Monday, June 02, 2014

My reaction to Gov. Tomblin on coal not quite what he would want

The governor of West Virginia:

These proposals appear to realize some of our worst fears....based on our initial review of these rules, not a single West Virginia power plant will be in compliance if the rules were in effect today despite the billions of dollars companies have already spent to modernize their facilities.

When I read that I think what the heck is the problem with West Virginia in general and its governor in particular - sounds like they need modernizing, big time.

There's also a little question of truthfulness - 4.1% of their power comes from hydro and wind, I don't think they're on the chopping block. Mainly though, what kind of planning puts 95% of your power in one heavily polluting source? Yes it's a coal state, but it's also a people state, and they're basically admitting that they're putting coal interests ahead of their own population. The natural gas economic revolution started nearly a decade ago, very close to this area, so it's their own fault they haven't diversified.

Turns out they were planning natural gas expansion anyway, so hopefully the Obama regs will be a big push forward to reduce emissions any way they can.


Millicent said...

If West Virginia's plant is that obsolescent I guess the inhabitant's can look forward to an improvement in their health when it gets modernised. I'd have thought anyone charged with their welfare would welcome that.

climatehawk1 said...

My guess is that "not a single power plant" has been slightly tweaked to mean "not a single power plant to which the EPA rule will apply," therefore ensuring that, remarkably, none of them are in compliance. You're right about wind, which the Charleston newspapers have bitterly opposed.

Russell Seitz said...

Has everyone forgotten the Energy Crisis? To escape OPEC's grasp, , the NAS CONAES report suggested America should generate power using its massive coal reserves instead of petroleum.

Which we did.

Aaron said...

Big power plant are designed to be wasteful. First, there are large losses in energy transmission.

Those losses are energy SOLD. And the power company makes a profit on power sold.

The traditional WV power systems were designed to sell power and by extension to sell coal. Power and coal were friends, and had the same values and ethics. The coal industry did not care about their worker's lungs, so why should we expect them to care about AGW?

It seems that the Gov. is a friend of Power and Coal, and has the same values and ethics.

The surprize is that AGW, unlike black lung, is affecting the management and owners of Power and Coal. AGW is different. It is not just something that happens to workers and customers. First and foremost AGW eats capital.(E.g., engineered structures are damaged by weather outside of the basis of engineering design. And, the insurance payment comes out of some owner's capital.) Owners and managers have more capital, so AGW will affect them more.

David B. Benson said...

Aaron --- The utility companies earn on only that electric power which turns the customer's meter. Any efficiency gained in the process of moving the energy to there flows to the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

"The utility companies earn on only that electric power which turns the customer's meter."

Utilities actually make a profit on delivery,which includes transmission.

Anonymous said...

In any case, I thought that the new rules will develop goals for the whole state, not each power plant. They should be able to keep a few out-modded, high polluting plants if they bring online cleaner, greener plants to offset.