Friday, May 1, 2009

Energy Policy Difficulties Put Power Plant Construction On Hold

The Navajo Nation planned to build a 1,500 megawatt coal fired power plant on its reservation in New Mexico, and expected to earn $50 million per year from sales of electric power produced by the new facility. Earlier this week the Obama administration's EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson moved to revoke the project's permit and block construction of the plant. John Walke, EPA's Clean Air Director, says the move was closely coordinated with the White House as part of President Obama's agenda to combat global warming. U. S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President for the Environment William Kovacs says there are between 60 and 70 power plant construction projects stalled by EPA permit issues.

Meanwhile, the debate over proposed cap and trade legislation limiting CO2 emissions, and over FERC authority to establish routing of new power transmission grid lines stalls legislation which will let the construction of new technology power generation facilities move forward. Finally, the debates over whether hydroelectric power plants and nuclear reactor generated power do or do not count as "renewable energy" production are delaying groundbreaking of facilities for power production using those modalities. Unless Congress and the related executive agencies can get their acts together, there won't be any new power plants or transmission lines built using either new or old technologies any time soon.
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