More on Coal

Yesterday, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled plans to curb carbon emissions from U.S. power and industrial plants. The guidelines for greenhouse emissions regulations for existing coal plants won’t take effect until July but Republicans are up in arms because they say the new regs will add millions of dollars to the cost of new and existing coal plants.

Meanwhile, the proposed new Sunflower Coal Plant slipped under the time wire before stricter environmental rules for new plants take effect in January. (see last week’s blog)  Via email, I asked Governor Parkinson and soon to be Governor Brownback to comment on the proposed Plant near Holcomb, Kansas but neither responded. There may be a problem however, since I don’t seem to be able to find out who will pay the 2.8 billion dollars needed to build the plant. Kansas tax payers perhaps?

Here’s the thing. Environmentally conscious Colorado voted to shut down four coal plants in the Denver area this year,  while Kansas is on this mad rush to build a new one and send the majority of the generated electricity to Colorado. Huh?

When politicians fool around with our future and the future of our children, it’s time to get involved.  Read what James Hansen, an adjunct professor at Columbia University and world renowned climatologist has to say.

”Coal is not only the largest fossil fuel reservoir of carbon dioxide, it is the dirtiest fuel. Coal is polluting the world’s oceans and streams with mercury, arsenic and other dangerous chemicals. The dirtiest trick that governments play on their citizens is the pretense that they are working on “clean coal” or that they will build power plants that are “capture-ready” in case technology is ever developed to capture all pollutants.

The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains.” (The coal for the Kansas plant would come from Wyoming.) ” Coal-fired power plants are factories of death. When I testified against the proposed Kingsnorth power plant, I estimated that in its lifetime it would be responsible for the extermination of about 400 species – its proportionate contribution to the number that would be committed to extinction if carbon dioxide rose another 100 ppm.”

If that doesn’t scare you enough, you can read more of what he has to say.

Meanwhile, lawsuits have already proliferated against the EPA for daring to place limits on carbon emissions.  Look for more grievances to be filed over the coming months as the issue heats up (so to speak) in a congress no longer controlled by Democrats.  Here are a few groups that have challenged the EPA Endangerment Laws: The State of Texas, The National Association of Home Builders, The US Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Coal Association, and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The EPA believes they will triumph in their fight to protect the American people  “. . . from the significant dangers posed by greenhouse gases and carbon pollution,” says their spokesperson, Adora Andy. Let’s hope they are right.

On an encouraging note,  Nordic Windpower USA, a California wind turbine company recently announced they will move to Kansas City to be closer to the central wind corridor. This is a good sign to Kansans who recognize their state as one of the ‘best wind resources’ in the country.

Meanwhile, may your winter holidays be merry and bright.

Ooal Fired Plant

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