Archive for January, 2013

Next EPA Administrator Should Understand All Domestic Energy Options

As talks continue about who the next EPA administrator might be, an editorial in The Oklahoman suggests our energy policy going forward must take into consideration that electricity production needs to be reliant on more than just one fuel source.

The editorial points out:

“Over time, gas prices will rise; increased demand (to make power and to fuel vehicles) will translate into higher severance tax revenues. At the same time, consumers could find that moving away from coal means sharply higher electricity rates.”

The editorial goes on to say, “As much as we encourage new markets for Oklahoma-produced gas, we believe that power generation should not be over-reliant on one source of fuel and coal should not be left in the ground.”

The next head of the EPA needs to analyze and understand the full, cumulative economic impacts of its regulations, and not choose sides when it comes to energy production.  American jobs are at stake, as well as access to affordable, reliable electricity that is essential to our economic recovery.

If energy issues like this are important to you, make sure that you become a member of America’s Power so you can stay up-to-date on ways you can support coal-based electricity in your state.


EPA Continues to Ignore Damage of its Regulations

A follow up to the story we highlighted on Monday regarding the Navajo Generating Station, this time comes from the editorial board of the Arizona Republic. In the article, the board points out that research done by the plant’s operator, Salt River Project (SRP), concludes:

“SRP’s research also finds that the new emissions controls — which could cost up to $1.1 billion — would only marginally reduce the plant’s portion of that haze. Such a level of air-quality ‘improvement’ would not be perceptible to the human eye.”

The article then goes on to question the motives behind the billion dollar retrofit and asks, “If detectible haze reduction at the Grand Canyon is in dispute, that raises the broader question
of what really drives the EPA to take an action with such sweeping ramifications.” The Arizona Republic’s editorial board goes on to state, “And the EPA’s zealous and highly successful effort to close coal-fired power plants around the country is part of a conscious agenda created in Washington, D.C.”

But EPA job-killing stories aren’t only in Arizona, a recent story titled “Obama EPA kills power plant, 3,900 jobs in Texas“, points out that Chase Power, the parent company behind the $3 billion Las Brisas coal power plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, announced that it was canceling the project. Chase CEO Dave Freysinger said,“The (Las Brisas Energy Center) is a victim of EPA’s concerted effort to stifle solid-fuel energy facilities in the U.S., including EPA’s carbon-permitting requirements and EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for new power plants.”

This is just further evidence that the EPA continues to ignore the damage that its new regulations are causing to the U.S. economy and to states that depend on coal for jobs and affordable electricity.


Administration Willing to Sacrifice Navajo Coal Jobs?

In a column published in The Arizona Republic over the weekend titled “In their zeal, Obama team willing to sacrifice Navajos’ job“, writer Doug MacEachern argues that the potential closure of the coal-based plant on a Navajo reservation is less about the environment and more about “a bigger Obama administration mission.”

“Of all Barack Obama’s campaign promises in 2008, few are being fulfilled as aggressively as his assertion to the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board that energy companies can go ahead and build coal-fired power plants if they like, but doing so “will bankrupt them.”

The article goes on to say, “The coal mine that produces the fuel and the power plant itself together represent about 1,000 jobs, filled mostly by Navajos. To say that the uncertainty generated by the EPA’s decisions is causing anxiety among those few, lucky, working Navajos is a gross understatement.”

Today, our nation is focused on economic recovery – and creating well-paying jobs has become the number-one priority for most policymakers.  Coal is mined in 25 U.S. States and is responsible for more than 550,000 jobs in our country.  As a nation, we need to be focused on maintaining valuable jobs that workers current have, while finding new ways to create economic opportunities like some of the 21st Century coal-based power plants nearing completion.

Unfortunately, for small towns all over the country, the threat of economic disaster from the possible closure of local power plant and mining jobs is a story that it too often being repeated as we learned last year in our trip to Glen Lyn, Virginia.


Paycheck Not Keeping Pace with Rising Energy Costs?

Our new study shows that America’s working class and those on fixed and lower incomes are suffering from increases in energy costs the most. The study finds that more than half of U.S. households will spend an average 20 percent of their family budget on energy, nearly double what they spent 13 years ago.

Yesterday, on our America’s Power Facebook page, we asked the question “Are you tired of your paycheck not keeping pace with rising energy costs? If you say yes, our new study says you’re not alone”.  Take a moment to “Like” us on Facebook today and answer our latest poll question.

Keep in mind that a typical American family is spending almost twice as much for energy today as they did just 13 years ago, and for many families, high energy costs are now competing with other basic necessities such as food and health care.

Minorities and Seniors Hit Hardest by Energy Cost Burdens

A new study that we released today shows that America’s working class and those on fixed and lower incomes are suffering from increases in energy costs the most. The study finds that more than half of U.S. households will spend an average 20 percent of their family budget on energy, nearly double what they spent 13 years ago.

ACCCE president and CEO Mike Duncan had this to say about the release of today’s study, “While  American  families  fight  to  secure  their  economic  footing, new EPA regulations  are  adding to their burden with higher electricity and  energy costs.  A typical American family is spending almost twice as much for energy today. For many families, high energy costs are now competing with other basic necessities such as food and health care.”

The  annual assessment, “Energy Cost Impacts on American Families,” uses data from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Census Bureau to analyze energy cost increases since 2001  for U.S. households.  Energy costs include transportation, home heating  and cooling, and electricity.

Some of the findings include:

Energy costs are growing and eating up a disproportionate  share  of low and  fixed-­income families’ budgets.  Nearly one-­third of U.S. households had annual incomes less than $30,000 in 2011.  Energy costs in 2013 are projected to consume an average of 27% of their family budgets.

Minority families are burdened by higher energy costs. Due to income disparities, disproportionate numbers of Black and Hispanic families are more vulnerable to energy price increases than other families.

Lower- and fixed-income senior households are among those most vulnerable to energy price increases. In 2011, the median pre-tax income of senior households was approximately $33,000.  Fixed-income seniors are a growing segment of the U.S. population and are among the most vulnerable to energy cost increases due to their relatively low household incomes and their dependency on fixed incomes.

 


Industry Group Faults EPA for Higher Electric Bills

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U.S. electricity consumers struggling to pay utility bills are getting hurt by U.S. EPA’s crackdown on coal-fired power, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity said in a report today.

The lobby group’s 15-page analysis says people making $50,000 a year or less spent 12 percent of after-tax income on energy in 2001. In 2013, they are projected to spend 20 percent of their income on energy. The estimate for Americans making less than $30,000 per year is 27 percent.

ACCCE is using the numbers to tout coal’s contribution to cheap electricity and fight back against EPA efforts to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants.

“While American families fight to secure their economic footing, new EPA regulations are adding to their burden with higher electricity and energy costs,” ACCCE President Mike Duncan said in a statement.

Link to the Full Article:

http://www.eenews.net/Greenwire/2013/01/18/archive/20?terms=accce


Share Information from America’s Power Facebook Page

Today on our Facebook page, we let our more than 277,000 fans know that the energy contained in recoverable coal reserves in the U.S. has the equivalent of one trillion barrels of oil, roughly the same as the world’s known oil reserves.

Show your support for clean coal technology by “Liking” America’s Power on Facebook today. We always welcome a healthy discussion and debate regarding clean coal and the related technologies, but more importantly, we encourage fans to share their thoughts on a wide array of topics.


What Characteristics Are Needed for New EPA Administrator?

With last month’s announcement from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson that she was resigning her post, an opinion piece published in USNews.com this week asked “Will EPA Chief’s Departure Prompt Better Energy Policy?

Author Pete Sepp writes:

“Aside from imposing brutally expensive regulations affecting electricity production, such as the $9.6 billion Utility MACT Rule and other punitive measures against coal power, the EPA was roundly criticized for considering ways to implement, through administrative fiat, failed legislation to impose a cap-and-trade national energy tax.”

The next EPA Administrator needs to understand that it’s best to take a common sense action to protect the environment while not harming American jobs and consumers.

Ultimately, the next head of the EPA needs to fully analyze and understand the full, cumulative economic impacts of its regulations. American jobs are at stake, as well as access to affordable, reliable electricity that is essential to our economic recovery.  Let’s hope, at the very least, the next leader of the EPA has these characteristics as part of their personal philosophy.