Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The final rule for clean power.

The final rule for the Clean Power Plan (CPP) was released by the Obama Administration this past August and is a direct attack on the coal industry…the final plan, will shutter 66 power plants and eliminate 125,800 jobs in the coal industry. All of these figures are based on EPA data. The same study shows that using the 2012 baseline for coal generation and projections for 2030 output, the industry could shrink by 48 percent.
If 125,800 of these jobs are cut, wages lost will be over $9.8 billion dollars per year. The one-time $30 billion relief fund is a drop in the bucket and unless another industry picks up the slack that means over $90 billion in lost wages over the next 10 years.

The coal industry contributes nearly $65.7 billion to national GDP. As [sic] evidenced by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the U.S. is not in a place to lose that type of contribution. Over 10 years, the U.S. will see a loss of over $650 billion dollars.

What isn't counted is the cost to the consumers to replace/upgrade power plants.  What's not mentioned is the additional cost to the consumer for electricity.   Not mentioned is what will be done to help the devastated communities.  

Is the benefit worth the cost to people, the consumer, the economy?

p.s.  I love the government.  Prior to releasing the final rule a comment period takes place.  Nothing was changed from the comments provided as I read the original rule and compared it to the final rule.
Why bother saying we care and need your input when clearly they could care less what anyone thinks other than themselves.


  1. It can be argued that the coal industry is doomed anyway due to a number of factors. I can remember as a kid going out to play in the snow and being forced back in by the noxious fumes from coal fired furnaces. Coal was a great 19th century energy source but as America goes through the greatest energy boom in our history, it is time to move on to the 21st century. We no longer need coal. Plus there is a more sinister side to the story:

  2. Agreed Mick. Coal is a 19th century power source that has been kept alive 50 years too long. There are other cleaner and cheaper power sources, not to mention safer for those producing it.

  3. This, unfortunately, is just another partisan issue. Those who wanter cleaner energy, like me, are seen as just vilifying anything that isn't wind or solar, and there is more than a little truth to that. But from the right is an ironic and very cynical cry about the poor coal miners and coal communities, many of whom become destroyed anyway when mining accidents occur as a direct result of not following regulations.

    It's like every thing else, all partisan, no real solutions.

  4. If the people of this country and the DOE had actually wanted clean affordable energy, they could have had it years ago. Thorium based nuclear energy was explored at the same time as the atomic bomb was being built yet, because one of the prime waste products is NOT plutonium, thorium did not serve a military purpose. The DOE had not attempted once to guide a thorium program… DOE hasn’t done much of anything really in creating concrete ideas about our entry needs. Fly Ash in coal contains thorium, one of the more toxic and radioactive components and it is easily extractable, cleaning up hazardous waste and powering the country at the same time. Thorium can be extracted from coal… no need to burn it, but a readily available source none the less. Then there are the lets move forward blindly progressive tree huggers who got freaked out over Three Mile Island but haven’t a care in the world over the countless birds killed by wind turbines nor do they car much about the environmental costs of making solar panels… neither of which address our energy problems. Thorium will not chain react hence not meltdowns, uses mox fuels from spent waste at conventional nuclear plants (Something we seem to have an abundance of) and when irradiated Thorium-232 is used as a fuel, it is projected to produce up to 10,000 times less long-lived radioactive waste than uranium-235. Of course India has brought its first thorium reactor on line and China is building theirs but guess who has the most thorium resource in the world....

    1. But TS, even if we did pursue that path, there is still an issue of cost. Do the local citizens of some power monopoly want to pay the cost for building it? Does the utility itself want to pay for upgrading the grid? I tend to think not, at least not if they can find a way to get the federal government to pay for it so that the business can keep the investment money for itself and let someone else deal with the headaches.

    2. Hey Max.

      There in lies the problem.

      Electric companies are not non-profit companies and have share/bondholders that must be satisfied who are amazingly owned by the very people buying electricity from them.

      It isn't a matter of coal being clean or not, but the issue I brought forth is the impact to the people. The workers, think anyone will relocate an auto manufacturing facility in each of the coal towns? of course they won't. Not to mention the impact to the people buying electricity. In this state they have decided the energy company must provide 30% renewable energy by 2020. The energy company is working on compliance and in return we watch our electric bills escalate. Interesting how that free renewable energy cost more than carbon based energy. A sad story is we had the cleanest coal fired power plant in the country not far from here. For the measly sum of 180 million it's been converted to gas. Yes the rate payers are paying more for that conversion. We have 5 power plants scheduled for shutdown in the next year. Still no decision on funding new plants or converting them to gas. May get pretty hot here in the summer.

      As a side note as the EPA and the Administration has mandated the new rule wouldn't you think they should pay for the upgrades and new plants to fix this mess.