NRDC: Big Stone is greenwashing

On a hilltop 3 miles west of the Minnesota-South Dakota border, the Big Stone power plant is undergoing a $405 million retrofit, one of the largest such upgrades in the Midwest. This summer, 225 workers are pouring concrete and erecting steel to house new air pollution control equipment. The workforce is expected to double before the job is done in 2015. In another era, environmentalists might have applauded utilities like Otter Tail for reducing mercury and haze-causing emissions at a coal plant. But increasingly, environmental groups say that such investments are a mistake because greenhouse gas regulation looms. [David Schaffer, Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
From my inbox:
Dear Larry,
It’s crazy: big polluters get to pump unlimited amounts of climate-wrecking carbon pollution into our air.
Carbon pollution fuels global warming, which means more climate chaos -- from record droughts and floods, to wildfires and super storms.
Stand up against big polluters and demand limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
That’s right, the biggest single source of carbon pollution is power plants. In fact, power plants belch out more global warming pollution than cars, trucks and airplanes combined.
The Obama Administration has introduced limits on carbon pollution from all future power plants. But Big Coal and their friends in Congress are doing everything they can to gut these historic protections.
Help fight back by telling EPA to put people before polluters.
Big Coal and other fossil fuel industries have poured millions into lobbying efforts against EPA’s proposed life-saving protections. And just last week, Congressional cronies for Big Coal announced they're moving ahead with their plan to interfere with the EPA's authority to limit carbon pollution.
These new limits could be a game-changer in our fight to curb global warming, but without strong public support they may never see the light of day. That's why your help is so important in this fight.
Tell the EPA you support strong limits on new power plants. And make sure they deliver on the President’s promise to issue rules that crack down on existing power plants as well.
With your help, we can face down Big Coal and get this done.
Image courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio.


Dan Pangburn said...

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is an odorless, tasteless, transparent gas that is absolutely necessary for life on earth. Plants must now sort through 2500 molecules to find one that can be used to make food. More CO2 results in more food.

Calling CO2 a pollutant is technologically incompetent.

Any credible change to the level of non-condensing greenhouse gases doesn’t have, has never had and will never have significant effect on average global temperature.

Find out what actually has driven average global temperature at http://danpangburn.blogspot.com/

larry kurtz said...

Get a grip, Dan.

larry kurtz said...

Curious whose ax you're grinding, Dan.

Dan Pangburn said...

Average GLOBAL temperature anomalies are reported on the web by NOAA, GISS, Hadley, RSS, and UAH, all of which are government agencies. The first three all draw from the same data base of surface and near surface measurement data. The last two draw from the data base of satellite measurements. Each agency processes the data slightly differently from the others. Each believes that their way is most accurate. To avoid bias, I average all five. The average anomalies in Celsius degrees are listed here.

2001 0.3473
2002 0.4278
2003 0.4245
2004 0.3641
2005 0.4663
2006 0.3930
2007 0.4030
2008 0.2598
2009 0.4022
2010 0.5261
2011 0.3277
2012 0.3770

A straight line (trend line) fit to these data has no slope. That means that, for over a decade, average global temperature has not changed. Meanwhile the CO2 level has increased since 2001 by 28% of the increase prior to 2001.

Trenberth (of IPCC, etc. fame) has called it a “travesty” that the climate models have failed miserably to predict the flat temperatures following the rise that ended before 2001.

I wonder how much wider the separation between the rising CO2 level and not-rising average global temperature will need to get for some people to recognize that the AGW theory was a mistake and that their lack of broad scientific knowledge has made them gullible.

larry kurtz said...

Even if the market for CO2 were strong enough, sequestration isn’t a fully vetted technology yet. Although the Natural Resource Defense Council, a big EOR supporter, says, “to date, no significant documented environmental impacts from CO2 injection, have been reported,” there are still concerns about the long-term viability of storing carbon dioxide in oil wells, including questions about whether the gas will leak out. Just last week, scientists at University of Texas released a study that suggests a link between the injection of CO2 underground and an earthquake in a West Texas oil field.

Dan Pangburn said...

Sequestering CO2 would be an expensive mistake. See my first post.