"No new conventional coal plant can meet EPA’s
new pollution standard. The only way to cut a coal plant’s emissions in half is
to build it with carbon capture and sequestration, which adds as much as 30
percent to its cost."
Now, before you celebrate (or decry) the EPA rule as a strong
bid to crush Big Coal, you should know two things: 1) the rules only apply to new coal plants. Existing ones are just
as dirty and just as active. Yes, there is a wave of coal-plant retirements,
but this is due to age limits established long ago for the purpose of safety.
2) Coal is already dead. The rules aren't what is ending coal plant construction, natural gas is. There are no new coal plants planned
between now and 2035. As one coal representative says: “We don’t have any plans
to build new coal plants. So the rules won’t have much of an impact.” This is why the EPA ruling came and went and the stock market hardly noticed
But in a way it is a nice strategic moment to pass stronger emissions requirements, when nobody cares, because later they may well care, and the law will already be established. But this doesn't exactly promote green energy. The existing industry will need to be dragged kicking and screaming to renewables
, and we need to have the guts to drag them.
Bonus Easter egg: coalisclean.com
Meanwhile, when it comes to alternatives
are already cheaper
than coal (9.1 cents/kwh vs. coal’s 13.3 cents/kwh, though ewea
gives different ratios
--see their neat tool
, and politifact
), and their cost is plummeting as production gets more
Furthermore, while Big Oil jacks up the price of gas at the pump, and "Exxon boasts in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings that for every dollar increase in the price of oil, their profits rise by $375 million," Democrats have proposed a bill to cut Big Oil Subsidies by $20 billion
, and give the proceeds to green energy. Obama supports the bill, and has proposed deeper subsidy cuts.
The Republican response to rising gas prices, predictably, is more drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline, even though "experts and outside analyses say such actions would also have little to