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EPA announces carbon reduction planTell North Platte what you think

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a plan Monday to cut carbon emission from existing power plants by 30 percent, compared to 2005 levels.

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The EPA said power plants are the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States.

The plan will move the U.S. toward a cleaner environment and fight climate change, the EPA announcement said.

"Climate change fueled by carbon pollution supercharges risks to our health, our economy, and our way of life,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.

The Nebraska congressional delegation immediately criticized the plan. Sen. Mike Johanns said early estimates predict the rule would cost as much as $50 billion and nearly 225,000 jobs annually, and drive more manufacturers overseas.

But McCarthy said “We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment. Our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation, and create jobs." 

Power plants account for roughly one-third of domestic greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA announcement.

The EPA already limits arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particle emissions from power plants, but there are no national limits on carbon emissions.

The plan would “avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children, and up to 490,000 missed work or school days — providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits,” the EPA said.

The EPA will accept public comments on the proposal for 120 days after publication in the Federal Register and will hold four public hearings during the week of July 28 in Denver, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh. 

EPA plans to finalize the standards in June 2015. The schedule was laid out in a June 2013 presidential memorandum.

It’s “bad news for American families who will face higher utility rates and lost jobs as manufacturers move overseas in search of cheap, reliable electricity,” Johanns said.

“Finally, one of President Obama’s plans will work as he intended — making electricity rates ‘necessarily skyrocket’ as he promised on the campaign trail,” he said.

“We can all agree that clean air is worth fighting for, but the President seems to imagine a bubble over the U.S., as if pollution from other countries that generate more and regulate less, don’t reach our environment,” Johanns said. “This reckless and ineffective rule will have little or no impact on our environment, yet take a devastating toll on our economy.”

Rep. Adrian Smith said “the costs of retrofitting power plants and the increased costs of producing electricity will be disastrous for manufacturing, agriculture, and especially for low- and middle-income Americans who can least afford huge increases in their electric bills.”

Sen. Deb Fischer said a recent study suggests EPA’s new regulations could drive up yearly electric bills by an average of $200 per family.

Citing a different statistic than Johanns, Fischer said nearly 250,000 jobs could be lost through 2030.

“In Nebraska alone, coal-related industries are responsible for almost 23,000 jobs and generate nearly $4.9 billion in economic output,” she said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 6/2/2014
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Captian Kool Aid strikes again. Long on fear and short on facts. I lived in So Cal in the 60-70's not far from the Kaiser steel mill. It was just like China today. Now some facts. Steel production has been almost completely left the US and JOBS with it. Coal power electricity consumption in Kali is still big. SCE built coal powered stations in neighboring states displacing THEIR pollution not eliminating it. LADP&W still buys a large amount from the largest and dirtiest coal power plant in New Mexico. All Kali has done is pull the wool over your eyes. Next is China Pollution blows over the Pacific ocean to the west coast. Can you figure where some of the coal will go? Last but not all of the BS NOT told to this country is Germany's green failure, it is so bad that all of their brown coal power plants run at full throttle and as a country with green energy their greenhouse gases have GROWN not reduced. They are also coming to the conclusion they will have to build more and that was before Putins take over of Ukraine. Drink up and realize you got scammed again and 2 1/2 years to go. LOL!
Posted by dragracer    - 6/6/2014 3:40:52 PM
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has anyone seen the horrific photos of the air quality in China? L.A. used to have days when you couldn't see the San Gabriel Mnts.(w/7k ft.high peaks)....but thanks to stronger air quality Laws,those days are just a memory. So...lets not let worrysome statements like that of Sen.Fischer makes...'it Could lead to higher bills'. Lets let Sen.Fischer breathe the air in China first before she begins to chime in on whats best for our kids when it comes to the EPA and our Health.
Posted by AJSDAD    - 6/6/2014 1:08:21 PM
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Nat gas price pressure will effect coal consumption. Mostly in new construction of generators. Won't happen over night but it will kill loads and long term related jobs. UP will make money shipping coal to western ports for export. Don't count on freight to take up the slack with what is coming either. Trucking gets hit with this one also.
Posted by dragracer    - 6/5/2014 5:18:44 AM
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For every coal car on the tracks their are 1000 truck loads of intermodal sitting behind a semi truck begging to be let on RR track. If (huge if) coal suffers then this will be a HUGE benefit for NP in new RR jobs. It takes a skeleton crew to work a coal train. It takes many more employees to work a intermodal. IE: more jobs in NP. UP intentionally turns intermodal away if it infringes on coal traffic. If your power bill does indeed go up some then the likely result will mean cheaper shipping cost on nearly all other commodities. The money you spend on higher utilities will come back ten fold in cheaper tvs, groceries, concrete, tires, appliances, furniture, etc, etc, etc, etc
Posted by Jaxx    - 6/4/2014 10:41:54 PM
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drag racer, How much of a reduction in coal traffic and jobs will be lost in North Platte? The Union Pacific received $100 million in state tax breaks under the Nebraska Incentive Program on January 21, 2012, for investing $1 billion in rail upgrades through 2019. Union Pacific is always looking at the future in their business dealings and development. If any thing hurts the coal business, it the price of natural gas.
Posted by Terry 1951    - 6/4/2014 5:57:26 PM
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LOL! No reduction in coal production will happen. It will be shipped west to other developing countries and probably create even more pollution. NP gets screwed with a major reduction in coal traffic with the UP. Just waiting for the next shoe to drop and it is coming soon. LOL!
Posted by dragracer    - 6/4/2014 2:43:41 PM
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Johanns, Fischer, and Smith are morons. Like the 3 stooges of politics.
Posted by DonMega    - 6/4/2014 10:08:45 AM
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The same EPA with employees who watch porn. Sad.
Posted by Walt    - 6/4/2014 8:30:56 AM
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