The EPA’s Dangerous Desire

HELPImagine that a federal agency could fundamentally alter the way electricity is provided to your home, your child’s school, and every place of business within the United States. Imagine that this agency’s proposals are so sweeping and dramatic that experts are raising flags.

When did the EPA become our Nation’s energy regulator? When did the EPA acquire both the statutory mandate from Congress and the required subject-matter expertise to do FERC’s and the State’s jobs? When did the EPA gain the expertise to determine the optimal and most reliable mix of coal and natural gas power plants? When did the EPA acquire the expertise to determine how much power can, or should, be reliably generated using wind farms and solar arrays?

The short answer is that they don’t have the expertise or mandate and have decided they don’t need it; these narcissistic Obama appointees are doing the bidding of the nanny state. Having figured out that the Republican powers-that-be are experts at talking the talk but have no inkling to walk the walk, the left continues their aggressively expansive chokehold over the US energy industry and America’s checkbook.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) was drafted without any technical assistance from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing and oil pipeline rates. One slightly agitated FERC Commissioner testified to Congress that in a meeting with the EPA’s Joe Goffman and Janet McCabe, they “refused to even allow FERC” to even look at documents relating to the CPP.

After finally being allowed to view some of the EPA documents, the FERC’s office of Reliability wrote in a memo that during a private meeting they had advised the EPA that they had doubts about the proposal to vastly increase the use of natural gas-fired generation in lieu of coal-fired generation; that they had questions about the increased reliance on “renewables” and that the EPA’s aggressive timeline would be “difficult” to accomplish.

The Clean Power Plan reaches into every aspect of the generation and use of electricity in the U.S. through the EPA’s so-called “plant to plug” approach to carbon dioxide emissions. The left is determined to turn America into a third world country by forcing consumers to use less energy and they plan to accomplish this by requiring States to impose energy efficiency standards that meet the EPA’s approval, even though they have been warned that the reductions they demand cannot be implemented within the time frame they set, if ever, and even if they could, it would change consumer and industrial consumption patterns forever.

They are also demanding that States massively shift energy generation away from fossil fuel-fired power plants to “renewable sources” such as wind and solar. But, as any first year electrical engineering student or anyone with common sense could tell you, it’s impossible to substitute wind or solar power for coal on a megawatt-for-megawatt basis if you want to keep the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. The electric grid simply does not work that way.

Already several unions that include the United Mine Workers, the Boilermakers’ Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have come out against the ill-conceived destructive nature of the Clean Power Plan.  

A spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, said that the EPA’s “economically masochistic clean energy regulations will kill more than 150,000 good jobs…the EPA’s poorly thought-out rule will do nothing but kill jobs and threaten the reliability of the electric grid, hurting consumers and businesses.”

According to The Association of Union Contractors the “EPA’s Clean Power Plan will negatively impact the complex U.S. energy grid as a whole. If enacted as written, the rule will reduce the grid’s reliability, lead to skyrocketing utility bills and damage the fragile national economy for years, if not decades, to come. The proposed rule will end up slashing not CO2 emissions, but thousands of good-paying middle-class jobs instead.”

Everyone wants a cleaner environment but how we reach that goal should not put ideology and federal agency turf battles ahead of safety and reliability. Nor should the basic physical realities of our electric grid be sacrificed to pie-in-the-sky notions of endless carbon-free “green” energy.

Source: Forbes, EPA’s Dangerous Desire To Become America’s Energy Regulator

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