The CPP or an ACE in the hole

ACE rule can only dig us into a deeper hole

Editorial of the Morgantown Dominion Post, Sunday, June 23, 2019

Call it a policy of diminishing returns or retreats from a worsening climate crisis. We’re never going to sway the Trump administration on its decision to short circuit the Clean Power Plan. But technological trends and markets might, not to mention the power sector continuing to decarbonize faster than expected.

Yet, last week the Trump administration finalized its so-called Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule.

Our first question to those who put politics and self-interest above competitive markets is: How can we ever expect to win a war against the primary laws of economics? You know, if there’s a demand, someone will provide the supply, as long as the incentives are high enough.

And why even if Longview Power’s president and CEO, that operates the cleanest and most efficient coal-fired plant in the world, according to him, says it’s probably the last of its kind why think otherwise Especially when he tells you next thing that’s why Longview is developing an advanced gas-fired combine cycle plant beside its coal plant.

Finally, why would you ignore gains, that by some estimates show our country is already anywhere from a third to two-thirds of the way to meeting the Clean Power Plan’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030?

After all, aren’t happy days here again for the economy, despite the nation’s utilities already having drastically lowered emissions.

Most have no delusions about coal ever reaching the production numbers of the past and the outlook for this industry here and nationwide is uncertain, at best; grim, at worst.

Though some maintain you dance with the one that brought you, natural gas ditched coal more than a decade ago. More exactly, the advent of fracking around 2008 was to natural gas production what Elvis was to rock ’n’ roll.

But that was hardly the only front where the “war on coal” was waged. Increased use of renewables; heightened energy efficiencies; volatile international markets; and the depletion of thick, easy-to-mine seams all followed.

The decline in the coal industry is relentless, and though this decline may be slow and drawn out it’s just a matter of how low must it go. We reject any efforts, and hope courts do too, to roll back carbon restrictions, especially with the concerns about the amount of methane in the atmosphere.

Our country and our planet has a lot to lose, including our health, if we fail to address climate change. Rewrite the rules however you want, but any notion of coal’s resurgence is contrary to the way markets work and technology advances.

The ACE is certainly no ace in the hole for the coal industry. Indeed, it can only dig it and us into an even deeper one — at our own peril.

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Methane is increasing dramatically in the atmosphere

Methane and Other Hydrocarbons are Leaking Big Time into the Atmosphere

From the CLEAN AIR COUNCIL on June 22, 2019

Dear Friends of the Earth’s Environment:

Senator Bob Casey has opposed the Trump Administration’s dangerous proposed modification to standards that reduce methane pollution from oil and gas operations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by fossil fuel lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, is about to propose the complete elimination of methane controls from these standards.

Senator Casey and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet wrote to EPA in December, “As the Senators from two states with robust standards to reduce methane emissions, we are concerned that more children will breathe harmful air pollution as a result of the rollbacks you are recommending.

In addition, our states may have to impose additional measures in order to adhere to EPA’s ozone standards due to methane pollution coming into Colorado and Pennsylvania from other states without similar methane standards.”

Please ask your U.S. Representative to join Senator Casey in this effort to preserve strong methane leakage standards before the Trump Administration publishes its proposed rulemaking.

Methane leaks occur at every step along the oil and gas supply chain.

When methane leaks, it is accompanied by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which include known carcinogens and also contribute to ground-level ozone (the main constituent of smog).

Routine, comprehensive inspections are key to detecting and reducing harmful emissions.

Methane is the main component of natural gas and is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming our planet over a twenty-year timeline.

Scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in their latest report that the world only has 11 years to cut greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, by 45% to avoid catastrophic climate change.

We thank Senator Bob Casey for working to improve air quality and ask your U.S. Representative to do the same.

Sincerely, Joseph Otis Minott, Esq.
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Clean Air Council, Philadelphia, PA

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See Also: The Natural Gas Industry Has a Methane Problem | NRDC, June 7, 2019

Oil and gas operations leak this potent greenhouse gas far more than previously thought, and (par for the course) the Trump administration is making the situation worse.

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Oil Refinery Explosion & Fire in Philadelphia — Significant Lesson for Mankind

June 24, 2019

What the ‘Fossil Fuel Economy Looks Like’: Demands for Climate Justice After Explosion Rocks Philly Oil Refinery From an Article by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, June 21, 2019 Climate advocates reiterated their calls to ditch the fossil fuel economy on Friday following an explosion at an oil refinery complex in Philadelphia that sent a fireball [...]

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Air Pollution Permit Proposed for US Methanol Plant in Kanawha County, WV

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Your Days are Now Getting Shorter, My Friend

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A Lesson from the Summer Solstice From an Internet Post by Michael M. Barrick, Appalachian Chronicle, June 21, 2019 Just before noon today (EDT), summer begins. For many people, regardless of their spiritual beliefs, the Summer Solstice is to be celebrated. I agree! Because I love to be outdoors, I try to absorb every minute [...]

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Project Design Planning for Ethane Cracker Complex at Belmont Ohio

June 21, 2019

PTT Global Chemical taps Bechtel for possible Utica Shale ethane cracker From an Article by Bill Holland, S&P Global (Platts), June 20, 2019 HIGHLIGHTS — >> Marcellus, Utica could support four more crackers: US DOE >> Sequential cracker projects could more easily draw workers Houston, TX — Appalachian gas producers, under pressure from prices below [...]

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Urgent Quest to Explain Childhood Cancers in Southwestern Penna.

June 20, 2019

Panel urges studies to pin down cause of childhood cancers in region From an Article by Don Hopey & David Templeton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 19, 2019 Environmentalists and researchers attending a panel discussion Tuesday called for studies to determine whether shale-gas drilling and fracking, or other pollution sources, could be responsible for an increasing number [...]

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Toxic Effects of Drilling & Fracking will Grow for Decades Even if U.S. Operations were Halted Today!

June 19, 2019

Even If All US Drilling and Fracking Halts Today, Warns New Report, ‘Flood of Toxic Waste Streams’ Will Grow for Decades From an Article by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, June 18, 2019 Detailing decades of EPA’s mismanagement of toxic fossil fuel waste, researchers demand immediate action to stem assault on people and planet! For more [...]

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Childhood Cancers May be Caused by Environmental Factors in Pennsylvania

June 18, 2019

Gov. Tom Wolf asked to investigate possible link between Penna. fracking and childhood cancers From an Article by Don Hopey & David Templeton, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 6/17/19 More than 100 organizations and 800 individuals have signed a public letter to Gov. Tom Wolf calling on him to direct the state Department of Health to investigate [...]

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Rainfall has Reached Record Proportions in the United States

June 17, 2019

Ohio has wettest 12 months on record From an Article by Farm and Dairy, June 2019 WASHINGTON — May 2019 was the second-wettest month in U.S. history. Only one State got below average rainfall. And, only five were at or near average. The remaining 42 continental states were above or well above the average. Drenching [...]

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