In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead criticized the agency’s proposed regulation of greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants.
Since Wyoming is the biggest coal producer in the U.S., Mead is very concerned about the economic consequences to his state from Obama’s war on coal.
According to a story in the Casper-Star Tribune, Mead’s letter put the latest rule in context of the agency’s larger effort to remove coal from our country’s energy mix. Mead also takes aim at EPA for misleading the public about the commercial feasibility of the technology the new rule would require.
“Numerous air regulations have been proposed and promulgated to eliminate use of the United States’ leading source of low-cost, reliable energy — coal,” Mead wrote to McCarthy. “This proposal is yet one more example. The proposed regulation will adversely impact Wyoming’s economy as the leading coal supplier to the United States. It lacks sound reasoning, technological justification and will not provide regulatory certainty.”
Mead stated the EPA is misrepresenting the viability of the carbon-capture technology, which he said has not been integrated and proved for use at a commercial-scale coal power plant. The state has mounted a series of lawsuits under Mead’s tenure against recent EPA air quality rules and regulations.
McCarthy insists that carbon capture technology is commercially feasible. The technology involves capturing carbon dioxide from the coal and then burying the greenhouse gas underground.
Unlike McCarthy, Mead’s views on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology are based in fact.
Currently, the Kemper County power plant in Mississippi – the only U.S. power plant that plans on using this technology – is not operational. The facility is facing significant cost overruns and construction delays.
The Kemper plant is now costing $5.5 billion, twice its original budget estimate and it’s not going to be running until 2015, about a year later than its most recent target date.
Ironically, White House adviser John Podesta agrees with Mead.
At a energy forum at Columbia University The Daily Caller reported that Podesta thinks carbon capture technology is not ready for commercialization.
The EPA, however, says the technology is ready to be used in commercial coal power generation, but Podesta’s comments at a Columbia University energy forum seem to indicate that the Obama administration actually believes CCS is not ready.
Wall Street Journal reporter Amy Harder tweeted from the Columbia University forum Thursday that Podesta, who was brought into the White House to help President Obama push through climate policies, said CCS was “a ways off in my opinion still.”
@ColumbiaUEnergy, John @Podesta44 on carbon, capture & sequestration technology: “That’s a ways off in my opinion still.”
— Amy Harder (@AmyAHarder) May 8, 2014
Despite the hype about the Kemper power plant (watch video) and the lies from the EPA, carbon capture is not ready for prime time.