View topic - Ontario: Pissing away our environment...

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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2010, 7:26 am 
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There are a few others besides me:

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/08/05 ... 25612.html

http://www.masterresource.org/2010/01/e ... d-results/

Here are a couple that explain the requirements:

http://www.trinityconsultants.com/Templ ... px?id=2650

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/05/13 ... 32021.html

Here's a look at the arguments behind the Supreme Court decision:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/ ... an-h-adler

This was far from a clear mandate: there were plenty of gray areas in the EPA's interpretation of the legislation and there are still plenty of unanswered questions.
As usual, there will be years spent in the courts working through all of this.

Scott


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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2010, 9:03 am 
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Thanks for those links. Yes … I'm aware of the court cases that are out there and the uncertainty they create. I think it was the hope of everyone that Congress would reach a resolution on cap and trade (or some equivalent) before EPA took up the reins on the issue. This isn't unusual as a precursor to federal legislation … it's a blunt instrument that gets people talking and brings reluctant parties to the table. How else do you get coal producers to join the discussion and work together to be involved in policy development, having their input, meeting their long term needs (as was done in the House). It seems you see the Courts as an effective legal remedy to rolling back conventional decisions and long term economic and human health strategies and leaving us with a morass of conflicting decisions. If "certainty" is your goal, I don't see how this establishes it? It sounds like we don't agree on the need to regulate carbon from an environmental, economic, or human health standpoint? If you do, then please suggest another way to go about it other than "deregulating" federal standards and leaving it to the industry to take care of these things on their own?


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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2010, 10:25 am 
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Laws? How about individual responsibility? High education levels combined with high incomes lead very few individuals in the developed or developing nations to purchase smaller, energy efficient homes and cars. The exact opposite happens because, almost always, the more money people have the more they spend on themselves, building up their personal empires. Most people don't give a hoot about the environment or the kind of world their children will inherit. Greed and Lust, pure and simple. Corporations and government have always given the masses what the masses want.

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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 9:09 am 
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This isn't a conversation starter, it is a federal regulation that will be in effect in less than 2 months. Industry will spend much time, effort, and money to try to be in compliance when EPA has not even shared all the information. At the very least, the effective date of regulation should have been postponed until applicable control technologies or compliance methods have been been released, there is ample precedent for phase in dates of up to several years. This is the certainty that is needed.
I don't see the courts as effective remedy for anything, they are as likely to throw it out as they are to impose the statutory requirements in the Clean Air Act and make every source above 250 tons subject to regulation.
I think it is wasteful and ill concieved regulation that won't produce any meaningful improvements.

Scott


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 9:35 am 
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With the lunatic fringe Tea Party's votes moving more of America towards climate change denial last night, the door's been slammed shut on anything being done to create change.

Our Canadian government has already announced that they will match climate action with the states, and that means doing less now (or more likely, nothing).

The new house speaker becomes Republican John Boehner, who has been active in opposing climate change measures and clean energy, and will no doubt use the power to work towards advancing that agenda further ... in government, an age of delusion and spectacle, and an example to the rest of the world on how to proceed.

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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 10:19 am 
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Cap and trade is effectively dead. Did anybody see the ad by the Democratic Senate candidate in West Virginia, who won last night, where he shot the cap and trade bill with a rifle ("dead aim"). Even Russ Feingold was out speaking on the virtues of coal and campaigned against the bill in his failed effort to keep his seat.

Democrats seem to think they can find common ground on infrastructure spending and green tech … we'll see. And there's plenty of organized interests who stand to benefit from last night's election, and the undermining of climate and modest of environmental measures. Get ready to hear lots more about ANWR. None of it is a surprise, I just wish we could make some progress on the tough big ticket items (even on the Conservative side) without ruining the chances of proponents for major legislation to keep their seats. Now it's time for those on the right to start the process of compromising on their principles (and letting down their voters who sent them to Washington). Our system is messy (which some take to be it's strength).

EPA has plenty of phase-in provisions on tailoring rules, some as far out as 2016 and beyond.


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 10:48 am 
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With 1,000 new coal-fired generating plants having been built or being built now around the world don't you think stop-action on climate change happend a long time ago?

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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 2:25 pm 
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Whitewaternot wrote:
With 1,000 new coal-fired generating plants having been built or being built now around the world don't you think stop-action on climate change happend a long time ago?
Not at all … green tech is finding a very productive and lucrative home in China, India, Brazil, Germany, everywhere else there are booming economies, robust universities, and smart engineers looking to make the next big discovery (and with lots of government support). China per/capita emissions are very small and they're looking to transition off the worst of their polluting practices over time. They have to, or it's their doom, and they risk a popular uprising (and government leaders talk openly about this). There's no single nation in the world that I can see that loves coal as much as we do here in the US (certainly if the midterm election results are any indication).

BTW ... Obama was asked specifically to comment on EPA issue we have been discussing above in his response to election result. I urge you to watch it.


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 3:19 pm 
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Scott, I share your frustration... and in full disclosure I work in the environmental field for my state, but not in air. I spent 16 years working in the private sector, and I had alot of frustration with legislation, congressional acts, administrative rules, TSDs, operational memos, and all the other good stuff that makes up our incredibly complex environmental legislation. But with a couple years on the other side where the regulated community wants the monumental task of distilling all of the potential ways that every industry in the US impacts all the forms of media (air, soil, the atmosphere, particulate deposition, surface water, lake and river bottom sediments, groundwater, drinking water wells, storm drains, utility corridors) distilled down to simple nuts an bolts, I can tell you it isn't possible. In addition, while most folks consider an environmental agency a single entity, it's not. It's a large number of folks with scientific knowlege, pollitical appointees, policy makers, managers, etc. that don't all agree on a course of action).....and often no one person can make the decisive decisions that the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government will buy off on. We've got much the same problems here in MI with our regs... we've been running on risk-based polluter pay regs for 15 years. But the agency rarely gets support from the AG for prosecution, legislators always consider all environmental regs onerous until it impacts their constituents in a public way, and then the agency is lamb-basted for inactivity. So while it's nice to want quick decisve legislation, you can thank alot of people for getting their hands into the pot.... many who don't have a remote understanding of how our human actions impact the environment.

Unfortunately, the passive-agressive fickle electorate makes it real tough to create much change.... so you can count on more gridlock with respect to environmental legislation based on yesterday's outcome.... rather than meaningful change.

PK


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 4:09 pm 
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Is this thread about Ontario or was that just a discussion starter for it to go into American politics?

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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 5:01 pm 
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Barbara wrote:
Is this thread about Ontario or was that just a discussion starter for it to go into American politics?
It's basically a discussion about regulatory environmental efforts in Canada and US (the weakening of standards), and to what extent the general public has an interest in "environmental" issues. And yes, it started with a specific example from Canada. I don't think there's any real interest in discussing the nuts and bolts (and many intricacies) of the recent US election. That's how I see it.


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 5:34 pm 
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I'd agree with Ed. This discussion is not about politics, or even how the generalization of how the members of specific political parties promote or disuade environmental policy. From my perspective, it's just about the processes involved with setting an environmental agenda and sticking to it with both an ever changing electorate, that elects an ever changing legislature, and executive, and the struggles that the nuts and bolts scientists have to perform to craft and enforce an ever changing series of regulations.

PK


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 5:57 pm 
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I'd take the degree that China embraces green practices and emission reductions with a grain of salt.
I'm in China right now for the second time this year; the rate of industrial and building construction, road building, and power plant commissioning has not slowed down. I observed at least 50 large building going up in Shanghai, numerous (20+) new buildings are under construction that were not started in March when I last visited Ningbo.
Interstate freeway construction is constant everywhere I have been.
Although interesting small measures such as outlawing the use of combustion engine scooters in downtown areas has created millions of e-bikes now on the streets, they are still primarily charged with coal fired electricity. Solar rooftop hot water heaters are commonly seen but there are air conditioning units on nearly every window.
New car sales were around 17 million this year and are expected to continue to increase rapidly, those e-bikes will be replaced when the money is available.
The per capita emissions may be very small right now but at some point they will substantially increase as the country continues to modernize, it is inevitable.
I have no first hand experience with India, I suspect consumption and population will increase even more dramatically.

Scott


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2010, 8:50 pm 
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I suspect consumption and population will increase even more dramatically.

nit picking :P
demographic transition is occuring. growth rate world population pre 2005 was 2% while the prediction is of 1.1 % till 2015 and dropping.
As nations develop, death rate drops causing a momentary spike but birth rates drop faster with an overall decrerase in growth after the trastion phase.

the oportunity cost of having children as your salary goes up increases exponetially; coutries show a decreae birth rate. Canada is at the end of trastion where we have to rely on immigration for growth

as for consuption...... I agree, but I'm no futurist

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PostPosted: November 4th, 2010, 9:41 am 
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The population overall may fit these trends in the long term; I think India is expected to be the most populated country at over 1.5 billion by 2030 while China's population peaks and begins to fall as the past 30 years of strict population growth kicks in.
Either way there will be almost 3 billion people who's standard of living and consumption will rise.

Scott


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