Planet Gore

Michigan in EPA’s Carbon Vise

Detroit –– Despite voter rejection of Democrats’ radical cap-and-trade legislation at the polls last November, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hungrily eyeing the U.S. coal industry with backdoor carbon regulation.

And Michigan is first on the menu.

Wolverine Power, which serves northern Michigan, wants to build a new coal-fired power plant to satisfy Michigan’s future energy needs with more efficient technology. But in addition to running the usual gauntlet of federal regulations, Wolverine faces a formidable new hurdle: It must now satisfy carbon-dioxide regulations stealthily drafted at the beginning of this year.

“We are venturing into uncharted territory,” says Wolverine Director of Community and Government Affairs Ken Bradstreet of the vague rule with no precedent for how to meet it.

Obama’s EPA activism has enraged the new GOP House majority. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R. St. Joseph) led a bipartisan House revolt in April stripping the EPA of its power to regulate CO2 with the Energy Tax Prevention Act. But the measure has died in the Democratic graveyard of the Senate, exposing companies like Wolverine to the EPA’s Green juggernaut and tying it up in yards of new red tape.

Wolverine’s Bradstreet says the EPA mandates that the company “submit the best available technology” to reduce CO2. Whatever that means. Wolverine is already in the green vise from former governor Jennifer Granholm’s rules — reinforced by her successor Rick Snyder — that the utility meet a 10 percent renewable-power standard. To meet that edict, Wolverine hopes to burn up to 20 percent of locally produced biomass in its new plant. The company will also use that technology to satisfy the carbon edict.

More at TheMichiganView.com here.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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