Biden wants to kill electric power from natural gas

A decade ago, as the war on coal heated up, natural gas was touted as a clean, abundant, reliable, and cost-effective alternative to coal for the foreseeable future.  From April 2012:

TISHA CONOLY SCHULLER, Colorado Oil and Gas Association: By transitioning from coal to natural gas, you can reduce carbon monoxide and particulates by 90 percent. You can reduce nitrogen oxides by 80 percent, carbon dioxide by more than 40 percent. And you can essentially reduce and eliminate sulfur dioxide and mercury altogether. These are significant benefits for Coloradans' health and for overall air quality here.

The natural gas industry should have known that the sun would soon set on its bright future.  When it comes to Green Uber Alles, enough is never enough.

The Wall Street Journal rarely indulges in the splashy, hyperbolic headline, so when that paper publishes an editorial entitled "An EPA Death Sentence for Fossil-Fuel Power Plants," it's worth taking note:

The Supreme Court last summer blocked the Obama Clean Power Plan, which would have forced a generation-shift in electric power to renewables from coal. The Biden EPA's plan would do that and more by other means that are also probably unconstitutional. ... Section 111 of the Clean Air Act says the EPA can regulate pollutants from stationary sources through the "best system of emission reduction" that is "adequately demonstrated." Yet the EPA wants to require that fossil-fuel plants adopt carbon capture and green hydrogen technologies that aren't currently cost-effective or feasible, and may never be. Only one commercial-scale coal plant in the world uses carbon capture to reduce emissions, and no gas-fired plants do.

Biden's EPA knows full well that it flouts the Clean Air Act by mandating that coal- and gas-fired plants adopt regulations based on technologies that are not, and may not ever become, "cost-effective or feasible."  Clearly, the goal is to eliminate fossil fuel electric power generation:

The EPA has been stacking burdensome rules onto coal plants, including three others since March, with the goal of forcing them into premature retirement. ... "By presenting all of those rules at the same time to the industry," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said last year, "the industry gets a chance to take a look at this suite of rules all at once and say, 'Is it worth doubling down in investments in this current facility? Or should we look at that cost and say now it's time to pivot and invest in a clean energy future?'"

There you have it: pass unconstitutional regulations, and bet that industry will be unwilling to play roulette with how long until the courts decide what they will or will not do.  Even with the EPA allowing seven to twelve years to fully comply, "[power plant] owners and utilities must make economic and investment calculations today."

As for today, what can be done?  If a few governors were to file lawsuits to fight the regulations, the Supreme Court might fast-track a case in time to avert serious damage to the power grid.  The worse thing our elected representatives can do would be to do nothing.

Image: Willard84 via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0 (cropped).

If you experience technical problems, please write to