Tuesday, September 24, 2013

President Obama's Climate Change Regulations For New Power Plants


By Norris McDonald

Global warming is the most important environmental issue facing the world.  President Obama's proposed climate change regulation to mitigate carbon dioxide from new power plants is a good first step.  I am concerned, however, with the utility industry's willingness and capability to capture carbon dioxide and store it.  However, I agree with The New York Times editorial board, which stated:
"Our advice to Mr. Obama and his new EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy...is to push ahead."
We have a unique recommendation for President Obama and the utility sector:
The federal government should take ownership of carbon dioxide from new coal plants.  This responsibility would mirror that of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which established the federal government as the responsible party for spent nuclear fuel.
We have our doubts about sequestration, but we believe the federal government, via the Defense Department, could establish Energy Defense Reservations (EDR) in the various federal regions in order to convert carbon dioxide into diesel fuel.  This fuel could be used for military purposes, could be stored in salt domes similar to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and for distribution to the general public.  One complaint we here is that EDR would be expensive.  Our response is that ANY solution or solutions to mitigate global warming will be expensive.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stated at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing last week that transportation of carbon dioxide is a major component in mitigating its entry into the atmosphere.  We agree.  The network of pipelines needed to deliver carbon dioxide from the new coal plants to the EDRs is a vitally important part of the mitigation plan.

Proposed EPA Climate Change Regulations

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