To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version
11.1.0 or greater is installed.
and power plants:
Cure might be worse
BY A N T H O N Y J. A H E R N
ON JUNE 25TH, PRESIDENT OBAMA, in what was billed as a major speech
regarding his environmental agenda, reiterated his view that climate change is a
signiﬁcant global threat. He then declared his determination to tackle the issue
by setting a timetable for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue
separate carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emission rules for new and existing coal-ﬁred
It is an exaggeration to call this a major announcement by the president. In
reality, provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA) already had been triggered in April
2012 with publication of an EPA draft rule aimed at restricting CO 2 emissions
from new coal- and natural gas-ﬁred generating facilities. This set in motion
certain statutory deadlines that were not met by the EPA. In fact, the coal and
power industries — and environmentalists — waited more than one year for the
EPA’s ﬁnal new source rule, and they still haven’t seen it in ﬁnal form.
A reasonable question, since climate change is such a critically important issue
to President Obama, is how could the EPA have failed to issue the CO 2 rules in a
timely manner and within the statutory deadline? The answer is that the CAA
requires these rules be based on proven technologies. Today’s proven
technologies offer just minimal CO 2 reductions.
It seems likely the EPA would have lifted every rock in searching for ways to
write rules that would produce major CO 2 reductions, especially from existing
coal-ﬁred units. The fact that the EPA missed important deadlines indicates the
difﬁculty of following the path they have voluntarily chosen.
President Obama has now publicly established a timetable for carbon rules
affecting new and existing coal-ﬁred plants. This action may be intended to
placate environmental advocates wanting to see coal-ﬁred units regulated out of
business. But to avoid issuing rules that the courts might overturn as
inconsistent with the CCA, the EPA is not likely to produce regulations that will
result in major CO 2 reductions. This is likely to infuriate those looking for strict
rules and more plant closings.
The irony here is that the decades-old CAA, which doesn’t speciﬁcally mention
CO 2 , appears to contain provisions that protect the people from an
administration that would otherwise be willing to drive the nation toward an
unproven cure (greatly reduced fossil fuel use without adequate substitutes)
worse than the disease (global CO 2 increases and the admission that emissions
will continue to grow regardless of what the U.S. does). It will be interesting to
see how the EPA develops these rules within the president’s timetable. Why
didn’t regulators and the White House see the stumbling blocks in the very
instrument, the CAA, they decided to use to achieve their goals?
2 COUNTRY LIVING
• AUGUST 2013
Volume 55, No. 11
www.ohioruralelectric.coop Anthony Ahern
President & CEO
Dir. of Comm.
Art & Prod. Manager
COUNTRY LIVING (ISSN 0747-0592) is the
official publication of Ohio Rural Electric Co-
operatives, Inc. With a paid circulation of
294,786, it is the monthly communication
link between the rural elec tric cooperatives in
Ohio and West Virginia and their members.
Subscription price: $4.30 to $6.50 per year
to co-op members; $12 per year to nonmem-
bers. Nothing in this publication may be re-
produced in any manner without specific
written permission from Ohio Rural Electric
Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved.
Audited Media Member
National advertising representatives:
NATIONAL COUNTRY MARKET,
800-NCM-1181 State advertising representatives:
Sandy Woolard 614-403-1653
Tim Dickes 614-855-5226
The fact that a product is advertised in Country Living
should not be taken as an endorsement. If you find an ad-
vertisement misleading or a product unsatisfactory, please
notify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Consumer
Protection Section, 30 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215,
or call 1-800-282-0515.
Cooperative members —
Please report any change of address to
your local electric cooperative.
Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, OH
and at additional mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
editorial and advertising offices at:
6677 Busch Boulevard
Columbus, OH 43229-1101
Telephone — 614-846-5757
Serving on the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Board of
Trustees are George Brake, chairman; Dennis W. Schindler, vice
chairman; Jack Schmidt, secretary/treasurer; Stephen Huff, Paul
Berridge, Thomas McQuiston, Robert McCort, Donald McCracken,
Jack L. Kitchel, Daniel McNaull, Robert E. Wise, Shirley J. Stutz,
David Corbin, Barry Jolliff, Warren Taylor, James R. McConnell,
Gene McCluer, Mitch Headley, John Saxton, Edward P. Sanders,
Harold E. Cooper, Larry Weirich, Jeff Wilson and David P. Miller.
Anthony J. Ahern, president; Kurt Helfrich, counsel.