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New EPA Power Plant Rule Will Stifle Energy Supply

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency came out with new power plant regulations, perhaps the most ambitious effort yet, to roll back “planet warming pollution.” This is on the heels of the Clean Power Plan’s failure to hold up in court last year, with the Supreme Court ruling that the act does not give the EPA broad authority to regulate emissions from plants. The CPP would have substantially restructured the American energy market.

Is this new rule just the CPP wrapped in different packaging?

Proponents of the new regulations are continuing the war on coal and want to shut down the fossil fuel industry, which produces 60 percent of the nation’s electricity.

According to the new regulations, fossil fuel plants must cut their emissions by 90 percent between 2035 and 2040 — or shut down. They would have to turn to technology known as “carbon capture sequestration” (CCS). This process has yet to be proven successful. The only CCS project on American soil failed and closed, even after receiving significant federal dollars. Canada claims the one remaining CCS facility in North America, capturing only half of what experts projected.

CCS is extremely expensive and will require massive infrastructure to be deployed at historically unprecedented rates. The EPA is also shooting itself in the foot by sitting on many permit applications for the underground reservoirs needed to inject and store captured carbon. The backlog will worsen for the more than 3,400 coal- and gas-fired plants potentially affected.

The new EPA regulations will decimate the coal industry, negatively affecting the economy and risking American lives.

At a House hearing recently, the CEO of Ohio’s Buckeye Power Inc. testified that these new regulations would shut down all its coal-fired units by 2030, with no hope of replacing that energy by the required time. Buckeye supplies more than 80 percent of its annual energy requirements from coal-fired plants.

A new study illustrates no evidence of declining demand for hydrocarbons and that policies to restrict supplies would lead to rapid and sustained price increases. This will not bode well for consumers.

The U.S. energy grid is already increasingly unreliable, due partly to the fledgling attempts at transitioning to renewables. It is at risk for energy shortfalls. Recent events should remind us just how fragile it is and the essential role coal still plays in securing energy needs.

Winter Storm Uri in Texas and the Midwest a few years back, which left millions without power and resulted in hundreds of deaths, could have been much worse without using fossil fuels. Weather-dependent resources suffered immensely and failed, and had coal not been readily available, the Texas power grid would have been minutes away from collapse. However, the crisis likely could have been avoided had coal not been retired in the first place.

This winter, Storm Elliot ripped through the Southeast, where several major utilities had to implement rolling outages as demand increased above available levels. Coal provided upward of 40 percent of the needed energy nationally, preventing system collapse.

Both storm scenarios show that in a pinch, in life-threatening situations, coal was the trusted energy source used to thwart anything catastrophic. Not renewables.

California has experienced its share of rolling blackouts and has even asked its residents to conserve energy for fear of further blackouts. Remember, California has the strictest regulations and the most ambitious green agenda on the books.

During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing this month, the CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corp. was asked whether energy sources forced to retire early under EPA’s regulations could currently be replaced by suitable renewables. His reply? “No. Not in the timeframe we’re looking at.”

It is foolish to trade reliable assets for replacements that fall short.

Coal and fossil fuels are and will continue to be, for the foreseeable future, the reliant and resilient backbone of the energy grid. We cannot place our fate in the hands of technology that fails to demonstrate commercial viability. And we cannot hope or presume it to be ready for primetime by the required dates. Americans deserve better than this.

Reprinted with Permission From – DC Journal – By Kristen Walker

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Michael J
Michael J
11 months ago

Politicians have given to bureaucrats full use of the EPA to virtually kill off any new infrastructure regarding power plants or refineries. No company is going to invest when faced with unreasonable regulatory demands. This draconian approach will be the nation’s demise as the only solution is to turn off the power
to some to prevent turning off power to all. Adding to this incompetence is their removal of proven existing sources of energy while mandating more electric alternatives to further erode the power grids. A new all electric nation using old and outdated infrastructure, while banning the illegal fuels that power them.
We truly have idiots ruining our nation.

Jimbo
Jimbo
10 months ago

Start today by cutting all fossil fuel power to the east coast starting with Washington D.C., the White House and EPA. Giv’em a taste of what the future looks like.

Jdubya
Jdubya
10 months ago

People and Politicians alike need to get their heads out of their asses and realize that the power plants in this country are not the source of Global Warming. Why, because there is no such thing as Global Warming. The climate has worked in Cycles throughout history. This is not a new thing. It has happened before. The only REASON for the EPA is to cause Americans to go broke, trying to abide by their regulations. California is a good example. Being a lifelong 67-year-old Californian, I grew up in the 60’s hearing about how bad the air pollution was in California. And how the Environmentalists were going to solve the problem. Then came the reformulation of gasoline. First it was the lead content, and we had to start paying more for gas because of the new formulation, and if the wasn’t enough we had to start paying more for our vehicles because of the Smog controls that had to be installed to make them California approved. And of course, that leads to Smog Certifications. All of these costs were forced upon the citizens of California to pay. And we have been paying for it ever since. Here it is 60 years later and we are still paying and still hearing about how bad the air pollution is in California. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being lied to in the name of reducing air pollution. And I won’t get into the effects of Wildfire smoke pollution, that is caused by the ineffective forest maintenance programs by the Forestry Management personnel. And the blind belief that Environmentalists are all knowing.
People today cannot understand why a car cost so much. Well let’s look at that. It started with the Government (Big Brother) looking after YOUR welfare and safety. They started placing requirements on the auto industry to make you safe in your car or truck. First, Seat Belts and Safety Glass, then crumple zones, as time went on they started packing your cars and trucks with ELECTRONICS (something else to go wrong and cost you hundreds of dollars to repair when they go out, or leave you stranded on the side of the interstate) to make it safer to drive. You know the ones I speak of, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Brakes, 1500 air bags in case you crash, and then onto the Buzzers that go off if you start to drift into another lane, or automatic braking systems to slow your car down if you get to close to the car in front of you. Yes, people, they are trying to make the cars drive for you, why because you are not qualified to drive them yourselves. I don’t know about you but I was taught how to drive a car, how to keep it in my own lane, how to slow down when I get too close to the car in front of me. When it comes down to it, it really isn’t that hard. Keep your eyes on the road, and not your cell phone or the 20″ TV Screen on the Dashboard (I still don’t understand the thinking there, don’t look at your cell phone while driving but don’t worry about that big ass tv screen they put in for your safety). Here is another example of regulations and automakers that are screwed up. OFF ROAD VEHICLES, Jeeps, Broncos, Land Cruisers, and Range Rovers loaded with electronic controls for traction control, or vehicle ride height or basic things like transmission shift controls being electronic vs mechanical. Consider this, your 20 miles off the main highway, one of those electronic controls goes bad, you lose control of your vehicle, cannot put it in gear or change gears or worse yet the engine quits and you cannot get it started. You’re out of cell range. That means you are in for a LONG WALK. Where if the vehicle didn’t have all these electronics controlling everything you could get under the hood, or crawl underneath, fix the problem with a few simple hand tools and you are on your way. The cost of the Vehicle with all the electronics are probably 10K more than one without them. There are only 4 groups you can blame for High Gas Prices, High Vehicle Cost. 1 Governmental Regulations, 2 Politicians, 3 Insurance companies, and 4 Irresponsible drivers that never learned to drive properly in the first place.

Jake
Jake
11 months ago

Please do as study on the ROI for Solar and Wind power, then publish it. We know the ROI is beyond the lifetime of these sources and we will never see the investment return anything to us!. Please publish the detailed info.

Ian WIlliams
Ian WIlliams
11 months ago

Contrary to your suggestion,the power outages in Uri were not because “weather dependent resources failed”, biggest single factor was the failure of a -fossil fuel- energy source. Natural Gas providers had not winterized their infrastructure, resulting in pipelines supplying power plants being shut down as valves and other hardware froze in the cold weather, Coal fired plants may have prevented it from being worse, but the alleged failure of “weather dependent resources” was a tiny factor, compared to the failure of fossil fuel energy suppliers. Texas has done -little- to formally adrress the regulatory gap that allowed this to happen, belatedly mandating adopting winterization standards, but then allowing companies to simply pay a small fee to declare them selves not to be critical infrastructure, and exempt themselves from the requirements.

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