In 2008, President Obama said he would “bankrupt” coal plant owners and force energy prices across the U.S. to “skyrocket” as part of his plan to combat global warming – and now a new EPA rule on power plant emissions promises to do just that, slashing as much as 40 percent of the nation’s power supply and possibly even doubling Americans’ energy bills.
“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” Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board in January 2008.
He added, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to, uh, retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”
Now a new Environmental Protection Agency rule on power plants requires a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and threatens to block any new coal-fired energy facilities because they cannot hope to meet the new standards without using unproven and cost-prohibitive technology.
The rule is currently in the public comment phase, but free-market energy advocates see the coal industry clearly within the Obama administration’s crosshairs.
“They set an emission rate, and that rate is so low that no coal-fired power plants can actually meet that goal unless they include this technology called Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), which is incredibly expensive and doesn’t exist on any power plant in the world today. Essentially what this new rule is is a ban on new coal-fired power plants,” said Daniel Simmons, vice president of policy at the Institute for Energy Research and the author of the group’s response to the proposed rule.
Simmons told WND the new rule slashes emissions standards in half from existing levels, and he believes future coal plants are not the only targets here.
“If they are able to do this, and if they get away with it, they will then go after existing coal-fired power plants,” Simmons warned.
According to Simmons, coal provides about 40 percent of the nation’s power supply, and it is not at all clear how that would be replaced.
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