Friday, February 21, 2014

Kentucky Mandates Coal Dust Sprinkled on All School Lunches

Don't laugh - what the House Environmental Destruction and Corporate Resources Committee just approved pretty much amounts to the same thing.

John Cheves at the Herald:

Kentucky would create coal-friendly power plant emission standards in an attempt to head off tougher federal rules under a bill passed unanimously Thursday by a House committee.

By June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose strict limits on the amounts of carbon dioxide that existing coal-fired power plants can produce.Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA treats carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth's atmosphere — as a pollutant contributing to climate change. The EPA proposed limits for newly built power plants in September that would cut carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half, giving an advantage to natural gas, which burns cleaner.

State lawmakers say the expected EPA limits could force the retirement of coal-fired plants producing most of Kentucky's electricity, driving up power costs and hurting the economy. They're trying to get ahead of the EPA with House Bill 388, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gooch, D-Providence, who co-owns a manufacturer of coal-mining equipment whose clients include industry giants Alliance Resource Partners and Peabody Energy.

HB 388 would instruct the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to create a plan for existing power plants that considers the economic impact of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, such as higher electric bills and lost jobs; that sets "reasonable" and "flexible" standards for plants; and that doesn't require switching from coal to other fuels, such as natural gas, or the use of nascent technologies, such as carbon capture and storage.

The House Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment, of which Gooch is chairman, passed the bill Thursday, sending it to the full House. Nobody spoke in opposition.
This bill uses deliberately deceptively inocuous language to specifically exempt coal generating plants from doing jack shit to reduce the deadly gasses they emit by the ton every hour of every day.

This bill specifically condemns Kentuckians to slow deaths from lung cancer, mercury poisoning and dozens of other maladies stemming from the mining, processing and burning of coal.

This bill is a big fat Fuck You to parent, every teacher, every member of the reality-based community struggling to help Kentucky crawl out from under the stinking, rotting corpse of Big Coal.

Nobody spoke in opposition.

Not just no members of the committee, may they all suffer from painful, disfiguring, humiliating and incurable skin diseases for the rest of their miserable, inexcusable lives.

No members of the public. No professional staff from Kentucky's regulatory agencies, who absolutely know better. No representatives of environmental groups who, granted, are stretched dangerously thin to try to cover every lethally destructive bill the Kentucky General Assembly comes up with every year.


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