90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The EPA And American Power Plants

Reining in the pollution from American power plants. We’ll dig into the President’s plan and its implications for climate change and the economy.

The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP)

The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP)

If necessary, the President told the country, he would act on his own, without Congress, to protect the environment, the planet.  Yesterday, through the EPA, he did.  New proposed rules would cut American carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.  That means, basically, closing or retooling coal-fired power plants to cut pollution and climate change.  The cost?  That will now be debated.  The economic cost of acting.  The environmental cost of not acting.  The alternative energy sources that will move in.  This hour On Point:  the climate, the economy, and the Obama plan.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Amy Harder, energy policy reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@AmyAHarder)

David Victor, professor in the school of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Author of ‘Global Warning Gridlock: Creating More Effective Strategies for Protecting the Planet.”

Danielle Baussan, managing director of energy policy at the Center for American Progress. (@DanielleBaussan)

Robert Bryce, senior fellow at the Center for Energy Policy and Environment at the Manhattan Institute. Author of “Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy And the Real Fuels of the Future.” (@pwrhungry)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: EPA to Seek 30% Cut in Emissions at Power Plants – “The rule would affect hundreds of fossil-fuel power plants—hitting the nation’s roughly 600 coal-fired plants the hardest. The carbon framework seeks to strike a balance between what environmentalists want—an ambitious overall target—with what the utility industry wants—flexibility, a long compliance timeline and an earlier base-year calculation from which to meet the goal. Carbon emissions have dropped since 2005, making the overall reduction smaller when compared with recent years.”

New York Times: Teaching an Old Law New Tricks — “Don’t expect big changes anytime soon. Legal challenges could tie up this effort for years. This is the sad reality of climate policy in the United States circa 2014. With Congress paralyzed on the issue, the country’s climate and energy policy is being made in arcane legal battles over the meaning of single phrases in statutes written long ago, leaving government and industry to duke it out in court.”

POLITICO: Obama seeks 30 percent cuts in power plants’ carbon pollution — “The draft rule also supplied an instant campaign issue for Republicans, who are already pounding vulnerable Democratic candidates as accomplices in a job-destroying, Obama-led “war on coal.” Legal challenges from some states and industry groups are considered inevitable, but EPA has won a string of recent court victories that have boosted the agency’s confidence in its strategy.”

Read The EPA’s Draft Clean Power Plan

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Michele Briere

    I really don’t understand how people can argue about money and jobs when coal is not only poisoning the air we breathe, but also causing lung cancer, to say nothing of mine collapses which kill hundreds of miners. Take those miners out of the ground and retrain them for jobs that will be needed for alternative solutions.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Reasonable regulation of particulate emissions(especially mercury and uranium) is A-OK in my book. However, the most costly and controversial regulations proposed by the EPA is the restriction of CO2 emissions. It will have NO measurable benefit to the environment but will damage the economy.

      • Euphoriologist

        Why would you support the federal government intervening in the free market by imposing laws, burdens and fees on profitable companies? Shouldn’t businesses be free to make their profits free of meddlesome regulations?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Is this a response to my post or is it somehow misplaced?

          Very strange.

          • Euphoriologist

            No. I was genuinely asking you why you believe the federal government has the authority to regulate what particles companies can or cannot emit into the environment. Sounds like a giant government over-reach, no…?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No, not necessarily. Reasonable regulations can be justified via cost/benefit analysis.

      • Don_B1

        Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has tried to spin its published report from last week, estimated that the cost of reducing coal CO2 emissions would be around $50.2 billion a year. Now in an economy which will have an average GDP of some $21.5 trillion, that will be a cost of less than $2 in every $1000 of GDP.

        A majority of Americans in a poll indicated they would be willing to pay some $20 more in their utility bills, which would cover their share of that cost.

        BIG NOTE: ALL previous estimates of costs of reducing various pollutants have proved to be much higher than what it actually cost. As an example, the reduction of sulfur and nitrogen oxides was projected by industry to be some $1400/ton, by the EPA to be $600 to $700/ton and the actual cost was around $200/ton. This happened because technology improved when the equipment was actually designed and built.

        Have you checked out the costs of the storms that have hit this country over the last few years. The cost used to be a few $billion a year, but now there are multiple storms that, individually, cost more than $1 billion and the total is near or over $50 billion to $100 billion. This amount is going to increase rapidly unless the increases in the amount of CO2 end. Some increases are already baked into the future, but no one wants to see or feel what will come if CO2 increases are not ended.

        The costs of not reducing CO2 from fossil fuels will be orders of magnitude, orders of magnitude, larger than the cost of reducing CO2 emissions.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I can assure you that these regulations will have ZERO impact on any future storm.

          Even the EPA claims only a 0.018C decrease in average temp. by 2100.

          • Don_B1

            And that is against an increase in average temperature of 2°C to 4°C. without that change from the business-as-usual (BAU) path that we are currently on.

            And the fact that the U.S. is actually acting to do its part (or at least the first part of its part) will enable the U.S. to lead the rest of the world in the needed direction to halt the rise in temperatures that the BAU path will otherwise create.

            Boy, you sure can cherry-pick data to falsely sell your miserable case.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not sure how I am “cherry-picking” when I am using both the proposed regulation and the impact estimate as predicted by the EPA scientists.

          • Don_B1

            The part of the total impact that was estimated by the E.P.A. was for the direct impact against the whole world’s current emissions, which will also come down when, because of the U.S. actually doing something instead of just talking, and then mostly from the right, talking against doing anything, the world signs up and acts on reducing the use of fossil fuels.

            To just take one aspect out of the whole result of acting to cut coal burning emissions is cherry-picking.

  • HonestDebate1

    This is just another example of President Obama’s power hungry lawlessness that will cripple the jobs sector while achieving nothing. This is awful.

    • Human2013

      Let me help you rephrase your comments in a honest manner. President Obama wants a future for our children on a stable planet Earth. A job isn’t necessary if the environment is toxic and the oceans swallow up large parts of the land mass.

      • Michiganjf

        He he.

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s not honest at all, either in the implication that anyone opposing this debacle advocates a toxic, land swallowing unstable earth or the in the notion this will have any significant affect on climate.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        “future of our children”?
        Not in the way you think. The EPA regulations will have zero measurable impact on the environment — per the EPA’s own analysis. However, it WILL have a measurable impact on the US economy. THIS will impact children and adults — primarily the lower and middle class.

    • Michiganjf

      The “jobs sector,” eh?

      Your “comment” could be a poster child for a number of stupidities one comes across in online forums such as this, especially with regards to the mindless reflexivity of Republicans during Obama’s presidency.

    • Ray in VT

      Ahh yes, we’re doomed. DOOOMMMMED! “power hungry lawlessness” was the best bit in my opinion. I real knee slapper. Thanks.

      • HonestDebate1

        You’re welcome. No coal = certain death for many.

        • Ray in VT

          And coal has equaled death for how many so far? One study pegs the number of early deaths per year in the U.S. due to power production at 52,000, and then there are also the actual mining deaths. Easy there, Chicken Little, the sky isn’t going to fall.

          • HonestDebate1

            And it’s 53K from tailpipes but I would think “early deaths” from car accidents are a far more reliable stat. We cannot survive without coal and reducing the output will have no significant affect on climate. This is a bad idea at the worst possible time.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, and I wonder how many more early deaths there would have been from tailpipes were it not for regulations, such as getting the lead out. More reliable? Sure. Those numbers are more concrete, but if you’re just looking to smear a little doubt on research in order to avoid addressing the negative outcomes, then lame. This isn’t going to get rid of coal. Calm it down. Yes, there’s never a good time for government to address known problems.

          • HonestDebate1

            They are not addressing squat, they are causing undue pain.

          • Ray in VT

            Of course, because clean or cleaner air is free, and obviously this won’t have beneficial health impacts. I’m glad that you’re hear with all of your vast environmental and health research to let us know this. Thanks for your service.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — No sunshine = certain death for many.
            No clean water = certain death for many.
            No clean air = certain death for many.
            No clothing = certain death for many.
            No anything = certain death for many.

            Everything = certain death for many.

            Life = certain death for all.

          • Ray in VT

            No sunshine? “Since the dawn of time man has yearned to destroy the Sun.”

          • hennorama

            The bastiges!

            [Release the hounds!]

          • Ray in VT

            Farghing iceholes?

          • HonestDebate1

            President Obama has not said he wants to put the Sun out and issued EO’s to make it happen… yet.

    • jefe68

      Wonderful example of the very thing I was on about.
      A whole lot of anti-Obama memes with no substance.

      • HonestDebate1

        No substance? I think what you mean is no legislative process.

    • Don_B1

      Your soap box is wobbling and the wood is rotten and giving way!

      See my response to WftC in the thread just earlier (above if you go oldest first). Then read the following:

      There are only some 90,000 jobs in coal mines in the U.S., some 20,000 in Kentucky or West Virginia, I believe. The biggest reason for the reduction of coal mining jobs has been the increase in the use of machines, which has increased the productivity of the miners without increasing their wages or safety.

      The reduction of the use of coal has been the surge in availability of natural gas from fracking, which has been winning on the basis of cost alone.

      But the number of jobs in the alternative ways of producing energy is more than from coal and they pay well also. There will be no significant loss of jobs from this action by the E.P.A.! But it will take some government support for retraining, I am sure.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    China sends a big THANK YOU to President Obama.
    Kiss the small resurgence in the manufacturing sector GOOD-BYE.

    All for what? Certainly nothing measurable (by the EPA’s own analysis).

    • Human2013

      Do they send their thanks in face masks or gas masks?

  • John_in_Amherst

    I grew up in coal country.
    I am familiar with the jobs coal produces. They are always dangerous, sometimes deadly. I am familiar with the environmental damage done, even before the coal is burnt – streams the color of consumptive phlegm from acid mine drainage, the forests and hills converted to piles of rubble. I am familiar with the lives of miners – boys lured from school and a way out of the pits and mines by an insular culture that encourages sons to follow fathers into an industry that insures a fierce pride at the expense of a more educated and brighter future.
    I am also familiar with the effects of coal after it is burned: the ash piles defiling land and water, life-long asthma that effects me and countless others down wind from mills and power stations, and now that I live in New England, the lakes and hill sides degraded by acid rain.
    I understand that coal miners and their families develop an attachment to the mining life: enduring the terrible hardships imposed by the life of mining binds families and communities together. I understand why investors like the Peabodys and now the Kochs want to keep on mining without restrictions: the dirty water, ruined landscapes and damaged lives of miners all add up to fantastic profits.
    I cannot understand society at large not wanting to curtail mining. Even without releasing pollution that threatens the welfare of the environment, coal is a nasty business. Given what we now know beyond reasonable doubt- that CO2 is threatening imminent climate chaos that will raise sea levels, drown cities, cook the tropics and melt the arctic, reduce crop yields and force mass relocations of people away from ever more parched and torrid swathes of the globe, How can ANYONE rail against reducing the use of coal?

    • HonestDebate1

      Maybe the legislative process would be a good idea.

      • John_in_Amherst

        The GOP has insured that the legislative process does not work during the Obama tenure. Proof? The amount of legislation passed since Obama took office. The GOP now requires that bills pass not by a majority of votes, but a super majority. The GOP has distorted the constitution and the legislative process in ways that render national governance ossified, in the name of profits for the wealthy and political advantage for the GOP, at the expense of the national and international best interests.

        • HonestDebate1

          Alrighty then.

          • Euphoriologist

            I’m not even a regular commenter here but even I notice you cede arguments embarrassingly often with that phrase.

            Alrighty then: “I find your rational logic and unexpected appeal to facts makes me uncomfortable and slightly anxious. Luckily, I’ll always have my handy sarcastic escape capsule! Now if you don’t mind…Computer: fire rockets!

          • Ray in VT

            I call it the Dismissatron 5000.

          • HonestDebate1

            I use it only when I feel comfortable I have made my point and do not feel the need to follow the tangent. At some point debating certain comments gives legitimacy to their premise. I do not accept the premise that Obama is justified in skirting the legislative process because the GOP ruined it.

          • Ray in VT

            I disagree. No matter how much you want to tell me that “by any definition” one must know that one is lying in order to be lying, such an argument fails to reflect reality, and no matter how much you want to insist upon it, that position will never have any legitimacy.

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then. (you had to’ve seen that coming)

          • Ray in VT

            Lame. Yes, I did. Perhaps you can just declare the dictionaries to be wrong and keep on pushing your lie.

          • harverdphd

            Otherwise you couldn’t hate Bush.

          • Ray in VT

            Glad to see that you took the time to briefly pollute my in box. Keep up the poor work.

          • Euphoriologist

            If your points were as authoritative as you claim, and the responses as weak as you say, you could demolish them handily and carry on. Instead, you stand up to make an oration in front of the audience and squeeze a big red nose in response to any serious retorts. “My reply to you sir, is < honk, honk >!”

            Whatever you may think, such actions do not signal seriousness.

          • HonestDebate1

            I disagree. First, I don’t claim to be an authority, I claim to be an idiot. But again, I don’t accept the premise set forth above. I don’t think Mr. Amherst’s comment was serious at all. I guess you’ll have to let me decide that.

            I am happy to argue the legislative process is good; that the 3 offsetting branches of government is noble. But if the premise is that’s it’s too hard because of the rascally GOP then I’m not interested in the futile endeavor.

            I think it is quite clear that I’ll argue ’til the cows come home to defend what I write. Be thankful I let some things go.

        • StilllHere

          Pathetic. We don’t need laws for the sake of having more laws. Your view of productivity is off-base.

          • Don_B1

            These are not laws for the sake of having more laws.

            If that were true, we could take away the law that would prevent me from dumping coal ash all over your front lawn, back yard, and just saying to you: “Live with it.”

            That is what the coal industry is effectively doing to the people who work in mines, live near them, or live near a coal-fired power plant. Just it is refuse that floats in the air for a bit and then settles in the lungs and digestive systems of people living nearby.

        • M S

          Doesn’t matter, he already selectively enforces the laws we already have.

          • Don_B1

            Bull-pucky!

            Most laws, particularly regulatory ones, have provisions for the Executive to write the regulations. So when President Obama does what all previous presidents have done, and makes adjustments to the regulations when it is in the interest of implementing the law fairly and justly, now Republicans scream he isn’t enforcing the law.

            It is pure politics and politics of the lowest sort. Unfortunately most voters have little understanding of what is going on, which suits the Republicans just fine.

            List the laws and where President Obama is “selectively enforcing” them!

          • M S

            Immigration laws for sure…refusing to deport all of those individuals here illegally. Not to mention the continual rewriting of the ACA on the fly. And he certainly failed to uphold the rights of Americans against unreasonable search and seizure in New York City, with the Justice Department’s timidity against Bloomberg and Ray Kelly.

        • harverdphd

          It’s called power, John. They have it by election, you don’t. It’s the law…get over it.

          • John_in_Amherst

            They have it because they are gaming the system and the democrats are too timid to confront them directly.

      • jefe68

        That’s working out great in North Carolina where the the GOP legislation and governor McCrory are pretty much in bed with Duke energy.

        $1.5 billion worth of damage has been caused to North Carolina communities in three of the state’s worst documented cases at Belews Lake, Hyco Reservoir, and Mayo Reservoir.

        http://www.southeastcoalash.org/?page_id=2417

        • HonestDebate1

          Okay, you’re on record standing against the legislative process which does not surprise me.

          What legislation are you referring to that caused the coal ash? Judging from your link you are advocating legislation. You’re not making sense.

          • jefe68

            I meant GOP legislators and governor McCrory have used their power to do away with regulations in their state. The results are there for all to see. It’s not pretty.
            I’m not on record for that.
            Man for a guy how keeps on complaining about not liking people telling hi what he thinks, you sure spend a lot of time telling people what they think. What a maroon.

            Stop playing dumb. You live in NC, is that correct?

          • HonestDebate1

            I live in NC and am not aware of any regulations that have been done away with. Please cite them as they are not in your above link. What am I missing?

          • TFRX

            The “You are not aware” stuff used to be pathetic. Now when you do it it’s just predictable.

          • Ray in VT
          • HonestDebate1

            It’s not law.

          • Ray in VT

            Elements of that bill were a part of HB 74, which was signed into law in August of 2013, and critics of that law contend that it loosened the law regarding issues such as coal ash.

          • jefe68

            In April 2013, the Study Regulation of Coal Ash Disposal, also known as House Bill 818, was introduced in North Carolina, which did not pass. The bill proposed a study committee on coal ash disposal, consisting of House and Senate members. Members would be required to study the consequences that arise from current coal ash disposal in the state.

            In 2009, Rep. Harrison introduced to the North Carolina General AssemblyHB1354, the Increase Public Safety for Coal Ash Disposal bill. Although the bill passed, much of it was stripped and the remaining portion subjected the state’s coal ash impoundments to dam safety rules.

            All of the above was from the same link.
            Maybe you should spend some time reading up on this. Because it does effect the ground water in your state.

          • HonestDebate1

            You have not cited a regulation that was done away with.

          • StilllHere

            Don’t hold your breath.
            Next, they’ll start making stuff up.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Even if all coal plants are regulated out of existence, the coal will still be mined. It will be shipped to China (much of it already is exported).

      “US coal exports set monthly record”
      http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=11751

      • John_in_Amherst

        Coal will never be eliminated entirely – its use in metallurgy and cement manufacture is much harder to work around than in electrical generation. Which means we must reduce its impacts wherever possible. I will not waste time trying to convert climate change denier trolls to the validity of climate change research or the desparate need to do everything we can here and across the globe to limit CO2.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Good choice, because I follow the science so you’d be wasting your time trying to convert me to your ‘feel good’ cult.

          I gave you the EPA’s data. You are the denier.

          And oh btw — the coal that will still be mined and burned in China won’t have the particulate controls we have here in the US. So the coal still gets burned just not by us.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, you follow “the science” as long as it comes from “skeptics”. They get the label of “real” science. It seems as though the rest of the scientific community’s research is just a part of the conspiracy.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Wrong. The IPCC has documented the uncertainties. Unfortunately, they have another document for “policy makers” that doesn’t match the science and they have been harshly criticized within the climate community.

          • Ray in VT

            The climate community, expect for a small group of “skeptics”, has concluded, based upon decades of research, that the planet is warming and that we are mainly driving it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Wrong. Most skeptics acknowledge the .8C of warming since 1880 and that CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas.

          • Ray in VT

            True, only a few seem to want to claim that there has been no warming, although that has not meant that some have alleged conspiracy or incompetence by NOAA regarding the collection of atmospheric data. Most “skeptics” have seemingly abandoned the there is no warming line and have now moved on to either attempting to downplay the effects of how we are altering the atmosphere or to claim that human activities are not driving the CO2 changes.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            There are a few skeptical “climate scientists” who are skeptical evidence of man-made CO2 contribution to atmospheric CO2 vs. natural variation. But these are in the clear minority.

            There is much debate in the climate community on the sensitivity to CO2 and whether positive or even negative feedbacks exist. The reason for the increased skepticism is simple. The recent 15-18 year pause was completely unpredicted by the alarmsist community.

          • Ray in VT

            “Increased skepticism”? Like when an 80 year old guy who once ran a blog I think called “the Climate Scam” joins a “think tank” and gets a paper rejected?

            I think that good scientists are always careful and skeptical. The “skeptic” community, however, I think is merely pushing an agenda, seemingly often fueled by political/economic ideology or religious belief.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “Given what we now know beyond reasonable doubt- that CO2 is threatening imminent climate chaos that will raise sea levels, drown cities, cook the tropics and melt the arctic, reduce crop yields and force mass relocations of people away from ever more parched”

      Does the EPA regulations make you “FEEL GOOD”?
      This is feel good liberalism run amok. Because it will do nothing to improve the environment.
      The EPA’s own climate model, aptly called MAGICC, says these regulations will reduce the average global temperature by 0.018C by 2100. No measurable results to the environment but measurable damage to the economy.

      • John_in_Amherst

        so regulating CO2 is unnecessary? all the other negatives connected to mining are OK? You may need some miners to help excavate your head from the sand, pal.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Correct. Regulating CO2 is unnecessary. But that isn’t the issue here is it? It is unilateral regulation of CO2 that will simply hurt the US economy.

          Mining safety is a completely different matter.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Get a grip on the facts. Until you do, you are spouting gibberish.

    • hennorama

      John_in_Amherst — “streams the color of consumptive phlegm” — nice turn of phrase, that.

      Thanks for sharing your personal experiences.

    • Euphoriologist

      Great comment, John_in_Amherst.

  • John Cedar

    “Reining in the pollution from American power plants”.

    Um…they are not talking about reigning in pollution, they are talking about reducing CO2…and for who knows what reason.

    • Ray in VT

      Great satire. I have liked your comment for the humor value that it contains.

      • jefe68

        As if CO2 and pollution are somehow not connected when fossil fuels are used.
        It is pretty funny how some right wingers use language to obscure facts.

        • Ray in VT

          I wonder how the fossil fuel backed “think tanks” fell about this. They’re probably pretty psyched. I bet that they want the market to handle this, if it is even a problem, which they likely claim that it isn’t.

          • TFRX

            A Manhattan Institute fellow is here. We’ll find out.

        • MrNutso

          But CO2 occurs naturally. Where woould the Three Stooges be with out seltzer bottles? Every time I open a soda can some leaks out. Even worse if I pour it over ice in a glass. I say make everyone drink flat soda first before tackling power plants.

    • Don_B1

      Just because CO2 acts to harm human life in ways that are different than mercury or arsenic pollution does not make it “clean.” Nor that it acts even slightly differently than acid rain from the release of sulfur and nitrogen oxides that ruin the life of lakes and rivers where fish grow and trees and other vegetation provide the otherwise clean environment so necessary for human health also should give cause for excess CO2 to not be considered a pollutant.

      That is what the U.S. Supreme Court decision was all about: that if the E.P.A. could show that the release of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels created conditions on earth that harmed humans, then those releases could be regulated under the authority that the Clean Air Act gave it as a regulator of pollution.

      Can you really be that ignorant or are you just trying to disrupt and confuse this discussion, and in the process show that you are not to be trusted as a contributor to any debate?

  • John Cedar

    Whatever happened in the courts with this issue? I recall reading a quote last fall where Kegan had a rare lucid moment and said something to the effect of, “you are arguing that the EPA can do whatever it wants wherever it wants…I have a problem with that” or somthing to that effect.

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama has given his blessing to vulnerable democrats to run hard against this issue. He is much more flexible since the election.

  • Michiganjf

    U.S. policy in this arena should be, and long could have been, THE EXAMPLE for the world as to what is possible regarding carbon reduction and sustainable energy.

    China, India, Brazil, etc.., will never act on carbon reduction so long as the U.S. looks like it thinks itself “entitled” to pollute while asking anyone else to take action on climate change, nor while it shows itself to be irresponsible while asking responsibility of other countries.

    Just as the President has said, we MUST BE THE EXAMPLE to the world in order to begin a serious debate on carbon reduction.

    We should have started down this road twenty years ago, but now we are truly, potentially, the world’s last hope to really get the other major polluters to take carbon reduction seriously.

    Of course, Republicans are the main obstacle, as they will ALWAYS embrace the concept of “entitlement” for the few.

  • shag_wevera

    If some global catastrophe was undeniably approaching, and the populace couldn’t be convinced, could the authorities give us what we need as opposed to what we want?

    • harverdphd

      or what they THINK we need… But come the revolution, Comrade….!

  • Pierre Demers

    The issue of carbon being the cause of global warming is wrong. It is putting the cart before the horse. CO2 is a result,not the cause. If scientist only took their calculators and calculated how much the earth’s temperature would increase from the burning 75% of the total fossil fuels extracted from the earth’s crust for one year, the temperature would rise about 3/4 of a degree F. This heat is cumulative because the earth is a perfect greenhouse existing in a vacuum, There is no heat cooling from convection which is the primary element of why a green house works. All of that heat has been accumulating since we have been using fossil fuels and it proves that the earth’s cooling mechanism is working but it is under severe stress by the excessive use. The carbon tax won’t work. We need to decrease our use of non-renewable fuels. Period.

    • HonestDebate1

      Many people have no idea that temperature rises before CO2 levels rise, not after.

      • Ray in VT

        That is not always the case.

        • HonestDebate1

          Only for the last 650,000 years.

          • Ray in VT

            How much coal and oil were humans burning from 650,000 years ago until, say 150-250 years ago? Past results here aren’t comparable when one introduces new factors. That’s pretty basic high school science.

          • jefe68

            Ray, you are waisting your time.

          • Ray in VT

            I know.

          • jefe68

            The Southeast has a coal ash dump site problem and it’s causing billions of dollars in damage to the region. I bet if HD’s water was contaminated with arsenic he would change his tune.

            http://www.southeastcoalash.org/?page_id=2417

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Unlike CO2, coal ash is a real issue but that isn’t what the EPA is addressing here.

          • jefe68

            Indeed, but coal ash is the byproduct of coal fired plants. I’m curious as how you think the two are not connected.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The EPA is regulating CO2 emissions. Coal ash disposal is a different matter. Why is that so difficult to understand?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Coal has many problems:

            Mountaintop removal is horrible.
            Miners die in disasters, and from many health problems.
            Coal trains disperse lots of dust.
            Burning coal releases lots of pollutants, including carbon dioxide and mercury, and many others.
            Coal ash is all the stuff left over after burning – and it is lots of bad chemicals concentrated in one place. Things like cyanide.

            All of these problems would be negated by stopping using coal.

            We cannot continue to burn coal – for all of these reasons. Climate change is the biggest problem of all.

          • TFRX

            But I’m not aware about any coal ash heaps, so they don’t harm anyone.

            (Just waiting for that to blort out of someone here.)

          • jefe68

            Well, facts are stubborn things…

            North Carolina is home to 14 coal-fired power plants and a total of 50 coal ash impoundments. According to the EPA North Carolina’s impoundments have enough capacity to hold 16.7 billion gallons of coal ash.

          • HonestDebate1

            Come visit, it’s been huge deal. It’s awful.

          • HonestDebate1

            Where am I wrong?

          • Ray in VT

            Where are you wrong? “temperature rises before CO2 levels rise, not after.” Right there.

          • HonestDebate1

            Show me a single scientist who disagrees with what I wrote. You can talk about the feedback effect I suppose but temperature rises first. Once you realize that undeniable fact, maybe the light will come on…. the CFL of course.

          • Ray in VT

            It has historically. Presently, with different factors, CO2 has risen first. I am not going to argue against that it has historically without our influence. If you are attempting to argue that it is always the case, given recent human activities, then I will argue against that, as it does not line up with recent changes to CO2 and temperatures.

          • HonestDebate1

            So you agree, temperature rises first and you can’t cite a scientist who disagrees. Make up your mind.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You are either confused or pretending to be ignorant.

            In the past, temperature often lead carbon dioxide levels – because the forcing was something like orbital changes.

            NOW, carbon dioxide is leading temperature rise – because the forcing is us burning fossil fuels. If we keep burning fossil fuels, then the ocean will release a lot of carbon that it has been absorbing – because warm water cannot hold as much carbon in solution as colder water.

            You know – science.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not inclined to think that there is any pretending there.

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t think science uses the word if. I am going on the record. Temperature rises first.

          • Ray in VT

            Except this last time, when conditions changed.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You are cherry picking facts. I explained things exactly as I understand the science.

            This time, temperature is lagging behind carbon dioxide levels. Ignoring what we know does not change reality.

          • HonestDebate1

            We know CO2 levels in America are at a 20 year low. We know there has been no significant warming for about the same period. We don’t know if temperatures will rise or how much. We know the IPCC has drastically changed their estimates (aka ifs) from the fourth to the fifth assessment.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You are grasping at straws.

            You are wrong about carbon lagging temperature. And now you are deflecting…

          • HonestDebate1

            Please cite a climate scientist who says CO2 evils rise first. Or for that matter prove any of my above claims wrong.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            All of them.

            Carbon dioxide is the forcing, this time.

            In the past, it was a feedback loop.

            Different causes in the past. Rules are always the same.

          • Ray in VT

            You are confused as usual. Naturally it has. Recent events are not like those in the past.

          • Don_B1

            You are correct WHEN you are discussing the previous warming spells, but DEAD WRONG when you are talking about the current global warming, which is mimicking the last part of the previous warming periods, with a manmade cause rather than the orbital precessions, etc., that provided the initial warmings that kicked off a stronger warming when additional CO2 and methane from frozen tundra was released.

            Note that this time the temperature rise is much faster because of the much quicker change in the CO2 levels. It takes human activity to make such a rapid increase possible.

          • TFRX

            No he is not.

            If it keeps one NPR mittelmusher from saying “Hmm, we need to be more inclusive to the right so they’ll like us”, it is a useful few seconds.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who is less inclusive than the democrat party? Not me.

          • Ray in VT

            A movement that is older, whiter, and more conservative than the public at large. It is called the TEA Party.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The Tea Party welcomes everyone

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, if you’re crazy enough. They’ll take in any conspiracy theorist, science denier or laissez-faire nut as long as they trash Obama enough.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Now you’re just making stuff up.

          • Ray in VT

            The truth of the TEA Party is stranger than any fiction that I could write.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yeah, a balanced budget and concern for debt is really “strange”.

          • Ray in VT

            Not at all. When it gets into altering school textbooks or backing plans that would re-segregate schools, wanting the government not to take over its government health care, pushing the notion of a climate change conspiracy and such, then that is stranger than fiction.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You should get out more often. Your views are distorted.

          • Ray in VT

            I know. Facts and reality distort one’s point of view vis a vis climate “skeptics”, poll truthers and the lovely sort of conspiracy theorists that the TEA Party seems to attract.

            “”God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was
            taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that
            is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” – Paul Broun, member, TEA Party Caucus.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            So you quote some random dude spouting things that have nothing to do with the Tea Party.

            I could respond with numerous quotes from Joe Biden — #2 in the Democrat Party — but I won’t bother.

          • Ray in VT

            Some random dude? He is a Congressman and a member of the House’s TEA Party Caucus, and the GOP leadership put him on the science committee.

            There is always fine quote from the TEA Party Caucus’s Chair, Michele Bachmann, on climate change:

            “”The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax. It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.”

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Anyone can claim Tea Party status. That comment has nothing to do with the Tea Party.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure. It has nothing to do with the TEA Party. It’s just a coincidence that inordinate numbers of politicians who have taken up the TEA Party banner and TEA Partiers themselves subscribe to such views.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            If trolls are exposed for what they are, then the time is not wasted.

          • HonestDebate1

            CO2 levels are CO2 levels with many contributing factors. Typically, there was about 100 year lag between the temperature first rising and the CO2 levels rising.

          • Ray in VT

            If in the natural cycle warming releases CO2, such as through warming permafrost or ocean warming causing CO2 to be released. Such effects feed into warming. However, given the properties of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, if CO2 is being released by humans in an historically “unnatural” way, then it leads.

          • HonestDebate1

            The body does not know the difference between the sugar it gets from a sugar cube or an orange. Same thing.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, I’m not sure that the science is behind you there either. Either way the analogy does not fit. Did they require science when you went to school?

          • HonestDebate1

            Yea, but I flunked. I’m an idiot.

          • Ray in VT

            That much is quite apparent. Accepting that you have a problem, though, is the first step towards improvement.

          • jefe68

            Oh the inanity…

    • jmpo’lock

      The two rise in tandem. Gas goes up, heat rises. Heat goes up, more natural CO2 and other gases are released as well.

    • Don_B1

      Unfortunately you have several things really confused, which allows distractionist posters here, like [Dis]HonestDebate1 in this thread, to jump in with comments designed to further confuse the issue.

      1) In the history of the earth, previous warming periods were led by orbital changes that moved the earth closer to the sun, providing extra heat over that previous cooling. And that heat warmed ground such as the Arctic tundra which then released gigatons of methane and CO2 from that defrosting tundra which amplified the warming generated by the slight change that orbital precession, etc., had created. This time the earth is looking at the part that starts with the release of CO2 from burning fossil fuels which is then being amplified by all those positive feedbacks that existed and contributed to previous warmings.

      2) Thankfully the earth is not a “perfect greenhouse” if you mean that it retains all the sun’s radiant energy, and that is a good thing as otherwise its temperature would rise indefinitely. What happens is the earth radiates infrared energy proportionately to its temperature, but the greenhouse effect is like a blanket of insulation which means that the lower levels of the atmosphere can be at a higher temperature for the same amount of radiation escaping the upper levels of the earth’s atmosphere that balances the amount of radiation energy that arrives from the sun.

      3) Electromagnetic energy, which the sun’s radiation and the earth’s radiation consist of, passes through a vacuum basically without loss, though its intensity is diminished by the square law of the increasing area of the sphere as its radius, the amount of distance from the source, increases.

      I hope your misunderstanding derives from innocently reading some denier’s website where they use sophisticated arguments to confuse those who do not have strong foundations in science. I urge you to consult:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com

      and other sites:

      http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/

      or

      http://grist.org/

      http://www.dailyclimate.org/frontpage/

      and for the really technically-minded:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/earth_climate/

      • Pierre Demers

        Don,
        There are lots of interacting thermal exchanges occurring. I don’t mean to understand all of the specifics. But on earth the green house works because of convection not radiation.
        Also, the addition of all that energy released from fossil fuels adds to the heat transfer load on the natural radiational cooling. That heat is cumulative and that added heat increases the atmospheric temperature which increases the amount of CO2. It is BTU not CO@ that is causing global warming.
        Pete Demers

  • stephenreal

    Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Science Team for the next three years. Because OCO-2 is a directed mission, the Science Team is selected through the peer review process. NASA

  • stephenreal

    Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) ACE will assist in answering fundamental science questions associated with aerosols, clouds, and ocean ecosystems, by making improved and more comprehensive measurements through the use of innovative and advanced remote sensing technologies. NASA

  • stephenreal

    Evidence suggests that the past and current ocean uptake of human-derived (anthropogenic) CO2 is primarily a physical response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Whenever the partial pressure of a gas is increased in the atmosphere over a body of water, the gas will diffuse into that water until the partial pressures across the air-water interface are equilibrated. PMEL carbon group (NOAA)

  • stephenreal

    CO2 effects the circumstances where the short wavelengths of visible light from the sun pass through a transparent medium and are absorbed, but the longer wavelengths of the infrared re-radiation from the heated objects are unable to pass through that medium.

  • stephenreal

    Too much math! me head hurts!

  • andrewgarrett

    One reason we’re burning a lot of coal is because my fellow environmentalists have demonized nuclear, despite the indisputable truth that nuclear kills far fewer humans, both absolutely and in terms of energy produced. Plus, we don’t store our nuclear waste in the atmosphere, as we do with our coal waste. And yet “progressives” insist that we abandon nuclear. Germany and Japan have thus killed more people and hastened human-caused climate change by abandoning nuclear.

    • Yar

      I wonder how much of that opposition actually came from the coal industry. We strain at the gnat and swallow the Camel. Yes, Fukushima was awful, but every coal plant has an coal ash pond ready to leak and destroy the water supply for miles down stream. We forget just how big the earthquake in Japan was as well. It was 100 times bigger than the 1812 quake on the New Madrid Fault in Illinois which rang Church bells in Boston. A Fukushima size quake on the New Madrid fault would crush the US economy for years.
      Back to Nuclear power, the Thorium reactor has possibilities, I would keep the reactor technology in the hands of the military and have them sell steam to the utilities. It keeps utilities from cutting corners to save money and creating more risk.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The scientists in the EPA claim the new regs will reduce warming by 0.018C by 2100. Increased energy costs will harm the economy and cost US jobs.

    No one can defend this tradeoff. However the decision to foist this on the American people is the same kind of “thinking” that gave us Solyndra.

    • Ray in VT

      The CBO projects the jobs impacts to be relatively neutral.

    • OnPointComments

      In addition to reducing the temperature by 0.018C by 2100, President Obama says his new power plant rules will cut consumers’ electricity bills by hundreds of billions of dollars.

      Hmmm. Where have I heard something like that before…Oh yeah — the ACA will cut the average family’s healthcare premium by $2,500. He could be lying again, or this time he could mean that there will be less electricity available, so you’ll use less electricity, therefore your bill will go down.

    • DeJay79

      We have to start somewhere otherwise there will never be a beginning. Your statement lacks any logic that aligns with your point.

      Either you want to save job by doing nothing to clean up the environment which will lead to a worthless environment to live in and no jobs for anyone. Or you could be arguing that the new Reg’s don’t go far enough. But just because they don’t do enough does not mean we should not take the action.

      its like the pool in your back yard. say that it is covered with leaves and bugs floating on top and you have a fish tank sized skimmer. I want to swim in the pool so I’d grab that skimmer and have a go at it, and just maybe someone else will show up with a bigger skimmer when they see me struggling. You and the other hand say “well forget the pool, that skimmer is to small, why bother”.

  • Yar

    Elisabeth Warren said in the discussion with Thomas Piketty last night that climate change and rising inequality are the same issue.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      If it wasn’t clear she was an idiot — she has now removed all doubt.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        When you stop ignoring facts, we’ll stop ignoring your opinion.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I hesitate commenting on second hand comments but Ms. Warren has a record of idiotic statements in her short political career.

          So you agree that climate change and income inequality are the same issue? Given your obsessions I’m very surprised if you do agree.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Climate change is already having strong effects on our economy; so in that sense they are overlapping issues.

            Climate matters to almost every aspect of our lives.

            I’m going to continue to ignore your opinion of my most excellent senior Senator. Senator Warren has a firm grasp on reality, and she has a robust understanding of most economic issues; including climate change.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Unfortunately both Senators from MA are an embarrassment. Really makes us a laughing stock.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            That’s your opinion.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yup.

    • Jeff

      I’m glad she sees that connection, the actions done in the name of climate change have stagnated our economy and caused much of the increase in inequality.

      • TFRX

        Wow. You’re better off telling us how no teachers are getting demonized.

  • Jeff

    CO2 currently makes up around 0.035% of the atmosphere, it has made up well beyond 0.1% of the atmosphere in Earth’s history. The increase in CO2 could prevent or delay the coming ice age…that would be completely worth it for most of us who live in areas that would be covered in hundreds if not thousands of feet of ice during an ice age.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      That is like saying that 0.001% strychnine solution is okay to drink.

      • jefe68

        Hey, come on, Mr.Science guy knows what he’s talking about….

      • Jeff

        No, it’s like saying CO2 is what we exhale and it is essential to the ecosystem…plants love the stuff and can grow faster and larger with more of it in the atmosphere.

        • Ray in VT

          With increased levels of CO2 many plants also appear to lose nutritional value, and it is affecting ocean acidification that is harming some species and ecosystems.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Too much or too little of anything is bad.

          Too much oxygen will kill. Way to much oxygen will cause spontaneous combustion.

          Too much water will kill.

          Not enough oxygen or water will also kill.

          Burning fossil fuels is not part of the natural cycle of life.

          • Jeff

            Why do we have oxygen tanks for people who have trouble breathing? It helps them…BTW, oxygen makes up about 23% of the Earth’s atmosphere….CO2 makes up 0.035%.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Straw man!

            402ppm = 0.0402% Get your facts straight.

          • Jeff

            Sorry, I was using a general reference of CO2…I was off by 0.0052%…you get my point though…the fact that you called me out on that is very telling you have very little beyond that to “get me” on.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            For some things, a small difference has huge effects.

            Like between a stable climate and one that is changing rapidly.

    • Ray in VT

      Sure, because another ice age is right around the corner.

      • Jeff

        Do you not understand the ice age cycle? In geological terms, yes an ice age is right around the corner…so many people claim to be climate experts when saying they believe in climate change (or is it global warming) don’t even do the basic research to understand the natural cycle first. We’ve been in and out of ice ages for millions of years now….

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Five_Myr_Climate_Change.svg

        • Ray in VT

          I am familiar with that. However, “just around the corner” could be thousands of years away, unless you have some evidence that it would actually coming soon, like, you know, when we will have to be dealing with the effects of a warming world.

          • Jeff

            My evidence are the charts that show that the inter-glacial period is short (around 12,000 years) and we’re at that point right now. Putting CO2 in the air is probably the best thing for the planet right now.

          • Ray in VT

            That isn’t evidence showing any sort of an approaching ice age.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I don’t believe they understand the ice age cycle. Therefore it is really hard to say what might trigger the next one.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps not, but surely one isn’t going to appear out of thin air.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You don’t buy into the “day after tomorrow” thesis?

          • Ray in VT

            Nope.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          What forces the “cycle” of ice ages?

          Ice ages are the symptom of lots of things in the climate. Ice ages do not just continuously happen for no reason.

          Your insistence that an ice age “cycle” is guaranteed is just silly. It is like saying that you no longer have to repair your house is a great outcome of having it burn to the ground.

    • northeaster17

      400 ppm. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/first-time-in-800000-years-aprils-co2-levels-above-400-ppm/. Plants love water to. But not too much. Too much is a flood. We are getting close to that with the co2

    • Jasoturner

      As you are probably well aware, some 30% of atmospheric CO2 is absorbed into the oceans and lakes. And as you certainly recall, aqueous carbon dioxide dissociates to carbonic acid in proportion to CO2 content. Thus, the vital question may not be temperature effects of carbon combustion, but whether the addition of millions of tons of carbonic acid to our oceans and fresh water supplies is something we need not worry about.

      Beautiful weather may be small solace if the oceans start dying out…

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The buffering capacity of the ocean is nearly infinite relative to the potential CO2 stored in ALL fossil fuels.

  • JGC

    There is metallurgical (coking) coal and there is thermal coal. The thermal coal is the one being affected by proposed reduction of use in U.S. power plants. The coking coal is a necessity in the process of steel manufacturing, and I don’t think there is a substitute for that. (Not sure about that.) Since the advent of fracking, thermal coal has lost a lot of its value as it is being replaced by cleaner, cheaper natural gas — but metallurgical coal prices are depressed since the worldwide 2008 financial meltdown slowed manufacturing of steel.

    1.) Will there be a shift to production of more coking coal from U.S. mines for steel manufacturing, both here and abroad, as steel manufacturing markets improve? Coking coal also commands a much higher price than thermal coal (in spite of current depressed prices) so is a more valuable commodity than thermal coal. 2.) The EPA regulations force reductions in thermal coal-fired power plants here at home, but won’t there still be markets abroad to sell the thermal coal? There is nothing in the regulations to stop the export of thermal coal. It will just require additional logistics (rail, ship) to get the thermal coal to a market that is not restricting its use.

    In the end, won’t there still be coal mining jobs, but with additional costs in the form of logistical transport?

    • DeJay79

      fracking is not clean. I know you said cleaner, which is accurate But I want people to know that Fracking and Natural gas is not Clean. It is still a very destructive process and Natural Gas still leads to more CO2 emissions not less.

      • JGC

        Point taken.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The economy is a SUBSET of the environment. In other words – the economy cannot function without a livable environment.

    If we ruin the environment, then the economy is meaningless.

    Reducing our fossil fuel carbon emissions to zero will SAVE us trillions of dollars. We are not paying the true cost of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are artificially low – because we try to ignore the myriad of horrible costs of burning fossil fuels.

    Climate change is the largest challenge that humans have ever faced – and it is of our own making. We need to use our brains, and change our behavior.

    Land based wind power is less expensive than coal and natural gas. So, the FUD about coal being required for cheap electricity is just talk.

  • TFRX

    Of course coal-country pols are not happy.

    What did Thoreau say about ignoring something your paycheck depends on?

    And Tom, hasn’t this whine been going on from the extractive industry for about your whole lifetime?

  • AlanThinks

    Tom, this rule is a start but it will not be enough as it only touches electricity production. We MUST have a carbon fee (not a tax and not a cap and trade scheme) that is fully rebated proportionally to every citizen, so that a signal is activated in the economy to reduce all carbon production. A fee would drive energy efficiency innovation, invigorate the economy, and get us on the path to continued human survival on Mother Earth

  • DeJay79

    I am glad to see hard action on this. My only complaint is it is not enough nor is it soon enough. I want more CO2 cut backs and I want them sooner!

    Solar, wind, geothermal, wave and Solar will save this planet and our lives.

    • AlanThinks

      I am with you on this. Join me in promoting a carbon fee. Check out Citizens Climate Lobby

  • hellokitty0580

    This is the right thing to do and we’re going to have to take meaningful action on climate change at some point in time. We should have done it a long time ago. If we had, it may not have been as painful as it may be now. And the longer we wait the more painful it will be.

    I feel bad for the American communities that will be hit hard by a reduction in coal power and I think that Americans need to band together and help those communities shift their economies. However, this is going to happen and we need to bite the bullet.

    Furthermore, I just don’t understand how people don’t see that our economy and our environment are inextricably linked. We can’t have one without the other and if we don’t get some balance going here the future looks bleak. As a young person who still has a long life to live, I can’t help but take it personally when older people in our country don’t seem to care about what the environment will be like long after they’re gone. It’s easy not to care about the destruction one’s creating when one won’t have to live in it.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The EPA claims a reduction of warming by 0.018C by 2100 IF the rules are successful.

      This does NOTHING for the environment but I guess it makes some folks “feel good”.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    There are parallels to Obamacare.
    The EPA rules are 645 pages — another complex morass of regulations.

    Have they learned nothing?

    • AlanThinks

      A carbon fee would take 2 pages and be more effective – check out Citizens Climate Lobby carbon fee proposal

    • TFRX

      I barely had to fire up the wayback machine to figure out what conservatives used to support on this issue.

      A little lesson from a very short time ago,

      The power plant regulations the Obama administration will announce today are far less ambitious than the proposal McCain offered
      in Oregon in 2008. They’re less ambitious than the proposals Newt Gingrich championed through the Aughts.
      ….

      But they’re probably at the outer limit of what can be done so long as the Republican Party refuses to even believe in climate change, much less work with the Obama administration on a bill.

      The good news, if there is any, is that the Republican Party hasn’t always refused to believe in climate change. There was even a time when its key national leaders were committed to doing something about it. Those right wing leaders are still around today. They could still do something about it today.”

      I guess they’re all wimps afraid of being primaried by Teabaggers.

      Once more, with feeling: The right simply gobstops anything called governance while a Democrat is in the White House.

  • Coastghost

    Why is regulatory effort focused on energy production first WITHOUT giving attention to limiting energy consumption? What has the Obama Administration proposed since January 2009 to urge Americans to limit or cut consumption? (apart from White House fiats on automotive fuel efficiency standards and investing hundreds of Federal millions into domestic solar panel manufacturing)

    • AlanThinks

      Good point – it touches only electricity production and not other uses of carbon fuels. The rule is a start but needed more urgently is a carbon fee, A fee, fully rebated proportionally to every citizen, would drive reductions in consumption, create energy efficiency innovation. Check out Citizens Climate Lobby, which is pushing for a carbon fee.

      • Coastghost

        Carbon-fuel consumption tax makes much better sense than cap-and-trade schemes, from all I’ve read.

        • AlanThinks

          Tax and fee accomplish the same, but a fee would be fully rebated to every citizen proportionally, while a tax would feed government programs. Check out Citizens Climate Lobby proposal

  • Yar

    Fly over the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and you will see the results of the War on “coal”. It looks like Coal won.

    • StilllHere

      Especially at night, with all the lights on. Civilization don’tcha know.

  • Jill122

    This is a great opportunity for Jay Rockefeller to step up and find grants from the federal government to help train coal workers and those who had planned to go into coal in a clean energy curricula. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for them (WV & KY) and us if they wound up being the leaders in this industry. Remember this is a 15 year roll out — there’s time for a big plan for those two states, and nothing to worry about.

    • TFRX

      There’s just something unmentioned (elsewhere) about the fealty to coal in the state of Massey West Virginia. The mountaintop removal is their future, but that means fewer jobs in the state than Massey is willing to admit.

      • Jill122

        What?? It’s a good idea to continue to destroy what was one of the prettiest states in the Union?? Is that what you are arguing? I’m betting there are west virginia property owners who don’t agree with you. The entire state isn’t happy to have their beautiful state ruined with mountain top mining.

        • Coastghost

          It’s also the case that relative destruction of coal mining operations across several states will lead directly to migration from those states, no idea where they’ll arrive. Economic migration on this scale could contribute to MORE carbon pollution by the time any measurements are made.

        • TFRX

          No, I’m going full deadpan on you in agreement.

          Massey, the energy co, has a grip on certain political entities that George Pullman would have envied in his company town of Pullman.

          But for all the “look what the Feds are gonna do to your jobs” whining, there’s been an explosion in mountaintop removal mining in WV over the last ~15 years.

          That results in a lot fewer jobs for the hoi polloi there–fewer than wholesale and retail florists in the state, by some reckoning.

          But what do West Virginians get from it? Bigger slag heaps of debris. Filled in and polluted rivers. And for all their fealty and keeping their mouths shut and not making trouble, fewer jobs than traditional mining.

          And they’ll have to rewrite the state song: “Almost level, West Virginia”.

  • Coastghost

    Unemployment puts health and hearth at risk for other millions of Americans, Ms. McCarthy.

    • Jill122

      15 years to get this thing done! 15 years. No one is at risk for starving.

      • Coastghost

        You’re speaking of disrupting the economies of ENTIRE STATES. I think you have no data to support your confidence in the outcomes you prefer.

        • Ray in VT

          States have survived it before, like after the boys in blue liberated the South’s most valuable resource.

    • TFRX

      The health and hearth of poor Americans is taking a shtload of lumps from the byproducts of extractive industries.

      You really need to get out more.

  • hennorama

    Relating some of the comments on this topic to yesterday’s topic (Republican Party Makes Plans For A Bigger Tent):

    Many who have commented seem concerned about effects that might best be described as transactional, and aver sentiments that one might fairly interpret as:

    “If this change negatively impacts employment and/or corporate profits in the short term, we must reject it.”

    “If this has little measurable effect on the environment in the short term, we must reject it.”

    In contrast, the Republican “manifesto” titled Room to Grow: Conservative Reform for Limited Government and a Thriving Middle Class, from the YG Network (“ a non-profit 501(c)(4) dedicated to broadening the Young Guns movement by supporting next-generation conservative policies and the efforts of those who advocate for those policies”) uses the word “child/children” 218 times (plus 29 times in the Sources section), “future” 21 times (plus 10), “American dream” 17 times (plus 3), etc.

    It seems that the “Young Guns Network” is looking a bit further ahead than many in here.

    Curious, that.

    Source:
    http://ygnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Room-To-Grow.pdf

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    These rules will increase REAL pollution in the short term. Why? Because coal plants will not invest in new particulate scrubbing technology. They will simply keep plants open until the deadline in 2030.

    • Jill122

      They have year over year goals to meet. They can’t wait till the “end.”

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It will cost jobs and the economy. China thanks Obama for the huge gift.

        And the record coal exports from the US to China will continue to expand.

        • jmpo’lock

          Sure, just like the internet killed the economy…
          It’s called modernization

        • Lee E

          This just in from Reuters:
          “China, the world’s biggest emitter, will set a total cap on its CO2 emissions when its next five-year plan comes into force in 2016″

  • BPol

    Tom, are you really going to buy into the Republican AND Democrat propaganda? The one thing they both want us to believe is that this is a big reform. It’s not. It’s an important and long overdo one, but it’s not actually going to do much. A significant chunk of the reduction has already been met.

    http://harpers.org/blog/2014/06/a-top-obama-aide-says-history-wont-applaud-the-presidents-climate-policy/

  • MrNutso

    In the 70′s, auto manufacturers testified before congress that the expansion of the Clean Air Act to address urban air pollution would end the manufacturing of automobiles in the U.S. In the 80′s opponents of acid rain and ozone control claimed that new rules would crush the economy.

    Still waiting for any of this to happen.

    It’s not a zero sum equation. New technology initiatives can offset reduction in the coal economy.

    • OnPointComments

      In 1997, the Church of Global Warming predicted rapidly rising temperatures because of human CO2 emissions.

      Still waiting on this to happen.

      • Ray in VT

        Still waiting on the claims by “skeptical” “experts” who predicted significant global cooling over the past 15-25 years. When have all of the warming years on record been? Since 1997?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Open you eyes. Wake up – welcome to the real world where science is fact.

  • hennorama

    Ms. Harder essentially just said, “It’s the market, stupid” regarding the recent reduction of coal-fired energy production.

    • Jill122

      Looks like we’re the only two who heard her! Ummmm! Wonder why?

      • MrNutso

        Because those who normally extol the virtues of the market don’t believe it. It’s just he automatic gainsaying of arguments for government action.

  • Yar

    What would happen if wages are indexed to the cost of energy?

    • Jeff

      It’s actually an inverse relationship, if a business spends more on energy they have far less to spend on wages…good try to use government to do something that is nonsensical but it failed, it doesn’t even come close to the real economic relationship.

      • Yar

        Because profit must be considered first, everything else can go to hell. We have never paid the true cost of labor or energy.

  • jmpo’lock

    This discussion perfectly displays exactly why runaway climate change will be the doom of humanity. That fact that we are still “debating” the topic is crazy. We had a chance about 20 years ago to do something. Now it is far too late. The next couple generations WILL suffer, the third will likely be the last resembling a civilized society. After that it will resemble The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
    Just wait for the impending El Nino effect as the harbinger of the unstoppable feedback loops….

    • AlanThinks

      I agree with you. Check out Citizens Climate Lobby for the best effort yet to get everyone involved in reducing CO2 production

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The irony here is our large dependence on coal is a direct result of regulations that limited natural gas plants in the ’70s AND killing of the nuclear industry in the ’70s.

    The central planners are at it again.

    • Ray in VT

      How is that nuclear industry doing without getting the government to back it for insurance/hazard purposes?

      • northeaster17

        I think it should be called socialized insurance. That is the people and or governments pay for nuclear cleanups beyond a certain point and enable the insurance companies to survive and live to insure again. Nice work if you can get it.

    • Jill122

      Nuclear is stiff very iffy. Where are the spent fuel rods being stored? Didn’t bush promise a solution? But but but they’re still being stored under a thin coat of cement in South Carolina. No solution, And no one is paying attention, including you it appears. Some of those elements have a half life of 236 years.

      Two new plants going up in Georgia. But what did you expect. It’s the NYC of the South (of Mars).

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The entire volume of ALL waste produced in the history of US commercial production can fit in average size Best Buy warehouse.

        On site, dry cask storage is quite safe and manageable. The used fuel from the current gen plants are fuel for GEN IV plants like the LFTR. The waste volume of these plants is reduced by 90% and the radiation levels are natural background levels within 100 years. Problem solved.

        • jmpo’lock

          Tell that to the people of Chernobyl and Fukushima

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’ll take that as a non-response.

          • jmpo’lock

            The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening even though the melted-down nuclear power plant’s seaborne radiation is now washing up on American beaches.

            Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific.

            At least three extremely volatile fuel assemblies are stuck high in the air at Unit 4. Three years after the March 11, 2011, disaster, nobody knows exactly where the melted cores from Units 1, 2 and 3 might be.

            Amid a dicey cleanup infiltrated by organized crime, still more massive radiation releases are a real possibility at any time.

            Radioactive groundwater washing through the complex is enough of a problem that Fukushima Daiichi owner Tepco has just won approval for a highly controversial ice wall to be constructed around the crippled reactor site. No wall of this scale and type has ever been built, and this one might not be ready for two years. Widespread skepticism has erupted surrounding its potential impact on the stability of the site and on the huge amounts of energy necessary to sustain it. Critics also doubt it would effectively guard the site from flooding and worry it could cause even more damage should power fail.

            Meanwhile, children nearby are dying. The rate of thyroid cancers among some 250,000 area young people is more than 40 times normal. According to health expert Joe Mangano, more than 46 percent have precancerous nodules and cysts on their thyroids. This is “just the beginning” of a tragic epidemic, he warns.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            How many deaths from the nuclear problem? ZERO.
            Death toll from the tsunami? 16,000

            “Why Increased Thyroid Cancer Rates In Fukushima Kids Isn’t Necessarily A Cause For Concern”

            Turns out it is just increased testing.

            http://www.businessinsider.com/fukishima-cancer-cluster-increased-testing-2014-3#ixzz33ae4N600

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            What happened to: “it’s modernization”?

          • jmpo’lock

            Yup. Radiation is so passé…

    • TFRX

      You move to Yucca Mountain, if it’s so goddamned safe.

      • Ray in VT

        Yeah, Nevadans are just wild about having a nuclear waste dump in their backyard.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Where did I mention Yucca mt?

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Where will we store nuclear waste?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I addressed that earlier.

            The entire volume of waste produced in the history of US nuclear power generation can fit within an average Best Buy warehouse. This is useful to understand the scale of the problem.

            New MSR GEN IV reactors are being developed to use this waste (which still has 90% of the potential energy) as fuel. Once this is ‘burned’ the resulting waste only needs 100-200 years of storage and the volume is reduced by another 90%.

            In the interim, dry cask, onsite storage is both safe and cost effective.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So … the Best Buy nearest to where you live, then?

            Who pays for the long term storage?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Oh Neil…..

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            You want nuclear power? Where will we store the waste?

            It has been 60+ years – and no one has figured it out. Why do you want to make more nuclear waste?

            That is the definition of insanity.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Neil, the new designs BURN the old waste. What’s not to like?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They cost way too much, they still are dangerous, they still have lots of energy overhead, and they are sensitive to overheating on hot days – which will continue to get hotter as the climate warms up.

          • Don_B1

            Even if it physically could fit in that space, it would not be safe there because the waste must be spaced out to avoid heating up and bursting its containers.

  • OnPointComments

    As the New York Times reports:

    On Monday, Mr. Obama is bypassing Congress and taking one of the biggest steps any American president has ever taken on climate change, proposing new rules to cut emissions at power plants. Yet, by itself, the president’s plan will barely nudge the global emissions that scientists say are threatening the welfare of future generations.

    • Jill122

      Amazing isn’t it. We take a baby step to regulate CO2 and the republicans are calling it a war on the economy. They spend $24 billion (with a B) to close the government down and well, hey, that’s a perk of the Republican House.

      • OnPointComments

        How much does the baby step cost? The Chamber of Commerce estimates 224,000 jobs, $289 billion hike in electricity bills, and $500 billion taken from household income. All to “barely nudge” global emissions.

        • Don_B1

          The cost number from the Chamber of Commerce is $52 billion, which works out as less than $2 in every $1000 of GDP.

          In a poll, Americans accepted that they could pay $20 more a year for less climate weirding.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Harry Reid shut down the government when he refused to take up the funding bill. The GOP “shut down” only lasted 24 hours.

        • Don_B1

          Bullpucky!

          The bill he refused to take up was unacceptable!

  • MrNutso

    A new WAPO/ABC News poll shows that 70% of americans support limiting greenhouse gasses including 60%+ identified as Republicans.

    • AlanThinks

      Climate change will expose the lies of the Republican party

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        We’re waiting. How long do we have to wait? 1000 years?

        • jmpo’lock

          Less than 100

          • Don_B1

            Much much less; more like 10 years or less!

            It is already getting obvious for many (most!) and more are signing on to accepting climate change and its dangers every day.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    So Obama is lying — again.

    Regulate coal particulates. Scrubber technology exists and is affordable. However, no power company will invest in the scrubber IF CO2 will also be regulated.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      What are you on about? The EPA is required to regulate all pollutants – the ones you can see and the ones that you can’t.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Sorry, it was something reported during the show that the EPA was pulling a bait and switch….I extrapolated to: “Obama is lying again”

        Sue me.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          You are on the wrong side of history.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not on any side.

            My position is the models are wrong — proven by observation. Further, many people have criticized the methodology of the models (not sound science). They make a compelling case.

            My best guess is neither side (alarmist or skeptic) knows what the future holds. Some brilliant minds (like Freeman Dyson) agree with that position.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The data show the models to be right – and with new data, the models are getting more accurate.

            What part of collapsing land ice don’t you get?

    • Don_B1

      Why?

      Some won’t if the plant is old, but then they probably won’t do it for the cost for an old plant that has limited life left.

      But they won’t hesitate to blame that on the CO2 reduction!

      • TFRX

        Nothing like “power plant owners bitching and whining” to bring out the defenders of them in thses parts.

  • Coastghost

    Flying and aeronautics make critical contributions to Technogenic Climate Change in terms of ozone depletion: if the EPA were going after Boeing the way it’s going after coal country, Seattle might not have been able to initiate its philanthropy with minimum wages yesterday.

    • AlanThinks

      The EPA, on behalf of all Americans, is going after CO2 production.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Electricity production is the largest source of carbon dioxide, and ground transportation is the second largest. These two together are huge. Third largest is agriculture (nitrous oxide from artificial fertilizers) and deforestation is probably next.

  • Yar

    The coal companies are planing on opening the northwest passage to send coal to India. They need global warming to make their profit model work.

  • drwacker

    How can we make sure the price of natural gas stays low? Restrict the amount of LNG that the producers can export. Why should the American people allow the gas producers make huge profits from one of OUR resources by selling it overseas? When the Middle East sells its crude oil outside its borders, that oil is the “property” of the nation and the profits essentially go to support the government’s programs (yes, I know some of the governments aren’t very good, but the “profits” are not going strictly to some private corporation. Let’s not allow all our gas to leave the country, raising our price while we cause damage to the land it’s taken from.

    • AlanThinks

      The costs of climate change will outstrip any increased costs from this regulation

      • twenty_niner

        The problem is CO2 molecules don’t nicely stay within the country of origin. The US currently accounts for less than 20% of global emissions, and unless there’s a global treaty, this regulation isn’t going to make dent in CO2 PPM.

        • jmpo’lock

          First 20% is a low estimate, but even so is a lot. Second: two wrongs don’t make a right.

        • hennorama

          twenty_niner — Absolutely!

          We can’t do anything about it alone, therefore the problem doesn’t merit action.

          Hell, we’re all gonna die anyway, so why bother worrying about the future, right?

          (AKA: NIMLT — Not In My LifeTime)

          • twenty_niner

            There are plenty of things we can do beyond playing the sucker at the poker table.

            If we’re taxing carbon (in effect), we should at least tax everyone’s carbon who does business with US, which means tariffs on imports from countries that don’t have similar CO2 regulations.

          • Don_B1

            The U.S. has to show that it can live up to a treaty for others to want to sign up to that treaty.

            It is interesting to see that when President Obama wants to lead from the front, his detractors revile him even more than when he is leading from further back.

  • Jeff

    So how much is this going to cost me, the average energy customer? Not just the increase in energy rates (which have been estimated at a 36% increase) but the increase in cost of all products…since all of them require use of energy to be created and/or shipped to my house.

    • Citizen James

      About 1% according to a study by the US Chamber of Commerce.

      • OnPointComments

        Please don’t give us Krackpot Krugman.

        • AlanThinks

          Since when are Nobel Prize winning economists krackpots?

          • Jeff

            You do realize he didn’t win the nobel prize for economics, right?

          • Ray in VT

            So his prize in “economic sciences” isn’t for economics?

        • Citizen James

          It’s the US Chamber of Commerce. As for Krugmann, until you win a Nobel Prize -or make a contribution to society other than trolling- your insult makes you look like a crackpot.

          • Jeff

            Seriously, Krugman is a crackpot…he actually suggested that an alien invasion attacking us would be good for the economy…here you go:

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/paul-krugman-alien-invasion_n_1609805.html

          • Don_B1

            He said, in jest, that a believable threat of an alien invasion might be one thing that would get the world leaders to act together. He did not hold out any hope that it would happen.

            He was lamenting the incredible, narrow-minded greedy thinking of people like you who are fully willing to sacrifice the future of humanity for short-term profit.

      • Jeff

        Once you put Krugman there it nullifies your argument, that’s the same guy who was defending the housing market while it was collapsing…he disregards basic economics at every turn.

        • Don_B1

          And once YOU make a deliberate misinterpretation of Mr. Krugman’s statement, you are displaying your aspirations to be a crackpot in using ad hominem attacks on any and all who you do not have any facts to prove wrong.

    • Don_B1

      The total increase in costs is estimated at under 0.2%.

      But just for you, it will be possible for you to pay maybe 50% more as that might counteract the increases to come because of the delay in implementing mitigation of the CO2 from burning fossil fuels that you have supported.

      I understand that the CEOs of fossil fuel extraction companies are being served notice that they will be sued for their obstruction of CO2 mitigation. Why don’t you volunteer to also be sued for your obstruction?

      • Jeff

        As soon as you pay the CO2 tax for exhaling…I just don’t trust the people who fly around on aircraft spreading the message that CO2 is killing the planet. Don’t be a hypocrite and give up your car, get off the electric grid and use solar/wind off the grid…don’t use natural gas for heating. Until you do those things you’re just a hypocrite with an agenda.

  • Scott B

    Want to creat jobs on WV and Kentucky? How about cleaning up the massive amount of environment damage mining has caused in those states? WV has been using rivers as a dumping ground for decade, and still does, and that without the accidents.

    • Ray in VT

      But there’s no profit in cleaning up that sort of mess, at least not for industry.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        There are jobs, and eventually a cleaner environment would yield very important profits.

        • Ray in VT

          There are jobs, and the long term benefits are quite good, but I don’t expect private industry to take the lead. I think that cleanup would probably have to come from state or federal government.

          • Don_B1

            Unless they can take the coal companies to court and get them to pay for it.

    • Don_B1

      They could also build wind farms on the tops of the mountains that the coal companies want to “top-off” if they can get there first! Those wind farms would provide a lot of jobs, more than the mines.

      But there is environmental damage enough to keep the state employed for decades.

  • Yar

    How much sea level rise will it take for Florida to reach its carbon reduction goals?

    • jmpo’lock

      When Rubio has to don his snorkel!

  • Charles

    ‘Texas Warming’ sounds like a pretty good concept for a reality TV show.

    • TFRX

      “Dale, it’s Texas. It’s a hundred and eight in the shade, and if it gets one degree warmer, I’m gonna kick your ass!”

      (h/t Hank Hill, the now-disappeared reasonable conservative archetype)

      • Ray in VT

        “We’ll grow orange trees in Alaska.” – Dale Gribble.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    Yeah, nuclear power has almost no problems at all.

    Renewable is the only viable way to keep energy coming into the future.

  • Yar

    We should measure the carbon emissions on all products we use. Then we will move manufacturing back onshore.

    • AlanThinks

      Carbon fee would do that

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    There is no solution to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Michael Mann has fabricated data to create a false panic about increasing sea levels.

    • AlanThinks

      Go find yourself another planet to live on, please

    • wgp2

      Michael Mann the famous movie director is a climate schemer? And I though he just made movies.

    • Don_B1

      You have no proof of what you are saying and Mr. Mann is quite likely to win a lawsuit against those who have alleged such things against him. That result could not happen to more deserving people, if they are bankrupted! Watch out that you don’t joint them.

  • Coastghost

    So why don’t broadcasters (commercial and public) which make their make money, Tom Ashbrook, in no small measure warning us of Technogenic Climate Change month-by-month, year-by-year, decade-by-decade simply CUT their production and broadcast schedules by 30% (let’s say, by eight hours a day) by 2030?
    Yes, Tom Ashbrook?

    • Jill122

      cause keeping us barefoot, and stupid is not NPRs job. Tell Faux to cut their broadcasting by half.

      • Coastghost

        I cited both commercial and public broadcasters.

  • jmpo’lock

    I really don’t understand why all those “freedom” loving conservatives enjoy being wage slaves to the fossil fuel industries! If everyone switched to solar/wind/geo-thermal with hydrogen fuel generators THEN they’d truly be free…and all the dough wasted on utilities could be re-directed to productive economic ends.

    What ever happened to the “can-do” moon shot type American attitude? Now it’s all “we can’t do that, It’s too expensive, We can’t can’t can’t can’t……or is it won’t won’t won’t!!!

    • Jill122

      or guns! look how many more guns could be purchased!

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      you don’t realize how much more it costs for solar vs coal. solar is about 5x more.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        That is not true, actually. Solar is much lower cost now. Second lowest next to land based wind, actually.

      • jmpo’lock

        Cheaper does not mean better. You can eat crap too, its cheaper!
        But in fact, after the initial capital investment (yes, some delayed gratification required) solar drops to near zero outside maintenance.
        Like investing for retirement. Either you save now, and live large later, or you waste it all and be indigent later

    • Charles

      Solyndra!

      • Don_B1

        Have you ever made an investment that looked good at the time and later flamed out?

        Solyndra was initially selected during the Bush administration, when the program that eventually made the loan guarantee began.

        That program, right in the legislation, anticipated a failure rate that would cost the government some $2 billion. And it looks like the total cost will be much lower than that.

        It was a shame that the Chinese government’s subsidization of PV manufacturing in China cut the legs out from under Solyndra’s product, but it was expected that there would be a few products that would fail in the marketplace, and Solyndra was an example of that.

    • HonestDebate1

      It is not possible for everyone to switch. We must use fossil fuels or die.

  • Scott B

    They might have reduced CO2 emissions down from coal because of natural gas, but the EPA is also saying that the methane being emitted from gas well is under the 3% limit, when in reality it’s exceeding 10%. But the EPA accepts the numbers from the gas industry, which is the fox reporting how on many chickens are in the hen house. Keep in mind that methane is around 80X more damaging towards climate change than CO2!
    It’s not just from wells, but bad gas infrastructure, where some lines are leaking enough to blow up, like it did in California. Manhole covers are flagged explosive areas in places like Philadelphia and other major cities all over the US.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Obama is going to try and punish the states that voted for Romney. Then his friends in Chicago at the CCX (Chicago Climate Exchange) will cash in.

    • Ray in VT

      Obviously.

      • Jill122

        State by state destruction — well, maybe he won’t hurt Jay R. But who knows, he’s trying to kill us all by cleaning up the air and the environment. Jobs are more important than air and our kids and grandkids know it!!!

    • AlanThinks

      Your cynicism is reflective of the heads in the sand Republican party position on global heating/climate change.

    • Pleiades

      Some of us are profitting already, Big Brother. And, profitting beyond your wildest President Obama complaints.

      Why not put your money where your comments are? Go to your broker, and tell him (or her) that you want to find Climate Change businesses to “short”. Got the cajones, little brother?

  • Euphoriologist

    Let us all hope we as a species are up to the challenge of building upon the small steps like the EPA’s announcement to head off the global crisis we face.

    Unfortunately, rather than a bold, collective effort to address the challenge of our generation, it’s looking more likely that we will muddle our way through with a hodge-podge of uncoordinated, country-specific, loosely-enforced, minimally-disruptive policies that may mitigate the worst-case scenarios but still allow significant and avoidable damage to our health, economy, environment, foreign policy, and standards-of-living to proceed significantly.

    Worst of all, those populations who contributed the least to global warming will be hurt the most as this global climate experiment plays out over the century. Rich, developed countries will be forced to pay back the rest of the world for generations in innumerable ways to prevent various humanitarian disasters that will pop up all over the globe and make up for our collective political failure to act in time.

  • Jamison

    To his solar point-this will take care of that and make jobs and pay for its self.
    http://www.solarroadways.com/intro.shtml

    • Jill122

      Let’s see how the project that has been crowd-sourced goes. My son, who knows something about this, is very skeptical.

      • Jamison

        It not just a BS crowd-soured thing. (I hate crowed-sourcing) The Federal Highway Administration put money into it as well. It time to start trying some of these things and learning from them.

  • X Y & Z

    Study: New EPA Reg to Cost Half-Trillion in Compliance, 224,000 Jobs Per Year

    http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/tyler-mcnally/study-new-epa-reg-cost-half-trillion-compliance-224000-jobs-year

    - One million Americans left the workforce in April
    - Negative economic growth
    Apparently Obama isn’t finished wrecking the US economy.

    • Jill122

      did you expect anything different from CNS?? I sure didn’t. I’m surprised they even weighed in — they don’t believe in science.

      • X Y & Z

        You can’t dispute the hard evidence or the truth.

      • Don_B1

        They got the “half-trillion” by adding the $50.2 billion over 10 years, but then gave the jobs as a per-year number, so you would think they were equivalent periods!

        Welcome to the dis-ingenuity of the radical right!

        But remember that is in an economy with an average GDP of $21.5 trillion (CBO estimate) so it will mean $2 in every $1000 of GDP. A survey indicates people would be quite willing to pay $20 more in their electric bills to cover their part of that.

        But scare tactics work when people do not examine the scary statements that XY&Z and his like promote.

    • jmpo’lock

      That’s a heck of a lot cheaper and livable than the complete collapse of our ecosystem and the ensuing climate wars…

    • Ray in VT

      Well, those workers that left the workforce in April somehow caused the first quarter negative economic growth.

      I’m not really inclined to trust the Chamber of Commerce’s numbers.

      • X Y & Z

        Once again, you make claims without providing any evidence.

        • Ray in VT

          Check out the other studies on the impacts.

      • hennorama

        Ray in VT — please DNFTT. Drone-bots are impervious to reason.

    • StilllHere

      Thanks for the facts, I expect to see plenty of opinion in response.

      • X Y & Z

        Man made global warming is probably the biggest scam in world history. The science proves it.

        • Ray in VT

          Your comments just get funnier all of the time.

  • Jasoturner

    Regardless of how effective this Executive Order (or whatever it was) is in reducing emissions, it will at least take the cost benefit debate out of the theological (i.e. received wisdom) and provide a laboratory where we can generate some empirical data. Will jobs be created or destroyed? Will increased energy costs be offset by lower insurance and health care costs? Are novel energy saving and energy producing technologies pipe dreams or achievable solutions? Will humans decide to place incremental value on products and services with a smaller carbon footprint? Will reducing ocean acidification allow us to save coral and fish species that are presently imperiled? Can we break the monopolistic back of centralized energy suppliers and evolve to decentralized power generation that includes renewables?

    It should be interesting.

    • Jill122

      Can we break the monopolistic back of centralized energy suppliers and evolve to decentralized power generation that includes renewables?

      ======
      That is so key and I truly hope that the Tea Party and the Libertarians can see the value of changing the relationship between individuals and big industry. Getting off the grid (or even contributing to the larger energy needs of their communities) would see like a natural for these two groups and the place where liberals and the tea party/libertarians could actually agree.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Obama needs to be arrested for treason. Forget impeachment.

    • Ray in VT

      Why don’t you try to make a citizen’s arrest and see how the Secret Service likes it?

      • http://www.google.com Big Brother

        So, you agree he is a treasonist. We are just chicken.

        • Ray in VT

          Nope. I am just encouraging you to act on your convictions.

  • Jo Bleaux

    In discussions of climate change and energy conservation, why do I never see motor sports brought up? Yes, I’ve switched to fluorescent bulbs, and consolidate car trips, etc. But, what I save every year is really nothing compared to what is burned up in one race.

    • StilllHere

      Or one trot around the globe for Al Gore in his private jet.

      • Jill122

        LOL! Still blaming Gore for Global Warming?

        • StilllHere

          No, just his gigantic carbon face-plant.

        • Jeff

          Well it is hypocritical to tell people not to do something and then do it yourself.

        • OnPointComments

          No, he’s blaming Al Gore for the typical arrogant, condescending liberal message that means “Do as I say, not as I do.”
          Liberals love to make rules with the subtext “I meant these rules for you, not for me.”

    • Jill122

      Let’s not take away everything all at once. One industry at a time. Besides, it’s very likely they are working on alternative fuels even as we write. Getting people to take buses to the races might be a little more difficult. But that’s true wherever large groups of us congregate.

      http://green.nascar.com/nascar-green-gets-first-place-in-daytona-500

    • Charles

      I entirely agree. Living in the heart of NASCAR country, I always lament the waste in that industry.
      They race cars that get 4 mpg for sport!

      • Pierre Demers

        I didn’t realize that they use so little fuel. 4 mpg sound like they’re pretty efficient.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      NPR supports the death of freedom.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      There is a company that makes hot sauce near me. Sometimes I can smell it.

    • Jo Bleaux

      I’m not advocating banning racing. But, surely there’s a need for discussion of how the industry can conserve energy.

  • wgp2

    Bryce tries to make cogent points about why we *should* stick with carbon-intensive energy sources but his entire premise is founded upon the fact “it is because that’s what we’re using”. Bryce doesn’t talk about the externalization of the negative impacts of continuing down the carbon-based energy path while giving lip service to any discussion of hard investments in ‘upscaling’ renewables and nuclear to displace the carbon fuels industries.

    The arguments made by the carbon fuels industry tend to stand on this platform – we can’t rely on renewables or energy efficiency “because it won’t scale up” never admitting the fact that the hard capital investments, including heavy Federal & State subsidization of coal, gas and oil has what made them scalable and cost effective. The carbon industry is defending their status quo feed trough – realizing that the end of carbon is closer than they care to admit.

    What the carbon-tax achieves is two-fold – 1) it prompts the market to respond to lowering their own carbon emissions and 2) increasing efficiency across the market as a whole.

    I would add a 3rd aspect to the carbon tax – those revenues should be directly poured into hard capital investments and incentives for renewables.

    The carbon tax also incentivizes businesses and consumers to also look at their own energy footprint and making simple changes to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiencies.

  • Davesix6

    So when the price of energy skyrockets and we have coast to coast brownouts and rolling blackouts, guess the left will try and blame it on Bush and the evil Republicans.

    • MrNutso

      Okay.

    • http://www.google.com Big Brother

      That’s because it is always Bush’s fault.

    • wgp2

      Brownouts have nothing to do with carbon taxes. Those are because the utility companies don’t maintain their convoluted power grid (built w/ tax payer money btw).

      Remember Enron and the rolling brown and blackouts in California? Absolutely nothing to do with carbon taxes or renewables and everything to do with market manipulation and deregulated energy markets.

      But hey…don’t let facts stand in your way.

    • Don_B1

      Renewable energy will have much more predictable and slowly growing costs than the vagaries of shale oil and gas, for each of which the wells are relatively short-time producers and new wells must constantly be drilled.

      Each new field will be in harder to extract the oil/gas from and therefore more expensive.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The central planners here in MA have shown us the future:

    Cape Wind contract with Natural Grid utility for wholesale power:

    $.20/kwh year 1 (5x market rates)
    (3.5% automatic annual increases)
    $.36/kwh after the annual increases

    All of this AFTER the no-bid zero cost lease and federal and state subsidies.

    Not scalable. Screw the consumers. Hurt the economy.

    • X Y & Z

      That must be why they call it Taxachusetts.

  • http://www.google.com Big Brother

    Time to tell grandma her heating bill is going to be $2,000 per month.

    • Yar

      Time to go insulate her house, she is looking forward to your visit.

    • wgp2

      False. Thanks to your desire to increase emissions and contributing to global climate change and temperature increases, grandma won’t need heat. She just needs a cold glass of ice tea and a shady porch.

  • warryer

    It’s a matter of energy density and efficiency. Solar and wind represent low density sources. Which means we need to take up more space…. More of that precious environment. How much space are you willing to sacrifice to live off of renewables?

    http://theenergycollective.com/robertwilson190/257481/why-power-density-matters

    • Don_B1

      How much of West Virginia will be left habitable when mountain-top removal mining has made the whole state a sewer of toxic heavy elements and sterile expanses?

      That same state (currently) has mountain-tops which will stay green with wind turbines placed on top of them generating an equivalent amount of energy for ever and even more jobs than the number employed in the coal mines.

      • warryer

        Using renewable energy sources is going to have some unknown impact on weather patterns.

        Wind is essentially a form of solar power. (Air pressure is generated by the differences in global temperatures).

        By adding wind turbines you are adding resistance to the natural flow of wind. This is going to mean increased temperature differences. Higher highs and lower lows on the local scale.

        Solar is going to soak up ~10% (current efficiency) of the energy falling on the earth and transport it away to the cities. This will decrease the temperatures of deserts in which solar plants are stationed. Start adding more efficiency and the effect is more dramatic. A large scale operation could end up terraforming our deserts.

    • wgp2

      How about we put solar arrays on every building top and parking lot in cities and suburbs. Single point energy production and distribution is old tyme thinking. Displaced grid production w/ solar and wind are where it’s at. Why rely on a big ‘ol bad corporation or government to tell you where to get your energy from when you can get solar on your house and be a freedom-loving energy independent patriot giving the middle finger to the Man.

      • warryer

        Personally I’d like to see more rooftop farming over rooftop solar panels.

  • warryer

    Even before the discussion on energy… Why is the president allowed to impose orders on the country without Congress? Sounds tyrannical.

    Dictator Barack Hussein

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Caesar at home; Chamberlain abroad.

      • Ray in VT

        Not even funny when you posted it a few days ago.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I heard it last week. It was so good that I stole it. Can’t attribute it because it was txt into a local radio show.

          • Ray in VT

            Feh.

        • pete18

          It was a riot both times, particularly because it is so…spot…on.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, I’m sure that you think that it was.

          • pete18

            I know, it’s tough to laugh at an accurate parody of a guy you’ve invested so much emotional hope in. Particularly when the joke so concisely captures the disaster of his presidency. Maybe you can cheer yourself up with some old Bush jokes.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s just tough to laugh at inaccurate nonsense. Perhaps that some are able to explains the appeal of the likes of Rush, Savage and Beck.

          • pete18

            Here, I’ll help you get through the denial stage,

            Yesterday in Australia, a TV comedian dressed himself up over there as Osama Bin Laden and got within feet of Bush’s hotel. They got him, and the Bush spokesman said it was obviously not the real Bin Laden because they caught him.” –Bill Maher

          • Ray in VT

            Who’s denying what, exactly? Warts and all I’ll take Obama over the alternatives that I had.

          • pete18

            Caesar at home; Chamberlain abroad.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup. Still not funny or accurate.

          • pete18

            And to think, you’ve still got to get through “pain and guilt” and “anger and bargaining,” Wow, long summer in front of you.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, the pain part is easy. Just keep on reading the painfully simplistic and ridiculous attacks on the President. Perhaps I should feel guilty for how society has failed such posters, but even my Catholic guilt doesn’t go that far. I have long since ceased to be angry with the promoters of such idiocy, and I don’t think that they can be bargained with. Problem solved.

          • StilllHere

            The Obamapologists have no sense of humor.

          • Ray in VT

            Working on the assumption that you are referring to me as an “Obamapologist”, which is, as far as I can tell, someone who doesn’t buy into every conspiracy churned out the sites such as World Nut Daily: Sure I do. You guys crack me up all of the time.

    • MrNutso

      The Supreme Court ruled that the EPA (part of the executive branch) has the power to regulate greenhouse gases. Now the EPA will write rules to implement the process.

    • Don_B1

      Are you really that ignorant? You have to be aware that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law that created the mandate for the E.P.A. to regulate pollution applied to the generation of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels if the E.P.A. could show that those emissions created a health or property risk to people, in just the same way as arsenic or mercury or sulfur and nitrogen oxides do.

      But apparently you just like seeing your snark out there, probably pleasing some juvenile tickle bone in your mind.

      • warryer

        Yep and the prison guards were just following orders. All hail mighty government.

        • manganbr

          You won’t really convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with you with that kind of analogy, so I don’t know why you think it’s even worth the energy. You see things too simplistically. The president is elected and will step down in two years, unlike the people you’re comparing him to. These orders could be (and probably will be) challenged in the courts, unlike in a fascist state. Otherwise though, his actions are well within the realm of legality based on past precedents. The majority of the pubic supports the decision to do something on carbon emissions. If you want to critique government so as to make it better, that’s one thing, but if you’re just mocking the idea of our democratic government altogether, than I suggest you go find a desert island somewhere.

      • tbphkm33

        I do believe you answered your own question… “warryer” appears to be that ignorant :)

    • Ray in VT

      I know, using an agency to issue a regulation in line with court precedent. How does he get away with this?

  • wgp2

    Proponents of nuclear tend to throw out a few facts for why we need to increase nuclear (industry hacks like Rob Bryce) but never address a few underlying issues that they ignore consistently with regards to upscaling US nuclear investments.

    First, nuclear proponents see it as the panacea to displacing coal now vs. renewables, Federal emissions regulations or carbon taxes. Typically this position is undergirded by general facts which are 1) countries like China, India, France are increasing nuclear investments or nuclear already provides significant % of their energy portfolio and 2) it has zero carbon emissions.

    This is the crux of the matter when it comes to the nuclear cheerleaders. They have no answer as to HOW the US would upscale nuclear power to meet our current energy needs let alone future demands WITHOUT direct Federal operation and funding.

    The US private nuclear industry currently operates at multi-year losses and that’s even with Federally backed loan guarantees. However, market investors are moving away from nuclear in the US because the industry can’t make the numbers work.

    Any serious discussion of nuclear also needs to come to face with the fact that 300 nuclear power plants would have to come on line immediately to displace coal and natural gas to meet our current energy demands. It takes approximately 10 years of permitting and construction to build a nuclear power plant – and that’s streamlined. That means, in real-world time.

    In order for the US to upscale that quickly, it would require the US & State governments to directly fund, construct and operate the plants. As it stands, the private nuclear industry can’t get capital investments on the open market. Without direct Federal investment, nuclear can’t and won’t scale up.

    • twenty_niner

      “It takes approximately 10 years of permitting and construction to build a nuclear power plant – and that’s streamlined”

      Quite a few new fission technologies have been invented since the Fubarshima BWR designs proliferated the landscape. New smaller and significantly safer designs such as traveling wave and pebble bed can be brought on line in much less time and expense. These produce less and more manageable waste, and in the case of traveling wave, actually consume their own waste.

      http://terrapower.com/pages/traveling-wave-reactor

      • Don_B1

        And where have they actually been built?

        • twenty_niner

          China started construction of a 250-MWt pebble-bed reactor in 2012.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTR-10

          TerraPower is developing a 600 megawatt-electric demonstration reactor due to start up around 2022.

          http://terrapower.com/pages/twr-p

          • Don_B1

            Doesn’t appear to be that much faster to build, and China is notorious for minimal regulation that would not fly here (particularly the siting requirements).

          • twenty_niner

            “Doesn’t appear to be that much faster to build”

            The references are version 1.0, so construction times will be longer than typical to work our the kinks. Ultimately, they are significantly simpler designs in terms of the fuel/waste infrastructure and plants themselves, so as the designs are sussed out, construction time and cost will come down precipitously.

          • wgp2

            I’m not saying that nuclear can’t upscale but in order for that to occur in the US, we can’t rely on the market to deliver. The Chinese government directly funds its nuclear portfolio. We don’t do that here in the US.

            Without legitimate Federal funding, all the advances in nuclear design and fuel recycling won’t be built here in the US. And it will still take TerraPower 8 years from now to get that advanced plant on-line. And that’s just a demonstration reactor.

            I’m not anti-nuclear. I think it can be a viable part of the US energy portfolio but I’m also a realist in that it won’t be able to upscale without massive direct Federal funding. IF the Right can accept that fact and get behind it, then I’ll take their nuclear cheerleading seriously but saying “lets do more nuclear” while ignoring the investment cost and believe wishful thinking will get it built doesn’t do much to address the issue.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not sure if “massive” funding is required but regulatory reform IS required. The NRC is set up to protect entrenched interests and stifle innovation.

            The importance to our energy security might justify direct funding as well or at least a public/private joint venture.

          • wgp2

            Right now the private nuclear industry can’t get financing from capital markets because the capital markets see nuclear as a loss leader. Even with Federal guarantees on the loans!

            Of course regulatory reform is needed but coal and gas will fight that like they fight renewables. Because it threatens their bottom lines.

            Quite frankly using coal for energy production is 18th century technology. We can and should be doing something better with our time, energy, technology and investment capital.

            PP3 projects can / could work but I think the carbon tax is a way to expedite the nuclear upscaling issue. Imagine you tax carbon and suddenly the barriers to investing in nuclear become more promising.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Sorry, but these regulations are for EXISTING coal plants. It is bad enough to have stupid regulations on new plants but destroying working plants is the opposite of conservation.

          • twenty_niner

            “Right now the private nuclear industry can’t get financing from capital markets because the capital markets see nuclear as a loss leader. ”

            TerraPower is privately funded. If version 1.0 is successful, they will likely license the design to Bechtel, Westinghouse, GE, etc.

    • Pierre Demers

      Nuclear energy is still a non-renewable energy source thus it contributes to global warming.

      • twenty_niner

        “still a non-renewable energy source thus it contributes to global warming”

        ???

      • tbphkm33

        You are absolutely right – the carbon bill is front loaded when it comes to nuclear plants, lots of pollution in building those facilities. Also on the back end, when it comes to containing and burying the nuclear waste. There is no free lunch out there. Nuclear power still has a massive carbon bill attached to it. Just manufacturing cement is a carbon intensive effort.

  • HonestDebate1

    The Rayon used in the production of wind turbines is made from fossil fuels. Just sayin’…

    • Yar

      The most appropriate use of fossil fuel.

      • HonestDebate1

        Fair enough, I just hope there is enough regulation.

    • Pierre Demers

      Plastics are a product made from fossil fuels, but when plastics are burned as waste, that is energy from fossil fuels and must be considered when discussing global warming.

    • JGC

      From Wind Power Monthly (I read ‘em all!) “Complexities of (wind turbine) Recycling Begin to Bite” by Erin Gill. It has an ominous title, but it actually sounds quite positive, since many parts of the turbine are reclaimable, and as for the polymer blades, about 80% are being refurbished and set up in other countries, and some in Germany are being repurposed into cement mixes for strengthening building materials. That is making a whole subindustry for recycling old wind turbines, which seem to have about a 20-year lifespan.

      http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1124486/complexities-recycling-begin-bite

      • HonestDebate1

        That’s good.

  • Brenda Robert

    Let us all hope we as a species are up to the challenge of building upon the small steps like the EPA’s announcement to head off the global crisis we face.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      What will the EPA’s decision accomplish? The EPA itself claims only 0.018C of warming by 2100.

      At what cost though? Lost jobs? More manufacturing moving to China? Lower economic growth?

      • JGC

        According to the program today, more manufacturing jobs are and will be moving to the U.S. to take advantage of natural gas supplies.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          We don’t have an unlimited supply of natural gas. It is crazy that we are rushing to export what we have. Also, note that the show described the EPA used the artificially low 2012 nat. gas prices in their models. The prices are 2x more expensive today.

          It is important to have a balanced mix of power sources.

          • JGC

            Fair and balanced?

        • hennorama

          JGC — and let’s not forget the recent good news, that China made a natural gas deal with Russia.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Good news?

          • hennorama

            WftC — TYFYR.

            Definitely good news.

            Reduces future coal use and resultant CO2, particulate, and other pollution in China, and reduces pressure to export natural gas (in the form of LNG) out of the U.S., which you criticized as “crazy…that we are rushing to export,” below.

          • StilllHere

            Sorry, missed the announcement from China about all the coal plants they are shutting down. Please post link.

          • hennorama

            Stilllhere — TYFYR.

            Perhaps you missed the word “future” in my post.

            Please goest think.

          • StilllHere

            Sorry, I missed the announcement from China about all the coal plants they are going to shut down in the future. Please post link.

          • Ray in VT

            Did you get the announcement years ago from the power plants here that announced that they were going to shut down years in the future when more natural gas started to make its way to the market?

          • hennorama

            Stilllhere — TYFYR.

            Please goest think:

            [Natural gas as fuel, in coal's stead,] Reduces future coal use and resultant CO2, particulate, and other pollution in China …

            Kinda simple.

            Requires no “announcement from China about all the coal plants they are going to shut down in the future,” as China’s future energy use is projected to increase, not remain the same, or decline.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • StilllHere

            Please post a link where China says they’re going to build fewer coal-burning power plants because they’re going to build more natural gas power plants. Maybe they’ll just build fewer nuclear, oil and solar power plants. Maybe the natural gas is solely for heating or will supplant wood burning cooking appliances.

          • hennorama

            Stillllhere — TYFYR.

            No doubt your strong interest in your line of “thought” will motivate you to pursue your own evidence.

            Please goest think.

            Thanks again.

          • StilllHere

            So you agree your original post was garbage, compostable, but still garbage.

          • hennorama

            Stilllhere — TYFYR.

            Agree with anything written by a “thinker” such as yourself? Not bloody likely.

            What is readily apparent is your failure to refute my comments, and your lack of personal motivation.

            TYAFYR.

          • Lee E

            There’s this announcement from China today. (Reuters) – “China said on Tuesday it will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016″.
            http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/03/us-china-climatechange-idUSKBN0EE0ML20140603

          • Ray in VT

            I would be interested to see how this works out, although one wonders if we can trust their numbers, as some of their economic growth numbers are sometimes to often thought to be questionable.

          • JGC

            Here are a couple of reasons why the Chinese have to address their own air quality problems — talent won’t go to China because of the pollution, and likewise, the U.S. and Canada are among net importer nations of überwealthy ex-pat Chinese pollution refugees:

            http://businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-10/chinas-pollution-costs-companies-in-air-filters-employee-perks

            http://time.com/28858/china-smog

          • Ray in VT

            Some of the stories regarding air pollution in Chinese cities are pretty astounding. I think that above all the Communist Party wants stability in China, and one would think that they are going to need to address the air pollution situation if they want to maintain that stability in the future.

          • hennorama

            JGC — the air “quality” in many cities in China is reminiscent of that in London and other major industrial cities during the Industrial Revolution, but is not quite as bad as London’s “air” in early December 1952, which led to an estimated minimum of 4,000 deaths.

            Yet.

            The period between December 4 and December 8 saw such a marked increase in death in the London metropolitan area that the most conservative estimates place the death toll at 4,000, with some estimating that the smog killed as many as 8,000 people.

            See:
            http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/smog-kills-thousands-in-england
            http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-10-31/china-s-smog-can-t-compete-with-london-s-pea-soup

          • JGC

            That is sooo interesting! My husband’s family is from Yorkshire, the heart of the industrial revolution, and we have had occasion to go back to the “olde country” from time to time. Once, we commented on how the locals were sandblasting the buildings to remove the grime and soot from the exterior stone — the non-sandblasted buildings were literally as black as coal, compared to the refreshed light gray of the cleaned homes– but Grandma, just frowned and said, it was part of their history, and removing the black grime was erasing that history. OK, Grandma, we’ll leave the coal smoke on yours, and then we can charge admission to curious visitors who want to see what it was like to live in the good, old days…

            Also, this makes me think of GIS, geographic information systems, how they use historical geographic information to create overlapping maps over periods of time to help visualize a story. Somebody has probably already done a GIS map showing various implications of the Industrial Revolution in England (household wealth, infant mortality, immigration trends, etc, etc.).

          • hennorama

            JGC — TYFYR.

            Great anecdote.

            History is forgotten (and erased) at our collective peril.

            That thousands lost their lives, due to air pollution as the proximate cause, and only 2 or 3 generations ago, should give pause.

            I wonder how many actually know about the events in London in December 1952, and that the estimated number of people who died in those few days due to air pollution is similar to the total number of Coalition military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan over more than a dozen years of warfare.

            Thanks again, especially for the anecdote.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            They have demolished over 200 coal plants recently.

            I’ll post the link if I can find it again.

          • tbphkm33

            Lets not forget that air pollution in China blows across the Pacific and impacts the western United States.

          • hennorama

            tbphkm33 — Thank you for your response.

            That should go without saying, but thanks for pointing out this important reality nonetheless. As the saying doesn’t go, but perhaps should: Common Sense Isn’t.

            Thanks again.

          • HonestDebate1

            I think your geo-political point on security is lost on many. Now that Russia has China for a customer they are in a position to shut off the valves to Western Europe.

      • JS

        Less Asthma?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Last I checked CO2 does not cause asthma.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            All other pollutants from burning coal go away, too, you know.

          • JS

            Burning coal does. You asked what the EPA decision might lead to, Less Asthma is one of them.

            If you really need that explained to you, you really should educated yourself more before posting.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You don’t need to eliminate coal to reduce asthma. Scrubber technology works too.

          • JGC

            But you would have been the first in line to protest scrubber technology when it was first implemented decades ago! How can you justify luddite ways of stubbornly clinging to coal mining and smokestacks when there are better technologies being implemented today?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            No, I’ve never been against scrubber technology for coal. Try again.

            And I’ve all for alternative energy. But I agree with Steven Chu. First develop technologies that are cheaper than coal — AND then deploy them. We aren’t there yet. IMHO, energy security and economic impacts are much more important than the CO2 risk.

          • JGC

            I stand corrected on assuming you were against scrubbers. I see Chu has joined the board of a Canadian company that has made a “breakthrough” in effective and cheap carbon sequestration technology. Clean Coal: It’s Alive? Maybe the pro-coal industries won’t have any trouble meeting those new CO2 targets after all.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            CCS? Cheap? Interesting.

            Personally, I don’t believe the science justifies spending a nickel on CO2 sequestration. However, if there is truly a ‘cheap’ development that is fabulous news in case the science eventually does justify deployment.

          • JGC

            Here is where I saw it:

            http://www.inventysinc.com/latest-news/former-us-energy-secretary-steven-chu-joins-board-of-canadian-carbon-capture-company

            Their stated economics are a “capture cost of $15/ton of CO2, less than 20% of current processes; less than 10% size of competing systems = retrofit by connecting directly to flue stack”.

            I don’t know if this is feasible or not; this may be a faint hope manoeuver supported by the Harper government to try to get the OK on Keystone, by showing Canadians support clean energy and lower CO2 emissions. As for Chu, I hope he would sign on and join their board as someone who has studied their data and thinks it is viable.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Still expensive but much better

            As for Chu, he might be a brilliant scientist but I wouldn’t use him as a barometer for picking technology winners (remember Solyndra?). Then again, maybe he learned his lesson (on our dime :( ).

          • JS

            Of course it does. For older power plants is quite expensive to upgrade to scrubbers, cheaper to shut it down and build a gas plant. Plus a scrubbed coal plant still produces more Asthma causing agents that a efficient gas plant.

            If you really need that explained to you, you really should educated yourself more before posting.

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      I must admit I am less than optimistic.

  • JGC

    Compare and contrast how two power companies are addressing environmental impact:

    “At the end of 2012, about 17% of our companywide power supplies came from wind, solar, hydro and biomass sources.”
    http://www.xcelenergy.com/Environment/Renewable_Energy

    “We are taking another look at our coal ash management and basin closure plans as a result of the event at our retired Dan River Steam Station after a broken stormwater pipe released coal ash into the river.”
    http://www.duke-energy.com/ash-management

    • HonestDebate1

      I don’t really think they are very comparable based on what you posted. Duke serves twice the customers. They also operate wind and solar farms in a big way. They are big into Hydro. Xcel gets half of its energy from coal. They were also fined $80 million for shady trades involving power. And I don’t think Duke reassessing the coal ash management is a bad thing after the disaster.

      It would be interesting to know how the cost per megawatt compares between the two companies.

  • tbphkm33

    The reality still is that the quickest, cheapest and most effective way to curtail pollution – one with immediate payback – is for each and every one of us to go room-to-room in our homes and turn things off. Consumers waste a ton of electricity on unnecessary usage. Such as leaving printers turned on 24/7, not powering off computers, excessive lighting, not turning lights off when leaving a room, not changing heating or cooling at night. It is a long list of little things each one of us could do that in the aggregate results in massive benefits.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Another tip to save electricity is to use a power strip with a switch for things like TV systems, stereos, etc. – anything with a remote control. Turning off the switch on the power strip saves the phantom electricity used for the device to “wait” for you to use the remote to turn it on.

      • Ray in VT

        I’ve done this for a long time. I do whatever my wife will let me get away with to use less power.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT — “whatever my wife will let me get away with” — a Heluva Good!®* standard for husbands, although perhaps a tad low in certain circumstances.

          * http://www.heluvagood.com/about/?id=1267

          (*My paternal grandmother always cracked up when my Mom would pronounce this as Helloooova Good.)

          • Ray in VT

            I used to pronounce it like that. My wife is sort of a cheese snob, preferring only to eat Cabot if she is going to use cheddar. I’ll slum it and go Heluva or Cracker Barrel if there is a sale.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Good advice. Can you please call Comcast and have them reduce the stby pwr of their cable box?
        Thx.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Just use a power strip.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Sorry, but that won’t work with the DVR function.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Turn it off when you don’t need the DVR. Or not.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            And lose my recordings of Rachel Maddow or Al Sharpton? I think not.

          • StilllHere

            Can you imagine the power that is being wasted just between those two?

          • HonestDebate1

            ..

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Negligible X 100,000,000 is no longer negligible.

            Heat pump hot water heaters are very good, and so are solar hot water heaters.

            A/C is the biggest use of electricity – ironic, that.

            Solar PV is a perfect match for powering A/C.

          • HonestDebate1

            Why would I heat hot water?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Whatever.

          • HonestDebate1

            I know, it’s a pet peeve of mine. They are called “water heaters”.

            I understand your point but multiply using a fan on a cool day (or any of my green actions) by 100,000,000 and you’ve really got something to write home about. Why not advocate it as I did?

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      DUDE, you seem to be in left field. How is turning lights off going to curtail a global CO2 problem???

  • JGC

    From “Smart Wind and Solar Power”, in MIT Technology Review, by Kevin Bullis, about the impact of wind forecasting to more efficiently integrate wind power into the grid:

    “(Xcel Energy) has installed more wind power than any other U.S. utility and supports a mandate for utilities to get 30% of their energy from renewable sources, saying it can easily handle much more than that….Last year, on a windy weekend when power demand was low, Xcel set a record: during one hour, 60% of its electricity for Colorado was coming from the wind.”

    http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/526541/smart-wind-and-solar-power

    (Next up for Xcel energy and the National Center for Atmospheric Research: forecasting solar power)

    • HonestDebate1

      Very cool!

      • JGC

        Especially when wind and solar will be generating electricity to power our air conditioning. : )

        • HonestDebate1

          I posted a link a few weeks ago on solar roads, parking lots, outdoor recreation areas, etc. They would never ice up. They would have LED’s built in so a parking lot could change to a basketball court or anything else. It was really cool but it didn’t mention the cost.

          However, right now solar and wind can only power some of our air conditioners. It’s getting there but not ready for prime time. Even the grid as we know it now with all those nasty fossil fuels working overtime can’t handle the load sometimes.

          Quick story: I was playing a party in a ballroom of an Embassy Suites in Columbia, SC on a very very hot day. It was a high rise and took a bunch of electricity to keep cool. I think it was year end bash for Aflac (pre duck). We got everything set up, turned it all on and put in a CD to for a sound check. At the very instant I hit the “play” button the electricity went out on the entire building. It was of course a coincidence but I’ll never forget that feeling.

        • Steve__T

          If you would like to see some true, off the grid, fully sustained awesomely designed houses. Almost like the Jetson’s without the stilts :)

          http://earthship.com/

          • wbsurfver

            Solar can’t be centrally controlled by power companies, do you get it ?

          • Steve__T

            You talken’ to me?

        • Steve__T

          It seems that a large factor, in clean energy sources, is ignored in the conversation.
          Tidal Energy is the oldest form of renewable energy, which was used in the water mills by the Romans when they occupied England. It was later used for the same purpose, give power to the mills, along the shores of Spain, France and Britain.
          http://www.renewablegreenenergypower.com/tidal-energy-tidal-power-facts/

    • HonestDebate1

      JGC (off topic): As per your advice I’ve been keeping track of the Diane Rehm Show and she is visiting the Bergdahl issue tomorrow. It keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. My stance has evolved from the initial reluctance to wait and see. A lot has come out. I am still reluctant to criticize his father because I cannot imagine the how any parent could deal with such a circumstance. However, I may evolve on that too. It’s getting creep. On Point should devote an hour, maybe they will. I think it’s too big for a mere mention in the Friday show.

      I have a lot to say in this but I suppose I’ll wait for an appropriate forum.

      • harverdphd

        Not as off topic as you think. The president’s ham fisted approach to coal and Bergdahl are a gift to the ‘Pubs. Mow down hard working Americans and go soft on terror – anyone know where Dukakis is?

        • HonestDebate1

          The last I saw him, he was driving a tank down easy street.

          • jefe68

            Chasing your Blue Huff…

      • JGC

        On Point is also doing an hour tomorrow. Dueling Bergdahls!

        • HonestDebate1

          Where do you get that info? I never have been able to end it.

          • JGC

            Mr. Ashbrook usually slips in a brief mention at the end of his program for what is coming up on the following day. It is a little frustrating that it is not available earlier than that on the On Point site. (Whereas Diane Rehm’s schedule can be seen up to several days in advance.)

  • twenty_niner

    “Big Energy doesn’t want to see this happen”

    And then there’s the real world…

    “Big Companies Are Buying Into Biofuels”

    After spending over $100 million on the development of algae-based biofuels, ExxonMobil is refocusing its efforts on developing new, more productive strains of algae with the help of Synthetic Genomics.

    The collaborative effort, which may result in ExxonMobil investing more than the massive $600 million originally expected for the development of algae-based fuels, is just one example of why the next great advances in biofuels may not originate from the younger start-up companies in the industry.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/02/16/big-companies-are-buying-into-biofuels.aspx

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    You can’t see carbon dioxide. Which might be good, if we could.

  • S David H de Lorge

    That natural gas is less polluting than coal is true. In what ways is it true? Why isn’t that described in each of these stories?

    Natural gas produces, in harvesting and burning, less particulate matter, less sulfuric acid, etc. It produces somewhat more electricity per unit of carbon burned. This is good.

    Each unit of carbon burned produces CO2. The carbon content of natural gas is why we burn it to make heat to generate electricity. CO2 is the primary human driver of climate change. Increased CO2 in the air is the primary source of ocean acidification, agricultural changes, forestry changes, and so on.

    Burning any fossil or other mineral fuel releases more CO2. Burning natural gas, relative to burning none, increases release of CO2.

    Would this regulatory change produce any of the benefits we need? Is this entire discussion a serious distraction from the real issue?

    • manganbr

      methane

      • S David H de Lorge

        I guess. “Natural gas” is predominantly simply methane. A lot escapes, bearing something like 20 times the heat holding capacity of CO2 per ton.

  • S David H de Lorge

    Is this entire discussion a misdirection of the real issue, which is the need to reduce atmospheric CO2?

    • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

      I do think the issue was misdirected, but I also think there are more fundamental problems than CO2.

      • S David H de Lorge

        In some sense, surely. That doesn’t make CO2 >400 ppm a negligible issue.

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    The conversation I would like to have is…

    What is important to us as a society?

    Is the future of humanity important, whether each of us is individually still alive to se it, or not?

    Even more important, are some of us really so bitter that we would rather get what we can while the getting is good and justify it by saying “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”?

    If that is true – which it is – we have much bigger problems than climate change. We have a fundamental problem of humanity not being treated equally. Rothschild said just the other day, “Business is not supposed to solve the world’s problems, but it is currently seen as ONE OF the world’s problems. That should concern us.” (Apologies if I got the quote wrong.)

    But she is right. If business has been so dissociated from pure capitalism that it’s no longer fair, or equitable, and the fear of scarcity is driving everyone to desperately scrape and claw for every dollar they can get, and hoard what supplies they can, and build the biggest bunker they can before SHTF, because it’s every man for himself, it IS not just one of the world’s problems, but the MAIN problem.

    But are the alternatives really any better? Socialism? No… Is humanity ready for a “gift” economy? I wish it was but I think it’s naive to believe that it is.

    Business still has a role to play. But it needs reform. MASSIVE reform.
    Binary Economics (equitable capitalism). Ecological Economics.
    tax benefits for cooperative corporations and employee owned firms.
    A reintroduction of corporate-charter expiration dates. Reigning in the power of multi-nationals.

    We need a fundamental re-think of economic theory at the most basic level, factoring in labor as a service, and factoring in the services the earth provides instead of only the resources and materials it provides.

    Every product and service needs to have its true cost reflected in its price. The additional cost above market price will be a “carbon fee” and those fees will be distributed equally to every tax payer. (rather than getting back what you spent, you get back an average of what everyone spent, thus causing consumers to seek out lower prices, and lower prices reflecting lower ecological costs.)

    We also need legislative and judicial reform, but we can get into that another time.

    • harverdphd

      What’s your major?

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        Interdisciplinary Studies (Organizational Leadership & Psychology) was my undergrad.

        But Transdisciplinarity IS my discipline. Would you consider writing me a letter of recommendation for a PhD program?

        • HonestDebate1

          My IQ is 12 but I’m not scared to debate you.

          No point really.

          • jefe68

            12? You sure you’re not mixing that up with your shoe size?

        • pete18

          If making points and winning debates had anything to do with IQ you’d be a scary man.

          • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

            .

  • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

    I can’t live in a box. I’ve tried. It’s very uncomfortable.

    I prefer to think outside it.

    And… Anyone who says either the Democrats or the Republicans can be trusted, IS MENTALLY ILL.
    Politics by its very nature is rhetoric. Rhetoric is language designed to inspire or persuade. Rarely does the truth inspire or persuade. Usually people reject the truth because they are afraid of it.

    Thus, politics is the art of the falsehood. Both sides do it.

    We need a fundamental re-think. Perhaps it’s time to embrace truth.

    • harverdphd

      Best of luck in your junior year of college!

      • http://alchemicalreaction.blogspot.com/ Alchemical Reaction

        I think you replied to the wrong post. I already graduated.

        I understand cynicism. But it’s not what we need right now.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
    • JGC

      I think we have reached a tipping point on this issue. Only the most entrenched of the troglodytes cannot see it. (Sorry, Troglodytes! Don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings; troglodytes are people, too.)

      • HonestDebate1

        Don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        My feelings aren’t hurt either. But I do ‘feel’ for the sheeple being led astray.

        I suggest Dr. Judith Curry’s blog for those interesting in both the uncertainties in the current state of climate science and the “health” of the scientific method within the “community”. She covers a broad swath of issues related to the science.

        http://judithcurry.com/

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          Judith Curry is an outlier. Uncertainties are what science is all about – we can never know everything.

          But climate change is as certain as smoking causing cancer.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, the climate has always changed. We have millennia of observations.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Yes, and we know the reasons for it changing now. When we burn fossil fuels, it increases the level of carbon dioxide in the air, and then temperatures go up.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yes, and the last 20%+ increase in CO2 with little or no temperature increase.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Carbon dioxide is leading temperature. By at least 30-40 years.

          • Kberg95

            Based on what? The last 15 years? If you look at the temperature record for the last 120 years, you will see periods where temperature declined or was flat for a decade or two, but the overall trend is ever upwards. Again, your arguments are refuted if you look at the facts.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I have looked at the record.

            There has been .8C of ‘global’ warming since 1880. .4C was during a 30 year period prior to 1950. The second .4C was during the 30 year period prior to 2000.

            Also the temperature has been rising on and off since the end of the little ice age — prior to the massive burning of fossil fuels.

            Climate scientists are scrambling now to understand why their models failed.

          • nj_v2

            Denialsts are scrambling to catapult the propaganda.

          • Kberg95

            Actually, the observations go back millions of years if one looks at the geologic record, and the contribution of greenhouse gases to abrupt climate change is well established. Fact of the matter is that we have, in the course of two centuries, added GHGs to the atmosphere at rates many times to many orders of magnitude faster than is seen in the rock record that lead to other abrupt climate events, such as the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum.

            So, the argument that “climate has always changed” is ridiculous on the face of it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You do understand that correlation is not the same as causation

          • nj_v2

            ^ Keeps regurgitating ignorantly lame, denialist talking points.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Outlier? No. She has modified her views based on both the science and observational data. Many other scientists are doing the same. None are going the other way. Sorry for the inconvenient truth.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Who else agrees with Judith Curry?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            There are numerous examples. Lennart Bengtsson is the latest.

  • HonestDebate1

    I have to once again make the point that the actual show is far more balanced than this blog. I know that’s a low bar, but still…

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Facts are facts – there is no debating them. They are what they are. Denying them won’t change them.

      You might as well argue about whether DNA is involved with evolution. It won’t change the facts. And science is how we learn about them.

      • HonestDebate1

        And the fact is the show is much more balanced than this blog.

        • jefe68

          Well, what’s a right winger to do?

          • HonestDebate1

            Remember not to judge a show by it’s blog. What else?

    • 1Brett1

      I agree; the conservative opinion is much more prominently overshadowing on the forum.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Still doesn’t know what a blog is.

      • HonestDebate1

        I know right? No one has ever pointed it out. I just like making people in the democrat party dance. I sprinkle in the cues.

  • LeonieLingekym

    as Thelma
    explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
    on the internet . more info here R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    “We are dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate the earth hasn’t seen since the great catastrophes of the past. The ones that led to mass extinctions. We just can’t seem to break our addiction to the kinds of fuel that will bring back the climate last seen by the dinosaurs, a climate that will drown our coastal cities and wreck havoc on the environment and our ability to feed ourselves. All the while, the glorious sun pours immaculate, free energy down upon us, more than we will ever need. Why can’t we summon the ingenuity and courage of the generations that came before us?

    The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming.

    What’s our excuse?”

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/893700_10152057711416167_817505711055783565_o.jpg

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
    • ExcellentNews

      Well said. However, a more fitting parallel between what we do today and the past is not the extinction of dinosaurs, but something known to geologists as “the P/T” event.

      The “P/T” (Permian-Triassic) event is simply the biggest mass extinction in the history of Earth. 248 MYA all life was practically wiped off. In comparison, the dinosaur die-off of 65 MYA is merely a blip.

      What was that something? To be fair to climate deniers, we do not know for sure. It’s fairly certain it was NOT an asteroid or extraterrestrial cause. The geological record indicates that the planet underwent a run-away episode of global warming, induced by massive natural CO2 release (most likely related to volcanism and the oxidation of exposed coal layers from receding oceans).

      You can already hear the climate deniers holler “so why worry if it was natural?”. Precisely. Nature has shown that massive releases of CO2 can have truly disastrous effects. We would be utter IDIOTS to continue burning fossil carbon – especially when we HAVE alternative solutions.

  • wbsurfver

    These experts made a poor case that the cost of electricity was going to go down. Usually when the price of something changes these days it seems to go up rather than down. So I suspect that we are given bad information here. It’s good that while the US economy is floundering seriously we can not only send the jobs overseas but the coal as well. We can shut down our plants and let them build more in Asia. Great idea, screw the middle class. The oil companies and power companies aren’t going to pay a nickel, no you are going to pay. I’m glad you think you are a virus on the earth and deserve to be carbon taxed to death and pay up the yin yang. Build more nuclear plants, great idea. Why is the UN obsessed with CO2, but fukishima gets no attention ? What are the chances of a major EMP destroying the grid and melting down nuclear plants ? No good way to tax or control people on that one I guess though

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 24, 2014
Youths seen playing basketball through bars on a window at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Ethan Allen School in Wales, Wis. (AP file)

The cold hard facts about juvenile prisons. And the case for shutting them all down.

Jul 24, 2014
Nickel Creek

After a 7-year hiatus, progressive folk trio Nickel Creek is back together. We’ll hear from them and their latest album, “A Dotted Line.”

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 23, 2014
Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of "Turks and Caicos" hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.  (AP)

From “The Princess Bride” to “My Dinner with Andre “and “A Master Builder,” actor and writer Wallace Shawn joins us.

 
Jul 23, 2014
In this Saturday, July 12, 2014, photo, migrants walk along train tracks and boxcars after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, southern Mexico. (AP)

Crisis at the US border. What do Latinos on this side of the border have to say? We’ll ask our special roundtable.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 11, 2014
Friday, Jul 11, 2014

As we prepare for a week of rebroadcasts, we reflect on Facebook posts, misplaced comments and the magic of @ mentions. Internet, ASSEMBLE!

More »
Comment
 
Two Former Senators, One Fix For US Democracy?
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

Former US Senators Tom Daschle and Olympia Snowe joined us today with a few fixes for American political inaction.

More »
Comment
 
Future Radio Interns Of America: On Point Wants YOU!
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

On Point needs interns for the fall. Could YOU be one of them?

More »
2 Comments