Author Topic: Coal  (Read 5897 times)

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6152
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Coal
« Reply #100 on: June 30, 2017, 07:08:09 PM »
Better question: why did the Republican party switch from caring deeply about preserving the environment/not letting industry poison the whole country to calling every form of environmental regulation a threat to freedom and the American way?

It baffles me. Take ozone: scientists said, "this is some bad shit, we gotta do something." Politicians of both parties said, "holy crap, this is bad, let's do something!"

They did something, problem solved, you don't have to wear SPF5000 sunscreen and a big hat when you go near the poles. No muss, no fuss.

You could never pull that off now. I have no idea why the GOP lost their minds on this issue, but they did.

-W
It's a strange transition, to be sure.  Both my grandfather and FIL are staunch republicans who care deeply about the environment.  Vacations have been backpacking and birding and trips to national parks.  Both have been deeply involved  - both personally and financially - in efforts to clean up and restore rivers and lakes in their region. Now even as their identity seems hopelessly tied to the GOP they struggle to come to terms with how their party which once took pride in passing environmental legislation and establishing national parks and wetland preserves now fights actively against them.

somewhere along the way short-term business goals upstaged environmental goals. More recently its become the standard to go on the offensive and launch ridiculous attacks against the science itself.

Indeed - what the hell happened?
"Do not confuse complexity with superiority"

MasterStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
Re: Coal
« Reply #101 on: July 01, 2017, 05:35:36 AM »
Better question: why did the Republican party switch from caring deeply about preserving the environment/not letting industry poison the whole country to calling every form of environmental regulation a threat to freedom and the American way?

It baffles me. Take ozone: scientists said, "this is some bad shit, we gotta do something." Politicians of both parties said, "holy crap, this is bad, let's do something!"

They did something, problem solved, you don't have to wear SPF5000 sunscreen and a big hat when you go near the poles. No muss, no fuss.

You could never pull that off now. I have no idea why the GOP lost their minds on this issue, but they did.

-W
Indeed - what the hell happened?

Special interest and corporate lobbyist.

AlanStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1530
  • Age: 37
  • Location: South East Virginia
Re: Coal
« Reply #102 on: July 01, 2017, 11:30:07 AM »
Better question: why did the Republican party switch from caring deeply about preserving the environment/not letting industry poison the whole country to calling every form of environmental regulation a threat to freedom and the American way?

It baffles me. Take ozone: scientists said, "this is some bad shit, we gotta do something." Politicians of both parties said, "holy crap, this is bad, let's do something!"

They did something, problem solved, you don't have to wear SPF5000 sunscreen and a big hat when you go near the poles. No muss, no fuss.

You could never pull that off now. I have no idea why the GOP lost their minds on this issue, but they did.

-W
Indeed - what the hell happened?

Special interest and corporate lobbyist.

Maybe along with sufficient numbers of evangelical base voters with the mind set that any problem we have God will fix it.  And along with "we were given the Earth to make use of / nothing God gave us could be bad".  /speculation but would be interesting to read a proper analysis of how things changed. 



Be the person Mr. Rogers knows you can be.

waltworks

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2315
Re: Coal
« Reply #103 on: July 01, 2017, 02:29:48 PM »
Sure, but there were lots of evangelical/religious voters in the 1980s and 1990s too. There was no hue and cry against banning CFCs from them then, nor claims that god will sort it all out, or anything like that.

It was almost totally apolitical as an issue, and it's very very similar to many current environmental issues (the elephant in the room being climate change). Industry survived the CFC ban just fine (in fact, one would have to say industry of all sorts has flourished since then) and you can still turn on the AC in your car and get nice and chilly.

One would think this nice story would have paved the road for climate change/carbon action as well, but apparently not, because 40-50% of the country now thinks that any mention of the environment makes you some kind of nutty hippy.

WTF changed?

-W

MasterStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 979
Re: Coal
« Reply #104 on: July 01, 2017, 04:52:51 PM »
Sure, but there were lots of evangelical/religious voters in the 1980s and 1990s too. There was no hue and cry against banning CFCs from them then, nor claims that god will sort it all out, or anything like that.

It was almost totally apolitical as an issue, and it's very very similar to many current environmental issues (the elephant in the room being climate change). Industry survived the CFC ban just fine (in fact, one would have to say industry of all sorts has flourished since then) and you can still turn on the AC in your car and get nice and chilly.

One would think this nice story would have paved the road for climate change/carbon action as well, but apparently not, because 40-50% of the country now thinks that any mention of the environment makes you some kind of nutty hippy.

WTF changed?

-W

As I said, special interest and corporate lobbyist. As fossil fuel funding for Republicans grows, so does "skepticism."

https://qzprod.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/oilandgasbalance_0011.png?w=730&h=378
https://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/styles/colorbox_full/public/FossilFuelPolitics1058px.png?itok=E5hgmOaz

GuitarStv

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8344
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Coal
« Reply #105 on: July 03, 2017, 05:23:16 AM »
Donald Trump in 1990: "The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son. If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people don’t have the imagination — or whatever — to leave their mine. They don’t have 'it.'"

The reason I was able to change my life after growing up in poverty was that I looked around, saw that Hillbilly Mountain was absolutely hopeless, and then got the Hell out of Dodge. That's what these coal miners need to do. Screw Appalachia and screw the coal mines. Those coal miners don't owe anybody anything. They should follow my example, sell everything they own, and move somewhere with better prospects to build an actual life for themselves. No more believing in politicians' fairy tales and dreams of yesteryear.

I'm totally unsurprised Trump would say something like this, but could you cite the source?

It was from a Playboy interview for a 1990 issue with Trump on the cover.

Trump was a cover model for playboy???

Prairie Stash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1051
Re: Coal
« Reply #106 on: July 03, 2017, 01:25:55 PM »
Lets do some fact checks.

The scrubbers that you claim cost $700 million were brought in to curb SOx and NOx emissions, a direct result of the Clean air act amedment of 1990, passed by REPUBLICAN president George Bush. ?  https://www.epa.gov/history/epa-history-clean-air-act-amendments-1990  Which regulations are you referring to that has killed coal if not this one? Feel free to teach me, I'm willing to learn, are you?

BTW, I'm Canadian and don't belong to either party,  stop trying to make politics out of everything. I also happen to be an expert in coal pollution, in the interest of disclosure, I do contract work for the coal industry. The loss of coal is a serious threat to my livelihood, I like my coal research contracts.

Since you can't name any coal facilities, I'll assist.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Welsh_Power_Plant
If you take the time to read, you'll see the facility is closing because of the cost of scrubber retrofits, due to President Bush's republican amendment of the clean air act in 1990. Maybe I'm wrong, can you tell me what Democrat regulation that was passed that is closing a facility in Texas?
Your confusion may be because of the differences between Canadian and US law.  Statutes and amendments to statutes are passed by congress and signed into law by the president.  Even though they may be regulatory in nature, when people in the U.S. refer to regulations of the U.S. government, they are typically referring to administrative rules and regulations promulgated by administrative agencies.  In theory, these administrative agencies are subject matter experts first and insulated from politics.  In practice, you have a political appointment at the top that how ideological they are depends on the president (and to a lesser extent how protective Congress is of the approval process), and the staffers tend to be more statist, partly because of the nature of bureaucracies, and partly because the agencies themselves are obviously more attractive to people that are "true believers".  In the U.S., that tends to result in all of our federal agencies leaning hard towards the left/democratic party.

I'm super confused. When a Republican president passes something, its because of democrats?  Even the democrats under Bill Clinton gave credit to republican President Bush, why can't you?
"An EPA study completed near the end of the Clinton administration showed that the health benefits of the 1990 amendments exceeded their costs by a margin of four to one. The study projected that the health and environmental benefits would total about $110 billion by 2010, compared with about $27 billion in estimated costs."

I did your work, I showed the cost of the regulations, the benefits, the originator and its all democrats? 

I assume President Bush also got lucky with his Ozone rules too, even though the science is in backing the results, the ozone layer is getting better, its democrats we can thank for that? Is it really so hard for everyone to praise Republicans when they pass laws to make the county better? Does everything need to be partisan, even basic history?

I think its ironic that I'm defending republicans to a person bashing democrats.
I guess I didn't do a good job explaining how U.S. law works.  The Clean Air Act (and its amendments) are what are sometimes called enabling statutes.  Basically, they set a goal to be achieved, and delegate the responsibility for achieving that goal to an administrative agency within the executive branch.  The executive agency can then pretty much do anything to achieve that goal that is not contrary to the written language of the statutes.  They also have some procedural requirements imposed by the administrative procedures act and general due process requirements.   

How broad this delegation of authority was subject to some dispute.  Congress cannot delegate its legislative authority to administrative agencies because that would violate constitutional provisions related to separation of powers.  But in the caselaw fleshing this principle out, the jurists/scholars/practicioners arguing for a more constrained administrative state lost decisively, and the courts essentially settled on a test where as long as Congress gives the regulatory agency an intelligible principle on which to base their regulation, the delegation is fine.  This has turned out to not be much of a constraint at all in practice;  if an administrative agency wants to do something with respect to something within the general subject matter of their jurisdiction, the only limitations are specific limitations included in the applicable enabling statute. 

So an enabling statute might be passed by on Congress, and then years or even decades later a rule may come out that was never contemplated by members of congress on either side (e.g., regulations of CO2 as a pollutant) but that are nonetheless considered proper and valid rules. 

So a rule promulgated pursuant to a statute signed into law by a president would not typically be considered "his" rule. 

Even a rule that is imposed during a president's administration may or may not be "his" rule.  If a president is willing to take the political heat, he can pretty much stop any rule from being promulgated, even ones under process before he came into office.  But a president may let a rule move forward that he disagrees with because it is not a high priority for him or because he thinks it would be politically costly to interfere. 

On the flip side, presidents cannot in practice effectively move rules through that members of the administrative agency disagree with. Once a rule is in effect, in order to reverse it, there are APA requirements that must be met in order to survive a claim that the change in policy was arbitrary and capricious.  The burden is not very hard to meet because of Chevron deference, but if rank and file are not on board and depending on how technical the original rule was, they can gum up the works.
After that diversion, would you care to comment on what regulations the democrats passed to kill coal? 

I think you clearly illustrated the Clean Air Act bringing in scrubbers was promulgated by the Republican party, you proved my point so thank you for that one.

I guess you're still not understanding the difference between statute and administrative rules...

But the Clean Power Plan was pretty significant.  And it was one where even the political appointments at the EPA were uncomfortable with it, but imposed it on top down orders.  They freely admitted that the reduction imposed was not a result of working backwards from BACT, but picking a political based target and then coming up with a way to meet it, by hook or by crook, which is how you got regulation of things like energy efficiency. 

CSPR was painful also and was an Obama era rule. 

But even when W was in office, the EPA was involved in ethically questionable sue and settle plans with environmental groups that allowed them to effectively gut the normal notice and comment procedures and insulate itself from political oversight from the administration.
I think you meant CSAPR. Canada and the USA signed a similar treaty in 1991, North Dakota used it against Saskatchewan to get Coal Power plants to install ESP's.

Back then it was science based, now you claim its political? When President Bush signed the treaty, he used science, when President Obama does it, its a democrat conspiracy?

Dabnasty

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: Coal
« Reply #107 on: July 06, 2017, 01:56:25 PM »
Better question: why did the Republican party switch from caring deeply about preserving the environment/not letting industry poison the whole country to calling every form of environmental regulation a threat to freedom and the American way?

It baffles me. Take ozone: scientists said, "this is some bad shit, we gotta do something." Politicians of both parties said, "holy crap, this is bad, let's do something!"

They did something, problem solved, you don't have to wear SPF5000 sunscreen and a big hat when you go near the poles. No muss, no fuss.

You could never pull that off now. I have no idea why the GOP lost their minds on this issue, but they did.

-W
I wasn't old enough to be paying any attention to politics when CFCs were banned but from what I've read there was push back from some republicans, John Doolittle and Tom DeLay in particular called the mainstream science "junk science" and said we needed "sound science". They even attacked the idea that second hand smoke was harmful.

I suppose they may not have been the voice of the Republican party but it seems they may have been the beginning of the movement toward denying science and sowing doubt. So I guess it wasn't made into a partisan issue the way it is now but it wasn't like all the politicians were working together either.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 02:03:46 PM by Dabnasty »
“If you could learn to cater to the king you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans”…”If you could learn to live on rice and beans you wouldn’t have to cater to the king”