Flap’s Links and Comments for August 25th on 08:58

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for August 25th from 08:58 to 09:02:

  • Texas Railroad Commission urges AG to challenge EPA cross-state pollution rule – The Texas Railroad Commission is asking Attorney General Greg Abbott to "bring a prompt legal action" to delay implementation of a new Environmental Protection Agency rule that state officials say would jeopardize electric reliability in the state.

    Luminant, the Dallas-based power generator, maintains that the planned Jan. 1 implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, designed to curb air pollution from power plants, would force it to mothball some operations and would significantly lower revenue as a result of reduced electricity generation and wholesale power sales.

    The biggest impact is expected to be at Luminant plants in East Texas that burn lignite coal, which the company also mines in the region.

    The Railroad Commission, in a letter to Abbott dated Tuesday, said the rule "will have serious adverse economic consequences for Texas without demonstrable environmental and health benefits."

    The commission said the rule "threatens the viability of the Texas lignite mining industry, its jobs and associated economic activity" and "many coal-fired power plants may be forced to limit or shut down operations" as a result of the regulation.

    The commission noted that it regulates the surface mining of lignite coal.

    "About 45 percent of the electric power generated in Texas comes from coal, and almost 40 percent of that coal is Texas lignite, which provides Texans with jobs and a low-cost fuel," the commission said in the letter.

    The "potential loss of lignite for power significantly threatens electric reliability in Texas" and is needed "to keep the lights on," the commission added. The chairwoman of the Public Utility Commission and officials who run the state's power grid have expressed similar concerns.

    EPA officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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    But, the Feds don;t care. It is the environment and to hell with Texas and Texas business.

  • EPA’s Looming Blackouts – Energy: It won't matter which light bulbs we use as the administration's implementation of cross-state pollution rules shuts down coal plants across the country. Where will the jobs be when the lights go out?

    It's called the Cross-State Pollution Rule, announced last month, and its implementation over the next 18 months will likely result in the loss of a fifth of the nation's electricity-generating capacity.

    The result will be likely power shortages, skyrocketing rates and inevitable brownouts and rolling blackouts.

    Based on Bush-era EPA proposals that the federal courts threw out in 2008, this latest example of legislation is designed to usurp state powers to regulate their in-state emissions by making it a federal issue on the grounds pollution crosses state lines.

    The rule requires coal companies in 27 states to slash emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide by 73% and 54%, respectively, from 2005 levels by 2014. "Just because wind and weather will carry air pollution away from its source at a local power plant doesn't mean that pollution is no longer that plant's responsibility," says Environmental Protection Agency Chief Lisa Jackson.

    The targets are states such as Texas that not only resist federal encroachment on their powers but dare to try to balance environmental quality. The EPA claims huge health gains as its justification, but those claims are in doubt. Poverty and joblessness, which this and other EPA rules will create, carry their own health risks.

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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 2nd from 14:05 to 14:10

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 2nd from 14:05 to 14:10:

  • California Still Barking Up the Wrong Tree for Taxes – The Amazon tax is back for debate. Again.  Despite court rulings that the thing is unconstitutional, despite proven records of failure in those states who have tried it, California’s Democratic leadership is again proposing the online tax.

    None of the excuses for this wasteful proposal make sense. Some retailers claim that taxes are needed to even the playing field between brick and mortar stores that do collect tax, and online retailers who do not. After all, that is why our local WalMart is suffering, right? But a recent LA Times article shows that retailers such as WalMart are hurting, not because they compete with Amazon, but because they have scaled back their merchandise offerings, forcing customers to look elsewhere to complete their shopping lists.  In fact, WalMart is not losing customers to online retailers so much as they are losing their customers to even lower priced offerings such as dollar stores. 

    Meanwhile, retailers like Amazon, using technology to streamline delivery processes, and offering a wide variety of items,  just posted major increases in sales. In this video from CNN  executives claim Amazon shows 26-40% growth, from the same time last year, with 15,000 employees hired in 2010. And yet, California’s Dems want to effectively slap one of the major employers in the US who is actually offering good paying jobs, with benefits.

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    But, California Democrats in the state legislature have never met a tax they did not like – even if it does not involve capturing that much revenue.

    To the LEFT, it is more about punishing people in the marketplace in search of a social justice "fairness."

  • Koch Brothers Receive Praise From Obama Administration – Progressives may have decided that businessmen and libertarian political benefactors David and Charles Koch are the latest harbingers of the vast right-wing conspiracy, but they could be shocked to learn that several Koch Industries subsidiaries have been working closely and productively with…the Obama administration.

    Specifically, it’s with Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency that Koch Industries has been playing nice. In Texas last fall, for instance, the Koch-owned Flint Hills Resources helped forge an agreement between the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality in a regulation dispute. The move got the company praise from the EPA, calling the agreement a “model for other companies.” (…)

    The EPA under President Obama has also praised Koch subsidiaries Georgia-Pacific and Invista for their cooperation with the agency. Georgia-Pacific even won an award from the EPA in 2009. Leftists may complain that these right-wing bogeymen are unfairly challenging federal environmental regulations so they can “keep pumping out pollution for free,” but it seems the Obama administration has a lot of positive things to say about the brothers Koch.

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    The Koch Brothers are businessmen and it is in their interests to NOT pollute the environment and alienate/poison their customers.

    The LEFT is laughable in their conspiracy theories regarding the Kochs