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New Biden EPA rule puts all of us at risk of energy shortages

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America’s energy resources


The recent finalization of the Environmental Protection Agency’s power plant rule spells trouble for America’s energy resources. According to the new regulation, coal plants intending to operate beyond 2039 and any new natural gas plants must reduce or capture 90% of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2032.



Plants scheduled for retirement before 2039 have slightly less stringent requirements but still need to capture some emissions. While existing natural gas plants are currently unaffected, any new plants must comply with these guidelines. Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) involve capturing CO2, transporting it, and storing it underground.



Despite extensive research and development over the years, CCS remains costly and largely ineffective. Only a few operational CCS facilities exist globally, capturing far less CO2 than initially anticipated by experts. Just under a month ago, the House Climate Solutions Caucus penned a letter to the EPA’s leader, conveying significant apprehensions regarding the delays in permitting for underground CO2 storage saying they “are actively crippling U.S. efforts to deploy vital clean energy and carbon capture infrastructure alike.”



Ensuring that infrastructure aligns with decarbonization goals within the necessary time frames is crucial. With the finalization of the power plant rule, the backlog in permits is expected to worsen without prompt action. Twenty-five states are taking legal action over the EPA’s soot pollution rule, criticizing it as part of Biden’s radical green agenda. The EPA’s approach to power plants appears to set them up for failure, prompting speculation about whether this outcome is intentional.

Fossil fuels


Since Biden took office, there has been a continuous assault on fossil fuels, with the aim of transitioning to renewables. A recent study indicated that a shift to a predominantly renewable electric grid could lead to a significant increase in electricity prices. Despite this, the demand for hydrocarbons remains high. Constricting the supply of fossil fuels is predicted to result in ongoing spikes in oil and gas prices, impacting the economies of Western countries.

Economic activity


Fossil fuels offer uninterrupted, cost-effective, and reliable energy, supporting robust economic activity. In contrast, renewables are not yet a viable major energy source due to their intermittency and unreliability, which have already caused some adverse incidents.

Power outages


A few years back, Winter Storm Uri caused widespread power outages and resulted in several hundred fatalities. The Texas power grid was on the brink of total collapse as weather-dependent sources faltered, and coal was not readily available.

Storm Elliot


In December 2022, Storm Elliot swept through the Southeast, leading major utilities to implement rolling outages to maintain supply. Coal played a crucial role by providing almost 40% of the essential energy to prevent system failure.



California has faced recurring rolling blackouts and urged residents to conserve energy to avoid further electricity shortages. Despite having a green agenda, with about a quarter of its energy coming from wind and solar sources, the state is at risk of energy deficits.

Reliant on coal


The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) highlighted increasing blackout risks in the U.S. due to carbon-free electricity mandates at state and federal levels. Areas heavily reliant on coal, like the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), face significant blackout risks.



During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing a year ago, NERC’s CEO was questioned about the feasibility of replacing energy sources retiring early due to EPA regulations with suitable renewables. The response was negative, indicating that it would not be achievable within the necessary timeframe. The strategy is guided by scientific principles.

Significant defeat


The recently introduced EPA regulation is expected to encounter legal opposition. Drawing parallels to the West Virginia v. EPA case, where the agency suffered a significant defeat, lawsuits are anticipated to argue that “the emissions rule far surpasses the EPA’s legal authority, triggers the major questions doctrine and violates administrative law.”



Fossil fuels remain and will remain the dependable and robust foundation of the energy grid for the foreseeable future. Relying on technology that lacks proven commercial feasibility is a risky proposition.

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