I found this article in the Helena IR this morning interesting on several levels: Coal-state Democrats oppose EPA’s authority over emissions.
“Eight Democratic senators from industrial states are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate pollution…” God forbid that we should let the Environmental Protection Agency protect our environment! The Administration has been trying for a over year to pass an energy bill to regulate greenhouse gases and clean up the environment, but Congress has just been sitting on their thumbs in “gridlock”. Now they are worried that something might actually be done that they cannot control. But, here’s the tricky part. “The Democrats said they did not object to EPA regulation of emissions from cars and light trucks, but questioned the agency’s ability to do anything further under the Clean Air Act.” So, it’s okay to regulate something like 20% of the problem, as long as you don’t do anything that might actually help.
Remember now, these folks are from “Coal States“. That means that they are actively contributing to the activity that produces around 60% of all greenhouse gases by burning and/or producing our dirtiest energy resource. In Montana, we produce around 40 million metric tons of CO2 a year. About 10 million tons of that is from the transportation sector and about 20 million tons from producing electric power. Ohio, whose senator also signed the letter, produces about seven times as much CO2 as Montana, but the percentages are about the same. They produce about 27% of their CO2 from transportation and around 48% from burning coal. Coal States.
But, lets look at a state like California. They don’t burn much coal, but they drive lots and lots of cars and trucks lots and lots of miles. Their electrical power producers put out only around 12% of their CO2 (About the same tonnage as we produce in MT), but their transportation sector produces around 59% of the evil pollutant (6 X MT). So, us good ole coal producers/burners are saying that it’s okay to regulate states that don’t burn coal under the Clean Air Act, just don’t regulate us and don’t do it in an effective way. Hypocrisy in action.