New Power Plant Regulatioins in PA Will be Harmful

By Caomhin

Starting on January 1st, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania began to enforce a law which will restrict the amount of emissions coming from our power plants.  Vigorously supported by Environmentalists and happily supported by our soon to be former Governor Ed Rendell, this bill is not what is appears to be when taken at face value.  Of course this could be said of many laws that are being forced upon the citizenry, but this law, in particular, will cause a great deal of damage to Pennsylvanians.

First let me preface my comments by saying that I a firm believer in doing all that we can be in order to safeguard our environment.  I am a strong proponent of recycling programs in particular and believe greatly that the development and implementation of new technologies will go a long way toward helping us solve many of the environmental concerns that we have.  With that being said, it must be done so in a responsible manner that will not unfairly and recklessly cause economic damages to the vast majority of the people of Pennsylvania.   The law which became effective on the first of the year is legislation which will do exactly that.

Many Pennsylvanians realize that as it stands we will be seeing a sharp spike in electricity prices in the coming years as the industry deregulates.  The deregulation, of course, is not the cause for the impending increases, but rather a result of the legislation that allowed for the deregulation.  Rather than allowing for a gradual increase in energy prices as would have normally occurred in the market place as a result of supply and demand, inflation, etc, the government disallowed for these decreases and subsequently we will see accumulated increases nearly all at once.  Of course, the fault for this does not rest with the industry, but rather, with faulty legislation.

Now we see a thinly veiled law which allows for the great “cap and trade” scheme to be put into place within our Commonwealth which will further put economic hardship upon our citizens.  Here is a selection for the aforementioned article:

Under that provision, a power plant owner gets credits for cutting emissions by more than the required amount and can sell those credits to owners of power plants elsewhere that do not meet pollution limits.

Under this piece of legislation the government has once again created false wealth, creating equity out of thin air (nearly literally) which will be sold over an open market place.  The pollution standards are arbitrarily decided upon by the legislature as well, which of course, has a monetary (and not necessarily environmentally) motivated reason for setting even stricter standards in the future.  We will also see a “carbon” premium placed upon us as the cost of this cap and trade scheme will be passed along to the consumer.

Whenever the opportunity arises it seems that our elected officials enact laws that benefit special interest groups at the great expense of the average citizen.  We continually hear the mantra that they are acting in our own best interests when nothing is further from the truth.  The average consumer is conscientious of how they spend their earned income, maximizing value and limiting costs.  We take into consideration ramifications such as environmental and health impacts every time we make these decisions.  Our freedom depends on such things as electing leaders who understand and respect the free market and the right of the citizens to self determination.  Time and again, however, we are faced with ever mounting assaults on our freedom and backdoor attempts to restrict these freedoms and are faced with ever mounting economic burdens in order for politicians to gain favor with their donors.  This must change or we will face grave consequences in not too distant future.


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