Wednesday, June 4, 2014

President Obama’s Latest Emissions Limiting Guidelines: Good for the Environment?

Will the proposed new guidelines by President Obama on slashing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30 percent by the year 2030 finally mitigate the worst effects of climate change?

By: Ringo Bones 

Maybe it was probably the recently published NASA’s satellite images showing the West Antarctic ice shelf melting and crashing into the sea that will increase the possibility of a catastrophic sea level rise by the 22nd Century that finally prompted the general public to take the issue of climate change much more seriously. Fortunately, the Obama administration finally bares a proposed coal fired power plant greenhouse gas emissions guidelines that finally pleased the majority of American environmentalists. Unfortunately, Washington’s coal lobby has been up in arms of the proposed emissions guidelines, warning of a catastrophic economic decline if it gets the green light at Capitol Hill. FOX News, The US Republican Party and Chris Hamilton – West Virginia Coal Association chair – all have critical views on what they call as President Obama’s “War on Coal”, but the good news is that if the latest proposed emissions limiting guidelines could cut up to 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from American coal fired power plants by the year 2030.   

Unlike the 8-year tenure of former US President George W. Bush, which had been a “paradise” for climate change deniers and those who profit from it, US president Barack Obama has recently consulted and negotiated with the US Environmental Protection Agency – with EPA administrator Gina McCarthy - back in Monday, June 2, 2014, on new guidelines to slash carbon dioxide and other industrial greenhouse gas emissions from coal fired power plants in order to limit the most catastrophic impact of climate change and sea level rise. Fortunately, the latest proposed emissions guidelines are based on the latest peer-reviewed climate research and not from coal mining and crude oil profit projections of the biggest American based fossil fuel extraction companies. Given that a typical coal fired power plant burns as much as 16-tons of coal a day, some of them will probably be shut down permanently and President Obama says departure form coal burning based power generation could open up new business opportunities for the American wind turbine and solar power generation energy sector. 

The latest carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions data shows that American coal fired power plants produce 40 percent of the country’s overall carbon dioxide emissions and on a per capita basis, every American has on average two times the carbon footprint of a typical Mainland Chinese citizen. But the proposed emissions curb guidelines have had the Washington DC coal lobby up in arms and warns that the entire state of West Virginia’s coal industry could collapse at the cost of millions of jobs. Political rhetoric aside, many American environmentalists had been very wary of the Washington DC’s fossil fuel extraction industry lobby since the mid 1990s for their notoriety of manipulating Evangelical Christianity’s religious dogma to benefit their own profitable ends.  

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