Don’t Ask about Climate Rule’s Impact on Reliability, Because EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Is “Tired” of Hearing about It

by William Yeatman on June 3, 2014

in Blog

During yesterday’s roll out of the EPA’s climate plan for existing power plants, Administrator Gina McCarthy said something alarming, and I’m not talking about her global warming spiel. Rather, I’m referring to her evident flippancy regarding the potential for EPA’s rules to turn out the lights. Below, I’ve reposted the passage that raised my eyebrow:

The critics are wrong about reliability, too. For decades, power plants have met pollution limits without risking reliability.* If anything, what threatens reliability and causes blackouts is devastating extreme weather fueled by climate change. I’m tired of people pointing to the Polar Vortex as a reason not to act on climate.

Here, Administrator McCarthy is referring to the fact that coal saved much of the country’s bacon during last winter’s polar vortex. Due to logistical constraints, there weren’t adequate supplies of natural gas for both space heating and electricity generation in many areas of the northeast when temperatures plummeted. So coal power had to save the day. However, 90% of the coal capacity that was called into action to avert an energy crisis—only months ago(!)—will be retired next spring due to EPA’s outrageous, ultrapolitical Utility MACT.

According to FERC Commission Philip Moeller, rolling blackouts will be a “possibility” thanks to EPA’s nonsensical Utility MACT. But don’t bother Gina McCarthy about it! She’s “tired” of hearing about it.

Notably, an informal FERC analysis shredded EPA’s reliability analysis for the Utility MACT, which has since proven so unreliable. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be comforting to learn that the agency’s just-unveiled climate plan also was subjected to an EPA reliability analysis, and the rule passed with flying colors.

*This statement–“For decades, power plants have met pollution limits without risking reliability”–fails to account for the fact that the EPA has never been as politicized (ie, captured by green special interests) and power hungry as it has been since 2009.

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