available. That leaves natural gas as the only fuel that can possibly be used to replace all of that coal.

Right now, natural gas is looking pretty good. Thanks to shale gas, we have abundant supplies (over one hundred years of proven reserves, even in the worst-case demand scenario) and prices are incredibly low. New, highly efficient combined-cycle gas-fired power plants are actually competitive with coal-fired power at today’s prices.

Replacing all of that coal with natural gas should soothe global warming alarmists as well. (I say “should” because everyone knows that the environmental doom industry cannot and will not ever admit that it is satisfied with any level of reductions until we’re living in caves.) Natural gas generates much less carbon dioxide per unit of energy as compared to coal and, as noted above, natural gas-fired power plants can be much more efficient. The combination of these two effects means that carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, which have been declining for the last five years in any case, will drop even more precipitously in the future.

So, one might be tempted to ask: what’s the big deal? If natural gas is cheap and if burning natural gas might cause at least a few hysterical enviro-types to lower the volume of their incessant shrieking just a tad, it’s all good – right? Well, not quite.

Historically, natural gas prices have been very volatile and, despite the current glut, there is no reason to believe that supply will so greatly outstrip demand in the long run. The big energy players in natural gas, companies like Chesapeake, Cabot and Chevron, are working hard to create new markets, increase demand and thus get prices back up. A major South African chemical company recently announced plans to build a plant here that will produce gasoline from natural gas feedstock. Several players in the energy market are in the initial stages of planning Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals with exports to Europe and Asia in mind. There are plans in the works to create more natural gas infrastructure so that the nation’s truck fleet will convert over from diesel to natural gas.

Perhaps most importantly, using natural gas to generate thousands of megawatts of power will consume huge quantities of the fuel, thus necessarily causing prices to rise as more new power plants come on line. It’s no surprise that the two big manufacturers of natural gas fired-turbines – GE and Siemens – have been flooding the airwaves with commercials extolling the virtues of their wares. Both companies stand to make a whole lot of money in the next few years thanks to the Obama administration’s all-out war on coal.

In contrast to the volatility of natural gas prices, coal prices have always been pretty steady. Thus the coal fleet (along with the nuclear fleet) has helped to dampen out any fluctuations in natural gas that affects that relatively small portion of energy production in the United States. As we shift away from coal and put more of the energy burden on natural gas, electricity prices are likely to fluctuate more than they ever have and are likely to increase substantially over the long term as well.

It’s a shame that we’re knowingly abandoning such a cheap, reliable and plentiful resource like coal in a foolish effort to fulfill a ridiculous crusade led by eco-puritans. It’s maddening that such a decision was made not by Congress, nor by the voters, but by a few faceless bureaucrats hiding behind global-warming pseudo-science that has become the twenty-first century’s version of alchemy. But that’s where we are and, unless something changes this November, that’s where we’re likely to be for quite a while.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:

URL to article:

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: coal; energy; naturalgas; shalegas
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-35 last
To: SJackson

First the coal plant, next your wood stove, and we will all die from cold related starvation.

21 posted on 03/30/2012 6:26:14 AM PDT by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

Obama did say before he was elected that he hoped to bankrupt the coal industry, and that energy prices under my administration “would necessarily skyrocket”. Obama’s words verbatum. You can even see the video of Obama saying this on Youtube. Now, how does a guy who probably knows nothing about coal industry or coal, come to despise them so much that he hopes to bankupt them, forcing tens of thousands into unemployment, making it more difficult and expensive for the average consumer to heat their homes? Answer: He is paying back his big environmentalist extremist donors who in turn, got most of their cash from Dr. Evil, George Soros. So in effect, George Soros is now controlling federal energy policy by putting whole energy industries out of business and this will eventually worsen and deepen the nation’s unemployment picture. Oh wait, I almost forgot in 20 years or so we will all heat and power our homes and run our cars with algae and solar and wind and biodegradable trash. I just can’t wait for that day — so exciting! In the meantime all we have to do is begin to save lots of our income (if we even have a job) to pay off that monthly home electric bill that will soon average about $600, because Obama thinks it’s better to bankrupt the coal industry than for Americans to have access to cheap energy. What in blazes were the American people thinking when they put this nincompoop in the White House??? I mean, Bush certainly wasn’t the greatest, but this guy is a complete disaster for anything that is good or valuble in America. Vote him the f**k out of there already!

22 posted on 03/30/2012 6:26:53 AM PDT by BombHollywood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

District Judge Amy Jackson Friday said the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority in the retroactive veto of a permit for the Spruce No. 1 Coal mine in West Virginia. The decision states the EPA’s veto of the Spruce Mine permit was ‘unprecedented’ and it acted in a manner that was ‘arbitrary, capricious, and not in accordance with law.

23 posted on 03/30/2012 6:31:30 AM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AlphaOneAlpha

I agree.
But I don’t hear a word from the coal states.

24 posted on 03/30/2012 6:35:44 AM PDT by ncpatriot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ncpatriot

This is one promise Skippy has kept. People of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, are you paying attention?

25 posted on 03/30/2012 6:43:52 AM PDT by NotTallTex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

Get him out of here or we will be sitting in the dark and cold.

26 posted on 03/30/2012 6:46:52 AM PDT by Big Horn (Rebuild the GOP to a conservative party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

These are the same people who will claim that incandescent lights haven’t been banned. Oh no. They just passed efficiency rules that, under the laws of physics, no incandescent light can ever meet. But they’re not banned.

27 posted on 03/30/2012 6:59:34 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

Hey, West Virginia...

How yinz likin’ yer Joe Manchin vote now???

28 posted on 03/30/2012 7:00:59 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ProtectOurFreedom

We’ll burn all the NG and then go back to burning coal.

29 posted on 03/30/2012 7:01:21 AM PDT by Locomotive Breath
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Jonty30

T. Boone Pickens?

This doesn’t help him; he is pushing Natural Gas to fuel vehicles.

This will close coal power plants and consume more natural gas to provide electrical power. It will raise the wholesale price of natural gas making less profit if used for vehicle fuel.

30 posted on 03/30/2012 8:17:50 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: JudgemAll

Then we’ll get the real life “Hunger Games”...

31 posted on 03/30/2012 9:56:45 AM PDT by stevie_d_64 (Occupy the Gun Range!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: SJackson

I repeat:

The following states should secede from the current count of 50 and form The Western States of America:

New Mexico
S Dakota
N Dakota
& possible Alaska.

Then they can use the resources they have, with no interference from the EPA. They have enough people to guard their borders. They can grow enough food & mine coal, gold, silver, copper, etc as needed. They can pipe it to refineries in Texas as they need.

I propose that Sheriff Joe Arpaio become the first head of true SECURITY for these states.

32 posted on 03/30/2012 2:35:13 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: citizen

GEEE—7 of my choice of 15 states that should secede are on this coal production list.

Guess I hit a jackpot!!

33 posted on 03/30/2012 2:37:30 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AlphaOneAlpha
yeah, but they weren't all a-holes. West virginia went for McCain as a state. Don't think they'll go for the usurper next Fall. Now we'll see how stupid the voters of Pennsylavania and Ohio are.
34 posted on 03/30/2012 3:19:25 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Locomotive Breath

Great idea. Then we can all have coal bins in our basements and enjoy shoveling the filthy stuff into our furnaces.

35 posted on 03/30/2012 7:03:41 PM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-35 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson