E.P.A. Seeks Stricter Rules to Curb Smog

If adopted, the standard will impose large costs on local governments and industry but will also bring substantial health benefits.

Comments: 125

  1. Sorry I am just leafing through my copy of the constitution and I am trying to find something that would allow the EPA or give the executive branch the authority to do this. Nope can't find it anywhere. Hmmm so I guess we now place our fortune and our lives in the hands of unelected bureaucrats to whom we have given this great power. But of course its for the children.

  2. Bravo!

    This is a much needed update in response to the technology and information now available. New information illuminates the fact that the old standards may have done more harm than good by understating the dangers.

    Here in Boise Idaho, where we have air quality issues that are disproportionate for the size of the population, there is no political will to make the changes needed to protect our health, despite local studies that underscore the dramatic respiratory health problems our residents experience.

    Finally the EPA is enabled to do it's work and protect our health.

    Thank You!

  3. "Cost" $20 to $90 billion a year? Using fossil fuels costs us orders of magnitude more than that, through cancer, pollution and terrorism. Just because we don't pay at the pump doesn't mean there is no "cost." Every drop of oil or lump of coal that we don't burn saves costs.

  4. The pollution of vehicles not regulated like snowmobiles are something like 50times worse than a single car. People skiing, snowshoeing, xcountry skiing are forced to breathe these fumes by the snowmobile lobby. I hope that strict rules are enforced for more than power plants. We need to restore our freedoms to live healthy life's that was deminished by the republican lobbyists.

  5. Predictable responses from the energy industry! OOOHHH the boogeyman is going to come and eat up your jobs, people! If we have to change, the economy will suffer!

    It gets tiring.

  6. Yet another Obama administration effort to kill jobs and investment in America. Tell me, how many Americans are more concerned about smog levels than they are about unemployment? Can we all remember this when the administration next announces how keen it is to boost manufacturing employment in America? Let's strengthen unions, tighten regulations, introduce employer health care mandates, raise taxes on entrepreneurs, and then see how many jobs are created. The number, I assure you, will be negative.

  7. Oh boy. More government regulations and back door taxation from the Obama administration. And another nail in the coffin for the American economy. Meanwhile China pollutes at will, and their economy makes us look like we are a third world nation.

  8. Wow! I knew the bizzaro-neocon element would chime in here defending smog, but sheesh!

  9. I'm for a cleaner environment and I am all for the tougher standards and more hopefully cleaner fuels and energy such as nuclear.

    However it seems to me to be disingenuous when you state in your editorial that the costs will be born by the manufacturers, oil refiners and utilities and the like. They won’t pass this along to the consumer? This won’t cost jobs??

    Let’s be honest about the implications of cleaning up our country will be.

  10. Big Business has already demonstrated conclusively they are the enemy of the American People and the Country. They should be totally sidelined in regards to well, everything. If they don't do what they're told, jail them or execute those responsible- THAT will get this Country back on track...

  11. "The agency estimated that complying with the new standard will cost $19 billion to $90 billion a year by 2020, to be largely be borne by manufacturers, oil refiners and utilities."

    Yeah, right. The cost will be borne by the CUSTOMERS of manufacturers, oil refiners, and utilities.

  12. It will kill jobs to build new and better infrastructure? Why exactly? Because ayatollah limbaugh and glen bick say so? Are you just that amazingly ignorant of economics? If there is an initiative that requires new technology to be installed, and creates and INCENTIVE to innovate (IE come up with new cheaper or more efficient energy technologies) it CREATES jobs while doing something good for public health, which DECREASES health care costs. Of course, if you treat people for lung disease you may hae a tougher employment position in a decade or two because of laws like this....

  13. Thank goodness for the EPA and for sane policy makers! It's not enough to protect everyone, but it's a terrific step in the right direction. Let's hope this passes.

  14. I just read Poster #1's comment about the government's "unconstitutional action" to stop us from poisoning our air. His comment remind me of a bumper sticker I recently saw: "Compulsory education is unconstitutional." Let's have poison air and stupid citizens because a couple of centuries ago only the rich were educated and they didn't have cars or factories. The constitution doesn't provide for corporations to be treated as people, nor does it specify that you can torture enemy POWs either.
    What did Mr T used to say, "I pity the poor fool."

  15. Sorry I am just leafing through my copy of the constitution and I am trying to find something that would allow the EPA or give the executive branch the authority to do this. Nope can't find it anywhere.

    MichaelF, #1

    Keep leafing. The EPA is an executive agency created by legislation by Congress under the authority of the Commerce Clause. Art. 1, Sec. 7. Just as Bush had the power to decimate environmental laws, Obama has the power to strengthen them.

    And do we really need jobs allowing companies to profit from killing people? Wouldn't these people be better employed creating technology that allows us to achieve our economic goals without killing ourselves?

  16. Unfortunately, the air is really going to turn thick now with all the whining that industry and other interest groups are going to spew. When times were better, they refused to do enough about good air quality except lean on their stooges in Washington to protect them from the kind of regulation we've been needing ever since the concept of cleaner air was first evoked. If they had implemented good standards at first, it would have been much cheaper in economically better times. Now they have to play catch-up in a bad economic time. All I can say is that it's about time. And will someone please make sure that these costs are not passed on to us, for once? This is industry's doing; let them bear the entire cost of their negligence and their constant desire for short-term profits at the expense of public health. It's their mess; let them pay to clean it up. Remember the line--"What good is money if you haven't got your health?"

  17. Bravo EPA. Doing the hard work necessary keeping the country on track to greater health and prosperity.

    To all the polluters out there mischaracterizing their selfish criminal interests as those of the community: quit your whining and shape up.

  18. Do they really think that industry will bear the increased costs and not pass them along? And there's no way the government could estimate the savings in health benefits. And to #12, you need to calm down a little - your CAPS are a little ridiculous.

  19. MichaelF, you'll notice the Constitution doesn't say many things... but the law passed by Congress gives the EPA much discretionary power to regulate pollutants and Congress can take that away.

    And, is this good for dirty manufacturers? No. But not much has been over the last century. Not being able to pollute (as much) makes things more expensive but would you want to live somewhere where there was disregard for human health? I suppose we could put a number on how many deaths from particulate matter are acceptable... although, I guess we already do that. I think that acceptable number of deaths should be pretty low.

  20. Like Michael D in Boise, I live in a state that pretends that all is well and that is governed by those with no will to move quickly to address severe air-quality issues; the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the enemy of those of us who live in non-attainment areas. As a result, the EPA is forced to step in to improve the quality of life for those of us who breathe.

  21. "Yet another Obama administration effort to kill jobs and investment in America. Tell me, how many Americans are more concerned about smog levels than they are about unemployment? "

    In response to Tom of Ohio.

    I sure would hope that Americans would be as concerned for their health as they are for their jobs. There are no jobs to be had if you're too sick to work. Why is it that people can't understand that quick fixes are not a proper solution? It is the mentality of needing instant gratification that has gotten America in the mess(es) it's in today.

  22. hope all these cheerleaders for the epa will enjoy gasoline prices at the pump of over 5.00 per gallon and heating fuel charges that will escalate as well. those who say the manufacturer and refiner will pass on the costs are absolutely correct. I'm employed by the steel industry in the manufacture of oil field pipe and i can assure everyone that passing on costs is no big deal for us. the only thing is does is increase my quarterly bonus check based on volume produced and dollar amount of sale. maybe obama can use stimulus dollars to help those who can't afford the increase. of course, the banking industry might object but hey, every vote counts.

  23. Post number 1 sarcastically quips "But of course its [sic] for the children." Apparently Mr. F from Yonkers doesn't have children. And before any necons begin to drag out the Constitution in defense of air pollution and Big Business, I would ask you where was the Constitution when our previous President trod roughshod over when violating our Civil Rights?
    Good on the EPA. Let's hope this sticks.

  24. Hey Michael F from Yonkers. I had no idea the Constitution specifically entitled individuals and corporations from polluting and harming other individuals and corporations!

    Thanks for illuminating that! Love your intellectual aesthetic.

  25. It's about time. Can you imagine the Bush administration doing this? Hell would've frozen over first.

  26. The EPA is just another shill for Nobama's Cap & Tax policy. I'm hoping some enterprising constitutional lawyer files suit with the Supreme Court challenging EPA's self-annointed power to legislate through fiat without involving Congress. Then again, with the Dummocrats in control of both houses of Congress, Cap & Tax may be inevitable. God help us.

  27. Ironically, the biggest supporters of the EPA's senseless bureaucrats are the very same people that lament the loudest on behalf of the millions of americans that are out of work. It does not require very much intelligence to understand that the more difficult we make it for our businesses to succeed, the fewer employment opportunities will be created by our businesses. American corporations create jobs for americans, not the EPA.

  28. Tom #6. You forgot to add the fact that funeral directors and coffin manufacturers will particularly suffer due to this irresponsible action. Not to mention pharmaceutical companies who will certainly be faced with less demand for asthma medications etc.

  29. Although this is a necessary and overdue initiative, it's also something of a "bait and switch" distraction similar to something the Conservative government of Canada tried a year or so ago.

    Rather than making any honest commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, both governments are obfuscating the issue by making minimal improvements to emissions requirements for pollutants, hoping in the process to distract and confuse the public as to what is the real issue and pressing concern for the health of the planet.

  30. The sooner the better! We have a 'Yellow' air quality alert in Salt Lake today. I just got back from the countryside last week and enjoyed every minute of fresh, relatively unpolluted air. If I could only breathe that day to day! We pay tax on every bottle of alcohol purchased in addition to the revenue the state makes on the sale through state run liquor stores. If we could only put a portion of the millions of dollars Utah makes off of alcohol sales every year toward a cleaner and healthier air community for its citizens. Impossible, too expensive you say, sorry, I have faith in my community and choose to hang with the optimistic crowd.

  31. More foreign aid for China, in the form of outsourced U.S. jobs.

  32. This is both eye-wash and a pipe-dream.

    Where, pray tell, are the State and Local governments, in this deepening Depression, going to find the funding for this event?

    The State of California is so broke that they are on the verge of closing all of their prisons and releasing the prisoners, and 36 other States are likewise challenged.

    The militias that are authorized under the Constitution need to get 50 or 100 good armored vehicles, preferably from Germany, and take all of the money out of the Carlyle Fund and away from the 2500 members of the Bohemian Club, and AIPAC.

    There will be enough money to pay the national debt and to allow every citizen $100,000 tax-free dollars.

    The economy will recover, and the pipe-dream can come to fruition.

  33. Kill jobs? It will CREATE jobs in the air pollution control field.

  34. Oh Michael, #1, did you leaf through your Constitution (that's a capital "C", have some respect) when your beloved George Bush weakened the ozone rules in 2008? Of course you didn't and you aren't now. Yours is just another get-in-the-first-gratuitous-shot-at-Obama-or-his-policies wingnut comment, lacking in both facts and intelligence. The mindless hypocrisy of the right continues to be astounding.

  35. MichaelF, read the Constitution's commerce clause (Article, section 8, clause 3), which the US Supreme Court has repeatedly made clear authorizes Congress to enact legislation to protect the environment.

    Just because the Constitution doesn't explicitly say "Congress can enact air pollution control laws" doesn't mean it can't.

  36. There is so much cancer and disease, that reducing Smog makes good sense. Of course there's going to be outrage by GOP and industry, but they have fought every public health policy as it occurred. This is a great development and should hopefully clean the air we breathe.

  37. Am I the only one who read the line, "to be phased in over two decades"?
    The wing nuts are crying about how many jobs will be lost over this legislation as if they will all be lost by the middle of next week! Job losses, as well as costs to manufacturers and consumers, will be phased in over twenty years, folks. This is not going to change any lives to the extent that breathing in pollution for the next twenty years will, nor will it change as many lives as the wars we are fighting, the health insurance industry manipulation of health care reform, cutbacks in education, or reform of our financial industry. Get real, folks. Wake up.

  38. GREAT.

    This may make some businesses a little less profitable but it will reduce health care costs, reduce future global warming costs (which will be HUGE!) and GREATLY increase the public good.

  39. The costs to our economic well-being are real and calculable. The value of the "health benefits" are a fantasy dreamed up by the hacks who now run the EPA.

  40. Way overdue! Polluting the earth is a sin. Let the Super Rich pay for it!

  41. Sorry, but this is a really dumb way of trying to achieve a reasonable goal. It places burdens on areas rather than on the ones who create the polution. Polution "blows with the wind". You need to go after the sources, not penalize those who happen to be "downwind" from the poluters. I live in a county that is downwind most of the year from areas where polution often exceed limits. We could create "nothing" as far as polution and still be unhealthy. You could live near Mexico and have no choice but to have unhealthy air. On the other hand there are big poluters that need to be controlled. And we know that 10% of autos cause 90% of auto polution. Even with existing laws, nothing is done. Our "politically correct" governments will not enforce the laws. Wouldn't it be nice for these political hacks to really deal with the actual problems?

  42. EPA efforts are laudable if late. And, they are clever to set compliance based on seasons. This will force industries that are still here to meet the lowest standard since most operations, with the exception of the sugar beet processors, must run 24/7 all year-round. Now, if they could impose standards on all companies selling products in the US that would compel companies to stay in the US instead of relocating offshore. For example, when I worked at Pharmacia (now Pfizer) they did most of their production off-shore in Puerto Rico. This allowed them to skirt EPA and OSHA standards. We had a saying in Kalmazoo: "We develop it. They make it." Every chemical and pharmaceutical company in the US had manufacturing plants there on that tiny island. Please enforce the law so that labor does not suffer.

  43. Let me guess, the people to benefit richly from this are pseudo commies, government parasites, taxpayer leaches, Goldman Sachs, Wall Street, politicians, foreign banksters, UN, IMF, EU, and Al Gore, right?

    Folks, time to get our country back from these leaches and force the constitution down their throats.

  44. Just another example of parasitic bureaucrats doing SOMETHING to justify their useless existance.

  45. If adopted, the standard will impose large costs on . . . industry."

    No it won't, industry will simply continue to relocate to China.

    Any objective analysis as to whether this slightly lower standard is really any better than the one previously proposed. Both standards seem like awfully low numbers to me. How about we just mandate the standard as zero?

  46. I can't understand why anyone would disagree with this. After all, we all breathe air! It's bad enough conservatives don't want people to have health care and decent salaries -- now it would seem they don't even want us to be able to breathe!!

  47. "Sorry I am just leafing through my copy of the constitution and I am trying to find something that would allow the EPA or give the executive branch the authority to do this. Nope can't find it anywhere."

    Really? Does it say anything about the Department of Homeland Security being able to spy on American Citizens without just cause? Does it say anything regarding the imprisonment of people without due process? The previous Administration seemed to not care one bit about the constitutionality of things when they enacted the "Patriot" Act.

    The entire point of this is not that the EPA or the current Executive Administration is going to set these new controls. These are merely recommendations that Congress will then have to put into law or manufacturers will voluntarily adopt. There is nothing unconstitutional about this in any way.

  48. Once again on the "alter of science" we will prove that what we are doing is rational and of course required. Of course we are going to set standards for the ground level of ozone - but where does ozone come from? Several places but consider...

    Here is some science: Researcher Renyi Zhang of Texas A&M University helped lead a study on the impact of lightning, and the results are surprising: Lightning can be responsible for as much as 90 percent of the nitrogen oxides in the summer and at the same time increase ozone levels as much as 30 percent in the free troposphere, the area that extends 3-8 miles above the Earth’s surface.

    Gee, maybe we should outlaw lightening. Once again we are told the following:
    1) The reason we must do it (usually political or socially dubious)
    2) The costs saved (which are always very doubtful)and exaggerated
    3) The cost to do it (which usually grossly under estimated)
    4) No evidence of a cost-return analysis - it is just the RIGHT thing to do. So $$$ is really no object in a world of limited resources.

    Since this is a concern "raised by a government agency", I suspect that there may be a modicum of bias in how things are presented. America needs to wake up.

  49. @#1
    You don't have to leaf, because the pertinent passage is right at the very beginning, in the preamble.

    From the constitution:

    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    It is easy to conclude that being poisoned by smog disturbs the general welfare and domestic tranquility. A more perfect, tranquil union doesn't come with toxic fumes, and it is our responsibility, as the people, through our representative government, to stop those who would poison us.

  50. At some point, the editors of this newspaper need to take a math course. Of course, we know that the NY Times is not doing well on its own financially, but we won't delve into that. So we know that math is needed somewhere at the newspaper. But when this newspaper constantly recommends spending our money for everything under the sun, every green mandate possible, regardless of questionable research (such as that from Britain's Climate Research Unit), we must begin to wonder. It's great to be green. It would be great to have totally smog free lives. It would be great if everyone only ate their vegetables and never touched a french fry or a Twinkie. But let's get real, people.

    Not only did we live in a free society (it was great to be free while it lasted), but now with ObamaSocialism, someone still has to pay for all this wonderful green stuff with not real viable alternative. The reality is that nuclear power is not only safe, not only green, but it works--but no, no one can seem to get these permitted. In the meantime, we're stuck with solar that doesn't work at all efficiently (and we have to buy all the raw material from China), we're told to use electric cars (what a crock--don't people realize that batteries don't store energy efficiently--try using your flashlight after you haven't for a few weeks and see for yourself), but in spite of the facts of how ridiculous electric cars are, we still have government subsidies for people who will buy them. And now this, the EPA wants to declare another war--one on top of the war on carbon dioxide (the very gas that plants not only need but for which we have absolutely no historical data)--this time on electric plants that are fired by coal--about the only real resource this country has except for natural gas.

    I think the Obama Administration is planning on bankrupting this country and then blaming the so-called wealthy people for not paying enough taxes (while it's own cabinet members don't even bother to pay their share). I'm about up to here with all this...

  51. Fascism.

  52. Gosh as long as this does not affect the special interests of chicago ;I guess its OK! Its ok for asian carp to destroy the ecosystem of the great lakes but this hypocritical administration can dictate air polution laws?

  53. More fudge studies by the EPA to meet the political agenda of the radical environmentalists.

  54. Yes, improving air quality will cost money. Yes, the polluting industries may pass this cost on to the consumer, and I'm sorry that people will have to pay more when they are already struggling. But, isn't clean air and improved health worth that price? You know what else? Consumers can (sometimes) choose to drive less - or lobby for improved public transportation if that's not an option. You can turn down the heat or a/c a notch. You can do things yourself that lowers your bills, so increased costs don't hurt so much. Or, you could keep whining, sure, that works too.

  55. Great - and just who is going to pay for that $19-$90 BILLION a year? Not the polluters - it will be you and me. Another tax as far as I am concerned.

  56. Jobs? Get real. The oil industry doesn't care about supplying jobs. If they could, they would replace every human worker with a robot. We shouldn't be scared to make choices because "the gas companies will raise the price to $5 a gallon!" Then go ahead... raise it to $5 a gallon. We hold onto fossil fuels with such ease because it is so cheap. Raise the price and jobs will move into the alternative energy sector. So stop with the threats and help develop a solution.

  57. Like free health care and the war on terror, this is a great idea.

    And like them, our kids (and their kids) will be the ones paying for it.

  58. Here in SLC we have smog issues frequently. The last two days were particularly (no pun intended) bad. Some days we are told to not exercise outdoors, for example. Many days people with asthma are told to stay indoors.

    So yes, I'll pick my health and less deaths over jobs. I don't mind paying more for this. And I don't mind having more government regulation of big business, because they need it. If you can't make a profit without ruining my health, too bad. Go out of business and put people out of work if need be. Their lost jobs are not more valuable than someone's life and a huge valley of people's health in SLC.

  59. "Impose large costs on local governments and industry" = higher taxes and no new jobs created. Just what we need right now.

  60. Also a lot of the smog in California is from Red China and even worse much of it from their Coal Seam Fires burning out of control, and so bad they can now be seen from space with the naked eye..!

    These fires of coal seams burning in Red China create as much CO2 as all the cars and light trucks in America...!

    They follow the pollution band, right to sunny California...

  61. Typical blarney being bantered about. If the Bush
    admin advocated .075 pollutants and the Obama team
    advocates .060 to .070 twenty years from now, what
    is the net change in the next 2 decades? Absolutely
    zero. The Obama team keeps bashing Bush in order to
    diffuse/divert comments relating to their own error
    prone ways.

  62. I'm shocked at how many people think you have to pollute our only planet in order to save jobs. How about more subsidies to the tobacco industry?

  63. Yes! A cleaner nation, here we come! I will gladly pay more for my energy slice as I enjoy the benefits and less tangible savings.

  64. Like free health care and the war on terror, this is a great idea.

    And like them, our kids (and their kids) will be the ones paying for it.

    Jason B., #57

    If they live long enough.

  65. It's going to be expensive no matter what happens. We can pay addtional benefits for preventable conditions due to air pollution or more for cleaner fuels and lower emissions. Hobson's Choice? Sure it is, but it pays to remember that the same "bleating sheep" we're hearing about his fought each and every effort to control emissions.

    With fuel conservation efforts we can lessen the economic pain, but is there the will to move forward and not maintain the status quo? Health care debate was close. Expect the same here.

  66. For every action there is an equal opposite reaction. Cape and trade, health care, taxing the rich. Then you cry because they send their cooperations over seas. They still live here in their mansions just their work went overseas. You all better let the big dog bark. Leave the rich alone. They pay enough. I've never worked for a poor man. The rich creat the jobs. Our wages pay the tax

  67. I pity the poor fools who kiss up to EPA and a gaggle of bureaucrats who have caused the nation's 10% umemployment problems.


  68. "to be largely be borne by manufacturers, oil refiners and utilities"

    Ha. They don't really believe this, do they? The cost is to largely be borne by consumers, drivers and anyone who heats and cools a dwelling.

  69. All the buses in major cities should be running on Hydrogen since they use a centralized fueling station...!

    Also we must lift the regressive draconian Ban on Industrial Hemp for Fuel...which will also create Green Jobs and lower food prices as well..

    See the, Why Hemp..?, Section...

    http://hemp4fuel.com/

  70. It's great to see measures like this, which weigh the potential benefits to health against the costs of reducing pollution in making a final determination. This looks like a long term winner, because while the costs and benefits look approximately equal according to the article, the costs will eventually drop to zero as all new technology meets the standard, while the benefits to human health will be ongoing.

    - Praveen
    http://www.truecostblog.com

  71. Amen Matt #58. I love all the conservative 'family values' types who abandon the health and welfare of their fellow Americans (such Patriots!) at the very mention of having to pay a price for it. Their philosophy basically is: Every man for himself! So Darwinian for a group that generally denies evolution.

  72. If God had wanted us to breathe clean air He wouldn't have given us fossil fuels and Senator Inhofe.

    But seriously, this is long overdue. As a near term measure all coal-fired power plants should either be retrofitted for natural gas or replaced by natural gas turbines and wind power.



  73. I'll make this deal. If the government gives me one million dollars,
    I will give up my car and use only public transportation. Then, for only 100 trillion dollars we could take 100 million cars off the road. Think of the health benefits!

    The plain truth is that the new EPA leadership could very well drive this country into a new prolonged recession and make us very very uncompetative in the global economy. But hey, well be 0.1% healthier.

  74. You should be aware that EPA consistently overestimates -- sometimes by a factor of two -- the cost of compliance. What happens is that, once an air pollution standard is promulgated, industry innovates to reduce the cost of compliance.

  75. It's about time.
    Now how about putting further protections on our public lands and wildlife both which are dwindling so rapidly it is hard to measure. A good start would be with the wild horse situation out west which is beyond disgusting and cruel.

  76. Maybe the best way is to reduce the polution will be reduce the power of engines (HP) available and weight to the cars. Why is it necessary have more than 120HP? Why is it necessary the car weight more than 1300Kg. Why is it necessary tho have final speedy higher than 100mph? Or why V12,V10,V8,W16 engines? Maybe if these vehicles pay much more taxes (300% OR MORE) than the economic ones we will have more results. Maybe it will force the industry to have more technology nside like turbo, aluminium, hybrid, electric and become these items cheaper for everyone. I would like to change my car for a decent subway like for example New York and trains like France. Our sons will judge us in the future better than anyone. I have a small car Logan Renault 1.0l 77HP very economic and I am proud to use it. America shows the best side when drived to save the planet (AND THIS BUSINESS WILL BE MUCH MORE PROFIT THAN OIL ONE, WILL CREATE A LOT OF NEW JOBS). See Al Gore Movie. What are we waiting for change? Congratulations for President Obama to start the changing. G-d Bless Him and his team.

  77. Wow! Nothing like higher energy prices to speed economic recovery. But, heck, it's primarily low and middle-income workers who will get hurt by the job losses associat6ed with this Dem stupidity. And who cares about about the middle class? Certainly not the Dems.

  78. More regulations less rights, can't you people see what's happening.
    If a company is pouring out pollution, really how do you think people would support that business.
    Let the free market rule.

  79. The cost of getting rid of toxic pollution is greatly overestimated. Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells produce electricity from natural gas without burning it. It is the burning of hydrocarbons that causes most of the toxic pollution. Generating by use of Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells currently gets rid of 99% of toxic pollution. Even in Southern California you can install one of these without a permitting process.

    MCFCs have additional advantages as well. A coal fired steam turbine of a much larger scale, 500,000 kW to 600,000 kW has an efficiency of only 38% at best. (Utiliies that are willing to take the risks of supercritical steam units can do a little better, up to 45%.) Smaller gas turbines have an efficiency as little as 14%. The overall efficiency of coal fired steam turbines, that produce more than half our electric energy, is only 34% and by the time you take into account losses from transmission and distribution during utility on peak periods, about 14 hours of the day, the efficiency is down to 29% or 30%. Molten carbonate fuel cells have an efficiency of 54% if one can use Direct Current electricity, inversion to AC reduces the overall efficiency to 47%.

    But here is another advantage. The high efficiency can be obtained in fuel cells of very small sizes, as small as 300 kW. So you can locate these non polluting and not noisy generators at the site of the load. That permits you to use the by product heat for space heating, hot water, process steam, air conditioning, and heating swimming pools. This CHP or combined heat and power fuel efficiency can be as great as 90%+ as demonstrated by an installation of one in German at a hospital. You can't do that with larger units because the heat energy won't travel very far -- not more than about 5 or 6 miles.

    The disadvantages? The current disadvantage is the cost of the hardware. That cost is is higher than the current cost of conventional generation. But the cost estimators say that is principally because of the low volume of production of fuel cells currently. As the volume of production is increased, the cost drops significantly until it is likely that fuel cell generating capacity can be produced below the cost of conventional generation, particularly when the cost of Transmission and Distribution is taken into account. The size of conventional generation is much greater than the size of the typical load. Optimal size is 500,000 kW to 600,000 kW. But the molten carbonate fuel cells are efficient at 300 kW to 3000 kW.

    These high temperature fuel cells convert natural gas to hydrogen within the fuel cell stack so a separate hydrogen reformer is not needed. New techniques of horizontal drilling and fracturing of shale have greatly increased the supply of natural gas within the US and Canada and bring down its costs so that it is only marginally higher than the cost of coal per mmbtu.

    These molten carbonate fuel cells are a second generation of fuel cells. In the US they are manufactured by Fuel Cell Energy Co of Danbury, CT. But a third generation of fuel cells with even greater advantages is on its way. It is the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell made by VERSA Power, a subsidiary of Fuel Cell Energy Co but not wholly owned by it. Under a DOE program, the cost per kW of SOFCs is expected to decline to $400 per kW.

  80. Long overdue. A good start though.

  81. If the NY Times is so hated by conservatives as a paper with a liberal agenda, why is it so many of those same right wingers are reading it and posting comments?

  82. Listen, coming from a very liberal San Franciscan, as a country, our political system is a mess, and I am not even talking about only the Right side, the Left is also a mess. How did this come to be? - Special Interest. Sure, coving 30 million more Americans is great, but overall, the health care bill sucks. - Hello, tort reform, hello cost cutting, hello Public Option. I thought when we elected Mr Obama he would send all the Special Interest packing. I was wrong and naive, for that, I am sorry. Now, what does all this mean, well, there are three regulating bodies in this great country that we have to rely on, they are: Federal EPA, California EPA, and California ARB, whom are the most powerful of the three, and in case you don't think so, just ask the television companies as well as the car companies from the 70's through now. They run on pure science, they do not need votes, they do not need re-election, they run on science of the facts. These three regulators are about all we have left in hoping we get some kind of energy reform, period. Oh, and Michael from Yonkers NY, um, dude, guess what, the Supreme Court gave the EPA the rights to regulate on ALL harmful toxins, so, guess what, get over it. Let me guess, you would rather have Exxon or Duke Energy, or how about your governor to make Energy policy and write policy that will bring, yes, our children a safer and cleaner environment. $400 Billion dollars every year goes to petrol dictatorships that simply, at the very least, do not agree with us Americans, so hey, what about NOT sending the money, and keeping it internally, hiring more engineers, more accounting, more teachers, etc. You can do a lot with $400 billion, and that sum is not taking into account a ton of our current military spending is spent on keeping oil supply chains free and clear, nor does it account for the environmental mess oil and coal produce.

    But hey, Michael from Yonkers, I am sure you are right, it is not in the Constitution, but hey, neither was womens right and slavery.

  83. Let the energy companies raise their prices! Maybe THEN the American people will start to CONSERVE. It seems that the only time people make choices to regulate their own activities is when it costs money. Then lets take the extra step to actually ENFORCE these laws and not let the polluters off with just warnings.

  84. to summer #25 - Bush's EPA set the limit at 75ppb, the previous one of 84 ppb was set by Clinton's EPA. So much for the theory that Democrats love the earth then, ehh?
    to freddyrun #20 - Houston for the first time in a long, long time met the ozone standard last year. It's a little disconcerting to see this new standard come into effect when half of the ozone in our area is generated by pollutants from mobile sources. Only EPA has the power to control mobile source emissions in Texas, so it's not just the TCEQ's job to craft rules to solve the ozone problem for our area. I believe that EPA published a map that showed that LA and Houston would still be out of compliance with this lower standard even by the year 2020. Makes it seem impossible to meet the standard when they keep lowering the threshold. Finally, it was President Nixon that formed the EPA.

  85. Hooray! Good work, EPA, keep it up!

  86. I'm about as pro-environment a voter as you will find, but this move by the EPA doesn't make that much sense. They are talking about reducing ozone by 1 part per million (when ozone levels in this country are at lows not seen since before the Industrial Revolution). It seems to make more sense to concentrate the EPA's efforts somewhere else where there can be much larger effects.

  87. What a bunch of conservative whiners on this blog. Where were these people when Congress let corporations write off the cost of moving factories to China in the name of higher profits? Betcha the GOP was leading the charge for those tax deductions rather than doing anything to protect American jobs.

    For the record, gas SHOULD be $5 a gallon, it would get all the gas guzzling SUVs off the road (which would make us all safer) and slow the transfer of wealth to the Middle Eastern oil sultans. Alternative energy development would be helped if cheap oil were no longer around. Hey, maybe it would lead to a future where we didn't have to attack Muslim countries to secure oil supplies. They would have one less reason to hate us.

  88. I think the Obama Administration is planning on bankrupting this country and then blaming the so-called wealthy people for not paying enough taxes (while it's own cabinet members don't even bother to pay their share). I'm about up to here with all this...
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sherlock, you people really crack me up. Your hypothesis is nonsense. But the stated goals of the Reagan and Bush administrations were to "starve the beast," literally reduce the size of the federal government so it could be "drowned in a bathtub" and all social welfare programs to the poor could be eliminated. Presumably, this was OK with you. So god forbid the rich might have to pay slightly higher taxes but if poor people die in the streets, that's OK.

    Reprehensible.


  89. I own 2 dogs. We reap certain profits from having them. They are an alarm system, entertainment center, exercise equipment and unending source of loyalty and affection all rolled into one convenient, hairy package. There are certain dollar costs associated with pet ownership - vet bills, tag fees, kibble and chew toys. There are also some costs of pet ownership that aren't as easily quantified. The one we find most unpleasant is waste disposal. Because the dogs belong to my family and we are the sole beneficiaries of all that is good about them, I would never dream of asking my neighbors to financially contribute to their upkeep. Similarly, I would never expect my neighbors to participate in cleaning up after my dogs. And above all, I would never fling the waste over the fence so someone else can bear the burden of clean up.

    Just because the producers of waste are companies rather than individuals, does not mean they are free to fling their waste over their fences into our air and water. Since they keep the benefits of their production (profits), they should bear ALL the costs associated with production as well - incluiding the safe disposal of waste generated by their operations.

    If you make a mess, you clean it up.

  90. It may be the right thing to do. I don't know the science well enough to know. But don't wonder why manufacturing moves offshore. Under an open trade regime, those that can move to a less regulated location will, so long as that is cheaper than compliance. We are going to have a beautiful, clean, jobs-free country soon.

  91. Good for the E.P.A. It's about time. And so what if consumers pay part of the bill. That's what we do ... we consume, and we pay for it. For those neocons who aren't up for paying your part, why don't you just stop using fuel and utility resources altogether. Oh, wait a minute, that would contradict everything you stand for. Post #1 (MichaelF) and Post #26 (Conservative_American), what a commanding knowledge of the Constitution and the legal system you DO NOT have; Post #51 (Joe), can you define Fascism, right now, without looking it up - I'm not so sure you can; Post #55 (swtsu), you are a polluter, just like the rest of us, so suck it up and pay for what you use; Post #61 (timbo123), please prove your numbers, otherwise, like your post, they're completely useless. This whole issue is about TAKING RESPONSIBILITY and has nothing to do with job loss, more taxes, or any of the other items in these posts that institute mass whining. Take responsibility, do your part, and pay your dues.

  92. 10.
    PJ
    Indiana
    January 7th, 2010
    1:28 pm
    Big Business has already demonstrated conclusively they are the enemy of the American People and the Country. They should be totally sidelined in regards to well, everything. If they don't do what they're told, jail them or execute those responsible- THAT will get this Country back on track...

    ********************************************************************************************
    Gosh, PJ from Indiana, if only you can resist the urge to speak you will definitely not look as dumb as you do now. Are you under 21? I have a buck bet riding on it.

    Please print out a copy of your original comment and save it for another 20+ years. I guarantee you eventually will find it as amusing/pathetic as most of the country does this very instance.

  93. #66.jhd-Georgia
    "You all better let the big dog bark. Leave the rich alone. They pay enough."
    I always thought it was a joke, but no: here is someone actually feeling sorry for the 'poor' rich people. This country IS in trouble.

  94. “To do so is an obvious politicization of the air quality standard setting process that could mean unnecessary energy cost increases, job losses and less domestic oil and natural gas development and energy security.” So health care has now been "politicized?" By whom? Look in the mirror, why doncha. Or can't you face yourselves?

  95. Since its inception in 1970, the EPA has had minimal impact on the way that state and local governments and industry conduct their business. This new initiative will be challenged in the courts and will linger there until the next conservative administration repeals it altogether.

  96. "offset by human health benefits" yeah, right. The EPA CANNOT quantify this, it simply feels ggod because those evil businesses are polluting and they don't care.

    Its' about time that actual work is required before one can feed at the taxpayers trough.

  97. From my understanding, economies were meant to service humanity.

  98. Big thanks to the EPA for tackling air pollution for what it is - a PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE. More Americans are being diagnosed with asthma than ever before in history. Asthma is a lifelong auto-immune disease with no known cure. It reduces quality of life, and it kills. I am an asthmatic, born to parents who are asthmatic. My son is also an asthmatic. The city I grew up in has some of the highest smog levels on record. To protect my health, I was forced to leave my family and friends and move away from my hometown. My breathing has significantly improved. I wonder though, how long I can run from the smog? I sincerely hope the new EPA standards help to reduce smog and help ease a growing public health crisis that is largely being ignored.

  99. Well, it is called the EPA. Environmental protection is what they do. About time. And for those energy industry lobbyist trolls on this board, if you love China's policies and growth so much why don't you move there? I bet you wouldn't like living in Chengdu so much with the water undrinkable and rising cancer rates all around. I'll keep my clean water and air, what's left of it thank you very much. And yes, to Tom in Ohio, I'm more concerned about air pollution than I am about unemployment. Unemployment is easier to clean up..

  100. Too many commenters have never heard of "the tragedy of the commons." If you're whining about the economic impact, I suggest you look it up.

  101. To the posters more or less defending the right to pollute, have no fear,the energy industry and their handpuppets in the Congress will make short work of this proposal.

  102. Finally!!!! Just because the particulates in your lungs don't poke you and say 'ha ha! we're here to mess up your body!" doesn't mean they're not there (and small enough to get into your bloodstream).

    This is a great start. Now I hope the same attention starts to happen with EMFs.

  103. it is now plain that Lisa Jackson is the most powerful person in the national government. she requires no authorization from the Congress, once deemed to be representatives of the people. she will not in the end succeed.


  104. First, @ MichaelF of Yonkers, post #1:

    You won't find it directly in the Constitution, but you will find it in caselaw which has upheld a later invention called "administrative law." Arguably, the framers of the Constitution would be very displeased at this later development, by which the legislative branch effectively confers judicial powers to the executive branch. However, the Constitution also has a provision which says the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of whether a legislative act is constitutional -- in other words, the Constitution does say in effect that the Constitution means whatever the Supreme Court says it means. You strict constructionists always conveniently forget that provision, which IS in the Constitution. That said, administrative law has been going on for decades, and the Supreme Court has upheld it. It is old news, or, more properly, ancient history.

    Now that the untidy business of the preceding paragraph has been dispatched, I can get to the point I wish to make with regard to this latest example of misguided environmentalism.

    The net effect of enacting requirements which will add significantly to the cost of producing goods in the United States will be -- TA-DAAAA!!! -- more American jobs exported to China.

  105. NYT says "The main sources of these pollutants are power plants and factories, ..." I see that claim all the time, and it must be true in some areas. In LA, power plants contribute 2.89 tons per day of NOx, or 0.3% of the total of 917.49 tons per day. Mobile sources emit 834.35 tons per day, or 91%. The numbers come from the California Air Resources Board emission table for 2008, here: http://www.arb.ca.gov...

  106. Oh poor widdle Americans. Gas 5$ a gallon.(It should cost 10$ a gallon.) We might have to think before we drive -- or heaven forfend walk, or even worse, share transportation... ewww public transportation.... (If necessities had cost more, the housing bubble would never have happened. Some clever marketer will always figure out someplace for people to spend their extra income.)

    I also hope that wood burning fireplaces are banned nationally!

  107. After just opening an animal crematory in pennsylvania i discovered an interesting fact. It's better for the environment to cremate at 1400 degrees .Yet in pennsylvania and one other state 1800 degrees is the required temp. More gas more pollutants and thats the law. We can't even get it right on a local level...

  108. The poster who suggests the Fuel Cell Energy use is of course right, and he sites Germany, which makes his argument even more rational.

    However, using the alternative energy sources that Wallace wisely suggests would soon drive the coal companies out of existence and replace the now extensive
    oil use in the long run.

    The oil and coal companies would lobby this thing to death; because they would rather that 60% of the citizens were dead before they gave up their billions.

    Meanwhile, the pharma/med/industry would take a hit with a healthy population in place, and they are not about to allow that to happen.

    Remember that this is the United States.

    Money is more important than health, and when good health trumps money, the United States will fight that outcome tooth and nail.

    This EPA event is laudatory but that is only a surface factor, and when implemented in a Depression the factor is dead in the water, just as was intended.

    Ironically, the only people who are telling the truth here are the right-wing republican wacos screaming about the loss of industry for the sake of good health because they would rather that everyone died of lung cancer before they gave up their republican bushism.

  109. Ed #48, it's "Altar" not "Alter" maybe you should learn to spell, then work on your political commentary. Please stop with the outsourcing whining, the US manufacturing base has grown every year since WWII. Modernization is what has cost manufacturing jobs (ie. cars are built by robots now, not guys with hammers) so complain about our modern world if you want but give up your flat-screen and cable TV while you're at it.

  110. Snowmobiles, jetskiing (I mean "personal watercraft"), off-road vehicles, motorcycles, motorbikes, and gasoline powered lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and all the rest of those NOISY, pesky, and disproportionately polluting forms of 'wreck-creation' and 'land-scraping' should be required to function under the same noise attenuation and pollution controls that cars, and other similar forms of activity powered by internal combustion engines are required to abide by.

    It is a joke that the special interest lobbies for these 'boy toy' industries have been allowed to act with a free pass while the rest of us are forced to suffer their intrusive degradation of our quality of life.

  111. bureacrats regulate since the costs are unseen by the public and fines can be collected.
    economists tax since this is the most efficient means to raise revenue and if properly applied can be used to drive innovation
    businesses like hand outs and stimulus money since cash in hand is preferred to regulation and taxation.

    clearly we need to move towards a less polluting energy generation source, more efficient use of energy and non gasoline or diesel powered conveyance if we want to keep from creating a china or india like local environment.

  112. A relative few blocked the constrution of a coal fired plant in Sallisaw. Speak up ! There is no "clean coal" & never will be. Over 100,000 deaths in U.S. per year by cancer & respiratory diseases caused by coal burning. For every kilogram of coal burned, 4 kilograms of CO2 are produced. The sulfer, nitrogen oxides make sulfuric and nitric acid which destroys the soil and, with mercury, polutes lakes & rivers. The acid rain also disolves & carries away plant nutrients. Drinking water has ben contaminated in a number of regions by metals released by acidified water, such as cadmium, copper, aluminium. Acid rain together with atmospheric sulfur dioxide destroyed an entire forest in North Carolina. A 1000 MW coal power plant produces enough deadly sludge each year t cover a sq. kilometer wth a layed nearly a meter deep- where no life will ever exist. The politician's promise of 50 years will never happen. i.e., you get hydrogen by electrolysis of water, electricity from the power grid. Thus, U.S.DOE data ordinary gasoline car 374 g of CO2/mile; the hydrogen car, 436 g of CO2/mile- over 16% worse than gasoline car. Same for electric car, but worse. Quit allowing anyone to go unchallenged saying Three Mile Island reactor Apr.1986 was a "disaster", the INEL containment worked perfectly. The most radiation exposure any person could possibly have received is/ was one sixth that of a single chest xray at your doctor's office {as ssubsequently staten in the NRC- TMI report. The "disaster" was a hoax by the U.S. "news" media to destroy the american nuclear power industry; it did & not a nuclear plant designed or built in 30 years, & not in another 30 years. The fossil fuel industry won, & created the country's largest, useless, self-promoting bureauracy of the era, NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). Nuclear power has the best public-health & safety record by far than coal plants. Nuclear fission, the cleanest, safest, non-polluting energy source on earth and the partially used ("spent") fuel rods can be recycled in itself or as MOX (mixed oxide) and used another couple decades. The fossil fuel industry has used Sen. Harry Reid to block storage of nuclear "waste" in Nevada, now 10 years past schedule, so they can use the "nuke waste" propaganda.

  113. These EPA folks (and whoever wrote the article for the Times) obviously do not understand how business works. The article says additional costs caused by the new standard will "be largely be borne by manufacturers, oil refiners and utilities." In the first instance, of course. But in the end, as businesses always do, these "costs" will be passed on to consumers, plus a standard mark-up, so in the end the products the manufacturers make, the petroleum products the refiners sell, and the energy the utilities sell, and the products and services that use those products and that energy WILL ALL COST THE CONSUMER MORE. In short, we the public schnooks will end up paying for the EPA's power trip. Cannot wait to hear the howl that will come from the left-wing environmentalists when they get their higher bills.

  114. To MichaelF at Post#1 -

    See recent Supreme Court case, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 (2007). Twelve states and several cities of the United States brought suit against the EPA to force it to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants.
    The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, held that the Clean Air Act gave the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

    It's constitutional.

  115. ‘I think the Obama Administration is planning on bankrupting this country …”

    After the Bush administration's stunning raid on the treasury with nothing to show for it other than lower taxes for fat cats and a doughnut hole for seniors, it's weird hearing concerns that Obama may have an agenda to bankrupt the country. It’s not so much the statement’s ‘iron pot calling the kettle ferrous’ essence as the Limbaugian wish for Obama’s failure that emerges from behind sound-bite arguments about policy that would need engaging if you weren’t talking to the furniture.

    It’s so simple: polluters that do ham ought to cleanup their act. Their customers, prospering from the cheap shot, are jointly responsible. I want inexpensive electric power but I don’t want it so cheap that it can only be produced by harming people. How many mine deaths and asthma deaths are acceptable? Who am I at war with that I must accept collateral damage in order to use electricity?

    In the end, individual producers do not have the scope or the resources to evaluate the consequences of their actions – it is both proper and necessary for government to regulate accordingly.

  116. The burden of satisfying extended regulations is certainly a heavier, but would it not be a powerful message to the world to show that our nation is strong enough to carry this yoke and still grow?

  117. What the heck is wrong with the citizenry of this country? Over the past thirty years, all of the social and economic gains of the postwar boom, along with nearly all of the safety net, have been decimated. This has happened because business is running the government now, and when the needs of business are put before the needs of the public, the public suffers. Plain and simple.
    The rabid right is correct when they assert that government is corrupt and inefficient, and that it cannot be counted on to fix things today. The sad irony is that the solutions they propose - less tax, less government, less regulation - are of benefit primarily to those who destroyed our well-functioning gonvernment in the first place. This leads me to believe that the right is either crazy, stupid, or simply enabling the continued takeover of America by the corporate sector. Probably all three, depending on whom you ask.
    Regardless, the right clearly has no sense of history, or they'd remember the last Depression we had, and what we had to do to fix things after that. I guess guaranteed pensions, employer-covered health plans, wage controls and progressive taxation weren't good enough for them. I guess Social Security and Medicaid, Medicare and the GI Bill, subsidies to education and housing, these things weren't enough.
    Now we all get to play in this big dumb casino we call our "economy", where the richest 1% get nearly everything and the rest of us fall further behind every year. Where is the anger? The rage? The call for accountability of banks, industry, even government? Does the right seriously think that insisting on analysing everything from the perspective of a fifth-grader makes their analyses more cogent? Stronger? Or are they content to attract the merely the dumb and disaffected, held in thrall to the lies of the rich? I'm not hopeful, but as spineless as the Dems are, Obama included, they are not evil in the same way the GOP has revealed itself to be.
    Take this, right wingnuts: if all you have to fight proposals for needed social and economic change is chants of "job loss" and "economic damage", trust us when we say that new businesses will form to fill your effete shoes, and those new businesses will employ people. You don't scare US! When a fair tax system is reimposed by outraged people and the rich and corporations have to pay their share again, things will improve. Not before that, and not without a lot of needless pain for the middle class, but they will be fixed. Thankfully, your market-fundamentalist approach will guarantee that eventual outcome, although the end doesn't justify not trying to improve things before that. Either way, the wool will be pulled one day, and the finacial elite will be toppled. May the day come soon!

  118. "The American Petroleum Institute, the oil companies’ chief lobby, criticized the proposal as costly and likely to be ineffective. The group said that there was no new scientific basis for changing the standard set at the end of the Bush administration."

    There is no new scientific basis. The scientific basis was already evident; the former administration chose to ignore it in the interest of greed.

  119. As a long time (45 years of symptoms) asthmatic who breathes the same air you do, I am concerned with air quality. As one who first visited Los Angeles and Denver in 1971 and many times since, I can attest to the remarkable reduction in photochemical smog in both microclimates, a testimony to the success of the efforts of automotive engineers and industrial scientists in implementing successful controls that have kept our access to energy intact.
    I am struck by the naiivete of your statement that the $90 Billion cost of this proposal "would be borne by industry."
    Wrong.
    It is a tax that becomes hidden in the (to use our President's term "skyrocketing") cost of energy to consumers and industry. The progress that has been made so far in air quality improvement is good. Spending $90 Billion to make it imperceptibly "purer" is not so clearly so.
    But the detrimental effects of the energy tax are very clear: I may have to forego filling my asthma prescription to pay my heat and light bills. Don't be stupidly dogmatic on this topic.

  120. A reader wrote: "If the NY Times is so hated by conservatives as a paper with a liberal agenda, why is it so many of those same right wingers are reading it and posting comments?"

    Answer: Because classic liberals (now called conservatives) want to hear all sides. But we are chagrined when goofs like the EPA come up with a bogus range as they gave to the Times (and apparently the newspaper bought hook, line and sinker) to justify this mandate. Let me ask the reader, would you buy siding for your house from this kind of estimate?

    From the Times article: "The agency estimated that complying with the new standard will cost $19 billion to $90 billion a year by 2020, to be largely be borne by manufacturers, oil refiners and utilities. But the agency said that those costs would be offset by the benefits to human health, which it valued at $13 billion to $100 billion a year in the same period."

    Nineteen billion to $90 billion over the next 10 years? Heck, no problem. Hillary just gave away $100 billion based on the hack global warming research... Just a drop in the bucket to the ObamaPeople...

  121. I'm trying really hard to understand the reasons anyone would have for opposing a healthy environment for American citizens and honestly, I just don't get it. Why would an advanced society want to pursue a race to the bottom (in terms of trading off quality of life for lower cost, fossil-fueled manufacturing) with less developed countries like China or India? Do we really want to whore ourselves out to be the cheapest place on earth to make something?

    The perpetually amazing thing about Reaganomics is that people will willfully trade off - indeed advocate for - policies that harm their self interest while enriching others. Same logic as poor conservatives trying to overturn the "death tax" that about 6,000 millionaires pay. Astounding.

  122. Higher taxes, higher costs, no new jobs. I'll be able to breathe but not eat.

  123. It's kind of ironic that the people who oppose efforts to reduce the effects of climate change are the ones who may not realize that they will be impacted the most if the results come true. When the effects become paramount, who will be in a position to react? Who will have the financial stability to relocate? Who will have the education and knowledge to find a new job and thrive if the effects do come true?

    If history is any gauge, I get the impression the lower or middle class will not be able to adapt without significant hardship. Are you prepared to accept the consequences of your actions?

  124. You don't really think the slimy characters that run the energy companies and the US will allow this do you? They will send hundreds of thousands of emails and drum up support from the teabaggers, hold rallies so they can continue to pollute the air we breath so they can increase their profits. What lowlifes!

  125. Post 106. This comment comes from a New Yorker: "Oh poor widdle Americans. Gas 5$ a gallon.(It should cost 10$ a gallon.) We might have to think before we drive -- or heaven forfend walk, or even worse, share transportation... ewww public transportation.... (If necessities had cost more, the housing bubble would never have happened. Some clever marketer will always figure out someplace for people to spend their extra income.) I also hope that wood burning fireplaces are banned nationally!
    ---

    I love that New Yorker's map of the United States--where they don't see anything west (or in any other direction) except California. Wonder if it will ever dawn on that New Yorker that not everyone lives on a bus or subway line, that some people live and work in Montana and New Hampshire, that some people have wicked cold winters, that some people have to drive a heck of a long way to get to work or even find work? Probably not.