By the Full Metal Patriot
Every year in Texas, when temperatures peak over the century mark, there are invariably rolling blackouts here in Dallas due to lack of power-generating capacity. And every year, I wonder “why doesn't the power company account for the high energy demand of Texas summers and make plans to generate accordingly?”
Well, now I see that it's not that simple, thanks to the activist policies of the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency. [emphasis added below]
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The largest power generator in Texas said Monday that unless its lawsuits prevent a new EPA rule from taking effect early next year, it will close a large section of one power plant, which could lead to rolling power outages in the summer.Coal-fired power plants provide 49% of consumed electricity in the United States. But in the Obama administration, where rainbows and unicorns create free power for everyone, power plants are evil entities which must be regulated out of existence. Or they are punished as criminals while “green energy” companies like Solyndra get a free pass, soaking up hundreds of millions in loans from the federal government just a few months before they declared bankruptcy.
Dallas-based Luminant filed one federal lawsuit Monday to remove Texas from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which is to take effect Jan. 1. The company plans to file another suit later this week to try to block the rule completely, Luminant spokesman Allan Koenig said.
The rule requires Texas and 26 other states to reduce smokestack pollution causing smog and soot in downwind states - where it combines with other contaminants, making it impossible for those states to meet air quality standards. The new rule replaces a 2005 Bush administration proposal that a federal court rejected.
Under the EPA's initial proposal, Texas' power plants were required to address only summertime smog-forming pollution. But in July, the EPA announced Texas must reduce sulfur dioxide, responsible for acid rain and soot, and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to both smog and soot.
The only way Luminant can comply is by shutting down two of three units at one plant and making other changes, which will eliminate 500 jobs and reduce generating capacity by 1,300 megawatts, Koenig said. The company has already reduced emissions with some of its previous projects, he said.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state's power grid operator, said residents could face rolling power outages during the hottest months of the year because officials don't have enough time to offset the losses before the EPA's deadline. The loss of 1,200 megawatts to 1,400 megawatts during the summer months is enough to cause "potential impacts," according to ERCOT.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Monday that the EPA did not provide adequate notice or scientific justification to Texas before imposing the rule.
Gov. Rick Perry, the frontrunner among Republican presidential candidates, said the Obama administration "continues to put up road blocks for our nation's job creators by imposing burdensome regulations based on assumptions, not facts, that will result in job losses and increased energy costs with no definite environmental benefit.".
The EPA's myopic enforcement of environmental policy will have a much more devastating effect than just a lack of air conditioning in Texas during summer. Forcing immediate compliance with unrealistic goals will only result in higher energy costs, fewer jobs, and a severe impact on Texas businesses which will be increasingly forced to deal with hours or days without power.
For those of you who don't live in Texas, never fear. Chairman Zero will be coming for you next!
Clean energy is a worthwhile goal. But until those technologies become practical, we must rely on what we have and not punish our nation's infrastructure for providing the power we need to survive and thrive. This latest round of federal regulations cuts off our nose to spite our face. If the Obama administration is serious about “green energy”and rebuilding America's economy, they need to be more open to a balanced approach which doesn't sacrifice jobs and increase energy prices. That means including proven successes like nuclear power and “clean coal” until solar and wind can provide a more viable share of our country's energy needs.