World Energy Blog

EPA bring us more "Hope and Change" Obama style.

8/4/2015 10:32:40 AM

In 2008 when Obama was elected he made a pledge to “change” America, to make it fair, to free it from the hydrocarbon bounds, to “close Gitmo”, to transform our way of life.  He was elected with in a landslide and with him a new congress and the senate, it seemed he would be able to execute on the promise and he began with healthcare. 

In 2010, the country said wait a minute, and took the congress away from him. Of course, not to be deterred he continued his agenda and was reelected in 2012.  In 2014, the country took the Senate away from him on the promise that they would undo what he had done.  His reaction, “I have a phone and a pen, I’ll do it my way.”

Before 2010, the President was pushing a cap and trade system to reduce carbon to battle “Climate Change” and “save” the planet.  Al Gore was making speeches and the earth had a “fever”.  That idea died with the changing of the congress and a lack luster economy, or did it?   Well as the President’s time in office comes to a close we can see he still hasn’t given up on this endeavor. 

The President has tried numerous things to get the US to accept a lower carbon state.  He tried “cash for clunkers”, asking the citizens to trade in their older cars for newer ones.  He raised the CAFÉ standards, encouraging the automakers to make smaller cars.  Good idea, but the citizen just hasn’t bought them.  He invested billions of taxpayer’s money into renewable companies.  Beginning in 2009 with the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It was designed to kick-start the economy by investing in “shovel-ready” projects. Green energy may have received as much as $90 billion.  

This produced bankruptcy after bankruptcy, like government-subsidized electric vehicle technology company ECOtality, which received $115 million in federal stimulus grants. Of course, that followed the multimillion dollar failures of solar energy companies Solyndra ($529 million) and Abound Solar ($70 million). And the government-backed hybrid car manufacturer Fisker Automotive, a failure that will cost taxpayers $139 million.

Not to be deterred, the President has now had his EPA mandate the carbon restrictions on power generation.  A move that is akin to “Let them eat cake” and probably as likely to succeed.  The EPA is a regulatory body with considerable power, and having failed to pass any meaningful legislation and no amount of economic stimulus has moved the country in a meaningful way, now the EPA will lay its hands on our countries energy supply and mandate carbon reductions.

The obvious question is “How?”  How does the EPA expect to get to the targets they have just mandated?  Well the answer is simple, require the states to come up with the answer and supply a plan to get there.  From the President’s point of view, the science of “Climate Change” demands that we do something and to resist is futile.  The states will be forced to comply and we will “save the planet” and a low carbon economy will emerge.

Those in Congress that have been hoping for a low carbon solution to the planets problems are cheering, those members that come from states that produce large amounts of energy from coal are crying.  Lots of words are being passed back and forth but very little about the real science.

We hear almost monthly about how the data surrounding “Climate Change” is being manipulated.  The most recent data provided by NOAA shows that no warming is occurring, our satellite data is also showing very little signs of warming.  Is the climate changing, well of course it is, is it changing because we are burning coal for power generation?  The data doesn’t support that theory.

So what now?  Some thirty states are threatening not to comply with this mandate.  Others are threatening to sue the EPA, while others are vowing to “pass legislation” to defeat this.  It is quite obvious that no one really has a cohesive plan to do something about this obvious over reach.  

Ultimately the individual States will have to decide what to do with this boondoggle.  So far the only meaningful reductions in emissions have come from switching to less expensive energy in the form of natural gas.  Wind and solar sound great and look great on a spread sheet but neither is equipped to provide base load generation for our power needs.  We are busy removing dams, so hydro power isn’t coming to the rescue and we have not built a nuclear power plant in ages.

So perhaps this rule will be more like the rules governing ethanol and become one of those unfunded and impossible to meet standards that will have selected enforcement.  Or perhaps it will be more like the laws against marijuana and be ignored by certain states and used as an example by others.  

At the end of the day, will this cause a massive shift to renewable energy?  Not likely, without a renewable source of energy that can actually provide the power, these are just more words around the same theme “Hope and Change”.