They don't have to even have a plan in the state for 2 years and the target
doesn't have to be met for 16 years. Energy prices aren't skyrocketing
anytime soon, and if the state can actually come up with a decent plan and the
nation can innovate like a global power is supposed to, it shouldn't have
much of an effect at all.
Nice editorial, Jay seems to get it. Utah's power plants do not affect
Salt Lake City and do not change you winter inversion. Just remember this, when
you are fogged in there in the Valley, we are living under crystal blue skies
here in Castle Country.
"But the people’s representatives in Washington, the ones we elect to
make decisions affecting our lives, had nothing to say about this. If it’s
dictated to us, it isn’t our plan."So true.... and its
their own fault. Its kind of like telling your kids that their room needs to be
cleaned up, and you leave it to them to do so. After five years of asking and
warnings, you as a parent final go in an clear their room for them. And no,
your not going to keep the same stuff they would have. Its not going to be put
the way they wanted it to be. But by their own inaction, they predicated the
only reasonable action.The new rules don't tell the states how
to achieve the lower emissions. The states have 16 years to get this done.
With today's technology, yes, this is a hurdle. But think 16 years
back.... what technology do we have today that we didn't have then. Smart
phones, flat screen tv s (that use a lot less power), hybrid cars, fit bits...
carbon fibre passenger jets. 16 years is plenty of time.
"...some of the most abundant, efficient and clean coal in the
world..."Let's be clear here: Coal is polluting (e.g.,
mercury emissions alone pollute our air and water and make it so that we
sportsmen can't eat some of the waterfowl we hunt and fish we catch!).
There's no such thing as "clean coal." In fact, the Obama
Administration has indeed invested significant stimulus money into developing
clean coal technology, but as of today, it doesn't exist and is destined to
be very expensive.Talk of carbon taxes and restrictions have been
part of the civic dialogue for more than two decades, and other states,
including California and Texas, have been working to address that looming
threat... but as usual, Utah is a day late and a dollar short. Why? Disbelief
in climate change and a hatred of Obama have blinded our utilities and
policymakers from acting accordingly to the looming risk of emission
restrictions. The day has arrived -- no Mitt Romney, standing with
unionized coal workers during his campaign, to save the day. And if Hillary
becomes our next president, these regulations are likely to stand.
The Energy Information Administration has determined that natural gas and wind
energy are now the cheapest forms of electricity on a levelized-cost basis.
What this means is that the internal rate of return on building these projects
is the lowest -- compared to new coal, nuclear, and other electricity
resources.Natural gas, nonetheless, poses its own risks, including
fracking and price volatility. So wind is a good bargain because it
is price stable! No fuel costs means that its price is determined by its fixed
costs and expected productivity over a wind project's 20 year life. Some
wind in Texas is coming in at less than 3 cents a kilowatt hour!Natural gas also uses a lot of water (for steam and flushing boilers), like
coal and nuclear. Utah, the second-driest state in the union, is expected to
have a population explosion over the next 20 years, so we can't burden our
kids and grandkids with water-intensive energy sources. Wind and solar use no
water.Gas and wind/solar are "good partners" going forward
as the variability of renewable energy can be easily "backed up" by
cleaner nature gas.
Experts predict that the new pollution regulations will cost the United States
power plants 8.8 billion dollars per year.Let me see, $9,000,000.000
divided by 300,000,000. Americans equals $30 per american per year. That means that the average american will spend a whopping 8 CENTS per day on
reducing green house gases.I can find 8 cents in the 7-11 parking
lot on the way to buy my 99 cent Big Swig!
"The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human
activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society."
(2006)American Association for the Advancement of Science
Earlier this week, the editorial board of this newspaper said we didn't
have to worry about overpopulation because human ingenuity would lead to
innovation to solve problems attending population growth.If
necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps higher electricity prices will
spur our ingenuity.And most hybrids don't plug in to an
Congress has refused to act. Period. And, Jay, the President was elected by
the people. All the people. Thank you, President Obama, for acting when
Congress would not. Even though you didn't go far enough, Mr. President,
at least you showed some leadership. Congress is a joke. They don't act
on much of anything, even on the stuff on which they agree, and then they
complain when someone else does (within the power of the law, by the way).@ micawber, great comment. We will do better in the long run because of
the President's action. 70% of the American people agree with the
President. Jay and this newspaper are out of touch.
Re: "So the days of cheap energy are numbered . . . ."Just
as Obama promised.Obama's sole enduring legacy will be the
single campaign promise he made that he intended to keep -- energy prices would
We went from no maned flight program to being the first nation to land on the
moon. That took far less that 16 years to accomplish. We are starting from a
far better starting point than did space exploration. Surely we are smart
enough and will be able to raise to the challenge.Maintaining the
status quo is not how you lead.
Micawber's comments were spot on. It is indeed ironic that on the one hand
our Utah culture insists in the power of innovation, and efficiency (when it
comes to taxes and free markets) yet wants to throw those same principles out
when it comes to the dire need for courage, and a straight and narrow way, with
regards to cleaning up our power sources - for the benefit of all to continue to
enjoy a relatively healthy and happy way of life in this country. I
don't minimize the pain of job loss or economic loss of those involved, but
am quite confident that in the long run, the benefits will certainly outweigh
the short term pain. So a black democratic president taking the 'long
view,' willing to take a principled stand for efficiency, conservatism and
dare I say, faith and hope for a better future - ironic that our Utah culture
can't come to terms with this.
So much of the conservative criticism of regulation, especially environmental
regulation, seems premised on the idea that there is no cost to the status quo
and that the expense of regulatory compliance yields only feel good benefits and
no tangible economic benefits.An insulation contractor in my home
town used to advertise that "you pay for insulation whether you have it or
not." Similarly, you pay for pollution controls whether you have them or
not, in the form of health care, diminished property values, cleaning costs,
etc. (It's interesting that Mr. Evenson so casually dismisses the
administration's asthma figures as unverifiable while uncritically
accepting industry statistics.) Pollution incurs costs, often externalized. To
the extent that pollution costs are externalized, utility customers are
subsidized. Increased utility rates due to installing pollution controls merely
internalizes the external costs of pollution, removing the subsidy and restoring
proper market function.I could accept conservative objections to
regulation if they were more nuanced and focused, for instance, if they argued
that the marginal cost of a regulation exceeded the marginal benefit, or that
one policy mechanism was more efficient than another. But so often they just
naysay any proposal as worthless.
Remember people - you voted for your BIG electric bill that is soon to come!! So
your BIG electric bill and your BIG insurance premium and all the other BIG bill
increases that you will get due to the Obama mandates. Just be comforted in
knowing that you voted for this. Progressives care - remember? They care
about...their political future and power and that's where it ends folks.
Article title: "Obama's plan means Utah's energy bills will
rise"Hey, liberals, are you happy now?
"Obama's plan means Utah's energy bills will rise" . . . and
the air will be cleaner, and Global Warming will be a little less severe, and
after green energy sources are more extensive, energy bills will decline . . .
And maybe mankind will not self-destruct.What's so terrible
"Hey, liberals, are you happy now?"Absolutely! I
couldn't be more overjoyed! Well, I could, if we cut emissions by even
more! Instead of 30 percent how about 50 or 80? We'll have
cleaner air and better health! What's wrong with that? Would
you be happier with dirtier air and worse health? "So your BIG
electric bill and your BIG insurance premium and all the other BIG bill
increases that you will get due to the Obama mandates. Just be comforted in
knowing that you voted for this."Good! yes, we remember. The
majority of this country voted for cleaner air and better health. We understood
that it would cost some in the short-term. But in the long run? We all benefit.
If raising prices without benefit was all that this did, then you
folks might have a point. But since we all benefit by having cleaner air and
water, I fail to see how this is bad.Just how important is your
health to you? How important is your children and grandchildrens' health?
How about we place the blame where it is due - at the feet of ROcky Mountain
Power and the State, which refuses to create a plan?And there is no
such thing as clean coal. Cleaner does not mean clean; it means less dirty.
...and what is the cost to Utah if climate change continues unchecked? Already
we're seeing droughts across the West, reductions in mountain snowpack, and
more and more extreme weather. That's hurting our agriculture, stressing
our water supply, and causing severe problems for the ski industry.For years, the US has lagged behind much of the rest of the world when it
comes to reducing our carbon output. Not only the EU countries, but even China
and India are implementing new technologies as their economies boom. Yet the
conservatives have given up on American innovation.
While it's true that our current legislators have done nothing to address
this issue, or little else for that matter, a prior Congress did pass the Clean
Air Act which authorized the use of regulation to clean up the air. Unless
I've missed something, that's still the law of the land and challenged
portions were recently upheld by the Supreme Court. So, unless our current
legislators repeal the Clean Air Act, Obama is just exercising the authority
given to him by Congress to clean up the air. God bless him, especially next
winter when we'll again be suffering from suffocating inversions! And I
hope he hurries up with some new monuments in Utah before before our state
legislators waste untold millions "reclaiming our land."
'Obama's plan means Utah's energy bills will rise’Uh huh . . . because as we all know, energy prices would never rise
otherwise.They've never risen before, have they?They've been going down since the beginning of time . . . But now that
Obama has come up with another dumb plan, they're going to go up for the
first time in the history of the world.If Romney were President,
energy bills would NEVER go up.
Everyone's talking about our coal burning plants, why do all the elected
forget to mention China's pollution reaching our western states.
If one president can with his pen write a directive to tell the EPA to make
rules against coal power plants. What is to prevent another president from
taking up his pen to write a directive to the EPA telling them to write a
different set of rules or to scrap those rules altogether?Personally
I don't believe that President Obama is really worried about global
warming, I suspect there is an other addenda. A president doesn't take a
record number of vacations in his 747 if he is really worried about global
warming. A president worries about global warming doesn't send his family
to Hawaii in a 747 just for them, and the next fly there himself the next day.
So coal-powered electricity rates will rise, so what? I would argue that the
utility customers Mr. Evenson cites paying less than a dime per kilowatt-hour in
the coal belt are paying below market rates due to externalized costs. The
consumers pay for the internalized costs of electrical consumption (fuel,
generation, transmission, overhead) but do not pay the true full costs of their
consumption, which include the effects of air pollution that are shouldered by
the larger community. This amounts to a subsidy that sends distorted price
signals to the market. Adding emissions controls to coal-fired plants acts to
internalize the externalities, that is, to remove the hidden subsidy and make
the price of the commodity more accurately reflect its true cost so consumers
can make rational economic choices and the free market can function properly.
Why do so many free market conservatives have such a hard time grasping this?Granted, increased costs for a commodity can cause pain in the short
term while people and the market adjust. This can be ameliorated through
policies. If coal can't compete in the free market when its true full
costs are included in the price, then so be it.
We have a big problem with economics, that is, with the science of economics.
That discipline has not developed the right tools to deal with benefits, i.e.
saving the world as a fit place for human habitation, which are in the distance
future as against heavy upfront costs to achieve those benefits. Yes, we have a
variety of financial formulas, but they just don't give us a handle on the
problem. Because economists can't figure this out, the rest of society
flails about looking at pieces of the problem without bringing the entire issue
into focus.Economists must develop the tools. They aren't
Hey Jay, what is more important . . . a rise of a few cents per kWh in your
electricity bill, or clean air? Huh? 9.98 cents a kWh? In Meblourne
Australia, greatest city in the world to live in, according to Forbes and the
Economist, they pay up to 39 cents a kWh.
"The nature and pace of observed climate changes—and an emerging
scientific consensus on their projected consequences—pose severe
risks for our national security. During our decades of experience in the
U.S. military, we have addressed many national security challenges, from
containment and deterrence of the Soviet nuclear threat during the Cold
War to political extremism and transnational terrorism in recent years.
The national security risks of projected climate change are as serious as
any challenges we have faced."CNA Military Advisory Board
Tea-Publicans cry about ONE failed Corporation and the executives who took the
money and ran with Solyndra costing taxpayers $200 million.While
completely ignoring the $25 BILLION - that's with a captiol letter
"B" - that the same Governmnet gives to Oil corporations each and every
year! -- that's 25 times more each and every year for dirty air and dirty
technolgy -- without a peep from the whiners on the right.BTW -- Petroleum Oil was more expensive in the beginning than Whale blubber was at
the time.Good thing the Progressives 100+ years ago ignored the
Whaling Industy and Whale oil salesmen...
Somebody asked if the liberals were happy. Well, as somebody who would have
been considered a conservative Republican in the 1980's (now I would be
called a RINO or a socialist/moderate or a traitor), I am also happy about what
the President did. We need to work on the big problems of the age. Climate
change is THE big problem. Right now, Congress complains and does nothing.
Nobody but the President has done anything about, well, anything in the past 6
years. If Congress would re-engage in governance, maybe the Republican party
could again make impactful contributions to our way of life.
Liberals, are you happy now? Yup. Cheapest isn't always the lowest
cost. Not in this case.