The American Thinker just informed me of the destructive force on the horizon that is the increase in energy prices over the next few years. They pull a quote from the Chicago Tribune that proves we are in for a rough time as the cost of electricity increases via government regulation instead of natural market forces. Increases in costs within a free market I can understand. With those natural increases comes increased investment into new sources of energy (mainly clean and sometimes cheaper energy) because of the increase in earnings from energy companies they are freer to invest. These investments can take years to play out, but we would be able to wait, because energy price increases would happen slowly over years as well. But no, we won’t be seeing much of that.
Because of environmental regulations put into place during Barack Obama’s short time as our President, coal fired power-plants (which account for 45% of our energy production) must undergo a massive retrofitting process to be more environmentally friendly which I imagine is going to cost more than it’s worth if just one company, American Electric Power is any indication:
American Electric Power, one of the country’s largest coal-burning electricity generators, said Thursday it will retire nearly a quarter of its coal-fueled generating capacity and that it will spend up to $8 billion to retrofit remaining units to meet regulations that start taking effect in 2014. (Chicago Tribune)
So here’s the deal. Firstly, coal power plants are going to close because it is too expensive for energy companies to retrofit them which will reduce the amount of power our nation produces. Secondly, the retrofits on power plants that will not close do nothing to increase efficiency, but only to reduce emissions, which unnecessarily increases the cost of energy. We will be paying significantly more for less electricity. Thank you Negative Nancy Government Mother.
It is completely possible that we could be seeing rolling blackouts in the near future, just like those in third-world nations. Remember that once, third-world nation, China? While we continue to destroy our economy, they must be laughing over champagne at the United States’ continued idiocy. As America becomes less business friendly and continues to attack its own economy on every front, China is ushering in more and more freedoms for its citizens and businesses.
While America’s politicians play patty-cake over whether or not to allow the building of new, cleaner coal fired power-plants, China is kicking our butt by allowing mass production of a new coal power plant type that turns coal into steam before burning. This causes a lot less pollution. You may be thinking, “well isn’t that what the U.S. companies are going to have to do”? Not exactly. China isn’t retrofitting older plants. The technology to build cleaner plants exists, so they have required that all new plants be built with this technology and they require companies to retire an older power-plant with each new one built. Apparently, they are harnessing this technology to reduce costs, while in America, we are using policies to destroy energy production that will increase costs.
Any minutia reduction in CO2 from our environmental regulations will be completely wiped out by China’s roaring economy. They continue to rise as we continue to fall.
All this talk about red China continues to fall on my deaf ears as I think about how the true threat is within our own country. We should probably be taking lessons from China in how to grow an economy.