Sunday :: Jun 12, 2011

Polluting Power Companies Lying About the Cost

by Mary

Climate Progress has a post about the 25 most polluting power companies and I was not surprised to see that 17 of those companies were in Texas. This is because before George W Bush became president, he helped create the regulatory environment where Texas had the worst air pollution in the USA. Bush promised if he was elected, he'd bring his clean air policies to the federal government. And so he did. Those dirty old plants had a new lease on life and have been allowed to operate spewing toxic chemicals into the air for many more years.

Today those plants are scheduled to close and the plant owners have put out press releases that the closings will cost American jobs. Of course, these press releases are from companies that don't mind killing people for their profits so it's not too hard to believe they might be lying about this too. Other energy producers in the USA who don't think poisoning the air is right have come up with a statement that counters their claim.

A half dozen major utilities – including Exelon, the nation’s largest – believe that the air toxics reductions from coal fired utilities plants are affordable, and will have little impact on reliability. CEO’s from Exelon, PG&E, Calpine, NextEra Energy, Public Service Enterprise Group, Constellation Energy Group, and others wrote in the Wall St. Journal that:

For over a decade, companies have recognized that the industry would need to install controls to comply with the act’s air toxicity requirements, and the technology exists to cost effectively control such emissions, including mercury and acid gases.

To suggest that plants are retiring because of the EPA’s regulations fails to recognize that lower power prices and depressed demand are the primary retirement drivers. The units retiring are generally small, old and inefficient. These retirements are long overdue.

Contrary to the claims that the EPA’s agenda will have negative economic consequences, our companies’ experience complying with air quality regulations demonstrates that regulations can yield important economic benefits, including job creation, while maintaining reliability.

Dirty air poisoning the people who live near them. That too is a legacy of Bush, but one that is finally coming to an end.

Mary :: 8:59 AM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!