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Thread: The Overbearing EPA

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    I think a lot of Conservatives are. It has become more and more mainstream for candidates to support either making significant cuts or completely eliminating the EPA.

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    I think this needs to be more of a "The People" are sick of this.
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    Default Re: Re: Obama Shutting down the Coal Industry

    Posted at 12:19 PM ET, 08/19/2011
    Getting ready for a wave of coal-plant shutdowns


    By Brad Plumer



    (JOHN GILES/ASSOCIATED PRESS) Over the next 18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake, coal ash—it’s all getting regulated. And, not surprisingly, some lawmakers are grumbling.

    Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs. The doomsday scenario has alarmed Republicans in the House, who have been scrambling to block the measures. Environmental groups retort that the rules will bring sizeable public health benefits, and that industry groups have been exaggerating the costs of environmental regulations since they were first created.

    So, who’s right? This month, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which conducts policy research for members of Congress, has been circulating a paper that tries to calmly sort through the shouting match. Thanks to The Hill’s Andrew Restuccia, it’s now available (PDF) for all to read. And the upshot is that CRS is awfully skeptical of the “train wreck” predictions.

    First, the report agrees that the new rules will likely force the closure of many coal plants between now and 2017, although it’s difficult to know precisely how many. For green groups, that’s a feature, not a bug: Many of these will be the oldest and dirtiest plants around. About 110 gigawatts, or one-third of all coal capacity in the United States, came online between 1940 and 1969. Many of these plants were grandfathered in under the Clean Air Act, and about two-thirds of them don’t have scrubbers:



    (FGD = Flue Gas Desulfurization, SCR = Selective Catalytic Reduction)
    CRS notes that many of the plants most affected by the new EPA rules were facing extinction anyway: “Many of these plants are inefficient and are being replaced by more efficient combined cycle natural gas plants, a development likely to be encouraged if the price of competing fuel—natural gas—continues to be low, almost regardless of EPA rules.”

    Still, that’s a lot of plants. Won’t this wreak havoc on the grid? Not necessarily, the CRS report says, although the transition won’t be simple.

    For one, most of these plants don’t provide as much baseload power as it appears on first glance—pre-1970 coal plants operating without emissions controls are in use, on average, only about 41 percent of the time. Second, the report notes that “there is a substantial amount of excess generation capacity at present,” caused by the recession and the boom in natural gas plants. Many of those plants can pitch in to satisfy peak demand. Third, electric utilities can add capacity fairly quickly if needed — from 2000 to 2003, utilities added more than 200 gigawatts of new capacity, far, far more than the amount that will be lost between now and 2017.

    Granted, those upgrades and changes won’t be free. The CRS report doesn’t try to independently evaluate the costs of the new rules, noting that they will depend on site-specific factors and will vary by utility and state. (Matthew Wald recently wrote a helpful piece in The New York Times looking at how utilities might cope.) But, the report says, industry group estimates are almost certainly overstated. For one, they were analyzing early EPA draft proposals, and in many cases, the agency has tweaked its rules to allay industry concerns. And many of the EPA’s rules are almost certain to get bogged down in court or delayed for years, which means that utilities will have more time to adapt than they fear.

    The CRS report also agrees with green groups that the benefits of these new rules shouldn’t be downplayed. Those can be tricky to quantify, however. In one example, the EPA estimates that an air-transport rule to clamp down on smog-causing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide would help prevent 21,000 cases of bronchitis and 23,000 heart attacks, and save 36,000 lives. That’s, at the high end, $290 billion in health benefits, compared with $2.8 billion per year in costs (according to the EPA) by 2014. “In most cases,” CRS concludes, “the benefits are larger.”

    Granted, few would expect this report to change many minds in Congress. Just 10 days ago, Michele Bachmann was on the campaign trail promising that if she becomes president, “I guarantee you the EPA will have doors locked and lights turned off, and they will only be about conservation.” That doesn’t sound like someone who’s waiting for a little more data before assessing the impact of the new regulations.

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  4. #44
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Lots of people will die in the winter over this.
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  5. #45
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Watch cost of electricity skyrocket. The feds will ride in with subsidies and further control the populace. I'm sorry, did I say that out loud?

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    I didn't hear you say anything subversive....

    /chuckles
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Perhaps our complaints are starting to work....

    Obama to drop smog initiative



    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (Larry Downing / Reuters)

    Christopher Doering Reuters 12:06 p.m. CDT, September 2, 2011


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama unexpectedly asked the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to withdraw a plan to limit smog pollution, handing a big win to business and Republicans who have argued the initiative was a job killer in uncertain times.

    Obama said the move to kill one the EPA's major initiatives to clean up the environment was part of a broader government effort to reduce regulatory burdens and uncertainty.

    Reaction was swift from business groups and Republicans that the White House was making the right decision as the country's economy continued to struggle.

    "Job creators scored a major victory today in the fight against Washington's red tape," said Republican Senator John Barrasso.

    Obama's announcement follows the grim report on Friday that U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in August, with the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent.

    The EPA, under pressure from business and Republican lawmakers, had delayed several times issuing the new rule that would limit smog pollution in the United States.

    EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, supported by a broad range of environmental groups, has said the ozone rules would save as much as $100 billion in health costs, and help prevent as many as 12,000 premature deaths from heart and lung complications.

    Environmental groups lambasted the move as a big win for corporate America.

    "The Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe. This is a huge win for corporate polluters and huge loss for public health," said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters.

    The initial standards, proposed near the start of last year, would limit ground-level ozone, or smog, to between 60 and 70 parts per billion measured over eight hours.

    The proposal was stronger than 2008 standards set by the Bush administration. Environmentalists blasted those for being less aggressive than government scientists had recommended.

    Under the rule, factories and oil, natural gas and power generators would be forced to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides and other chemicals called volatile organic compounds. Smog forms when those chemicals react with sunlight.

    Dow Chemical has said the rule could cost as much as $90 billion. Several companies including Dow have urged the administration to delay the rule until 2013.

    (Editing by Russell Blinch, Dale Hudson and Jim Marshall)
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    The EPA, under pressure from business and Republican lawmakers, had delayed several times issuing the new rule that would limit smog pollution in the United States.


    These "agencies" shouldn't be created by a President. They should NOT be allowed to create RULES. They should NOT be funded by tax payers money.

    I say cut them OFF from all funds and let them die on the vine.

    The funding they have for the next year remains the same. Next year it is cut by 50%. Their people need to start looking for new jobs. In the third year, cut by another 50%. In the last year, shut them the hell DOWN.
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Perhaps our complaints are starting to work....
    Don't bet your life savings on it. When the right hand is moving, watch the left hand...

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    Don't bet your life savings on it. When the right hand is moving, watch the left hand...

    I'm sorry, I forgot to put in the sarcasm tags....
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyl...son-0825-2011/

    I am not sure if I am supposed to copy the whole article.

    For those not familiar with the story, The US Fish and Wildlife Department raided 2 Gibson guitar manufacturing plants for having illegal ebony and rosewood. The wood in question comes from India. Apparently it is against INDIAN law for the woods to be worked by anyone but INDIAN workers. Technically anyone owning a guitar with fretboards using Indian woods is breaking the law, OF INDIA!

    I have owned a Gibson J-45 since I purchased it new in 1973. I guess I am aiding and abetting the law in India. They can have my J when they pry it from my cold dead hand.

    The only crime I see Gibson guitars making is charging the prices they do for their products. I bought my J for a little over cost in 73 for around $275, I think the list price back then was around $475, today this instrument has a list price of $4500! The last Les Paul I owned I purchased used for $250.
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    You can copy it and put it here.

    I heard about this a couple of weeks back, thought someone posted something about it too, but don't remember now.

    This is the biggest bunch of crap coming from the government. Confiscating things like this, natural resources, because someone didn't buy "legal" wood. Give me a frigging break.
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Yep, been hearing about the Gibson ordeal. Just haven't had a chance to post any info.

    Word from Gibson's CEO is that he was told if he just moved the operation to Madagascar, all the problems would go away.

    Also, he is a big Republican donor and runs a non-union shop.

    This administration target Republican friendly businesses? Nah, not like we heard about more Republican GM dealers getting closed than Dem.

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Methinks we are seeing the influence of Mr Clinton here. I was wondering why O was still chugging along full port tilt. This move gives a starboard tug of the wheel, but that rudder is still hard to port.

    Remember that before a second term try, a candidate tries to move toward center, at least in the public eye. That is what Clinton did and it worked. There is surely some animosity between the Clinton camp and O's, but 'for the party' and to 'save the world from Republicans', I think Clinton would help O win.

    To me it is a setup. In this first term, O put out so much of his prescribed change, that he can afford to sacrifice a few minor notables as the perception will be a more centered stance. Do not believe it.

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    The freaking unions (including James Hoffa) are screaming about the Tea Party beings "Sons of Bitches" and "Let's get them out and give amerika back to Amerikans". I'm assuming of course he spelled it that way on his speech paper since he's a slimeball commie anyway....
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Obama Administration Set to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns
    September 23, 2011

    Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer:
    Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government's latest attempt to protect the Earth's atmosphere.

    The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday patients who use the epinephrine inhalers to treat mild asthma will need to switch by Dec. 31 to other types that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons, an aerosol substance once found in a variety of spray products.

    The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.

    But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.
    The Atlantic's Megan McArdle, an asthma sufferer, noted a while back that when consumers are forced to use environmentally friendly products they are almost always worse:
    Er, industry also knew how to make low-flow toilets, which is why every toilet in my recently renovated rental house clogs at least once a week. They knew how to make more energy efficient dryers, which is why even on high, I have to run every load through the dryer in said house twice. And they knew how to make inexpensive compact flourescent bulbs, which is why my head hurts from the glare emitting from my bedroom lamp. They also knew how to make asthma inhalers without CFCs, which is why I am hoarding old albuterol inhalers that, unlike the new ones, a) significantly improve my breathing and b) do not make me gag. Etc.
    Well, tough cookies asthma sufferers! You should have written bigger checks to the Democratic party while you had the chance.

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    Not the EPA but local Salt Lake City enviro stupidity...

    Idling Beyond 2 Minutes Outlawed In Salt Lake City
    October 26, 2011

    When it comes to curbing vehicle idling in Salt Lake City, education trumps enforcement.

    Mayor Ralph Becker and the City Council agreed on that premise Tuesday, passing a new law that outlaws idling beyond two minutes but exempts drive-through business windows — considered the biggest air-polluting culprits — provided the merchants post anti-idling signs.

    The compromise was reached — in the face of banker and restaurateur criticism — as council members conceded placing "exhaust police" at drive-throughs citywide is unrealistic.

    "This is a good way to be friendly and encourage others to look at this," said Councilman Carlton Christensen, who was outnumbered in his bid to stretch the idling limit to four minutes. "At the end of the day, considering our limited enforcement capabilities, it may be more effective."

    Becker’s ordinance, passed unanimously by the council, still puts Salt Lake City on a par with Philadelphia as the U.S. city with the strictest anti-idling standard. The new law forbids motorists from idling beyond two minutes — including in their driveways and in front of schools.

    But it comes with a six-month grace period and first-time violators will receive a warning. A second offense costs $160 and a third, $210. Exceptions are outlined for temperatures below 32 degrees and above 90, defrosting windows and waiting at stoplights. Bus drivers still can idle up to 10 minutes. And police, airport-support vehicles and utility and emergency crews are exempt.

    Councilman Stan Penfold maintained anything government can do to cleanse the air is a valley-wide benefit. "Taking that moment and using those little muscles in your hand to turn off that engine," he said, "is a really good message."

    As part of the measure, the council pledged to study other air-polluting symptoms — namely synchronizing city stoplights — and to review the idling law a year from now.

    The council toyed with a universal three-minute limit, with no exemptions, but backed away.

    Becker said he ultimately endorsed the sign idea at drive-throughs since violations would be enforced "very sporadically" anyway.

    "The purpose of this is to reduce air pollution," the mayor emphasized. "That education component may serve just as well."

    Under the plan, businesses with drive-throughs will be required to purchase anti-idling signs that highlight the law from the city at roughly $20 a pop. The city debated mandating the slogan "It’s our health and the law," but opted to let business owners choose the language. But if merchants fail to erect a sign, the idling exemption would not be granted.

    Councilman Van Turner, who owns a burger joint and floral shop in Glendale, argued the signs should reinforce good behavior. "Most people are creatures of habit," he said, pointing to the hordes who return to the same lunch lanes and bank deposit boxes. "I’m in favor of the signs because it’s going to remind you every single day."

    "It’s going to be the next generation of kids," added Councilman J.T. Martin, "that understand the importance of this."

    Councilman Luke Garrott expressed some reservation, arguing two or three minutes ought to be plenty of time for drive-through business. If it’s slower, he said, "they’re not providing a good service." He also took issue with exempting some private properties but not others.

    The city’s parking enforcement crews will enforce the idling law, though officials say it will primarily be complaint based.

    Citations aside, Councilman Soren Simonsen worries the law simply addresses a symptom but not the actual problem: drive-through windows.

    "That may need to be something," he suggested, "we need to take another look at."

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    What they need is a some chlorine in the gene pool.
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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    EPA Ponders Expanded Regulatory Power In Name of 'Sustainable Development'
    December 19, 2011

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to change how it analyzes problems and makes decisions, in a way that would give it vastly expanded power to regulate businesses, communities and ecosystems in the name of “sustainable development,” the centerpiece of a global United Nations conference slated for Rio de Janeiro next June.

    The major focus of the EPA thinking is a weighty study the agency commissioned last year from the National Academies of Science. Published in August, the study, entitled “Sustainability and the U.S. EPA,” cost nearly $700,000 and involved a team of a dozen outside experts and about half as many National Academies staff.

    Its aim: how to integrate sustainability “as one of the key drivers within the regulatory responsibilities of EPA.” The panel who wrote the study declares part of its job to be “providing guidance to EPA on how it might implement its existing statutory authority to contribute more fully to a more sustainable-development trajectory for the United States.”

    Or, in other words, how to use existing laws to new ends.

    According to the Academies, the sustainability study “both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s.”

    It is already known in EPA circles as the “Green Book,” and is frequently compared by insiders to the “Red Book,” a study on using risk management techniques to guide evaluation of carcinogenic chemicals that the agency touts as the basis of its overall approach to environmental issues for the past 30 years.

    At the time that the “Green Book” study was commissioned, in August, 2010, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson termed it “the next phase of environmental protection,” and asserted that it will be “fundamental to the future of the EPA.”

    Jackson compared the new approach, it would articulate to “the difference between treating disease and pursuing wellness.” It was, she said, “a new opportunity to show how environmentally protective and sustainable we can be,” and would affect “every aspect” of EPA’s work.

    Click here for an audio link to Jackson's remarks

    According to the study itself, the adoption of the new “sustainability framework” will make the EPA more “anticipatory” in its approach to environmental issues, broaden its focus to include both social and economic as well as environmental “pillars,” and “strengthen EPA as an organization and a leader in the nation’s progress toward a sustainable future.”

    Whatever EPA does with its suggestions, the study emphasizes, will be “discretionary.” But the study urges EPA to “create a new culture among all EPA employees,” and hire an array of new experts in order to bring the sustainability focus to every corner of the agency and its operations. Changes will move faster “as EPA’s intentions and goals in sustainability become clear to employees,” the study says.

    The National Academies and the EPA held a meeting last week in Washington to begin public discussion of the study.

    Download a free copy of the study here

    Even as it begins to go public, EPA, which has come under renewed fire for its recent rulings on new auto emissions standards and limits on coal-fueled power plant emissions, is being determinedly low-key about the study.

    Initially questioned about the document by Fox News weeks ago, an EPA spokesman eventually declared that “we are currently reviewing the recommendations and have not yet made any decisions on implementation.” During the deliberations, he said, “the agency will seek a wide range of perspectives on the recommendations from the business community, non-governmental organizations, the scientific community, and others.”

    The spokesman also said that EPA had “no current plans” for the so-called “Rio + 20” environmental summit next summer “that pertains to the Green Book’s recommendations.”

    The U.N. summit meeting, however, is mentioned in the Green Book itself as an instance where “sustainability is gaining increasing recognition as a useful framework for addressing otherwise intractable problems. The framework can be applied at any scale of governance, in nearly any situation, and anywhere in the world.”

    When it comes to applying the framework via EPA, the study says it is likely to happen only “over time.” The Red Book risk assessment approach now in use, it notes, “was not immediately adopted within EPA or elsewhere. It required several years for its general acceptance at EPA and its diffusion to state and local agencies.”

    What is “sustainability” in the first place? That is a question the study ducks, noting that it is only advising EPA on how to bring it within the agency’s canon.

    The experts take their definition from an Obama Administration executive order of October, 2009, entitled Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance. It defines sustainability in sweeping fashion as the ability “to create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”

    The study specifically notes that “although addressing economic issues is not a core part of EPA’s mission, it is explicitly part of the definition of sustainability.”

    The experience of the European Union is deemed “particularly relevant” to achieving the sustainability goal.

    That European strategy involves a virtually all-encompassing regulatory vision. The study notes that its priorities include “climate change and clean energy; sustainable transport; sustainable consumption and production; conservation and management of natural resources; public health; social inclusion, demography, and migration; and global poverty and sustainable development challenges.”

    In an American context, the study says sustainable development “raises questions that are not fully or directly addressed in U.S. law or policy.” Among them: “how to define and control unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and how to encourage the development of sustainable communities, biodiversity protection, clean energy, environmentally sustainable economic development, and climate change controls.”

    The study notes that sustainable development is “broader than the sum of U.S. environmental and conservation laws.”

    It adds that “a great deal more needs to be done to achieve sustainability in the United States.”

    The experts say they found the legal authority for EPA to foster sustainable development without further congressional approval in the wording of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, or NEPA. The study says the law, the cornerstone of U.S. environmental policy, declared that the “continuing policy of the Federal Government” is to “create and maintain conditions, under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.”

    (In fact, the study quotes selectively from that portion of NEPA. What that section of the Act says in full is that “it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.)

    What ends that tacit authority should be used for are far less clear, because the study asserts that they need to be made up and codified as EPA goes along.

    “EPA needs to formally develop and specify its vision for sustainability,” the study says. “Vision, in the sense discussed here, is a future state that EPA is trying to reach or is trying to help the country or the world to reach.”

    The study offers up new tools for EPA to do the job. As opposed to environmental impact assessment, the study encourages the use of “sustainability impact assessment” in the evaluation of the hundreds and thousands of projects that come under EPA scrutiny to see whether they are moving in the proper direction

    “Environmental impact assessment tends to focus primarily on the projected environmental effects of a particular action and alternatives to that action,” the study says. Sustainability impact assessment examines “the probable effects of a particular project or proposal on the social, environmental, and economic pillars of sustainability”—a greatly expanded approach.

    One outcome: “The culture change being proposed here will require EPA to conduct an expanding number of assessments.”

    As a result, “The agency can become more anticipatory, making greater use of new science and of forecasting.”

    The catch, the study recognizes, is that under the new approach the EPA becomes more involved than ever in predicting the future.

    “Forecasting is unavoidable when dealing with sustainability, but our ability to do forecasting is limited,” the document says.

    One forecast it is safe to make: the study shows whatever else the new sustainability mission does for EPA, it aims to be a much, much more important—and powerful-- federal agency than it is, even now.

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    Default Re: The Overbearing EPA

    FirstEnergy To Close Six Coal-Fired Power Plants
    January 26, 2012

    FirstEnergy Corp. announced today it will close six older coal-fired power plants located in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland by Sept. 1 to comply with Environmental Protection Agency mercury and toxic air standards.

    The plants include the Armstrong Power Station near Kittanning.

    The others include four in Ohio. They are the Bay Shore Plant, Units 2-4, in Oregon; Eastlake Plant, Eastlake; Ashtabula Plant, Ashtabula; and the Lake Shore Plant, in Cleveland.

    The sixth is the R. Paul Smith Power Station in Williamsport, Md.

    The plants can generate 2,689 megawatts of power, but they recently served mostly to provide peaking or intermediate power needs and on average provided about 10 percent of the electricity produced by the company in the past three years, FirstEnergy said. One megawatt can power about 800 homes.

    A total of 529 employees will be affected by the closings, but some could be considered for jobs at other FirstEnergy plants, the company said. Existing severance benefits will apply to eligible workers, it said.

    Akron, Ohio-based First Energy operates West Penn Power and Penn Power subsidiaries in Pennsylvania.

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