Carbon Emissions

Here’s a picture of a change that’s not in the mainstream media:

Relaxing of environmental regulations.

In this case, it’s about air quality and a source of contribution to climate change.  I aim these blogs to feature information that can help readers to do something personally… to improve our environmental quality and our quality-of-life experience.  As most readers aren’t involved in building power plants, I’ll add comments after this brief article.

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 US environment agency proposes loosening limits on carbon emissions from new power plants

 

The regulations would make it easier

to build coal-fired energy facilities.

 

Jeff Tollefson

nature

6 December 2018

 

The US Environmental Agency (EPA) has announced plans to weaken the greenhouse-gas emissions standard for new, modified or reconstructed power plants.

The propose changes, released on 6 December, would replace regulations that effectively require any new or substantially modified coal-fired power plant to be equipped with the technology to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions. Opponents of the regulations, put in place under then-president Barack Obama, have argued that carbon-capture technology is to expensive and not commercially viable.

The EPA’s latest proposal is based on “the latest technological information, not wishful thinking,” said Bill Wehrun, the agency’s assistant administrator for the office of air and radiation, in a statement.

The plan is the latest attempt by the administration of US President Donald Trump to roll back climate policies implemented under Obama. The administration has already sought to scale back greenhouse-gas emission standards for existing power plants and cars.

Environmentalists blasted the plan and stressed that it would not revive the coal industry, which has declined over the past decade as utilitycompanies have shifted to cheaper natural gas and renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power.

 

“Coal plants will continue to close, and new

ones are unlikely to be built, because there

are cleaner, more affordable alternatives,”

 

… says Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate Change and Energy Solutions in Arlington, Virginia, and deputy EPA administrator under Obama.

The agency will accept comments on the proposal for 60 days after the document is published in the Federal Register.

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Now the question is, what can you do about this?

As new elections yield new political leaders, policies and regulations are bound to change. As all people running for office, in all parties, need money for their campaigns, and as a major source for that money comes from sponsoring corporations, individually or via PACs, elected officials tend to be beholden to their sponsors … which can be coal companies … or oil companies or weapons manufacturers, or pharmaceutical companies … our interests may ultimately need to be served by our own actions.

I’m not advocating anarchy or civil disobedience in any manner.  But … corporations do respond to masses of purchasers of their product or service.  For example, just a decade or so ago, most supermarkets had anywhere from zero to a courtesy minimum amount of organic foods.  You had to go to small specialty shops to get them.  Today, virtually all supermarkets have an extensive array of more healthful organic foods … as well as gluten-free foods that are now in demand.

 

How do those personal actions

translate to other aspects of our lives?

 

If you truly want to support clean power, simply add photovoltaic panels to your roof – or to some other place on your site, as they don’t actually have to be on your roof.

If you want to support reductions of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, then be sure your next car is electric. (Or, if you now have two gas-powered cars, trade one in, while you can still get a decent price for it, and buy an electric car.)  50% of all new cars sales in Europe are already electric.  The most populace country, China, is already fostering an enormous transition to electric cars.

If you want to support better health care for less cost, then buy your medications on-line from outside-the-US sources … which are sometimes for the same brands and sometimes even made in the US … but sold on-line for a fraction of the price.

Regardless of what our “political leaders of the moment” advocate overtly or covertly, our best option is to take personal responsibility to simply do what you believe is the right thing to do.  When what each of us does is joined by others and grows, the corporations will adjust in response – sometimes begrudgingly, perhaps.  And we’ll all enjoy a greater variety of organic foods, and healthier air, and less expensive and cleaner power and cars, and …

For example, GM’s recent closing of three plants was in the news.  Actually, they closed plants that were manufacturing sedans, are keeping the plants that make trucks and SUVs, and are retooling the three closed plants to begin manufacturing … electric cars.  Tesla’s stock market value recently exceeded GM’s!  It’s where buyers are going and they need to adapt to stay in business.

However … it all begins with each of us each taking personal responsibility, to walk the talk.

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