Writes Katie Kieffer in TownHall.com
I want a coal plant for Christmas, and not because I’m a naughty girl. I want lots of coal so I can power up the high-tech toys Santa is bringing me, including an electronic robot maid that cooks and cleans, a 32-meter-wide TV and a modern, coal-fired steam locomotive that allows me to bypass the TSA Grope Squad when I travel cross-country.Katie says that President Obama maintains that Americans can wean themselves from coal and oil. Environmental activists are "fighting hard for new regulations that will quickly force the coal industry out of business."
OK, so Santa probably won’t be sending a full-size, coal-fired train down my chimney. But, like many of you, I may be getting small electronics of Christmas (or Hanukkah). As millions of us ring in the New Year by adding new gadgets to the power grid, we need to make sure we have ample electricity to fire up our cutting-edge iPads, TVs, sound systems and smartphones. Americans get almost half of their electricity from coal. I think coal is a wonderful source of energy and we need to continue producing it.
This month, the EPA is expected to announce a set of new smog regulations that will clamp down on power companies. “Not so fast,” cautions the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NAERC)—a panel of volunteer industry experts that the government designates to ensure and improve reliability in the electric power grid.
New rules from the EPA that require coal plants to dramatically reduce emissions are causing job losses, coal plants shutting down and the loss of billions of dollars.
NAERC warns that the EPA’s strict regulations will cause up to 600 large power plants across the country to shut down for months while they adopt the new rules and will force numerous older plants to shut down indefinitely because they won’t be able to afford compliance. The result will be power blackouts across the country plus additional power grid instability in drought-prone areas like Texas due to new EPA cooling water rules.
So, the government’s own designated industry experts are warning us that the EPA’s smog rules will have big costs: Soaring energy prices, frequent blackouts and job loss. And the EPA can hardly cite the “public health dangers” of greenhouse gases with a straight face when internal government probes reveal that the EPA has altered, withheld and distorted its scientific findings in order to sell the notion that greenhouse gas emissions harm humans.
The EPA has no alternate plan for the replacement of coal. Like here in Australia the technology has got cleaner over the years.
The wealthier a country becomes, the cleaner it becomes. This month, the Global Carbon Project released a study showing that developing countries like India and China account for the majority (57 percent) of global greenhouse emissions.
Only rich economies can afford to develop the latest clean technology. Before we can afford the costs associated with developing the supposedly cleaner technology behind solar and wind, we need to revive our rapidly deteriorating economy. And by “revive,” I mean continue developing fuels like coal that will prevent power blackouts, create jobs and lower the cost of energy. Minimal smog is a small price to pay for a safe and reliable power grid and a healthy, growing economy
Katie Kieffer is a conservative multimedia personality, writer and public speaker who runs KatieKieffer.com.