2007/06/03

I'd Like A Rebate From King Coal

A recent Associated Press report examines the distribution of carbon emissions on a state by state basis. It's a pretty sobering read, and not surprisingly states that use coal to generate most of their electricity are the biggest polluters. Though many of these states are eager to point out that they...
...are providing electricity to customers beyond their borders, including Californians. Wyoming is the largest exporter of energy to other states, Gov. Dave Freudenthal told The Associated Press.
Unfortunately for Gov. Freudenthal, correcting for energy exports, Wyoming would have to use less than 1/12 of all energy it produces for its per capita emissions to approach those of it's next door neighbor, Idaho, and the governor admits that it's not the case.

Moreover, such unsupported assertions are really just a dodge. California uses very little energy from coal and has reduced it's carbon footprint per capita by 11% from 1990 to 2003. And how exactly does that happen? Through the use of higher cost, lower emissions sources like natural gas, hydro-electric, and nuclear. So in essence, residents of our nation's most populous state are providing a sort of "carbon subsidy" that supports the staggering emissions and cheap electricity enjoyed by the residents of states like Wyoming (highest emissions per capita) and Texas (highest carbon emissions period).

Maybe I should get some sort of rebate on my higher rates. Think Bu$hCo could help me with that?

16 Comments:

I'm really having a problem with my government shipping coal to China as fast as they can fill ships.
At the same time they (that government) are suddenly talking up carbon trading.
That I have problems with as well. If I don't use so much I can sell my excess to some other greedy bastard!
Surely the aim should be universal reduction not a trade off which will allow a still high level of emissions.
But then what would I know? I don't own coal mines or polluting industries, so I really have no clue of the sacrifices those people need to make.
So does all this emission exchange make the pollution disappear? Or is this just a way to make it look like someone's doing something without actually accomplshing anything?
If you complain, they send you a lump of coal to compensate your unhappiness. Ha!

Have you ever witnessed this much obviously fakey PR in your life??? It's getting very old and tired.
Don't hold your breath, froggy dude.
Surely the aim should be universal reduction not a trade off which will allow a still high level of emissions.

Cartledge... A particular problem in the US as well. Since we have no national target for reduced emissions, some states benefit from coal (mine it, burn it, export the electricity from it) and some choose not to. Wyoming, in particular, tried hard about 2 (3?) years ago to lobby California to buy more of their "dirty" electricity arguing that the only goal for California should be to lower consumer's rates. The California PUC didn't go for it.

Lew... I don't honestly know, as I don't really understand the concept of emissions trading. The only reason I can see for trading is to allow polluter countries to "over emit" while they're putting in place technologies that reduce emissions, but if the overall goal is not reduction, then what have we achieved?
Peacechick... Can I burn that lump of coal, or do I need to get trade a credit first? ;-)

UndeniableL... While Bu$hCo is in office there will never be a national standard. Bush and his supporters do not see investment in emissions friendly technologies as in America's best interest.
totally shocked about wyoming, texas, and alaska... wtf!!! bushco will rebate you only if you convince all the wyomingians to move to texas.
Recently Democrat Rep. Nick Rahall is pushing legislation that could shut down the wind generator industry.

Makes no sense at all in the face of this new report. We need solar and wind across the country.

But it looks like we're going to continue to protect the fossil fuel industry as much as possible.

Rahall is from Coal Rich Virginia...think he has a point of view on energy?

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070603/D8PHD8I82.html
But all the television commercials for coal look so inviting and clean and stuff. Are they LYING to us? Really? OH, I'm SO SURPRISED.

Ugh.
Wyomingians

I always wondered what people from Wyoming were called.
We need solar and wind across the country.
----------------
Polishifter:

I agree even though it's about 50 years too late. As they say, better late than never...
Hello, Kvatch.
THis is an issue that I've written a bit about myself, and caught a lot of grief over it.
But the facts stay the same.

Succinctly:
New coal plants pollute a lot less, on average about 1/5 of the old ones.
America is no longer the leader in such technologies (that's why I was working around a bunch of Japanese people, including the one named "Masa" that the fellow from Kentucky refused to call by his name because he was going to call one of "them" "Massah").
Right now, we're building coal-burners in order to catch up to the technology already used in the rest of the world.
Carbon-trading schemes are a bit of financial wrangling that offset the benefits of having the newer plants.

My electric bill in Florida was much higher than it is now. I knew several people in Orlando that regularly had $300 electric bills.
In the midwest, my latest electric bill was $25.39.
I'm of the opinion that everybody should have $400 - $500 electric bills, and manage what electricity they really need a lot better.
Sorry, but that one item was a bit unclear.

Carbon-trading schemes are a way to keep decrepit plants that should have been shut down long ago belching filth into the sky.
Not very safe for the workers there either.

Hoping that was a bit more clear...
Raffi... I don't ever want to live in Texas again. Guess I'll have to do without that rebate. ;-)

Polishifter... Many thanks for the link, I'm going to post on that a little later this morning.

Diva... I know. The whole idea of "clean coal" is such an oxymoron. Even the clean burning processes are not that clean.
PT... "Wyomingians"? Really. That's hard to say. Perhaps "Wyomigans" would have been simpler.

Suzie-Q... No truer words.

ProgressiveT... When I lived in Texas, my bills were much higher than I believe they pay now (20 years ago). Coal no doubt. And...thanks for the carbon-trading info. I sort of knew what it's about, just not sure I believe in its effectiveness.
The AP article was so misleading and disingenuous that it is meaningless nonsense.

Among many matters, there is absolutely no basis for comparing Wyoming to Idaho on matters of energy.

Just a little tidbit. Idaho receives more tax revenue from Washington than it pays in. In other words, the state receives a federal welfare check.

Wyoming, on the other hand, is a net contributor of tax revenue, which means it is contributing to the well being of those who live in Idaho.

I go to Idaho every year. Great place. People are moving there in hordes. The new crowds are straining municipal services everywhere and it won't be long before new power stations are necessary. Coal-fired I'll bet.

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