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Under Obama’s Plan, Electricity Prices Would Necessarily Skyrocket

And this is how it happens.

GenOn will close three area power plants

GenOn expects to deactivate 3,140 MWs of generating capacity in PJM between June 2012 and May 2015 because forecasted returns on investments necessary to comply with environmental regulations are insufficient.

Let me translate that: It will cost way too much to comply with the new environmental regulations coming down the pike, so we are just going to shut down. This is the fruit of Obama’s radical environmental policies. Lost jobs, loss of tax revenue to towns where these plants are, and more expensive electricity during a time when people are struggling to pay their bills.

Incidentally, GenOn has already spent a boatload of money on environmental upgrades, so spare me the corporate polluter schtick.

Environmental Capital Expenditures Since 2000: GenOn has invested approximately $2.4 billion in environmental controls for the existing plants expected to remain in GenOn’s fleet after the deactivations. Compared to 1990 emission levels, 2011 NOX emissions were reduced by 78% and SO2 emissions were reduced by 90% for those generating facilities. In addition, GenOn expects to make further improvements by investing $586 to $726 million over the next ten years for major environmental controls at some of its generating stations to meet air and water environmental regulations.

Still, apparently, three billion-ish dollars is not enough. The EPA wants MOAR! and if GenOn can’t pay, then that’s too bad.

Outrageous, yes? Not to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette! Don Hopey, their in-house tree-hugger, thinks this is absolutely fantastic.

The Sierra Club hailed the closures as a “victory for clean air.” The pollution emissions reductions will prevent more than 179 premature deaths, 300 heart attacks, and 2,800 asthma attacks, according to data from the Clean Air Task Force, a national environmental clean air advocacy group.

“Above all, this is a win for public health and for families who have been breathing polluted air from these outdated plants,” said Bruce Nilles, senior director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

“GenOn has recognized that operating outdated, dirty coal plants just doesn’t make economic sense anymore, especially in a time when constructing a wind farm is now cheaper than building a new coal plant. What matters now is ensuring that GenOn does the right thing and transitions these workers into the growing clean energy sector.”

That sharp pain you feel in your temple is an aneurysm. It will either pass or sweet sweet death will take you. You’re a winner either way, trust me.

If you dare read the article, you’ll see that the PG didn’t bother quoting anyone from GenOn. Maybe Don Hopey’s afraid they’ll tell the truth and through some twisted dedication to journalistic ethics he’ll have to publish it. You’ll also see that there’s no mention of the people who will be out of work, the potential devastation of families, or the difficulty in finding blue collar jobs in this economy. Nothing. Just smug scolding from the enviro-nazis and a paean to the fictitious clean energy sector.

I have an idea. Instead of GenOn transitioning these workers into faux green jobs, they should pay for college courses in economics and political science for each of the newly unemployed so that they can understand why their jobs disappeared. And then they should pay for a free shuttle to the polls in November. There’s a polling place at the Elrama Fire Hall–just up the street from the old power plant.

February 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm
1 comment »
  • March 12, 2012 at 10:44 amSimmer

    What Don Hopey doesn’t tell you about his precious wind farm is that you still need a conventional power plant as a backup in case the wind dies. Texas (where it is far windier then Pennsylvania) learned that the hard way. It seems the wind suddenly died across the whole state on day. The small fraction of power created by wind was interrupted and this sent shock waves throughout their grid. Rolling black outs ensued.

    Power plants don’t turn on like light bulbs. They have to be up and running until they are needed. I’m sure the cost of the backup power plant never works into the cost calculations used by Don Hopey and his Sierra Club pals.

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