The Obama Administration’s rules requiring “clean coal” technology in power plants could increase electricity costs by 70 percent to 80 percent in some parts of the country. That admission was made to a Congressional committee by Julio Friedmann, the deputy assistant Secretary of Energy in charge of “clean coal” technology.
“At a coal gasification facility, the cost of electricity may be increased by 40 percent; at a pulverized coal power plant, by upwards of 80 percent,” Rep. Tim Murphy (R.-Pennsylvania) said of technologies designed to reduce air pollution from coal burning power plants. “This is what DOE’s own documents tell us.”
New rules mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency require the use of such technology. Friedmann acknowledged Murphy was right, saying it would increase “70 or 80 percent.”
“It is in fact a substantial percentage increase in the cost of electricity, but in part, that’s because the current price of coal is so low,” Friedmann admitted to the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Murphy is chairman of that committee.
Coal makes up nearly 40 percent of American’s energy supply.
Expensive Clean Coal Technology May Not Work
Murphy and Friedmann were discussing carbon capture, or clean coal technology, that is expensive and may not even work. Off The Grid News reported that at least one of the clean coal technologies, Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CSS), has not been proven to work and will end up costing $4.3 billion to build – and that’s just at one power plant.
Each power plants that used that technology would require up to $300 million in taxpayer subsidies, Daniel Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research told World Net Daily.
But no power plants currently use the technology.
“It’s a technology that we simply need to have,” Friedmann said of CSS technologies. Simmons says CSS technology has not yet been perfected.
Energy Department Says It’s Not To Blame
When asked about the economic impacts of the clean coal technology, Friedmann seemed to admit the technology was not commercially viable, and he tried to switch the blame to industry. Worse, he seemed to say the Department of Energy has no duty to develop commercially viable energy sources.
“Our job is not commercialization or the determination of economic viability,” Friedmann said.
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Murphy accused Friedmann and the Obama administration of trying to put coal burning plants out of business with EPA regulations. Similar allegations have also been made by Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).
“If coal power plants cost too much, nobody will build them,” Murphy said. “Energy costs will increase, making it even more difficult for families and US manufacturers to compete.”
Prepare for Sky High Electric Bills
The exchange between Murphy and Friedmann should concern average Americans because many experts expect electric rates to increase with or without the EPA coal regulations. Even with the coal-burning power plants in service, electric rates increased by 42 percent across the United States in the last decade, Off the Grid News reported last year.
To make matters worse, electric rates were already projected to increase by 21 percent in the next 10 years, and more than 50 percent over the next 20 years according to a report released by the Department of Energy last year. That report did not take the clean coal costs into account, but instead the rising costs are based on the cost of maintaining and upgrading the electric grid.
It seems the average Americans need to get ready for sky high electric bills, which could be made worse by federally mandated clean coal technology.