Solid Coverage of the U.S. 460 Fiasco. But the EPA Travesty? …. Chirp. Chirp.

crickettsThe Virginia Department of Transportation has canceled its contract with US 460 Mobility Partners to build the U.S. 460 Connector between Petersburg and Suffolk, Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne announced Wednesday. The action paves the way for initiating legal action to recover $252 million paid to the public-private partnership concessionaire for preparation and asset mobilization to start building the highway.

Layne had pulled the plug on the project a year ago when it was evident that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers might not issue required wetlands permits along the proposed 55-mile route. It’s not clear what recourse the McAuliffe administration has to recover payments provided for under a contract negotiated and signed by the McDonnell administration. There is no evidence that U.S. Mobility Partners has done anything wrong (other than negotiate a highly favorable contract). Still, it’s worth the effort. Even recovering half the sum would be a big benefit to taxpayers.

Now… If only the McAuliffe administration would try to recover money from the Environmental Protection Agency for mandating hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades to coal-fired power plants to reduce toxic emissions like mercury and sulfur dioxide — only to turn around and issue another set of regulations a few years later, the Clean Power Plan, that will effectively force Dominion to shut down three of the four coal plants it just upgraded.

Governor Terry McAuliffe did protect ratepayers from that fiasco, which would have cost Virginia ratepayers some $1.6 billion or more, assuming the facilities were shut down within five years — by getting Dominion to eat the costs instead. In exchange, however, in a legislative deal carved out earlier this year, Dominion gets to freeze its base rates for five years. Some observers characterize that concession as a give-away to Dominion (although Dominion strenuously disagrees).

While the U.S. 460 fiasco rightfully generated a slew of in-depth newspaper reports, the EPA fiasco made one brief blip in the news cycle and then disappeared. The media has made no comparable effort to examine the issue, much less to hold the EPA accountable for the absurdity of enacting regulations that will likely force Dominion (and other electric companies with coal plants) to shut down investments that the agency had required just a few years previously. If Dominion had been ripping off ratepayers to the tune of $1.6 billion, I suspect we’d be hearing about it. But when the EPA is doing the gouging… all I hear is crickets chirping.

— JAB

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42 responses to “Solid Coverage of the U.S. 460 Fiasco. But the EPA Travesty? …. Chirp. Chirp.

  1. Only in the hackneyed right wing world would one equate an agreement that Virginia willingly entered into – with regulations .. but that’s the way things work these days with the right.

    I wonder if , Allied Chemical, or Avtex or U.S. Titanium or 30 other superfund sites i Va would have Virginia intercede on their behalf for those terrible EPA intrusions?

    how in the world does anyone equate mistakes made by VDOT on PPTA agreements with toxic waste sites is beyond me – but nothing really surprises me anymore with the folks on the right.

    the right has descended into a world where critical thinking is treasonous…

    • I think the point he’s trying to make is that if McAuliffe really gave a damn about getting the taxpayers’ money back, he wouldn’t be going after the other party in a contract that was entered into in good faith, he would go after the Federal agency that is arbitrarily making regulations changes that are needlessly costing the taxpayers billions of dollars due to the short-sightedness of said agency. He’s proving that Terry going after US Mobility Partners is political, not financial, in nature.

      • and I think Bacon and others are engaging in the same dialogue that was done during the unleaded gas controversy – the same cast of suspects – industry and right-leaning, anti-regulation types.

        Bacon is portraying this as the EPA going rogue… and the history is pretty
        clear – not only on unleaded gas, but pesticides, sewage, clean air , super-fund, and dozens of other issues where industry and anti-regulatory folks on the right lined up against the EPA and engaged in propaganda and media campaigns to try to stop the regs.

        What I ask here – for Bacon and those who share his view – is go back and read the history … I posted some of it.. if you go back and read the history – you’ll see that the CPP is not unique … it’s typical… industry does not like regulation – and they ALWAYS cite their stranded investment losses.

        What I’m complaining about is what I feel is a misrepresentation of the present and history …

        this is a PROPOSAL to PHASE-in the new regs. It’s not an arbitrary – forced immediate change with no negotiation.

        If PJM weighs in on this and says it’s too much, too soon and reliability in the entire region will be compromised – I will be the FIRST to accept that input as legitimate – because, unlike industry and unlike the political right – they do not have an agenda other than their mission – and I do put credence in their views.

  2. Only in the hackneyed left-wing world of LarryG would anyone thing it a matter of no concern to push through one set of regulations costing a couple of billion and then a few years later pass through another set of regulations that effectively obliterate the investment made in the previous round. In Larry World there’s no such thing as a bad regulation. Ever.

  3. Are you trying to piss me off?

  4. No matter what happens with the EPA and the CPP it has zero to do with VDOT and PPTA… unless one is so ideologically inclined that they see no distinction.

    it’s just a plain, old 100% ideological swipe..

    Virtually every major rule the EPA has done – the folks on the right have vociferously opposed it – yet years later – the rule stands, has been accepted as the right thing to have been done – and not repealed.

    In Bacon’s world – the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup – equates to Virginia’s failed PPTA policies.

    good grief! there is not even a cursory attempt at balance here any more. It’s just one series of ideological posts after another!

    Most people are GLAD the EPA got lead out of gasoline, that they essentially outlawed DDT and Dixon and PCBs, that they closed down superfund sites, that they keep track of all toxics released into the environment – INCLUDING Mercury and other deadly pollutants from coal burning plants.

    I could go on – but most folks have supported over the years what the EPA has done – even as the right-wing and industry have opposed it.

    Virginia would have more than 40 superfund sites to be responsible for itself if not for the EPA. 1/3 of Virginia rivers have been harmed by companies like Allied dumping Kepone… Children, the elderly and immune-compromised are glad the EPA has forced cutbacks on air pollution.

    there is no contest on this – except from the reactionary right… most normal people are glad and relieved that Va did not have the changed to do to Virginia’s environment what they did to PPTA.

    I’m afraid that Bacon has been getting into the right-wing Kool-aid more and more these days.

  5. “In Bacon’s world – the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup – equates to Virginia’s failed PPTA policies.”

    No, Larry, I never equate those two. That’s your absurd extrapolation based upon your absurd presentation of my logic.

    What you scrupulously avoid is trying to justify the EPA rules that compelled Dominion to invest hundreds of millions in pollution equipment that five years later the EPA now compels Dominion to dismantle under a new set of rules. Only in Larry World does that make any sense. Only in Larry World would someone raising that issue be tagged as “getting into the right-wing Kool-aid.” And only in Larry World does accusing people you disagree with as “getting into the right-wing Kool-aid” constitute a rational argument.

    Basically, your logic amounts to this: The EPA did good things in the past. Therefore, everything it does, and has done, is good. Anyone who disagrees with my logic drinks right-wing Kool-aid.

    That’s just pitiful.

    • wait! you DO EQUATE a PPTA issue with a regulatory issue. right?

      how do those two equate?

      you could have just as easily put the Chesapeake Bay storm water regs in opposite the PPTA – right?

      I’m not avoiding the EPA issue – and you know it. I have gone through a long list of things the EPA has done over the years that “cost” industry but ultimately was proven the right path.

      People LIKE the fact that the EPA is cleaning up our rivers and our air.

      Name things that EPA have done that have been subsequently undone….

      no Jim the KOOL AID is trying to tie the CPP to the PPTA.. it’s illogical and non-nonsensical.. unless you’re just spouting rank right wing ideology – which you do seem to be engaging in – more and more these days.

      and .yes.. I’m going to call you on it – every time.

  6. re: ” In Larry World there’s no such thing as a bad regulation. Ever.”

    ” Basically, your logic amounts to this: The EPA did good things in the past. Therefore, everything it does, and has done, is good. Anyone who disagrees with my logic drinks right-wing Kool-aid.”

    NOPE! there ARE bad regulations – no question – but you’ve made two huge mistakes

    1. – you are equating regulation to a bad agreement made by the State ..

    there is no way that makes any sense what-so-every.. why do you equate
    them? where is the string?

    2. – you bring in the EPA – which makes no sense at all… but then you don’t cite a single prior bad regulation that the EPA had to back-track on because it was “wrong” and you do this when there is a 40-year history of EPA actions that were routinely attacked by industry and the right wing – and ultimately have been proven to be right and correct – accepted – and people thankful they did it.

    and yet because of ONE recent PROPOSAL – you condemn them for all time as if everything they ever did was wrong.

    that’s the rabid right-wing view these days. It makes no sense. It redefines history with the EPA and as you are doing – you conveniently ignore ALL the EPA regs that people want left in place and focus just on this.

    none of it makes any sense… it’s pure right wing histrionics… that’s been whipped up by the right in recent years… and now you’re drinking the same kool-aid – straying far from your usual practices of showing pro and con on issues.

    I’m disappointed.. to say the list.

    and if anything I’ve said above -you consider to be an insult or ad hominem- please say so and I will apologize.

    Oh – and it is your right to write and pontificate as you please – as it is mine – to hold you accountable!

    😉

  7. Here’s a report you’ll likely never see Jim Bacon post and pontificate on:

    A STRATEGY TO PROTECT VIRGINIANS FROM TOXIC CHEMICALS

    http://law.richmond.edu/centers/environmental/PDF/toxins-report-final.pdf

    like so many others on the right – “property rights” only apply to polluters not those victimized by the pollution and if a Federal agency dares to intervene then they are demonized and all sorts of loony thing like comparing their actions to incompetent PPTA agreements…

    who knew?

  8. LarryG: “Here’s a report you’ll likely never see Jim Bacon post and pontificate on:”

    Yeah, except when I posted on it back in January:
    http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2014/01/40-million-pounds-of-toxics-released-in-virginia-every-year.html

    As a matter of fact, you posted a couple of comments.

    Your capacity for selective memory is remarkable.

    • well.. not selective.. just bad… mea culpa

      but equating the EPA to bad VA PPTA agreements is still right-wing loony…

      next thing we know you’ll be pontificating on Agenda 21…that DOES seek to try to tie all these things together in one massive conspiracy….

  9. Larry, please read the following very carefully. Try not to misinterpret.

    I was not comparing the EPA to a public-private partnership. I was not comparing the US460 fiasco with the EPA travesty. I was comparing the media coverage of the US460 fiasco with that of the EPA travesty. The media has been reasonably diligent about covering the US460 fiasco — at least after Aubrey Layne laid out the details. The media has been AWOL in covering the EPA fiasco — a couple of billion dollars down the drain — even though the SCC laid out the details.

    No curiosity at all. Nothing to see here. Move along now.

    • re: media coverage… same thing Jim it’s the very same right wing conspiracy crappola that simply is not true.

      do you want me to supply you with all the media articles that have been written about the EPA CPP?

      is your problem that the media does not report like you think and that makes it a conspiracy to not attack the EPA ?

      I’ll challenge you to show me all the articles that detail the current situation with the 460 PPTA – there are fewer than 5 articles.. I bet…

      but you want the news to reflect your views or it means they are biased, right?

      we hear this every night on FOX. it’s downright pitfiful…

      do you want me to list out all the right wing media .. that publishes these days? radio, blogs, TV, papers…

      your perspective has shifted to the far right – admit it.

      My problem is that Conservatives in general these days are not about solutions – just ideology .. they oppose what they don’t like -but they have no alternatives. the tough problems – they walk away from blaming the “media”. a bunch of crybabies and whiners they’ve become..

      it’s all the EPA’s fault.. can you believe this? that’s the standard right wing story these days… it’s all their fault and the media ignores it.

      right?

      geeze…

    • re: ” The media has been AWOL in covering the EPA fiasco — a couple of billion dollars down the drain — even though the SCC laid out the details.

      No curiosity at all. Nothing to see here. Move along now.”

      If you are predisposed to see it as a “fiasco” then of course the media is not going to report your own bias.

      why would you expect them to do that?

      You either forget or you purposely ignore the fact that the CPP is a PROPOSAL as are most all EPA actions and it may well not close as many after receiving comment – and responding to lawsuits.

      but you sound like the folks who vociferously opposed the EPA mandating that lead be removed from gasoline .. all hell broke lose on the right and in the industry and it was a pitched battle for years before the rule got enforced. Remember Lead in paint? CFCs? acid rain”, coal ash ponds?

      we have the same issue with nitrogen and phosphorous in rivers and especially the Chesapeake Bay. opposition and lawsuits from the Farm Bureau.. and Chamber….

      ditto for storm water .. Fairfax sues and wins

      BPA in plastics…

      titanium tailings on the Piney River

      PCBs in the Shenandoah…

      Kepone in the Appomattox and James

      there are 40,000 superfund sites in the US – Jim.. do you think the EPA
      was wrong to designate them and partition them off from the public?

      what exactly are you expecting from the EPA and from the Media on these issues – to side with you when you are opposed to the EPA trying to clean up?

  10. here’s a little history to put the “I hate the EPA” sentiment in some reasonable perspective… beyond the “sky is falling” crowd that Jim has gotten cozy with.

    It took 25 years for the EPA to convince the public that the “skeptics” who opposed getting lead out of gasoline were wrong. Even today the opponents do not admit it.

    ” Few regulatory programs in history match the success of EPA’s removal of lead from gasoline. Yet even this effort faced the same type of pessimism and obstructionism that EPA faces today. From the beginning of the fight to take lead out of gasoline, the oil industry and the lead additive producers said it could not be done, and even that there was no need for it to be done.

    As the first of the energy shocks of the 1970s stretched gas lines around city blocks, oil industry representatives testified to EPA that the lead phase-down would cause them to lose profits, prevent them from funding future oil exploration, and make gasoline unaffordable. One lead additive manufacturer ran an ad in major newspapers claiming the lead phase-down would waste one million barrels of oil a day (the Washington Post ran an article about it on December 3, 1973.) Phillips Petroleum estimated that producing unleaded gasoline would consume between 300,000 and 600,000 barrels of additional crude oil a day and require from $8 to $15 billion in refinery capital investment (that’s from a Los Angeles Times story about a possible “Gas Octane War,” printed on December 30, 1974.)

    The oil and additive industries vigorously attacked both the sufficiency and validity of scientific studies that linked lead additives to harmful public health impacts. And they kept up these attacks until leaded gasoline was finally and definitively banned by regulations issued in the 1980s. ”

    “In the U.S. in 1973, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued regulations to reduce the lead content of leaded gasoline over a series of annual phases, which therefore came to be known as the “lead phasedown” program. EPA’s rules were issued under section 211 of the Clean Air Act, as amended 1970. The Ethyl Corp (Richmond, Va) challenged the EPA regulations in Federal court. Although the EPA’s regulation was initially dismissed,[5] the EPA won the case on appeal, so the TEL phasedown began to be implemented in 1976.

    You might find the above sounding a little familiar in the current CPP issue – because it’s the same folks are complaining again – industry and “conservatives” (ironic bastardization of the terms – “conserve” and “conservation)”

    http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/milestones-us-epa-and-environmental-history

    take a moment to read this short history of EPA issues:

    – and realize just how many issues the EPA has successfully dealt with over it’s relatively short 45-year history – replete with industry and conservative opponents – over and over – through those years – each time claiming there was no way to implement the changes and they would kill jobs and bankrupt the country and each time industry and conservatives were proven to be wrong and the proof is that not a single regulation has been subsequently repealed because it did cause all the harm claimed..

    Today – if you listen to those on the right – and industry – like coal-using Utilities – the EPA is costing the industries billions of dollars because it’s forcing closure of dirty coal plants.. and the doom and gloom pitchfork and torch crowd are bleating once again that EPA will rain disaster down on the country – the very same way they did when the EPA advocated getting lead out of gasoline – except the facts are the opposite..

    as far as I know – no one of sound mind – wants to put lead back in gasoline not the most vociferous of opponents or industry hacks… will say that…

    I’m surprised – over and over – when ostensibly principled folks slurp the right wing/industry kool-aid – over and over – each time the EPA proposes actions. It’s like a recurring Kabuki Theater where the EPA is depicted as a boot-thugged bunch of zealots undermining the economic vitality of the country when the actual history clearly shows otherwise

    Go back and read that history – (link above): Milestones in U.S. EPA and Environmental History

    it’s a long, long list and the proof of the value and legitimacy – is that not a one of them has been repealed much less because they were found to have caused economic disaster for the country.

    Bacon blathers on about media coverage – about the EPA CPP “fiasco” (his own editorializing) . It’s pretty clear he does not realize that the very same verbiage occurred over a 25 year period that the EPA proposed to remove lead from gasoline – 25 years of opposition – and now – please tell me – that it was a wrong decision and we need to repeal the law that outlawed lead in gasoline. We should bring back lead in gasoline – right?

    tell me also where all the opponents to taking lead out of fuel – are now – and what they are saying.

    I would posit that many and their ignorant descendants are now complaining about the CPP and spreading the same misinformation and disinformation that those before them did successfully convincing folks like Bacon to drink that nasty right wing KoolAid and then spout off about it in his blog.

    Scan the list below – and tell me which ones went “too far” and damaged the economy and need to be repealed.

    don’t laugh – there are industry and right wing groups today that would do away with most of them if they could -but I’m trying to find out where Jim Bacon puts himself on this.

    what things on this list would Jim Bacon repeal and side with those who say the EPA went too far and did too much and we need to roll back those laws and even get rid of the EPA all together?

    how about copying the list – and putting an asterisk next to the ones you would repeal because they went too far and killed jobs and damaged the economy?

    Clean Air Act of 1970
    Restrictions on lead in paint
    Vehical Fuel Economy
    Banning of DDT
    Clean Water Act
    Dumping of Chemicals offshore
    Municipal Wastewater Permits
    Auto Emissions Standards
    Safe Drinking Water standards
    banning of cancer-causing pesticides
    requirements for handling hazardous waste
    control of toxic substances
    Love Canal
    Phaseout of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
    Three Mile Island disaster
    Phaseout of PCBs
    Creation of Superfund Program
    Nuclear Waste Laws
    Asbestos in schools and workplaces
    Times Beach Dioxin contamination
    Chesapeake Bay Act
    Solid Waste/Landfill rules
    Wetlands Protection
    “Right to know” labeling laws for chemicals
    Medical Waste laws
    Standards for underground storage tanks
    Radon Program
    Exxon Valdez
    Alar (Daminozide) Pesticide Ban
    Toxic release inventory
    Acid Rain
    Energy Star Program
    Laws banning dumping sewage in Ocean
    Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Milwaukee
    Passive smoking health impacts
    brownfield cleanup program
    Refinery regulation
    municipal waste incinerators

    so how about it?

    which EPA laws went too far and need to be repealed?

  11. The EPA CPP power plant plan has not yet been finalized, so we wait to see. I agree the draft EPA plan was onerous for VA. Many states commented that the coal investments were stranded in the draft, and also that the 2020 interim 80% compliance date is an issue.

    The other observation, it’s probably a good thing VA never committed to a mandated renewable portfolio RPS. Can you imagine if we had committed to 20% renewables and then had EPA CPP on top of that? Unclear to me how to couple those two programs. Although it seems EPA may have been more lenient on states with mandated RPS.

    • In terms of finalized rules and stranded investments.

      Can you name ANY industry that the EPA was proposing to tighten regulations on that would not make this same exact argument – anytime and every time no matter when the EPA made the proposal?

      this is silly.

      Industry is going to do whatever it can to evade the new rules including making the stranded investment argument.

      we can debate this – but let’s at least acknowledge honestly the reality.

      this is the same exact argument industry made when the EPA proposed getting lead out of gasoline and the resolution was phasing.. as it is this time.

      people who swallow the industry propaganda ought not to.

  12. Equating the 460 fiasco with the epa very openly and properly soliciting oinin on proposed carbon rules is absurd

    • I was not comparing the EPA to a public-private partnership. I was not comparing the US460 fiasco with the EPA travesty. I was comparing the media coverage of the US460 fiasco with that of the EPA travesty. The media has been reasonably diligent about covering the US460 fiasco — at least after Aubrey Layne laid out the details. The media has been AWOL in covering the EPA fiasco — a couple of billion dollars down the drain — even though the SCC laid out the details.

      • The “media is not covering the issues” is one of the right’s complaints these days about many issues but it’s simply not the truth.

        The media is not covering what they want covered but in the case of the EPA CPP, I bet I could easily find a host of media accounts but they probably won’t be from the right’s opposition perspective…

        here’s a few:

        Dominion seeks rate freeze, looser regulatory review …
        http://www.richmond.com

        SCC says EPA carbon plan could raise power bills in Va …
        http://www.richmond.com/…/

        Oct 16, 2014 – Complying with the EPA’s proposed carbon emission rules would likely cost … “substantially” – Richmond.com: Business ….

        EPA saps Virginia’s energy – Richmond.com:
        http://www.richmond.com/...

        Nov 15, 2014 – The EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan sets individual state limits on … At the same time we fight for more equitable treatment in Washington, …

        there are many more….

        I think Jim means – not enough media has come out against the EPA CPP “fiasco”….

        and I point out once again -that virtually every time the EPA proposes a rule, the industry and their right leaning allies trot out the same tiered complaints about jobs and stranded costs. It took more than 20 years for the EPA to finally prevail over industry in getting lead out of gasoline despite the gloom and doom the industry propagandized.

        Now – if someone said the EPA killed thousands of jobs when they got the lead out of gasoline they’d look at you like you were a loon – so the folks that still think that keep quiet..

        I challenged Jim to show which EPA regulations has killed thousands of jobs and ruined the economy and had to be rolled back and all I hear:

        https://youtu.be/Re72di5phM0

  13. Larry, if your secret goal is to drive me insane, your evil plan is working!

    Pointing out the absurdity of the EPA imposing rules that wipe out billions of dollars of investment nationally in a previous set of EPA rules is not right-wing whacko thinking. The McAuliffe administration, comprised of Democrats who support regulatory action against global warming, raised the issue! Is Terry McAuliffe a right-wing whack job?

    Let’s see now. We have two options. Either (a) McAuliffe is a right wing whack job or (b) Larry Gross is a left wing whack job. Hmmmm….
    I pick B.

    As for all the worthy things that the EPA has done in the past, those actions near no resemblance to the situation McAuliffe is decrying. When the EPA imposed new clean water standards, it didn’t wipe out billions of investments in old clean water standards. When the EPA imposed stricter controls on smokestack emissions, it didn’t wipe out billions of dollars in old smokestack emissions. The Clean Power Act does wipe out billions in investments nationally put into place only a few years previously at the best of the EPA.

    • ” Larry, if your secret goal is to drive me insane, your evil plan is working!”

      ha ha ha – if that were TRUE – you’d NOT even being saying it!

      “Pointing out the absurdity of the EPA imposing rules that wipe out billions of dollars of investment nationally in a previous set of EPA rules is not right-wing whacko thinking.”

      Yes it is. It’s the very same argument that the right wing has used for most of the EPA rules – such as getting lead out of gasoline. The right wing fought it for 20+ years….making those same exact arguments.

      you either don’t read or don’t listen – i’ve said this multiple times and you’ve never addressed it.

      “The McAuliffe administration, comprised of Democrats who support regulatory action against global warming, raised the issue! Is Terry McAuliffe a right-wing whack job?”

      working to please Dominion – which controls the state.

      “Let’s see now. We have two options. Either (a) McAuliffe is a right wing whack job or (b) Larry Gross is a left wing whack job. Hmmmm….
      I pick B.”

      C – says that even McAuliffe has to kiss the butt of Dominion… and he is..

      “As for all the worthy things that the EPA has done in the past, those actions near no resemblance to the situation McAuliffe is decrying.”

      Yes they do – do you want me to tell you about the role of the Ethyl corporation on the EPA unleaded gas issue?

      Do you even research these things Jim? You act like you’re totally ignorant of the history of these things… this is NOT an Ad Hominem. It’s true of all of us – just on different issues but on issues like this – you act like you’re totally without knowledge of the history.

      “When the EPA imposed new clean water standards, it didn’t wipe out billions of investments in old clean water standards.”

      it was claimed to have by those who had to upgrade their investments to comply with the higher standards.

      Again – do you actually read about these issues and their clear history?

      “When the EPA imposed stricter controls on smokestack emissions, it didn’t wipe out billions of dollars in old smokestack emissions. The Clean Power Act does wipe out billions in investments nationally put into place only a few years previously at the best of the EPA.”

      Jim – PLEASE go read about how many of the regs that the EPA implemented – were vociferously attacked by industry who co-opted paid “researchers” AND used right-leaning proxies to help carry their arguments.

      You seriously do not know the history… I’m guessing you were pretty young when a lot of this happened so not paying much attention then…

      but take just one – the unleaded gas rule – and take a minute to go read about it and how the Ethyl Corporation (and other corporate) conducted themselves…

      do you read guy?

      go read then come back and make your arguments.

      this thing about CPP has been repeated over and over in the past – with each new rule the EPA proposed – all the major regs were conducted in similar ways by the industries that would be impacted.

      the problem is you and other critics either don’t know this or will not acknowledge it and the proof of this is when I ask you to go back and tell me which of those hard-fought rules turned to cause the harm that industry claimed – and subsequently were repealed because they clearly did cause the harm that had been claimed.

      can you , will you – do that?

      you say this is insane? hahahahhah no .. this is calling you to account go back and look at previous EPA proposals. and you either do not know or you evade.

      step up here.

  14. If what JIm says is true then he should be able to cite at least a few of the EPAs past regulations that have turned out to be economically harmful and subsequently repealed…. because many of the past regulations had the very same arguments made against them that are now being made against CPP.

    so Jim cannot have it both ways.

    If he is going to jump on board with the EPA-haters.. he needs to provide some evidence to back up his claim that the CPP will ” wipe out billions of investments” – the very same argument that many used before in opposing EPA regulations.

    so – has that turned out to be the case – even once – before?

    what exactly allows Jim to make this argument if there is little or no evidence in prior history to back it up?

    in terms of right-wing-wacko-jobs – yes.. when the very same people who argue against the CPP are linked to folks who say the EPA itself should be closed because of the “harm” it has done – then yes – Jim has chosen to ally himself with those folks that I do consider right-wing-wackos BECAUSE they have provided zero evidence beyond their own belief system that the EPA should not exist at all.

    right-wing-wacko-jobs are politically-active climate deniers and skeptics who doubt science – don’t believe science – don’t accept science – not just on Global Warming – but things like unleaded gas or CFCs or DDT – etc. Many in the past were John Birchers.. who have basically evolved to the current virulent anti-regs – wackos.

  15. There has been plenty of media coverage the Clean Power Plan rules by the EPA. The problem is that it hasn’t gone far enough and reports only what Dominion and others who dislike the plan say.

    Bacon is dead wrong about this and no matter how he tries to slice and dice it, he is equating 460 with CPP.

    Typical tactic: he comes out with a post with such links and conflations and then denies he did so.

    • Peter, you’ve been taking reading lessons from Larry G, I see.

      You wrote, “There has been plenty of media coverage the Clean Power Plan rules by the EPA.”

      I never suggested otherwise. Of course, the media has covered the Clean Power Plan controversy! But the media focus has NOT focused on the issue that I raised in this blog post: that the new wave of EPA regs could require the write-off of hundreds of millions of dollars of coal-fired anti-pollution investment mandated by the last wave of EPA regs.

      That strikes me as a colossal waste of money. And I suspect it would strike a lot of other people the same way if they knew about it. But I guess you, like Larry, belong in the EPA-can-do-no-wrong-ever camp.

  16. that’s what got me going. There is a ton of media coverage on how CPP affects Virginia – no shortage of it. Most of main stream media is not overtly political like the right wing media is (about a lot of things) – and that’s probably what disturbed Bacon.

    😉

    The right’s premise these days is that if the mainstream media does not see the world the way the right-wing media does – there is a liberal conspiracy.

    😉

    The right is so convinced that they have the correct view – that anything different is “lying”…

    😉

    so yes – that’s how Jim got into Deep Kimchi because basically he’s carrying water for the right with that message – and he got called on it – as he seems to be tracking more and more in that direction these days.

    I don’t have any animosity – each of us is surely entitled to our own view – but I do feel a duty to at least remind Bacon that there are other views… to present the opposing view.

  17. “The right’s premise these days is that if the mainstream media does not see the world the way the right-wing media does – there is a liberal conspiracy.”

    Larry, I’ve never attributed mainstream media coverage to a liberal “conspiracy.” That’s your perversion of what I say. And then you proceed to knock down the perversion, as if I said it.

    “The right is so convinced that they have the correct view – that anything different is ‘lying’…”

    That’s a typical Larry G rhetorical gambit. Conflate what I say with what “conservatives” supposedly say, and then attack what conservatives supposedly say, without addressing the facts or logic in what I say.

    Larry, you are a clinical study in rhetorical obfuscation!

  18. lolol, I didn’t know that reading comprehension was so difficult. Anything to launch another mindless, bitter, pre-scripted politically oriented attack where it wasn’t even related to the issue. Sweet Sassy Molassy what a waste of bits and data stream. Someone IS rabid, indeed.

  19. Jim – “Now… If only the McAuliffe administration would try to recover money from the Environmental Protection Agency ………………
    While the U.S. 460 fiasco rightfully generated a slew of in-depth newspaper reports, the EPA fiasco made one brief blip in the news cycle and then disappeared. The media has made no comparable effort to examine the issue, much less to hold the EPA accountable”

    this is political – and it implies that McAuliffe is not going what he should do – and the media is not reporting it.

    what exactly is McAuliffe not doing that other GOvs would have done?

    On what planet does ANY gov try to “recover money” from the EPA?

    so you DID play that card – in my view .. you implicated both McAuliffe AND the media in not doing what you believe they should have..

    and in both cases – you are spouting a typical right wing perspective.

    where, by the way, is that famous ROI argument you use on other issues?

    I would have found THAT argument non-partisan and appropriate without getting into blame games of people and agencies you clearly don’t like.

    You defend the McDonnells on bribery – then go after McAuliffe for not joining the far right attacks on the EPA…

    sheesh…

    • I toss in the towel, Larry. You wore me down. I just don’t have time to post another comment explaining how your last comment misconstrued my comment before that. You have free rein to write whatever you want and go uncorrected.

      • I’m reading your words Jim – and while you are fairly adroit in your writing – you are indeed partaking of a right perspective – in my view –

        all due respect – seriously –

        there has been plenty of media coverage of the CPP – that obviates any claim that the media is not reporting….it –

        and calling it a “fiasco” when it is a proposal – seems over the top..and blaming McAuliffe for not joining those like Bill Howell who is overtly partisan about the CPP also is off the mark.

        The CPP is a PROPOSAL – a LOT LIKE their proposal to get the lead out of gasoline –

        and I’ve pointed out how that effort had similar industry opposition – citing very similar reasons for the opposition – and included propaganda and partisan political influences..

        and they lost….

        and since that time – how effective would it be for the people who oppose the CPP to cite the unleaded gas rule as an example of the EPA going too far and killing jobs and harming the economy?

        I see the CPP through the same lens as I did the unleaded gas controversy where the industry sought and received political support from elected and conservative citizens.

        Apparently you do not. I think the history is clear – and it’s repeating.

  20. Not replying to any of the above argument threads, but raising a related point.

    My understanding is that the latest EPA rule makes very minimal changes to mercury emission (which was the original mandate for the rule) and that its changes to carbon emission are quite expensive. Further, despite the costs, the net impact on anticipated global warming is extremely modest, since it represents only a tiny fraction of emissions.

    Okay, here’s my point. Many middle-class jobs are dependent on inexpensive energy, in particular manufacturing jobs. We are currently suffering a deficit of solid middle class jobs.

    If this change is going to raise energy prices significantly, without having much of an impact on global warming, is it worth it? I am not asking if global warming is real, or if the proposed reg would reduce carbon emissions. I believe the answer to both of those questions is yes.

    However, all regulations are trade-offs. I’m asking if the cost of this regulation, in jobs and in particular middle class jobs, might exceed the benefit.

    Does anyone have any actual numbers as to what the quantified benefit of this regulation would be?

    • mercury bio-accumulates – it does not break down. Virtually all of Virginia’s water bodies are over the safe limit -so even more is being put into the environment.

      but read this (from CPP facts):

      It will also reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 percent.

      These reductions will lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion per year in 2030. This includes avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.

      These climate and health benefits far outweigh the estimated annual costs of the plan, which are $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion in 2030. From the soot and smog reductions alone, for every dollar invested through the Clean Power Plan, American families will see up to $7 in health benefits.”

      Finally – think about this – ask yourself what happens at a coal plant that is generating baseload – and cannot dynamically raise or lower – just runs 24/7 – when demand reduces – like at night?

      they disconnect the turbines but continue to burn coal that continues to put mercury and soot – that damages people’s health – into the atmosphere.

      the cost of electricity argument is disingenuous. It’s the same argument that industry used when getting the lead out of gas.

      do you think we have make gasoline less expensive by putting lead back in – or do you think we made the right decision even though at that time industry was making wild-assed claims that gasoline would go through the roof and people could not afford to drive to work, etc, etc?

      we have to be smart enough to know the difference between the truth and propaganda spewing from for-profit industry.

      you asked about cost-benefit – here it is:

      http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/fact-sheet-clean-power-plan-benefits

      • I looked at the EPA link. No benefits I saw were noted to come from mercury reduction. IIRC, that’s because mercury was almost entirely mitigated in the last round.

        Honestly, no, I do not believe the EPA’s numbers. Even at first look, the dollars versus the claimed human effects are pretty out of whack. At a million dollars per death, and a thousand dollars per asthma attack, the total savings are 6.75 billion, not 55 to 93 billion as claimed. Where is the rest of the savings?

        Fine particulates were already regulated to the level agreed to be acceptable. This latest round is supposed to be about carbon emissions, not particulates, yet all of the benefits specified are particulates. CO2 does not cause soot or smog and it is not a particulate.

        This is a teeny weeny reduction in carbon emissions. It is hard to believe that it would have huge impacts on climate change. It’s a symbol.

        Worries about cost of electricity is not disingenuous. Getting lead out of gas was, and is, generally recognized as a really good idea with a modest cost and large benefits. This sounds like a very marginal improvement with large costs and very modest benefits.

        BTW, the arguments against leaded gas were not about electricity prices.

        Bluntly, I think this is a political decision to show support for mitigating climate change. While I understand the politics, it’s a gesture that does risk a fairly fragile economy where a lot of people are hurting.

        • there is still mercury being emitted but no it’s not the focus of CPP

          but soot is – did you read about it’s health effects – but you donj’t believe it?

          re: “it’s a symbol” – no , it’s a start like we led in removing CFCs…

          Virginiagal2 – did you actually read about the history of the EPA trying to get the lead out of gas? Would you have supported it back then or just do not -after the fact?

          It’s easy to say – now – that getting lead out was right thing to do – back then -not so much… industry and right leaning folks stirred up lots of folks who opposed it – back then – now of course, they are all in favor.

          I said the cost thing is disingenuous because it’s the same tactic used back then for unleaded gas and CFCS – the opponents made the same argument. They’re doing it again. they made the price scare about unleaded gas, then CFCs and now CPP.. same tactics.

          BTW – I support – dynamically-priced electricity – like I do dynamically-priced gasoline and airline tickets and tolling.. it will work wonders on pricing and costs.

          we run coal plants 24/7 that pollute 24/7 even when they are not generating power.. that’s unconscionable from a pollution perspective that results in real harm to people’s health – kids, elderly and those with compromised immune systems – that you apparently do not believe.. that EPA did not create but got from the CDC and other health organizations.

          I believe the EPA before I believe the industry folks and their right-leaning, anti-regulation surrogates.. using the same scare tactics they have before.

          • virginiagal2

            There is not enough mercury reduction to show any benefit. Reread the justification. I did not see any citation of even one life saved, or one illness averted. And the original authorization for regs was based on mercury reduction.

            Larry, I’m old enough to remember when lead was in gasoline, and the arguments about removing it, so you don’t have to explain to me about something I actually lived through. Most people, including me, were in favor of lead removal. It was a different cost/benefit evaluation because the benefits were significantly larger than the costs.

            Estimating costs is not disingenuous – it is the actual way that informed citizens should be evaluating ALL regulations. In fact, I find your suggestion that considering costs is “disingenuous” to be incredibly alarming.

            The benefits estimated for CPP are small, Larry. The costs are large. Costs are not just health – not having a job is a cost. Driving blue collar jobs overseas, as we sit happy in the rightness of our beliefs, because we work in offices in jobs that don’t depend on electricity prices, is a cost.

            I’m sorry, but I don’t blindly believe the EPA, any more than I blindly believe industry, and in this case, my opinion is not based on arguments from the power industry. I’m listening to concerns from industries that depend on reasonably priced power – the downstream effects.

  21. Right now – there are dozens of items in modern cars that are required by regulation – like catalytic converters – that add significant costs to the price of the car – as well as require unleaded gas.

    The industry fought tooth and nail to stop the EPA rule – for more than 20 years … before the EPA prevailed.

    Now days – most people don’t even know their car has a catalytic converter nor why gasoline is unleaded – much less the costs associated with both – although from time to time – one will hear from critics that regionally-formulated gasoline is one of the reasons for high gas prices – and that – the benefits of cleaning burning, less polluting fuel are not worth it from a cost-benefit point of view.

    My point here is that most folks just take unleaded gas and catalytic converters for granted – and if industry and political groups revisited the issue and conducted PR efforts similar to what Dominion and other utilities are doing for CPP – it’s a scary thought – but I’d bet that a lot of people would agree with the folks who say that we’re paying a huge price for unleaded fuel with little benefits.

    this is the state of our politics these days. People don’t really know the facts nor the history -and they are clearly influenced by industry PR – which borders on disinformation and misinformation.. but it “works” because there folks on the right – who will back up industry and add their voice to those who oppose CPP.

    so when Dominion says electricity prices will skyrocket – most folks have no clue if it will or not – nor by how much – they just believe it.

    This is not a new thing. Ever since the EPA got created – virtually every proposal they have made – to reduce pollution – has been vociferously attacked by industry and their political proxies..

    whether is was DDT, or Dioxin, or PCBs, or deadly and persistent pesticides, tighter wastewater plan standards, combined-sewer overflows, storm water, underground gasoline tanks, standards for clean drinking water – there have been industry opponents who typically ally themselves with political folks who are ideologically opposed to regulation – of any kind – usually –

    you’ll NEVER see the usual political opponents of regulation – weigh in – in favor of some regulations. They are for the most part – opposed to any/all regulation as damaging to the economy.

    Let me point out – for instance – in the case of catalytic converters – that’s jobs. People get paid a salary to produce a catalytic converter. When we upgrade sewage treatment facilities – it provides jobs to the folks who make the new equipment.

    In sort, regulation usually CREATES jobs – not kill them.

    The MedicAid expansion would CREATE 30,000 new jobs in Va… not kill jobs…

    • Larry, of course there are lots of things that are regulated. And many, many of those regulations are really good ideas that we can all agree on.

      The fact, and it is a fact, that many regulations are good does not mean that any proposed regulation is good.

      No, most people would not argue against unleaded gas or catalytic converters, which are old regulations with large benefits and modest costs.

      The cases are different.

      This is not a religion where questioning the wisdom of a regulation is heresy. Each new regulation needs to stand, or fall, on the benefits it provides versus the costs it imposes.

      Economic costs are not industry PR. They are a reality of ALL regulations, and our duty, as informed citizens, is to weigh the benefits versus the economic costs.

      In particular, higher energy costs tend to most sharply cut into blue collar jobs like manufacturing. It has a strong effect on which jobs are done in the US and which go overseas.

      BTW, regulation does not create jobs. Yes, someone gets paid to create a catalytic converter, which person is often someone overseas. That increases the cost of a car, which makes cars less affordable, which means that the person who buys the more expensive car has less money to buy something else, which means less jobs are created to buy cars and the things that would have been bought if cars were cheaper.

      Increasing costs reduces efficiency, which means, essentially, you have less money to make the choices you want.

      Medicaid expansion doesn’t really create jobs. It shifts money from whatever it would have been spent on otherwise, to paying for Medicaid. You have a loss from the jobs that money would have supported, versus the jobs to support Medicaid.

      That doesn’t mean don’t do it, which is a different set of arguments, but it does mean you’re really shuffling deck chairs in terms of creating jobs.

  22. Larry, are you acquainted with the economic concept of “diminishing returns”?

    Back when there were no pollution controls, $1 billion invested in pollution controls yielded X benefit. Today, after decades of investments, an investment of $1 billion yields one hundredth of X.

    You claim the benefits of early anti-pollution investments for the current round of anti-pollution investments.

    • Jim – are you acquainted with the THEORY of diminishing returns especially with regard to being able to precisely calculate it?

      “Back when there were no pollution controls, $1 billion invested in pollution controls yielded X benefit. Today, after decades of investments, an investment of $1 billion yields one hundredth of X.”

      can you provide a cite for that? I don’t think so guy.

      “You claim the benefits of early anti-pollution investments for the current round of anti-pollution investments.”

      Actually I believe the cost-benefit calculations provided – by EPA and others and I would not disregard competitive opposing calculation beyond claimed “theories”.

      do you not believe the EPA cost-benefits?

      you seem to think the worst pollution was addressed first and now we’re down to minor pollution – and I’d say that’s a mistake in your thinking.

      I’d say that the HARDER ones remain.

      like we’re already polluted with mercury beyond safe levels and more science is expressing higher levels of concerns because mercury is bio-retained. It does not break down – it accumulates – so even if we are down to lower levels -we’re adding even more on top of what is already problematic.

      but if you have science that refutes the EPA numbers – you should provide it ..which is much more believable than the “theory of diminishing returns”.

      • Larry, Jim is correct about the law of diminishing returns, and the fact of greatly increased costs, for each small marginal improvement, is acknowledged by pretty much everyone, including environmental groups.

        In fact, if you wanted to take time and calculate it, Jim’s back of the envelope calculation is probably close to correct. If anything, he may be underestimating the increases in cost.

        I did opposing calculations, using high numbers (a million dollars for each theoretical shortened life, when the shortening could be dying a week earlier, and a thousand dollars for each asthma attack, when an attack can often be stopped by a hit on a rescue inhaler.) The resulting benefit was less than costs, and about an order of magnitude less than EPA’s claimed cost reduction.

        So I call shennanigans on the numbers. No, I do not believe the EPA cost-benefits.

        I do believe it’s an election year and environmentalists are an important interest group.

        BTW, yes, the worst pollution was addressed first, and yes, we are now down to increasingly minor improvements in pollutants, with increasing costs.

        Realize, the level of improvement with mercury was so small, the EPA did not claim ANY benefit whatsoever in its reduction.

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