Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Coal, global warming and EPA regulations

Article: Welshing on Wyoming’s Coal Industry:
Will a new edict from the EPA kill a business that’s made the state wealthy?

Some facts from the article:
  • 40% of energy in the US is generated from coal
  • 645 pages of proposed regulations
  • Mining companies paid more than $1 billion in taxes, leases, royalties and other payments to Wyoming in 2012. Money that appears to earmarked for education.
  • The average worker at a Cloud Peak mine earns $69,000 a year, not including benefits
A rural town in Wyoming has become wealthy due to coal mining near it. New government regulations, to limit global warming due to carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, may end that.  
Gillette, Wyo. — Gillette, a rural town an hour’s drive from Devil’s Tower, is subject not to the whims of fate alone but to those of the federal government.

Its golden opportunity came nearly 25 years ago, when Congress, with a regulation intended to cut down on acid rain, inadvertently sparked a coal boom in the region. But today, as the Environmental Protection Agency pursues new regulations to cut carbon emissions, Gillette may again see its fortunes change.
Live by government regulations, die by government regulations. Cure acid rain, then you have to cure global warming.
But as the Environmental Protection Agency eyes new carbon regulations, it may once again reverse Gillette’s fortunes. The Obama administration is seeking to reduce carbon emissions from electric plants by 30 percent between 2005 and 2030. It has suggested to states a range of means to this end, but the practical effect will be to penalize coal-fired power plants while artificially boosting demand for other energy sources.
In other words, penalize cheaper energy from coal and force prices up to the point that "other energy sources" like wind and solar become economically practical.

All government regulations have "good reasons" attached to them. Sometimes it is to "reduce deaths by cancer," sometimes, "for the children," sometimes to "aid those less fortunate than ourselves." And there are a host of others. Sometimes these are legitimate reasons, sometimes they are simply pretexts for power grabs.

Government by "good reasons" is a functionally infinite government, ultimately controlling all aspects of everything. A tyranny.

"Good reasons" are being used to regulate the free speech of college students to avoid "hate speech," to regulate 2nd amendment rights to avoid gun violence mostly due to drug gangs, and to regulate freedom of religion with regard to gay rights and abortion. In other words, constitutionally guaranteed rights are being regulated for "rights" which do not exist in the constitution. But it is being done for "good reasons."

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