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By JGillman, Section News
Almost 2 years Ago I wrote how Michigan jobs were being targeted by Obama's administration and its functionary weapon, the EPA.
While the Republican controlled congress fiddles with bills and resolutions that will never make it to the President's desk, the damage is already being done. The EPA has made it unprofitable for a power company to do business in the UP. As the Candidate Obama put it so bluntly in 2008:
"If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that's being emitted."Fast forward to NOW?
The Presque Isle Power plant in Marquette faces a shutdown as a major buyer seeks electricity off the grid from elsewhere. From Energy Biz:
"Cliffs Natural Resources Inc., which operates two iron ore mines in Michigan, has notified We Energies that it will begin buying electricity from Integrys Energy Services, a retail electricity provider that sells electricity in states that have opened up their power markets to competition, Cliffs spokesman Dale Hemmila said.This results in a loss of electricity sales that suddenly makes the $140 million in upgrades for EPA compliance all the more unrealistic and quite dangerous for our northernmost residents.
While the competitive forces are straight up and legitimate, A shutdown of this plant due to a federal regulatory nightmare will have an unpredictable effect on the stability of electricity in the Upper peninsula. Costs for residents will likely skyrocket, and service will become sub-par.
Michigan Congressmen? Its on you now. Time to Defund.
By JGillman, Section News
One of the long running abuses of government is being stepped up as is normal at this time of year.
Possibly the most in-your-face government nanny state BS to ever grace a televised Tiger game is LIVE this weekend. Seat belt enforcement zones in effect through Memorial Day
".. law enforcement officers from 155 agencies will be conducting safety belt enforcement zones in 26 counties across the state through June 2.Good places to avoid if driving sans the safety harness.
Annoyance at this program stems not so much from a common sense application of the tools used to protect passengers of automobiles, but rather the steamy breathed way it is presented as LAW. And that we pay for those ads. (perhaps legislators could look at funding that drives that type of inane garbage?)
YOU WILL PUT YOUR BELT ON, MAGGOT!
But that isn't entirely all of it either. Go below for more..
(10 comments, 384 words in story) Full Story
By Corinthian Scales, Section News
I just can't get over this one.
Wind farms in the Pacific Northwest -- built with government subsidies and maintained with tax credits for every megawatt produced -- are now getting paid to shut down as the federal agency charged with managing the region's electricity grid says there's an oversupply of renewable power at certain times of the year.
At least I have my memories of this nation when it didn't blow.
(3 comments) Comments >>
By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
Promoted for discussion ~
Pete Hoekstra's campaign has made the decision to spend the money necessary to purchase a Super Bowl ad to run in key Michigan media markets (Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Marquette, Lansing, and Traverse City) just before kickoff in Indianapolis. Naturally, the Michigan Democrat Party is not pleased.
(15 comments, 780 words in story) Full Story
By JGillman, Section News
Obama Admin Takes Rent Seeking To A New Level.
I have been adding to this all week, and have tried to make it as concise as possible, but as more information became available, editing was required. Let me know if any clarification is needed.
I wrote at the beginning of the month about the coal fired plant in Marquette being threatened by a new and extremely aggressive set of EPA rules. The shutdown of that plant of course would leave in question the future of paper mills, and the electrical needs of yoopers. At least the future of the cost being at all affordable. The jobs that would be lost as higher costs come to bear also joined by a literal health care crisis as fewer would be insured, and less money in the pockets of those Michiganders would encourage poorer health choices.
Health, of course is the victim of the 'boogeyman' coal fired power industry. You've seen the ubiquitous American Lung Association "coughing baby" ads supporting the Obama EPA's push to shut down the coal industry, right? What might surprise you is that those ads are funded in part by Chesapeake Energy, the country's second-largest natural gas producer.
Coming amidst an impending decision by the EPA on the Utility MACT (maximum achievable control technology) rule that is expected to lead to job loses, plant shutdowns, and rolling blackouts across the country, this strange partnership raises a question. What does Chesapeake stand to gain, by pouring money into a seemingly disparate organization with extremely different objectives and priorities? Politico writes:
The ads come as the coal industry is at war with the Obama administration over new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. The EPA is expected to issue new rules on Friday to curb air toxics from power plants, which are estimated to cost industry about $10.9 billion each year.
Oh, so its an end-justifies-the-means kind of thing. Rent seeking. But when questioned, Chesapeake officials have stated that the flood of cash to ALA is merely business as usual for the company, which donates to "a wide variety and number of health and medical-related organizations. Well that's very responsible of them, bravo for being so charitable.
Or is it? (Below)
(2 comments, 3045 words in story) Full Story
By JGillman, Section News
A few years back, I wrote a little piece about the dying upper peninsula of Michigan. "God's country" as some might rightfully call it, is home to some good folk. Many who have braved generations of unreliable electric service in some parts, that even now are at least a decade away from high speed internet and consistent telephone service, both cellular and land line.
And even that isn't a guarantee they will ever see it.
In fact civilization is moving along rapidly enough that the populations of the UP are being drawn out except in the most concentrated population centers. And in THOSE places, federal grants for housing, and assistance measures are being increased. It draws those living in the rural outlying zones in to the town centers. For some of the poor folk who face increasing government punishment for modifying land to suit their needs, additional fuel costs, and the pledge of subsidized urban housing it makes sense to take a path of least resistance.
Then add to this a increase in the cost of electricity that is as guaranteed as craftsman tools, and the landscape becomes fundamentally different.
The cost of electricity BTW because of such measures that would bankrupt those who would build coal fired plants, which was the promise of then Senator Obama, speaking to an interviewer on clean energy options. THAT promise is now being kept, as the out of control EPA brings the hammer down on Upper Michigan's coal based energy producers.
"Looming environmental rules may lead We Energies to shut down the only major power plant serving Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the next five or six years."
It seems that other than the few minor hydroelectric producers spread throughout parts of the UP, the Marquette Presque Isle coal burning facility is it. This employer of hundreds, and provider of a major portion of operating revenues for the local governments, apparently cannot meet standards now being implemented by the EPA. The standards are arguably job breakers, and the point according to the EPA is to limit greenhouse gases and mercury emissions, the negative effect of the former still hotly contested, and the latter insignificant.
(3 comments, 1939 words in story) Full Story
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