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On November 15, Obama’s EPA issued a 100-page, highly technical “guidance” document proposing that as of January 2, 2011, large sources of greenhouse gas emissions—such as power plants, steel operations, and petroleum refineries—be required to obtain preconstruction and operating permits limiting their greenhouse gas emissions and to install the “best available” technology to do so.
Comments on these new rules are due on or before December 1, 2010, a 14-day period interrupted by the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. And EPA says it will review only comments on technical aspects of the new rule.
Previously, no such permits were needed, and no greenhouse gas limits existed. It is widely agreed such new rules will drive up the costs of electricity, iron and steel, gasoline, and anything else produced by large operations, with these costs passed along to consumers already staggered by a jobless “recovery” from the recession.
Forcing power plants to purchase and implement the “best available” technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions every time a plant is built or any kind of significant maintenance or renovations occur, however, means by definition that electricity prices are going to start rising in a manner that will make the economy-shocking energy price spikes during the summer of 2008 seem downright wimpy by comparison.