As a Presidential candidate, President Obama promised to bankrupt the coal industry and now, despite his administration’s protestations to the contrary, he seems set to deliver on that promise. The new CO2 regulation that the Environmental Protection Agency is issuing today, if it stands, could be the final nail in the coffin of future coal-fired electric power generation.
In its initial stage the new regulation would require any new coal-fired power plants to install expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide and bury it underground. Eventually the rule would expand to limit emissions from the existing coal fired power plants. The problem is, these technologies aren’t just expensive, they haven’t been shown to work. Commercial success with carbon capture is a long way off. And over the long-term, even if carbon capture becomes feasible, there is limited reservoir space – we pump out far more CO2 than we have space to store it. Thus, carbon-capture is neither a short-term nor long-term solution for the problem of carbon emissions; which means it’s also not solution that makes coal-fired electricity viable.
It seems the Obama administration is bent of following Germany’s lead in making electricity a luxury item. Germany has already constrained coal power, is closing its nuclear power plants and is propping up expensive, unreliable renewable power sources, and in doing so is creating a crisis for electric power users. Do without power or do without other basic material goods.
In order to gin up support for their costly energy rationing schemes leaked e-mails have shown that the German and U.S. governments tried to get the IPCC to suppress its findings that global warming seems to have halted for 16 years. Climategate II anyone?
It’s hardly surprising that governments would step in in an attempt to censor science – since for years they’ve argued the science is settled – and suppress the inconvenient truth of the collapsing evidence of catastrophic human caused climate change. After all, it undercuts the need for big government solutions and greater centralized control over the economy and peoples personal choices, something most politicians and bureaucrats have craved since time immemorial.
All of these political shenanigans come in the face growing public skepticism concerning the need to “do something” about global warming in the face of continued missed predictions concerning the harmful impacts of climate change.