Sustainable Design for the 21st Century

NEWS ALERT! EPA Calls for 30% Cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants

by Brent Sauser

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WHAT’S GOING ON!?  As of today the EPA is announcing a 30% cut in the greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants by 2030.  In addition, the EPA will require states to cut their “carbon intensity” (tons of carbon per megawatt of electricity, not simply overall tons of carbon).  Other carbon reducing measures accompany this action that vary from state to state.

carrot-with-stickSo . . . we are witnessing the end of the incentive “Carrot” phase and the beginning of the punitive “Stick” phase of American life.  Our current administration is working overtime to fulfill their campaign promise to “put coal out of business”.  Not good news to those employed in the coal industry in Kentucky or West Virginia.  They will feel the worst of it.  But the administration’s “War on Coal” will have a ripple effect on us all.  We can expect to feel the impact by more unemployment, slowing of the economic recovery, and higher utility energy prices. 

It is the latter I am most concerned about.  We cannot ignore the imminent carrot-with-stick 02reality of increasing energy prices. Regardless of the reason, we need to plan now to reduce or eliminate our dependence on utility power.  Better to do so while the Carrot is still in front of us.  However, on January 1, 2017 . . . the 30% federal incentives for renewable energy expire, and then what?  Will another Carrot (incentive) take its place, or will we experience, like those in Kentucky and West Virginia, the sharp pain of the “Stick”.  Who knows? 

Save Energy 1What IS known is that we can still take full advantage of the 30% federal incentive for implementing renewable energy technology into existing and new construction.  As we do, the impact from today’s EPA decision (and other similar decisions) will have less effect on our lives and wallets.  Becoming energy independent is more possible today than you might think.  Even if you don’t achieve a total Net Zero result, the power you are generating on-site means less dependency on the utility energy grid.  You become more insulated from increasing energy costs, which means money back in your wallet. 

warningThe choice is pretty simple:  We can ignore these warnings and remain at the whim of the utility companies, or take more control of our lives by reducing our dependency on the power grid.  We need to begin our planning process to assure our on-site renewable energy installation is in place and functional prior to the end of 2016.  As for me . . . that’s my plan!  How about you?

CLICK HERE to read the news article from Politico.

Category: Editorial
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