Senior decision-makers come together to connect around strategies and business trends affecting utilities.

36,497 Members

WARNING: SIGN-IN

You need to be a member of Energy Central to access some features and content. Please or register to continue.

Post

U.S. EPA Continual Attempt to Destroy the Coal Mining Industry!

Electric Generator Inside a Power Plant

In a survey in 2014 it was reported that coal mining jobs had fallen by 8.3%, based on data provided by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.1  These job losses reflect the effects of past EPA regulations targeting mercury, sulfur and other toxic pollutants.  The United Mine Workers are estimating that future greenhouse gas regulations will eliminate another 75,000 jobs in coal mining, power plants and railroads that transport coal. That is nearly a third of the 300,000 “direct coal-generation jobs” currently in the U.S..

Are such cuts scientifically justified by the EPA?  In the author’s opinion the U. S. EPA is just a politically controlled department of the Obama administration and a nefarious one at that; science is ignored and is not used at all.  Why am I saying this?

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told Congress in July, 2014 that the Agency’s proposed Existing Source Performance Standards (CO2 reduction) for coal-fired power plants was, in fact, an opportunity for economic growth: “The great thing about this proposal is that it really is an investment opportunity.  This is not about pollution control.” 2 She was correct that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. However, she doesn’t realize purpose of the EPA is to regulate pollutants, not promote investment opportunities?

McCarthy was referring to the economic opportunities of billionaires who are part of the far-left environmental machine heavily invested in helping EPA advance such regulations.  What she said is what it has always been about and is why Lisa Jackson the previous administrator whose ethics are questionable had a private email address for the Sierra Club, etc. so she could interface directly with the environmental activists so others would not know about it.  This should be illegal but this administration thinks it can do anything without reprisal.   The U. S. EPA was not formed to develop investment opportunities to the detriment of established industries like coal mining facilities and coal-fired power generating plants.

Other countries have seized the ‘investment opportunities’ McCarthy claims this regulation will create.  Dan Simmons 2, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research relayed that Spain heavily ‘invested’ in wind and solar in the form of taxpayer subsidies and preferential treatment and subsequently lost 2.2 jobs for each green job created.  The UK similarly ‘invested’ in wind and solar and lost 3.7 jobs for each green job created. Those were remarkably bad investments. Spain’s economy is in a shambles and Germany has started shutting down most of its offshore wind turbines and is building coal-fired power plants as fast as possible to ward off financial disaster.

EPA Regulations

What are the scientific justifications for recent EPA regulations?  The reductions in mercury emissions which are tied to U.S. coal-fired power plants, EPA states will save 11,000 lives per year 3.  This is an untruth perpetrated by the EPA, in light of the fact there is no record of even one death from airborne environmental mercury emissions.  U.S. power plants release about 48 tons of mercury into the air each year, but there are some 5207 tons/year worldwide emitted by nature ( Regarding another regulation, what about carbon dioxide heating the earth?  The ones saying this have about as much understanding of heat transfer as a retarded gnat.  Any mass, whether a solid, liquid, or gas between you and a radiant energy source will provide cooling.  Stand near a fireplace that is burning and feel the warmth of the radiant energy; then have two people drape a blanket between you and the fireplace - you will feel cooler!  Another example, stand outside on a sun shiny day.  When a cloud goes over and shades you from the direct rays of the sun, most people feel cooler, but apparently not the UN-IPCC pseudo-scientists and their EPA supporters.  Nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide and any dust that is in the atmosphere all provide cooling.

More radiation hits our atmosphere from the sun (341 Watts/m2) than is absorbed and reflected by earth (161 Watts/m2) 4, see Figure 1.  The overall effect will always be cooling - not warming!  The IPCC scientists must not realize we get our energy from the sun; they look at only one-half of the mass and energy balance.  It is like saying you don’t need a furnace in your house in the winter, insulation alone will keep you warm.

Figure 1.  Radiation from the sun and refection back from the earth.

The UN-IPCC and the EPA made up that carbon dioxide warms the earth, as stated earlier, when in fact all gases and dust in the atmosphere cool our planet.  Even though so-called greenhouse gases actually cool the earth, according to EPA’s own heating model (MAGICC) the policies will prevent less than two-hundredths of a degree Celsius (0.018 oC) of warming by the end of this century. 5   This temperature change is so small it could never be confirmed by man - that is why the EPA hasn’t relayed the effect.

Since 1966 it is apparent that CFC destruction of stratospheric ozone was the only mechanism that caused the earth to warm.  The stratosphere due to loss of ozone cooled some 1.4 o C and the earth warmed some 0.5 o C. 6   Simple science was used to analyze this effect, but AGW proponents refute this with no science facts to back it up. 

Since 2000 when CFC production was stopped in developed countries by the Montreal Protocol and CFC concentration in the stratosphere stopped increasing, the stratosphere stopped cooling and thus the earth temperature has not increased.

Monetary Losses to Public Caused by EPA

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that these new EPA rules will shut down hundreds of generators, add $289 billion in consumer electricity costs and lower household disposable incomes by $586 billion by 2030.  It also projects that the regulations will cost the U.S. economy 2.3 million jobs and half a trillion in lost GDP over the next 10 years. 7  What are the benefits?

A report authored by Dr. Kathleen Harnett-White, a Texas Public Policy Foundation senior fellow, discusses another big EPA fossil energy attack strategy - one that projects hugely inflated health benefits to be gained by reducing ambient levels of six “criteria pollutants.” Their primary emphasis is upon “fine particulate matter” (PM 2.5) which they use to justify almost all of their many new air quality regulations.  Dr. White observes that the agency does this by projecting highly exaggerated dollar valuations of the number of lives that will be saved from premature deaths at lowest pollution concentrations based upon two cherry-picked studies. In doing so, they ignore or give mere lip service, to hundreds of reputable contradictory studies. 7 

U. S. Government Spraying Fine Particles

Although the EPA wants to regulate fine particulate matter from industry, our Department of Defense is spraying us with 40,000 tons/year of fine bauxite (Al2O3), particles as shown below in Figure 2, and 100,000 tons/year of fine ferro-manganese (FeMn, forms wispy clouds) particles. 8   Moisture condenses on the fine particles.  This was a concept proposed by Freeman Dyson who taught theoretical physics at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study.  Dyson, in 1979 proposed that bauxite could be sprayed into the stratosphere and absorb more UV light to cool the earth similar to the effect seen with a large volcanic eruption.  The US DOD has been doing this since 1998, first with bauxite and then later with ferro-manganese.  As a result, Asthma and Alzheimer’s cases have increased.

Conclusion

Dr. John Costella 9 relays, "Climategate has shattered the myth (the myth of global warming).”  It gives us a peephole into the work of the scientists investigating possibly the most important issue ever to face mankind.  Instead of seeing large collaborations of meticulous, careful, critical scientists, we instead see a small team of incompetent cowboys, abusing almost every aspect of the framework of science to build a fortress around their “old boys club”, to prevent real scientists from seeing the shambles of their research.  It appears the UN created this deception to create a case to increase non-economical wind turbine and solar installations that need tax credits to survive.

Many scientists, including the author, see global warming from CO2 as a cruel global swindle to eliminate conventional fuels, so that a few, at the expense of the many, can reap huge profits from either carbon taxes and/or alternative uneconomical and unreliable “non-green” bird killing energy sources such as wind turbines and solar power.  Conventional fuels are the only real “green” energy sources.  They provide carbon dioxide that increases plant growth; nothing green about wind turbines, solar panels or hydroelectric.

Science is a search for truth - nothing else; when scientific truth is trashed (the US EPA is nefariously complicit in this) for personal gain by a few influential greedy charlatans, the world and the average people in it, are in very deep trouble!



Figure 2.  Difference between a Contrail and a Chemtrail.

References:

1.   Patrice Hill, “Coal-mining jobs ‘in free-fall’ after EPA regs”, The Washington Times, June 12, 2014.

2.   Michael Bastasch, “Report: EPA CO2 Rules A Huge Boon To The Wind Power Industry, Daily Caller,
August 21, 2014.

3.   Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), http://www.epa.gov/mats/health.html

4.   K. E. Trenberth, J. T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, “Earth’s Global Energy Budget”, American Meteorological
Society, March 2009. 

5.   P. C. Knappenberger and P. J. Michaels, “0.02°C Temperature Rise Averted: The Vital Number Missing from
the EPA’s “By the Numbers” Fact Sheet, Cato Institute, June 11, 2014.
http://www.cato.org/blog/002degc-temperature-rise-averted-vital-number-m...

6.   Robert A. Ashworth, “Ozone destruction major cause of warming!”, Hydrocarbon Processing, October. 10,
2009.

7.   Larry Bell, “EPA Uses Junk Science to Wage War on Coal”, Newsmax, January 12, 2015.

8.   Robert and Sharon Ashworth, “The Toxic Sky! - Chemtrails Falling”, March 26, 2011.
http://www.amazon.com/THE-TOXIC-SKY-Chemtrails-Falling-ebook/dp/B004U35A30/
ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

9.   Costella, J.P., "Climategate Analysis", http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/

 

Bob Ashworth's picture

Thank Bob for the Post!

Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.

Discussions

Ferdinand E. Banks's picture
Ferdinand E. Banks on Feb 23, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Nobody is going to destroy the coal mining industry as long as coal has any value, which settles the issue. Please remember that in a couple of years there might be an intelligent and knowlegeable president in the White house, and even if there isn't the coal will still be in the ground and more valuable than ever..
Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Feb 23, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Apparently Mr. Ashworth STILL does not understand the conversion of visible radiation at the earth's surface into infrared, which is THEN absorb by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, thereby warming up the planet from a 0 deg-F iceball to a cozy 50+ deg-F. But as we are adding copiously to the amount of greenhouse gas, cozy is going to turn to hot and regionally inhospitable, both processes occurring in human civilization timeframes (decades & centuries), not geologic time frames (tens of millennia and beyond).

Please discount the "insulation both ways" drivel. It is irrelevant to this particular topic.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Feb 24, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Mr. Vessel doesn't understand much about science. When it is sunny outside and a cloud (water vapor - called the worst greenhouse gas) goes overhead and shades him, he feels warmer!
Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Feb 24, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
I forgot to add the IPCC and Mr. Vessel don't realize we get our energy from the sun!
Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Feb 24, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Mr. Ashworth,

Do YOU understand that a cloud is condensed water vapor - water that has condensed on nucleation sites, typically dust particles? It "floats" because the individual particles (droplets or ice crystals) are small enough to be held up air currents. CONDENSED water particles in the form of clouds can cast shadows, making things under them feel cooler. Additionally, clouds have a higher albedo (they are generally WHITE after all), and tend to reflect visible light energy back into space, also a "cooling" effect.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-clouds-float-when/

However, this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with dispersed water VAPOR, which most people know as humidity. It is THIS invisible gaseous water, at the molecular level, that acts as a greenhouse gas, in the same way as CO2 does. They both absorb INFRARED radiation from the ground, and reradiate it omnidirectionally/randomly, so a substantial portion of it remains trapped within the atmosphere, warming it up.

I'm really trying to figure out who you are trying to fool with your scientifically illiterate claims and propositions?

RWV

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Feb 24, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
A water molecule is still a water molecule whether it be in a solid, liquid to gaseous state. An experiment was performed by Carl Brehmer to study the effect of rising and falling levels of humidity on soil temperature and it was discovered that the addition of moisture to the atmosphere exerts a significant negative feedback (cooling effect). The data was taken over 38 days so the first thing done was to find the 38 day mean dew point and divide the days up between those that fell above the mean -- the "humid" days -- and those that fell below the mean -- the "arid" days. Then the data was averaged for the arid days compared to the cooler humid days. The humid days average was some 5 oC cooler than the arid days.

The cooling effect of carbon dioxide because of its relatively low concentration (some 400 ppmv), compared to water vapor (~1 to 2% in the atmosphere) that you can measure, has a very slight cooling effect but the effect is so small it cannot be measured.

Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Feb 25, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Rubbish
Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Feb 25, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
And just to prove to you that I am not merely dismissing the "Carl Brehmer" study, here is a link to the "Climate Realist" where this goofball describes his "study". Obviously you and Mr. Brehmer don't know the difference between "climate" and "weather". Both the coldest places on earth, and the warmest places on earth, have a distinct lack of humidity, but for totally different reasons. You can be in a cold place, a moderate place, or a warm place, and still experience drought (prolonged lack of precipitation) Using local humidity measurements correlated with local drought conditions as some kind of link to an argument for or against GLOBAL CLIMATE DISRUPTION is farcical.

http://climaterealists.com/?id=10051

The crux of AGW is that rising overall temperatures will modify global climates, and as such, change local weather patterns over the long run. Answer this question: Why is it the Sahara Desert and not the Sahara Rain Forest? There is significant vegetation both north and south of the Sahara. And it does not lie on the equator, but significantly north of it. At the same latitudes you can find more desert, as on the Arabian peninsula, as well as the rain forest jungles of India. The answer to this disparity is found in the same answer as to why India sees so much rain, and North Africa does not: atmospheric wind patterns and effects of nearby oceans. Adding more energy to the oceans and the atmosphere, as will be evidenced by rising temperatures, will NOT be conducive to a status quo for climate and weather patterns.

Real science is warning you, while your pseudo-science is deluding you.

RWV

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Mar 2, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
When a cloud goes over you on a sunshiny day, you and the rest of the AGW zealots feel warmer, I understand that. You guys should be in the Wizard of OZ! You think water molecules are very smart. Einstein said a photon has mass before being ejected from an electron has no mass when it travels through space and again has mass when it hits and is absorbed by another electron. If that were the case, he should of called them Houdinis. I have found if physicists don't know an answer, they make up one and promote it as being true. Photons have mass and travel in a helix. Very simple.
Mark Campbell's picture
Mark Campbell on Mar 3, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Richard - That Energy Central has allowed this article to be published should tell you something about their editorial process. This article will be the last one I read on Energy Central.

Bob, your numbers for solar radiation are not even close to the real values. The same goes for most of the numbers in your report. Simple research could have prevented those errors. Simple editing could have caught them as well.

You do have one very accurate statement, as you state, "We get our energy from the sun."

Richard Goodwin, Ph. D., P.E.'s picture
Richard Goodwin, Ph. D., P.E. on Mar 4, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Besides Coal Miner Jobs, Less Employees Needed for Natural Gas Power Plants than for Coal-Fired Units Given Natural Gas pricing at under $6/MMBTU for most of this decade, CCS costs cannot be economically justified. In 2008 when Natural Gas prices were over $12/MMBTU coal-fired plants seemed economically viable based upon levelized Capital and Operating Costs. Since CCS adds about 30% to the cost of coal-fired power plants, Natural Gas prices would have to exceed $16/MMBTU for a new coal-fired power plant equipped with Carbon Capture and Sequestration to be economically viable.

Since the USEIA reports projects Natural Gas prices at $8.16/MMBTU by 2040, the levelized costs of Natural Gas vs CCS does not justify new coal-fired or retrofitted coal-fired plants with CCS.

Using CCS Kemper plant costs of $15000/KW for new cost of coal-fired plant with CCS, an estimate of retrofit costs [with a minimum premium of 25%] yields $18,750/KW. Based on such CAPEX costs electric utilities may opt for Natural Gas for new and replacements base load plants. Unlike coal-fired plants that require a labor force for coal preparation & storage and pollution control e.g. ESP, FGD, SCR etc. the work force for natural gas plants would be reduced by about 30%.

Kemper Project is the one of the few ‘tires to kick’ for operating CCS technology which is inherent to USEPA’s proposed Carbon Control legislation i.e. how can utilities be expected to implement technology that has not been commercially demonstrated i.e. BACT. Using Kemper’s costs are suitable since EPA has cited Kemper as a reference CCS installation

The proposal USEPA carbon control regulations will force electric utilities to rely more heavily on Natural Gas and reduce power plants jobs. Richard W. Goodwin West Palm Beach FL

Jack Ellis's picture
Jack Ellis on Mar 4, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
Bob, we seem to be in something of an infinite loop on this topic.

I don't know whether Mr. Campbell's assertion that you've misstated easily verifiable facts is correct or not without checking myself, but I intend to do so However if you don't believe the original experiments that led to the science that underlies CO2 as a greenhouse gas, then you're welcome to replicate them. This reference (http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-gree...) cites experiments by John Tyndal in 1861 and three other scientists in the second half of the 20th century. If you have citations for peer-reviewed results that are materially different, please share them with us.

As for the effect on jobs, you'll want to be very careful. About the best you can do is speculate that the historical job losses are due to regulation when in fact, all of those jobs could have disappeared from mines that were closed because they were not cost-competitive and coal plants that were shut down because they could no longer compete with modern gas-fired plants.

There's clearly some kind of warming taking place, because I can see it in the Alaskan glaciers I've flown over and it's evident in the loss of Arctic ice. The Eastern US may be seeing an unusually cold winter when compared to the last few decades but until last weekend it was unseasonably warm in the West where I live, so that line of thinking is pretty much a dead end.

If you can't prove that the experiments showing CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas are incorrect, then the only other way to dispute that increasing levels of CO2 will lead to increases in global average temperatures is to refute the principle of conservation of energy, because if higher CO2 levels cause more heat to be absorbed by the atmosphere (net of what's radiated back into space, which is already accounted for in the experiments), it has to go somewhere - the air, the sea, melting ice or the earth's crust. Now I'll argue you can credibly challenge the IPCC's models that attempt to predict the rate of change in ocean and atmospheric temperatures because interactions among the various thermal storage media (air, water, ice and rocks) is not that well understood. But to say the whole thing is a hoax is to argue that science is engaged in a massive conspiracy. Scientists as a whole are pretty smart people, but I doubt as a group they are smart enough or devious enough to hatch and perpetuate a hoax on the scale you and others suggest.

Jack Ellis's picture
Jack Ellis on Mar 4, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
While I am not in favor of intentionally destroying industries or jobs, changes in technology have wiped out far larger numbers than are currently employed in coal- and coal-related industries. Desktop computers and word processing software have decimated the ranks of secretaries, and the advent of travel web sites has had a similar impact on travel agents. Further up the food chain, computer-controlled machine tools have dramatically reduced the number of people required to fabricate parts for everything from cell phones to autos to airplanes. In fact, Boeing is working on a robot that, if successful, will make many machinist jobs redundant. Let's not forget the many people employed by the horse industry around the turn of the century whose jobs were destroyed by the automobile, or the gas lamp lighters who were put out of work by Edison's electric lights. Most people hate that kind of change but it's a fact of life.

Your argument regarding the lack of proved harm from mercury and other coal plant emissions is a bit disingenuous. As I stated in comments regarding the article on Kentucky's coal woes, coal plants without emissions controls are dangerous public nuisances. However what's far more telling is the response in China, where the government's penchant for ruling by fiat makes the EPA look like a bunch of amateurs who can;t get out of their own way. The Chinese public is very upset with the high levels of pollution caused by coal plants and other industrial facilities that operate without emissions controls - so much so that the government has been forced to take notice. I know this from spending two weeks in China this fall, when pollution was terrible by US standards but very typical for China. More than 12,000 coal mines have been ordered shut down. The government frequently orders industrial plants to close down in order to alleviate pollution so bad commercial airplanes are not allowed to take off or land. And now the Chinese government has allowed a former TV reporter's documentary to be aired (http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/03/02/pollution-documentary-unde...). They're damned serious about dealing with emissions. It will raise their costs and harm their economic competitiveness, but the leadership has apparently decided the status-quo is no longer tolerable.

I don't know where you live but I'll make you this offer. Fly with me in my small airplane over Monument Valley or the Grand Canyon or the Northeastern US on a calm day to see the bird's eye view and then tell me there's nothing wrong with coal plant emissions.

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Mar 6, 2015 7:00 pm GMT
I don't know who Mark Campbell is but the radiation numbers I used is what the IPCC has based their info on. " K. E. Trenberth, J. T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, “Earth’s Global Energy Budget”, American Meteorological Society, March 2009." I used their graph. so please let them know they are wrong as most of the IPCC data is wrong..
Richard Vesel's picture
Richard Vesel on Mar 10, 2015 6:00 pm GMT
Mr. Ashworth's lack of logic is stupefying.

Stand in front of a fireplace, then have a blanket intercede on behalf to cool you off. He conveniently forgets to mention that the blanket then becomes hot. Absurdly funny. The blanket is our atmosphere, sir. The blanket IS getting hotter, and its overall reflectivity is going down, as is the albedo of the earth's surface as more long-term ice is melting.

Citations out of the denialist blogosphere ARE NOT SCIENCE! Stop using them as such.

RWV

Bob Ashworth's picture
Bob Ashworth on Mar 12, 2015 6:00 pm GMT
Mr. Vessel: The blanket does warm but most of the heat is reflected back toward the fireplace, so it doesn't hit you. Same way with the clouds we get our energy from the sun which the IPCC doesn't seem to realize. So if CO2 or water vapor increases more energy is reflected away from earth, less hitting the earth. I am an old Chemical Engineer; engineers have to rely on science to make things work, unlike physicists who make up things to support their assumptions. I even proved Einstein was wrong about photons having no mass which he made up. If photons have mass before they leave an electron, don't have mass as they are emitted to space and again have mass as they are absorbed by another electron. He should have called them Houdinis that have much more intelligence than humans. Photons have mass and travel in helical trajectories. Very simple and the diameter of the helix is its wavelength divided by pi. I proved this in calculating the cut-off frequencies for twenty-five RS-261-A (EIA Waveguide Designation Standard) rectangular waveguides with an average accuracy of 99.1%. I only use scientific results Richard. One other thing I have found is that if you cannot explain something in simple terms you don't understand it.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »