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Gina McCarthy, EPA
Gina McCarthy calls clean energy an investment for a better economy not a drag on it.
The long-awaited draft rule designed to limit carbon dioxide at existing electricity-generating plants was rolled out with a barn-burner speech from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy Monday morning. The expected myopic no-can-do barrage from the right, as well as two coal-state Democratic Senate candidates, began immediately. (Here is the rule in full. Here's an EPA fact sheet on the draft rule.)

Combining both a fire and a twinkle in her eyes, McCarthy said:

I know people are wondering: can we cut pollution while keeping our energy affordable and reliable? We can, and we will. Critics claim your energy bills will skyrocket. They’re wrong. Any small, short-term change in electricity prices would be within normal fluctuations the power sector already deals with. And any small price increase—think about the price of a gallon of milk a month—is dwarfed by huge benefits. This is an investment in better health and a better future for our kids. [...]

The critics are wrong about reliability, too. For decades, power plants have met pollution limits without risking reliability. If anything, what threatens reliability and causes blackouts is devastating extreme weather fueled by climate change. I’m tired of people pointing to the Polar Vortex as a reason not to act on climate. It’s exactly the opposite. Climate change heightens risks from extreme cold that freezes power grids, superstorms that drown power plants, and heat waves that stress power supplies. And it turns out, efficiency upgrades that slow climate change actually help cities insulate against blackouts.

Despite all that, there are still special interest skeptics who will cry the sky is falling. Who will deliberately ignore the risks, overestimate the costs, and undervalue the benefits.

On cue, there was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the rule "is a dagger in the heart of the American middle class, and to representative democracy itself.” With less hyperbole, his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has strongly criticized Obama's coal policies, said in a statement that the proposed rule is "more proof that Washington isn't working for Kentucky."
"Coal keeps the lights on in the Commonwealth, providing a way for thousands of Kentuckians to put food on their tables," she said. "When I'm in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the President's attack on Kentucky's coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my number one priority."
Please read below the fold for more on this story.

In fact, the rule gives considerable flexibility to individual states to come up with their own plans to meet the mandated reductions. These can include cap-and-trade policies, mandated efficiency standards and requirements for percentages of how much energy will be generated from renewable sources as well as regulations of emissions.  

By 2030, the EPA rule would, it is estimated, reduce CO2 power-plant emissions by 30 percent over the 2005 baseline. The electricity sector produces 32 percent of the nation's total CO2 emissions, meaning that a 30 percent reduction from power plants would cut overall emissions by 10 percent over 2005.

While industry, Republicans, global warming denying pundits and coal-state Democrats will be arguing that the rule goes too far too soon, some environmental activists view it as far too little that isn't being implemented soon enough. Dave Doniger of the National Resources Defense Council says a 35 percent reduction by 2020 instead of 2030 would make for a better rule.

But it's not just the percentage of emissions reductions that's at issue on the environmental left.

As of 2012, CO2 emissions were already down nearly 15 percent, due mostly to an increase in natural gas production via hydraulic fracturing, a much-disputed method of prying fossil fuel from tight geologic formations. A good portion of further reduction is also likely to be achieved in the short run by moving from coal to natural gas. That's an approach the administration, most notably Department of Energy chief Ernest Moniz heartily approves of. And it's one that some environmental advocates say is very much the wrong approach.

While natural gas generates about half as much CO2 for an equivalent energy output as coal, the extraction process at some wells releases vast amounts of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas in the short run than CO2. The EPA relies on industry statistics to show how much methane leaks. But on-the-ground, peer-reviewed studies in three basins—Colorado, Utah and California—have shown that the actual methane releases are much more than what industry claims.

Methane only makes up about nine percent of all greenhouse gases, but over 20 years it is 86 times as potent in generating global warming as CO2. For fracking critics, that's just one more reason making use of natural gas as a transition fuel to cleaner energy is a bad idea.

The announcement of the draft emissions rule begins a 120-day public comment period. The EPA will subsequently review those as well as deal with industry lobbying, lawsuits and the dense fog of propaganda already issuing from those who want to squelch the rule altogether, not make it stronger. The rule is slated to be finalized next June, with the deadline for state plans of compliance set for June 2016.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Change SOS, Kitchen Table Kibitzing, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree with NRDC. This would have been a bold (16+ / 0-)

    step 8 years ago. We have to work towards federal leadership that will accelerate this process AND a change in thinking regarding NG as a stop gap.

    Same topic, different industry - I have my fork and knife ready to get agriculture on board.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:26:12 AM PDT

    •  Its a bold step *now* (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      Of course we need more, much more.

      First, let's get this step supported and solidified.

      Given the friendly fire and concern trolling we're already seeing from our own side -- heck, even in many comments on dKos today and in this very thread -- we need to get behind this 100%.

      #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

      by ivote2004 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:54:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  15% in 15 years with a year for industry to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivote2004

        water down regulations just doesn't seem all that bold considering the crisis we face.

        Yes, it is something and that's better than nothing. Bold might be 30% more, starting now. Not 15% already done and let's do 15% more and call it 30%.

        Why not just call it what it is to be more palatable? 15% more from now. Oh well... It IS something....

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:54:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, "It IS something" (0+ / 0-)

          I agree with everything you said, and your sentiments, and actually even more so: I've devoted my life for the past 40 years to preventing ecosystemic collapse. Chose not to have kids as one of many decisions to practice what I preach, etc, etc, etc

          BUT I have very low expectations for electoral politics.

          We MUST work this issue from many, many, many angles, .... many of which are outside of the political realm, and certainly outside the electoral realm.

          SO: for what this is, it is a BIG FUCKING DEAL, and we need to get behind it 100%

          (And then, of course, work our asses off on every other track.)

          #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

          by ivote2004 on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:37:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Friends like this (23+ / 0-)
    Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of State, issued a statement saying the new Environmental Protection Agency rule to cut emissions from existing power plants by 30% “is more proof that Washington isn’t working for Kentucky.”

    “Coal keeps the lights on in the Commonwealth, providing a way for thousands of Kentuckians to put food on their tables,” Grimes said. “When I’m in the U.S. Senate, I will fiercely oppose the president’s attack on Kentucky’s coal industry because protecting our jobs will be my No. 1 priority.

    http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/...

    With friends like this on the Democratic side, who needs enemies.

    This is why climate change is such a tough issue to deal with.

    Democrats are splintered and Republicans are unified. That leaves the President and progressives fighting back against a bi-partisan chorus, and it makes us look out of the mainstream since we don't fall into the "bipartisan" consensus.

    •  Look Under Our System the Mainstream (12+ / 0-)

      conversation is the private property of the global super rich. It's theirs to shape, theirs to deliver to us.

      So unless you're fighting for aristocracy, of course you're going to be fighting a bipartisan opposition and you're going to be out of the mainstream.

      This is why civilization is such a tough thing to try to establish.

      Something that hasn't even been attempted in modern human history, in our civic discourse and public square.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:10:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes I wonder (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tournesol, Assaf, YucatanMan

        if there has ever been, or will ever be, a society that is not at bottom an oligarchy.     Though of course they vary in degree.
         

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:30:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I really hate to say this, but what did you (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, lgmcp, Sybil Liberty, hbk

      expect? Butter, bread, etc. Yes, it is why it is hard.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:15:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I expect the Dem Senate Candidate not to Bad-Mouth (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        a Dem President.

        Cannot recall a similar occurrence on the Republican side in living memory.

        That's one reason right there, for why we're not running a totally wacko, diminishing-base GOP off the political map.

        Ms. Lundern Grimes: the latest Dem pol to score an unforced own goal, with relish.

        She won't be the last, of course. And when the check comes due, it's always the "leftie loonies" fault, not theirs.

    •  In this coal mining towns (18+ / 0-)

      There are lots of coal miners who might vote Democratic, but they are more concerned with eking out a bare living than they are with arguments among college educated folks who can afford the luxury of thinking about the future.

      If Grimes were to sound like a Sierra Club leader, people would go with McConnell.  A known sleaze could be in a better position to be helpful.  

      Would a corrupt and lying sonofabitch be better for their interests than an honest, intelligent  and decent person?

      Could be.  Grimes can continue the fight rather than lose by making the perfect the enemy of the good.

      She is not looking to win a dorm room debate here.  She is looking to get elected in districts that vote Democratic if they don't see their economic interests hurt by it.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:21:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gotta make a living, destroying the planet (10+ / 0-)

        Let's make a Green New Deal, putting people to work restoring and preserving the environment.

        Utterly unrealistic, I know. And yet, as a party we should articulate that as a long-term goal. Or we'll never get there.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:30:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely (10+ / 0-)

          Phase One: shut down every coal mine and coal processing plant and coal fired electric plant and re-deploy the displaced workers into infrastructure projects and green energy jobs financed by the federal government, guaranteeing steady pay for 5 years.

          If anybody thinks that a coal miner making $15/hour wouldn't be happy doing almost anything else for $15/hour he's smoking crack.

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

          by The Termite on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:35:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Termite, YucatanMan, Eric Nelson

            Those green energy jobs can be to build-out solar roadways and other grid-tied, storage-backed renewable generation -- scheduled in tandem with the rapid phased shutdown of the coal industry, for an expeditious smooth transition.

            #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

            by ivote2004 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:15:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)
            Phase One: shut down every coal mine and coal processing plant and coal fired electric plant and re-deploy the displaced workers into infrastructure projects and green energy jobs financed by the federal government, guaranteeing steady pay for 5 years.

            If anybody thinks that a coal miner making $15/hour wouldn't be happy doing almost anything else for $15/hour he's smoking crack.

            If anyone thinks coal miners aren't going to be skeptical of the government coming in and telling them to get up and move for a new awesome job we've created for you, they're smoking crack.

            It's not a question of whether or not they want to do anything else, it's a question of whether or not they want someone from another part of the country who doesn't understand them to tell them to do something else.

            You can't just put a coal miner to work in a solar power plant, you can't do that. It doesn't require the same skill set

            •  Oh, I'm sure there are plenty of reasons... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              YucatanMan, ivote2004

              ...not to do this, just as there are plenty of reasons not to do anything.

              I am highly sympathetic toward coal miners as I am toward labor of any kind, but we need to contend with facts. The fact is that we are about four decades past the point where we had any reason to keep burning coal, and we have to cut that shit out now. There is no reason that men need to continue to die underground trying to bring black shit up that we can set on fire. This is 2014 and coal is a primitive industry. No change is without victims, and the coal industry is a polluter unlike any other. It's time.

              Now given all that, is it really so far fetched to think that these workers could be retrained and redeployed somehow? Is it really a ridiculous premise that they could be converted into agents of positive change instead of agents of climate change?

              Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

              by The Termite on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:22:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm aware (0+ / 0-)

                but the point being we can't simply do it without enough votes in Congress and we can't get the votes in Congress unless you win over the people we're trying to help.

                Alison Grimes is going to oppose this because her constituents will oppose this and we may want to do it against their own wishes, but we cannot expect a woman who relies on these people's votes to even consider doing this. It's just not realistic and it's not how a democracy works,

                In the meantime, we should win them over by convincing them that green energy is something they CAN do and something that can revitalize Applachia.

                We won't do that, frankly, because we don't want these jobs going to Applachia, we want them in the blue states.

              •  People who say this... (0+ / 0-)

                "No change is without victims" are never the victimized. It's so easy to throw around about other people.

                •  Oh give me a break (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ivote2004

                  In the post right above that I'm suggesting we keep those people on the government payroll while they do jobs that don't kill them, so please don't accuse me of being callous for suggesting a solution.

                  Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

                  by The Termite on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 06:47:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  How about the 7 Billion victims (0+ / 0-)

                  if we dont get coal shut down worldwide ASAP?

                  #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

                  by ivote2004 on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:46:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Just remember when "the market" destroys jobs (3+ / 0-)

          very few think there's anything wrong with it. Almost like it's a natural process at work.

          Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

          by the fan man on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:41:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Quote (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ivote2004, askew
          Gotta make a living, destroying the planet
          I noticed you posted this pithy comment from your computer... I hope it is solar powered.

          How do you get to work? It better be by bicycle.

          I assume your office isn't air conditioned.

          Shall I go on?

          •  Why yes, in an overpopulated world (3+ / 0-)

            with inherited existing economies and infrastructure, to merely exist as a human being is harmful to the rest of nature. It is a conundrum, for all of us.

            But the point stands. Lotta money to be made, ending the world.

            Per Jared Diamond's Collapse, when early Icelandic people from northern Europe realized that their imported traditional mainland livestock grazing practices were making the topsoil blow away, I'm sure some of them tried to keep it going. Gotta pay the bills, y'know! And yet, they changed, and so Icelandic civilization survived and is still thriving today. We can do the same.

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:32:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They can install the solar roadways. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson, gbaked, ivote2004

          Amazing technology developed by two humble engineers in Idaho.  Currently raising money in IndieGoGo.

          http://elitedaily.com/...

        •  Like Bill Maher said... (3+ / 0-)

          to oil and coal industry workers back in 2010, "fuck your jobs".

          Yes, the oil industry creates jobs.  So does the kiddie porn industry.
          Seems oil and coal workers didn't like that kind of rhetoric, it turns out.  :-P
        •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

          these are not very educated people. They can't just be given new green jobs, they have to be educated.

          In Applachia, the mantra is they're taking out coal jobs and giving them to some educated Californian.

          And they're not wrong.

          •  It is indeed delicate politically & economically (0+ / 0-)

            But these are the kinds of challenges we have to take on if we have any hope of keeping the planet in halfway decent condition.

            When the coal miners level the last mountaintop in West Virginia—as the sea rises, most of the ice caps melt, summer temperature soars, firestorms abound, wars sweep the globe, and a large portion of the earth's species goes extinct—what jobs will they find then?

            Green jobs can be all kinds of things. If anything, in many circumstances being more environmentally friendly means more manual labor, not less. Local organic farming, restoring wildlife habitat, invasive species eradication, industrial accident remediation, infrastructure construction... Working the land!

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 04:16:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Kentucky has lots of mountaintops (7+ / 0-)

        where the wind almost always blows. Put the coal miners to work building and maintaining wind turbines on those mountains instead of tearing them down.

        Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

        by shoeless on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:53:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I was mad about it too, (0+ / 0-)

        until I read your comment.

        No matter what, she is better then McConnel... and I wont judge her completely on issues like this until she is actually in office and see what she does.

        The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

        by gbaked on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:13:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd still support Grimes (12+ / 0-)

      in a heartbeat.  

      Yeah, I one of those crazy "lesser of two evils" types.  I don't expect any district to start electing legislators who appear to threaten the primary industry of that district.  Ya gotta pick your battles.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:27:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  She can say whatever she wants, (4+ / 0-)

      but when Mitch McConnell comes back with "but electing Grimes just supports Obama's agenda," he'd be right, as it'd make it more likely the Senate stays in Democratic hands.

      She'll do everything to obstruct Obama's anti-coal agenda except for, you know, obstruct the whole fucking Senate.  

      Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

      by Loge on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:34:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This was expected of Grimes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hbk, Simplify, Urban Space Cowboy

      She has to PROVE that she is not with Obama, so I expected this type of reaction on her part.  If she was honest, she would be trying to work with others to bring other types of jobs to counties in KY that depend upon coal.  However, this has been a bipartisan failure in KY.  

      The politicians here are dependent upon the coal and energy industry for campaign money, so there is no incentive to bite the hand that feeds them.  The coal companies and utilities have reaped profits while those who work for them lose their jobs or suffer harm from coal mining.  They also have funded a scare campaign of a war on coal, and with 5,000 more coal mining jobs lost in the last two years, coal companies and the utilities have scared those suffering economic privation into thinking all their troubles are because of the EPA and Obama.

      No one, except the environmentalists, in KY has the guts to say that coal mining is a dying industry in Eastern Kentucky.  It is considered political suicide to do so.  Therefore, you cannot really talk about economic development in those counties without the presence of the coal companies and mining jobs.

      •  You mean she has to pretend she is not with Obama (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        John in Cleveland

        for purposes of getting elected.  Then she can switch her stance to follow lock-step with Obama's agenda until just before the next election?

        Voters aren't stupid.  They know Dems follow the Dem agenda nearly 100%, just as Repubs follow their's 100% - with few exceptions.

        Politicians are, by definition (almost) liars.  Do you really think Kentuckians believe Grimes will fight tooth and nail for the coal industry, if she was the final Dem vote needed to pass an environmental bill that would devastate coal?  

        •  "Voters aren't stupid" (0+ / 0-)

          Ahem.

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

          by The Termite on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 01:50:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  She will vote for her campaign contributors (0+ / 0-)

          And she will vote for coal and not "lock-step" with Obama.  Do I think she should vote for the coal industry?  No.  But there have been plenty of other Democrats who have voted against Democratic Presidents on environmental matters, so why should Grimes be any different from say former Senator Ford of KY?   And if you paid any attention, you would see that Blue Dogs in the House and conservadems in the Senate have been more than happy to vote against the progressive agenda.  Grimes is more of an establishment Democrat, so I expect her to a be "centrist," which is something I'm not excited about.

          And if Democrats vote lock-step with Obama now, it is only because Republicans are in a permanent vegetative state with a living will that screams, NO!" to even conservative bills that Obama supports.  If Obama proposed not jumping off a cliff, Republicans would be throwing people in droves off any cliff they could find and yelling, "FREEDOM!"

        •  I do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shaylors Provence
          Do you really think Kentuckians believe Grimes will fight tooth and nail for the coal industry, if she was the final Dem vote needed to pass an environmental bill that would devastate coal?  
          I do.

          Democratic Senators have not been coy about obstructing. (see: Manchin, Lieberman, Ben Nelson)

    •  What do you expect? This move will cost jobs. A... (0+ / 0-)

      What do you expect? This move will cost jobs. A senator or representative is first responsible to their constituents, not the president.

  •  President Obama to huddle with public health (8+ / 0-)

    groups today, hosted by the American Lung Association....

    ========ALA content below

    President Obama to Join American Lung Association for Telephone Briefing on EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards Proposal

    Washington, D.C. (May 30, 2014)—

    On Monday, June 2, 2014 the American Lung Association will host a telephone briefing with President Obama, national health groups, and health professionals from across the country on the EPA’s proposal of carbon pollution limits from existing power plants, expected health benefits, and opportunities to provide public input.

    In advance of the event, Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association issued the following statement:

    “We are honored to have the President join us to discuss the much anticipated carbon pollution standards that EPA is expected to propose on Monday. Evidence is clear that pollution from power plants is harming the health of our nation. For the 147 million - nearly half of all Americans - already living in areas with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution, curbing carbon pollution emissions is a critical step forward for protecting public health from the impacts of climate change happening today. Having the President join us and our health partners underscores just how important this rule is to the health of American families.”

    ###

    About the American Lung Association
    Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.

  •  You said: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, 6412093, JJ In Illinois
    ... the extraction process at some wells releases vast amounts of methane....
    The phrase "extraction process" isn't particularly illuminating.   None of the aircraft/tower methane studies I've seen have sufficient ability to be considered to be emission-unit-specific characterizations.  Measurement of emissions at the emission unit level....is necessary to understand the action emission rate.   Aircraft and tower methane studies are not emission measurement.   They are ambient measurements of atmospheric methane which are not carried out on an emission unit basis.   The entire effort to characterize methane arising in the atmosphere in the neighborhood of hydrocarbon production fields is 100% dependent on  the totality of non-sampling-emission-unit calculations, assumptions and model runs...which are all subject to error.  

    Here's just one example of the limitations of this approach to attempting to characterize emissions.....the problem of hydrocarbon production fields in which both natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons are both produced in the same field.   Since liquid hydrocarbon recovery operations also release methane, there is no basis from an aircraft or tower ambient methane study which can distinguish how much methane came from each of the following categories of operation which will all be present...

    ....natural gas well boreholl drilling and well completion
    ... flowback phase and tank emissions
    .....natural gas production phase leaks and tank emissions
    ....liquid hydrocarbon well bore and well completion
    ....production phase, liquids recovery...tank methane release.

    Since it isn't possible via aircraft methane ambient sampling to ascertain the process operation source that distinguishes between such operations absent detailed information, various assumptions are made in modeling and calculations attempting to use air quality models and mass balance approaches to calculating and modeling the emission field from a hydrocabon recovery field being addressed.  

    The takeaway is that emission unit level sampling is the 'gold standard' for emission characterization.  Aircraft and tower studies are indicating we're not fully understanding what emission units are the highest emitters and why....but ultimate answer to that question is going to come from more emission unit sampling and not from the aircraft studies.

    •  Fracking is only considered... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VeggiElaine, YucatanMan

      at all acceptable because the existing energy behemoths were well situated to make money from it. These operations release shit into the air, they force shit into the water table, they destabilize the ground and cause f'r christsake earthquakes. Is there uncertainty about the amount and makeup of the shit? Of course there is, uncertainty is something that poisoners and polluters pay big money for.

      I get that you want accuracy. Somebody out there doesn't, or we'd know every chemical compound they're shooting into the earth. (Yes, it's propriatary. Because some upstart Mom & Pop might come along and underbid their contracts, right? Sure, that's why.)

      Fracking is just wrong. We know to produce clean energy but we can't, because in the resulting buildup of new infrastucture Mom & Pops really would have a chance, and we just can't have that.  

      One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

      by Darwinian Detritus on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:03:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Easily solvable. Mandate independently ... (6+ / 0-)

      ...controlled monitors be attached to every single emissions unit as a requirement of doing business. We should rather quickly see whether the figures industry supplies the EPA are accurate or bogus.

      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 Jun 02, 2014 at 12:03:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not like the industry doesn't meter this gas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      Just get the losses out of the companies.

  •  Great but (5+ / 0-)

    The emissions from shale oil and gas fracking/extraction/production need to be addressed immediately!

    These emission are not being measured on any kind of consistent or meaningful basis. The emissions are ongoing and significant and need to be addressed for the sake of the planet and the health of the people living nearby.

  •  Ten percent reduction is too little, too late. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    expatjourno, Shaylors Provence

    And that is from the 2005 levels, not today's lower levels of emissions. Since 2005 actual U.S. carbon emissions have been reduced from 5,999 MMT/yr. to 5,290 MMT/yr. in 2012, primarily a result of power plants switching from coal to natural gas.   This 709 MMT/yr. reduction in U.S. carbon emissions equals 11.8% - meaning these supposed emission reductions are actually an INCREASE.

  •  a more interesting analysis would be the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeggiElaine

    pattern of utility ownership and power distribution versus emissions especially across state lines as well as the "multi-state" aspects of compliance that represent Big Energy vs. Bigger Energy

    Expressed as a formula, the equation for the annual rate
    computation is:
    [(Coal gen. x Coal emission rate) + (OG gen. x OG
    emission rate) + (NGCC gen. x NGCC emission rate) +
    “Other” emissions] /
    [Coal gen. + OG gen. + NGCC gen. + “Other” gen. +
    Nuclear gen. + RE gen. + EE gen.]

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:25:31 AM PDT

  •  I expect Alison Lundergan Grimes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, TheLizardKing, Mr MadAsHell

    To blast Obama on this announcement/EPA Rule.

    And commenters her to blast her.

    Give her a break!  She needs to do that to win.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:27:32 AM PDT

  •  Grimes panders to the low-info crowd... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John in Cleveland, 6412093, Theston

    ... like she's been doing it for decades. I'm impressed.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it.

    by The Termite on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:27:44 AM PDT

  •  So Did Mitch say that in his Khan Noonian Singh (4+ / 0-)

    Voice

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:30:21 AM PDT

  •  Maybe we should put lead back in gasoline (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darwinian Detritus, Simplify

    After all, it must have really hurt the lead industry when it was removed. Ditto for paint - put the lead back.

    I ♥ rock crushers.

    by fly on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:31:09 AM PDT

  •  Democracy is good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Even this may be attributed in part to election pressure. Let's not let up in the slightest!

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:32:19 AM PDT

  •  Glad Gina McCarthy is heading the EPA (6+ / 0-)

    I think she's the best thing that's happened to that agency in a good long while.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:32:38 AM PDT

  •  Really a speech (5+ / 0-)

    worth listening to / reading in full.

    Some ammo for dealing with fossil foolish attacks: Reasons to apply a skeptical mindset to claims of disaster due to @EPA regulation … (with links to other discussions).

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:36:24 AM PDT

  •  The pushback is going to be enormous. (5+ / 0-)

    But we knew that, didn't we?

    This morning I listened to my podcast of Michael Krasny on KQED's "Forum" interviewing Elizabeth Kolbert about her latest book "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History".

    So I'm feeling pretty scared and pretty powerless.  An individual can- and must- participate in solutions, I know.  I've given up eating meat for the most part because factory farming of animals contributes to much of the methane produced, causes degradation the land and limits biodiversity.  But it feels like such a small step.  Maybe if more consumers did the same…  but who knows?

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:36:49 AM PDT

    •  Target should have been 50% by 2030, which would (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, TJ, YucatanMan

      be scaled back in negotiations. Armchair quarterback sure, but the WH knew what they are in for.
      I give Obama props for putting something tangible forward, even at this late date.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:45:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radiowalla
        The McCain plan would impose a cap and trade system on electric power, transportation fuels, commercial business, and industrial business but would exempt small businesses. Firms would either reduce their emission of greenhouse gases or purchase “offsets” to cover emissions. Targets for greenhouse gas emissions would decline over time as follows:

            2012: Return Emissions To 2005 Levels (18 Percent Above 1990 Levels)
            2020: Return Emissions To 1990 Levels (15 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
            2030: 22 Percent Below 1990 Levels (34 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
            2050: 60 Percent Below 1990 Levels (66 Percent Below 2005 Levels)
            Permits would be auctioned “eventually” with proceeds going toward the development of advanced technologies to reduce greenhouse gases.

        2008 campaign
    •  The pushback is going to be enormous... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      ...and a lot of it will be right here, from the left.

      Remember 'Kill the Bill'?

      The superfluous goods of the rich are necessary to the poor, and when you possess the superfluous you possess what is not yours." St. Augustine

      by Davis X Machina on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:57:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am relieved (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    at the focus on power plants, rather than industries.  Any more pressure on industry will chase even more of them offshore, where their pollution will increase.  For instance we've lost almost all of our pulp mills and aluminium smelters and tens of thousands of union jobs  in the Western US to China and elsewhere.

    I'm also glad reductions will be state by state.  A state  could increase energy efficiency and conservation to relieve some of the pressure on their power plants, if they chose.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:42:06 AM PDT

  •  Does the NRDC spell out how (2+ / 0-)

    the 30% reduction would be feasible in >5 years, taking into account the finalization process, any litigation, etc.?  More aggressive targeting in the short term would lead to more fracking, not less, I would think, to the extent it's the technology most adaptable to current technology and infrastructure.  A longer-term target seems like it best accounts for the existing state of technology, and would also have the least impact on employment.  That's not to say we should relax the tarting - quite the contrary - but a longer term solution has to take into account the fact that true renewable enrgy methods just aren't there, and let the political case be made, as with health care, that the objections are silly.  The state-by-state nature of the rules gives some opportunity for anti-fracking folks to build on the momentum they're having with localized moratoria, as well.  

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:43:50 AM PDT

  •  I also feel kind of bad for the power plants (0+ / 0-)

    that just finished spending $500 million or a billion to install scrubbers.  If they'd known this rule was coming they could have just shut down now without spending those massive sums.

    I don't imagine many others at Kos share my sympathies. Eh, not the first time.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:44:30 AM PDT

  •  So absent clean water, air, or a planet... (0+ / 0-)

    they can have dirty jobs in Kentucky.  Great.  Grimes will lose in double digits anyway.  Anyone wanna take that bet?

  •  My electric company is Constellation, which gives (3+ / 0-)

    the option to go 100% wind turbine power.  When I switched from ComEd, which locally runs a huge coal fired power plant, the cost of my electricity went down.

    Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

    by shoeless on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:50:04 AM PDT

  •  Go Gina! (9+ / 0-)

    All the people screaming about how this is going to negatively affect the middle class (or any other class, for that matter) should watch last night's episode of Cosmos. I just don't understand how you can be opposed to cutting back on the pollution that is going to wipe out your entire economy. I mean, how short-sighted do you have to be to mortgage your children's future to protect a dirty industry's profits? This is like lumberjacks complaining about losing their job security because someone is trying to tell them not to cut down the last tree standing.

    Ecology is the new Economy => Kosonomy

    by citisven on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:53:17 AM PDT

  •  From the posted link to a link here is the EPA (4+ / 0-)

    ..public comment format

    How to Comment on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule
    With the location and dates of

    Public Hearings: Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

    EPA will hold four public hearings for the Clean Power Plan proposed rule the week of July 28, 2014. The hearings will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views or arguments concerning the proposed action. The hearings will take place in:
    •Atlanta, Georgia
    •Denver, Colorado
    •Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    •Washington, DC
    Both those links came from the posted (pdf) OVERVIEW OF THE CLEAN POWER PLAN CUTTING CARBON POLLUTION FROM POWER PLANTS to this with video of EPA director Gina McCarthy:  
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Rhode Island and the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Get Ready For More False Claims By Big Polluters - June 1, 2014
    The 50 dirtiest American power plants emit more carbon dioxide than all of Canada or South Korea.
    I'll take some pointers from Senator Whitehouse for my comment; something like this;
    ..the big polluters can’t just keep dumping their pollution on the rest of us. Doing so might be free for them, but the costs are too high for us. Their long holiday from responsibility has to come to an end.
    Thx MB
  •  I don't understand the state by state ruling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    Electricity is no longer self-contained within a certain state.  Multi-state power companies move and trade electricity across state lines willy nilly.

    Unless this is a backdoor way to reach stated goals without actually cleaning up power generation.

    My cynical self wonders if power is attributed to the state in which it is generated, or in the state in which it is used?

    If in the state in which it is used, big power companies can simply provide paperwork stating excess "clean" energy from one state is being sold and used in another state that needs to up its clean power quotient.

  •  This is not a bill, right? It's executive action. (5+ / 0-)

    The last sentence calls it a "bill", I assume it's a typo. Do they need any sort of Congressional approval? Judging from McConnell's whining, they don't.

    There's of course 0% chance of passing such a standard through the present Congress.

  •  I love this woman. (5+ / 0-)

    And I love the way she says "cahbon".  Sounds like a piece of home to me!

    You don't like unions? So, on Labor Day, do you go to work in protest?

    by JourneyInside on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:47:47 PM PDT

  •  This is being done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shaylors Provence

    so that congressional Democrats don't have to seriously discuss a carbon tax when they meet with Citizens' Climate Lobby later this month.  Last year the President made his announcement the very DAY of our lobby day (quelle surprise!), so that MOCs could say "not to worry, the Prez is taking care of everything."  

    As MB points out, the new EPA rules would reduce US emissions BY about 10% of 2005 by 2030, and it does nothing to reduce anyone else's.  We need to reduce TO 10% of 1990 emissions by 2050 to avoid runaway climate change, which as far as I can tell would exceed 95% reduction below current levels.  Hard to see how anything short of an aggressive carbon tax  can achieve anything remotely like this.  In addition, if you couple a carbon tax with a border tax adjustment, you can motivate other nations to enact their own reductive measures.

    A media that reports issues fairly and intelligently, and that holds power accountable, is an inherently liberal institution.

    by Dinclusin on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:01:50 PM PDT

  •  Just in from 350.org & Bill McKibben (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Eric Nelson, YucatanMan
    Dear Friends,

       Earlier today President Obama announced new proposals for regulating
       carbon emissions from power plants.

       They're a good thing -- some advocates think they could be stronger;
       others are powerfully supportive. To me, most of all, they seem obvious,
       the kind of thing that should have happened many administrations ago, and
       that I'm glad are happening now.

       And the reason they're happening now is...you.

       As we've built a climate movement together with our allies and all of you,
       politicians have finally begun to sense that they have some space to act,
       and some pressure to move into that space. If Beyond Coal and Mountain
       Justice Summer and countless other organizations and campaigns hadn't made
       coal an easy target; if the Keystone and fossil fuel divestment campaigns
       hadn't turned up the heat on climate change; if hundreds of thousands of
       you hadn't marched and written and emailed, then today's announcement
       would not have come.

       And since much much much more needs to happen, we'll all need to turn up
       the volume in the months ahead. That's why it's so essential that we all
       turn out in glorious force in New York City the weekend of September 20
       for the [1]People's Climate March -- save the date and [2]RSVP as soon as
       possible. We're going to raise the volume high enough that the momentum
       for change will accelerate, not stall.

       By themselves, these individual decisions -- about power plant emissions,
       about Keystone and tar sands, about coal ports and fracking, about fossil
       fuel subsidies and divestment -- don't turn the tide on climate change.
       But make no mistake: movement pressure is starting to bring results.

       The pieces are in place for real progress, but the pieces won't move
       themselves. [3]We need to keep showing up. Now more than ever.

       Onwards,

       Bill McKibben for the whole team at 350.org

    (I added the bolding)

    #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

    by ivote2004 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:08:00 PM PDT

  •  I like this line from McCarthy's remarks: (0+ / 0-)
    The critics are wrong...
    Too bad we don't see more of that.

    As for coal state representatives, change is hard. And hard core changes like shifting away from coal are really, really hard.

    We could wish for political leadership with more vision and imagination, but until we blow out all the candles on every birthday cake ever in existence and get our wishes, we still have to face reframing the discussions to tell the myopic that they are wrong.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 02:32:47 PM PDT

  •  Are we diverting attention then w/focus on CO2 (0+ / 0-)

    and not GHGs?

    If methane releases are so much more significant and fracking has resulted in the lowering of our CO2, what about the total measurement of GHGs?

    Is it just that the methane has not yet been factored into the equation because as you write "Methane only makes up about nine percent of all greenhouse gases, but over 20 years it is 86 times as potent in generating global warming as CO2"

    So are we dealing here with situation akin to where the CO2 which is impacting our atmosphere now is from the 1980s and the methane impact will be felt later on?

    There is so much more that needs to be done, as we know. Efficient buliding standards. Rapid Transit Systems. Restructuring of agriculture. AND life style changes. Priority changes. An entire sea change.

    This is just bread crumbs.

    If you're not terrified into action by the IPCC's 5th Assessment , you're not human.

    by boatsie on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:35:41 PM PDT

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