Fake News: Trump Deregulation Will Increase CO2 Emissions

It pays to read past the headline and lede paragraph of Washington Post news stories. Here’s a case in point. In an article published yesterday, the headline blasted, “New Trump power plant plan would release hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the air.”

The lede paragraph elaborated: An overhaul of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan “could significantly increase the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

Yet, according information appearing lower in the story, the Environmental Protection Agency’s impact analysis found that the administration’s proposal would make “slight cuts to overall emissions of pollutants, including CO2, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide.” The newspaper’s beef is that the Obama plan would have bigger cuts — twelve times as big.

Someone — whether the reporter, the editors, or both, I don’t know — apparently can’t grasp the difference between the concept that the administration’s plan would reduce CO2 emissions by a smaller amount and the concept that it would increase CO2 emissions.

And, oh, by the way, deep down in the article, the reporter, Juliet Eilperin, noted that electric utility carbon emissions will decline without regulatory intervention in any case “because of market pressures and other factors after the new rule takes place.”

I suppose we should give Eilperin credit for getting some basic facts straight in the story. But someone botched the interpretation of those facts up top. Either they are innumerate or blatantly biased — or possibly both. If “Democracy dies in darkness,” the WaPo is the one drawing the curtains.

The Washington Post keeps close track of President Trump’s lies, inaccuracies, and mis-statements. I wonder if it keeps track of its own.

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31 responses to “Fake News: Trump Deregulation Will Increase CO2 Emissions”

  1. For the record, nothing in this post constitutes a “defense” of the Trump administration or its regulatory rollback. It is purely an “attack” on the integrity of the Washington Post.

  2. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    The Post, like most members of the MSM, has no integrity. A increase in government spending from what someone proposed is a cut in spending. I guess the same that is a reduction in CO2 emissions is an increase.

    I guess Juliet Eilperin would have fit in well working for Goebbels in the 1930s. And I find that disgusting.

  3. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Works the same with money in Washington. If you increase spending more slowly than a liberal would, that’s a cut.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      when is a cut not a cut but a decrease in the increase ? I hear that from Conservatives all the time when they talk about DOD and their favorite funded favorites…

      so when is a tax cut not a tax cut? hmm…. maybe when you cut taxes but don’t cut spending and you finance the tax cut by selling more treasury notes and increase the deficit and debt? Geeze – the Dems have been advocating deficit spending for decades and claiming it would goose the economy. Now the GOP is saying the SAME THING!!!

  4. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    If a lawyer did that in court or before an agency, he/she would lose all credibility and, in some circumstances, be subject to discipline. I wrote and filed some comments with a federal agency. Subsequently, one of the key facts changed slightly. Ergo, I’m drafting an updated statement of fact that will be filed with the agency.

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    ” U.S. emissions probably won’t increase under Trump, study says. But they won’t fall, either”


    so the very same WaPo says different things ??? SHAZAAAMMM… !!!

    but wait!

    U.S. regulators want to halt plans to keep raising fuel-economy standards and are proposing ways to strip California’s ability to go its own way on the rules.

    Transportation Department officials have drafted a proposal outlining how the federal government could override a waiver that permits California to set stricter limits than Washington on air pollution and greenhouse gases coming from cars and trucks, according to senior administration and congressional officials familiar with the plan. It would be the most dramatic move yet in a face-off between Washington and the country’s most populous state over the Trump administration’s effort to dial back some Obama-era emissions rules. WSJ

    want more?

    Here’s the point.

    Anytime any article is printed in virtually ANY media – and someone disagrees with it – it then becomes “proof” that the “Mainstream Media” is lying again…

    I guess I’d like to know WHICH specific media is NOT the MSM that people believe does not print “lies” and “fake news”.

    I have NEVER believed ANY single article in any paper unless and until I can find it in other media to include FOX and WSJ…. then I start to develop some level of confidence on what is agreed on and what is not… and I go from there.

    When folks get to the point where they unilaterally call publications like WaPo and NYT “fake news” … WHERE exactly do you go to get “real” news and why not say that when you’re crying fake news? Just condemn the WaPo and then tell us where you found the truth!

    Beyond that – if you think WaPo is the height of lying and fake news – why in the world do you continue reading it ?

    Reminds me of mobs of ignorati… pitchforks and torches.. out looking for anyone who has “lied” to string them up..

    Folks – the papers and the TV – no matter which one has NEVER told the truth from on high – 100%… NEVER – because “reporters” whether they be at CNN or FOX or WaPo or the Washington Examiner – have been known to color their reporting… it’s what all media does and has done for decades.

    Tell me the paper or TV that has always told the truth…. come on… name them…

    Oh… and of course some of the biggest critics will religiously cite folks like Alex Jones as “truth-tellers” or even wilder conspiracy sites!

    but again – if you hate WaPo – WHY do you continue to read it? geeze….

    1. “If you think WaPo is the height of lying and fake news – why in the world do you continue reading it?

      Good question. I continue reading the WaPo because not all of its reporting is fake news. And even when it is fake news, it drives political perceptions and the news cycle.

      Look, most conservative publications are just as biased in their reporting. The difference is that they make no bones about it. They don’t have a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou priggishness about them. Also, they don’t matter. No conservative print/Internet publication, other than the Wall Street Journal, comes close to the WaPo for prestige (remember Watergate, anyone?) and its ability to drive the national political agenda.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        re: ” They don’t have a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou priggishness about them.”

        really? I don’t see it… at least any more or any less than the Conservative publications which actually seem to spend a lot of their time aggressively attacking others…people, institutions, other media.. as part of their normal shtick… surely you have sampled some of FOX prime time.. right?

        The only two folks on FOX that seem reasonable are Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith.. the rest need some meds… Ditto situation with MSN and CNN… but I don’t scream FAKE NEWS every time some idiot on FOX blathers just nutty stuff…laced with hate and invective..

        but again – if you REALLY think WaPo lies – then why read it at all? It seems hypocritical…

        It’s like instead of writing them off once and for all.. there is a need for a daily whipping… just to keep that ole whip properly exercised…

        This is “bad” reporting – all around.. no question.. but there is also some better – even good reporting.. as well as editorials.. and like life – which is full of scoundrels and posers… you roll with it.. and it’s up to you to use your own senses and intelligence to take in information – and figure out what is true and what is not – and try to keep your own biases under control.

        1. Another example: A front-page “news” article in the Post yesterday accused Trump of using a “racially charged insult” for calling Omarosa a “dog.” That descriptor wasn’t a quote from someone in, say, the Democratic Party — it was applied by the writers themselves.

          “The president of the United States had just lobbed another racially charged insult — this time calling his former top African American adviser a “dog”…

          Well, the news to me is that “dog” has become a racial epithet. For sure, it is an insult, and it is unbecoming and undignified for a president to use such a term. It’s business as usual for Trump, and the use of such language is understandably dismaying to a lot of people.

          Equally dismaying is Washington Post reporters deciding — upon what basis I cannot imagine — that the insult was racist. So, the arbiters of our culture have now proclaimed that it is racist to insult a minority, even if the insult has no ethnic connotations. That’s how you get more Donald Trump — not out of animosity to minorities but out of animosity to the cultural arbiters.

  6. “An overhaul of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan “could significantly increase the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere…”

    Blah blah….Such double-talk!!!
    When EPA announced the Clean Power Plan they said it was a very benign regulation that was simply codifying existing trends in energy. Now we hear armadgeddon ensues if CPP is not implemented.

    The enegy/enviromental issue represents a serious issue for Liberals. Liberals want to say USA pollution needs to be zero as soon as possible. That means we need to send all of USA industry that Liberals find poltically unaceptable to other countries with weaker eco regulations and cheap labor. And we have to live in the woods.

  7. LarrytheG Avatar

    well no.. Liberals believe that Climate Change is an existential threat to the planet, it’s environment and the critters including humans that rely on it for life.

    If you believe that -then cutting fossil fuel burning is imperative…

    Now if you don’t believe that – then all of this stuff about emissions is just fake news, right? And Trump is not doing near enough to undo more of it…

    Funny thing is that people who say Climate Change is a fraud – for some reason they still are concerned about things like sea level… but won’t admit there might be a connection… it’s just an increasing sea level.. that’s all.. we don’t know why…

  8. TooManyTaxes Avatar

    As I often write, it’s also about the things that the MSM suppresses. It’s not different from the way Goebbels or Stalin dispensed with propaganda and repressed contrary information. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/07/failed-prognostications-of-climate-alarm/

    We need to address climate issues like all other issues with facts. And in very few situations in life, there are facts that only cut one way. Good reporting just like good public policy would consider all the data and facts. But even if an MSM reporter tried to report some of the items above, he or she would not likely get published and could well loose a job.

    One does not need to oppose non-fossil fuel energy to want all the information on the climate issue in the public arena.

  9. Dear Jim, your post applies an infuriating leap of defective logic. The Obama “Clean Power Plan” is a final EPA rule, in effect but for a stay on appeal. In other words the CPP is the status quo. The Trump rule will lower the CPP’s requirements to something else — which, by the way, is not the “deregulation” your post’s caption calls it, but a “new power plan” as the WaPo caption more accurately describes it.

    Anyway, your media name calling misses the point. What’s going on here is harmful to the environment because most utilities have already baked the CPP rules into their planning and lined up financing to replace them; but now they will be required under State least-cost-planning requirements to go back and re-evaluate keeping those old coal plants going. This is much bigger than Dominion; in fact Virginia, being downwind from the big Rust Belt coal plants in the Midwest, is forecast to benefit air-quality-wise more than most states from the CPP. As the WaPo article (again, accurately) says,

    “Many utilities have moved to retire coal plants in recent years and switch to either natural gas or renewable power, which are more economically competitive. But the proposed rule, which focuses on improving their heat efficiency and would allow for upgrades without triggering the kinds of pollution controls currently required under federal law, could shift that dynamic.”

    Under the CPP, in addition to overall emissions caps, if you modify a coal plant significantly it ceases to be grandfathered but must be brought into compliance with current clean air requirements — hardly a novel concept — but when you are dealing with 40+ year old power plants the extent you can rebuild it and still claim it’s the original plant is a big deal.

    More fundamentally, if you ask most utility executives to tell you honestly and off-the-record what they want they will tell you they’d much prefer to shut down these coal plants. They are old and dirty and labor intensive and inefficient to cycle and still won’t have a long useful life ahead; besides which, building new power plants designed to be competitive in today’s energy markets is a better financial bet for shareholders. And, increasingly, many utility execs are convinced that GW is real, that our nation will have to help the world deal with it, that our domestic politics will come to that realization, and that when that day comes they will be much better off if they have already started down that road rather than be faced with all the financial consequences of a radical change of direction.

    Perhaps the biggest problems a capital-intensive electric utility’s management can have is a regulatory regime that changes its mind. The Trump Administration is doing the industry no long term favors here — even though some industry leaders will say they applaud these changes publicly, because they opposed the CPP initially and the short term cost savings from abandoning it may be real. But is that where they think public policy will be in 20 years? 10 years? Will we be any further along towards the grid of the future, towards distributed solar and offshore wind and massive battery storage? Will Hampton Roads be any less under water?

    In sum, Jim, your mischaracterization of this WaPo article displays entirely too much gloating over sentiments I think you’ll come to regret, soon enough.

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      Acbar, the CPP is, indeed, a final rule. But as you stated, it has been stayed by the Supreme Court. I believe a stay in this case preserves the status quo (the situation before the rule took or would take effect). If the speed limit on Main Street is reduced by a city council ordinance from 35 mph to 25 mph but a court stays the ordinance, a police officer could not write Bacon a ticket for going 32 mph on Main Street. The speed limit remains 25 pending further action from the court.

      Ditto for the CPP rules. They may appear in the Code of Federal Regulations but should be noted they are not in effect. I’ve seen numerous rules over the years that on the books but haven’t taken effect because OMB has not yet approved the data gathering requirement.

      It the media wrote a story about the new reporting rule, in my example, any description that did not include a statement the rule is not in effect would be misleading. And incorrect. A WaPo assumption that the CPP produces X and X is the status quo is simply wrong. The CPP is not effective; ergo X is not the status quo and a change from the status quo is not a change from X.

    2. Acbar, you seem to assume that I approve of the Trump regulatory initiative. That’s not the case (as I made clear in the comment appearing at the very top). I haven’t developed a position pro or con. A lot of the arguments you advanced make sense. None of them appeared in the referenced Washington Post article, however.

      My problem is with the Washington Post article, which contradicts its lede by the fourth paragraph or so.

    3. LarrytheG Avatar

      Acbar – thank you. I just want to point out that LONG BEFORE “Climate” – people wanted coal plants to clean up or go away because of the quantifiable health impacts to people … that was long before Obama… it was already moving forward under Bush… Coal is an exceedingly destructive source of electricity from the moment it comes out of the ground… to when it is burned and spews mercury across the countryside to when it ends up as piles of coal ash that leech into ground water.

      There is virtually no reasonable justification for using it .. it’s the quintessential tragedy of the commons…where lots of people are harmed but no one is really responsible.. that’s essentially what Trump and pro coal folks are advocating.. back to the days where we just totally crapped up the environment and harmed people but we had “no choice”. We do have a choice and we have made it and we did that before Climate Change. Now we ADD Climate Change to he already extensive list of bad stuff that comes form coal thanks to the idiots in the Trump Administration and their ignorati supporters.

      1. Agreed — especially the mining impacts. But this rule change comes too late to revive coal-fired electricity generation generally. See the WSJ articles cited below.

  10. The CPP was never about climate change. It was about selling more natural gas. From a total greenhouse gas perspective coal and natural gas are equivalent, at least in the 20-100 year range where many believe the climate tipping point might occur.

    Wall Street investors, gas producers, and pipeline owners wanted to sell more natural gas at higher prices. The utilities wanted to exchange old, nearly depreciated, expensive to operate coal plants for gas-fired plants with a new 40-year revenue stream from ratepayers.

    The new regulations that we need are not related to climate issues. We need to decouple new generation from the rate base throughout the nation. Once utilities don’t have an economic incentive to build unnecessary generating plants, the energy market will select the lowest-cost methods of generation, which now happen to be the cleanest. Energy efficiency and customer-sited solar would no longer work against the utilities’ need for more revenues. The utilities would be paid differently to do things that have value.

    One change deals with many different problems.

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      Why doesn’t the media cover this Tom? Ideology trumps all in the world of the MSM.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        re: ” Why doesn’t the media cover this Tom? Ideology trumps all in the world of the MSM.”

        so there is NO MEDIA in the entire world that “covers: this? and therefore that is proof that all media is MSM and cannot be trusted?

        what do you do for “news” then – if all media is MSM and not trustable?

    2. I’d say Tom is giving a politicized and non-main stream view of the Clean Power Plan. He basically saying as strict as CPP was, it did not ban natural gas so it would have been bad for the planet.

      The Clean Power Plan gave the states flexibility to adopt less carbon polluting methods. That could include more natural gas if the state elected to go that way.

      Also the CPP gave flexibility for State “A” to increase CO2, as long as State “B” decreased CO2, as long as overall CO2 was decreased.

      Tom is voicing an opinion, that I do not share, that natural gas vs. coal is not a valid CO2-reduction technique. Also re: Virginia, the environmentalists vehemently disagree agree with trading off more natural gas in Va. for less coal in West Va. They want to see Virginia CO2 capped, and then plan for reduction to zero. So as strict as CPP was, Tom would make it much stricter.

      I assume we get Democratic leadership fairly soon in gut reaction to Trump. So I just think this is the area where the Dems are going to get stuck trying to force our society into impossible corner of Liberal poltically correct mandates.

      1. I don’t care much for politicized approaches. I guess I am a throwback to the days when facts mattered.

        My point is that the CPP was touted as a regulation to deal with climate change. By dealing only with carbon and not total greenhouse gas effects it misled the public into believing that natural gas was a solution to climate change. This was a false notion that the energy industry and Wall Street were only too happy to perpetuate for the advantages that I mentioned.

        The science seems to be well supported about the greenhouse gas effects from gas-fired plants and the leaks in their supply chain being equal to the greenhouse gas effects from burning coal, at least within the next 100 years.

        Even with the CPP, VIrginia’s original long-term plan would have increased carbon emissions in the state.

        I am only suggesting, and I know it is a stretch nowadays, that if you are passing a law that says it will do something (assist with climate change) we should make sure it actually accomplishes that. Instead of just giving the appearance of doing something.

        Many of the methane leaks could be dealt with quite inexpensively, but we are not focusing on that.

        As long as we focus only on CO2 for climate issues we are spending money on solutions (more gas-fired plants) that will not make a difference but will cost consumers a great deal more.

    3. You are correct as to the law. I am trying to reflect the way the electric utility sees it, i.e., responds to it: the CPP has been the target for planning and operational purposes ever since it was adopted by the EPA, albeit with some trepidation as to which of the compliance options the utility’s state regulators would select. That’s really my point: when planning 40-year-lead-time facilities you have to make the best assumptions you can and, prior to D.T., the assumption everyone made was that the CPP (or something very close to it) was destined to be the EPA’s final say. This assumption governed at both the State and federal regulatory levels and on Wall Street, notwithstanding the court’s stay, until a substantial political reversal of the rule became plausible due to D.T.’s election. That’s also the way the press has seen it, and all the noisy enviro groups, and most everybody else who believed the CPP would eventually be implemented.

      Yet JB writes: “Fake News: Trump Deregulation Will Increase CO2 Emissions . . . Someone — whether the reporter, the editors, or both, I don’t know — apparently can’t grasp the difference between the concept that the administration’s plan would reduce CO2 emissions by a smaller amount and the concept that it would increase CO2 emissions.” Sorry, but that snarky put-down impugns the good faith efforts of a lot of people to do the right thing for the environment, and of the press to report it, both before the CPP and certainly for the past five years in light of it.

      The new rule will back down from the CPP but does not entirely withdraw EPA’s regulation of the situation. So now what is going to happen? There will be a new rule, a CPP version 2. It is going to relax the restrictions on keeping some old coal fired generation alive. Utilities like Dominion, that had already retired or converted some old coal units (e.g. at Possum Point), proceeded post-CPP to retire additional coal facilities (e.g. at Bremo, Chesterfield) and to complain bitterly about the absence of progress on transmission upgrades that would allow the retirement of its other coal units (e.g. at Yorktown). So the local impact won’t be that great. Coal generation of electricity is dead in Virginia and this D.T. initiative isn’t going to revive it.

      But this will work to give a few utilities in the midwest, heavily invested in coal-fired facilities (and also heavily invested in fighting to delay the CPP) a cost advantage they would not have had. Whom does that hurt, you say? Well, it penalizes the utilities that went ahead and planned on the basis of the CPP, because the wholesale energy market will not be as favorable/profitable for the new NGCC units Dominion has built as it would have been for the next few years; this hurts Dominion’s retail customers and shareholders. And it may cause those midwest utilities to keep a few of those big coal plants going by means of major upgrades they otherwise wouldn’t have made, delaying their retirement or conversion. And it hurts the air quality of the states that are downwind of those plants that have won life extensions (notably Virginia). And it’s a finger in the face of those concerned about achieving lower overall carbon emissions nationally — which, ultimately, appears to be the principal purpose of the EPA’s actions. Perhaps, seen in that light, you can understand why I think this post was too snarky by far.

  11. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” As I often write, it’s also about the things that the MSM suppresses. It’s not different from the way Goebbels or Stalin dispensed with propaganda and repressed contrary information. ”

    And you are WRONG TMT – no dictator controls our news and force it to dispense propaganda…

    and AGAIN – if you do not believe the MSM – then why read it at all?

    AND if you and others believe this – why don’t you support media that you DO BELIEVE?

    Come on TMT – you guys are not reasonable here. Any thing you don’t like or disagree with then is used to impugn the media .. and if I asked you or others like you to name the media you DO believe that you DO think is NOT MSM – what answers would I get ? What I hear often is websites – not real media and those websites are notorious for their lack of facts.. rampant conspiracy theories and worse – hate and invective – riling up people to attack others … personally – for their race or gender or as “leftists” and Antifas…

    Ya’ll have a problem with “media”… it’s okay to hate specific media and then name the media you do trust but it’s not okay to impugn virtually ALL media as you would media that is controlled by dictators… LORD!

    1. TooManyTaxes Avatar

      Both Stalin and Goebbels regularly suppressed news that didn’t fit with their agenda. For example, Goebbels regularly suppressed news of German defeats. The Post, for example, regularly suppresses news inconsistent with its political views. It’s not the government suppressing the news. I give you that.

      But the media hold themselves out as being honest brokers seeking to undercover and report the facts, the truth if you will. But repressing news that is inconsistent with one’s political views or digging deeply into one side of an issue but not the other is inconsistent with this honest broker role.

      Let’s take a very simply example. The Post spent considerable effort at reporting the gifts and favors accepted by Bob McDonnell – presumably as being inconsistent with his responsibilities as an elected official. Seems reasonable to me. So given that Tim Kaine has also accepted numerous gifts and favors — presumably inconsistent with Kaine’s responsibilities as an elected official. So if the Post were the honest broker, one would expect similar coverage of Kaine as the paper devoted to McDonnell. But, as we all know, the Post didn’t want McDonnell in office and does want Kaine if office. So the Post suppresses news or “hides” it on page 12 all the while telling the public it is an honest broker.

      If the management of the Post had any integrity, it would behave as an honest broker or state publicly that it exists to push an aggressive left agenda.

      It’s not dissimilar to the role of an attorney. We operate as strong advocates for our clients but we are also officers of the court. We have an obligation not to make misrepresentations to the court and to correct any misstatements promptly.

  12. Jane Twitmyer Avatar
    Jane Twitmyer

    Last year, coal consumption fell to its lowest level since 1982… more than 12 gigawatts of coal power capacity are slated for retirement in 2018. Cutting back on pollution requirements makes no sense. The plants are being closed because they are old. In 2010 Credit Suisse said: 70% of the US coal fleet is over 30 years old and 33% of the fleet is over 40years old, all past useful life. It is cheaper to close them. We will save the $20billion in annual subsidies, produce cheaper electricity with other technology, and without pollution controls everyone sues.

    Specifically, the court said recently the EPA must enforce the act’s “good neighbor” provision, which requires the agency to stop smog emitted in one state from causing harm to residents of another state. This is the same EPA who is trying to reinstate old emission rates and continue a bad neighbor policy?

    A district judge ruled against the EPA in a suit filed by the states of New York and Connecticut. That same day, another district judge did the same with a similar suit filed in Maryland by that state as well as the Adirondack Council, Environmental Defense Fund and Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
    The three earlier decisions were as follows:
    ¯ On Feb. 7, a district court in Connecticut held that EPA had unlawfully delayed action on Connecticut’s petition for relief from the interstate pollution that contributes to unhealthy ozone levels.
    ¯ On March 12, a U.S. District Court in California ordered EPA to move forward with implementation of the health-based 2015 Ozone Standards. Ground-level ozone is a key component in smog. EDF was also a party to that case.
    ¯ On June 12, a federal district court in Manhattan found that EPA had violated statutory deadlines to issue plans to reduce interstate air pollution from five upwind states that causes unhealthy smog in New York and Connecticut.

    Here is an old post from the Union of Concerned Scientists … Do we really want to keep doing this?

    A 500 megawatt coal plant produces 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power a city of about 140,000 people. It burns 1,430,000 tons of coal, uses 2.2 billion gallons of water and 146,000 tons of limestone.
    It also puts out, each year:
    10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide (SOx) is the main cause of acid rain,.

    10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is a major cause of smog,
    3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide
    500 tons of small particles.
    220 tons of hydrocarbons.
    720 tons of carbon monoxide.
    125,000 tons of ash and
    193,000 tons of sludge from the smokestack scrubber.
    225 pounds of arsenic,
    114 pounds of lead,
    4 pounds of cadmium,
    Trace elements of uranium.
    The 2.2 billion gallons of water it uses for cooling is raised 16 degrees F on average before being discharged into a lake or river.

    Coal is done! We should talk about how to deal with those left behind coal communities.

    1. So, Jane, it sounds like most of the coal plants will be phased out regardless of what EPA promulgations come down from on high, be they they Obama version or the Trump version. It’s just a matter of time. The question is whether or not they continue to produce power for a few years before they are retired.

      Regarding those pollution statistics, I have a question: Do those reflect pollution levels under the MATS standards, or are they pre-MATS numbers?

    2. Jane- I agree with your premise that coal-buring as practiced in USA is potentially very detremental. In fact, I have quite vocally campaigned against it last 30-years. But that does not mean I oppose cleaner coal technology nor natural gas.

      At the same time, I’d say former EPA Admnin. McCarthy pretty much pulled out her swift sword and tried to decapitate the industry in one fell swoop, at the same time saying to the public this was a gentle effort to coax the USA in the right direction. I would have been more understanding of the need for careful phase out. Not sure how exactly, but I am not a fan of the coal burning as practiced either.

      I had my canoe in the Adironacks as young man, and I know the fish were long since dead except the few lakes treated with lime to combat the acid rain. I am considering a pilgrimage to see today situation, maybe then donate my old canoe to Burke Lake or something.

      1. Agree with you, TBill, that the EPA handled the original CPP very badly and deserved much of the criticism it received for it. That said, after five years the CPP had become the utilities’ baseline for better or worse, and to roll it back now is a politically symbolic but largely ineffective effort, creating a few short-term winners and losers, along with more of the divisiveness the President delights in. As Jane says, “we have continued to move further faster than many believed possible, so yes … it is only a matter of time for fossil fuels. . . . Coal is done! We should talk about how to deal with those left behind coal communities.” Glad to see that Jim generally accepts that conclusion.

  13. Jane Twitmyer Avatar
    Jane Twitmyer

    Yup! The U.S. is on track to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, according to a forecast from the government’s Energy Information Administration, even without its requirements in effect.

    When Trump, as President, first said he was going to do away with the Clean Power Plan there was a lot of hand wringing, but there was also a bunch of us who believed we were too far down the ‘clean’ path to be stopped. Now we have continued to move further faster than many believed possible, so yes … it is only a matter of time for fossil fuels. Trouble is Onama’s Plan was not enough really.

    Cities, some states and many, many corporations have kept moving forward. Dominion is forced into large scale solar by IT corporations locating in VA, whose presumed energy needs were Dominion’s basis for 2 more gas plants a few years ago.

    The coal plant numbers are what a plant actually produces … without controls, I believe.

  14. Two current articles to Jane’s point that most utilities have already committed irreversibly to back down on fossil fuels generally, let alone coal:

    EPA Head Signs Proposal to Undo Restrictions on Coal Plants https://www.wsj.com/articles/epa-head-signs-proposal-to-undo-restrictions-on-coal-plants-1534803381

    Power Companies to Stick With Plans Despite EPA’s Emissions Repeal https://www.wsj.com/articles/epa-moves-proposal-to-withdraw-obama-power-plant-rules-1507657014

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