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Commentaries

Cap and trade deserves another look

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Strategy may still be best approach to reduce carbon emissions

SIX YEARS AGO, a cap and trade bill aimed at reducing U.S. carbon emissions (drafted in part by the Boilermakers union) passed the House of Representatives. In the Senate, cap and trade legislation also received support from then- Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman and, initially, from Senator Lindsay Graham.

Reporter  V54N2

Can climate action succeed without CCS?

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Major obstacles remain to shrink carbon footprint

NEGOTIATORS FROM NEARLY 200 countries will meet in Paris in December to seek a climate change agreement aimed at keeping the global average temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Beyond that threshold, many scientists believe, the Earth will suffer catastrophic and irreparable climate harm.

The Paris summit, known as COP21 (Conference of the Parties, 21st year), follows a December 2014 meeting in Lima, Peru (COP 20), which laid the groundwork for a possible agreement.

Reporter  V54N1

Like fossil fuels, renewables are not a perfect solution

Newton B. Jones, International President

Intermittency, high cost plague wind power

LAST WINTER’S POLAR vortex stretched the limits of U.S. energy systems to a near breaking point. Faced with record-setting cold temperatures from the Rockies to the Atlantic seaboard, utilities fired up reserve coal-fired boilers to keep the heat on for millions of Americans.

Reporter  V53N4

EPA’s clean power plan needs major rework

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Members can send in comments until December 1

BETWEEN NOW AND December 1 of this year, stakeholders and the public have an opportunity to submit comments to the EPA about its proposed rule for carbon dioxide emission limits for existing coal-fired power plants. December 1 is the last day the EPA will accept comments about this onerous rule, called Clean Power Plan (CPP). The agency plans to issue a final rule for CPP in June 2015.

Reporter  V53N3

L-154 BM Ventrone: EPA rules threaten Pa. jobs, economy

L-154 BM Ray Ventrone addresses union workers during a rally against job-killing EPA coal rules in Pittsburgh July 29, 2014.

Coal accounts for 60,000 jobs in state, injects $4 billion annually into Pa.’s economy

THROUGHOUT PENNSYLVANIA, union members count on coal for the good-paying, middle-class jobs that enable them to support themselves and their families.

I should know. As the business manager for Boilermakers Local 154 in the western part of the state, I see every day the positive impact that coal — with jobs that rely on coal — has in our communities.

Tags  Commentaries
Locals  L-154
Reporter  V53N3

EPA's proposed CO2 rules threaten existing coal-fired fleet

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Impact would be devastating for Boilermakers, nation

ON JUNE 2, THE EPA proposed new rules that will require existing coal-fired generation systems to cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30 percent by 2030, using 2005 emissions as a baseline. To achieve the reduction, the rules would allow states to adopt individual plans ranging from cap and trade to fuel switching to replacing coal-fired generation with renewables.

Reporter  V53N2

U.S. exports jobs, imports pollution

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Asia sends us more than just tainted manufactured goods

SINCE AT LEAST the 1990s, scientists have known that pollution from Asia travels on the jet stream, carrying black carbon, nitrous oxide, particulates, and other contaminants to North America and other places in its path. On some days, Asian-sourced pollution accounts for 20 percent of West Coast smog. It brings haze deep into the continent. And it deposits mercury into our lakes and streams.

Reporter  V53N1

New silicosis standard is long overdue

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

OSHA estimates proposed rule would save 700 lives annually

SILICOSIS IS A danger in many industries where Boilermakers work: cement-making, mining, foundries, construction, railroads and shipbuilding. It is a progressive, incurable disease caused by inhaling tiny crystalline particles 100 times smaller than a grain of sand. Over time, these particles scar the lungs to such an extent that breathing becomes difficult or next to impossible. But with proper precautions, worker exposure can be minimized.

Reporter  V52N4

EPA carbon rule does more harm than good

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Agency’s emission strategy is wrong-headed, damaging

BOILERMAKERS WHOSE livelihoods depend at least in part on the use of coal-generated electric power learned with great alarm and frustration of the EPA’s new rule that will essentially block future plant construction. The agency announced its Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants September 20 as “its first steps under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”

Reporter  V52N3

EPA rules will not effectively impact world climate change

Newton B. Jones, Intl. President

Global collaboration on CCS technology is key to containing CO2

THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT has largely succeeded in vilifying coal usage in America’s power generation systems through their strategic and political alliances, legal challenges and media campaigns. They have a powerful voice and a strong commitment to their cause. Even so, it appears that they have become so consumed with their narrow effort to kill coal in America that they've lost sight of what it will really take to rein in the world’s CO2 emissions.

Reporter  V52N2

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