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States can and must stop EPA's war on coal

The Obama administration engages in lawless acts on an almost daily basis now. This weekend the administration announced a trade for the release of Army Specialist Bowe Bergdahl, offering up in exchange the five most deadly Taliban terrorists incarcerated at GITMO. This was an illegal act. The president is required by law to inform Congress thirty days before making such a decision. He did not do so and the White House admitted this was illegal. Similarly, the administration today announced stringent carbon emission targets for powerplants that will effectively kill the coal industry. This too is illegal. Congress failed to pass the so-called "cap and trade" legislation that would enable such a move. Obama has done it anyway. Don't expect much from the feckless Congress led by one of its most ineffective leaders in modern history, John Boehner.

But states can and must resist this major offensive in the war on coal. The anticipated cuts will destroy the industry, the jobs with it, and raise energy costs nationwide at a time when we are hanging by a thread. Next to giving away five deadly terrorists to get back one POW who, it is alleged was a deserter and possible traitor, there are few things Obama could do that will cause greater harm to our country.

Coordination

Coordination is a little-known feature embedded in numerous environmental laws. It requires the EPA and all other federal agencies to consider all effects of environmental regulations. These effects include:

ecological (such as the effects on natural resources and on the components, structures, and functioning of affected ecosystems), aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, social, or health, whether direct, indirect, or cumulative. Effects may also include those resulting from actions which may have both beneficial and detrimental effects, even if on balance the agency believes that the effect will be beneficial. (Emphasis added).

The federal agency must prepare an "environmental impact" statement unless the proposed regulation has "no significant impact" on the human environment. According to the law, "'Human environment' shall be interpreted comprehensively to include the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment." It refers specifically to all those aspects listed above. Since these new carbon regulations will have a devastating effect on multiple aspects of the human environment, the EPA cannot unilaterally apply them as proposed. States can fight these regulations successfully using coordination. The EPA must negotiate with them. Authority for coordination rests with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970, the Endangered Species Act and other laws. Here is a link to a quick primer on coordination.

Congress apparently can or will do little, but states must stop this! Not only will conventional energy sources be gravely weakened, if not entirely destroyed, but our nation will be set on a course to use more and more solar, wind and other exotic power modes. These are three to four times more expensive than traditional energy, and will send our home electricity rates through the roof. If you recall, candidate Obama promised this very thing back in 2008, saying that "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" (watch video). He added that,

So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

It has been estimated that Energy costs will increase by $17 billion per year and job losses are estimated to be 224,000 per year. Furthermore, solar and wind facilities require huge amounts of space to generate even tiny amounts of electricity. For example, the Ivanpah solar farm in southern California provides 1.1 percent of California's residential energy needs, but requires five square miles of ground. And every yard of those five square miles is filled with moving, tilting mirrors that follow the sun. High maintenance costs are assured. A solar farm scaled up to serve all California homes - never mind industry - would require 500 square miles, an area almost half the size of Rhode Island.

Both solar and wind are deadly to the environment. For environmental purposes, the Ivanpah land essentially becomes a parking lot. Focusing the sun's rays on a single point as this facility does, raises the temperature near the central tower as high as 1,000 degrees F, instantly incinerating any birds that fly through. The entire Bundy Ranch fiasco came about because multiple solar energy farms are planned for Clark County, Nevada, and land surrounding the Bundy Ranch property is intended for "mitigation," i.e. land needed to relocate the endangered desert tortoise because the land used for solar farms will be destroyed for wildlife. Modern windmills chop up more birds than Perdue. According to Smithsonian.com, between 140,000 and 328,000 birds are killed annually by windmills.

And for what? While Obama, the Democrats and some Republicans have raised the specter of catastrophic global warming, the real "green" they seek is greenbacks. Solar and wind energy projects cannot survive on their own. They are not competitive with traditional energy sources. But even a cursory look into such "green energy" projects discovers investors representing a who's who of the well-connected Democratic Left. Everyone from Al Gore, to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama and their many friends, associates and supporters have all lined up to cash in on "green" energy. They only have to destroy the traditional energy market to make these projects viable. So now they are lining up to line their pockets while our nation is plunged into figurative and perhaps literal darkness.

There are no words to describe the depth of corruption and degeneracy motivating these individuals. States must fight.