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Dave Hawkins' Posts


Market forces, not EPA standards, killing new coal plants

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prepares the first-ever national standards for carbon pollution from new fossil-fuel power plants, the coal industry is embarking, predictably, on its latest disinformation campaign to try to block these desperately needed public health and climate safeguards. New coal plants are dirty, risky, and expensive. No wonder the smart money won't touch them. Flacks for the coal lobby have their hair on fire about the rumored content of draft EPA standards that haven't even been released. They say the standards will kill new coal plants. Haven't they been …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal


Act up

Why does Congress have Clean Air Act phobia?

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. It's a sad state of affairs when members on both sides of the aisle in Congress seem to think it is a good idea to attack the Clean Air Act -- the landmark law that Richard Nixon signed and George H. W. Bush strengthened. Yet the hits on the Clean Air Act just keep on coming in this Congress in spite of the act's incredible record of cutting deaths and illness caused by air pollution -- a record that has earned the strong support of the American people and the admiration of others …


if only it were that easy

Republican congressmen vote away scientific facts

Rep. Upton wrote the bill with his trunk.Photo: Eric MolinaCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Barry Goldwater famously said, "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." Maybe so, but extremism in the defense of fantasy is a tougher sell. Still, that doesn't stop some members of Congress from trying. Exhibit A this week is the attempt to legislate an alternate reality, offered up by Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) with accompanying cheers from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). Their draft bill would eliminate Clean Air Act provisions that would allow the EPA to set common-sense …


Let EPA be EPA

An open letter to Michael Morris, CEO of American Electric Power

Michael G. Morris Chairman of the Board President and Chief Executive Officer American Electric Power September 17, 2010 Dear Mike, I am writing about your letter of September 15, 2010, urging the Senate to enact legislation that would prevent EPA from issuing rules under the Clean Air Act to limit greenhouse gases for at least two years. While you sent this letter in your role as Chair of a Business Roundtable task force, I know you well enough to believe that you personally agree with the statements in the letter. With that in mind I want to provide you with …



40 years of clean air progress

I attended the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act at EPA this past week. It was a breath of fresh air (sorry) to hear so many speakers from industry as well as health groups and from across political divides to give concrete examples of how much good this landmark law has delivered for Americans.  I arrived in Washington as a newly minted lawyer in 1970 and I have personally seen this progress happen. In 1970 air pollution was recognized as a blight and a serious public health problem but aside from a handful of municipal ordinances …


Carbon capture and storage: A piece of the puzzle

In his recent blog, David Sassoon calls President Obama's creation of a task force for a Carbon Capture and Storage Strategy a big victory for the coal industry. Let me offer a few thoughts on why I believe this task force actually is a step forward for all of us who want to put an end to investments in new polluting coal plants, increase our reliance on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and prevent disastrous climate disruption. Our community uses several tactics to block new polluting coal plants. We intervene in permit proceedings and bring lawsuits to challenge coal plant …