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  • The Human Consequences of EPA's War on Coal

    There are very real consequences to the Environmental Protection Agency’s continued efforts to undermine America’s coal industry. Those consequences were recently spotlighted in an industry-produced video, embedded above.

    Maria Tworek owns a sports bar in Omaha, Nebraska. “Our energy bills are sky-high,” Tworek explains. The bar has to keep its cooling facilities running 24/7 to keep all of its beer cold. If “we can’t cool our product, we don’t make money,” Tworek says. “It’s as simple as that.”

    The bar is Tworek’s livelihood. “This is how we live,” she says. “This is how we support our family.”

    Nebraska is a coal-intensive state. According to the video, 71% of the state’s power comes from coal. And while the state has the 11th lowest electricity costs in the nation, Tworek says “prices seem to continually go up.”

    If the EPA has its way, those price hikes will only intensify. For the first time ever, the agency has classified carbon dioxide, the chemical compound that sustains vegetative life, as a “pollutant.” Using the resulting authority over carbon emission regulations, the EPA now plans restrictions on coal power plants that are so stringent, they will likely herald the demise of coal’s role in electricity production.

    “New coal plants would effectively be banned because their emission rate is almost double that of the proposed standard,” explains Bloomberg’s Rob Barnett in a new report (subscription required).

    Because coal is such a cheap source of electricity – by far the cheapest, according to the Energy Information Administration – increases in the price of coal brought on by declining production would likely lead to significantly higher prices for electricity consumers. States such as Nebraska, which are particularly reliant on coal, would be hit hardest.

    But other EPA regulations are hiking prices for other sources of electricity. According to a study by consulting company NERA conducted last year, EPA policies may add $52 billion to Americans’ electricity bills by 2022.

    That means higher energy bills for Maria Tworek and everyone else who buys electricity. There are real, human consequences of electricity price hikes, something that policymakers would do well to keep in mind.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to The Human Consequences of EPA's War on Coal

    1. dwm says:

      keep filthy coal use to a minimum, the more that clean, alternative energy sources are used the cheaper it will get.

      • Romeg says:

        You demonstrate you sheer ignorance of one of the fundamental laws of economics: that of supply and demand. The MORE of a thing that is used the MORE expensive it becomes unless the supply increases at a rate that is at least equal to the increases in demand for that thing.

        The EPA is at war with the fossil fuel industry, ie, ALL carbon based energy. It won't relent until we pave over the heartland with solar panels and replace the forests with windmills.

        • Independent says:

          You are exactly right, more supply means cheaper prices for us. So what we need is more clean energy. Remember that the fossil fuel industry is responsible for enormous environmental degradation. Global warming is a real problem that will affect all of us. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_o

          Even if global warming weren't a serious threat to our security and our future (it is), in the end we would end up with non polluting energy (coal is responsible for acid rain and mercury pollution, and contributes to smog, as well as being the most CO2 intense energy we have). We would also elimintae foreign dependence on oil! We would no longer need to import oil from Saudi Arabia, Irag and Iran!

          • Bill Lee says:

            If we have global warming from fossil fuel why did the UN agency try to hide temperatures that didnt fit what they say is so? Why did they discuss how they would hide studies that show temperatures were higher some 1000 years ago. Now we are getting some information that ice is coming back in the south pole regions also. Point is global warming caused by what men do is not a positive conclusion for many scientist.
            Solar and wind power is proving to not be economical for power production. Spain and other European countries are abandoning the use of solar power.

      • RiCkY says:

        You are just foolish ! ………and not a very well educated fool at that. What makes you think that alternative energy is clean? and that the more they are use the cheaper is will become on the consumer?………. coal that has keep you warm, heated your home and kept you clean and dry is now "Filthy" to the likes of you? What a total moron and utter lame @ss that one statement quickly made you. Maybe you should go clean yourself with your alternatvie energy source………….

      • millie says:

        troll

      • Peggy says:

        Are you CRAZY!!?? If YOU want to use "alternative energy" go for it…but leave the rest of us to our, as you put it, "filthy" coal!! How bout that!!

      • Stirling says:

        Alternative engergy may at some point become more cost efficient (then it is today), but aren't you a bit concerned that our government is taking away your choices, rather then allowing you more choose what might be best for your individual situation?

        In other words "dwm" if at some point you can't afford to pay for the Alternative enegry costs, wouldn't you want other options that cost less ? The green agenda is to put all of the other options out of business.

      • @SueDinNY says:

        Hope you live in a temperate climate so you can use wind and solar energy. Not so great up here in New York.

    2. RepealThe16thA says:

      Please consider the following relating to Congress's Section 8-limited powers. The Founding States made Sections 1-3 of Article I of the Constitution to clarifiy that all federal government legislative powers are vested in the elected members of Congress. In other words, Congress has a constitutional monopoly on federal legislative powers whether it wants it or not.

      Also consider that the states have never delegated to Congress via the Constitution the specific power to address environmental issues. So not only has Congress wrongly protected federal legislative powers from the wrath of the voters by establishing so-called "independent federal regulatory agencies" like the EPA in defiance of Sections 1-3 of Article I, but Congress has delegated to the EPA regulatory powers that Congress itself doesn't have.

      What a mess! :^(

      The bottom line concerning constitutionally undefined federal agencies like the EPA is this imo. Corrupt Congress wrongly establishes smoke-and-mirrors agencies like the EPA to bypass its Article V requirement to petition the states for grants of specific new powers via constitutional amendments. And Congress gets away with this, imo, because of widespread ignorance of the Constitution and its history.

    3. Bobbie says:

      Why is this happening? Obama stated he wanted to control behavior through increasing costs (a man using abuse to control with no end to ensure sacrifice on the people he is above) because of the claim of man made global warming that since has proven false! Keep coal going. It's why it exists! It's practical and efficient! And for those who's opinions feel coal is filthy while taking advantage of it are those severely misled. I've been around coal plants, the intelligence of the design doesn't cause smog. The pollution rises and dissipates! There isn't any epidemic on people dying from using it! Use all of what the deranged mindset calls "fossil fuel" until the deranged mindsets learn how to make their quick judgment on alternatives: cost efficient, energy effective, quantitative and above all feasible! Obama's future "change" in government is making life lived free, improbable.

    4. Jeff K says:

      dwm, it is obvious you are an Obama campaign troll. I sure hope they pay you well, because if you are not getting paid, you are a fool. Geez, as if Obamabots spend time reading Heritage; or worse, that Heritage readers will be influenced by Obama campaign trolls.
      To burst your bubble, I will simply point out that coal and oil are natural, safe, clean fuels. Obama and the democratic party don't like these fuels because they don't control them.

    5. Norris Allen says:

      Coal is cleaner now than it ever has been,the air is clean,Co2 is not a problem for the environment and wind and solar are expensive and unreliable . The unintended consequences are lost of good jobs in mining,barge,and train industries .

    6. toledofan says:

      This administrations assult on all energy sources other than green, whatever that is, is not only astonishing but ignorant as well. This is another area that will backfire on not only Obama but the Democrats as well. With the rising price of gas and the potential for home heating and cooling to be more expensive or unavailable because of this administrations policies, the outcry will be heard around the world. These people are supposed to be so smart yet their ignorance will be their downfall, the revolution will fall flat on it's face because people won't accept no food, no fuel and no freedom.

    7. Sue says:

      In the last YEAR, our energy bills (business and personal) have risen 13%. The coal-burning power plant nearby is being shuttered. It began to downsize last year and will completely shut down by next year. The company has stated plainly they cannot retrofit the plant to meet EPA standards. It has cost our area hundreds of jobs. We thought we had succeeded when we convinced our elected officials to table 'cap and trade'. We were foolish. The administration just walked the law over to the EPA and implemented it through that agency's policies, bypassing the will of the people. I 'hope' we get 'change' in November. I pray for it.

    8. stevef says:

      CO2 is natural granted but too much has consequences. Water is natural and important for life but that does not mean that flooding is good. With 98% of scientists agreeing that global warming is happening and man made how is it so many people are still in denial. Why would scientists do that? Some huge conspiracy must be. Of course I grew up in the time when people were in denial about smoking and cancer, and the tobacco industry like the coal industry today would rather spin and deny than get behind change. Money talks!

    9. BIggbear says:

      Since its dawn in 1970 the EPA has been the quintessential rabid rogue grizzly on the killing prowl. Meaning that this entity was solely implemented to force control over the masses in a way of livelihood and commercial interests. Also just like a rabid animal it need s to put down and out of its insane misery! Nuff said

    10. talgus says:

      all life on that lives near or on the surface of this planet is built of carbon that once was in the molecule CO2. That this molecule is labeled a pollutant (at current or even double concentration levels) is the height of a fallacious argument. Why does this administration STARVE plants???

    11. melty says:

      aren't you "heritage" junkies supposed to be conservative? as in, conserving things? like america's natural resources and beauty? what a bunch of ideologues

    12. Phil says:

      The EPA’s burdensome and overbearing regulations have forced the closure of six coal plants back here in PA (http://www.countoncoal.org/assets/files/EPA%20Misery%20Index_CoC_rev04302012.pdf) The agency needs to get out of the way of job creators who keep energy costs low and enact commonsense rules that don’t pick winners and losers. Here is an example of the mess the EPA caused in Dimock, PA. http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/policyblog/

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