War on coal

National Climate Assessment Report = science fiction and politics

The new National Climate Assessment report (NCA) is an attempt by the Obama administration to scare us with dire predictions of gloom and doom and thereby justify his climate action plan and ruinous energy policy. It is sad to see such a perversion of science.  Here is a sampling of comments:

Follow the money:

Frank Beckmann writes in the Detroit News, “The administration, anxious to continue taxpayer-provided subsidies to politically-favored green energy firms that return the favor with campaign contributions to Democrats, claims it used the expertise of hundreds of ‘experts’ to come up with the findings. A cursory glance of the participants shows no participation by climate realists but leading report authors from environmental political action groups like Second Nature, The Nature Conservancy, Planet Forward, and the misnamed Union of Concerned Scientists, a group that is not made up of scientists at all and which also advocates for unilateral U.S. nuclear disarmament.”

Follow the science:

Paul C. Knappenberger of the CATO Institute succinctly sums up the theme of the report in a Washington Times Article: “Let’s get one thing clear: The National Climate Assessment is a political call to action document meant for the president’s left-leaning constituency. What pretense of scientific support that decorates it quickly falls away under a close and critical inspection.”

Knappenberger also debunks the NCA claim that heat waves are causing more deaths.

Dr. Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, takes on the NCA point by point here. Among his points are:

“..there is no way to know whether the global warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human activities [as claimed by NCA, because there is no fingerprint of human-caused versus naturally-caused climate change. To claim the changes are ‘unprecedented’ cannot be demonstrated with reliable data, and are contradicted by some published paleoclimate data which suggests most centuries experience substantial warming or cooling.”

There is “no sign of climate change impacts on agricultural yields. There are always natural fluctuations, but if there is any negative human-induced impact, it is swamped by the increasing yields due to improved agricultural practices, seed varieties, and very likely CO2 fertilization.”

Dr. Judith Curry, Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, comments:

“My main conclusion from reading the report is this: the phrase ‘climate change’ is now officially meaningless. The report effectively implies that there is no climate change other than what is caused by humans, and that extreme weather events are equivalent to climate change. Any increase in adverse impacts from extreme weather events or sea level rise is caused by humans. Possible scenarios of future climate change depend only on emissions scenarios that are translated into warming by climate models that produce far more warming than has recently been observed.”

Wryheat comments:

The National Climate Assessment claims that effects of global warming are already happening and causing increases in extreme weather events and wildfires. Well, let’s look at the data.
Wildfires: Data from the National Interagency Fire Center shows that the number of wildfires has been steadily decreasing since 1960. The number of acres burned, however, has been increasing since about 1995 due in part to changes in forest management under the Endangered Species Act. For more details see Wildfires and Warming.
Heatwaves: Looks like the 1930s surpass any we’ve experienced recently.

Heatwave Index

Droughts: No trend since 1900

Drought-trend

 

Unusually wet weather: No trend since 1900

Wet-weather-trend

 

Hurricanes: Variable, but decreasing trend since 1993

Hurricane-trend

For more data on extreme weather see the WUWT extreme weather page.
The National Climate Assessment also worries about sea level rise, although sea level has been rising naturally for the past 18,000 years. The rate of sea level rise is cyclical on decadal and multi-decadal time scales, but overall, the rate is decreasing even as the planet warms, (see Sea Level Rising?).

For real, peer-reviewed science, see Climate Change Reconsidered II (CCR-II), an independent, comprehensive, and authoritative report on the current state of climate science. It is produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international network of climate scientists sponsored by three nonprofit organizations: the Science and Environmental Policy Project, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and The Heartland Institute.

I provide summaries of and links to these reports here:
Climate Change Reconsidered II- Physical Science
Climate Change Reconsidered II – Biological Impact

 

UPDATE: Dr. Don J. Easterbrook takes the NCA apart by showing how the assertions and claims have no basis in fact.  Easterbrook concludes:

How well do the NCA assertions compare with real data? As can be seen from the data above, they diverge wildly from real data. The report is filled with wild distortions and outright fabrications. If we apply Feynman’s scientific method (if an assertion disagrees with observations or data, it is wrong) to the NCA report, we can only conclude that the report fails badly. One can only wonder why the so-called scientists who wrote the report could possibly justify making such unsupported assertions contrary to hard data.

A substantial part of the report emphasizes weather events (drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, etc). The authors don’t seem to know the difference between weatherand climate. None of the ‘extreme events’ they cite have any meaning whatsoever to climate. Single weather events can happen at any time, regardless of the climate.

The authors also don’t seem to be able to distinguish cause-and-effect relationships from artificial scenarios. They frequently point to ‘global warming’ as if that somehow proves it was caused by CO2,totally ignoring vast amounts of data showing that CO2 always lagswarming, even on a short term basis. If COlags warming, it can’t be the cause of the warming!

The most obvious shortcoming of the NCA report is all of the assertions that are contrary to hard data. But the report is also weakened by the wholesale ignoring of relevant data. Rather than discussing data and justifying their assertions, the authors simply disregard any data that doesn’t fit their scenarios.

From these observations, one can only conclude that the report is really not a scientific document at all, but rather a huge political propaganda effort.   Read full post here.

Obama’s Climate Action Plan is Clueless and Dangerous

The Obama administration has been marked by many scandals and questionable policies demonstrating its incompetence in leadership, its sleaziness, and its disregard for the Constitution.  If  Benghazi, the IRS, AP/Fox and NSA scandals were not enough, Obama’s Climate Action Plan, may be his stupidest policy (even considering Obamacare).  Remember Bill Clinton’s admonition: “It’s the economy, stupid?”

Obama’s war on coal and carbon dioxide will have the effect of making everything more expensive and endanger our electricity supply.  The Heritage Foundation estimates that Obama’s anti-coal policies will cause a family of four to lose more than $1,000 in annual income. The Science and Public Policy Institute estimates that Obama’s proposed reduction in carbon dioxide emissions might, theoretically, reduce the global temperature by 0.17 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.  Much more pain than gain.  Obama’s plan will harm America.  Is he doing it through sheer naive zealotry or by calculated intention?

Obama’s plan aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3 billion metric tons by 2030.   Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University says,  “It’s amazing how little this all actually does.” “In many ways, this makes things worse.”  How? One scheme to reduce emissions is by carbon capture (and storage) at electrical generating plants.  The trouble is that such systems use about 40% of the energy produced so that they may actual result in more emissions.  So called “clean coal” systems would almost double the cost of electricity produced from natural gas and coal, making it almost as expensive as wind-generated electricity.  The feasibility of this scheme is questionable since the technology is largely unproven.

The usually liberal Washington Post opines:

“If you accept the science of global warming, then you accept the fact that the president’s unilateral action on climate change will have absolutely no effect in terms of adjusting the global thermostat to a temperature Obama finds desirable. The rest of the developing world, anchored by India and China, are building carbon-burning factories, power plants and even whole new cities that will overwhelm any new rules the president may impose on Americans and our struggling economy.”

Meteorologist Anthony Watts, proprietor of the “Watts Up With That?” blog has an analysis of the plan in which he makes these points:

→More hand-outs for an already bloated climate science culture, $2.7 billion in FY 2014.

→More regulations on existing power plants, as if they don’t have enough already. This will translate into higher electricity prices everywhere.

→The trucking industry is going to get hit again. This will translate into higher cost for goods.

→Fast-tracking green energy – more pie in the sky since just about every green initiative and handout in Obama’s first term has ended in failure.

→No comprehensive nuclear power plan, no mention of a Thorium reactor initiative, much like China is doing.

→Giveaways: approximately $7.5 billion for climate assistance to developing countries.

As British blogger Bishop Hill (Andrew Montford) opines, “The general theme seems to be some more fixing of markets to favor his supporters in the renewables industry and some more regulations to tie up the fossil fuel bogeyman.”

In some respects, Obama’s plan seems largely to appease environmental activists whose support he has been losing. For instance, The Huffington Post reports: “President Barack Obama will ask the State Department not to approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline unless it can first determine that it will not lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Anthony Watts responds: “Well, the State Department has already found that Keystone XL will have no impact on the climate because Canada will still develop its oil sands. In fact, if Keystone XL isn’t built, global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase because more oil sands crude would be refined in countries like China where current emissions standards allow three times more sulfur dioxide than in the United States. Canada accounts for only 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions and emissions from oil sands are a small fraction of that.”

The Competitive Enterprise Institute opines that Obama’s plan is “undemocratic, bordering on authoritarian, disingenuous on Keystone” and that it “is being done without public or congressional support and is being pursued in this way because he knows the peoples’ elected representatives would never approve these plans.”  Furthermore, “Obama’s all-pain, no-gain agenda will cost jobs, drive up prices and have little effect on global emissions.”

Dr. Tim Ball, retired climatology professor from the University of Winnipeg, says that Obama’s climate speech was “riddled with lies.”  “President Barack Obama’s naïve and error-riddled speech at Georgetown University…clearly demonstrated that he is serious about trying to stop global climate change.” “Obama also seems oblivious to real-world economic evidence that the policy path on which he is setting the U.S. has already been tried and has failed in other countries.”

The Washington Times claims: “Mr. Obama is about to hammer the American energy industry, and he’s doing it for money.”

The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil not only from Canada, but also from the booming oil fields of North Dakota.  Currently, the North Dakota production is carried by rail, specifically Warren Buffet’s Burlington Northern railroad.  Mr. Buffet also owns Union Tank Car, one of the biggest makers of oil tank railcars.

“Running Mr. Buffett’s name through the Federal Election Commission data bank reveals page after page of contributions to Mr. Obama and every conceivable Democratic Party-affiliated organization, amounting to uncounted millions.”

The common theme in the Obama administration scandals is abuse of power or incompetence. Mr. Obama, in his climate address, claims he is doing it “for the children.”  Yeah right!

Obama calls carbon dioxide a pollutant, even though it is necessary for all life on the planet. For some real science on the beneficial effects of carbon dioxide see an editorial from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change here.

(This article was originally published in the Arizona Daily Independent)

See also:

Big Wind gets “get out of jail free card” from Obama Administration

Regulating behind closed doors, the cozy relationship between the Feds and environmental groups

Another Obama scandal may be brewing at the EPA

 

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

As a followup to a previous post: “The EPA is destroying America,” I will focus today on the issue of haze in the Grand Canyon.

The EPA is targeting the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in regard to its emissions of nitrogen oxides. The EPA is insisting that NGS install “selective catalytic reduction” to control nitrogen oxides, at an added cost of $48 million per year, even though, just two years ago, the plant installed devices to control nitrogen oxides. This EPA action is of particular concern to Southern Arizona because NGS supplies the electricity to run pumps that provide water via the Central Arizona Project Canal (See more here.)

The story below demonstrates the perfidy of the EPA in its war on coal, its possible collusion with environmental groups, and there is even a connection to President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior. First, let’s look at the composition of haze in the Grand Canyon.

In the chart below, compiled from data produced by the Western Regional Air Partnership (part of the Western Governor’s Association), we see that nitrogen oxide emissions from electrical generating stations represent only about 1 percent of the constituents of haze in the Grand Canyon. Most haze is a combination of soot, dust and sulfates.

Grand canyon haze causes

In the pie chart above, we see that nitrates constitute about 8% of haze. The bar chart, if it is to proportional scale, indicates that nitrates from power plants (see asterisk) comprise about 13% of total nitrates, therefore nitrate contribution to total haze is about 1% (8% of 13% = 1%). See here for a clearer view of the chart. The EPA is, therefore, imposing a very expensive requirement to target less than one percent of the problem. As I’ve point out in another article, the EPA’s solution will have no effect on Grand Canyon haze (see: “EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue“). It appears that the EPA attack on the Navajo Generating Station is part of the administration’s war on coal. See more on the Navajo Generating Station here and specifics on emissions control equipment here.

There have been many wild fires and controlled burn fires near the Grand Canyon, all of which contribute to the haze. In fact, the National Park Service (NPS) has a Facebook page on the subject on which they show several photos. Ironically, NPS celebrates smoke in the Canyon as “a photographer’s paradise::

“Fire has always played a role in the ecology of the high altitude forests of the Grand Canyon’s rims. The mixed conifer forests of the North Rim are dependent on fire. Natural fires burn low to ground, clearing out the down and dead wood on the forest floor. Fire creates a mosaic of burned and unburned vegetation, these openings and gaps on the landscape provide habitat for forest animals enriching the diversity of life a healthy forest needs. Prescribed fire is one tool park managers use to maintain a healthy forest ecosystem. Prescribed fires can smolder for days or even weeks creating smoke that lifts in high plumes during the day and sinks into the canyon at night. Smoke in the canyon may seem like a bummer, but in fact creates dynamic, beautiful vistas. Grand Canyon, regardless of conditions, is a photographer’s paradise.”

There is another curious connection. An environmental group, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), has a hit piece on the Navajo Generating Station. Within that article is a video which shows a hazy Grand Canyon and the article strongly implies that the haze is due to emissions from the station. However, that video was filmed during the past summer when there were fires in the area contributing to the haze. The people featured in the video also belong to Diné Care, a Navajo environmental group that is fighting the generating station although the Navajo people as a whole value the station for jobs and income. Navajo President Ben Shelly, recently said in a public statement and in testimony before Congress, “I still think that the federal government has placed too much of an emphasis on visibility in contrast to the costs of compliance and the potential economic ripple effects. I sincerely hope that any ripple effects of this proposal will not result in immediate drastic impacts to our Navajo workers employed at NGS and the mine. Unfortunately, some federal rulemakings result in economic impacts that are hard to recover from. I hope this will not be the case here.”

I suppose that in the realm of political advocacy, truth is optional.

Another interesting confluence: President Obama has nominated Sally Jewell to be the next Secretary of the Interior. Ms. Jewell has been a long-standing member of the board of the National Parks Conservation Association. It’s a small world.

It seems that the EPA is again colluding with environmental groups and manufacturing an issue to serve a specific purpose.

P.S. The Wall Street Journal has an article on Sally Jewell here.

“The president knows he can rely on Ms. Jewell to do for the federal government exactly what she’s done at an activist level: Lock up land, target industries, kill traditional jobs.”

Update: CAP officials discuss impact of EPA action, see story in Arizona Daily Star here.

See also:

An open letter challenging the EPA on CO2 regulation

Electricity supply endangered by EPA regulations

BREAKING: Court tosses EPA Cross-state air pollution rule

EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue

EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply

EPA fuel standards costly and ineffective

The EPA is destroying America

Obama’s undercover EPA regulations

EPA Admits CO2 Regulation Ineffective

EPA sued in federal court over illegal human testing

The EPA is destroying America

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), defying a court order, mandated that petroleum companies must add 14 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol to gasoline, in spite of the fact that commercial quantities of cellulosic ethanol do not exist. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided in favor of the American Petroleum Institute, which sued the EPA, deciding that the EPA “exceeded its authority by requiring refiners to purchase cellulosic biofuel despite the fact the next-generation fuel is not commercially available.”

 The Environmental Protection Agency, the home of junk science, environmental radicals, and political zealots, is active on many fronts promulgating regulations that will close down American industries, our electricity supply, and our economy. The EPA is not required by law to consider the economic consequences of its regulations. That oversight should be changed.

 Let’s take a look at some of EPA’s recent actions and proposals.

 The war on coal

 New regulations regarding emissions of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and ozone may greatly increase the cost of electricity, cause some power plants to close, and endanger our ability to produce adequate power.

 In Arizona, EPA is using alleged haze in the Grand Canyon as an excuse to target coal-fired electric plants and is particularly targeting the Navajo Generating station, near Page, AZ. EPA rejected Arizona’s proposal for modifying the plant and instead wants the plant to install “selective catalytic reduction” to control nitrogen oxides, at an added cost of $48 million per year. In spite of the additional cost, the EPA proposal will have no noticeable effect on haze as shown in my post: EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue. This one plant supplies the electricity to run the pumps bringing water from the Colorado River to Tucson along the Central Arizona Project canal. If the plant survives and installs the mandated catalytic devices, the cost will raise our water rates (See Arizona Daily Star).

 The EPA is also harassing other coal-fired plants in Arizona. The State of Arizona is suing the EPA over this issue (see here). Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said of the EPA, “”This is an absurd action that would significantly raise utility rates for most Arizonans without providing any benefit to anyone.”

 In Georgia, the Georgia Power company said it will close 15 fossil-fuel-fired electric units, impacting nearly 500 jobs in the state, due to the high cost of complying with EPA regulations. In Texas, because of the EPA, Chase Power cancelled plans for a $3 billion coal-fired plant near Corpus Christi which would have employed 3,900 workers.

 Biofuels and invasive species

 The EPA protection of the environment apparently doesn’t apply in the realm of biofuels. The Heartland Institute reports that the EPA is proposing the introduction of two invasive grass species Arundo donax (giant reed) and Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass), as advanced biofuel feedstock under the federal renewable fuel standard. Pennisetum purpureum is an African grass that thrives in warm climates, multiplies rapidly, and crowds out other vegetation. Arundo donax, native to India, is already a feared invasive plant well beyond the subcontinent. California, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas, classify Arundo donax as a noxious weed.

 “These two species are already harmful invaders in parts of the United States and should not be incentivized for biofuel use,” said Doria Gordon, director of conservation for Nature Conservancy Florida. “Both species can become so dominant that they crowd out native species and alter habitats.” A group of more than 200 scientists have sent a letter to EPA warning them of the danger and unintended consequences of this proposed action.

 Maybe the EPA wants the invasive species because its mandate for use of non-corn, cellulosic (plant waste) ethanol has not been realistic. Use of cellulosic ethanol, made with crop residue, grasses or wood chips, is a provision of the 2007 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) enacted by Congress. In 2012, EPA mandated that 8.7 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol be blended into gasoline. However, the ethanol industry was able to produce only about 20,000 gallons in 2012. Even though is was impossible to comply with the EPA mandate, the EPA none-the-less fined gasoline producers for compliance failure and will require they use 14 million gallons in 2013.

 Ethanol and your automobile

 There is more trouble with ethanol. Currently, gasoline is blended with 10% ethanol to supposedly curb air pollution. Now the EPA wants to increase that to 15%. However, the American Automobile Association (AAA) warns that use of E15 as the new blend is called, will damage the engines of most vehicles on the road.

 “The number of vehicles approved to use E15 – only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles – is limited, while the use of the fuel blend in non-approved vehicles can compromise a vehicle’s warranty:

 “Less than 5 percent of cars on the road are approved by automakers to use E15. Approved vehicles include flex-fuel models, 2001 model-year and newer Porsches, 2012 model-year and newer GM vehicles and 2013 model-year Ford vehicles.

 “Five manufacturers (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) say their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15.

 “Seven additional automakers (Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo) have stated that the use of E15 does not comply with the fuel requirements specified in their owner’s manuals and may void warranty coverage.”

 “AAA automotive engineering experts believe that sustained use of E15 in both newer and older vehicles could result in significant problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false ‘check engine’ lights for any vehicle not approved by its manufacturer to use E15.”

 Burning food for fuel

 Ethanol mandates are essentially burning food for fuel. Even the New York Times has noticed some unintended consequences:

 “Recent laws in the United States and Europe that mandate the increasing use of biofuel in cars have had far-flung ripple effects, economists say, as land once devoted to growing food for humans is now sometimes more profitably used for churning out vehicle fuel.”

 “With its corn-based diet and proximity to the United States, Central America has long been vulnerable to economic riptides related to the United States’ corn policy. Now that the United States is using 40 percent of its crop to make biofuel, it is not surprising that tortilla prices have doubled in Guatemala, which imports nearly half of its corn.”

 “In a country where most families must spend about two thirds of their income on food, ‘the average Guatemalan is now hungrier because of biofuel development,’ said Katja Winkler, a researcher at Idear, a Guatemalan nonprofit organization that studies rural issues. Roughly 50 percent of the nation’s children are chronically malnourished, the fourth-highest rate in the world, according to the United Nations.”

Soot and Dust and illegal human testing

 Another EPA campaign is about fine particulate matter in the air, soot and dust, the so-called PM2.5 standard, which the EPA sets at 35 millionths of a gram (micrograms) in a 24-hour period. Most air in the U.S. averages about 10 micrograms.

 According to a story by Steve Milloy in the Washington Times, Outgoing EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson testified about PM2.5 before Congress in September 2011: “Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It is directly causal to you dying sooner than you should.” “In scientific documents, the EPA has repeatedly concluded that any exposure to PM2.5 can kill, and it can kill people within hours or days of inhalation.” How does the EPA know? It conducted illegal human testing.

 But, Milloy asks, if the particulate matter is so dangerous, where are the bodies? He was referring to recent air pollution in China: “Beijing’s PM2.5 levels peaked at 886 micrograms per cubic meter — an incredible 89 times greater than the U.S. daily average. Based on EPA risk estimates, we should expect the daily death toll in Beijing to have skyrocketed by 89 percent on a same-day and next-day basis.” Yet there have been no reports of a spike in deaths caused by breathing the heavily polluted air. Has the EPA has been exaggerating the danger?

Tucson doctor Jane Orient, in a Wall Street Journal article, “EPA Science Is the ‘New Homeopathy,’ Doctors State,” says:

The “evidence” for the harm is very weak correlations seen in epidemiologic studies done in 1993 and 1995. Findings are contradicted by other studies. The EPA is now apparently trying to prove harm by subjecting human subjects to diesel exhaust in an apparatus some say resembles a gas chamber.

“Either the EPA is lying to Congress about the lethality of PM2.5, or it is engaged in illegal and unethical human experiments, subjecting vulnerable patients to a substance it believes could kill them instantly,” states Jane Orient, M.D., president of Physicians for Civil Defense.

 EPA colluding with radical greens

 On another front, we see that the EPA (and other government agencies) are colluding with radical environmental groups.

 From SPPI:

 U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is warning of more secret “sue and settle” deals with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups. In a letter today, Vitter encourages Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to join the 13 states’ AGs who recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with EPA asking for any and all correspondence between EPA and a list of 80 environmental, labor union and public interest organizations that had been party to litigation since the start of the Obama Administration.

 “The collusion between federal bureaucrats and far-left environmental organizations entering legal agreements under a shroud of secrecy is the opposite of a transparent government,” Vitter said. “This is a problem across the country, but could quickly become a threat to Louisianans if we see the full weight of the EPA and Fish and Wildlife Service come crashing down on private landowners.”

EPA regulations are costly:

 A recent study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers critically assessed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s cost- benefit analysis with respect to six key regulations: Utility MACT, Boiler MACT, Coal Combustion Residuals, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, Cooling Water Intake Structures, and Ground-Level Ozone. The NAM study details the significant differences between EPA’s cost estimates and those of industry sources, while highlighting problems and inconsistencies with EPA’s methodology. Most importantly for manufacturers, the study estimates the impact of EPA rules on the manufacturing industry, directly and through indirect macroeconomic effects.

A key finding of the report is that “the annual compliance costs for all six regulations range from $36 billion to $111.2 billion (by EPA estimates) and from $63.2 billion to $138.2 billion (by industry estimates).” Notably, the study was picked up in the trade press and recognized by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which reiterated the study’s finding that “major new EPA rules could cost manufacturers hundreds of billions of dollars and eliminate millions of American jobs.” (MasterResource)

 Pretending that carbon dioxide is a pollutant

 Of course, the biggest EPA stick is its “endangerment finding” contending that carbon dioxide emissions pose some danger in spite of there being no physical evidence to support that contention. The EPA violated both the scientific method and the Scientific Advisory Board statute intended to enforce the scientific method when it made its highly influential scientific assessment in the Endangerment Finding. That the endangerment finding is purely political is shown by the fact that the EPA is getting all worked up about carbon dioxide levels of around 400ppm. But submarine crews work efficiently in carbon dioxide levels over10,000ppm. A group of scientists is challenging the EPA’s endangerment finding.

 The EPA has long been a rogue, radical agency, and a very expensive one at that. They seem incapable of exercising common-sense and are now merely an unscientific political tool.  Proper environmental protection is important and desirable, but we are not getting it from the EPA. It is time to defund the EPA.

 See also: The EPA’s Lisa Jackson: The Worst Head of the Worst Regulatory Agency, Ever

BREAKING: Court tosses EPA Cross-state air pollution rule

In two recent posts, I discuss how the EPA’s stringent new regulations target coal-fired electrical generating plants.

See: EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue and EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply

Today, Bloomberg news reports, “The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington in a 2-1 ruling today struck down the EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, saying the agency illegally imposed federal authority over state air pollution programs.”

Plaintiffs in the case claim that the EPA rule was “one of the most costly, burdensome and arbitrary” rules that the EPA has ever imposed. See complete Bloomberg coverage here.

Read the complete decision here.

Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) commented, “The EPA’s arbitrary and rushed Rule threatened hundreds of good-paying jobs in my district, and would have resulted in higher costs and less reliable electricity throughout the country. It was based more on an ‘EPA-knows-best’ approach than objective science, and was flawed by unreasonable timelines, lack of state or industry consultation, black box models, insufficient cost-benefit analysis, unverifiable health claims, and an over-reliance on computer models instead of actual pollution measurements.”

EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply

NGSmapMuch of Southern Arizona’s water supply comes via the Central Arizona Project (CAP) which takes water from the Colorado River at Lake Havasu, and distributes it over 300 miles of canal and 3,000 feet up in elevation to Tucson (see map below). Electricity for the 14 pumping stations comes from the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station (NGS) near Page, Arizona. That station supplies 2,250 megawatts from three 750-MW units. The coal comes from the Kayenta mine on the Navajo Reservation 78 miles southeast of the station. The mine is operated by Peabody Western Coal Company. The electric plant is under fire from the EPA, for among other things, air quality in the Grand Canyon. The plant may fall victim to the EPA’s war on coal (see here, here, here, and here for commentary.)

According to a report from KSL.com, “Owners of the Navajo Generating Station say an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to clear the air in the region’s national parks may push the plant into an unacceptable financial situation. They’ve indicated it could force a shutdown as early as 2017.” “A shutdown of the plant would put nearly 1,000 people out of work on the Navajo Indian Reservation that is already deeply mired in unemployment and poverty.” “The owners insist they cannot spend more than $1 billion on environmental improvements without a guarantee they’ll be allowed to operate beyond 2019. The owners are several public agencies and utilities, including the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Tucson Electric Power and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.”

Critics allege that emissions from the plant contribute to regional haze. However, even if the plant builds the required upgrades, there is no guarantee that the change in haze would be noticeable.

According to information from the Salt River Project, one of the owners of the plant, “NGS complies with all federal air quality standards and emission limitations. Electrostatic precipitators capture 99% of the fly ash, which is recycled for use in concrete, cement and other construction materials. Limestone scrubbers remove over 90% of SO2 emissions. Installation of low NOx burners and separated overfire air technology reduces NOx emissions by approximately 40%.”

The new “haze” rule from EPA could cause NGS to shut down, eliminating a major contributor to the economy of the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe, the city of Page, Coconino County, and the state of Arizona. And, a shutdown would stop the pumps supplying water to Southern Arizona. The EPA ‘haze” rule will cause three of five generators at the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant in northwest New Mexico to shut down also.

Remember, during the 2008 presidential campaign candidate Obama said, “that under his cap-and-trade plan, “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.” (CNN) Also during the 2008 campaign Joe Biden said the Obama policy was “no coal plants here in America.” (Arizona Daily Star).

In contrast to Obama policy, Germany is building 23 new coal-fire plants. Although Germany is a leader in solar energy installation, they need the coal plants because they found that solar energy is unreliable and too expensive.

Maybe the war on coal is a plan to create jobs.  Obama could hire thousands of people to form bucket brigades to move water along the CAP canal.

CAP-system

See also:

EPA fuel standards costly and ineffective

EPA, ethanol, and catch 22