Monday, 05 December 2011

EPA Regulations Cost Jobs and Cause Blackouts

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Reports indicate that the predominant costs of implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s new "green" economy regulations are job loss (as coal plants are forced to close) and mass blackouts.

President Obama admitted in a 2008 interview that he is intent on shutting down the U.S. coal industry:

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

A press release from GOP candidate Rick Perry's campaign claims the the Clean Air Act is specifically designed to reconfigure America's energy landscape and cause job losses. It states:

The president's ideologically driven objectives on greenhouse gases are so extreme, in fact, that the EPA recently admitted it would require 230,000 new federal bureaucrats to fully implement the terms of the Clean Air Act. The agency's admission confirms that the Clean Air Act was never intended to apply to greenhouse gases. Rather than simply concede that fact, the Obama administration has attempted to rewrite the Clean Air Act to satisfy its radical agenda of regulating the entire economy based on emissions.

Some analysts say that Obama’s agenda could result in the loss of 7,000 coal mining jobs nationwide, approximately 10 percent of the coal industry total. "President Obama claims to be a 'warrior for the middle class,' but his job-killing regulatory policies are hammering middle class families already struggling to make ends meet," said Perry spokesman Mark Miner. "The president should freeze the proposed federal regulations endangering thousands of West Virginia jobs and the very existence of the industry that provides 44 percent of America's electricity."

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The Obama administration has made efforts to stop construction of new clean-burning coal plants, resulting in a shortage of energy, greatly impacting residents across the country. In July 2008, a Superior Court judge in Fulton County, Georgia, blocked the construction there of a coal plant; in 2009, the EPA blocked approval for a coal-fired power plant in South Dakota; and the list goes on.

Earlier this year, Texas utility companies were forced to plan power outages across the state, angering officials at major hospitals in Texas, who believe that hospitals should be exempt from such actions given the services they provide.

“Because of the sensitive life-saving equipment, hospitals are considered 'critical care facilities,' and supposed to be exempt from rolling blackouts,” reported CBS 11. “That’s exactly what Presbyterian [hospital in] Dallas was led to believe. 'We were of the understanding that hospitals and other critical-care providers were not supposed to be affected by planned outages,' said hospital spokesman Stephen O’Brien."

In addition to hospitals, other emergency response facilities such as nursing homes, fire departments, and police stations have been hit by power outages as well because of an increased demand.

The blackouts even forced many places in Texas to rely on Mexico for their power. “Mexico’s state electricity company on Wednesday started supplying electricity to the US state of Texas, where demand shot up amid unusually cold temperatures and caused power outages,” reported AFP.

Likewise, in New Mexico, thousands of residents were without natural gas last February, forcing Governor Susana Martinez to declare a state or emergency. Residents on the borders were asked to limit their use of natural gas while the Texas Gas Service requested larger commercial facilities to voluntarily close their doors to save supplies. Arizona residents were asked to limit their use of hot water and lower their thermostat levels.

Obama’s Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer asserted that the blackouts resulted not from EPA standards but from mechanical failures; however, those claims were refuted by the Austin American-Statesman, among others, which reported,

Texas could face power shortages as soon as next year as aging plants are mothballed in response to new environmental standards, according to the state’s grid operator and the organizations that monitors the U.S. power grids for the federal government.

The report by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. found that many older power plants in Texas will be retired rather than retrofitted to meet new federal emission standards.

To boot, the Houston Chronicle noted, “Already Dallas-based Luminant Generation Co., Texas’ largest electricity generator, has announced it intends to idle two coal-fired generating units as part of a plan to comply with the rule.”

Journalist Paul Joseph Watson opined:

The CEG [Clean Energy Group consortium] opposes the building of new plants or a delay in implementing the EPA standards, demanding instead that Americans curtail their energy use, or in other words lower their living standards to satisfy the politicized, agenda-driven, money-making scam that is climate change and the carbon credit industry.

It is worth noting that the entire carbon tax system has been proven to be a fraudulent money-making scheme in which President Obama is highly invested, as he was one of the major movers who helped launch the privately owned Chicago Climate Exchange when he served as director of the Joyce Foundation. The President himself admitted during a 2008 interview, “Under my plan for a cap and trade system, energy costs would necessarily skyrocket.”

Critics of the government-mandated "green" economy note that Spain — which in the last few years has made an all-out green push similar to that in the United States — now has soaring energy costs and an unemployment rate of over 22 percent.