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THIS JOURNAL WILL "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" REGARDING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS/PROBLEMS

USA EPA ADMINISTRATOR “TELLS IT LIKE IT IS” TO FOSSIL-FUEL FIRED POWER PLANTS, BUT… »« GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) LAMBASTES NITRATES INDUSTRY

PRES. OBAMA TO ANNOUNCE EPA REGS TO CURB POLLUTION FROM COAL-FIRED UTILITIES

27 May 2014

WASHINGTON – 26 May 2014President Obama is expected to announce on 2 Jun 2014 an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants; In a speech that government analysts all over the world will probably scrutinize to determine how serious the president is about fighting global warming. The regulation will be Pres. Obama’s most forceful effort to reverse 20 years of relative inaction on climate change by the United States, which has stood as the greatest obstacle to international efforts to slow the rise of heat-trapping gases from burning coal and oil that scientists say are the cause of climate warming. Scientists have also warned that collective action, with carbon cuts by all the major economies is essential to achieve the drastic reduction in carbon pollution necessary to stave off the most destructive impacts of global warming.

PRES. OBAMA EARLIER TRIED, WITHOUT SUCCESS, to move a Climate Change bill through Congress in his first term, but even now such legislation would not stand a chance of getting past the resistance of Republican lawmakers who question the science of climate change. So, Pres. Obama is taking a controversial step: He is using his executive authority under the 1970 the Clean Air Act by means of an E.P.A. regulation taking aim at coal-fired power plants, the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. The new EPA rule comes at a crucial moment in the fraught international effort to slow global warming. In March, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, released a report warning that human-caused climate change is leading to food and water shortages, extreme heat waves and droughts, rising sea levels, and stronger storms.

IN CHINA THERE IS GREAT ANTICIPATION Mr. Qi Ye, director of the Climate Policy Center at Tsinghua University in China said: “I am closely watching this. This standard is the real test of how serious the Obama climate action plan really is…If the standard is really stringent, that will make a difference in the domestic debate in China,” Mr. Qi added that while he did not expect the Chinese government to publicly comment on the E.P.A. rule, a strong regulation — like one that led to a 20 % cut in coal plant pollution — could stimulate policy changes. “It will have an impact,” The Tsinghua university is one of about half a dozen institutions that the Chinese government has tasked with immediately analyzing the new rule, according to Chinese experts.China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies and greenhouse gas polluters, are locked in a stalemate over global warming. While today China pollutes more than the United States, Chinese officials insist that, as a developing economy, China should not be forced to take carbon-cutting actions. China has demanded that the United States, as the world’s historically largest polluter, go first. Chinese policy experts say that Pres. Obama’s regulation could end that standoff.

IN RUSSIA CLIMATE CHANGE IS SNUBBED Vladimir Milov, former Russian deputy minister of energy and president of the Institute of Energy Policy, a Moscow think tank said: “It (Russia) is a very climate-change-skeptical society.” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is an open skeptic of climate science; of course, Russia, is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and gas, and so has generally been dismissive of efforts to forge a climate change treaty. Sorry to say, Russia appears to be living in an “isolationist bubble”.

EUROPEAN UNION’s GÜNTER HÖRMANDINGER, Environmental counselor to the European Union delegation in Washington said: “We’re very excited to see the new rule on existing power plants. We see this as absolutely the backbone of U.S. climate strategy…Once it’s out, I will be rushing to understand it and report back to Brussels,” Mr. Hörmandinger, is an Austrian who has spent the past four(4) years studying the Clean Air Act. The European Union, enacted a carbon-cutting policy after the Kyoto Protocol (1997), has been among the critics of the United States’ Climate Change Non-Policy

IN MEXICO SENIOR CLIMATE POLICY ADVISER, MR. MARIO MOLINA said: “I think it can be done legally, going back to the Supreme Court decision that led to US-EPA.’s authority to regulate carbon emissions” Mexico enacted an ambitious climate change law in 2012, and has urged other Latin American nations to pass similar legislation.

IN PERU’S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER, MR.MANUEL PULGAR-VIDAL commented about US Senator Marco Rubio (Florida Republican who is viewed as a potential presidential candidate): “Senator Rubio shows us that there are still people who are skeptical of the science, even though we are already suffering the consequences of climate change…The government faces resistant actors, skepticism from political leaders it’s the same in the international arena”. It is true that Senator Rubio questioned the science of climate warming in May 2014 on ABC News’s “This Week.” (The things an intelligent man will say to follow party line!).

IN SAUDI ARABIA, WORLD”S LARGEST OIL PRODUCER/EXPORTER is paying close attention; They have sought to block global action on climate change; Naturally, all economies that are deeply dependent on producing fossil fuels fear that lowering the global demand for oil and gas presents a grave economic threat.

IN LEBANON, MR. WAEL HMAIDAN, DIRECTOR OF “CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK” said: “Everyone knows that the U.S. is key to achieve any solution to the climate change crisis…Many OPEC countries, who do not want to see the world wean itself from fossil fuels, realize this.”

“THE ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES” ISSUES AN URGENT PLEA Ronald Jean Jumeau, the UN ambassador from the island nation of Seychelles, and a spokesman for the Alliance of Small Island States said: “We are anticipating the rule with more urgency than those in the small island nations that could be threatened if sea levels rise. A series of scientific reports have concluded that as the planet warms, melting polar ice will drive up sea levels two to four feet by the end of the century, threatening the very existence of some of those islands. The path we’re on right now is that our country will disappear…This (ruling)will slow things down and give us more time to adapt and restructure our economies. Taking action now gives us more breathing room”. Sadly, they seem resigned to what many countries will not. Sea-level is rising inexorably, and will continue to accelerate. Entire Island communities, with many centuries of tranquil lives, have already been evacuated. The map of the earth land mass will look very differently 100 years hence. It is already changing dramatically; still, many think that is a transitory phenomenon.  Sorry, it is not.

IN THE USA, KING COAL STRONGLY OPPOSES NEW RULING Chiefly the nation’s coal industrialists, are preparing to fight with lawsuits, and global analysts are assessing/waiting with baited breath to see if the “Clean Air Act US-EPA rule will stand against such attacks.

UNITED NATIONS SUMMIT PLANNED FOR DEC 2014 IN LIMA PERU, leaders from many nations will gather in Lima, Peru at a meeting aimed at drafting a treaty, to be signed in 2015, which would legally bind the world’s major economies to cut their carbon pollution. The goal is to avoid the debacle of the “1997 Kyoto Protocol”, the world’s first attempt to forge a climate change treaty, was effectively rendered null when the United States Senate refused to ratify it. Now, as Pres. Obama exercises his authority under the “Clean Air Act”, governments around the world are taking notice, and are eagerly awaiting to see the new USA EPA coal burning standards.

Thanks to the NY Times for their 26 May 2014 article

 

OUR COMMENT

FINALLY! Pres. Obama will mandate action in compliance with the authority given him under the Clean Air Act. We hope/anticipate EPA will issue standards and regulations to abate airborne and other pollutants released by the some 600 coal-fired utilities in the USA. The shame of it is EPA has known all along who these utilities are but has been unable to elicit voluntary action by these folks to clean up their act. –NO! NO! Not if it costs money, has been their mantra.  There are many technologies available that they could institute and have not. Profit is their only motivation.

Now it is not only the “eyes of Texas”, it is the entire world waiting to see what we (the USA) will do. It is crucial that we do the right thing because carbon output reductions by all the major economies is essential, to begin to impact climate change. Many world economies look upon the USA as a leader. I only regret that by rejecting the Kyoto Accord, we have provided such a bad example for many years. Oh! Yes, all humanity lives upon “spaceship earth” (the blue marble), let us hope we can keep it looking good.

BIG COAL/OIL DON”T CARE  It is to be expected that many coal/oil producing/exporting countries choose to place profit ahead of their social responsibility. They need to reconsider their socio-political stand. Their children (and ours) will ask questions in the future that cannot be answered without a sense of shame. In the USA the Coal cartel is ready to put up a huge legal/political fight; that is too bad, because they will waste money on lawyers, and corrupt politicians in a futile attempt to reverse Presidential and Supreme Court designs, plus the clearly expressed desires of most Americans (see Gallup Poll). The coal Industry would be better-off to spend their profits on extreme coal-fired plant improvements, or transition to Nat Gas, or better yet, start investing in green energy.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail> gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. A huge amount of e-marketing spam has motivated us to shut down our “Comments”. However, if you feel strongly about any issue regarding any recent article, please send us an e-mail, and we will publish it as a comment.

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And many, many, earlier articles related to coal-fired utilities and the damage they cause to our environment.


May 28, 2014 at 1:11 AM
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