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  • Anti-Energy Agenda Could Cause More Rolling Blackouts

    Drudge’s top storylines for the morning feature energy shortage problems in a number of states across the country because of the exceptionally cold weather. Increased demand from the inclement weather has put strains on suppliers, and in some cases, the weather itself has adversely affected energy output.

    New Mexico is calling for a state of emergency because of natural gas shortages, natural gas pipes in Texas are experiencing low pressure, and several other states are managing rolling blackouts and record-high energy usage. While the recent energy turmoil is a result of extreme weather conditions, it is symbolic and a grim foreshadowing of what our energy policy in the United States has become: an anti-energy agenda.

    Although the following examples are not all related to electricity use, the following stories showcase the misguided anti-energy agenda from the Obama Administration.

    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will start regulating emissions from new power plants and major expansions of large greenhouse-gas-emitting-plants that emit more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. This has led to a contentious battle between the state of Texas and the EPA over new permits that have been issued. A number of states, businesses, and industry groups filed lawsuits, mostly on the grounds that the EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding did not include conclusive evidence that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health and public welfare.
    • The EPA recently revoked a coal-mining permit in West Virginia. Pulling a previously issued clean water permit is a clear affront to the coal industry and sets a dangerous precedent moving forward. Having a regulator that is willing to seemingly arbitrarily obstruct energy development projects will have a drastic negative impact on expanding domestic energy sources. A number of groups—including National Realtors Association, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association—have already expressed concern to the White House after the EPA revoked the permit, writing that “every similarly valid permit held by any entity—businesses, public works agencies and individual citizens—will be in increased regulatory limbo and potentially subject to the same unilateral, after-the-fact revocation.”
    • Shell Oil nixed its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea in 2011, citing the EPA’s egregious regulatory delays. Vice president of Shell Alaska Pete Slaiby said at a press conference, “We’ve been trying to [obtain] an air permit for five years … and now the continuous regulatory delays have forced us to make a decision … to forgo drilling in 2011.”
    • The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement is sitting on 103 exploratory drilling permits.
    • Obama Administration rescinded drilling permits already issued in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska and in December announced that the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts will not be part of the government’s 2012–2017 Outer Continental Shelf program.
    • On natural gas, the EPA evasively posted a new rule on hydraulic fracturing that requires a company to obtain permits if the company uses diesel when fracking. The EPA ignored the process of posting the rule in the Federal Register and completely forwent the comment period.
    • Despite 25 years of research and $10 billion invested, President Obama, without a shred of scientific or technical justification, directed his Department of Energy to arbitrarily end the Yucca Mountain nuclear materials repository project. This creates a huge obstacle to the broad expansion of nuclear power in the United States.

    The rolling blackouts should now be a wakeup call for the Administration that we need a pro-energy agenda that does not include needless regulations. It should be a priority for Congress to rein in the EPA’s regulatory invasions and unilateral decision making on our economy.

    Furthermore, Congress should focus on a pro-energy policy that opens access to America’s resources and creates a predictable, efficient regulatory framework for all energy sources.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to Anti-Energy Agenda Could Cause More Rolling Blackouts

    1. Michael Cochrane, Ne says:

      did I not recently hear about the fact that the United States is sitting on perhaps the worlds largest natural gas reserves? I heard that we had an almost two hundred year supply of natural gas.

      If this is the case, then these "shortages" are being driven by a lack of production capacity (drilling, refining, shipping, distribution, etc.) correct?

      • jim says:

        I do not think so.The cost of generation with natural gas is 100% to 150% higher.Coal is the cheapest way to go.However EPA laws may make natural gas cheaper but we well see it in our utility bills.

    2. jeff, nyc says:

      "….on the grounds that the EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding did not include conclusive evidence that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health and public welfare."

      really? the sun will burn through your skull in a matter of seconds unabated. you want to test the theory that greenhouse gasses don't hurt the atmosphere? go right ahead. not on the planet the rest of us want to live on, though. go to mars.

      the white house – and congress – is focusing on a pro-energy future. just not the one you grew up in. i know it's scary – what being out of your little comfort zone – but oil is dead. you just don't know it yet. oil is as dead as kurt cobain. electric and solar are the keys to our future, and wasting any money or time on oil or gas is silly.

      not a word here on the largess of the american people and what they should do to reel in their energy use and abuse. just blame bama and his mama. if you really want to add to the conversation that bad, write on how to fix these problems, not cry like a baby on what went wrong and who's to blame – doing that is like getting in an accident looking at the accident that caused the traffic you were in. don't get a car if you're that stupid.

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    5. Mike H., San Jose, C says:

      Atmos Energy said they were following protocols when they reduced gas supplies to power plants:

      http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/02/03/2822392/c

      No EPA Bogeyman there. And, it was OK for the electricity to go off at commercial users, but their gas supply is more important than for power generators?

      Natural gas price is pretty low now, to the point of talking of exporting it:

      http://www.pennenergy.com/index/petroleum/display

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2010/11/08/uk-brita

      If the EPA is hurting gas production so much, then why the desire to export natural gas? I would think if the EPA rules were too strict then there would not be enough to even think of exporting it.

      Sounds like there's not enough storage for it, though. To say nothing of pipelines being such tightwads as to not have emergency generators to keep the gas going if power goes out. The same problem happened after Katrina as well, so I guess they don't learn very well.

      But, some power producers did make a LOT of money from this:

      http://www.texasobserver.org/forrestforthetrees/s

      And, since shale gas fracking fluids so often wind up in local ground water one way or another, banning diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing is a very wise idea. As well as banning organophosphates (deadly pesticides) use in fracking as well. To say nothing of other seriously toxic chemicals used in fracking.

    6. Daniyel, Bemidbar Is says:

      This may well be just the beginning of the next phase of The ObamaNation of Deindustrialization of America. Obama makes sweetheart Carbon output exemptions for GE Coal Power Plants while his Environmental Propaganda Agents (EPA) enforce new restrictions on GE's Electricity Generating competitors.

      While Obama talks the talk of "Leveling the Playing Field" when it comes to the Global economy how can the U.S. compete with China and Mexico when it comes to manufacturing when U.S. Clean Coal Power plants are being shut down while their coal power plants have virtually no environmental regulations and don't have Carbon Tax restrictions enforced upon them.

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    9. Nick Nunhofer says:

      As a UK citizen it seems that the US is increasingly in self immolation mode. Cutting back on power stations is sheer madness: the people need to stand up and tell the over mighty govt to grow up and back off the nonsense (as with the TSA group downs and paranoid security measures).

    10. Robertg222 says:

      Lets use environmentalist as fuel in waste to energy plants. That would be a win win idea.

    11. Bill, Reality says:

      "really? the sun will burn through your skull in a matter of seconds unabated. you want to test the theory that greenhouse gasses don’t hurt the atmosphere? go right ahead. not on the planet the rest of us want to live on, though. go to mars."

      Wow, you might want to brush up on at least one of the theories in this genre before commenting on them. Greenhouse gas theory holds that certain gasses increase the density of the atmosphere or otherwise limit the escape of heat from the Earth. It has nothing to do with increasing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface.

      The reality is that we don't actually have confirmation that what happens in a "jar in the lab" regarding e.g. CO2 actually happens in the stratosphere – where it matters. We also do know that the effect of CO2 diminishes as it's concentration increases. In other words, using CO2 to make the planet warmer, assuming it works in reality, gets harder and harder, not easier. Not unlike losing weight gets more difficult the more you lose.

      It's funny you mention Mars. Those who are studying ways to intentionally increase a planet's temperature are who we should be paying attention to. They find that it isn't as simple as certain elements of the political debate on climatology claim it is. This demonstrates that the assumptions used in the claims of impending global disaster (of whatever variety your area does not want) are fundamentally flawed. As such reasonable persons thus realize the conclusion made thereof are likewise fundamentally flawed.

    12. Pingback: Environmental Police Strike Again | The Foundry

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