Government proposes first carbon limits on power plants

I wonder if Southern Company was the company singing the praises of the new EPA regulations.  Southern Company through Mississippi Power’s new demonstration lignite coal plant in Kemper County, Mississippi will be voluntarily participating in the proposed EPA CO2 regulations and plays an pro-active roll in helping the EPA gain the numbers needed to implement the new regulations.

 

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON | Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:19pm EDT

(Reuters) – The Obama administration proposed on Tuesday the first rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new U.S. power plants, a move hotly contested by Republicans and industry in an election year.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal would effectively stop the building of most new coal-fired plants in an industry that is moving rapidly to more natural gas. But the rules will not regulate existing power plants, the source of one third of U.S. emissions, and will not apply to any plants that start construction over the next 12 months.

The watering down of the proposal led some ardent environmentalists to criticize its loopholes, but a power company that has taken steps to cut emissions praised the rules.

While the proposal does not dictate which fuels a plant can burn, it requires any new coal plants to use costly technology to capture and store the emissions underground. Any new coal-fired plants would have to halve carbon dioxide emissions to match those of gas plants.

“We’re putting in place a standard that relies on the use of clean, American made technology to tackle a challenge that we can’t leave to our kids and grandkids,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters in a teleconference.

Jackson could not say whether the standards, which will go through a public comment period, would be finalized before the November 6 election. If they are not, they could be more easily overturned if Obama lost.

Republicans say a slew of EPA clean air measures will drive up power costs but have had little success in trying to stop them in Congress. Industries have turned to the courts to slow down the EPA’s program.

Some Democrats from energy-intensive states also complained. “The overreaching that EPA continues to do is going to create a tremendous burden and hardship on the families and people of America,” said Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia.

REGULATORY CERTAINTY

The EPA’s overall clean-air efforts have divided the power industry between companies that have moved toward cleaner energy, such as Exelon and NextEra, and those that generate most of their power from coal, such as Southern Co and American Electric Power.

Ralph Izzo, the chairman and CEO of PSEG, a utility that has invested in cleaner burning energy, said the rules provide a logical framework to confront the emissions. The rules provide the industry with “much needed regulatory certainty,” that is needed to help guide future multi-billion dollar investments in the U.S. power grid, he added.

Under the new standards, coal plants could add equipment to capture and bury underground for permanent storage their carbon emissions. The rules give utilities time to get those systems running, by requiring they average the emissions cuts over 30 years. Still, the coal-burning industry says that carbon capture and storage, known as CCS, is not yet commercially available.

Jackson said the EPA believes the technology will be ready soon. “Every model that we’ve seen shows that technology as it develops will become commercially available certainly within the next 10 years”.

The National Mining Association said the rules can only hurt industry. “This proposal is the latest convoy in EPA’s regulatory train wreck that is rolling across America, crushing jobs and arresting our economic recovery at every stop

The portion of U.S. electricity fired by coal has slipped from about 50 percent to 45 percent in the last few years as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other drilling techniques have allowed access to vast new U.S. natural gas supplies.

NO PLAN FOR EXISTING PLANTS

The EPA is the main tool President Barack Obama has left to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which he pledged at an international climate meeting to cut by about 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

But the agency’s moves are also met by challenges by industry in the courts and have been under withering criticism from Republicans, who have made environmental regulations a big campaign theme ahead of the November 6 elections.

Environmentalists are part of Obama’s base and the administration has tried to walk a tightrope with its “all of the above” energy strategy that includes tougher energy regulations and support for renewable energy, while also supporting drilling for oil and gas.

Greens who were stung by Obama’s decision last September to delay a major smog rule, mostly cheered the EPA on Tuesday.

“The bottom line for our country is that cleaner power will cut harmful carbon dioxide pollution, protect our children and help secure a safe prosperous future,” said Vickie Patton, the general counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund.

But others bemoaned a concession to industry that left existing plants without limits. The EPA’s Jackson said the agency has no current plans to issue rules on those plants, which backers of climate action say are essential to tackle climate change.

Obama “should stand by EPA Administrator Jackson and her team as they push corporate polluters to reduce the CO2 spewing from smokestacks today,” said Kyle Ash of Greenpeace.

An industry analyst said the proposal gives power companies a break as the rules would not regulate the existing plants subject to other EPA rules on mercury and other emissions. “We think this is very reassuring news to an industry on the cusp of investing billions to meet,” those other limits, said Christine Tezak, an energy policy analyst at R.W. Baird & Co.

“Moving forward, it will be important for EPA to address carbon emissions for existing power plants as well,” said Kevin Kennedy, the U.S. climate director at the research group World Resources Institute. “Existing plants represent a significant opportunity to improve efficiency and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

Original post Here

Our Victory Against the Mississippi Power’s Kemper Coal Plant Retruns to PSC For Re-Evaluation

It is a happy day to see that the Kemper County Demonstration Lignite Coal Plant is being reevaluated by the PSC per court reversal.  It will be interesting to see how Leonard Bentz and Lynne Posey explain the public value in carbon dioxide capturing, transport, and storage to the Mississippi ratepayer.

In the wake of the latest exposure of the United Nations fraudulent global warming science, the Sustainable Development plans is no doubt  at risk as well.  In order to substantiate the need to capture carbon dioxide the three Mississippi Public Service Commissioners will need to prove the science behind the Kyoto Protocols of the United Nations. Southern Company is voluntarily following the United Nation’s Kyoto Protocols to implement their Agenda 21  to reduce energy usage via excessive energy costs.  This was clearly to be an experiment of behavior modification.

We need to celebrate and get right back to work because Kemper County Coal plant is moving forward and will surely work with the Obama administration and Steven Chu to find any loop-hole to keep the money pit going on the backs of the people. I say pull the plug.

Presley Issues Statement on Kemper County Coal Plant

March 16, 2012

Today Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s reversal of  Mississippi Power Company’s Kemper County Coal Plant:

Today’s 9-0 decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court reversing the $2.8 billion Kemper County Coal Plant is a major victory for each and every customer of Mississippi Power Company and deals a serious blow to the company’s corporate socialism.

In this case, Mississippi Power Company gave new meaning to the phrase “We got the gold mine, they got the shaft”.

I’ve argued consistently that customers of Mississippi Power Company have been mistreated by the company hiding rate impacts in this case and by putting their shareholders above their customers.

This plant is untried technology. The shareholders have no risks while the customers have all the risks along with a 45% rate hike to boot. The company also wanted to raise rates before the plant produced any electricity. I believe in “pay as you go”, I just don’t believe you should pay BEFORE you go.

I personally wrote multi-page dissents in this case and am pleased today to see that those arguments were not in vain.

This $2.8 billion case comes back now to the commission for further review.

Mississippi Kemper coal Power PSCs Failed to Satisfy State Law Now Will Face More Exposure

The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that approved construction of Southern Co’s USD 2.8 billion coal gasification project in Kemper County, Mississippi.

In a 9-0 voter, the state supreme court said the Mississippi Public Service Commission’s May 2010 approval of the project failed to satisfy state law and sent the case back to the PSC.

Source – Reuters

(www.steelguru.com)

Thank You to All Our Readers

Mississippi Coal is honored to be read by citizens in 48 different countries.  We express our gratitude towards your interest in our work. Thank you.

Mississippi Public Service Commissioners About to Be Exposed For Corruption On Kemper Power Plant

This is an example of corruption being, “above the law.”  The Mississippi Public Service Commissioners will not be able to provide proof that this plant is of public convenience and necessity because 1. It is experimental and is using unproven technology on a commercial scale. 2. Carbon capturing provides no benefit to the public and the ratepayers should not be required to pay for it, ever.

Would love to see them try to prove either one of these 2 issues.  It is illegal to gamble ratepayers’ money for a risky scam of carbon capture that fails to provide a public benefit nor is it the most cost effective.

 

The Mississippi Power will keep building Kemper County

Posted: Mar 16, 2012 3:12 PM CDT Updated: Mar 16, 2012 3:12 PM CDT

By Brad Kessie, News Director – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) –

Mississippi Power will keep building its new Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle facility, despite a ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court to send the certification process back to the Public Service Commission.

“We are confident there is substantial evidence in the record to support the Commission’s approval of the Certificate,” said Jeff Shepard, company spokesman.

Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling said the PSC didn’t provide details as to how it reached the decision it did.  That decision approved the certificate of public convenience and necessity Mississippi Power needed to build its Kemper County facility.

The Sierra Club appealed the PSC ruling to the Supreme Court, hoping to derail the $2.7 billion power plant, now under construction in Kemper County’s Liberty community. The environmental group argued the PSC broke the law by failing to lay out its reasoning clearly when it eased the financial terms under which Mississippi Power Co. could build what it calls Plant Ratcliffe.

Mississippi Power officials expect the PSC to rule on its behalf again.  “It is our hope and expectation that the Commission will address this expeditiously. We intend to continue construction of this facility to provide our customers with a sound energy future and unlock the facility’s substantial customer benefits,” Shepard said.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

EPA Lawsuits Question Basis, Procedures Behind EPA’s “Endangerment Finding”

EPA’s Global Warming Juggernaut Challenged in Court

Lawsuits Question Basis, Procedures Behind EPA’s “Endangerment Finding
February 27, 2012

Washington, D.C., February 27, 2012 – EPA’s economically ruinous plans for regulating greenhouse gas emissions are being challenged in federal court this week by a broad array of states and private parties, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, and FreedomWorks.  A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday in a set of cases challenging EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.  The court will also review a series of major EPA regulations based on that decision.

The petitioners argue that EPA acted arbitrarily and illegally in a number of respects:  it ignored the severe shortcomings of climate models; it illegally adopted the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and it refused to reopen its proceedings in the wake of Climategate.  The agency also ignored the fact that its incredibly costly regulations will have no detectable impact on global temperature.  Despite their extraordinary economic impacts, their much-ballyhooed benefits will in fact amount to zero.

“The fact that the court is devoting two days to hearing these cases demonstrates the importance of these legal questions.  But from a political standpoint, there’s even more at stake,” said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis.   “In 2010, after two decades of global warming advocacy, Congress declined to give EPA explicit authority to regulate greenhouse gases when Senate leaders pulled the plug on cap-and-trade legislation.  EPA’s insistence on going forward with its command-and-control agenda despite this defies both history and logic.”

Last year, EPA’s own Inspector General found that the agency based its 2009 “Endangerment Finding” (that emissions from greenhouse gases endanger the public health and welfare) on a flawed and inadequate assessment of climate science, and that EPA’s peer review methodology did not meet OMB requirements for highly influential scientific assessments.  (See EPA IG Report)

HERE for More

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