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Carbon Wars: The New EPA Rules to Reduce Carbon Emissions at U.S. Power Plants

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Robert.Boston, May 30, 2014.

  1. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The Obama Administration is expected to release its proposed and controversial rule to restrict CO2 emissions from existing power plants next Monday, June 2nd. This proposal represents an historic turning point, which could permanently reshape the sources of electric generation in the U.S.


    This regulation comes at a time of great change and upheaval in traditional energy markets. Federal environmental requirements, low-cost natural gas, and rapidly growing renewable energy are displacing coal-fired generation – and are threatening traditional utility business models. And EPA’s proposal could result in even more far-reaching changes.


    For a first look at the potential repercussions of EPA’s proposal, click here. ​This is a link to a summary prepared by a firm I've done work with over the years.
     
  2. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    This is really such a significant event, I think it deserves it's own thread. As you may have known, the EPA has been crafting new rules for power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This is the first time the United States has create such a rule for carbon emissions, and is likely to boost our position ahead of the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris. In this thread I would like to discuss the significance of the new rules, monitor how the rules are implemented across states, and debate the impact of the rules as well as the response to them.

    From the article How Obama's EPA Will Cut Coal Pollution - Scientific American


    From the article: Obama lends support to EPAs upcoming power plant rule - The Washington Post

    From the article: Obamas boldest move on carbon comes with perils - Yahoo News

    I for one am happy with the new rules. I wish that there was legislation instead, but given the political climate that is practically impossible. I am hopeful that coal plant emissions will be reduced and that coal plants themselves will be reduced as well. There is a hell of a fight ahead though. The coal industry, utilities, and the Republican party are likely going to fire every cannon and launch a full attack on these rules. That's the part I'm nervous about. I think we're going to be able to succeed in dramatically reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. with these rules, but we're going to walk away from the fight battered and bruised.
     
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I'm going to be interested to see these rules on Monday. My guess is that many states are already compliant, or can easily become so. In particular, California and the RGGI states already have a mechanism in place to shift the generation mix away from coal: a carbon tax. Oregon is shutting down its last coal-fired plant, Boardman, in 2020; Washington State has only one coal plant, Centralia, that accounts for only about 5% of the state's electricity output.

    While people talk about a "war on coal," some states use a lot of refined oil products for electric generation (Hawaii and Alaska, in particular). I wonder how the regulations will treat these?
     
  4. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    And here's the expected response:

    States move to blunt Obama carbon plan - Yahoo News

     
  5. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    States can do what they'd like, but if those actions don't comply with the EPA rules, they'll get tossed out by the federal courts. The real fight will come in getting these draft EPA rules actually on the books.
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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  7. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    This is going to be interesting. Putting aside the academic arguments about climate change (because they're rather emotional and tend only to drive activists, not mainstream consumers), I predict it's going to go something like this:

    1. Energy companies in coal-based states file massive rate increase requests (~30-50%) with state PUC's citing compliance costs - both regulatory paperwork and technology.
    2a. States sympathetic to business permit the rate increases. Consumers socked with a huge increase in electricity costs start screaming at their congresscritters. Congresscritters who want to be elected "fix" the problem by removing it.
    2b. States unsympathic to business disallow the rate increases, telling energy companies to suck it up. Said companies pay their lobbyists, who go after the congresscritters with issue ads during the election. Congresscritters who want to be elected "fix" the problem by removing it.
    3. Problem solved, to the congresscritters.

    As I've said in the climate change threads, this issue is not an academic issue, it's an economic issue that will drive rates up significantly in certain areas of the country. Consumers, especially in the current climate, won't like the economic impact of such a rule, no matter how much the academics are giddy with glee.
     
  8. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    House Speaker Boehner: Obama's plan is "nuts"

    BOEHNER: Obama's Plan Is 'Nuts' - Yahoo Finance

     
  9. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    Let's all remember Boehner has taken $823,475 from the oil industry, so I don't care what he says.
     
  10. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    This will significantly increase energy costs in a number of states. It will be interesting to see if voters in those states believe the costs are worth the effects. To blunt the impact of this, it would be nice to see some regulatory effort to streamline creation of more nuclear and natural gas fired power plants (and solar, but that won't save energy costs at all).
     
  11. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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  12. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #12 SwedishAdvocate, Jun 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
    It must be really convenient to just be able to disregard all of the available climate science by simply labeling it "emotional".

    And,

    Oh look an activist! A.k.a. a human being actually acting on the very best science available. Science that there happens to be a ~97% consensus about. Oh, the absolute horror!

    And a question:

    Is it really so difficult to understand that people get emotional about a rising global mean sea level – it’s already up ~9 inches and the rate of rise is increasing – and all the other changes in global climate that climate science are warning us about?

    Are you completely void of any emotion what so ever?

    How about you back up your very own personal opinion of one with some sort of scientific evidence, instead of just repeating completely empty rhetoric?




    activist.png
    activism.png


    Sources:

    activist - definition of activist by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    activism - definition of activism by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
     
  13. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    #13 tigerade, Jun 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
    I'm pretty sure it isn't just the climate activist side that's getting emotional.

    Rand Paul Vows To Repeal 'Illegal' EPA Climate Rule | The Daily Caller



     
  14. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Sea levels in context History.

    220px-Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png

    Sea_level_temp_140ky.gif
     
  15. ggies07

    ggies07 Active Member

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    Ok, I don't want to come off sounding like I'm not a caring person, but I think loss of jobs is just a fact in this switch to sustainable energy. We adapt to the changing world and it's technology, that's what we do as a civilization. What I see here are people who are scared to have to switch job fields, industry scared of losing $, and politicans scared of losing their jobs. So what we have here is a society that is destroying it's home all the while too scared to move forward to better the place they inhabit.....
     
  16. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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  17. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #17 dsm363, Jun 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
    I agree. Much like people probably lost jobs from conversion of horse and buggy to cars, some people will lose their jobs. If that means a national fuel tax to fund a job retraining program then I would be fine with that.
     
  18. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Yes, that is the same as I posted! Look at all the data, as well as the recent specific window.
     
  19. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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    #19 SwedishAdvocate, Jun 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
    More @ Lloyd:

    NOTE: The source linked below includes hyperlinks to actual peer-reviewed scientific data.

    NOTE: The source linked above includes hyperlinks to actual peer-reviewed scientific data.
     
  20. tigerade

    tigerade Member

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    Guys, I appreciate the discussion on climate change. But we pretty much already have a thread for that. I would like for this one to be focused on the economic/environmental/health impact of the very new EPA rules. Please do not let this thread get off track.
     

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