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View Diary: President Obama can and must take serious action on climate change with and without Congress (160 comments)

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  •  Right now, investors are abandoning big... (13+ / 0-)

    ...wind projects because there is no certainty about what will happen to the productive tax credit for wind (solar and geothermal) projects. The credit expires in six weeks, but wind project investors have been holding back their money for nearly a year, workers at wind-industry factories have been laid off and, even if the production credit is renewed in 2013, not a sure thing, many projects that would have come on line are lost for good.

    Previously, when the PTC expired, new wind projects plummeted: 93% in 2000; 73% in 2002; 77% in 2004.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:56:51 PM PST

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    •  Create certainty w/EPA. Screw lack of votes. (7+ / 0-)

      As the diarist points out, the Supremes have already ruled that the EPA has authority under the existing Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 emissions.

      If the EPA issued regs that included CO2 restrictions that get progressively more restrictive, that would create our much-needed certainty right there.

      Number of votes in Congress needed: ZERO.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:58:57 PM PST

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      •  The EPA has already regulated CO2 emissions (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SolarMom, Laconic Lib, Bulldozer, hooper

        The EPA has established a new, maximum allowable CO2 emission level from new power plants.  That standard essentially outlaws typical coal fired power plants. Give Obama credit for it, please.

        Since power generation is the largest single cause of CO2 emissions, and coal is the largest single actor in power generation,  that new standard is very important.

        I also strongly agree that we need methane emissions limits on oil and gas drilling operations, and on natural gas handling and shipping companies.

        Geez, extend the tax credits for wind and solar, that means lots of jobs.

        Oddly, there was a commentor or diary that cited a report claiming that our recent CO2 reductions were due mainly to local  building code and zoning improvements.  The report cost $$ so I didn't see all of it.

        •  EPA put out oil and gas fracking rules... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox, Bulldozer, HeyMikey

          earlier this year that will require "green completions" on a lot of fracking operations.

          The target was capturing volatile organic compounds that react with sunlight to form ozone ("ozone precursors")....happily this means methane will be captured.

          The methane that's captured will be additional product that can be sold (methane = natural gas), incidentally.

          The downside is the rules don't kick in til 2015.  But the rules are there.

          “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

          by SolarMom on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:30:36 PM PST

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          •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for fleshing this issue out. Typically gas wells simply have venting massive amounts of methane during start-up, evenv though methane is a cash commodity. Stupid a----s.

            How dumb can these guys get?

            Natural gas and its byproducts' storage is also a big emissions source, hopefully that is controlled by the regs you cited.

        •  You said: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bulldozer, A Siegel, HeyMikey

          Not true:

          The EPA has established a new, maximum allowable CO2 emission level from new power plants.  That standard essentially outlaws typical coal fired power plants. Give Obama credit for it, please.
          EPA has not set any numerical maximum allowable CO2 emission standard.   They've set threshold criteria for considering when a new or modified air pollutant source is a major source or major source modification under the Clean Air Act.   That isn't the same as setting a maximum CO2 emission limitation.
          •  True but (0+ / 0-)

            this is almost a distinction without a difference.  The NSPS effectively outlaws new coal fired power plants that do not have some CO2 control technology (as the other poster alluded).  So, we're done with old-style dirt burners in this country (other countries will follow).  

            •  Yes, but (another example of Lesser Evil) (0+ / 0-)

              The EPA has those rules. They are a large factor in the switch from coal to natural gas, which puts out about half as much CO2 per unit of electricity as coal, and less other pollutants as well.

              But without progressively-more-restrictive rules, we're likely to stay with natural gas for a long time, without converting a large % of our grid power to renewables. That would be an improvement, but not enough of one to prevent significant harm from climate change.

              Yet another example of the Obama administration as the Lesser Evil. I voted for him, and I'm grateful we managed to keep Romney out of office. But I yearn for what might have been, for what could be & should be.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 08:06:15 AM PST

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            •  What are you talking about? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roger Fox

              I read your response and it makes absolutely no sense to me and I'm a 34 year member of the Air & Waste Management Association and an expert witness on air pollution control matters..

              You are conflating some kind of misunderstanding about the changes the Obama EPA made to New Source Review into something it isn't.

              Nothing in the NSPS changes for combustion units does what say it does -- "effectively outlaw new coal fired power plants."

              That never happened and that is not the effect of NSPS changes and that will not be the effect of requiring a BACT review for greenhouse gases for new or modified sources that exceed the major source/major modification threshold under the Clean Air Act.

              If you're going to talk about New Source Review under the Federal Clean Air Act, please take far more care to understand what it really means.

    •  This will change, don't you think? (0+ / 0-)
    •  PTC up in the air: stinks (0+ / 0-)

      The cost to generate I've quoted doesnt include the PTC.

      And thats levelized cost of operation over 20 yrs.

      Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes called Atlantic Wind a first-of-its-kind project that shows significant industry interest in developing offshore wind power, which has languished despite efforts by the Obama administration to promote it.

      No commercial wind power is produced offshore in the U.S., although the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts could begin producing electricity as soon as 2014.

      "It's the type of project that will spur innovation that will help us stand up a clean-energy economy to power communities up and down the East Coast," Hayes said of Atlantic Wind. Besides Google, other companies involved in the project include the investment firm Good Energies, Japanese industrial conglomerate Marubeni and Maryland-based Trans-Elect Development Co.

      Hayes and other officials have urged Congress to extend a production tax credit for wind energy that expires at the end of the year. Advocates say renewal of the tax credit could save thousands of jobs and bring financial certainty to the wind industry, which has been vulnerable to boom-and-bust cycles.

      AWC may be the biggest project of its kind in the world, it represents a signature first step for US offshore wind.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:01:09 PM PST

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