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GINA McCARTHY-EPA ADMIN WAS GRILLED BY SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT

16 Jan 2014

                                                                                            US-EPA WANTS US TO KNOW

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Statement to Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the President’s Climate Action Plan

WASHINGTON – Remarks of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy as prepared for delivery on 16 Jan 2014:

1. Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Vitter, members of the Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.

2. In June of last year (2013), the President reaffirmed his commitment to reducing carbon pollution when he directed many federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to take meaningful steps to mitigate the current and future damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions and to prepare for the anticipated climate changes that have already been set in motion.

3. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Based on the evidence, more than 97% of climate scientists are convinced that human-caused climate change is occurring. If our changing climate goes unchecked, it will have devastating impacts on the United States and the planet. Reducing carbon pollution is critically important to the protection of Americans’ health and the environment upon which our economy depends.

4. Responding to climate change is an urgent public health, safety, national security, and environmental imperative that presents an economic challenge and an economic opportunity. As the President has stated, both the economy and the environment must provide for current and future generations, and we can and must embrace cutting carbon pollution as a spark for business innovation, job creation, clean energy and broad economic growth. The United States’ success over the past 40 years makes clear that environmental protection and economic growth go hand in hand.

5. The President’s Climate Action Plan directs federal agencies to address climate change using existing executive authorities. The Plan has three key pillars: cutting carbon pollution in America; preparing the country for the impacts of climate change; and leading international efforts to combat global climate change.

6. Cutting Carbon Pollution EPA plays a critical role in implementing the Plan’s first pillar, cutting carbon pollution. Over the past four years, EPA has begun to address this task under the Clean Air Act.

7. Our first steps addressed motor vehicles, which annually emit nearly a third of U.S. carbon pollution. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the auto industry and other stakeholders, worked together to set greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for Model Year 2012 to 2025 light-duty vehicles. Over the life of these vehicles, the standards will save an estimated $1.7 trillion for consumers and businesses and cut America’s oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons.

8. EPA’s and NHTSA’s standards for model year 2014 through 2018 heavy-duty trucks and buses present a similar success story. Under the President’s Plan, we will be developing a second phase of heavy-duty vehicle standards for post 2018 model years. Building on this success, the President asked EPA to work with states, utilities and other key stakeholders to develop plans to reduce carbon pollution from future and existing power plants.

9. Power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. In March 2012, the EPA first proposed carbon pollution standards for future power plants. After receiving over 2.5 million comments, we determined to issue a new proposed rule based on this input and updated information.

10. In September 2013, the EPA announced its new proposal. The proposed standards would establish the first uniform national limits on carbon pollution from future power plants. They will not apply to existing power plants. The proposal sets separate national limits for new natural gas-fired turbines and new coal-fired units. New large natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New coal-fired units would need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. Operators of these units could choose to have additional flexibility by averaging their emissions over multiple years to meet a somewhat tighter limit.

11. The standards reflect the demonstrated performance of efficient, lower carbon technologies that are currently being used today. They set the stage for continued public and private investment in technologies like efficient natural gas and carbon capture and storage. The proposal was recently published in the Federal Register on January 8 2014,> http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/bd4379a92ceceeac8525735900400c27/e405e8e3ca85093d85257c46006d9ff5!opendocument> and the formal public comment period is now open. We look forward to robust engagement on the proposal and will carefully consider the comments and input we receive as a final rule is developed.

12. As noted, the proposed rule would apply only to future power plants. For existing plants, we are engaged in outreach to a broad group of stakeholders who can inform the development of proposed guidelines, which we expect to issue in June of this year. These guidelines will provide guidance to States, which have the primary role in developing and implementing plans to address carbon pollution from the existing plants in their states. We recognize that existing power plants require a distinct approach, and this framework will allow us to capitalize on state leadership and innovation while also accounting for regional diversity and providing flexibility.

13. The EPA’s stakeholder outreach and public engagement in preparation for this rulemaking is extensive and vigorous. We held eleven public listening sessions around the country at EPA regional offices and our headquarters in Washington, DC. We have participated in numerous meetings with a broad range of stakeholders across the country. And all of this is happening well before we propose any guidelines. When we issue proposed guidelines in June, the more formal public process begins – including a public comment period and an opportunity for a public hearing – which will provide yet further opportunity for stakeholders and the general public to provide input.

14. Cutting Methane Emissions The Climate Action Plan calls for the development of a comprehensive, interagency strategy to address emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that also contributes to ozone pollution, but which has substantial economic value. EPA is working with other agencies to assess emissions data, address data gaps, and identify opportunities to reduce methane emissions through incentive-based programs and existing authorities.

15. Curbing Emissions of HFCs The Plan also calls on the US to lead through international diplomacy as well as domestic action to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases whose emissions are otherwise expected to nearly triple by 2030. Moving forward, the EPA will use its authority under the Clean Air Act to encourage the investment, purchase, and use of climate-friendly alternatives.

16. Preparing for Impacts of Climate Change Even as we work to avoid dangerous climate change, we must strengthen America’s resilience to climate impacts we’re already experiencing and those that can no longer be avoided. The President’s Plan calls for a broad array of actions on this front. EPA is incorporating research on climate impacts into the implementation of our existing programs and developing information and tools to help decision-makers – including State, local and tribal governments – to better understand and address these impacts. Further, EPA is working closely with our federal agency counterparts on several other aspects of building our national resilience, including developing the National Drought Resilience Partnership, ensuring the security of our freshwater supplies, protecting our water utilities, and protecting and restoring our natural resources in the face of a changing climate.

17. International Efforts Our changing climate is also a global challenge, and the President’s Plan recognizes that the United States must couple action at home with leadership abroad. Working closely with the State Department, EPA continues to engage our international partners in reducing carbon pollution through an array of activities. These include public-private partnership efforts to address emissions of methane and other short-lived climate pollutants under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Global Methane Initiative, as well as bilateral cooperation with major economies.

18. Conclusion  The President’s Plan provides a roadmap for federal action to meet the pressing challenge of a changing climate – promoting clean energy solutions that capitalize on American innovation and drive economic growth. EPA looks forward to working with other federal agencies and all stakeholders on these critical efforts.

19. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I look forward to answering your question

                                                                                        OUR TAKE AND COMMENTS

Gina McCarthy’s EPA Administrators Statement to US Senate Committee on 16 Jan 2013 above was provided by their own site> http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/FE40A46647A6007F85257C6200564C15 , and is provided for your convenience.  We added Paragraph numbers 1-19 for easy referral purposes, and added emphasis where we thought it was needed.

“A SNOW JOB” IS AN APT DESCRIPTION OF THE EPA STATEMENT TO THE SENATE. Light, fluffy and non-controversial, but deeply lacking in substantive content and evidence of statement. It is a classical  “statement by committee” addenda of “meaningful steps “ (see par 2.).  The prime and immediate concern was partially addressed in par. 9. Power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. That heavy issue was treated only for future power plants

Gina’s Statement, and the many senatorial questions that followed, were aired live on C-Span 2 TV, and re-run subsequently and…Folks, the questions posed were mainly: “Hardball” questions asked by now impatient Senators (on both sides of the Senate); that went largely unanswered by a Gina McCarthy, who seemed nonplused, unresponsive, and at times seemed to say: Are you talking to me?!-Senators do not take such unresponsiveness lightly.  It was quite clear that Senators in the Committee wanted knowledgeable answers, and statement of EPA policies, We feel sure many a Senator felt like knocking on Gina’s forehead and saying “anybody home ?”. THAT WAS NO WAY TO HOLD A HEARING ! In the end, Chairperson Sen. Ms. Boxer (D-CA), summed-up the Committees’ general dissatisfaction by charging Gina with another Hearing within 2 weeks (30 Jan 2014), and to provide written answers to the many unanswered questions. One Senator commented that EPA’s rulings impact public health. A pointed question by a Senator was: YOU DO REALIZE THAT EPA DIRECTIVES IMPACT BIG MONIES FROM THE UTILITIES AND INDUSTRIES?  Implicit was, Gina, you would not take money for favors granted? Would you?

WOULD GINA DO IT?. Well.  It could happen. It has happened many times in the past, involving well known, highly placed governmental figures such as then VP Cheney.  But how do these things happen ?  One well trod road to future riches is Davos, Switzerland. Point is: Gina McCarthy has planned a trip to Davos Switzerland on 22 to 25 Jan 2014.  > http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/bd4379a92ceceeac8525735900400c27/41860523ea6f0b2985257c63004c5992!opendocument  She is ostensibly going there to address the “World Economic Forum”. question is, how can Gina know so much about World Economics, when she obviously knows little about the USA EPA Administration ? Also, why would she make such a trip when she is in hot-water with the USA Senate Committee on Environment,  and pending the grilling of her life? Oh well, traditionally all government officials who travel to Davos, leave there with a big smile.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT DAVOS SWITZERLAND? Although its population is only about 11,000 of the world’s elite, and richest people; whose only real flag is MONEY, it also has Swiss banks (As of 2008, there were 327 authorized banks and securities dealers in Switzerland), as well as the POST OFFICE which handles some financial transactions, and use an electronic payments system known as Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC). The system is supervised by the Swiss National Bank, and is operated via a joint venture. SIC handled over 250  million transactions in 2005, with a turnover value of 41 trillion Swiss francs. Its world offices are located in New York City. All that is required to open an account at one of Davos’ Banks, is to visit one, sign on the dotted line, and obtain a unique alpha numerical code to which money may be added by another party(s) who was given the code.  Money can then be electronically transferred to another account by the the owner(s)-ALL IN SECRECY OF COURSE!  Now, does Gina’s visit to Davos make sense?  It does to me. In my opinion, Gina McCarthy has found her US-EPA position untenable, and is ready to cash-in her chips for favors granted.  We’ll see.

COMMENTS ON REFERENCED PARAGRAPHS FOLLOW:

4. The response given in the last sentence is simply a “many times told outright lie”, and that does not make it true.  The USA is  not now, and has never been, “environmentally sweaky-clean”  And yet, even now, Gina Mc Carthy  has deferred action on plans for existing fossil fueled utilities to a future date (not given).

10. (Proposed Standards): They will not apply to existing (fossil fueled) power plants”-That’s so, more foot-dragging is anticipated/expected regarding existing fossil fuel power plants..

11. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). “The standards reflect the demonstrated performance of efficient, lower carbon technologies that are currently being used today. They set the stage for continued public and private investment in technologies like efficient natural gas and carbon capture and storage. The proposal was recently published in the Federal Register on January 8 2014″.  Incredibly, EPA Released on 12/19/2013 a statement: Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that helps create a consistent national framework to ensure the safe and effective deployment of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies. >http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/bd4379a92ceceeac8525735900400c27/e405e8e3ca85093d85257c46006d9ff5!  Accepted view is that CCS IS NOT a “demonstrated technology”  This is an outright lie. EPA solicited public comment.  Our comment to US EPA follows.  No response to day.

 OUR COMMENTS TO US-EPA

16 Jan 2014

You can already locate/quantify the greatest existing coal-fired polluters in the country. Why don’t you take immediate action to require these Power plant owners/operators to submit a plan to reduce emissions ASAP? What are you waiting for?

Ms. McCarthy’s optimism/reliance on Carbon Sequestration Compression and Disposal is ludicrous.  It will never be technically possible and/or socio-politically acceptable,  NIMBY ! Just “Pie in the Sky”, and you know it!

Speaking of “Clean-Coal” is also ludicrous. – There is no such;  Only partially “de-sulfurized coal’, the production of which itself will produce lakes of long term-pollutants with nowhere to go, and only slightly better than Nuclear waste.

Rapid transition to Nat Gas appears for now the best thing to do to accomplish cost-effective, rapid GHG reduction; Even then, we must encourage rapid development of Green Energy.  Fortunately, our Industry/governments are swiftly going there.

I know coal-burning is not the only issue on your plate , but, given our Nat-gas abundance it may well be the most quickly remediable.

www.energymaters.com

12. EXISTING FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS: “We recognize that existing power plants require a distinct approach, and this framework will allow us to capitalize on state leadership and innovation while also accounting for regional diversity and providing flexibility”. Given that this is the prime source of noxious and other Green House Gasses (GHGs), this is a painful cop-out !

16. (last sentence): “National Drought Resilience Partnership, ensuring the security of our freshwater supplies, protecting our water utilities, and protecting and restoring our natural resources in the face of a changing climate”- Pray tell more! – What is EPA doing? Our throats are parched in TX CA, and many other places.

17. International Efforts: Ms. McCarthy failed to report the results of her recent bi-lateral conference trip to China > http://energymaters.com/?p=1343  Four days in China and no trip report ?  Not good.

18. Conclusion  EPA looks forward to working with other federal agencies and all stakeholders on these critical efforts.” We think it is not just stakeholders (financially involved) such as Power Plant Owners, shareholders, operators, but also the utility public (users), academia, and other countries who see the USA as  an example – Imagine that!.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

LATE BREAKING NEWS / COMMENT, 24 JAN 2014

Texas Governor Rick Perry too (also) is invited to Davos, Switzerland.  Another outgoing politician who gets an invite to address the WEF there. He too must have friends just waiting to show their gratitude for favors granted. What do you bet he will open a “Swiss bank account” while there ?  Just to think that he is making this Junket look as “official business”, he is very good at that.

We connect the dots, and tell it like it is! – We wish to be relevant in these days of hoopla / disinformation and misinformation.

P.S. We are happy to report that our readership during 2013 was about 40% higher than in 2012.  Even so, without RSS we ask you to please pass out the word about this blog, place us among your “favorites, and look-in on us from time to time.  One never knows when very important articles may be forthcoming.

We do welcome your comments on recent articles, but please stay on point. 

 

 

 


January 19, 2014 at 9:03 PM
1 comment »
  • February 16, 2014 at 3:27 AMArt

    Keep this going please, great job!

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