Monday, August 3, 2015

Obama to Unveil Tougher Environmental Plan With His Legacy in Mind - The New York Times

Obama to Unveil Tougher Environmental Plan With His Legacy in Mind - The New York Times:

There's some good and some bad about this.

We really should have an energy policy in the country, but we don't. And the congress should be doing that planning and guiding of long-term energy and economic development. But no.

The video says saving on energy. That's not true, it will cost more for energy, the massive savings will come from improved health. Coal causes huge health and environmental impacts.

"The Clean Power Plan will ultimately save about $45 billion a year, the EPA says, by both shrinking Americans’ energy use and reducing health costs for asthma, lung cancer and other illnesses caused by air pollution. The EPA estimates the rule will also cut about $85 a year from the average American’s utility bill."  via USA News.

Expect that the costs at the meter will be more, especially since it is so easy for the power utilities to pass them on, given a good (or bad) excuses. However, the health savings are each and every year forever. These are massive savings. Probably far greater than the $45B or so estimated.

The switch from coal is happening already without any such effort by the EPA. Clean(er) NatGas has been over-abundant and been the main gainer over the last 8 years. Also, we flair about half of the NatGas in the USA from fracking, why not figure out how to flair it into an electric generator and wire the energy back home?

Two secrets of coal is that about 10,000 people die each year in mining accidents, mostly coal. That's more than die in many years from natural disasters. The really dirty little secret of coal is coal ash. It has very high levels of heavy metals and such. It appears that we have no plan as to what to do with the ash, so it sits around in every state just waiting for disaster. Much like we have not plan for Nuclear waste.

NatGas is far better than coal, but it is still not sustainable. Since power plant planning is 50 to 100 years forward thinking, it seems that we should be doing likewise. Wind only works when the wind blows. Solar only works with the sun signs.

It seems that if we had a plan to be sustainable eventually, we would be better able to make decisions on the actions that a rational man (or woman) would make today.

Sadly, the coal miners and coal economies are stuck in the middle of this ugly downturn to their livelihood way of life.

Just saying...

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