Friday, November 14, 2008

New Power Plants Denied Permits

Coal plant permit blocked
By H. JOSEF HEBERT – 4 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has been blocked from issuing a permit for a proposed Utah coal plant without addressing global warming, jeopardizing the fate of scores of other proposed coal plants that will likely be left to the Obama administration.

An EPA appeals panel ruled Thursday that the agency's regional office didn't adequately support its decision to issue a permit for the Bonanza coal burning power plant in Utah without requiring controls on carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas.

Michael Gerrard, an attorney not involved in the Bonanza case and author of "Global Climate Change and the Law," said the EPA appeals panel decision "will embolden the lawsuits" challenging construction of new power plants based on their impact on climate. Read More

There is no doubt that all efforts should be made to have the most efficient coal plants that we can. However, this new ruling has shifted the burden to the power companies to prove their limited impact on the climate rather than the benefit to human beings that need electricity to maintain life. As a society, we can’t continue to let our electric infrastructure deteriorate or fall behind demand. The irony of writing this this morning is that we don’t have any electricity right now, most likely related to our recent blizzard. It’s not much fun when the power goes out, but apparently that is the path that the Sierra Club would like us to go down.

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