In a 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board, Barack Obama uttered a prophetic statement about energy prices. “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” The senator added, “under my plan… electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
The candidate was talking about his cap-and-trade scheme which Congress shelved long ago. But the president’s EPA is going around democratically elected legislators and their constituents to attack the coal industry administratively.
The EPA has mandated that new coal plants use expensive and unproven carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology despite angry resistance from coal states and their representatives. Now the administration admits that the new rules will drastically increase electricity prices.
Dr. Julio Friedmann, the deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told House lawmakers that the first generation of carbon capture and storage technology would increase wholesale electricity prices by “70 or 80 percent.”
The Obama administration’s plan to fight global warming includes limiting carbon dioxide from new power plants. In order for new coal-fired power plants to be built, however, they would need to install costly carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
This must be the same global warming that is throwing a second ice storm at Alaska… I mean Atlanta. More than a decade of cooling isn’t enough to prevent green religionists from forcing their mystical beliefs on their fellow Americans.
“In typical EPA fashion, they’re putting the cart before the horse to advance their environmental policy agenda,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter. “They’re moving forward with a controversial rule to regulate carbon based on technology that isn’t commercially available. Not only is this wrongheaded, it’s beyond the scope of their legal authority.”
Democrats, however, argue that the mandate for coal plants to use CCS is necessary because power providers would not adopt the costly technology on their own.
“By requiring CCS, EPA is placing a de facto ban on the construction of new coal-fueled power plants, handing over leadership of the development of CCS, and an estimated $1 trillion in economic benefits, to countries like China,” said Laura Sheehan, spokeswoman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
Is coal done for in the U.S. or will the American people demand that Obama backs down? To date, the only torch-wielding mobs are on the left.
Energy prices graphic via Shutterstock.