Friday, July 20, 2007

Made in China, Paid for by Wisconsinites

Ahhh--the GreenFreaks rising.

That means your wallet's getting thinner, again.

Wisconsin is poised to clamp down on mercury emissions at power plants, and in doing so, regulators will be weighing issues that range from global pollution to the safety of eating Wisconsin walleye.

"Think globally, raise the costs locally."

If approved when they come before the Natural Resources Board in the fall, the regulations would restrict mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants 90% by 2020.

The measure would have big repercussions in a state where 70% of the electricity is generated from coal.

Really? (/sarcasm)

The costs for consumers could amount to a few dollars a month, but possibly more.

Don't you love that "possibly more"? How much is "more"? (How high is "up"?)

• Even with new controls in the United States, mercury from sources as far away as China float into the atmosphere and fall over places including Wisconsin.


• Much of Wisconsin would experience little or no reduction in airborne mercury by 2020, a computer model by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed.


"On a statewide level, I would say Wisconsin is a state where global factors are more important," Bullock said.

The thought is that Wisconsin utilities contribute about 10-20% of the mercury deposited here. We've done a pretty good job. But that's not enough.

Many northern Wisconsin lakes are naturally high in acidity. These lakes, popular for fishing and residential development, "are better at making methylmercury - we don't know why," said David Krabbenhoft, a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Middleton

(Old folks recall the "acid rain" BS from a few years ago. Turns out that the lakes were acidic because pine-needles washed into them during rainstorms. Now, suddenly, the GreenFreaks are using "memory hole" language...)

Only a few years ago, there was something called 'common sense.'

In 2004, the DNR advanced mercury legislation that is viewed as weaker - in part because of an agreement with the Legislature, then controlled by Republicans, that Wisconsin law should mirror federal regulations that eventually followed.

But "leadership"--damn the cost--is what the GreenFreaks want!

...last summer, Gov. Jim Doyle said he favored a higher 90% cut in mercury emission because sporting groups said the state wasn't going far enough with a 75% cut by 2015 and a goal of an 80% cut by 2018.

Just who are the "sporting groups" who eat all those fish? And why do they eat them?

Never mind.

The state's top utility regulator, Dan Ebert, agreed that Wisconsin should require utilities to reduce mercury emissions by 90%.

But he counseled the seven-member board not to ignore economics.

In the past four years, the Public Service Commission has approved $6 billion in infrastructure improvements for Wisconsin utilities.

Another $3.2 billion will be spent to comply with the new federal Clean Air Interstate Rule to clean up other air pollutants.

In five years, increased spending has pushed up electricity rates 40%, Ebert said. Wisconsin now ranks among the highest in the Midwest in electricity prices.

This is what we call "Taxation by Regulation." It works great, because utilities collect the money for the GreenFreaks and their willing pimps. Can't blame Doyle. Can't blame Nurse Judy. Can't blame Risser. It's the mean old utilities!

And then we have the good old "vaporware" promises:

ADA-ES, the pollution control company, is telling customers that its equipment in some cases can reduce mercury emissions by 90% today.

"Some"? What the......what does THAT mean?

Milwaukee-based We Energies is worried about how new technologies will work.

You should, too.

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