As our lawmakers are grandstanding and whining and complaining about the other side of the aisle in regard to saving the working class Americans' money, the real hit to our pocketbooks is taking shape.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Jan. 3 new mercury restrictions on coal power plants that will impose anywhere from $10 billion (EPA's estimate) to $200 billion (third-party estimates) in new costs on energy production. On a per household basis, that imposes anywhere from $100 to $2,000 in additional energy costs upon the average U.S. household each and every year.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson claims that while the regulations will cost electricity producers $10.9 billion annually, they will save 17,000 lives and generate up to $140 billion in health benefits.
Earlier in 2011, Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, released these comments that were printed in the Wall Street Journal: "There is no factual basis for these assertions. To build its case against mercury, the EPA systematically ignored evidence and clinical studies that contradict its regulatory agenda, which is to punish hydrocarbon use."
U.S. electricity prices have already increased by nearly 50 percent during the past decade and the EPA's new restrictions will merely accelerate that trend. All of this is supposedly being put into place to "improve the environment," right? Many, many newspapers are reporting this story with similar headlines such as, "Finally, we will get clean air."
How about studying the quality of our air first? The EPA reports that mercury emissions in the United States have declined by approximately 60 percent since 1990.
So what is the real objective here?
Even President Obama once stated, "There will be 1 million electric vehicles on the highway by 2015."
Excuse me, sir! Electricity does not just come from an outlet in the wall. Over half of the electricity generated in the United States today comes from coal. And that, by the way, is a great thing because we have a couple hundred years' worth of coal available for our use. It is a tremendous resource that God granted us use of in order to improve human lives.
If the current EPA regulations go unchecked, by rational thinking it is reported that 60 percent of the coal-fired electricity generating power plants could be shut down. If that happens you can forget about plugging your electric car in. We will be back to running around the pastures searching for "buffalo chips" to heat our homes.
Nobody wants a dirty environment, but everybody should have a greater grasp on common sense and take a look at the big picture. All of this nonsense can be traced back to the flawed United Nations plan to make all nations equal when it comes to quality of life. And that, my American friends, means that you and I give up the essentials of life that we have worked so hard to accomplish since 1776. We aren't going to try to bring other nations up to our standard of living, we are going to drop down to theirs, according to the elitists at the UN.
Coal reserves are spread over almost 100 countries. Proven coal reserves are estimated to last over 200 years with current production rates. In contrast, proven oil and gas reserves are equivalent to around 40 and 60 years. Coal will continue to play a growing role in meeting U.S. energy needs because America's coal-based electricity providers have invested close to $100 billion in technologies to reduce emissions.
Once again, as is the case with most of these initiatives we fight on a daily basis, I do not believe the misguided individuals attempting to put an end to the use of coal as an energy source are the majority. However, it is quite clear that if we are going to continue the low cost custom of living that we have enjoyed in recent years as American citizens, we will have to fight to keep the lights on with real facts and not just warm and fuzzy emotions.