The EPA Caves on Coal?

EPA to Withdraw Coal Killing Clean Air Act Requirements

WUWT reader Greg Staff writes:

It looks like the EPA is seeing the writing on the wall. The scuttlebut here is Houston is that this is a “face saving” maneuver, to avoid having to submit to the next administration.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it plans to voluntarily withdraw a requirement that seven Texas coal-fired power plants reduce pollution, according to a filing with a federal appeals court.

The so-called regional haze rule is part of the Clean Air Act and was proposed two years ago with the goal of cleaning up the air in national parks. The act requires states to craft a plan to address air pollution, or else be forced to implement a plan compiled by the EPA. Texas declined to create a plan, and along with power plant owners took its objections to the EPA’s plan to court.”

Full story:

199 thoughts on “The EPA Caves on Coal?

      • Me too. I love what Malcolm Roberts is doing regarding CSIRO’s “data”. I just hope enough people realize it as he has to fight his way through media bias same as Donald Trump did. But yes, the future is looking brighter.

      • The so-called regional haze rule is part of the Clean Air Act

        so they are prepared to waive controls on “haze” ie. REAL POLLUTION but presumably still whining on about action on carbon “pollution”.
        This is now total perversion of their missions. They are now abandoning any pretence of controlling real pollution, something that Trump has been clearly in favour of.

    • Well the UK will be shutting down all its coal plants and they are already producing at record low levels… which probably helps our health.
      Australia produced a report recently which sais it should phase out coal…
      France and Finland announced dates for phasing out coal power in the last week.

    • This is what I call – The Trump effect!
      It washes the dirtiest of scum (EPA) shiny clean, ain’t it lovely!!!!!

      • I am now picturing Mr. Clean with Trump’s face.
        Mr. Trump cleans your guv’ment and all departments in it!

  1. Eco-McCathyism at The EPA is a toothless tiger when the going gets tough. However, in reality, this is the beginning of a political retreat. Expect to see more back tracking over the next couple of months as the EPA senior staff look to try and protect their jobs! Hopefully Trump and CO will clean house and wave goodbye to all these politico guys and let the true scientists at the EPA begin to have a say. Bring back Alan Carlin!

    • Yes, Trump’s team need to dig out the partisan public sector workers who use there power to forward illegally their hidden agendas and the email shadow government from the EPA, IRS, DOJ, Labor and State Departments.

      • I feel that is what he means by “draining the swamp”. Start at the bottom, remove all the water and the surface scum becomes irrelevant and/or dies through lack of sustenance.

    • You would be amazed at the number of high paying promotions floated through the EPA when the new air rules appeared about 3 years ago. I declined to go for the transfer…eventually I just retired from all the madness. The whole place was full of folks who told tea-bagger jokes and wink wink when you didn’t come up with any of your own.

    • I want George Carlin back! His take on the enviroterrorists was super. Better without f-bombs but right on and very funny.
      His Al Sleet, the hippy-dippy weatherman was priceless.

  2. Yea, we get to keep our AC units running! The Texas summers are sweltering, to say the least, and coal is good to making electricity to keep them running.

  3. ..Sorry Gina, too little and waaaaay too late…the Trump Effect will not stop..[snip]
    [Marcus, there’s no Gina on this thread, so that’s why the snip, but it occurs to me that this is another one of your obtuse comments an you mean Gina McCarthy, head of EPA. Try not to rant without reference. – Anthony]

    • ..Sorry Mod, you are probably right, it is way too hard to fire unproductive workers…Trump has a lot of surprises coming his way when he learns how government really works..But, unlike other previous administrations, both Democrat and Republican. he will let “The Little People”, like you and me, have access to ALL the information available to him that is not classified, unlike Hillary who probably gave the world (and maybe sold), very sensitive information…Only time will tell…

      • Actually there is an easy way to get Gina McCarthy loyalists to voluntarily resign – just issue orders to them to produce accurate charts showing that the “global warming” craze has all been fabricated, and don’t allow them to work on anything else until that work has been satisfactorily completed.
        The worst that could happen? EPA does absolutely nothing for the next 8 years, and that outcome is perfectly fine, too.

      • A desk in the corner of the basement parkade with a dial up phone and a supervisor that calls every 10 minutes to insure you are at your station.
        After a few months I am sure a resignation letter will appear.

    • ..Umm, sorry, I thought that was obvious about it being …Gina McCarthy ….It is obvious Anthony, that you have a personal dislike for me, which is understandable to a point, from angry posts that I’ve made in the past (but I have been trying to correct my stupidity) , against trolls that visit your website..But if you understand that I meant Gina McCarthy, then you must realize it is not “obtuse” or a “rant” ..Your “policies” seem confusing to an “uneducated” person with only a High school education, when you decide that “You’re Fired” ( Donald Trumps most well known comment) gets SNIPPED !! I simply don’t understand the logic when I have seen comments here 1,000 times worse than mine,….

      • With you, it’s more about the combined volume and the content. Many of your comments are totally unnecessary. Try embracing the “less is more” philosophy. It would be less work for me and moderators.
        And to be clear, I don’t dislike YOU, I dislike these one liner rapid fire rants that you write, often without thinking them through.

      • ..Anthony, please show me an example of ” one liner, rapid fire rants that you write, often without thinking them through.” so that I may learn Not to do that…I have seen many “one liner, rapid fire rants” here at WUWT buy other posters, but you only seem to find a problem with mine ? Please explain to me also, how printing “You’re Fired”, (PRESIDENT elect Donald Trump’s most well known saying) at the end of a comment, should be “Snipped”, as if this was an insult to her, when the entire article was about Gina McCarthy and her policies at the EPA (which most know here are politically driven) ? It defies logic, even for an “uneducated” old man !

        • It was because I thought it was directed at a person on the thread.
          Look this is a waste of my time. I and the moderators spend more time than necessary on you because of the way you comment, you seem like a nice guy, but your commenting style is your problem.
          Less comments, more substance is where you need to be to get off the radar.

      • ..Anthony, seriously…The Article/blog was about the EPA…The head of the EPA is named…Gina McCarty….I mentioned Gina in my comments, and you ignored simple intuition/logic just so you could “Snip” me………Yours and Dr. S hatred for me has blinded you to reality..IMHO !

      • Marcus, I used to work for a company whose tech writing department produced a booklet titled “Writing for the Reader.” It quickly spread outside of the tech writing group and into engineering and other areas. It seems to me that many of your posts are written for yourself, not for the people who read WUWT.
        Before you post something, run through a checklist that’s something like the following, feel free to add more items:
        1) Is this something that will inform people?
        Many of my comments wind up lost in “Cancel reply” when I decide what I wrote was content free.
        2) Will people have the background to understand this?
        This includes readers from the UK and Australia, I think they’re the #2 and #3 groups of readers here. I think that few of them would know who Gina is.
        This includes people from the US. I’ve never heard US media say Gina, or EPA head Gina, or even Gina McCarthy. They say “EPA head Gina McCarthy” to be clear. Perhaps when Anthony referred to “one liner rapid fire rants” he was including your usage of shortcuts like “Gina” that lose much of the meaning in short posts.
        3) Are people familiar enough with the subject matter?
        Keep in mind that some of your readers haven’t been here for 10 years. Some have been here for 1 year, some for 10 days, and some may be getting introduced to WUWT by your comments. Yes, we can’t cover all of climate science history in every comment, but adding a few more words helps both to explain what you’re talking about and provides context that’s helpful to everyone.
        4) “I have seen comments here 1,000 times worse than mine,….”
        I can’t come up with a good example myself, when I see your name on a comment, I don’t read it very closely because there are so many of them and don’t tell me much. So I can’t compare yours to those that are 1,000 times worse. Perhaps you could take the time to do some research before you write a comment. I figure a good, memorable comment that’s worth remembering or finding with a search engine should take half an hour or so to write.

        • Thanks Ric, well summarized. I think Marcus has left WUWT, because he just can’t seem to understand what a nuisance his comments have become. Perhaps if he reads your summary, the light bulb will go on and he will be a better commenter.

      • Ric Werme November 29, 2016 at 9:59 pm:
        “Before you post something, run through a checklist that’s something like the following, feel free to add more items”
        If you are responding to a prior comment, be sure it is clear to whom / what you are responding. I somewhat overdid it here for illustrative purposes.
        Geronimo November 29, 2016 at 8:32 pm:
        What are the health effects of the increase in electricity prices caused by the eliminate pollution regardless of cost regulatory mindset?

  4. That is great news. Just think of all the people with asthma and breathing problems who now get to
    enjoy sulfur dioxide rather than clean air when visiting a national park.

    • Geronimo, even the EPA aren’t claiming that is what the rule is for. It is intended to lower haze and make sightseeing more enjoyable. The concept is even in the name.
      In terms of protecting asthmatics, it is far more important that the rules apply to where people live. Making rules only for parks isn’t hugely helpful.
      So please less concern trolling.

      • Chester, what exactly do you think that haze is made up of?
        Yes, stuff that damages people’s health and it won’t be confined to national parks – it will be spreading over peoples’ homes too.
        This is a measure nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with health… and people here are cheering it?
        You need to do this even if there was no such thing as climate change…

      • I saw one of those “James A. Fitzpatrick’s TravelTalks” shorts on TCM last week, on the Grand Canyon, filmed in 1943. And there it was – haze.
        Griff, as a student, do you know why and when the Smokey Mountains got their name? Haze is a natural meteorological phenomenon which does not require any human emissions to form.

      • Cleaning the air in National Parks? In Texas?
        Ignore the malicious mis-information from Geronimo and griffiepoo.
        Big Bend National Park?
        Sure looks sparkly there:
        Guadalupe National Park?
        Not too shabby there either. Again, there are many desert plants that contribute VOCs mightily to the air. You can smell desert plants for quite a distance; junipers, sage, rosemary, mesquite, creosote, ponderosa pines and douglas firs in the higher elevations.
        Once again, EPA invented their fantasy as their rationale for closing coal users, not the people who don’t mind the Texas wilds and deserts and love to hike or hunt them.
        Much like the particulate matter regulations EPA is trying to force on cities with statistical games and fake health damage claims.

      • brians356,
        And the Blue Ridge mountains in VA/WVA. Distant mountain ridges appear bluish because of…HAZE! And they were called the Blue Ridge looong before there was any inkling of global warming.

      • Particulate and aerosol pollution is far less of a problem than it was, and it’s unclear how much of a problem it is today. There was a mass outbreak of asthma cases last week in Sydney caused by thunderstorms – 8,000 cases. Obviously nothing to do with air pollution or CO2.
        The issue here is the the thoroughly dishonest linking of of air pollution from coal burning and global warming from greenhouse gases. They are separate issues. Not least because the evidence says particulate and aerosol pollution cools the climate. And efforts to reduce this pollution will likely cause some global warming.

      • @ Philip Bradley…I read about those Australian weather related asthma cases. I was wondering if excess, or a trapped layer of ozone from the thunder storm might have played a part in that. One time when camping up in the mountains I remember how the scent of the air quickly changed when a fast moving summer thunder storm rolled over head. The conditions trapped the ozone in the mountain valley. It smelled dead in a way. That was my first thought which I expressed to my friends at the time. Most of them agreed, and there was one of our group who explained that the smell was ozone generated by the lightning.

      • “@ Philip Bradley…I read about those Australian weather related asthma cases. I was wondering if excess, or a trapped layer of ozone from the thunder storm might have played a part in that. One time when camping up in the mountains I remember how the scent of the air quickly changed when a fast moving summer thunder storm rolled over head. The conditions trapped the ozone in the mountain valley. It smelled dead in a way. That was my first thought which I expressed to my friends at the time. Most of them agreed, and there was one of our group who explained that the smell was ozone generated by the lightning.”
        The deaths were allergy related

    • Oh puhleez. What a crock of BS! The air is cleaner than it has been in two generations. The EPA regulations are just punitive measures to retard growth and investment in this country, nothing more. I’ll start believing this tripe when I actually see the EPA perform an honest, transparent cost-benefit analysis.

      • If they admit the air is not an imminent threat anymore, many of them lose their jobs.
        Their self-preservation involves increasingly tighter regulation.

      • The EPA regulations are the reason why the air is cleaner. Or do you think the utilities took action just because they are nice people who like clean air?

    • Good thing it wasn’t called the elementary school haze rule, or little kids would now get to
      enjoy sulfur dioxide rather than clean air, eh Geronimo? ; )

    • The emissions from coal fired palnts in the U.S. are hardly life-threatening, nor are they causing asthma sufferers undue hardships. The estimates of damages from emissions is so exaggerated that no one believes them. Seems like the only people affected are those close to death to begin with.

      • Sorry I can’t remember the details but wasn’t there a report here sometime ago about a study that found some forests producing natural but very serious “haze” with comments along the lines off the EPA would have to clear cut large areas of natural woodland to sort the problem.
        James Bull

      • The Great Smokies National Park have a lot of conifers that release a lot of VOCs, Volatile Organic Compounds, which are the cause of much of the haze there. Lately, it’s been real smoke…..

      • Actually Parts of Texas have some of the worst air quality in the US.
        and yes pm25 from Coal is deadly and imposes a health cost burden that is much greater than Nuclear
        and Gas.
        The simplest way to see this is to look at emergency room admissions on bad air quality days.

      • Absolutely correct Arthur. The same applies to petrol and diesel emissions from vehicles. We now have literally tens of millions of vehicles on the World’s roads compared to fifty years ago, and in terms of vehicles per square area the UK. must be amongst the most congested. Greater London experiences endless lines of traffic coming in from all directions every day of the year, all emitting exhaust fumes for hours on end, yet we still see regular reports from the government that the nations health is at the highest standard it has ever been in the history of the World, with the population generally living to a much older age than it did fifty years ago, leading to the British government considering highring the state pension age qualification. My wife, who has suffered all her life with asthma, and I regularly visit London and have cause to walk its streets amongst the slow moving traffic with many huge busses and taxis contributing to the so called pollution, but neither she nor I have ever experienced any breathing problems or any other physical problems from these visits. Nor have we ever seen old or sick people collapsing with respiratory or any other problems. We see only millions of happy people enjoying everything that this wonderful world can offer. It’s just a pity that our ‘Clean Air’ boffins don’t take facts like these into consideration when they come up with their draconian and self promoting ideas for improving air quality, ideas which can have such devastating effect on the wider well being of the industrial World and thus, the betterment of the human race.

      • Geronimo strikes me as one of those people to whom there is no such thing as clean enough. Especially when it’s other people who have to pay for it.

      • Mosh,
        Yes, let’s tear up the US constitution so the “enlightened class” can force its will on all those basket of deplorables in Texas.

      • “Mosh,
        Yes, let’s tear up the US constitution so the “enlightened class” can force its will on all those basket of deplorables in Texas.”
        You dont own the air. Nobody owns the air. You cannot own the air.
        I find no right in constitution use the air as your garbage pail.
        It has nothing to do with an enlightened class. The folks who burn coal provide cheap energy thats good. Great.. I love it.
        There is also an unintended consequence. Increased health care costs.
        This does not entail a regulatory answer, but the concern and issue is real.
        Denying science, or denying that there are market mechanisms to address the issue is rather silly.
        and making up a constitutional right to pollute is even sillier.

      • “Parts of Texas” Says Mosher…
        Are you trying to tell us the National Parks are in the big cities Steve?
        Comparing Houston’s air to any of the National Parks is sophistry in motion.
        Even Dallas and Fort Worth are not that bad during the heat of the day in the Afternoon rush hours. San Antonio and Austin are downright nice compared to many cities. I highly recommend San Antonio’s Riverwalk and there is a superb hat store near the Alamo selling premium western hats.

      • Steven Mosher,
        “Denying science…”
        What are you talking about? Seriously, science is not a simple assertion that one can rationally be spoken of as denying . . so the impression you give (me) when you speak so, is that you see science as a great collective consciousness type Entity, that ought to rule over us . . In short, I see you as amazingly childish about the whole intellectual pursuit we call science.

        • Exactly. “Climate science” has jumped into the abyss of “the ends justify the means” which is absolutely anathema to science. “Hide the decline”. “Adjust the data.” “The dataset is proprietary, sorry, and you only seek to discredit my conclusions.”

      • “What are you talking about?”
        Simple. The science is pretty clear about the health effects of pm25.
        Why deny that when you dont have to

      • “Parts of Texas” Says Mosher…
        Are you trying to tell us the National Parks are in the big cities Steve?
        Comparing Houston’s air to any of the National Parks is sophistry in motion.”
        Who compared Houston to national parks?
        I linked to our hourly map.
        Go study air quality in texas. Its cities rank was some of the worst.. probably top 10
        “Even Dallas and Fort Worth are not that bad during the heat of the day in the Afternoon rush hours. San Antonio and Austin are downright nice compared to many cities. I highly recommend San Antonio’s Riverwalk and there is a superb hat store near the Alamo selling premium western hats.”

      • Steven,
        “Simple. The science is pretty clear about the health effects of pm25.”:
        It’s pretty clear about people sometimes freezing to death too, but I don’t feel justified in accusing you of “denying science” in general because you advocate something that might result is someone freezing to death . . I could, of course, but I’m a grown up ; )

      • Now Steve Mosher is exhibiting reading understanding problems.

        “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it plans to voluntarily withdraw a requirement that seven Texas coal-fired power plants”

        Where in that sentence, Steve, do you see anything about cities in Texas?

        “Air quality monitoring for the last three warm-weather “ozone seasons,” from 2012 to 2014, shows San Antonio narrowly trailing only Dallas-Fort Worth, one of two Texas urban areas that for years have been listed in violation for ozone by the Environmental Protection Agency.”

        Wherein the suggestion is to stop idling cars and especially trucks. Not stop coal fired plants from producing electricity.
        If you can’t take the heat Steve, stay out of Texas during the ozone season, which happens to be high summer.
        By the way, that photo is not a normal summer day in San Antonio. The haze pictured in that photo is way above 80ppb ozone in the air.
        No haze in the air in this photo; looks like yucca is in bloom. Courtesy the San Antonio Botanical garden.
        Here’s a sky shot, same Botanical gardens:
        Here is San Antonio’s Friedrich Wilderness Park:
        In a closeup, the flowers look to be prairie rose and bee balm.

    • Think of all the people whose electric bills increased by $1000 per year or more who will once again be able to pay their mortgage, feed their kids, and enjoy life again.

      • $1000 increase? Can you provide any evidence for that?
        But more generally there is always a trade off when it comes to dealing with pollution.
        It is always cheaper for companies to pollute (the air, water etc) and then let someone else
        deal with it. But as a society we need to decide what is the optimum level of pollution given
        the trade offs between cheap energy and health. And this is a non-local problem since both air pollution and water pollution can easily extend to multiple countries.
        I honestly have no idea where the optimum lies but I know that as with anything there needs
        to be a rational discussion and compromise on all sides.

      • Geronimo. I can safely drink tap water from anywhere in the UK, knowing that it is safe from pollution. I also know that the air we breath is generally more pure than it ever has been. Our rivers are now cleaner than they have been for centuries supporting fish and wild life more abundantly than past centuries. I suspect this is the same for America and the whole of the developed World, so what is your problem?

    • Sulfur Dioxide? We cleaned that up decades ago. Imagine, we were able to clean up all this mess before the millennials were born without bureaucrats and without damaging our economy.

    • The Los Angeles smog cleaned out my congestion in 3 days in 1961 when I returned from spending the summer in Hawaii.

      • Back in those days, it was exceptional air days when you could see the mountains from downtown LA.
        It is not that bad anymore. Now LA can look west and see where LA sprawl reaches.
        What is in the air of many western cities is dust, kicked up by cars and trucks; the highways look hazy, but five miles off the big highways and the air is cleaner. If you don’t mind the normal dust devils.

    • “”Heavy rains and winds last Monday triggered thousands of pollen allergy asthma attacks in the state of Victoria.””
      Seems like it is nature not man that triggers asthma attacks.
      For a second I thought you were commenting on the previous thread

  5. I suspect that they realize a defense of “climate change” won’t stand up if the rule is actually challenged.

    • We will see. My Ontario Provincial government starts the cap and trade in Jan. I will sue the Liberal Party of Ontario for proof that their cap and trade will change the climate.

      • Eve, can we sue them for their already-implemented ridiculous 800% electricity taxes too? It has gotten so bad that people can’t afford to put up Christmas lights any more. Thanks, Premier Grinch, er, I mean, Wynne.
        (I know, that’s pretty much the definition of a first-world problem, but if people can’t afford to light Christmas lights, what else can they not afford to light either? And the lights were perfectly affordable before Premier Wynne got her hands on the tax spigot.)

    • Yes, perhaps it went like this….
      Oh Mister UTX I see that you are supplying X billion of Jet engines to the US government. Hmm perhaps if you close that Indy Carrier plant we might see how pretty those Boeing and Rolls Royce fancy engines look on our fighters….
      Yes, President Elect Trump, That jump you wanted, how high was that?

      • OH Forgot the Moral, O’balker can’t do those deals because he is ideologically straight-jacketed , but Trump has campaigned on the fact that he will not limit Americas deal-making thunder with artificial limits. He can get it done because he’s prepared to throw green cpap and PC culture under the bus.

      • bobl, I have always enjoyed reading your comments. I did not know that UTX supplied jet fighter engines. I do believe that a 15% tax on businesses would help, the American economy tremendously! The current tax is just another way of making American businesses uncompetitive.

      • CC, just to be clear, you are talking about dropping the corporate tax to 15%, not adding 15% to the existing tax?

      • You are correct, lower it to 15%. Trump’s “current” tax proposal is found at the site listed below. I hope he is not a JAFP. (Just Another Flaming Politician for non-NZ’ers) Yes, I will be paying more in income tax. I believe keeping America strong is important to my family, my country and the word is worth it.

  6. Congress controls the purse.
    In this year, Congress will gut funding to Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, and the EPA.
    Ford already caved in. Carrier caved in too.
    I say, cut funding all these liberal entitlement programs, and put the squeeze on the IRS too.
    THEN and only THEREAFTER start negotiations. Cut the federal job roll by 50%. Day one!
    THEN we will see how important CO2, baby part selling, and Obamacare is.
    The mob is ruled by their bellies.

    • “THEN we will see how important CO2, baby part selling, and Obamacare is.”
      Please tell me I have missed the sarcasm where it says baby part selling. That sounds like something out of Victorian times.

    • What on earth are you talking about? Trump has said he is going to spend $1T on infrastructure programs, and going to ramp up military spending. Anyone who thinks Trump is going to cut federal spending is delusional.

  7. Tried to enter posts about coal on American Institute of Chemical Engineers ( AI ChE ) and National Society of Professional Engineers ( NSPE ) and BOTH CENSORED THE POSTS. They need to be added to the Lawsuit filed by our friend in Texas. Follow the Money.

      • And thankfully so as that assists inleaching minerals into solutions so that plants can take them up and make wonderous things like barely, rye, and corn. I’ll drink to that little bit of physical chemistry.

      • Eve
        “”I captured fresh rain in a beaker and it was a 7”
        Try a clean beaker next time CO2 400 ppm in air goes into raindrops and at this level creates slightly acid refreshing pH 5.5 rain in most places

    • Acid rain actually provides some of the sulphur otherwise needed to be provided by farmers in the various fertilisers available.
      Sulphur is a constituent of three of the 21 amino acids which form proteins, and thus it plays an important role in both plant and animal nutrition.
      Deficiency is commonly seen as yellowing of plants due to its role along with nitrogen in protein synthesis.
      Impact Fertilisers’ Sulphur Products
      N: 10.2% P: 16.3% S: 18%
      N: 10.0% P: 15.9% S: 20%
      SuperM is a MAPStar based product that is ideal for situations where a higher sulphur content is required.
      Single Superphosphate (SSP)
      P: 8.8% S: 11% Ca: 19%
      SSP is ideally suited to top-dressing perennial pastures, where both phosphorus and sulphur are required.
      Sulphate of Ammonia (SOA)
      N: 20.4% S: 24%
      Commonly used in combination with other nitrogen sources, such as DAP, MAP and Urea, to add sulphur to blends.
      Sulphate of Potash (SOP)
      K: 41.5% S: 17%
      This product supplies potassium as well as sulphur. As it is considerably more expensive than MOP (Muriate of Potash), unless there are agronomic reasons (such as high soil chloride) as to why MOP should be avoided, then there are likely to be more economical sulphur containing fertilisers.

      • And sulphur is added to stabilize wines before bottling. ( and many other products). But for California it would seem kinda important. ( and for me as well).

      • Re: Asybot, below.
        Another thing. I have just bottled off our recent vintage of reds which are protected from spoilage by about 20ppm of Potassium Metabisulphate (sorry,old school spelling) and a pH of less than 3.5 (actually 3.3).
        It is all about balance.

  8. Whoa, that sounds a lot like a “cave-in”, the coal miners usually dread that phrase, but in this case they should rejoice.
    I believe that sulfur dioxide scrubbers have been required for years, maybe tune them up a little and we can still have affordable ‘lectricity and clean air as well.
    Cheers, KevinK

  9. Texas is the lead plantiff against the CPP.
    The EPA has an injunction against it from enforcing the CPP until the merits of the case are argued and the case is resolved. SCOTUS split 4-4 on overturning the injunction, so the injunction remains.
    What this is: it is attempt to nullify the court case entirely by making the plaintiff’s argue moot.
    It is a desparate ploy by the EPA. The move is most likely unconstitutional because it treats one state (Texas) differently than the other states. Congress do that if there was a compelling government interest (such as the Voting Rights Act did to Jim Crow law Southern states, but that takes Congress). The judges wills see this for what it is.

    • CPP (Clean Power Plan) is the EPA’s lawless attempt to rewrite the Clean Air Act to carry out its unlawful War Against Coal. Congress, via legislation signed by the President, could do this. The CPP is almost going to die once Trump takes the reins on January 20.
      The EPA is desparate to begin enforcement on the CPP as that would make the private power plant operators to begin compliance actions that reversal/repudiation of the CPP by Trump more difficult to undo entirely.
      Thus, this is a race against the clock to Jan 20th for the NRDC-run EPA. And getting the injunction removed, even it it means letting the Texas coal-fired power plants get a pass, is worth the attempt when you are as dishonest, ethics-void, and ruthless as the Green Blob is.

    • Fully agree. This is more about courtroom manoeuvring than it is about retrenchment in the face of Trump’s presidency.

  10. I was born in 1950 and I didn’t know anyone with asthma until I was 16 yrs old . Went through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and saw few with respiratory issues . Back then I could hardly see the neighboring skyline due to haze and smog.
    Now our air is being scrubbed for CFCs, Ozone, Hg,… , and now CO2. Almost every day is clear – but 10% of the people I know have some type of respiratory ailments.
    I am all in for a clean environment; But, I wonder if we aren’t depriving ourselves of natural immunizations – the ability to build up resistances.
    At least once every week I see some “mommy” on the news complaining about the environment making her kids sick. I can’t help but think “helicopter mom” is actually causing their affliction. I am delighted that my grandchildren actively play outside and are quite healthy.
    I miss the aroma from the local bakery and now the Yankees moving into the area are complaining about the (heavenly) emanations from BBQ joints.
    I do not wish to live in a sterile world.

    • Before I left the UK in the mid-2000s, there was a study of the rising asthma rates. What it found was that, if you asked parents if their kids had asthma, many said yes. If you asked them if their kids had been diagnosed as asthmatic by a doctor, far less of them said yes. So the numbers were based largely on parents self-diagnosing their kids.
      And, since asthma has supposedly increased so much while the air has grown cleaner, a rational person would conclude that clean air causes asthma. Particularly when the UK’s asthma rate was higher in rural areas than cities.

    • I miss the lovely smell of households “burning off” (burning of excess foliage & other waste etc). Btw, just as an aside, I actually do suffer from mild asthma, but I have recently discovered that it appears to be due to food intolerances – quite an amazing discovery for me.

    • Asthma rates likely have zero to with air quality (or lack thereof).
      Asthma is an overreactive immune system skewed to an antibody responses against airborne allergens,. But the reason the immune system is over-reacting to non-infective stimuli is explained by the hygene hypothesis.
      Asthma rates are rising likely due to exposure of children to things like dust mist droppings in enclosed HVAC-controlled apartments and a lack of exposure to immune skewing/regulating responses to helminth (worm) infections and lack of exposure early in life to gram-negative soil and feces bacteria.

      • dust mite droppings, not dust mist. (Autocorrect did that)
        Dust mites feed on dead skin cells in bed sheets, carpets, clothing if they aren’t washed and cleaned regularly. The dust mites poop contains a protein that is strongly immunogenic and stimulates strong antobody responses. Thus once you become sensitized to dust mite droppings, breathing it in then induces strong allergic responses such as an asthma attack.

      • Smoke particulates are a significant factor for most asthma patients. Children in households with wood stoves or smokers have a higher incidence of asthma. Like most autoimmune disorders the true cause is unknown and probably multi-factorial.
        From a physician who has asthma

      • “Smoke particulates are a significant factor for most asthma patients”
        I doubt that finding. Otherwise, asthma would have been epidemic for decades before the EPA and NIH got involved.
        One just has to love the instant correlation equals causation process.
        Especially since so many asthma victims originate in modern closed air heavily insulated houses.
        Why haven’t the researchers thoroughly tested environments when asthma first flares up?
        Just watching new housed go up is an exercise in possible causes:
        • Chipboard plywood from multiple species of trees, glued together,
        • Pressure treated wood near ground level or in wet areas,
        • Wrappings; both Tyvek and poly to stop air filtration,
        • Insulation, glass fiber, blown in insulation of many types, multiple types of chemical foaming resins,
        • Indoor air seal wraps, often poly,
        • Engineered timber frames, again glued woods from many sources,
        • More chip boards for the flooring,
        • Various types of linoleum, rugs, laminates or urethane coated woods for floors,
        • Virtually all modern furniture is hard board, press board or MDF covered with laminates or veneer; again lots of glues and various species of wood particles,
        • Furniture covers that have been treated for stain and water resistance,
        • Painted or wall paper covering every inner surface,
        • House hold chemicals by the gallon; just look under any sink in the house.
        Sure, blame carbon particles and aromatics in the air that mankind has been exposed to for multiple millennia; not any of the myriads of volatiles from the synthetic modern world.

    • @ checklist, our family lives in the “country” but our kids were in high school in the “big” city. We were always amazed about the level of flues, colds, and “sick” kids in the schools but once in a while we would visit their parents and homes. The “cleanliness” was almost phobic. I think you hit on a good point. They live in a much to much regulated sterile environment, air conditioners and cleaners, closed room environments etc They are not hardy enough.

      • Asybot has it. We are becoming a nation of germophobes. All these hand cleansers, carpet steam cleaners, anti-bacterial soaps, and TV commercials about bacteria, all a form of madness. Germs are part of the human condition! Our immune systems work fine with a little practice.

    • Schneiderman and Nealy likely violated professional ethics, if not the law itself. They are in legal jeopady if this goes against them as they could be disbarred or suspended by their respective state bars, which are overseen by their respective states’ supreme court.

  11. Isn’t it odd that the Federal govt is greatly worried about the effects of trace elements in the atmosphere,but places no ban on cigarettes, which bring in billions and billions in tax revenue and are 10000 more deadly than those emissions from coal fired plants. They are even trying to ban (or tax, either is OK) vaping devices, which spew out that horrid water vapor and propylene glycol, so dangerous that it is found in a variety of foods and used as an anti-freeze in swimming pools, so that folks will not leave cigarettes for the safety of e-cigarrettes and avoid all those Federal taxes.
    The Feds are disgusting SOBs of the first magnitude.

    • Our cities and other have just banned smoking in all public areas as of Jan 1 2017. The only place you can now smoke is at home . ( can’t smoke in your car either)

    • arthur,
      now explain the marijuana legalization trend in increasing numbers of states against what you wrote.

  12. Even under Bush the EPA was out of control. The legal limits for what the EPA calls pollution just keep getting tighter and tighter because nothing signals your virtue more than being in favor of “zero” emission targets.

    • Good point – for all the claims that Bush was some kind of “radical conservative”, he never did a single thing to pull in the Bureaucracy.

  13. (y)
    That Ugly Gnarly Head Of Reality Is Beginning To Rise in the offices of the EPA, in the “Swamp” of “Little Saigon on the Potomac” Washington D.C.
    Looking happily to the EVAC day on the Washington Mall and the roof of the State Department Building in Little Saigon on the Potomac.
    After the indignants have fled the Flag Of The United States Of America will be hoisted above the State Department Building as it was on Mt. Suribachi. Long May It Rein.

  14. The EPA scoundrels are just cockroaches scurrying for cover. They plan on hiding for 4 or 8 years without losing their job, then they’ll be back to destroying civilization, They must be tracked down and relieved of their duties. Just like they did to 10s of thousands of US citizens they drove out of jobs.

  15. So many in the U.S.have respiratory problems because of their forced air heating/cooling sytems……..I think less so in Europe where radiators are more common.

  16. I grew up near a lead smelter that filled the air with a stinging blue haze of sulfur dioxide that irritated respiratory tracts and killed vegetation yet I never heard of asthma or knew anyone who had it until I moved to a town with clean air. I don’t know what causes asthma, but I don’t think it is sulfur dioxide or, at our levels of exposure, all of us would have had it.

    • I grew up near a lead/zinc smelter too (and worked in it for a while [Trail, BC].) The pictures of the desolation caused by the untreated stack discharges were severe before I was born 70 years ago, but not so bad by the 50’s and now the hills are green and newcomers would be very surprised to see the pictures from the 1930’s. We have come a long, long way in dealing with real pollution in industrialized countries.
      But in Africa and elsewhere, where charcoal is a primary cooking source, the air pollution remains severe. I used to double wash my clothes to get the smell out when I came back to Canada. And I am used to the smell of wood smoke since I have almost always had and still have wood heat. The advantage of living in a low population density area.
      Most asthma I saw growing up was pollen based. I do suffer from exercise induced asthma but that is fairly manageable and has naught to do with air pollution.

      • Pollen and asthma? Could be. The sulfur dioxide killed a lot of the vegetation in the lower elevations of the valley where we lived so I imagine we didn’t have much pollen so that might explain the seeming absence of asthma. Come to think of it, I don’t recall seasonal allergies, either; not until I moved to a cleaner environment. Not everything is what one would think it should be.

      • While pollen is a problem, for me it’s the natural soil mold that gets kicked up in the fall and spring by the farmers working their fields. Or when it’s dry and the wind kicks up, lofting all that nasty mold up into the air.

  17. “The rule would apply to seven power plants that the EPA claims affect air quality in Big Bend National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the only two national parks in Texas. Big Bend is along the state’s western border with Mexico and the Guadalupe Mountains run along the Texas-New Mexico border.”
    We visited these two parks since retirement. To get there you drive to the middle of nowhere, turn north or south and drive another 200 miles. These are remote, arid, and very windy places. The wind doesn’t blow from the coal plants towards the parks.
    One of our other places we go in the winter is near Houston. Parking our motorhome on the Gulf of Mexico is free.
    While the Haze Rule was a stretch to start with because haze is natural, the absurdity of this case would not pass a legal challenge.

    • And everyone who lives here in Texas knows that our weather systems almost always blow from west to east, not the other way around. Meaning, for those who aren’t up on their geography, that all of the haze in those parks comes from Mexico and has nothing to do with coal plants that are several hundred miles DOWNwind.
      The entire plan was ridiculous from the start – that’s why the EPA dropped this without much of a fight.

  18. Us Texans are a different breed. We used to be a nation, doncha know. And with all the cattle business we have had over the last hundred or so years, we know bullsh-t when we see it.

  19. Was this new rule about SO2 a guise to block coal because of CO2?
    Better focus on small particles (PM 2.5) If the plant is close or up wind to a lot of population, and forget about CO2 (SO2 already out mostly?)

  20. An EPA house cleaning is badly needed. Trump won’t be there forever and the bureaucrats who will do what the EPA has attempted to do need to be broomed. Republicans have been remiss in house cleaning when in charge in the past. Nice guys like good old George W. There are of course the civil service employees for whom, I have been told, require a veritable act of congress to shed. Perhaps that is why there are so many idiots in the ranks. I would think, though, that at the policy level a good disinfecting would be possible.

    • George W issued lots of new regulations on coal plants because they were needed. It was not a war on coal but putting place a level playing field between old unregulated plants and new ones. It was about real air pollution.
      Obama’s war on coal is about climate and not supported by regulation.

  21. There’s a few other folks want to buck their ideas up too, on this side of the pond.
    Last night, the UK electricity grid was running flat out at (just) 48GW – there was no spare capacity. None.
    And outside air temps were only just dipping below freezing over England….

    • Peta in Cumbria, Can I ask where you got the numbers for last night’s power generation?consumption? Living in the UK, that’s something I’d be very interested to read. Maybe a link?

  22. EPA
    –Clean Air. Mostly done ✔️
    –Clean H2O. Mostly done ✔️
    –Spot and marginal problems with Air/Water. Keep working
    -Violations of scientifically based standards. Keep working
    –Quit trying to regulate a colorless, odorless, tasteless trace gas essential to life.
    –GREAT JOB EPA!! You’ve completed your main missions. Now go away with the nations thanks.
    –Devolve your remaining responsibilities into Interior Dept.

  23. Like many of us, I am pleased that we have cleaned up our water and air since the founding of the EPA. I have to say though, I was dismayed when EPA director Gina McCarthy claimed at her confirmation hearing that storms and severe weather are becoming more common and more severe. No one asked her for references to back up that claim, even though it directly contradicted recent congressional testimony of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. Without valid science, the EPA is dangerous. Hopefully we will see a flip in the quality of science used, not just a flip in ideology.

  24. For years, not only have organisations like this been attracting politically active eco-activists, but they’ve allowed them almost free reign to indulge in creating whatever data they can. In an environment where there were no penalties for being fraudulent and massive perks for coming up with the “right” answers, it is inevitable that will have been a massive amount of corruption. And whilst the management no doubt were aware much of the information they got was “suspect”, I doubt they have the faintest clue just how extensive the corruption has been.
    So, when you first get an administration that is there to enforce good standards, it will start at the top – they will claim that “barring a few minor issues they are dealing with (starting just after Trump got elected) – everything is fine and that Trump should just go away now and let them run it their way.
    But as the new people dig just a little deeper (and start doing the job the old management were supposed to be doing and intentionally did not) they will inevitably find a hotbed of corrupt practices. And it won’t just be adjustments to data. It will involve personal expenses, unauthorised expenditure, political advocacy and working hand in glove with certain parties. etc. etc.

  25. It appears that this is merely a way to avoid having a judge kill the regulation, keeping it around to be reimposed later.

    • Griff, the first problem with your statements, up thread, is the fact that Asthma is hereditary, just like baldness in men.
      It IS NOT caused by pollution. Asthma runs on one side of my family, and it has affected “some” of my family members, exactly as hereditary science predicted it would.
      “Trump can’t revive coal and can only slow US renewables industry”
      Only in your mind dear Griff, only in your mind.

      • In Griff’s mind, any trend that is in a direction he likes, will continue forever.
        Just like the fact that for the last 3 months, Arctic ice levels are lower than the 2012 level is proof that Arctic ice will soon be gone.
        However the fact that for 6 months prior to that ice levels were above the 2012 mark is utterly meaningless.

      • But the point is Mark they are not only lower, but much lower than the previous low point in the satellite record and lower during the freezing season, with ice melt actually having restarted at one point.
        That is completely unprecedented.
        and in the previous 6 months, well the 2016 low was either the second lowest or tied fro second lowest, according to how you measure it.
        which is very far from (say) a recovery to pre 2007 levels…

      • Well Standard and Poor and the Economist Intelligence Unit from whom I draw my information are both of that opinion. do look up their recent reports.
        Neither noted for their leftist of green credentials, I’d have thought.

  26. In my childhood, everyone I knew had measles, mumps, and chicken pox.
    Almost everyone heated with firewood or coal. The only vaccine we received
    was smallpox.
    I never knew anyone with asthma until all children had to be vaccinated
    for what we called the “childhood diseases”.
    I subscribe to the theory that lack of exposure forms wimpy immune systems
    which react too strongly to week stimuli.
    A good example is the water in third world countries gives my GI system
    fits while locals drink it with no problem.

  27. I drive. a lot. All over the world, I am a real road warrior. In the UK , if I am coming up on a town or village, the first indication is often a church spire, which is usually close to the centre. In the US it’s usually a water tower, with the name of the place on it. US cities are identified by an orangey haze visible from over ten miles away. But these hazes have absolutely zero to do with power stations

    • When was the last time you drove in the US. Air quality is ‘good’ almost all the time. I am old enough to remember smog in LA and a black dome around steel mills.
      Do not recall an ‘orange haze’. On an overcast night, some time of street light allow you to see a city before you get to it.

  28. It’s too late. Let the RIF proceed. Start packing and start the internal investigations at EPA and a lot of other agencies.

  29. Isn’t it amazing? The Trump Effect (making America great) has already begun, and he isn’t even president yet.

  30. Less pollution is certainly desirable. But the plain fact of history is that more death and misery, by multiple orders of magnitude, has been caused by too much government than by too much pollution. It is equally clear that pollution reduction has, in the West generally and the US especially, degenerated into justification for increase of government power, size and scope.

  31. There are no doubt over 15,000 dedicated EPA workers who have nothing to do with the mismanagement .
    They can apply for the growing number of coal plant jobs and other real jobs that Trump will
    repatriate to the USA . The management should be able to move to California to monitor cow farts .

    • There won’t be any new coal power plants under a Trump administration.
      They aren’t economic with the level of shale gas production

      • The funny part is how you act like you know, well, anything. Quoting leftarded talking points and acting like a leftarded ass is about all I have seen you do, leftard.

  32. EPA has been wildly out of control for 30 years. Ask yourself, why does Environmental Protection Agency have Tactical Response Teams? Time to fire several thousand employees at EPA, starting at the top. And them criminal investigation and prosecution. EPA has been doing that to small business and farmers, time to do it to them.

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