Tag Archives: Electricity

The Democrat war on clean coal makes us all pay more for electricity

National Electricity Price Index vs CPI
National Electricity Price Index vs CPI

This is from Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Another coal giant in America, Peabody Energy Corp., declared bankruptcy this week. This bankruptcy filing follows similar actions by Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Inc., and other coal producers that have filed for Ch. 11 protection from creditors.

The ideologues in the White House must be uncorking the champagne. They wanted this to happen. It was the intended result of lawsuits and burdensome regulations by the Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency, which declared war on coal from the day Obama entered office.  This was a key component of the anti-carbon agenda of the climate change fanaticism that pervades this White House.

Ideas have consequences. Obama has succeeded in decimating whole towns across America — from Wyoming to Virginia to Pennsylvania — dependent on coal. An estimated 31,000 coal miners, truckers, engineers, construction workers and others have lost their jobs since 2009 as a result of this global warming jihad. Another 5,000 or so could be given pink slips at Peabody. To the left, these lives ruined is acceptable collateral damage for their utopian dream of saving the planet.

The victims here aren’t rich fat cats. They are middle class workers whose lives have been turned upside down by the Big Green Machine.

Investors have gotten crushed too as a result of coal’s demise. The ‎coal industry has lost more than $30 billion in stock value since 2009 — with many of these losses in pension funds and 401(k) plans.

What is maddening about these developments is that coal is much, much cleaner than ever before. EPA statistics show that emissions of sulfur, lead, carbon monoxide, and smog  from coal plants have been reduced by more than 50% in the last 40 years. Clean coal is a reality — but that never slowed the greens down.   The Natural Resources Defense Council now wants the EPA to slap $700 million in environmental fines on Peabody. These people just never stop.

America is the Saudi Arabia of coal. We have an estimated 500 years supply of that energy source. Our coal is cleaner and our environmental laws are much stricter than in other nations.  So for economic and ecological reasons, we should want American coal to dominate the world market.

The demise of coal could lead to major disruptions in America’s electric power supply. Before Obama entered office in 2009, America got half its electric power from coal.  Coal still supplies more than one-third of our electricity, because it is cheap and highly reliable, but that percentage continues to shrink.

Higher energy prices is no problem for Democrats:

They are pretty bold about wanting to bankrupt the coal industry, and push us all onto more expensive forms of energy like wind and solar:

Cost of renewable wind and solar energy
Cost of renewable wind and solar energy

Do you need to be paying more for electricity? Could you find something else to spend it on? How much is there left over for charity if you have to pay more for electricity?

And do you know who else pays for higher electricity prices? Your employer. Attacking cheap, clean energy puts more economic stress on the person who employs you. Think about that.

Incoming Kentucky Governor to EPA: we will not comply with your regulations

This is why I think that the real conservatism is always with the governors. When Republicans go to Washington, they often get so squishy that they are no use. If you’re looking for real conservative actions that produce real results, look to the governors. They get things done.

Video:

Here’s the article from The Blaze. (H/T ECM, who was suitably impressed)

Excerpt:

Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin said in an appearance on The Glenn Beck Radio Program Friday that he will push back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate the coal industry, telling the EPA to “pound sand.”

Bevin’s comments came after Glenn Beck asked, “Now that you’re in, President Obama has said that he’s going to destroy the coal industry. Kentucky is a coal state. What are you going to be doing specifically to push back on that?”

In August, President Barack Obama unveiled his coal policy in partnership with the EPA, granting the agency authority over what is traditionally a state responsibility.

According to Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at American Action Forum, the policy will cost $2.5 trillion and 125,800 jobs, along with shuttering 66 power plants.

Bevin, a Tea Party favorite who became only the second Republican in four decades to win Kentucky’s governorship Tuesday, vowed to stand against the EPA when it comes to protecting his state’s large coal industry.

“Why it is that we in Kentucky — that sit on two extraordinary basins, the Illinois basin and the Central basin, an abundance of this — how are we not participating in something that the world wants more of than they ever have?” Bevin asked. “And so, from my way of thinking, we will tell the EPA and other unelected officials who have no legal authority over us as a state, to pound sand.”

Bevin, a self-described “staunch conservative,” told Beck he believes the 10th Amendment is “one of the most powerful tools” and that power not expressly given to the federal government is the responsibility of the states.

The incoming Kentucky governor said the EPA has “no authority” and that its only recourse would be to “take us to court.” Bevin said that, in the past, the agency has “bribed us with our own money,” but he insisted that will not happen anymore under his leadership.

“The EPA, for example, they don’t have an enforcement arm,” Bevin said. “They use federal dollars. They use our own money. They bribe us with our own money to stick it to ourselves. And we will not do that anymore in the state of Kentucky.”

Recall that coal is cheap to produce compared to more politically correct energy sources like wind and solar:

Cost of renewable wind and solar energy
Cost of renewable wind and solar energy

Now, if the people of America really want to do something to draw America off of coal, then we should focus on nuclear power, instead of wasting money on solar and wind. But of course, the Democrats oppose nuclear power, too – despite the facts that scientists are in favor of it.

The left-leaning Pew Research reports:

About half (51%) of Americans favor building more nuclear power plants to generate electricity, while 42% oppose this. Among the general public, a greater percentage of men (60%) than of women (43%) favor building additional nuclear power plants. More college graduates (59%) favor building nuclear power plants than do those with a high school education or less (46%). And larger shares of Republicans (62%) than independents (52%) or Democrats (45%) support expanding the use of nuclear power to generate electricity.

When it comes to nuclear power, the views of scientists are closer to those of Republicans than Democrats nationwide. Seven-in-ten scientists favor building more nuclear power plants to generate electricity, while 27% are opposed. Among scientists, majorities in every specialty favor building more nuclear power plants, but support is particularly widespread among physicists and astronomers (88% favor). As with the public, far more men (76%) than women (55%) support the expansion of nuclear power.

We are bankrupting the country wasting money on green energy production that is not cost effective, and Democrats are opposed to clean energy production that is cost effective: fracking and nuclear. Then they complain about coal and try to regulate it out of existence. Unless and until Democrats come around on fracking and nuclear power, then they should not be regulating coal out of existence. All that will do is raise energy prices for all of us, which is exactly what we see happening in Germany. They are further along the green energy road, and we must learn from their mistake.

EPA: Obama’s energy plan raises electricity rates but has no effect on climate

Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015
Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015

This article from Investors Business Daily. It talks about Obama’s plan to save the planet from global warming. The plan is called the “Clean Power Plan”.

Excerpt:

Unveiled in August, this sweeping regulation will force states to slash their carbon dioxide emissions by between 7% and 48%, potentially costing families and businesses some $366 billion in higher electricity costs over the next 15 years. Yet EPA-funded models show that it will have no detectable impact on climate, if it has any impact at all.

E&E Legal unearthed documents showing systemic collusion to promote this scheme. The coordination involves the White House, state governors and attorneys general, and a host of nongovernmental organizations affiliated with “major environmental donors” — especially billionaire Tom Steyer.

The campaign quietly began in December 2013, when the White House met with aides to Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif.; Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.; and then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, D-Ore. (Kitzhaber has since resigned following revelations about his office’s unethical conduct while promoting green energy policies.)

They wanted to ensure that states governed by Republicans felt significant pressure to implement this dubious federal mandate. They even hoped to “compel” utility companies operating across blue and red state lines to bring Republicans around.

This plan required hiring so-called “orchestrators” in key states. These positions, underwritten by private benefactors, would be “closely tied to each governor.” Their ultimate goal was to organize state-based campaigns involving renewable-energy companies, nongovernmental organizations, state officeholders and more.

As the White House wrote at the time, “We’ve got a few other tracks with private sector and unusual allies.” They included an extended campaign to enlist public officeholders beyond coastal liberal enclaves — the “flyover states,” as one email called them. More than a dozen governors’ offices were brought on board. Some are particularly surprising.

For example, Kentucky’s governor is now on record publicly saying that the president’s plan would be economically “disastrous,” yet the documents show his office among the “core group” and one of five that “welcomed quiet engagement” but couldn’t “commit … publicly.”

Other states keeping their interest under wraps included Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Tennessee.

Wow. If the global warming alarmists at the EPA don’t think that Obama’s plan will do anything to the climate, then why would we raise our own electricity rates to achieve nothing? What is most striking to me is some of the supposedly red states that are showing interest in this crap sandwich. Tennessee? Arkansas? Those two states have Republican governors. What is going on here?

Germany is further along the green energy road, how is it working for them?

Cost of renewable wind and solar energy
Cost of renewable wind and solar energy

This is from National Review, and I think it’s important for the young people to know, because they are the ones who think that green energy is a moral imperative that has no downside.

Look:

According to EU data, Germany’s average residential electricity rate is 29.8 cents per kilowatt hour. This is approximately double the 14.2 cents and 15.9 cents per kWh paid by residents of Germany’s neighbors Poland and France, respectively, and almost two and a half times the U.S. average of 12 cents per kWh. Germany’s industrial electricity rate of 16 cents per kWh is also much higher than France’s 9.6 cents or Poland’s 8.3 cents. The average German per capita electricity consumption is 0.8 kilowatts. At a composite rate of 24 cents per kWh, this works out to a yearly bill of $1,700 per person, experienced either directly in utility bills or indirectly through increased costs of goods and services. The median householdincome in Germany is $33,000, so if we assume an average of two people per household, the electricity cost would amount to more than 10 percent of available income. And that is for the median-income household. The amount of electricity that people need does not scale in proportion to their paychecks. For the rich, $1,700 per year in electric bills might be a pittance, or at most a nuisance. But for the poor who are just scraping by, such a burden is simply brutal.

The trouble with solar and wind power is that they are not consistent:

So, what has the German government accomplished for “the Earth” in exchange for the severe harm it has inflicted on the nation’s poorer citizens? It is claimed that Germany has replaced 30 percent of its electricity with renewable energy. If all you look at is capacity, that might appear to be true. Germany has a total installed capacity of 172 gigawatts (GW), and 65 GW of that is based on renewables. But neither wind nor solar power obtains an around-the-clock average of anything close to full capacity. Rather, these methods of electricity generation typically average at best about 20 percent of their full rated power. Thus Germany’s nominal 65 GW of solar and wind generation capacity is worth about as much as 13 GW capacity in conventional power plants. Of the 614,000 GW hours that Germany generated in 2014, 56,000 GWh came from wind and 35,000 GWh from solar, for an actual combined average power of 10.4 GW, or 14.8 percent of all electricity generated. About half of this, or 5.2 GW, has been developed since 2005.

Germany used to have safe, clean nuclear power with zero emissions, but they got rid of it:

However, in 2011 Germany had 20 GW of capacity in nuclear power plants, producing more than twice as much electricity as wind and solar do currently, at less than half the cost, with no carbon emissions whatsoever. But, using the rather improbable threat of a Fukushima-like tsunami as a pretext, the nation’s elites decided to shut them down; 8.3 GW have already been eliminated.

Thus, over the past decade, the total amount of carbon-free power that Germany has produced under its oppressive green-energy policy has actually decreased by 3 GW.

This makes me think of what happened to the wind farms in the UK during cold weather – they had to keep spinning using power from the main grid, to keep themselves from freezing! What a disaster. Green energy is just not ready for prime time. The more the government pushes it, the more the cost of electricity rises. Not good for the poor. Does anyone care how these “feel good” policies of the rich left affect the poorest people?

Obama administration to push for more government control in 2015

Here’s a rundown on some of the planned regulations, courtesy of Fox News. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

The Obama administration is trying to get fossil-fuel fired power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The EPA proposed the rules last year and is set to finalize them by summer 2015.

[…]Among them is a controversial EPA proposal to expand regulatory power over streams and wetlands. The agency, set to finalize the rule in April, estimates it could impose costs of between $162 million to $278 million per year…

[…][D]etractors claim it is an opening for the EPA to claim authority over countless waterways, including streams that only show up during heavy rainfall. Critics warn this could create more red tape for property owners and businesses if they happen to have even small streams on their land.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, has called it an effort to “control a huge amount of private property across the country.”

In another EPA initiative, the agency is looking to October to finalize sweeping ozone regulations.

In proposing the limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness in November, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy argued that the public health benefits far outweigh the costs and that most of the U.S. can meet the tougher standards without doing anything new.

“We need to be smart — as we always have — in trying to find the best benefits in a way that will continue to grow the economy,” McCarthy said. Of reducing ozone, she added: “We’ve done it before, and we’re on track to do it again.”

But business groups panned the proposal as unnecessary and the costliest in history, warning it could jeopardize a resurgence in American manufacturing.

[…]The rules are estimated to cost industry anywhere between $3.9 billion and $15 billion by 2025. That price tag would exceed that of any previous environmental regulation in the U.S. Environmental groups are pushing for stricter limits still.

On other fronts, the Federal Communications Commission could move in a matter of months to propose new “net neutrality” rules. Obama weighed in on that debate late last year, urging the FCC to regulate the Internet like other utilities.

The White House is calling for an “explicit ban” on deals between broadband Internet providers and online services like Netflix, Amazon or YouTube to move their content faster, a potential new source of revenue for cable companies.

[…]Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board has issued new rules for so-called “ambush” union elections — speeding up elections and requiring employers to give unions contact information for workers. The rules take effect in April.

These regulations will have nasty effects on job-creating companies and that will work its way down to consumers, who will have to eat the costs. But at least the social engineers will feel really good about themselves, and without having to do the hard work of creating products and services that people will actually pay their own money for of their own free choice.

The very funny thing about this is how unionized blue-collar Democrats complain that they cannot compete with countries abroad, then vote in the very people that make them uncompetitive. You can bet that leaders in other low-cost countries do not pass laws to make them less competitive. And that’s why everything is manufactured abroad. Democrat voters bring these problems on themselves by electing socialists who hamstring American industry.