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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Make West Virginia a sanctuary state for coal

Bloomberg News ran a picture of the John Amos coal-fired electricity-generating plant, which is on the other side of the river from Poca. It's caption was ominous, "A plume of steam rises from a cooling tower of a coal-fired power plant in West Virginia."

Oh no, steam! We're all going to die.

Steam is not a pollutant. Steam is water. Carbon dioxide isn't a pollutant. They are nutrients. Plants need them to live, and we need plants to live.

But Jennifer A. Dlouhy describes them as "greenhouse gas emissions." We have gone from scrubbing actual harmful emissions from power plants to demanding the reduction of imaginary pollutants over an imaginary problem.

She wrote, "Donald Trump is poised to replace former President Barack Obama’s plan to slash power plant greenhouse gas emissions with a substitute that could actually increase them."


Obama pushed electric companies to buy natural gas instead of coal. President Trump is fine with coal.

She wrote, "Where Obama envisioned sweeping changes across the nation’s electric grid, Trump’s replacement focuses on boosting efficiency at coal-fired power plants, according to people familiar with the proposal who asked not to be identified describing an internal document. Those efficiency gains could encourage utilities to run their power plants more often, undercutting the environmental benefits."


Then she quoted unnamed opponents of President Trump.

She wrote, "Analysts and environmental activists say that if the Trump administration requirements allow plants to generate more power with each ton of coal, they would produce cheaper electricity and better compete with natural gas. And coal plant owners would would be inspired run them more. This rebound effect from generating more power (and corresponding emissions) could eclipse any gains from paring the carbon dioxide generated along with each unit of electricity."


She quoted some people on the record, including Jeff Holmstead, a lobbyist who worked for President Bush 43's EPA.

She wrote, "The Trump administration’s drafted proposal also would give states more flexibility to write their own requirements and consider 'the remaining useful life' of power plants -- a benchmark in federal law.That approach reflects the bounds of the Clean Air Act, and the fact that there’s no national ambient air standard for carbon dioxide, Holmstead said."

There is no national standard because carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

Look, I don't care if John Amos runs on natural gas, coal, or unicorn farts just as long as the electricity is cheap. I chose to live in Poca. The power plant already was here.

My body, my choice.

States should decide this.


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  1. Re: It's caption was ominous, "A plume of steam rises from a cooling tower of a coal-fired power plant in West Virginia."

    Personally, what I found interesting was that the lead shot they picked made the coal-burning plant resemble a nuclear one. Three Mile Island, anyone?

    - AZ

  2. The cooling towers' spewing pollution pix is a trick the enviros have been using forever. Usually they include the higher actual smoke stacks in the picture but make no attempt to explain which is what.

    MY simple understanding about Obama's EPA standards is that the power plants had just gotten done meeting the last go around of emission levels and that Obama's EPA instituted or wouldn't relent on a set that even though just slightly lower than the current specs was going to be prohibitively expensive to achieve.

    Consumers should be alarmed by the fact that the legacy electric power providers are not only consolidating but they are also getting out of power generation because of the uncertainty and the expense and that the power plants are either being idled or being bought by venture capital type firms.

    Throwing coal over for natural gas isn't in America's best financial interests. The production companies drilling in the shale gas fields, especially the Marcellus, are banking on the pipelines being completed and either shipping offshore or have the gas being sent to the cracker plants being built. The overall price advantage of gas over coal will disappear accordingly when gas prices are truly set by the global market.

  3. Steam from cooling towers is what you see in most articles that yammer about "belching pollution." It's dumb as hell.

  4. I’ve been to Poca. Nice, green area. Didn’t see any two-headed people or dogs with six legs. The high school is right across the way from the power plant, and the Poca Dot football team probably expels more CO2 during a typical practice than the plant does...

    1. Apparently you didn't see me. I have caught catfish with no eyes in the Kanawha River (probably dioxin from Agent Orange production). And I used to swing off the Poca railroad trestle and swim in the river. It doesn't seem to have affected me (tic,tic). That being said, I wouldn't live anywhere else. - Elric

  5. If coal’s so dangerous, then it’s gotta be dug up and got out of the country before it goes off.

  6. "And coal plant owners would would be inspired run them more."

    Coal plants are base load plants. They run at all times except when down for maintenance. That is the most efficient, least pollution mode of operation.

    1. Exactly, but they will fire up or shut off depending on the load of electricity they need to supply. That is efficiency, and it is supplies on demand. John Amos has two medium boilers and one large boiler. I can watch the stacks as they switch them on or off. Rare is the day when all are off. - Elric

  7. The Plumes from Limerick (a Nukie Plant in PA) look truly ominous, bet here's what ppl NEVER TELL YA:

    Those plumes are IN EVERY CASE a CONDENSATION of Water Vapor THAT WAS ALREADY SUSPENDED IN THAT VERY AIR MASS. The condensation is a result of rapid, voluminous Heat Transfer from CLOSED Cooling Lines in the Cooling Tower to the Atmosphere. No vapors or Minerals released. Just heat.

    The same phenomenon that makes Jet Engine Contrails.