EPA to limit toxic emissions from coal-fired plants . . . thank you EPA!

March 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Power Industry complains new rules too expensive.  What?

In response to a federal court ruling in February, 2008, the EPA waited until the last possible day (March 15, 2011) to propose rules to limit toxic air pollutants – mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and acid gases from industrial emissions.  According to the EPA, power plants are responsible for half of all mercury emissions in the U.S., and within the electric utility group, coal-fired plants are responsible for 99% of all mercury emissions.

Under the proposal, the utility industry simply is required to install state of the art pollution technologies to reduce harmful emissions.  Why does this take a court order?  Why has it taken over 20 years since the Clean Air Act Amendments required control of mercury pollutants?

In its proposal, the EPA suggests that household bills may increase $4 per month and 9,000 long-term jobs will be created when the regulations are fully implemented. Meanwhile, the ERCC (Electricity Reliability Coordinating Council) complains the EPA has overstepped its bounds, and these rules may be the most expensive regulations in EPA history . . . and will have profound impacts on electricity supply, price, and job creation.

Please ERCC, get a handle on reality and your priorities!

Mercury emissions are not friendly.  Mercury causes neurological damage to children in the womb and in early childhood; it is linked to premature deaths, heart disease, and respiratory disease and it pollutes streams, lakes, oceans, and the fish we eat.

Here in Texas, we are the national leader in coal-fired power plants . . . 19 active plants and 10 or more in various stages of planning.  According to the EDC, Texas is home to seven of the nation’s top 16 mercury emitters.

Piles of coal are shown at NRG Energy’s W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station

Photo: Texarkana Gazette: Piles of coal are shown at NRG Energy’s W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station

Thompsons, Texas (SW of Houston)    AP

On the eve of his reelection, the Texas governor said Texans don’t want any more ‘feel good’ policies.  Hmm . . . sounds more like industry lobbyists talking than a head of state.  The governor and the legislators don’t ask Texans what they want . . . they tell constituents what they want based on lobbyists-prepared canned scripts.  Don’t wait on Texas to safeguard your air . . . the attorney general is suing the EPA over air quality permitting processes.  And so it goes.

We may suffer from intransigence and a status quo energy policy in the U.S. and Texas, BUT we now have an opportunity to make a difference in our very own energy production.  Simply install a grid-tied PV system on your home or business and invest in 30+ years of clean, sustainable clean electricity.  PV is scalable, so any size system makes a difference.

Electricity from light . . . no fuels and no emissions and virtually no maintenance.  AND, it’s an affordable and economic investment today!

Wide spread adoption of distributive decentralized grid-tied PV technology would mean good-bye to dirty coal plants and mercury emissions.  The utilities may not like it, but they cannot stop you from being your own independent power producer!

Don’t wait on your politicians . . . they are busy having lunch with their donor industry lobbyists.  Make a statement, make a move.  It’s past time for PV in America.

Chet Boortz, CEO


[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]


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