Monday, November 26, 2012

Congress should look at EPA's cost benefits

The war on coal-fired power should be worth the price, and isn't

Charleston Daily Mail, Wednesday November 21, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed softening its limits on mercury emissions for new coal-fired plants, but industry officials say the proposal still will not ensure that coal is an alternative to natural gas.  Even John Walke, clean air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, admitted that the changes are a "modest weakening" of the rules.  Apparently the EPA, in pushing its Maximum Achievement Control Technology on electric companies, wants to appear to be willing to listen to industry - and the customers who must pay for the administration's rules.  The agency will allow slightly higher levels of mercury.  "I'm not sure it's sufficient to fix the problem, even for new sources," said Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, an industry group.  The problem is that EPA has too much power and EPA officials do not consider the cost-effectiveness of its regulations. Indeed it wants the maximum control, not the best.  To Read More……

My Take – The question we should be asking is this; why did the Congress give them so much power?  The answer is that they didn’t.  A large chunk of EPA’s authority has now been derived from court decisions based on lawsuits from the green movement.  Lawsuits they didn’t defend properly because they wanted the decisions to go the way of the greenies in order for them to attain far higher levels of power than Congress ever intended for them to have.

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