Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pariah: The coal-fired power plant

Cheap and abundant carbon-based energy is the one factor that helped man rise out of the Stone Age. There are a few areas of the Earth where the people are still in the stone age -- because they don't have access to cheap and abundant carbon-based energy.

The most efficient and cheapest way to get work done is by burning carbon in one form or another. Even creating, installing, and operating so-called "green" energy farms such as those using solar and wind require the consumption of huge amounts of carbon-based fuel.

Our traditional source of cheap and abundant energy is coal. In the United States, coal power accounted for 42% of the country's electricity production in 2011. Utilities buy more than 90 percent of the coal mined in the United States.

Coal is hardly the cleanest of fuels. But, over the years, the nation's coal-fired power plants have made incredible progress in cleaning up emissions such as soot, sulfur, and mercury. The remaining emissions are invisible, non-toxic carbon dioxide and harmless water vapor. Coal, today, produces clean and inexpensive electricity to much of the nation.

But, cleaning up those emissions have come at a cost. According to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations have led to the closure of nearly 290 coal plants this past year.

To make matters worse, Obama has announced he will make strict changes to coal-fired power plants by using his EPA to enact strict regulations. The EPA has proposed an emissions limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. New coal plants generally release about twice that. No one will be able to build a new plant and comply with the regulations.

Electricity prices could rise as much as 80% thanks to Obama and his rogue, unregulated and unlegislated Environmental Protection Agency. Unemployment will continue to skyrocket in communities that depend on coal. AS cheap carbon-based electricity is replaced by expensive solar- and wind-based electricity, the cost of recharging all those taxpayer-subsidized electric cars will force their owners into walking to work. How will the anti-carbon "greenies" among Obama's political base feel then? Back to the Stone Age.

The argument for this ever-increasing regulation is that carbon dioxide, a naturally-occurring molecule and an essential part of life itself is a pollutant! (Life is carbon-based, after all.) Carbon dioxide is a trace gas comprising only about .04% (four hundredths of one percent) of the atmosphere. Most sources of carbon dioxide emissions are natural, and are balanced to various degrees by natural carbon dioxide sinks. For example, the natural decay of organic material in forests and grasslands and the action of forest fires results in the release of about 439 gigatons of carbon dioxide every year, while new growth entirely counteracts this effect, absorbing 450 gigatons per year. Plants must have that alleged pollutant, carbon dioxide, to live!

With little proof other than computer models, it is argued that carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas" which contributes to global cooling or global warming or climate change or whatever the cause of the day is. So, carbon dioxide, an essential part of life itself, must be regulated.

One of Obama's faithful soldiers in the war against coal is Regina (Gina) McCarthy, of Massachusetts who is the Administrator of the EPA. She was appointed to lead the fight against carbon, the fight that seeks to return us to the Stone Age (except for the ruling class, of course).

I reject the climate-change lie. Inasmuch as the Constitution restricts the central government from regulating the environment, I reject the EPA's legitimacy. I demand that my representatives do likewise. I demand my representatives stop Obama, McCarthy, and the EPA from killing American businesses and our modern carbon-based way of life. The ERA effort to regulate carbon dioxide must be stopped!

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