Obama’s EPA Opens New Front in War on Coal

By Sean Paige | On Apr 19, 2012 | No Comments | In blog
Working hand in glove with green extremists, Barack Obama’s EPA has been waging regulatory warfare on the most affordable, reliable, secure source of electricity America has — the imperfect but still valuable energy source called coal. But just handing-down rules that effectively ban coal-fired power plants isn’t enough for EPA. Now, in Phase 2 of Obama’s war on coal, the agency is also taking aim at the transport and export of coal, trying to shut the door on coal producers and coal workers who want to supply an energy-hungry world with American coal.

From the Associated Press:

“The Environmental Protection Agency has weighed in on the first of several  coal-export projects in the Northwest, telling the Army Corps of Engineers that  it should thoroughly review the potential impacts of exporting large amounts of  coal from Wyoming and Montana to Asia.

A project at Port of Morrow in Oregon has “the potential to significantly  impact human health and the environment,” the EPA said, so the corps should  address overall impacts, including increases in greenhouse gas emissions, rail  traffic and mining activity on public lands.

A subsidiary of Ambre Energy North America needs approval from the corps to  build an off-loading facility at Port of Morrow, along the Columbia River near  Boardman, Ore. Trains would carry up to 8 million tons of coal a year from the  Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to barges at the Port of Morrow, where  the coal will be transferred onto vessels at the Port of St. Helens and shipped  to Japan, South Korea or Taiwan.

It’s one of at least six projects proposed in Oregon and Washington to ship  coal to power-hungry markets in Asia. Projects are planned near Bellingham,  Longview and Port of Grays Harbor in Washington state, as well as at Port of St.  Helens and Port of Coos Bay in Oregon.

Taken together, they could mean at least about 100 million tons of coal  shipped per year to Asia, and environmental groups such as Climate Solutions,  The Sierra Club, Columbia buy viagra online a href Riverkeeper and others want regulators to weigh the  bigger picture of moving so much coal through communities in the West.

“Collectively these many individual decisions will have a very dramatic  impact on the region,” said Jan Hasselman, an attorney for Earthjustice  representing the environmental groups. “If you look at the impact only in the  context of each individual decision, there’s a consequence that the people most  affected won’t be heard.”

The EPA’s letter to the corps this month said it was concerned about  potential problems from diesel pollution, which can cause lung damage, and coal  dust, which can cause both human health and environmental concerns.

The agency recommended that the corps do a “thorough and broadly-scoped  cumulative impacts analysis” that could be used in the environmental analyses of  other proposed coal projects of similar scope.

“We are recommending that because of the environmental implications of this  project, that a comprehensive environmental analysis goes forward, and that  would include the cumulative impacts,” said Kate Kelly, who directs the EPA’s  office of ecosystems, tribal and public affairs for the Northwest region.

“Ultimately they’re the lead, they’ll make the decision on whether to do an  EIS and how broad that EIS should be,” she added.

The Army Corps will consider the EPA’s concerns as it moves forward,  spokeswoman Michelle Helms said in an email.”

This is economic and energy sabotage, plain and simple, driven by an unproven link between coal use and climate change.So much for Obama being the “all of the above” energy President. So much for Obama the free-trader. So much for Obama the job-creator. While the President says one thing, his EPA is doing another thing, presumably with a presidential wink and nod.EPA also imposed broad and costly new rules on natural gas producers this week, as part of its “none of the above” energy strategy, requiring the installation of emissions capture technology that isn’t even available yet. While Obama is touting his credentials as the energy president, his EPA is waging a multi-front war on domestic energy development.

Written by Sean Paige

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