July 22, 2011
It’s like something you’d expect in a third world country. During one of the hottest summers on record, a utility company in Detroit has announced it will turn off the air conditioners despite the National Weather Service issuing an Excessive Heat Warning for all of Southeast Michigan.
From CBS News yesterday:
The excessive heat and higher electrical demand has led DTE Energy to begin intentional rolling blackouts in one Metro Detroit community, Thursday afternoon, and at least one other area could follow.
There were about 25,000 DTE customers without electricity, Thursday afternoon, as temperatures were set to hit the triple digits in Metro Detroit. The biggest outages right now are in Redford Township, Detroit’s westside, Ferndale and Plymouth Township.
Dozens of communities surrounding Detroit are going without electricity and people are dying. It would be easy to blame Detroit Edison and the utilities for the outages and deaths, but the problem is with the EPA.
The EPA issued a final rule aimed at regulating emissions from power plant boilers earlier this year. “The rules, known as the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology or ‘Boiler MACT’ rules, will affect a significant number of entities,” Environmental Law Resource noted in March.
The “EPA’s proposal will impact plants that are responsible for nearly 50 percent of total electricity generation in the United States,” said Thomas A. Fanning, the CEO of the Southern Company following the EPA mandate. “The result will be to reduce reserve margins – generating capacity that is available during times of high demand or plant outages – and to cause costs to soar. Lower reserve margins place customers at a risk for experiencing significant interruptions in electric service.”
Fox News report on impact of EPA rulings on coal-fired energy.
The EPA put the new rules on hold, but the ruling reveals the philosophy of the agency when it comes to the nation’s energy needs. Michigan and other states obviously need to upgrade and modernize their energy infrastructure, but they are hampered by federal regulations.
In February, we reported on a plan by the feds to reduce the number of coal-fired power plants in the country. “The Obama administration’s strict enforcement of draconian EPA regulations has led to new clean-burning coal-fired plants being mothballed and other existing ones being shut down, which has in turn led to Texas and other states becoming energy-dependent, leading to shortages and blackouts exacerbated by freezing temperatures,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote on February 10.
The government attempted to spin the policy by issuing denials and attacking Infowars.com.