Clean Power Coal-Fired Power Plant at Sunset (p.d.)

Published on February 9th, 2016 | by Sandy Dechert

96

SCOTUS Clean Power Decision NOT Just “A Blow To Obama”

February 9th, 2016 by  

Coal-Fired Power Plant at Sunset (p.d.)

The current headline on the Los Angeles Times reads “Supreme Court deals blow to Obama by putting his climate change rules on hold.”

Wrong interpretation again, young ostriches of the media. Today’s 5–4 decision by the Supreme Court to put the Clean Power Plan on ice while coal producers and Republican governors dream up some hokey challenges to its legality is not merely a blow to the President. And these powerful regulations are not “his” climate change rules, “his legacy,” or anything else that merits “personal” blame.

Today, the justices issued a rather unusual emergency order that blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from continuing its pioneering efforts to reduce carbon pollution from power plants by 32% by 2030. It stays the process pending the decision expected this summer by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Conservative judicial opponents of mainstream environmental science voted to delay these critical rules: Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and his fellow justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. The remaining justices, all four of them well informed about earth’s environmental threat, all dissented: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

This is not “Obama’s plan.” It has been drawn up and legalized for the entire United States of America through the process of law. It is OUR plan. It legitimizes targets made up by the individual states for reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from fossil-fueled power plants. The rules include both shutdowns of the polluting, outdated coal-fired plants that poison earth’s atmosphere and production of more electricity from renewable power sources. Natural gas — our recent economic savior — even stands to lose from delaying these policies.

As world leaders have insisted, there is no Plan B for the denizens of earth. The Clean Power strategy forms part of an unprecedented world effort to limit damage done by a credible and substantial threat: people releasing too much carbon into earth’s atmosphere.

Last December in Paris, representatives of all nations drew up a unified and comprehensive strategy to resist climate change. These EPA rules are the major US contribution to the supranational effort. And even they are not strong enough to move our chances of long-term survival up to more than 2 in 3.

This is dangerous, inexcusable foolishness from the high court. Innocents will all be choking and starving first. The greedy will survive longest. Only they can afford to. 


Drive an electric car? Complete one of our short surveys for our next electric car report.
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , , , , ,


About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."



  • Since when is saving our environment unlawful? There ought to be a law against special interests ruining our environment over their insatiable desire for money. The world would be better off.

  • NRG4All

    If you’re an old judge, not to worry, after all this is only a blow to anyone who expects to breathe in 50 years.

  • Jan Galkowski

    What SCOTUS is doing is reiterating that there are some problems the U.S. Constitution is organically incapable of solving, with human-induced climate disruption being one of them. I’d say, whatever their rationale, this is a blow to the Great Experiment.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think that’s a misread. There’s plenty of power in the Constitution to allow the American people to fix their part of the problem. They just have to develop the will to put people into government who will work on the problem.

      • bwollsch

        But that is the problem. In 2008/2012, we elected a black, Democratic president on the promise of change. However, the Republicans in Congress, immediately issued a statement that this was a one-term President and they would do everything they could to prevent his policies from becoming law. And as you mentioned before, in 2010 and 2014, the young voters who went to the polls in the presidential years, did not show up. So now you have even more Republicans fighting against the President. Unless people go to the polls and vote out these stubborn Congressmen, we will be in for four more years of gridlock.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Actually we have many fewer Republicans opposing fixing the climate problem and many more insisting that it is time to work harder.

          But we really do need young people voting in larger numbers so that we can get some of the fossil fuel congress members out of office and make sure no more fossil fuel Supreme Court justices are appointed and confirmed.

  • Al

    SCOTUS=Scumbag OTUS

  • Darrell Anthony

    Maybe if Obama and the renewable energy companies would create jobs in these coal states maybe they wouldn’t be fighting renewable energy. You take away peoples job without creating a job to take its place, expect a fight. If you punch a stick into a hornets nest, expect to be stung.

    • Anti Lord Kelvin

      Renewable energy companies will not create jobs in States that will impose dramatic fees in rooftop solar panels in the way to maintain the monopoly of electricity distribution on the hand of friendly utilities, the ones that are so afraid of what they named themselves in a reunion they had in 2012: Distributed Energy Resources (DER). They are so afraid of this that they began an aggressive campaign to join part of the public and PUCs against the “unfair” net-metering system. So it’s not about fossil fuel industry against renewable, in this case some utilities are even bringing wind power plants and even big solar plants to the equation, it’s the rooftop solar that they are afraid that this will end their ability to control all the electricity production market.

    • Bob_Wallace

      What jobs do you think could be created in the towns of coal country?

      Keep the educational level and skill set of the displaced workers in mind.

    • Jan Galkowski

      They do, and try, and are often blocked. There is plenty of need for, e.g., solar installers in many states, and not having enough workers is a common complaint of solar energy companies. If the coal states can’t provide these jobs, then move, like the rest of us do to find work.

    • bwollsch

      Why are you so protective of coal miners and no one else? The Nevada PUC just cost 1,000 solar installers and sales people their jobs by punitively pricing solar. Retailers, tech companies, banks and others have all announced job cuts recently. I don’t see you railing against any of these corporations for downsizing, but have the government want to clean up the environment and you go ballistic. And by the way, many more renewable energy jobs will be created than lost by the demise of coal. The government is providing training and there is unemployment during the transition.

  • Deep Time

    It’s been said before, but this time it’s true: The 2016 election will be the most important in our lifetimes. The next president will likely appoint more than one SC justice which could swing the majority if a Dem is elected. Also we need to elect a Dem to continue the progress being made on the climate.
    Electing a Republican could very well doom our species.

    • Anti Lord Kelvin

      Before the 2016 elections, I think somebody should make a live test for every US citizen to understand these things. For example, put all congress members that are favourable to Fossil fuel industries in a room with an ICE car running with cameras showing their fate, and put all the congress members favourable to renewable in too, both rooms at the same time and broadcast it to every TV channels. I think the result of this experiment would be very instructive, even for the most non-educated persons.

      • Darrell Anthony

        yea like people want jobs and an income and elect people that protect their interest while Democrats and Renewabies want people that oppose them to die. Very instructing

        • Anti Lord Kelvin

          Well, that’s the problem, people who are dying slowly and quietly don’t bother to vote for the ones who protect the interest of some corporations at the cost of the health and wallet of the rest of the people. yeah, people doesn’t know how it cost to them the all fossil fuel industry game, they only see the short term advantages (jobs and incomes from selling oil and coal), so they are very easy to be influenced by brain wash campaigns against renewable industry from the few who want maintain the status quo for their interests.
          Speaking about jobs, last year, in US, solar power industry created twice the number of jobs than the jobs lost by the coal industry.

          • Darrell Anthony

            So you just want them to give up their jobs, loose their home, their health insurance, watch their kids starve to death, commit suicide and that would satisfy you and your vision.

          • Anti Lord Kelvin

            No, I want them to open their eyes and vote for the long term, for their children and grand-children. “My vision” will not disrupt the way the things are in one night, people and business will have time to adapt. But the the sooner they will begin to adapt, the best they will be prepared. I want people to be aware of the true consequences of the way the business of fossils fuels is going. I don’t want to see them abdicate of their way of life, I only think they shall be better informed to be able to make the wiser choice, not the short term easier but harmful choice. People are very wise if you present to them the true consequences of their choice. And believe me, the wiser choice will give them a better way of life than the one they have today with actual state of fossil fuel industry.

          • Darrell Anthony

            I want renewable energy. However there is a lot of brainwashing going on both ends of this problem. There has yet to be a climate model that correlates with what is happening. They said the polar ice was going to be gone. Well its still there. They said our kids would not see snow. Well its still snowing. They went out to Antarctica and looked for the lost ice and got their ship stuck in ice and had to be rescued by the Russians. They had to change a hundred plus years of how they gathered temperature measurements so that they could still claim global warming was happening still. Renewable energy is a 1.5 Trillion dollar business. So its big business too. The politicians are cashing in on it to get elected and gain power and control over the people. So renewable energy backers have their own skeletons in the closet. We are just trading one for another. There is still plenty of greed and misinformation being used for the benefit of somebody getting richer.

          • Anti Lord Kelvin

            One more time as plenty of tiny harmful chemicals in our daily food will give you a cancer 10, 20 years or in more time, that doesn’t mean that they are not hurting you, although you can’t see it of feel it in your body. For the climate, and the CO2 impact, but not only CO2, they are a lot of of anthropic emissions that are deteriorating our environment, the things are the same, you can’t see it clearly, the north polar ice cap will not disappear in one year but it will eventually disappear, for example.

          • Jan Galkowski

            Pardon, but you need to study climate models a tad more before you make such pronouncements. There is nothing at all “wrong” with climate models in terms of the maths and physics. The climate is not a billiards table and never could be.

          • Darrell Anthony

            These people wouldn’t be fighting renewable energy if they had renewable energy jobs in their community. The only place and people that get these jobs live in the Silicon Valley. They live in rich comfort.

          • Anti Lord Kelvin

            If these people will vote for the one who will maintain the actual status quo and fight renewable energy sure the emerging of new renewable jobs will be difficult. At the contrary…
            Ho, one more thing, I’m not from US, I’m living in Europe, but from what I’m seeing, the Silicon Valley is not, by far, the only place in US that these jobs are being created. Not to speak about the rest of the world.

    • Jan Galkowski

      Oh that’s just crap. As I wrote above. Extinction is not in the cards. End of civilization might be, but that’s extreme.

      No, what this means to me is that it is good, perhaps, that Citizens United did happen because politics are incapable of solving certain problems, climate disruption being an important one. This may lead to governance by corporations. Don’t kid yourself that there are not LOTS of corporations who, if they find the proper legal theory, might not file suit against fossil fuel companies for damages.

      Of course, the Constitution did not need to be interpreted this way. It’s just how it worked out.

  • Applecorped

    Scotus FTW. “Presidents who want to build legacies through executive orders and regulatory adventurism rather than Congressional engagement cannot wait until their final year to flex those muscles.”

    • Joseph Hall

      Coal industry – dead. Oil industry – prices collapsing.

      The renewable energy juggernaut will not be stopped.

    • Anti Lord Kelvin

      Most of Congress members are prisoner of their decades old tied relations with fossil fuel industries. Yes, it will be difficult to change. With a new generation perhaps?

      • Calamity_Jean

        “With a new generation perhaps?”

        We can’t wait that long. The transition needs to happen now.

  • Joseph Hall

    A Pyrrhic victory for the Republican/Fossil Fuel Party – a temporary delay in their ultimate demise. This decision won’t last and the CPP will proceed.

    The multi-pronged offensive on the fossil fuels industry will not be stopped. The renewable energy juggernaut will roll on.

    The age of fossil fuels is over. The age of renewables is here.

    • Applecorped

      Dream on.

      • Joseph Hall

        I’m sorry, I was checking the power generation of my 4.14Kw solar array. Were you saying something?

        • Anti Lord Kelvin

          As I’m living in a flat with very little year income, I can’t help having solar panels or buying electric car, but I was checking my electricity bill which says my electricity came from wind power (almost 55%), Hydro (almost 13%), other renewable (here it’s mostly solar with almost 7%), co-generation fossil (10%) and others (15%). So almost 75% renewable…

      • Anti Lord Kelvin

        At least for the worst fossil fuel industry (coal plants) the things are becoming dark very fast. In 2007, coal plants produced 49% of US electricity, down to 39% in 2013, down to 34% in 2015. Good news as solar power industry jobs creation had been twice fold the coal industry jobs lost in 2015. So more cleaner jobs, less dirtier jobs…and cleaner air for everyone to breathe.

  • onesecond

    Oh, by the way, they have modeled a planet like earth recently and found out, that above 1500 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, runaway climate change would lead to boiling oceans and the evaporation of all liquid water and therefore to the end of life within 200 years. We already more than doubled the CO2 concentration from 180 ppm before the industrialisation to 400 ppm in 2016 and are on a way to at least 600 – 800 ppm until the end of this century with business as usual. Just saying.

    • Applecorped

      Just saying nothing.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Do you have something constructive to add to the conversation?

        If not, just move on….

    • Jan Galkowski

      Oh, cut it out. You don’t know what you are talking about. It could be bad, and inconvenient, and, in the limit, civilization might fall, but *nothing* of the kind you are writing about.

      • onesecond

        You don’t now that. That’s my point exactly.

    • Calamity_Jean

      Is there enough fossil fuel to get us up to 1500 ppm?

      • onesecond

        Well, I read that humanity has already emitted 2000 gigatons of CO2 from fossil fuels since the beginning of the industrial revolution and that current reserves listed by fossil fuel companies today amount to 2785 gigatons, so this would add around 200 ppm (I see, that is where the 600 ppm from business as usual come from). But if we add methanehydrates which according to wikipedia are believed to amount to the double of all CO2 fixated in all other fossil fuels combined and we burn it all, we could add another 600 ppm, if I am not mistaken (there are some pilot projects on methanehydrate mining already in Japan e.g. and methanehydrates could become instable in large amount and gas out by themselves if we go beyond 2 degrees and further hasten the temperature rise by itself especially since methane has a twenty times greater heating effect). So this gets us to 1200 ppm (as I said just CO2 ignoring methane and emissions of other heating gasses. Then there is the question what other fossil fuels remain that are not already listed as reserves. As reserves are only the comercially viable ressources ( I really hope that estimate above is from a couple of years ago when oil was above 100$) it is safe to assume that there are other fossil fuels left that don’t have been included. That brings us to the least commercial viable oil that is several steps up in extracting difficulty from tar sands: kerogen oil that certainly isn’t already included (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036054421200597X interesting paper on oil I just found). Only one already known kerogen oil formation in the US contais almost 5000 gigabarrel of technical recoverable oil. So I get another 800 gigatons of oil from this one formation alone, if I not miscalculated. You have to take it roughly times three because the two oxygen and simplyfing oil to be carbon (instead of 0,8) so we get another 2400 gigatons of CO2 from this one formation alone. So this takes us to about 1400 ppm. Noting that this is only kerogen oil in the US and onyl one formation (and that we left out other types of oil by going to the least attractive) I think it is save to say that there are enough fossil fuels to shoot as well above 1500 ppm.
        Well, wasn’t that fun? 😀
        On the bright side, humanity would have to try really hard to burn all carbon and I really can’t see that happening, especially with renewable energy and electric cars really taking off, which already happens I think. Furthermore I don’t think the original paper took into account algae growth. The last time CO2 was emitted in such quantities (by volcanoes albeit on a much longer timescale I think which leaves us with uncertainty regarding the algae growth) all the word’s oceans turned over to algae goo, therefore depositing all these CO2 in these oil fields that we are so happily burning before runaway climate change could kill off all life on earth. Lucky us I guess.
        But I am in fact very worried about the methanehydrates becoming instable by themselves. I surely would prefer it to not be there when all the worlds oceans turn over into algae goo. I urge everyone to take action and take climate change seriously. The Earth ecosystem is very tightly balanced and small changes can have devastating effects. Not to mention that the sea level rise already locked in will displace over 2 billion people in the coming decades which makes the current Syrian refugee crisis an utter joke, which seemingly already brought sheer panic all over Europe.
        Oh well, not to end on a gloomy note, I’m certain we can do it and that the energy revolution is already happening. Just makes you kind of wanting to kill these conservative judges that waste our time. 😀

        • Calamity_Jean

          Well, if Japan succeeds in mining methane hydrates, they will burn the methane to carbon dioxide, so it won’t be methane any more. Much of the other stuff would cost too much to dig up.

          “I’m certain we can do it and that the energy revolution is already happening. Just makes you kind of wanting to kill these conservative judges that waste our time.”

          I agree completely.

  • onesecond

    We have seen what kind of religious fundementalist nutjob Scalia is, when he ranted unspeakable things like “god’s law should override men’s law” in the face of marriage equality. As a supreme courts judge of a secular country and not in Saudi Arabia ffs!!!
    I normally don’t want anyone to die, but the human race would be much better off without him, that’s just a fact. After Reagan, Nixon, and the Bushes defiled the SCOTUS with their appointees, just imagine what Trump would do.

  • Shane 2

    Those people who voted for Ralph Nader in Florida in 2000 must be feeling like idiots right now. It lead to 8 years of disaster and Alito and Roberts on the SCOTUS.

    • Shane 2

      I remember hearing a radio interview of a Greens supporter in 2000 saying that there is no difference between Gore and Bush on the environment so vote for Nader to show that you care about the environment. Some Greens supporters are utterly delusional. Anyone who votes for a Greens candidate in a Presidential Election in a swing state is an idiot.

  • JamesWimberley

    Good call, Sandy.
    The five Republican justices – this was a party-line vote – no doubt think they are doing their business friends a favour. Are they?
    1. The CPP will become even more prominent in the election. It is popular, which favours Democrats.
    2. SCOTUS itself will become ditto, associated with an unpopular policy. This favours Democrats. Contrast ACA, on which opinion is fairly evenly divided.
    3.Overall, the energy transition is neutral for business as a whole: fossil fuels lose, renewables and EVs gain. Very significant players like the Giant Vampire Squid and Warren Buffet have already picked sides, and they are not with the Kochs.
    4. The CPP regulations are suspended not annulled. State officials still have a legal duty to prepare for their implementation. Directors of energy utilities still have a fiduciary duty to take account of the rules in planning new investments, though the decision lowers the probability of their coming into force somewhat.
    5. One large purpose of the CPP has already been achieved and is not reversible: it catalysed the Paris climate agreement. Other countries bet that the next US President will be a Democrat and stick to the deal. The SCOTUS decision does not change that calculus.
    6.Since the regulations do not enter into force till 2022, the stay is more a rhetorical blow than a substantive one. It’s hard to see it as not directed at Obama personally, and driven by the racist denial of the respect due to him by virtue of his office.

  • Pobrecito hablador

    Very sad indeed

    • Applecorped

      For Obama

      • Jeff

        If you weren’t so blinded by obvious racial hatred of our President, you might realize the whole world loses by allowing further pollution.

        • Vastmandana

          Bingo

      • Tim

        Ok Star Wars baby. You still living at home with your racist mommy and her redneck boyfriend? A55hole!!

  • Ian

    It’s so tiresome the way the media personalize things like this to one politician-“Obama’s plan”- when really everybody has a stake in clean air and climate change, not to mention the fact that these rules have been promulgated through a very open and structured political process with direct input from tens of thousands of individuals and organizations. As a matter of fact, the EPA was ordered to regulate GHG by SCOTUS. So why don’t they call it ‘SCOTUS’s plan’?

  • Vastmandana

    Scum… should be thrown in jail…traitors to the human race… ignorant, KochKourt tools of dirty energy. But they will loose… we are many… dirty energy is done.

    • Applecorped

      That was special. In a sad, desperate, self-indulgent sort of way. Keep up the good work. The world needs naive, immature people such as yourself.

      • Jeff

        How about you idiots that want to destroy the planet head off to another planet and do just as you please. I promise the rest of us won’t miss you after your planet is dead and ours survives due to being taken care of.

      • Vastmandana

        Little man I’ve been here far longer than you and consume more data in a week than you do in a year. The climate is rapidly destabilizing and renewables are ramping up to address this problem scum kochbots created.

        One day dirty energy genocidal maniacs like you will be brought to account. Right wing scotus shills are on that list.

        I’m neither nieve nor immature. Following trends is my specialty; fossils will be bankrupted within the decade as emergency measures are implemented tho deal with climate disruption. You scum will be deleted.

        • Pajama Man

          First, I’m on your side, however, you point out “I’m neither nieve nor immature,” and “I’m neither nieve nor immature.”

          Yet you just got trolled…hard!

          Why give the foolish any shrift?

          • a

            First quote was supposed to read “I’ve been here far longer than you and consume more data in a week than you do in a year”

          • Vastmandana

            Silence allows evil to spread…

      • Tim

        Move FFFF. (That’s fossil fuel f58k face.) Hope you’re

        one of the first to die.

        • Bob_Wallace

          This sort of stuff doesn’t improve things.

          Let’s now waste energy on people whose intent is to piss people off. If he does more of this I’ll drop the hammer.

          • Tim

            Thanks. I read the comments to educate myself and pass on knowledge. The best comments include citations, math or both. Climate deniers here are a blockade to that. This troll stuff is for other sites.

      • sault

        Bob, can you get rid of this comment? It’s 100% personal insults without one positive contribution to the discussion.

    • Tim

      My rage is not suitable for words. I agree with you. It’s old people killing young people.

      • S. Dechert

        Please note that the author is approaching her 65th birthday.

        • Tim

          Stating a fact. The bad SCOTUS are old people and the lives being destroyed are young people’s. What you just said makes no amount of sense. And I’m 50 so I don’t care if you’re almost 65. It’s about the young people dying by the millions when the environment starts collapsing

          • Bob_Wallace

            The young people are the ones who will suffer most. They need to get in the game with both feet.

            Many of us “old people” got involved in the issues of our day – segregation, the Vietnam war, and on to women’s and gay rights.

            Many of us “old people” showed up to vote in 2010 and 2014. Unfortunately there weren’t enough of us voting to keep control of Congress in the hands of people who would have worked on climate change.

            Many young people did not bother to vote. Now their job will be harder.

  • Ross

    After previously ruling that CO2 is a pollutant it would be rather curious for them to ultimately block regulation of that pollutant.

    • Yes. I am confused.

    • Deep Time

      Doesn’t it have to do with fixed point emission sources not being specifically addressed by the Clean Air Act? I thought I read that somewhere…

    • Harry Johnson

      It’s a political ploy to help soften the blow for the fossil crowd.

  • Some Random Fool

    all powers not relegated to the federal government are reserved for the states. Not so hard to understand, is it?
    It’s not The Unanimous States. It’s the United States.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Pollution and climate change do not stop at state borders.

      • Deep Time

        Maybe President Trump can order really tall walls be built at all state borders.

        • Bob_Wallace

          If he also puts domes over the ones that do not get their emissions under control, that could work….

          • Frank

            Covered in solar pannels, with LED lighting. They could accept pipes for carbon capture and sequestration from their neighbors. Sounds like a great business opportunity! 😉

    • Ross

      The clean power plan devolves how its targets are achieved to the state level.

      • I love it when an Irish dude has a better understanding of how the US system works than an American…

    • Joe Viocoe

      Environmental protection IS relegated to the federal government. Thank Nixon for the EPA.

    • jeffhre

      Hey EPA, until the lower courts hear the challenge by some states to having to create their own in state power plans, you cannot act on US regulations for mercury, sulfur dioxides, lead, phosphates, nitrates, and especially carbon dioxide – Supreme Court of the United States.

      Ha, that’s so unusual to say to a US agency, it’s almost…random!

      And what Ross said!

    • RobS

      Its amazing to me all the conservatives who bleat “state’s rights” except in 2000 when barring a State’s right to recount their own electoral votes meant Bush being elected despite losing.

    • sault

      General Welfare Clause.

      Interstate Commerce Clause.

      The Constitution is not a perfect document and has had to be amended 27 times to-date. It was written by people who had no idea how big & powerful corporations could get or how damaging pollution could be to human health and the environment.

      Libertarian fantasies aside, no other developed country constrains itself with arcane limits on federal power that were devised to coax quasi-national territories like states into a national union over 200 years ago. These compromises dragged this country into a Civil War, Apartheid in the Jim Crow South and continues to guarantee unequal protection under the laws because we’ve put the civil rights of Americans under the thumb of electoral results in the 50 states instead of a unified standard.

    • Jan Galkowski

      Yeah, but Nature doesn’t give a damn whether you are a republic, a dictatorship, or an anarchy. She has Her own rules.

      It’s entirely possible, as I have repeatedly written, that the U.S. Constitution and the Great Experiment is just intrinsically incapable of solving certain kinds of problems, human induced climate disruption being a notable one. I wonder what others it cannot solve, and what form of government might.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Any form of government can solve the climate problem if it wants to.

        A democracy, monarchy, or dictatorship can all do the job if they have adequate power and desire. The difference is that the people who live under one of the three systems can determine the way things play out without needing to result to a violent overthrow from time to time.

  • Dan

    Unbelievable. I just want to scream. So a delay until some other court session until the summer? The market forces are headed in the right direction. People want a “clean power plan”. I think things are going to get ugly if we keep getting ripped off like this. Even uglier than nearly constant war and environmental destruction. I need to pray and meditate right now. Wtf scotus

    • Bob_Wallace

      Legal challenges were expected. Even if there is little chance of winning fossil fuel interests can profit by slowing the transition to renewables.

      The four justices appointed by Democratic presidents would not have supported this decision. At least one seat on the Supreme Court is likely to open between 2017 and 2021.

      • Jamset

        I think you left out a comma.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Fixed. Thanks.

      • Dan

        I am in an extremely conservative district in my state and will be laying the facts down hardcore on my corporate stooge of a representative. Even if the federal plan is delayed states can go ahead with their plans and that is what I’ll be working on until progress is made on the federal level. Coal plants are dead ends for the environment and the economy.

        I have got to believe any reasonable person can see the light if they are presented with the evidence… I kinda feel silly saying that even after witnessing so much of the opposite. But, money talks and renewables are real earners nowadays. It pays to be on the right side, eventually.

    • Frank

      On the bright side, the PTC and ITC was renewed, and renewables always win merit order, so they are going to be pushing fossil generation off the grid while the court is trying to decide what to do. Those supports are on top of the amazing price drops of the last few years. Some of those old inefficient coal plants just aren’t having any fun. That said, the do have great grid connections, so they make great places to house batteries.

      • In Ontario, the Nanticoke Coal fired power plant was decommissioned leaving 4+GW of transmission capacity available for Wind, Solar and power sharing with the US grid via an cable under Lake Erie. Batteries aren’t the only thing you could site near an old coal plant…

        • Frank

          The bigger the area, the more renewables start to behave like baseload. That could be good for both of us.

      • Dan

        I love that idea! Repurposing coal plants for energy storage locations makes a lot of sense and gives them an opportunity to transition to another segment of the same industry. *high five*

        Renewables will continue to grow, energy storage/transmission line upgrades will acceralate, and end use efficiency will continue to grow so there’s a lot to be hopeful about. The tax credit extensions were a huge relief.

Back to Top ↑