Category Archives: EPA

End of Coal

coal

Two stories lured me off from the campaign trail for today.

Peabody Energy, the world’s biggest coal company, filed for bankruptcy. President Obama promised to drive the coal industry into bankruptcy. As it happens, the fracking industry is driving coal into bankruptcy. Natural gas is cheaper and cleaner than coal. Obama hoped to replace coal with renewable energy.

The other story is that,  SunEdison, world’s biggest renewable energy company, is also preparing to file for bankruptcy.

Tapped Out In Flint

160122-tapped out in flint

Flint Michigan has third world tap water.

In a cost cutting move the City stopped buying water from Detroit and began building a pipeline to Lake Huron. Detroit cut Flint off before the pipeline was complete. The city began drawing water from the Flint River. People complained that the water was foul and smelly. The water department insisted it was safe.

The Flint water was so corrosive the auto industry stopped using it. The corrosion damaged pipes and caused lead levels to rise to five times acceptable levels.

Now it’s a huge infrastructure problem with no fix in sight. The entire population depends on bottled water passed out at fire stations.

The EPA didn’t acknowledge the water crisis in Flint until President Obama announced emergency federal help last week.

EPA also dragged its feet on its release of 3 million gallons of water from the Gold King Mine into the Animas River in Colorado last summer.

Global Community versus Global Warming

151214-global-warminThe civilized world rebuked ISIS by agreeing to turn down the global thermostat.

Al Gore was giddy. He proclaimed, “the global community is speaking with one voice”.

Last time the “global community” tried to speak with one voice was the Kyota Protocol. Poor countries said screw it, we want to get rich too. So this time around the rich countries agreed to buy off the poor ones for $100 billion a year. Or, as The Wall Street Journal editorial board put it, “governments of the West are going to dun their taxpayers to transfer money to clean and green governments run by the likes of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe”.

But not to worry. John Kerry says the deal is non-binding. It’s not a treaty because a treaty would never get past the US Senate. In other words it’s empty symbolism. Not that that’s a bad thing, according to Robert Tracinski:

As a global warming skeptic, who thinks it’s absurd that the entire world is supposed to get together to prevent relentlessly rising temperatures (that aren’t happening) and who considers the idea of an international political target for global temperatures at the end of the century to be a monument to the hubris of central planning, I’m not bothered that the Paris Agreement is empty symbolism.

EPA Spill

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EPA chief Gina McCarthy says the Animas River is cleaning itself. The EPA spilled 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the river when one of its contractors pulled the plug to the abandoned Gold King mine. The agency took 24 to alert officials of the spill.

Silly Shirt Season

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World leaders showed up at the APEC summit in China last week wearing silly shirts. It’s an annual tradition to distract us from the silly stuff they do.

China is filled with with smog. You can taste the PM 2.5 – little particles that go into your lungs to kill you. So what was the signing event of the week? A deal to reduce the carbon dioxide you exhale to cough those little buggers out. And the Chinese don’t even have to do it until 2030. If they’re still alive.

Silly Season

The agreement is for America to set the example by cutting co2 emissions right away. The really silly part is that it’s a deal about nothing. Carbon dioxide emissions in the United States have been falling due to increased use of natural gas and a decreased role for industrial production. We’re expected to reach the goals of  the agreement by doing nothing. China will reach peak population growth by 2030 and it’s co2 emissions are expected to fall naturally by then too.

The other big news of the week was the revelation that our governing elites lack a positive attitude toward us voters. They think we’re stupid. Ok, so maybe they’re right. It’s certainly not a problem shared by China – a situation much admired by Tom Friedman of the NYT.