EPA Moves Against States Rights

The EPA regulates the Southern CO and Mississippi Power. 

Why does the EPA want State rights to be diminished? 

Map shows where EPA offices are in U.S.

William YeatmanPresident Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has moved aggressively to usurp policy making authority from the states. In West Virginia and Kentucky, for example, the EPA has effectively overhauled Clean Water Act (CAA) permitting regimes, in disregard of administrative procedure rules.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has sued the EPA six times over its decision to reject state’s 17-year old “Flexible Permit” air quality permitting program for refineries. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is suing the EPA over its proposal to impose Clean Air Act controls at six coal fired power plants that cost almost $1 billion more than what the Sooner State had proposed. And that is just the beginning.

On August 22, 2011, the EPA committed its most outrageous affront to environmental federalism, with New Mexico as the victim. Specifically, the EPA refused to consider New Mexico’s visibility improvement plan, required under the Clean Air Act (CAA), and imposed a federal plan in its stead. This paper demonstrates how the EPA ran roughshod over New Mexico’s rightful authority, at a cost of almost $340 million to New Mexico ratepayers. Thanks to the EPA’s power grab, 500,000 PNM ratepayers in New Mexico are facing a $120 per year electricity tax (PNM is the state’s largest utility). The “benefit” of this tax, according to peerreviewed research, is a visibility “improvement” that is imperceptible to most people.

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308 New EPA Rules Waiting to be Implemented Against Businesses

The EPA destroys jobs by imposing draconian

demands on American businesses.

At present, there are 308 new EPA rules waiting to be implemented against businesses. One of these rules was going to tighten restrictions on the emission of ozone. Due to political considerations, however, President Obama ordered the EPA to withdraw the ozone recommendations.

Non Attainment Maps

Map of all counties that would not attain proposed 60 ppb Standard

If the ozone rule had been enforced, it would have made 85% of the counties in America in violation of the new standard! The costs would have been astronomical. The EPA has openly admitted that such restrictions would have cost counties between $20 billion to $90 billion! The EPA estimates are probably understated.

A 2010 study by the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI on the EPA ozone standard warned that this extreme standard would have killed 7.3 million jobs and added $1 trillion in business costs annually beginning in 2020. The ozone standard has only been shelved not rejected; presumably it will be implemented after the presidential election in 2012. [William F. Shughart II, “How EPA Could Destroy 7.3 Million Jobs,” The Examiner, November 12, 2010]

Other pending rules include forcing pesticide companies to change their container labels. This means that every company that produces pesticides must submit their labels to the EPA for approval! Some producers will fear selling their products with the old labels for fear of being fined. Changing labels will cost millions to implement. Another pending EPA rule forces farms in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to change how they feed their cattle and dispose of cattle manure. The impact of this rule, once enforced will be felt nationally. [Diana Furchtgott-Roth, “Don’t Forget The Job Killing EPA, Mr. Obama,” RealClearMarket.com, September 8, 2011]  

Coal Plants have been shut down across America because of excessive EPA regulations. EPA’s new regulations on coal are forcing several utilities such as American Electric Power, Duke Energy, and Southern Company to shut down their coal-fired power plants because of the excessive costs involved in complying.

In addition, a study done by National Economic Research Associates reported that the EPA’s Cross-State Air Rule and Utility MACT Rule will result in the loss of 53,500 job-years in Ohio by 2020. That’s just one state. Coal Plants have been shut down across America because of excessive EPA regulations. The EPA is also blocking development of such important projects as the Keystone XL pipeline, which would pump oil from Canada to refineries in Texas. This pipeline would produce billions in revenue and thousands of construction jobs! [“EPA Causing Job Losses, Blocking Job Growth,” Texas Insider, August 25, 2011]

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Republican minority issued a report in September 2010 on the devastating impact the EPA is having on job growth. According to the report, EPA restrictions on commercial and industrial boilers put nearly 800,000 jobs at risk! EPA standards for Portland Cement Plants put up to 18 cement plants at risk of shutting down, threatening 1,800 jobs directly and 9,000 indirectly.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The EPA is a job killer and Lisa Jackson is one of President Obama’s favorites in the administration. She can be expected to implement his anti-energy policies – policies he can’t get approved through Congress.

Misissippi Power, Southern Company, Profit From EPA Regultion Scam

Watch this video for clarity of our perspective on the experimental demonstration Kemper County Lignite Coal Plant. It includes a very costly CO2 experimental removal system that only uses electricity (CO2 CAPTURING DOES NOT PRODUCE ENERGY.)  Politicians and Power Plant Spokes persons, have recently changed their dialogue;

From : CO2 causes Global warming and causes “premature deaths” so we need to contain CO2.

TO: Mississippi Power can make millions selling the CO2 to oil companies.

Doesn’t this CO2 selling remind you of those cheesy get-rich-quick infomercials? 

Mississippi Power Counting on EPA CO2 Regulations For Kemper County

Mississippi Power Needs the new CO2 regulations to justify the additional energy fees to ratepayers. Unfortunately Mississippi Power fails to consider the number of lost jobs from the closures related to the increased energy fees and burdensome regulations bankrupting Mississippi businesses. 

EPA CO2 Regulations would require 230,000 new employees, $21 billion

FILE - In this June 15, 2011 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama is sacking a controversial proposed regulation tightening health-based standards for smog, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders. In a statement Friday, Obama said he had ordered Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposal, in part because of the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)  Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/26/epa-regulations-would-require-230000-new-employees-21-billion/#ixzz1ZA5aEoPs

Lisa Jackson with the EPA Increasing regulations

FILE – In this June 15, 2011 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama is sacking a controversial proposed regulation tightening health-based standards for smog, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders. In a statement Friday, Obama said he had ordered Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposal, in part because of the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

‘EPA has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be ‘absurd’ in application and ‘impossible to administer’ by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules’

The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.

The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.

The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.

These new regulatory efforts are not likely to succeed, the EPA admits, but it has decided to move forward regardless. “While EPA acknowledges that come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance … may still be absurd or impossible to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds,” the EPA wrote in a September 16 court briefing.

The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up to 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimated cost of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves.

“Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year,” the EPA wrote in the court brief.

The petitioner suing the EPA is the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, a trade group reportedly linked to domestic chemical companies.

Obama’s Solar Scandal & Mississippi Powers’ New Lignite Coal Plant

Guaranteed Loan Linked to Scandal

Obama’s Solar scandal has split the United Nations environmental scam wide open for all to witness.  $535 million guaranteed loans for a failed green company as payback for political contributions?  Americans will not tolerate such corruption.

Solyndra was the first company to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy as part of the 2009 stimulus package. This wasn’t small potatoes. The loan guarantee was for $535 million.

It was, Vice President Biden said, “exactly what the Recovery Act was all about.” Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize winner, said it would help “spark a new revolution that will put Americans to work.” It was part of the Obama administration’s program to create so-called “green jobs,” which we were told were the key to future economic growth.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/09/15/obama_tainted_by_loan_guarantees_to_solar_firms_111336.html

  • Both Kemper Coal Plant and Obama’s Solyndra Solar received federal loan guarantees.(1)
  • Both Mississippi Powers’ IGCC  Kemper Coal Plant and the Solyndra Solar Plant Claim to bring green  jobs and boost the economy.  I would like to see the bogus study where Mississippi Power will be employing more Full Time Permanent workers over the next few years.  It is not logical with the layoffs and closings they have planned. I say put it in writing or quit deceiving the people.  What Mississippi Power is about to do with the Kemper Coal Plant will cause a terminal cancer in the economy of Mississippi.


Both Kemper County Coal Plant and Obama’s Solar Plant Scandal have Energy Secretary Steven Chu involved in the promoting and supporting the projects.
Most importantly, both The Mississippi lignite experiment and the Solar experiment were a product the KYOTO PROTOCOLS of the United Nations, Agenda 21.  A plan to reduce manmade greenhouse gasses and trading carbon units to redistribute the wealth from America to poorer nations all under the disguise of doing good through environmental causes. 

(1) http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/coalpower/cctc/EIS/kemper_pdf/Front%20Matter%20and%20Summary.pdf

Remove the CO2 capture portion all together, and put in proven reliable technology coal with new scrubbers and add new scrubbers to the old plants.  Stop bankrupting companies and businesses. Quit making our rates skyrocket for a false science on global warming and quit following the Kyoto Protocols of the united Nations.  Follow the America way to prosperity.

Kemper County Coal – FRAUD

John Casey Mentions Kemper County by Name on the Radio this Morning.

Interview with Kipp Greggory on 104.9fm Gulf Coast Morning

http://www.newsradio1049fm.com/player/?art=B4L&tra=on%20demand&omu=http://a1135.g.akamai.net/f/1135/30338/1h/cchannel.download.akamai.com/30338/1695/richmedia/INTERVIEW_-_20110901_-_JohnCasey_-_Agenda21AndGlobalWarming.mp3?CCOMRRMID=21370730&CPROG=RICHMEDIA&MARKET=BILOXI-MS&NG_FORMAT=&NG_ID=&OR_NEWSFORMAT=&OWNER=1695&SERVER_NAME=wbuv-fm.admin.clearchannel.com&SITE_ID=1695&STATION_ID=WBUV-FM&TRACK=

Southern Co. regulators fret over EPA rules

Coal Trader (11-Aug-11)

By Mark Watson

State regulators in Southern Company’s footprint are working to mitigate the cost and reliability effects of what one Georgia Public Service Commission member calls a “train wreck” of new federal environmental rules.

The way Southern Co mitigated it was by volunteering to be the first in America to comply to the non-existent Cap and Trade?  No, they put the burden to pay for the Kemper Plant upon the people of Mississippi.

Last week, Southern, the nation’s second-largest coal-fired electricity generator, filed at the Environmental Protection Agency an estimate that its subsidiaries would have to pay $13 billion to $18 billion to comply by 2020 with the so-called maximum achievable control technology rule to cut mercury and other toxic emissions.

The parent company of utilities in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi estimates that the new rules could result in about 40% of its 26,199 MW of installed coal-fired capacity either being retired or transitioned to natural gas.

On Monday, a Southern spokeswoman said any of this coal-fired generation that is not highly controlled – defined as lacking both sulfur dioxide scrubbers and devices to control the emission of nitrogen oxide – is “on the table” for possible retirement.

What Kemper is all about is capturing 60% carbon dioxide let’s not misguide the public.  We are all about minimizing pollution but Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant.

More than half of Southern’s coal-fired generation – 14,267 MW, to be exact – lacks one or both types of air emissions control equipment. Here are the numbers, broken out by state:

**Alabama – 8,729 MW of coal-fired generation, of which 4,410 MW is not highly controlled, with the highest concentration of highly controlled capacity in northern Alabama;

**Florida – 1,573 MW of coal-fired generation, of which 438 is not highly controlled, with all of the highly controlled capacity in the western Panhandle;

**Georgia -14,301 MW of coal-fired generation, of which 7,823 MW is not highly controlled, with the highly controlled capacity in northern Georgia; and

**Mississippi -1,596 MW of coal-fired generation, none of which is highly controlled, with all of it concentrated along the Gulf Coast.

Also last week, Southern’s Georgia Power subsidiary asked the Public Service Commission to retire the Mitchell Plant’s unit 4C, with 33 MW of capacity, in March 2012, and to retire the Branch Plant’s Units 1 and 2, totaling 569 MW, effective at the end of 2013. The Mitchell Plant is in southern Georgia, and the Branch Plant is in central Georgia.

Mississippi will be retiring plants as well.  This is being kept confidential until after the elections. But jobs will be lost.

Georgia Power also seeks certification of four power purchase agreements totaling 1,562 MW of capacity found through a request for proposals for periods that begin in 2015 and extend 12 to 15 years thereafter.

“I believe that through our [integrated resource plan] process … we’ll continue to see Georgia without a reliability issue, but at what cost remains to be seen,” said Stan Wise, Georgia PSC chairman, on Tuesday. “It’s something my colleagues and I are very concerned about. Clearly, it’s an exceptionally tight time line for what has been a 50% coal generating state. We’re going to see a dramatic change in the way we’ve done business in this state.”

In an email, Georgia PSC member Tim Echols said, “Georgia Power has a great record of reliability. That will not be an issue, regardless of fuel.”

Wise said he has discussed what he called “the train wreck we’re facing in the next decade” with Georgia’s senators. While the commission has ordered the installation of air scrubbers, these processes take time, and the short deadlines in the EPA rules may leave Georgia regulators with “the only avenue we have in this state … to shutter a plant or transfer it to another fuel source.”

We should be joining forces with Texas to fight overbearing irrational regulations the Obama administration is laying out to destroy our economy.  The timeline should be delayed!

In contrast with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Georgia lacks a large amount of underutilized gas-fired generation capacity controlled by independent power producers, Wise said.

But an industry observer who works with independent power producers in the region said the Southeast may, in fact, have underutilized gas generation that would be available to fill in the gap from Southern’s retired coal-fired generation.

“There are many, many less independent power producers there than in the past, but I wouldn’t make a blanket statement that the generation’s not there,” said the observer, who asked that his name not be used. “Historically, they haven’t been run very much.”

Replacing coal-fired generation with new gas-fired generation, which would be funded by ratepayers, could mean a big blow to Georgia consumers. “You can be sure that when the costs of these rules are passed on to the ratepayers, it will get their attention,” Wise said.

But Echols said he has “no worries as long as natural gas prices stay down.”

In Mississippi, Leonard Bentz, the PSC member who represents the Gulf Coast region served by Southern’s Mississippi Power subsidiary, said it would be “irresponsible” for utilities to switch much of its generation to natural gas.

What is irresponsible is to force the people of MS to buy an experimental Lignite Coal plant in compliance to Obama’s Green agenda. And even worse, was to do it secretly.

“Do you think for one second that gas prices are going to stay low?” Bentz said Tuesday. “I don’t. … I’m not going to be a part of getting gas-heavy on generation. You need a good, diversified fuel mix.”

This is all about deception folks.  Steven Chu  expressed his goal to “bankrupt” every coal plant in America through regulations.  Bentz said, Let Mississippi be first.  And make the ratepayer buy the plant but not to increase the rates until after his re-election. 

It would be equally irresponsible to shut down Mississippi Power’s coal-fired generation when the utility regularly hits records for summer demand, as it has done in the past two years, Bentz said.

It is criminal to force one of the poorest states to buy a risky coal plant scam causing the poorest to suffer to their deaths in the heat. Say it will bring jobs as businesses close and lay-off.   But Bentz did just what Obama wanted.

“Reliability is probably one of the biggest determining factors in my decision-making process, a fraction above cost,” Bentz said. “When people’s bills get high, the phone rings off the wall, but when the lights go out, the phones blow up from all of the calling.”

Following the political agenda seems like the determining factor.  It took only 72 hours to change the minds of the Bentz and Posey after recieving the persuasive letter from Haley Barbour who was hoping for a presidential run at the time and kissing up-to liberals. 

In a joint e-mail, the Alabama PSC said it learned from Alabama Power that “under the currently proposed implementation schedules, reliability will be jeopardized.”

“For that not to occur, the EPA must extend its stringent compliance periods and adopt a more flexible approach,” states the e-mail. “Otherwise, customers could potentially suffer reliability impacts and incur unnecessary costs due to compliance penalties, inflationary pressures, material supply and labor shortages, as well as the potential for multiple outages occurring at one time.”

The Alabama commissioners’ email said they “plan to maintain an open dialogue … concerning these issues” with their congressional delegation and other government officials.

Bentz said he has been discussing the new EPA rules with Mississippi’s congressional delegation.

But not discussing it with the people of Mississippi.  Again I want to see a fight against Cap and Trade not a volunteer to be the first to comply mentality.  Bentz keeps saying, “We will be the first in energy.”  But what he means is, we will be the first fools to be involved in the “train wreck.”

But Echols said he expects that Congress will not forestall the EPA rules unless Obama loses the 2012 presidential election.

“The EPA is a powerful agency,” Echols said.

Mark Watson

The red italics is inserted opinions and is not part of the original Coal Trader article in black. Brandon Presley voted against the Kemper County Lignite coal plant and has been an advocate for the people of Mississippi on this topic.

EPA will cause BLACKOUTS, Destroy Industry, Kill Jobs, and People, But Jackson is Happy

Posted by Ben Howe (Profile)

Thursday, August 4th at 9:30PM EDT

I reported recently on EPA rules that ran the risk of causing shut downs of plants in Texas and elsewhere.  But that was before the massive heatwave began putting the real strain on them.  So much so that they are almost at full capacity.  And unfortunately, the EPA is only tightening it’s grip.

Via Wall Street Journal:

The agency is now tightening nearly every eco-regulation in existence, abusing in particular traditional air pollutant laws to shut down coal-fired power plants. This cluster of overlapping rules will cause far more cumulative damage than merely one or another rule would by itself.

A utility, for instance, might be able to comply with a single new rule, but under the EPA firehose it might be forced to retire some of its operations. Beyond the direct costs to the utility, plant closures would lead to job losses and higher prices for consumers and business, with their own knock-on effects.

Some of the power plants, like Edison Electric, are calling for more time to comply with these onerous regulations so as to help prevent any economic or energy disruptions.  In a heatwave and a down economy, you’d think the EPA would be receptive.  Unfortunately, the source of these rules, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, believes that the greater good that is being served comes ahead of these petty concerns.

In fact, Jackson believes that there is no reason to be concerned about the economics whatsoever.  After all, what do the industry leaders know about their own industry when compared to a former chemical engineer?

WSJ:

This cost-benefit bias may explain why Ms. Jackson could claim at a “green jobs” conference in February that under the Clean Air Act, “For every $1 we have spent, we have gotten $40 of benefits in return. So you can say what you want about EPA’s business sense. We know how to get a return on our investment.”

Essentially what Jackson is saying is that the return on investment for the EPA, in the form of regulatory fees, is more important than the very industries that they are tasked with regulating.

Worse yet, they are risking the health and happiness of the people that they are tasked with protecting.  Temperatures in Texas are approaching 110 degrees and industry and utility groups are requesting time to comply with the EPA’s MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technolog) rules which “require coal-fired power plants to install equipment that in some cases is too expensive to afford and in other cases does not currently exist commercially.”

The stated purpose of the rule is to reduce pollution but could force the shut down of enough coal-fired power plants to equal about 30-70 gigawatts of electricity nationwide.  For perspective, 1 gigawatt of energy powers about 750,000 homes.  Families living in the power grids affected will either have to find another more costly source of energy when economic times are tough and not everyone can afford a solar-powered makeover (which the government is coincidentally offering incentives for citizens to do, though those incentives pale in comparison to the cost) or they will have to simply live with blackouts.

The utility industry says the standard will lead to double digit rate hikes for consumers and require costly upgrades to some power plants.  But I seem to recall that someone said that under his plans, power bills would “necessarily skyrocket.”


To add insult to injury, these regulations have been shown to be unnecessary by none other than the EPA itself.

Via The Roanoke Times:

The EPA is proposing regulations to control numerous air pollutants that the agency’s own studies show pose no risk to human health; the health benefits claimed by the EPA for these proposed regulations are actually for pollutants that are already controlled through other existing regulations.

Not to mention the fact that the coal fired power generation is already putting forth plans to reduce their own emissions.

By 2015, the coal-fired power generation industry will have invested $125 billion in coal utilization technologies that burn coal cleaner and with more efficiency.

Power plant emissions are already down nearly 80 percent since 1970. A coal-fired power facility built today is, on average, 90 percent cleaner than the one it replaces, according to the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Ironically, the ability to build those new plants is next to impossible due to even more stringent EPA regulations.

Meanwhile, Jackson is scoffing at the mountain of information showing that these rules will cause blackouts, destroy industry, kill jobs, are unnecessary, and impede the ability for the coal industry to enact self regulation that they already had begun.  Instead, she’s patting herself on the back for bringing in tons of cash at the cost of jobs and industry.

Lisa Jackson is dutifully executing the President’s radical environmental agenda, having explicitly stated that he intends to put the coal industry out of business, originally through Cap and Trade.  His failure to get that job killing monstrosity passed into law has merely changed his path. The objective remains the same.

http://www.redstate.com/aglanon/2011/08/04/lisa-jackson-is-using-the-epa-to-destroy-the-coal-industry/

Not Heeding the Warnings From Other Energy Companies

Why is Mississippi ignoring the warnings from other energy companies?  Others have determined that CCS fails to make economic sense at this point in time.  Is this the deal Haley Barbour made to gain  support for his now scrapped presidential run?  The residents of Mississippi will pay for this error forever because they have now paved the way for Cap and Trade to embark. There is no going back because there is
NO RISK TO MISSISSIPPI POWER COMPANY BECAUSE WE ARE PAYING FOR IT, NOT THEM!!!
————————————————————————————————————————————–
AEP Places Carbon Capture Commercialization On Hold, Citing Uncertain Status Of Climate Policy, Weak Economy

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 14, 2011 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is terminating its cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy and placing its plans to advance carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) technology to commercial scale on hold, citing the current uncertain status of U.S. climate policy and the continued weak economy as contributors to the decision.

“We are placing the project on hold until economic and policy conditions create a viable path forward,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman and chief executive officer. “With the help of Alstom, the Department of Energy and other partners, we have advanced CCS technology more than any other power generator with our successful two-year project to validate the technology. But at this time it doesn’t make economic sense to continue work on the commercial-scale CCS project beyond the current engineering phase.

“We are clearly in a classic ‘which comes first?’ situation,” Morris said. “The commercialization of this technology is vital if owners of coal-fueled generation are to comply with potential future climate regulations without prematurely retiring efficient, cost-effective generating capacity. But as a regulated utility, it is impossible to gain regulatory approval to recover our share of the costs for validating and deploying the technology without federal requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions already in place. The uncertainty also makes it difficult to attract partners to help fund the industry’s share.”

In 2009, AEP was selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) to receive funding of up to $334 million through the Clean Coal Power Initiative to pay part of the costs for installation of a commercial-scale CCS system at AEP’s Mountaineer coal-fueled power plant in New Haven, W.Va. The system would capture at least 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from 235 megawatts of the plant’s 1,300 megawatts of capacity. The captured CO2, approximately 1.5 million metric tons per year, would be treated and compressed, then injected into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage approximately 1.5 miles below the surface.

Plans were for the project to be completed in four phases, with the system to begin commercial operation in 2015. AEP has informed the DOE that it will complete the first phase of the project (front-end engineering and design, development of an environmental impact statement and development of a detailed Phase II and Phase III schedule) but will not move to the second phase.

DOE’s share of the cost for completion of the first phase is expected to be approximately $16 million, half the expenses that qualify under the DOE agreement.

AEP and partner Alstom began operating a smaller-scale validation of the technology in October 2009 at the Mountaineer Plant, the first fully-integrated capture and storage facility in the world. That system captured up to 90 percent of the CO2 from a slipstream of flue gas equivalent to 20 megawatts of generating capacity and injected it into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage approximately 1.5 miles below the surface. The validation project, which received no federal funds, was closed as planned in May after meeting project goals. Between October 2009 and May 2011, the life of the validation project, the CCS system operated more than 6,500 hours, captured more than 50,000 metric tons of CO2 and permanently stored more than 37,000 metric tons of CO2.

“The lessons we learned from the validation project were incorporated into the Phase I engineering for the commercial-scale project,” Morris said.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: the economic climate and growth in, or contraction within, AEP’s service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability of capital on reasonable terms and developments impairing AEP’s ability to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt at attractive rates; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; electric load and customer growth; weather conditions, including storms, and AEP’s ability to recover significant storm restoration costs through applicable rate mechanisms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters; availability of necessary generating capacity and the performance of AEP’s generating plants; AEP’s ability to recover Indiana Michigan Power’s Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 restoration costs through warranty, insurance and the regulatory process; AEP’s ability to recover regulatory assets and stranded costs in connection with deregulation; AEP’s ability to recover increases in fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP’s ability to build or acquire generating capacity, including the Turk Plant, and transmission line facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs (including the costs of projects that are cancelled) through applicable rate cases or competitive rates; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances or additional regulation of fly ash and similar combustion products that could impact the continued operation and cost recovery of AEP’s plants; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions (including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance); resolution of litigation (including AEP’s dispute with Bank of America); AEP’s ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; AEP’s ability to develop and execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of debt; volatility and changes in markets for electricity, natural gas, coal, nuclear fuel and other energy-related commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the implementation of electric security plans and related regulation in Ohio and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including PJM and SPP; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP’s pension, other postretirement benefit plans and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact on future funding requirements; prices and demand for power that AEP generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes and other catastrophic events.

http://www.aep.com/newsroom/newsreleases/?id=1704

Mississippi Punked – Scheme Raises Energy Prices to Enrich Wall Street

Congressional Climate Bills:

Stealth Schemes to Raise Energy Prices

and Enrich Wall Street

by Stephen Lendman
Monday, 17 May 2010
If cap and trade is enacted, polluters will win. Consumers will lose, and Wall Street will get the mother of all speculative bonanzas. No wonder, they and the energy giants are lobbying ferociously for passage.

On June 26, 2009, HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA) passed, purportedly “To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.”

In fact, it lets energy polluters raise prices for huge windfall profits and gives Wall Street a bonanza through carbon trading derivatives speculation. Catherine Austin Fitts’ Solari.com blog, “Coming Clean” explained it last July in her article titled, “The Next Really Scary Bubble” is coming, saying:

“If you think the housing and credit bubble diminished your financial security and your community, or the bailouts, or the rising gas prices did as well, hold on to your hat” for what’s ahead. “Carbon trading is gearing up to make the housing and derivative bubbles look like target practice,” or in other words, be the mother of all scams, courtesy of administration, House and Senate collaboration with Wall Street and the energy giants.

Now the Senate version – a clean energy bill? Not according to the Center for Biological Diversity (biologicaldiversity.org) calling it:

“a disaster for our climate and planet. (The Kerry-Lieberman) proposal moves us one baby step forward and at least three giant steps back in any rational effort to address the climate crisis. (Their bill) would entrench our addiction to fossil fuels by offering incentives for increased oil and gas drilling just days after what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history.”

Their proposal includes “no safeguards….to make offshore oil safe. (It) echoes greenhouse pollution reduction targets that scientists recently called ‘paltry’ and inadequate to prevent the worst impacts of climate change….The Kerry-Lieberman (bill) is not the answer because it asks the wrong questions.”

New climate legislation must:

  • reduce “atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million….;”
  • supplement “existing environmental laws – especially the Clean Air Act – instead of gutting these successful and proven environmental protections;”
  • be “free of loopholes allowing polluters to delay or avoid reducing their greenhouse gas emissions;” and
  • avoid “habitat destruction and increased greenhouse gas emissions through perverse subsidies.”

House of Senate bills fail “these tests.” They’re “a disaster for our climate and planet.” The House bill lets polluters “escape real emissions reductions.” The Senate bill:

  • bans Clean Air Act provisions and “existing state and local efforts to tackle climate change;”
  • facilitates, subsidizes, and accelerates oil and gas drilling, including offshore;
  • “subsidize(s) dangerous and costly nuclear energy; and
  • incentivize(s) the destruction of forests for biomass energy production;” this provision, however, appears stalled.

Last June, Public Citizen called the House bill:

“a new legal right to pollute (that) gives away 85 percent of (its) credits to polluters. (It) will not solve our climate crisis but will enrich already powerful oil, coal and nuclear power companies” at the expense of consumers stuck with higher than ever bills to enrich them.

This writer’s July 8 article titled, Obama’s Cap and Trade Carbon Emissions Bill: A Stealth Scheme to License Pollution and Fraud explained it.

Hyperbolic Democrats praised it, Speaker Pelosi calling it “transformational legislation which takes us into the future” after taking congratulatory calls from Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Al Gore.

The former vice president has long-standing ties to Goldman Sachs (GS), and in 2004, he and David Blood, GS’s former asset management division CEO, co-founded Generation Investment Management LLC, a firm likely to profit hugely from cap and trade schemes if enacted.

So will energy giants like Royal Dutch Shell (top-ranked in 2009 on Fortune’s Global 500) and Duke Energy that helped write the bill, that according to Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder “fails to come anywhere close to solving the climate crisis. Worse, (it) eliminates preexisting EPA authority to address global warming – that means it’s actually a step backward.”

Greepeace agreed saying it “sets emission reduction targets far lower than science demands, then undermines even those targets with massive offsets. The giveaways and preferences in the bill will actually spur a new generation of nuclear and coal-fired power plants to the detriment of real energy solutions.”

Energy companies praised it, and why not. Big Coal got a waiver until 2025. Agribusiness was exempted altogether even though it contributes up to one-fourth of greenhouse gas emissions. The free allowances provision benefits the nuclear industry hugely. The nation’s largest nuclear power company, Exelon, said it would reap a $1 – 1.5 billion annual windfall from subsidies and higher prices.

ACESA is a scam. It’s about profits, not environmental remediation. Its emissions reduction targets are so weak, they effectively license polluters by giving them a new profit center to exploit. As for Wall Street, it offers greater than ever derivatives trading profits – a new multi-trillion dollar market to be “securitized, derivatized, and speculated,” according to Clinton’s former Commerce undersecretary, Robert Shapiro. If cap and trade becomes law, the market will explode in his judgment.

Others agree, seeing a speculative bonanza, why FIRE sector (finance, insurance and real estate) lobbyists spent a record $465 million in 2009 according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Energy and natural resources companies also, spending $409 million to assure a plum this sweet becomes law.

The American Power Act (APC) – Unveiled on May 16 and now available in Pdf form.

It’s as hyperbolic as the House version saying:

It “will transform our economy, set us on the path toward energy independence and improve the quality of the air we breathe. It will create millions of good jobs that cannot be shipped abroad and it will launch America into a position of leadership in the global clean energy economy.”

It claims not to be about enriching Wall Street, but to reduce carbon pollution by “17 percent in 2020 and by over 80 percent in 2050,” so far ahead that who’ll remember unmet targets.

It says:

  • “Consumers will come out on top.
  • We need energy made in America.
  • America needs to regain its competitive edge….
  • We need a new approach to reducing emissions (and)
  • The system must be simple, stable and secure.”

Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica debunked it, saying:

“Without dramatic improvements, this bill should not be passed, and senators should consider alternatives. In the meantime, existing tools like the Clean Air Act must be put to work. More broadly, we must end a system in which polluter lobbyists exercise effective veto power in Congress. Our economy, global security and the health of the public are all at stake.”

According to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum in his May 13 analysis, APC fails across the board saying the “Climate Bill Is a Misnomer: It’s a Nuclear Energy-Promoting, Oil-Drilling-Championing, Coal Mining-Boosting Gift to Polluters….with a weak carbon-pricing mechanism thrown in.”

Worse still, it guts the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. It provides nuclear power incentives at taxpayers expense. Under sections 1101 and 1105, citizens won’t have public hearings on nuclear power risks, especially ones in their communities. Section 1102 “increases loan guarantees primarily for nuclear power to a jaw-dropping $54 billion.” Considering the industry’s high default risk, consumers will be stuck with the bill the way they’ve paid trillions for Wall Street bailouts.

In section 1103, 12 proposed nuclear plants will get $6 billion in taxpayer-subsidized risk insurance. Section 1121 lets nuclear power operators accelerate depreciation. Section 1121 “provides a 10 percent investment tax credit for new reactors.” Under section 1123, the industry gets Advanced Energy Project credits, and it “derives certain tax, bond and grant benefits from investing in nuclear power” from sections 1124, 5 and 6.

More than ever, Big Oil gets to “Drill Baby, Drill” (that assures “Spill Baby, Spill”), including more of it offshore, despite the spreading Gulf disaster, and there’s more. Under section 1202, states may keep 37.5 of oil and gas royalties. “That’s like saying because more rich people live in California and New York compared to Mississippi and New Mexico, (they) should be able to keep more federal dollars raised from income taxes. Royalty revenue sharing is patently unfair,” especially since offshore spills respect no state shorelines or inland areas if they spread.

Big coal will get generous loan guarantees and more. “Section 1412 establishes a (utility-collected) carbon tax paid by ratepayers….to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) – with no money allocated to rooftop solar or energy efficiency investments.” Under section 1431, coal companies are given (taxpayer subsidized) emissions allowances – “an untested, risky strategy that benefits (them) and is gobbling up a lion’s share of subsidies” that should go for renewable energy development.

Merchant coal power plants (whose rates aren’t regulated) will get about 5% of the handouts, “which will provide opportunities for them to gouge consumers.”

Section 1604 says because “voluntary” renewable energy markets are efficient and effective programs, “the policy of the United States is to continue to support” them without the guarantees given fossil fuel and nuclear industry giants.

The bill also promotes carbon offsets trading – a scam to let polluters buy credits from countries or companies whose greenhouse gas emissions fall below their allowed quotas. However, shifting isn’t reduction. It simply transfers pollution from one place to another, has no verification mechanism, creates a system wide open to fraud and mismanagement, and allows the same market manipulation shenanigans that created the housing and toxic derivatives bubbles – precisely why energy giants and Wall Street want it.

Utilities, not consumers, will benefit from free 2013 – 2029 allowances, “exclusively” for ratepayers purportedly. But instead of remitting directly to them, the Senate bill lets state utility commissions decide. They, in turn, can be more or less consumer friendly, but as their past history shows, ratepayers will end up losers.

As for Wall Street, the Senate bill is marginally less accommodative than the House version, but not enough to matter. For example, a new Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Office of Carbon Market Oversight is created, letting the corporate-run agency regulate spot and futures emission markets.

It would require emissions traders to register, be approved, and have their transactions cleared through a CFTC-run Carbon Clearing Organization. It’ll work the same way the Federal Reserve regulates banks – by letting the giants that own it make the rules.

Further, carbon trading lets Wall Street “control our climate future” by “mak(ing) the housing and derivatives bubbles look like target practice,” as Catherine Austin Fitts explained.

If cap and trade is enacted, polluters will win. Consumers will lose, and Wall Street will get the mother of all speculative bonanzas. No wonder, they and the energy giants are lobbying ferociously for passage.

Connection to the Gulf Disaster

On May 9, Attorney General Eric Holder told ABC’s This Week that he sent Justice Department officials to the Gulf to determine if any “misfeasance (or) malfeasance” occurred.

Is the Senate climate bill perhaps connected to the Gulf spill? – being used as a pretext to propose “protections,” including a provision saying:

“Mindful of the accident in the Gulf, we institute important new protections for coastal states by allowing them to opt out of drilling up to 75 miles from their shores. In addition, directly impacted states can veto drilling plans if they stand to suffer significant adverse impacts in the event of an accident.”

Don’t bet on it, as House and Senate bills, in fact, assure more, not less, offshore drilling, thus far prohibited in oil rich waters Big Oil companies covet. But what they want, they generally get, free from regulatory oversight or not enough to matter. That won’t change nor the chance for more spills, on or offshore. As one expert explained: “As long as we keep using this stuff, we’re going to be spilling it. It goes with the territory.”

Yet if the Gulf incident was deliberate, why so? On September 30, S. 1733: Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act was introduced, purportedly to “create clean energy jobs, promote energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean energy economy.”

On November 5, it was reported to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, remained stalled, and the December Copenhagen climate summit (COP 15) failed. Then after the April 20 Gulf incident, it was reactivated to take advantage of a good crisis – what White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel once told the Wall Street Journal saying:

“You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is that it’s an opportunity to do things you thought you couldn’t do before.”

And a joint Kerry-Lieberman statement said ahead of the bill’s rollout:

“We are more encouraged today that we can secure the necessary votes to pass this legislation this year in part because the last weeks have given everyone with a stake in this issue a heightened understanding that as a nation, we can no longer wait to solve this problem which threatens our economy, our security and our environment.”

White House climate advisor, Carol Browner, told Bloomberg TV that:

“This accident, this tragedy, is actually heightening people’s interest in energy in this country and in wanting a different energy plan.”

Perhaps they, BP, Transocean and Halliburton know something we don’t. In this case a possible false flag “accident” to jump-start passage of the Senate bill to enrich polluters and Wall Street, the only way they may have thought possible after Senate debate stalled.

Of course, to enlist enough public and congressional support, a headline-making incident was needed, though doubtful one this grave was intended – according to some experts spewing from 40,000 – 100,000 gallons daily to continue for months, even years given the enormous underwater pressure at a one-mile depth – 40,000 pounds per square inch, the reason fixes so far tried have failed, and no one’s sure what’ll work. The latest BP tube insertion may be more a PR stunt than a solution, but don’t look for its officials or Washington to explain it.

Extremely worrisome are the enormous deep water oil plumes, one, for example, 16 km long, five km wide, and 91 meters thick, suggesting permanent ecological damage with untold consequences. Already, oxygen in the Gulf is depleting, threatening sea life over a vast area and the livelihoods of area fishermen.

As for the industry’s likely cost, it’s pocket change, especially as others (including Washington and perhaps the states), not the offenders, will pay the most. Consider the Exxon Valdez disaster.

It occurred in March 1989. After years of litigation, plaintiffs got $385 million in compensatory damages and $5 billion in punitive ones. However, after numerous appeals, the Supreme Court (in June 2008) reduced the latter ones to $500 million – ten cents on the dollar or the equivalent of about 1.5 days profit from Exxon’s Q 1 2008 operations, or hardly enough to matter.

As for Prince William sound and its residents, its beaches are still contaminated. The high-pressure hoses did more harm than good. They destroyed interlocking layers of gravel and flushed away fine sediments that protect beach areas, clams and mussels during storms. As many as 300,000 seabirds were killed plus other wildlife.

A Trustee Council study found 17 of 27 monitored species haven’t recovered. Bio-accumulation of toxins affected the killer whale population. Clams are inedible from hydrocarbon poisoning. Shellfish damage slowed the recovery of otters that feed on them. The herring never returned. Salmon caught have abscesses and tumors, and the lives of about 32,000 plaintiffs were permanently disrupted economically, emotionally and culturally by bankruptcies, alcoholism, suicides, family violence, and divorces. And today the area still smells like a gas station and perhaps will for decades.

As for enacting Senate energy legislation, falsely called a climate bill, the battle lines are now drawn, including for offshore drilling, but given its importance to Big Oil, expect heavy-lifting lobbying for passage, whether or not this year. Whatever happens, expect the public to lose out to powerful corporate interests, especially energy and Wall Street ones spending millions to assure it.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman’s cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://baltimorechronicle.com/2010/051710Lendman.shtml

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