EPA is out of touch with economic realities

Published 9:25 am Friday, January 6, 2012

Just before Christmas, the Environmental Protection Agency issued its new rules for … standards governing the release of mercury and other emissions by coal-fired power plants.

Coal produces nearly 50 percent of the nation’s electricity, and coal’s cheap and affordable costs have helped keep electricity affordable for most Americans. That’s about to change.

The new EPA mandates require drastic reductions in emissions — reductions which seem almost intentionally designed to drive coal-fired plants out of business in favor of plants more favored by the Obama administration.

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As Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said, “The EPA’s decision just days before Christmas is unwelcome news to the thousands of Ohioans who could lose their jobs or see a big increase in their electricity rates, due to the new rules.

I am concerned that EPA continues to press forward with some of the most costly Clean Air Act rules ever imposed on our nation’s economy while failing to demonstrate that the agency truly understands the impact that its regulation could have on grid reliability and economic growth.”

… Many electric plants, including in Ohio, have already announced they will close if the EPA mandates are made effective, since they will not be able to afford to continue operating.

… Once more, the EPA seems to be catering to extremist political interests while sacrificing common sense economic realities. Average American households will pay the price.

(Hillsboro) Times-Gazette


USPS still the quickest, cheapest option in world

Let’s stipulate that if 258 postal processing centers in the United States are slated to be closed, there are 258 communities arguing that their facility should be saved.

… (P)laying the pity card is not going to have much of an effect — no small city or town can afford to lose hundreds of jobs, and even big cities can’t absorb such losses in this economy.

It’s going to come down to two things: what makes the best business sense for the post office and, to an extent no one can really be sure, who has the strongest political pull. …

The postal service says it has to change to survive. And that’s doubtless true. But the changes should be constructed in a way that allows the service to do more with less.

The postal service has a unique charge: It must service every household in the United States. And while there are those who are quick to claim that the post office is an anachronism in this electronic age, the letter carrier remains a vital link to hundreds of millions of Americans.

The marvel is that what is likely the best, quickest and cheapest mail service in the world, finds itself with so many targets on its back.

In its eagerness to assuage its critics, it may be rushing toward an ill-advised restructuring that will do more harm than good.

The (Youngstown) Vindicator