Tag Archives: coal-fired power plants

The idiots who don’t believe global warming, or climate change, or any other slice of science

My friend conservation columnist Ted Williams offers this insightful look at the deniers. Whatta crew.

EPA: U.S. greenhouse gas emissions on rise

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the 17th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory. The final report shows overall emissions in 2010 increased by 3.2 percent from the previous year. The trend is attributed to an increase in energy consumption across all economic sectors, due to increasing energy demand associated with an expanding economy, and increased demand for electricity for air conditioning due to warmer summer weather during 2010.

Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2010 were equivalent to 6,822 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The report indicates that overall emissions have grown by over 10 percent from 1990 to 2010.

The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2010 is the latest annual report that the United States has submitted to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. EPA prepares the annual report in collaboration with experts from multiple federal agencies and after gathering comments from stakeholders across the country.

The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2010. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation and soils.

More on the greenhouse gas inventory report: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html

How green are electric cars? Depends on where you live

Electric cars that are recharged from a plug-in within Pennsylvania are almost assuredly drawing electricity generated at a polluting coal-fired power plant. Before moving to Vermont, I lived about 35 miles from one such source of greenhouse gas pollution. These suckers are everywhere. Read about the greenness of electric cars here.

EPA sets carbon standard for new coal-fired power plants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 27, 2012

EPA Proposes First Carbon Pollution Standard for Future Power Plants

Achievable standard is in line with investments already being made and will inform the building of new plants moving forward

WASHINGTON – Following a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed the first Clean Air Act standard for carbon pollution from new power plants. EPA’s proposed standard reflects the ongoing trend in the power sector to build cleaner plants that take advantage of American-made technologies, including new, clean-burning, efficient natural gas generation, which is already the technology of choice for new and planned power plants. At the same time, the rule creates a path forward for new technologies to be deployed at future facilities that will allow companies to burn coal, while emitting less carbon pollution. The rulemaking proposed today only concerns new generating units that will be built in the future, and does not apply to existing units already operating or units that will start construction over the next 12 months.

“Today we’re taking a common-sense step to reduce pollution in our air, protect the planet for our children, and move us into a new era of American energy,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Right now there are no limits to the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be able to put into our skies – and the health and economic threats of a changing climate continue to grow. We’re putting in place a standard that relies on the use of clean, American made technology to tackle a challenge that we can’t leave to our kids and grandkids.”

Currently, there is no uniform national limit on the amount of carbon pollution new power plants can emit. As a direct result of the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling, EPA in 2009 determined that greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans’ health and welfare by leading to long lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment.

The proposed standard, which only applies to power plants built in the future, is flexible and would help minimize carbon pollution through the deployment of the same types of modern technologies and steps that power companies are already taking to build the next generation of power plants. EPA’s proposal is in line with these investments and will ensure that this progress toward a cleaner, safer and more modern power sector continues. The proposed standards can be met by a range of power facilities burning different fossil fuels, including natural gas technologies that are already widespread, as well as coal with technologies to reduce carbon emissions. Even without today’s action, the power plants that are currently projected to be built going forward would already comply with the standard. As a result, EPA does not project additional cost for industry to comply with this standard.

Prior to developing this standard, EPA engaged in an extensive and open public process to gather the latest information to aid in developing a carbon pollution standard for new power plants. The agency is seeking additional comment and information, including public hearings, and will take that input fully into account as it completes the rulemaking process. EPA’s comment period will be open for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

More information: http://epa.gov/carbonpollutionstandard/
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Regional cap-and-Ttade effort seeks greater impact by cutting carbon allowances

Most programs that affect, or purport to affect, the public’s way of doing business, at least publicize themselves a bit so as to gain public understanding and support. As a resident of the Northeast, I will admit to having heard about this greenhouse gas project only dimly. So, anyway, here is the glitch: The regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has cut the number of allowances that electric power companies can buy to offset their emissions. Like PPL’s Montour coal-fired plant in central Pennsylvania. The decision, made last week, was intended to shore up the pioneering program as it undergoes its first big progress review this year. While the program has been judged a success by most of the participating states, in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, an oversupply of the allowances — in essence, permits to pollute — has limited the program’s impact. The NY Times offers this coverage.

Mercury’s harmful reach has grown, study finds

And the Northeast, being downwind from the coal-fired power plants that emit the toxin, bears the brunt of the damage, that’s now being detected in the region’s songbirds, as the study described in this piece illustrates.

Coal-fired power plants biggest source of greenhouse gases, EPA says

This is actually not much of a surprise, but the EPA is getting some good media attention from its release today of a package of climate change-related data and more. Here’s one paper’s prime-time article.