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The Biden EPA’s Plan to Ration Electricity


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WSJ

The Biden Administration’s regulations are coming so fast and furious that it’s hard even to keep track, but we’re trying. On Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency proposed its latest doozy—rules that will effectively force coal plants to shut down while banning new natural-gas plants.

 

“With the announcement today, the power sector can make planning decisions with a full array of information,” EPA’s press release declares. Translation: Get moving with the green-energy transition because we’re determined to eliminate fossil-fuel power.

Barack Obama’s regulation spurred a wave of coal plant closures. Now President Biden is trying to finish the job by tightening mercury, wastewater and ash disposal standards. EPA is also replacing the Obama Clean Power Plan that the Supreme Court struck down with a rule requiring that coal plants and new gas-fired plants adopt costly and unproven carbon-capture technology by 2032.

Section 111 of the Clean Air Act says the EPA can regulate pollutants from stationary sources through the “best system of emission reduction” that is “adequately demonstrated.” Carbon capture is neither the best nor adequately demonstrated. As of last year, only one commercial-scale coal plant in the world used carbon capture, and no gas-fired plants did.

EPA says Inflation Reduction Act tax credits and funding in the 2021 infrastructure bill will “incentivize and facilitate the deployment” of carbon capture. But subsidies would have to be two to three times larger to make the technology cost-effective at a coal plant. Carbon capture reduces a plant’s efficiency, which also raises costs.

Because carbon capture uses 20% to 25% of the electricity generated by a power plant, less will be available to the grid. That means more generators will be needed to provide the same amount of power. But new gas-fired plants won’t be built because the technology will make them uneconomic. Talk about a catch-22.:snip:

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U.S. Leads World in Carbon Dioxide Emission Reductions

Stop us if you’ve heard us report this in 2021, 2022, and 2023, but it bears repeating again: no country has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other major nation on a per capita basis.

Even tough our GDP is about 50 percent higher than China’s, our per capita emissions are roughly the same – though theirs go up every year and ours have come down every year over the last decade.

Most of you also know that our carbon emissions are falling because we are using more natural gas than ever. So naturally the Biden administration wants to end natural gas.:snip:

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