Straight Talk about EPA’s “War on Coal”*

Published May 5, 2015

Editor’s Note: Dr. Willie Soon is an astrophysicist and geoscientist at the Solar and Stellar Physics Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Soon is a leading authority on the relationship between solar phenomena and global climate. Soon received the 2014 Courage in Defense of Science Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change in July 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Without affordable, reliable energy, life is short and brutal. Visit any place where families struggle to live without cheap electricity, and you will be horrified at the suffering. Without rational stewardship of natural resources, life is on a pathway to destruction.

Energy issues are very complex and therefore it is difficult for anyone, expert or not, to see the best path, but there are plenty of signs indicating who is and who isn’t being straight with you.

How does the average citizen see clearly when the experts are so divided on complex and confusing issues? The same way you choose people and organizations to do business with on a daily basis.

Obama’s War on Coal

President Obama is waging a war on coal, with a disturbingly high level of persistent deception. The trendy, hip, cool, sophisticated approach has been to rush into “renewable energy” sources and shut down traditional sources of energy, based on a huge deception called “consensus science.”

The infamous claim “97 percent of all scientists agree humans are causing dangerous climate change” pounded into our collective brain by environmental lobbyists within and outside of the Obama administration is in fact a well-funded and pernicious deception. It is one of many unethical tricks to get folks going along with nonsense non-science.

The Achilles heel for “renewables,” the dirty little secret renewable power promoters try to hide, is there is no magic fix for the nearly insurmountable barriers of storage and distribution of energy. Despite decades of engineering efforts and subsidies, solutions to these problems are still nonexistent.

EPA Lies Exposed

Here are some of the deceptions just one agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been foisting upon the United States public to gain support for its efforts to end coal use.

Deception: The new clean-energy regulations currently shutting down U.S. coal-fired power plants will have a measurable effect on carbon dioxide worldwide.

Truth: China’s increases alone will outstrip reductions from the United States. And according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, each moderate volcanic eruption will negate this effort for decades. All the radical carbon dioxide emission cuts proposed cannot and will not lead any significant reduction in global temperature.

Deception: New mercury rules being applied to U.S. coal-fired power plants will save 17,000 lives per year.

Truth: EPA’s claim is bizarre since there is not a single documented death from airborne environmental mercury. U.S. power plants produce about 42 tons of mercury emissions per year. By comparison, volcanoes spew about 10,000 tons per year. If we shut down all coal-electricity generation in the nation, it would likely reduce mercury levels in Florida by less than 3 percent. The Gulf of Mexico alone contributes about 40 percent of airborne mercury in the region as it has for several million years. There is zero correlation between airborne mercury and the organic mercury found in some fish. 

Deception: We can replace all coal-fired power plants with nuclear and renewables by 2030 with virtually no economic impact because of the savings from fuel, health, and other environmental benefits.

Truth: This would require building more than 1,000 nuclear power plants to replace the loss of coal-fired power plants. Does anyone really think EPA would allow permits for 1,000 nuclear plants in the next 15 years?

The only “new” jobs created by EPA’s legally questionable regulations will be the increase in EPA’s employee headcount from about 20,000 to more than 250,000.

Lessons to Remember

Remember, all wind and solar “renewable” energies must have fossil-fuel or nuclear backups because they have a scientifically proven record of unreliable delivery. The U.N. climate conference in Peru was noted as having the largest carbon footprint of any U.N. conference thus far because it was powered by diesel generators—the organizer did not trust the unreliability of solar panels.

Twenty years ago the renewables zealots convinced Congress 10 years of taxpayer assistance would be plenty to develop wind as a viable competitor for traditional energy. Germany and Spain are prime examples of national commitments to “renewables” failing over the past 15 years. Spain’s economy is in shambles, and Germany is shutting down most of its offshore wind program and building coal-fired power plants literally as fast as possible to keep the nation from financial disaster.

The tyrannical shoving of immature technologies down taxpayers’ throats, heedless of the consequences, is outrageous. Energy costs from traditional sources have been artificially, and substantially, raised. These are non-market increases in the cost of living, and no one suffers more from them than the impoverished.

The idea of “free energy” is a deception, dangerous to human life and well-being, and no one has been a bigger promoter of this falsehood than international climate alarmists and EPA. 

Dennis Mitchell ([email protected]) is an environmental professional and certified public accountant based in Laurel Hill, Florida. Willie Soon ([email protected]) is a solar and Earth scientist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

This is a modified version of an article, “EPA’s fibs in its war on coal,” originally published in The Washington Times on December 29, 2014. Reprinted with permission.