Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

My turn: Obama’s EPA goes on gas attack

By
From page A4 | November 30, 2010 |

Maureen Martin
By Maureen Martin

On Nov. 15 President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules requiring large industries to use the “best available control technology” to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. Only there’s a problem: There is no such limiting technology. Even the EPA admits it.

The emission control directive comes in an Obama EPA “guidance” document. It will require new or expanded sources of greenhouse gas emissions — such as power plants, steel operations and petroleum refineries — to obtain preconstruction and operating permits limiting such emissions.

Ever since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, the EPA has regulated only emissions obviously and commonly toxic to humans if inhaled or ingested, such as carbon monoxide or lead, in addition to hazardous pollutants toxic in very small quantities. Obama’s EPA wants to extend its regulatory reach to greenhouse gases that are not toxic to humans, except in incredibly high amounts. The most prominent is carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas. It is in the air, the oceans and soil. Humans and animals exhale it. Trees and other plants ingest it to survive and flourish.

Carbon dioxide also shelters the Earth by trapping heat, keeping us from freezing to death. Too much of it, however, can trap too much heat, and global warming alarmists contend human activity such as burning gasoline and coal generates too much carbon dioxide. This, they say, will kill or harm both humans and the planet.

Skeptical scientists argue levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have always fluctuated over millions of years from very high — vastly more than currently exist — to very low, and that the Earth has mechanisms for coping with those fluctuations.

Leaving aside that issue, though, the question is whether we can actually limit them.

Technology exists to control toxic air emissions, usually by capturing them at the smokestack and disposing of them safely. That’s much more difficult with carbon dioxide. The EPA says the most promising technology is “carbon capture and sequestration.”

Think about that for a minute. Simply put, capture involves what we do when we blow up a balloon, except on a vastly larger scale. Sequestration involves holding it there indefinitely.

We already capture some carbon dioxide and use it for commercial purposes: in soda pop to make it fizzy, for example. When compressed, it is used in air guns, paintball markers, fire extinguishers and to inflate bicycle tires. But we can’t use all of it for such purposes. So “carbon capture and sequestration” is supposed to capture it in huge quantities and store it somewhere. In permanent tanks, for example, or by storing it underground in a rocky cavern at Yucca Mountain in Nevada and preventing its escape.

This technology is neither feasible nor affordable, and the EPA knows it. So the EPA says large plants can comply with the limits by increasing their operational energy limits — in other words, by decreasing their energy inputs rather than by decreasing their greenhouse gas outputs.

So, for example, the EPA discusses installing more efficient boilers to heat the facility. That may be a good idea, but does the Obama EPA have the legal authority to require it as a means for compliance with the Clean Air Act?

Probably not.

A more serious problem with the proposed guidance is that it favors limiting emissions of greenhouse gases over limiting emissions of seriously toxic ones. So if installing more efficient fuels comes at the price of higher emissions of carbon monoxide or nitrous oxide or other toxic pollutants, that’s just fine with the Obama EPA.

So let’s get this straight. Obama’s EPA plans to force large industry to limit carbon dioxide emissions even though they’re not hazardous to humans, even though there’s no definitive proof they have anything to do with global warming, even though there’s no direct way to limit emissions and even though doing so may increase toxic emissions.

Is that insane? If you think so, say so. The EPA is accepting comments until Dec. 1. You can submit a comment in one of three ways: (1) online at regulations.gov; (2) by e-mail at a-and-r-docket@epa.gov; (3) by fax to 202-566-9744. In all cases, comments should reference Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0841.

Let’s hope sanity prevails.

Maureen Martin (mmartin@heartland.org), an attorney, is senior fellow for legal affairs at the Heartland Institute.

Comments

comments

.

News

Cameron Park house burns

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Supes delay petition

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Sand Fire 95% contained

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Two fires in town

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

SUV hits parked cars

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

.

Letters

Second Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Pollock Pines’ Fourth of July Parade

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

Water conservation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Koby

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Debt reduction at EID with Coco?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Time for change in CP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Olives need less water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
EID rate discrimination

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

.

Sports

Camp draws good numbers

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
New law tackles gridiron concussion problem

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Rafting denied

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A9

 
Racing returns with big 5-division card

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A9

Roundup: July 31, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Prospecting

Sing while you paint

By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Plenty of golden fun during SlugFest

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: Aug. 1, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2

 
The making of a champion

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B2

Art on the Divide is showing new exhibitor

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B3

 
‘The Flu Season’ stirs emotions

By Ovation Stage | From Page: B4

Guitar group performs in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B5

 
Time to register for classes at Center Stage

By Center Stage Dance Academy | From Page: B5

Get a groove on in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B8

 
Chris Young in concert at Carson Valley Inn

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B8

The music continues at Bear Valley Music Festival

By News Release | From Page: B8

 
Sacramento Museums are celebrating

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B9

 
.

Essentials

Weather stats

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 17-19

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Mark A. Smith

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jeffie “Jeff” Lee Callahan

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Patsy Ruth Wing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Larry A. Randall

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

 
Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

 
Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

 
Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23

 
.

Comics

.

Home Source

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23