By Bernie on 23 May 2012
The John E. Amos Coal Power Plant
Flickr User: Wigwam Jones
We have all seen films where terrorists hide a nuclear weapon in a city timed to explode sometime near the end of the movie. Most of the time the hero is able to disarm the weapon and save the populace from destruction.
In real life, we, the people, are the hero, the terrorist is President Obama and the time bomb is the Utility MACT rule promulgated by the EPA to end the use of coal-powered plants in this country.
By 2015, when this rule is in full effect, your electric bill could easily be 800% higher than it is now:
Fox News, 22 May 2012, Obama’s war on coal hits your electric bill
Obama’s War on Coal has already taken a remarkable toll on coal-fired power plants in America.
Last week the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a shocking drop in power sector coal consumption in the first quarter of 2012. Coal-fired power plants are now generating just 36 percent of U.S. electricity, versus 44.6 percent just one year ago.
It’s the result of an unprecedented regulatory assault on coal that will leave us all much poorer.
Last week PJM Interconnection, the company that operates the electric grid for 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) held its 2015 capacity auction. These are the first real, market prices that take Obama’s most recent anti-coal regulations into account, and they prove that he is keeping his 2008 campaign promise to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”
The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.
In some areas there may be no electric power at all:
For coal, the rule essentially ends the Clean Air Act grandfathering that has made it economic to keep running aging coal plants. The expected rule has already been cited in utility decisions to shut old units...
The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) warned in November that EPA's three-year timeline means hundreds of units shutting at once – either for months for retrofits, or permanently.
And don't think that energy prices going through the roof is just an unintended consequence of his policies, Obama knows and expects your utility bill to sky-rocket:
Hot Air, 2 Nov 2008, Obama: I’ll make energy prices “skyrocket”
In another clip from the same January 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in which Barack Obama promised to bankrupt anyone foolish enough to build coal-burning power plants, he also made an interesting admission about his entire energy plan. Obama told the editors that his policies would make energy prices “skyrocket” as the energy industry passed along the exorbitant costs of his cap-and-trade policy:
The problem is not technical, uh, and the problem is not mastery of the legislative intricacies of Washington. The problem is, uh, can you get the American people to say, “This is really important,” and force their representatives to do the right thing? That requires mobilizing a citizenry. That requires them understanding what is at stake. Uh, and climate change is a great example.
You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.
They — you — you can already see what the arguments will be during the general election. People will say, “Ah, Obama and Al Gore, these folks, they’re going to destroy the economy, this is going to cost us eight trillion dollars,” or whatever their number is. Um, if you can’t persuade the American people that yes, there is going to be some increase in electricity rates on the front end, but that over the long term, because of combinations of more efficient energy usage, changing lightbulbs and more efficient appliance, but also technology improving how we can produce clean energy, the economy would benefit.
If we can’t make that argument persuasively enough, you — you, uh, can be Lyndon Johnson, you can be the master of Washington. You’re not going to get that done.
In the next few weeks the Senate is set to vote on Inhofe Resolution, S.J. Res 37, which seeks to overturn Utility MACT rule. It will take just 51 votes to send a clear message to Obama that his War on Coal must end.
There is a form set up at American Commitment to make it easy to contact your senators on this crucial issue.
You may notice that there is a new widget in my sidebar:
which I will keep up until the Senate votes on the matter. Please take time to fill out the form and let your Senators know that we cannot abide such an egregious rule.
Anyone may republish this article for non-commercial use without asking my permission. I make it easy, see details here.
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