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CO2 Emissions inhofe_recipient_2_million

Published on December 6th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

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EPA Wields Timely Stick: Ruling CO2 a Public Danger Before Copenhagen Climate Decision

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December 6th, 2009 by  

In a bold move; well timed to coincide with the US Climate Summit decision at Copenhagen, this week the EPA will declare carbon dioxide a “Public Danger” – – triggering the certainty of regulation for big greenhouse gas emitters such as power stations, cement kilns, crude-oil refineries and chemical plants, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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The move essentially guarantees that fossil industries feel either the very sharp stick of this EPA ruling…or they allow some of the Senators they control to cross the aisle for the first time on energy legislation and ratify what President Obama has said he is taking to Copenhagen as the US offer: a carbon cut of 17% below 2005 by 2020.

Senator Inhofe, the recipient of $2,182,631 from the fossil industry, has announced he is heading the delayer contingent in Copenhagen. But he might be better off staying home and ending his boycott of working on the legislation that the Republicans have filibustered for years, that by comparison with the EPA stick; is quite a juicy carrot.

He led the childish boycott of the recent hearings on the Senate Climate bill that provides the numbers for the Copenhagen agreement and that, once passed, would begin the transition to renewable energy for this country.

The CBO found that the virtually identical House bill would cost consumers under $110 a year, because they are largely shielded from any inaction that they cannot control – for example if their utilities attempt to pass down the costs of fines or the extra costs of new plants built to comply under CEJAPA. The trade part of the bill would help defray those costs to utilities by creating funds to add renewable energy; acting like a “Feebate”- a pollution fee and a rebate to clean up.

The bill would yield carbon cuts of 17% (or better: 20% is Senator Boxer’s preferred level) below 2005 levels by 2020, to reach 83% below by 2050, by putting a cap on carbon emissions.

Since 67% of the Senate has to ratify the Copenhagen agreement for it to be in effect, at least 5 of the 40 Republicans will have to cross the aisle for the first time on climate or energy legislation. Only two have done so consistently: Senators Collins and Snowe.

The Senate  Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act is relatively painless compared with the EPA ruling. For just one example, it provides extra rewards for coal plant owners to switch to natural gas because that has only half the CO2 emissions.

A national Renewable Portfolio Standard that Republicans have filibustered at least five times is again in this climate bill, for another example. In individual states that have passed it, the RPS has led to renewable energy adoption rates of as high as 55%.

The EPA ruling would set stringent emission standards to require high emitter firms to install the best available technology, to keep emissions below a 25,000 ton cap. Go over the cap, get heavily fined. This will likely trigger a run on just fossil plant energy efficiency tech like the use of CH&P: combined heat and power energy and waste-to-energy to power plants.

The DOE has demonstrated a variety of these options to the fossil industry this year (one previous story). Not only do these kinds of options cut pollution, but they are cost effective, because these technologies increase the ratio of produced energy per unit of wasted energy. A recent study found that fossil power plants are only 30% efficient and another found that 7 quadrillion BTUs of energy goes to waste in the US each year.

But if the carrot-and-stick combo works as intended, and we do sign a climate bill and ratify this nation’s first climate treaty ever, expect to see a blossoming of the full range of exciting innovations in renewable energy that Europe trailblazed, and that this administration’s Department of Energy is jumpstarting.

Some examples of DOE innovation funding:

Metal-Air Battery With 11 Times the Energy at Half the Cost?

DOE Using CO2 to Extract More Geothermal Energy

Top ARPA-E Funding to Renewable Storage in Liquid Battery

ARPA-E to Pump Money into Nocera Biomimic Photosynthesis

California to Get Smart Grid Funds to Bottle Wind which was part of

Obama Announces New Recovery Act Smart Grid Funding — $3.4 Billion

South Carolina to Lead US With $98 Million World-Class Wind Center

To Wrap Around that New Battery technology, Cheaper, Lighter Cars From Carbon Fiber

Govt Picks a Winner: Tesla Gets $465 Million

President Obama: $800 Million for Biofuels and Flex-Fuel Vehicles

President Obama Announces $2.4 Billion in Funding for Electric Vehicles

Solyndra Solar Wins First DOE Funding which was just the first solar investment, then:

US Department of Energy Dishes Out $87 Million for Solar Technology and Deployment

Obama Unveils Largest-Ever Investment in Advanced Batteries

Another Day, Another Humungous Renewable Energy Funding Announcement From DOE

Obama Announces US $467M in Stimulus Funding for Geothermal and Solar Energy Projects

Obama Commits $13 billion for High Speed Rail

Stay tuned. The US could once again take the world leadership position it abdicated years ago in not signing Kyoto.

Image: USClimateNetwork

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Susan Kraemer

    Geary, there’s lots of energy efficiency components in the bill in congress, because the savings can be so great (as you say). Businesses like yours would benefit, because companies will go looking, once passed.

  • Susan Kraemer

    Geary, there’s lots of energy efficiency components in the bill in congress, because the savings can be so great (as you say). Businesses like yours would benefit, because companies will go looking, once passed.

  • Susan Kraemer

    Geary, there’s lots of energy efficiency components in the bill in congress, because the savings can be so great (as you say). Businesses like yours would benefit, because companies will go looking, once passed.

  • Susan Kraemer

    Geary, there’s lots of energy efficiency components in the bill in congress, because the savings can be so great (as you say). Businesses like yours would benefit, because companies will go looking, once passed.

  • Susan Kraemer

    Geary, there’s lots of energy efficiency components in the bill in congress, because the savings can be so great (as you say). Businesses like yours would benefit, because companies will go looking, once passed.

  • Susan Kraemer

    Relax, FreeRepublic visitors: The EPA ruling only covers sources that emit over 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually: big coal power plants or oil pipelines.

    So businesses, farms, kids, dogs and self-described “criminals” who advocate for the continued use of fossil fuels are not affected by the ruling.

    Reducing coal use will positively benefit IQ levels too, according to a new study, that might eventually help more commenters at sites like this (covering renewable energy) understand the reason for using clean renewable energy.

    http://digg.com/health/Exposure_to_Coal_Lowers_IQ_in_Newborns?OTC-em-dpcm

  • http://www.utilitrack.com Geary Baxter

    It is so frustrating seeing what direction the energy/carbon emission reduction world is taking when for the past 30 years we have been able to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 20 to 70%. We are a small company with a proven track record and need help getting the word out. It is not sexy like renewables but it works and it works NOW.

  • http://www.utilitrack.com Geary Baxter

    It is so frustrating seeing what direction the energy/carbon emission reduction world is taking when for the past 30 years we have been able to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 20 to 70%. We are a small company with a proven track record and need help getting the word out. It is not sexy like renewables but it works and it works NOW.

  • http://www.utilitrack.com Geary Baxter

    It is so frustrating seeing what direction the energy/carbon emission reduction world is taking when for the past 30 years we have been able to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 20 to 70%. We are a small company with a proven track record and need help getting the word out. It is not sexy like renewables but it works and it works NOW.

  • http://www.utilitrack.com Geary Baxter

    It is so frustrating seeing what direction the energy/carbon emission reduction world is taking when for the past 30 years we have been able to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 20 to 70%. We are a small company with a proven track record and need help getting the word out. It is not sexy like renewables but it works and it works NOW.

  • http://www.utilitrack.com Geary Baxter

    It is so frustrating seeing what direction the energy/carbon emission reduction world is taking when for the past 30 years we have been able to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 20 to 70%. We are a small company with a proven track record and need help getting the word out. It is not sexy like renewables but it works and it works NOW.

  • lokki

    I’m a CO2 emitting criminal. Try and stop me from killing the Earth one breath at a time. HA HA HA HA HA!!

  • lokki

    I’m a CO2 emitting criminal. Try and stop me from killing the Earth one breath at a time. HA HA HA HA HA!!

  • Susan Kraemer

    Relax, FreeRepublic visitors: The EPA ruling only covers sources that emit over 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually: big coal power plants or oil pipelines.

    So businesses, farms, kids, dogs and self-described “criminals” who advocate for the continued use of fossil fuels are not affected by the ruling.

    Reducing coal use will positively benefit IQ levels too, according to a new study, that might eventually help more commenters at sites like this (covering renewable energy) understand the reason for using clean renewable energy.

    http://digg.com/health/Exposure_to_Coal_Lowers_IQ_in_Newborns?OTC-em-dpcm

  • lokki

    I’m a CO2 emitting criminal. Try and stop me from killing the Earth one breath at a time. HA HA HA HA HA!!

  • Hyperbaric

    Control. It’s all about control.

    Control your car.

    Control your house.

    Control your kids.

    Control your dog.

    Control YOU.

    It’s all they want.

    The EPA is using questionable science to change the way we live, without worrying about neutering our economy.

    They are changing LAWS to suit their own agenda and it is CRIMINAL not to mention unconstitutional.

    Don’t believe me? Ask yourself, why pick CO2? why not Water vapor or methane? Both of them have a significant impact of global temp.

    Got the answer yet? It’s because it lets them control the very fabric of EVERYONES life.

    “CO2 is now a pollutant! You emit CO2! YOU ARE A POLLUTER!!!!! Pay us to fix this or go to jail!”

    — the EPA

  • Hyperbaric

    Control. It’s all about control.

    Control your car.

    Control your house.

    Control your kids.

    Control your dog.

    Control YOU.

    It’s all they want.

    The EPA is using questionable science to change the way we live, without worrying about neutering our economy.

    They are changing LAWS to suit their own agenda and it is CRIMINAL not to mention unconstitutional.

    Don’t believe me? Ask yourself, why pick CO2? why not Water vapor or methane? Both of them have a significant impact of global temp.

    Got the answer yet? It’s because it lets them control the very fabric of EVERYONES life.

    “CO2 is now a pollutant! You emit CO2! YOU ARE A POLLUTER!!!!! Pay us to fix this or go to jail!”

    — the EPA

  • Hyperbaric

    Control. It’s all about control.

    Control your car.

    Control your house.

    Control your kids.

    Control your dog.

    Control YOU.

    It’s all they want.

    The EPA is using questionable science to change the way we live, without worrying about neutering our economy.

    They are changing LAWS to suit their own agenda and it is CRIMINAL not to mention unconstitutional.

    Don’t believe me? Ask yourself, why pick CO2? why not Water vapor or methane? Both of them have a significant impact of global temp.

    Got the answer yet? It’s because it lets them control the very fabric of EVERYONES life.

    “CO2 is now a pollutant! You emit CO2! YOU ARE A POLLUTER!!!!! Pay us to fix this or go to jail!”

    — the EPA

  • George W. Obama

    I’m a CO2 emitting criminal. Try and stop me from killing the Earth one breath at a time. HA HA HA HA HA!

    Signed,

    George W. Obama.

    Seriously, that CO2 decision is based on questionable studies and is just a political tool for forcing carbon trading for the likes of banks such as Goldman Sachs.

    Well done guys, you are helping the real evil doers.

  • George W. Obama

    I’m a CO2 emitting criminal. Try and stop me from killing the Earth one breath at a time. HA HA HA HA HA!

    Signed,

    George W. Obama.

    Seriously, that CO2 decision is based on questionable studies and is just a political tool for forcing carbon trading for the likes of banks such as Goldman Sachs.

    Well done guys, you are helping the real evil doers.

  • George W. Obama

    I’m a CO2 emitting criminal. Try and stop me from killing the Earth one breath at a time. HA HA HA HA HA!

    Signed,

    George W. Obama.

    Seriously, that CO2 decision is based on questionable studies and is just a political tool for forcing carbon trading for the likes of banks such as Goldman Sachs.

    Well done guys, you are helping the real evil doers.

  • George W. Obama

    I’m a CO2 emitting criminal. Try and stop me from killing the Earth one breath at a time. HA HA HA HA HA!

    Signed,

    George W. Obama.

    Seriously, that CO2 decision is based on questionable studies and is just a political tool for forcing carbon trading for the likes of banks such as Goldman Sachs.

    Well done guys, you are helping the real evil doers.

  • John WOods

    Well, I guess someone has got to do it!

    RT

    http://www.be-anonymous.bg.tc

  • John WOods

    Well, I guess someone has got to do it!

    RT

    http://www.be-anonymous.bg.tc

  • John WOods

    Well, I guess someone has got to do it!

    RT

    http://www.be-anonymous.bg.tc

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