Jump to content

Government to start regulating new coal plants and carbon emission


Recommended Posts

What is next? Taxing personal transportation due to carbon emission? Anyone interested in vintage machinery should be worried by this. Being a avid rail fan I see many preservation groups not surviving if this passes on vintage machinery in the future.

http://news.yahoo.com/obama-takes-coal-first-ever-carbon-limits-021642513--politics.html

There politicians here in NZ are already taxing our personal transport fuel in this way and they give the proceeds to wealthy people who own forests !
Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the fed EPA has been regulating coal-fired power plants for quite some time! Nothing new in that move, just some more intense scrutiny, from what I can see (at this time).

In TX, we've known this for quite some time. The recent rescencion of the "cross state emissions" rule would have directly affected many of the older coal-fired electricity generators in East TX, which is very close to Louisiana and Arkansas. Hence the cross-state rule would have affected those particular generators, plus others in similar situations in other states, AND a reason that rule was protested and deleted.

The coal in the eastern areas of the USA is considered "good coal" as to its power release properties, as coal in other areas (and closer to the ground) is does not have quite the same level of energy content, but is "cleaner" to use.

Understandably, the coal industry in the eastern USA does NOT like more regulations as these regulations can take away some of their price competitiveness with other energy forms when used "in bulk". But, to its credit, increased technology has found ways to make using coal much cleaner without completely distroying all of its price advantages. Another thing is that the CO2 which is captured at the power plants can be piped into some of the "depleted" oil wells to force the oil into a more recoverable position in the rock formations, which means they can get more of that last 15% of so of the residual oil left in the wells.

ONE THING we do NOT need is a carbon tax on using fossil fuels . . . of any kind!!! Such a tax would affect EVERY transportation fuel in the nation. It's supposed to be these price increases that's supposed to "force" or "motivate" the citizens to seek out better ways to transport ourselves from where we might be to where we might need to go. This can be fine for a metro-area dweller, but if you're "30 minutes from everywhere", it just runs up your daily operational costs and nothing more.

As for the carbon credits trading orientation, this is another derived situation which re-appropriates wealth. The "every day citizen" has to spend more for transportation costs as those brokering these credits (ala "stock exchange") make money on such trades. This is NOTHING but a smokey mirrors situation that does nothing to really clean the air fo the world. A company in the Middle East might pay "a certain amount" for enough carbon credits to keep that company in emissions compliance (on paper) by purchasing excess credits from a company in the USA which has already spent enough to get their carbon emissions decreased. The "clean company" is seemingly rewarded yet the "non-compliant company" keeps on doing what it's been doing unabated. Cleaner TOTAL environment? Not quite, BUT it is "on paper". Brokers made money, too!

The other side of things is that those in the coal industry can tend to bemoan any regulations which might cost them money to implement, not to forget about the potential loss in jobs and employment in the regions where they operate. I read, about a year ago, that all of the new electrical generation facilities which will be coming online in the future, in TX, will be natural gas-fired generators. I suspect it will be several years before the older, coal-fired generators will be completely de-commissioned. In the mean time, the newly-excess coal can be exported to foreign countries, which can serve to extend the life of many of the coal mining operations in the USA.

One thing which will probably not change is that as emissions targets are approached and met, it's extremely easy for the EPA to find some "new research" which indicates that then-current emissions levels are too high and need to be decreased. It seems that the closer we, in TX, have come to meeting the EPA's environmental regulations, then suddenly a tighter standard is seriously needed. New standards which will also make several areas "non-compliant" which were formerly not classified as such.

In reading the many justifications of the new, tighter EPA emissions regulations, there are figures quoted as to just how much it's projected that the new regulations will save our collective population. Savings in decreasing the loss of workplace attendance, they claim. These "fabricated/projected" savings seem to make a great case for the tighter regulations, augmented by the number of people who testify "For" the new regulations as if they're going to immediately see the results of such regulations in better general respiratory health, fewer emergency room visits due to respiratory distress issues, and so on . . . from what they allegedly are at the present time. From what I"ve observed in my own workplace (of about 400 people), if the alleged sick days caused from current emissions levels are accurate, then about 15% of ANY workforce would be absent on any given day of the year . . . I haven't seen that happen yet. Still, these projections are taken "as gospel" by the proponents of the tighter regulations . . . as it allegedly helps prove their point. Just as those with respiratory issues would like to believe that immediate implementation of the newer regulations would make an immediate positive difference in their quality of life. These are generally the types of people who testify at the regional EPA meetings on the proposed rule changes, at the public hearings prior to the final vote on implementing the new rules.

Yet as many parents can advocate for cleaner air outside of their homes, as they keep their children or others inside to keep them out of that "mess" outside, it's been discovered that the "in-home" environment can be more toxic than what's outside of their home's walls! Or perhaps it's just "a wash" as one might be just as bad as the other, just using different compounds . . .

To me, the bad thing is that even with all of the newer regulations over the past decades, there are still some areas that are more polluted, air-wise, than in the past. The Big Bend National Park area of Texas is one such place . . . with far away vistas becoming more hard to see due to what's in the air, which has travelled from the Appalachia Mountain area, southward toward the Gulf of Mexico, then westward toward Mexico, and then being caught by prevailing southerly breezes to finally land in Big Bend. If the newer ozone/air quality standards implemented, then Big Bend National Park will not be in compliance with the new EPA standards. So much for "regulation by standards/numbers" rather than otherwise!

I suspect that as long as warm blooded species roam this earth, there will be a CO2 emissions problem. Can't forget about methane gas emissions, either, from the same warm blooded species! Just a matter of which part of the cycle we happen to be living during, I suspect.

Our planet is in a state of constant change. How mankind adapts to and manages such changes will be the key to longevity of our species and this planet. New opportunities will be presented in several areas as various areas of the planet undergo certain transitions and reactive reformations.

Just some thoughts . . .

NTX5467

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that as long as warm blooded species roam this earth, there will be a CO2 emissions problem. Can't forget about methane gas emissions, either, from the same warm blooded species! Just a matter of which part of the cycle we happen to be living during, I suspect.

Carbon releases from living things, including methane, have no bearing on Global Warming. They are sourced from carbon that was only recently extracted from the atmosphere in the first place by photosynthesis.

Carbon emissions, including methane, are defined as the release of carbon previously secluded from the Photosynthetic Cycle over a significant geologic timespan. The well-established danger posed by those true emissions dwarf any pain which will be experienced by future generations in their control. Failure to understand or "believe" that is simply not a factor to be considered any more. That's not to say the pain shouldn't be minimized and mitigated to the best extent possible, but to pretend it's unnecessary is unrealistic at best.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...