Climate

Coal hits major setback

Locally, only environmentalists dig climate speech
2013-06-26T00:00:00Z 2013-08-22T13:15:06Z Coal hits major setbackBY CALEB HALE, The Southern The Southern
June 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

President Barack Obama’s climate change announcement Tuesday played as expected among energy officials and environmentalists in Southern Illinois.

One local power plant manager isn’t sure how current coal-burning stations are supposed to hit the lower carbon emission standards Obama wants to achieve, an environmental leader says action is coming none too soon for a planet already seeing the effects of global warming, and both Southern Illinois congressmen say they can’t support the president’s mandate.

The linchpin of Obama’s announcement was his directive to launch the first federal regulations on the amount of carbon dioxide new and current power plants can produce. Secondary objectives are a renewed effort on boosting renewable energy resources, upping efficiency standards and prepping the country to deal with climate change effects some argue have already arrived.

The shift Obama is proposing is tricky, said Tomasz Wiltowski, director of the Coal Research Center at SIU Carbondale, because so many of the older coal-burning power plants are not equipped to reduce carbon emissions, at least not without enduring major expenses.

“It’s costly to up and change the technology, and it’s almost like building it from scratch,” Wiltowski said. “People are always saying to retire those old power plants, but we can’t do it easy because there are always demands for the electricity.”

Wiltowski said the president’s plan to invest $8 billion in making energy resources cleaner and more efficient will have to include ways of improving clean coal technology, as it is questionable whether wind and solar power can keep up with the future demand for electricity.

U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, indicates he’d like to believe the president foresees a future for coal, but it’s not the message he got from Tuesday’s speech.

“While President Obama has stated that he supports an ‘all of the above’ policy that supports all energy sources, today’s announcement proves otherwise because it takes direct aim at coal.”

Coal still makes up the single largest source for today’s domestic electricity supply, Enyart said. Mandates like the one Obama is suggesting would drive up costs on everyone using electricity and ruin what’s left of Southern Illinois’ coal industry, he added.

“And while we all support a clean and sustainable environment, President Obama is ignoring the fact that coal emissions are lower than ever before,” he said.

A statement from U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, indicated the plan was a jobs killer.

“Regulations already being touted by EPA will cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs. The president proposed even more restrictions that will hurt Southern Illinois by closing mines and causing electricity rates to rise,” Shimkus said. “There is no way this is helpful to the economy of our nation.”

Tim Reeves, president and general manager of Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, which runs the coal-fueled power plant at Lake of Egypt, said there are few options for his facility, as presently built, to begin reducing the amount of carbon it produces.

The answers, he’s afraid, will be costly to the plant and to electric customers.

“The ultimate answer is we don’t know, and, quite frankly, until they (Obama administration) write the rules we’re not going to know what is going to happen,” Reeves said. “Presently, we know of no way to do it, other than stop burning coal.”

Meanwhile, Barb McKasson, chairwoman of the local Sierra Club chapter, stopping the burning of coal in Southern Illinois wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

“The Sierra Club has been working at least eight years to reduce the amount of coal the U.S. burns, because it is dirty from the time they take it out of the ground until after the time they burn it,” McKasson said. “We personally know people in Southern Illinois who have been very damaged by coal mining. People, whether they know it or not, are being damaged by the soot and the mercury and arsenic that comes from burning coal.”

McKasson hopes the president’s action will spur will inspire people to be better stewards of their community’s local environment.

caleb.hale@thesouthern.com

618-351-5090

On Twitter: @bycalebhale

Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(40) Comments

  1. OLD JOE
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    OLD JOE - June 28, 2013 8:48 am
    Shoe your busted! I personally have walked on water over 10 foot deep many times and only the soles of my shoes got wet.

    Now how do you know the water they speak of in the bible wasn't frozen? I finally got ya lol.
  2. Diogenes
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    Diogenes - June 28, 2013 8:31 am
    shoestring, you forgot to end that with .....really!
  3. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 28, 2013 8:27 am
    @cl - boxers not panties, but thanks for the sexist swipe, and they are 100% unwadded btw. haha - You're right, however, about my feelings for religion - I hate religion more than people who love religion hate common sense.
  4. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 28, 2013 8:06 am
    @redman - "keep your eyes on Jesus then you will walk on the water" - Nobody, jesus included, ever walked on water. That's a lie believed by fools.
  5. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 28, 2013 8:02 am
    @boon - about redneckman you say: ".He can be scary goofy", "he can be quite profound", "crazy enough to keep away from my little sister (unescorted)", " funny enough to share my campfire and coffee with anytime" When I ask you about something "profound" that he's said or that you do not trust him with your little sister you say, of your remarks: "I was simply making "banter"" - ??? So you have no self imposed standard for truth when you post here? You admit that you say whatever you please and chalk it up to "Making banter" later on when asked about your statements? You're saying boon, that noone should ever respect what you have to say here because you were potentially "simply making banter". Nice to know.
  6. CLG4
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    CLG4 - June 28, 2013 7:48 am
    This is some really funny stuff the atheist who does not believe cites verses from the bible and the man that calls himself jesus man has the atheist's panties all in a wad without really citing anything. I think shoe needs to get off the pot, get over it, and just go to church cause religion is ALL he talks about. This is really funny sh-t.
  7. boone76
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    boone76 - June 28, 2013 5:36 am
    "Ummm...I don't exactly hang out with either him nor you. It was kind of a figure of speech. You do realize this is nothing more than an internet chat board....right?"

    You, I, and hbJm should go crappie fishing.......
  8. boone76
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    boone76 - June 27, 2013 8:12 pm
    Ummm...I don't exactly hang out with either him nor you. It was kind of a figure of speech. You do realize this is nothing more than an internet chat board....right?
    I was simply making "banter", but I'll slow it down so you can mentally process it going forward. :-)
  9. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 27, 2013 7:06 pm
    @boon - ".He can be scary goofy at times....he can be quite profound as well" - I'd love to see an example of what you consider to be redneckman being "profound" - ignorant gibberish is all I've heard so far. You say: "Mr redneck hillbilly Jesus man..... You are just crazy enough to keep away from my little sister (unescorted) but funny enough to share my campfire and coffee with anytime." And I, of course, can't speak for you but I would never consider hanging out with somebody, no matter how funny they were, that I wouldn't trust with my sister. Spending time with untrustworthy people is pretty low on my agenda, especially the ones I suspect might harm my sister.
  10. OLD JOE
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    OLD JOE - June 27, 2013 3:06 pm
    MMike I hate coal!!!! But I'm all for proud people working, paying their bills and feeding their family.
    The world we leave to our children an grandchildren. That is why I'm against Obama's debt and Obamacare. Yes government motors (GM) is creating jobs, overseas lol
    Many democrat lawmakers that supported and voted for Obamacare is having second thoughts now. Obamacare would not pass the senate today if a re-vote was taken. They realize now what a disaster Obamacare will be on the U.S. economy
  11. MMike
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    MMike - June 27, 2013 1:55 pm
    I am a little of both.

    The idea is this. Developing countries need to develop energy generation fast to pull billions of people out of poverty. Fossil fuels are the only realistic way they can do this. Developed countries have contributed most of the accumulated excess CO2. We are economically able to begin converting to non CO2 emitting technologies and we have a lot of room to improve energy efficacy. We can also help poor countries get ready to transition away from CO2 down the road. In the meantime since they are going to burn coal, that might as well burn ours instead of buying it somewhere else. The hope is to cap atmospheric CO2 at 500 ppm. We just hit 400 ppm. It was about 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution.

    There are big debates over countries like China that are partially developed and growing fast. China is building more coal plants, but they are also pushing nuclear power and have made big investments in solar and wind. They have started a cap and trade system to minimize the growth rate of CO2 emissions.

    Will this work? I do not know. It is not my ideal plan. But I don't see another route forward. It is a standard "tragedy of the commons". Every knows if we all keep polluting it will be disastrous. But no one wants to make a sacrifice if the others might not go along. Obama talked about this his speech. We shall see what happens.

    I know you feel close to coal. But have should think about what type of world we will pass on to our children and grandchildren.
  12. boone76
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    boone76 - June 27, 2013 1:53 pm
    I have had many things stuck to my shoe worse that rhJm........ :-)

    He is what he is.....He can be scary goofy at times....he can be quite profound as well....You sir may not get it and that's OK. The fact to don't "get" everything is quite alright.
  13. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 27, 2013 1:35 pm
    @boon - "Dearly beloved brother boone76 one of the 4-Horsemen of S.I.U" - Ahhh - you have, what looks like, a redneck bible thumper stuck to your shoe. You should really check for those things in a mirror after you've finished your business in the bathroom.
  14. boone76
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    boone76 - June 27, 2013 1:31 pm
    Mr redneck hillbilly Jesus man.....

    I have seen enough issues of "Gunsmoke" to know when and when not to invite strangers in to my base camp. You are just crazy enough to keep away from my little sister (unescorted) but funny enough to share my campfire and coffee with anytime my friend.
  15. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 27, 2013 1:30 pm
    @neckman - "The devil has a special place for you in Hell if you don't accept Jesus as your personal Savior" - I reject jesus, yahweh and the holy spirit - I am my own savior. Bazinga! neckman - I told you once: I'll come to your place of groveling and listen to you for 1 hour if I get to speak for 1 hour first. All the flock has to listen to what I have to say and then you or one of your high priests can cast your spells, read your book or chant your incantations. I reject your jesus and forbid him from coming to earth - he is weak and must obey me! haha - If he had any power he wouldn't need a knucklehead like you to grovel on his behalf. yahweh is a weak god if he can't change the mind of just 1 supreme court justice but what should we expect from a god incapable of dealing with simple chariots made of iron - "And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron - Judges 1:19 " He's fake, powerless and petty. Maybe Marvel or DC comics will make him into a superhero and let him fight alongside The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America? That's the only resurrection he can hope for. Enjoy your masochistic self imposed subjugation to a delusion. I hope that one day you smarten up and enjoy the only life you'll ever have instead of wasting it on nonsense.
  16. redneck hillbilly Jesus man
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    redneck hillbilly Jesus man - June 27, 2013 11:53 am
    Dearly beloved brother boone76 one of the 4-Horsemen of S.I.U.! Redneck Hillbilly Jesus Man is no quack but is a peculiar person! Yahoo isn't that special.In the name of Jesus Redneck Hillbilly Jesus Man is telling Pharaoh from Egypt in southern Illinois to let the people go free from bondage for the God of Israel. I have been to the holy promise land of Israel. Rend lake is the Sea of Galilee in southern Illinois. Yahoo keep your eyes on Jesus then you will walk on the water!
  17. OLD JOE
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    OLD JOE - June 27, 2013 11:10 am
    Hummer what half is the white half ? His shirt? Or his false teeth? lol
  18. boone76
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    boone76 - June 27, 2013 10:55 am
    Mr redneck man....

    There is not little "of"......It's just "Little Egypt"......my fumble......
  19. HMmmmsez
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    HMmmmsez - June 27, 2013 10:53 am
    should the white half of him have to go too?
  20. boone76
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    boone76 - June 27, 2013 10:49 am
    redneck hillbiiy Jesus man.......

    You are an odd duck in a local pond. Not sure how the Sea of Galilee compares to Little of Egypt BUT it does bring up some spiritual questions..........

    Your thoughts?
  21. redneck hillbilly Jesus man
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    redneck hillbilly Jesus man - June 27, 2013 10:12 am
    Dearly beloved shoestring my word is my bond I tell you the truth about Jesus but your lying spirit can't receive it! I show you my heart to try to help you cool off with a swim but you reject it. You are a mortal man and not more powerful than Jesus! The devil has a special place for you in Hell if you don't accept Jesus as your personal Savior! If Bazinga is your false God then you are going down the highway of Hell Yahoo remember dearly beloved atheist brother shoestring that Jesus loves you and died for you to have eternal life if you accept him as your Savior and Messiah!
  22. OLD JOE
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    OLD JOE - June 27, 2013 8:07 am
    So I guess your saying exported coal is clean coal? lol. What good is it if only the united states cleans up our air? The united stated will have the only clean atmosphere with millions of people dying from starvation from being out of work.

    I don't believe our atmosphere follows us. We will still inherit China's and the rest of the world pollution.

    MMike your either bald or blonde lol.
  23. shoestring
    Report Abuse
    shoestring - June 27, 2013 8:07 am
    @neckman -"shoestring you need to come out to redneck hillbilly hills to chill out" - another insincere offer from an insincere man" - I tried to take you up on your last offer of enlightenment and you failed to respond. You just talk your nonsense but are not truly prepared to defend it. You speak like the imaginary talking snake spoke to your imaginary eve - lies. Conjure jesus all you want with your spells, chants and face pressed to the dirt - I'm more powerful than your jesus and have banished him from earth! Jesus isn't coming back because I told him not to. Every day you don't see him is a day I won and he lost. haha - your jesus, yahweh, holy ghost? All powerless in the light of my truth!! Bazinga!!
  24. MickeeD
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    MickeeD - June 26, 2013 10:01 pm
    Oh wow. That is all.
  25. redneck hillbilly Jesus man
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    redneck hillbilly Jesus man - June 26, 2013 9:08 pm
    Yahoo MickeeD is on the level for the bubble is in the middle! Dearly beloved shoestring you need to come out to redneck hillbilly hills to chill out and swim in Rattlesnake Creek to cool you off over the hot anger stress you are in. Please count to 10 brother shoestring or you will burn out like a falling star. Yahoo it's going to be a long hot summer so chill out and keep cool in Jesus yo dudes ladies and gentlemen. Yahoo walk the line all the time for Jesus is on the mainline!
  26. MickeeD
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    MickeeD - June 26, 2013 8:14 pm
    I have to concur. George used a poor analogy. Almost sounds like working in the coal mines is akin to slavery. Except the "man" you're working for is a black man. I don't think he quite thought that all the way through. Bless his heart. Or, as some would say, blessed be.
  27. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 26, 2013 8:04 pm
    @redman - " I speak the truth" - according to your beliefs you speak the truth. According to me your "truth" is supernatural nonsense. Your truth does not influence mine - get that through your head. Your "truth", your bible, your god are all total BS to me and my opinion is, at least, equal to yours. Now if facts, commonsense and reason are allowed to come into play, your "truth" withers and dies. Sorry old man but the 50's aren't coming back, miners aren't saints and your bible is a collection of old myths.
  28. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 26, 2013 7:53 pm
    @redman - "You mine 16 tons and what do you get? Other day older and deeper in debt " - so you're saying that coal miners are stupid and that being a coal miner is senseless? Who would be stupid enough to do a job that left you deeper in debt at the end of the day than when you started? Ooh wait, I know who would be that stupid: red hillybill man jesus. I can't speak for your brain frozen flock but from this atheist's point of view, you and your gibberish do christianity a disservice ever time you speak.
  29. redneck hillbilly Jesus man
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    redneck hillbilly Jesus man - June 26, 2013 6:44 pm
    Yahoo all your pagan crybabies girly men losers hiding behind your computer keyboards always attacking my character but not the issues! I speak the truth but the truth hurts you very deeply. None of you pagan crybabies girly men losers would last 1 day in the coal mines! Yahoo I am praying for you and remember Jesus loves you P.S. You mine 16 tons and what do you get? Other day older and deeper in debt because St. Peter don't you know I don't owe my soul to the Obama's company store!
  30. CLG4
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    CLG4 - June 26, 2013 6:39 pm
    Now let me see if I understand the president. Shut down coal cause it is bad, ok for fracking cause we need the natural gas to replace coal for our power plants. Ah yes the great environmentalist obama, now where's my campaign cash for coming out against coal. The libs in Washington screw their base again.
  31. HMmmmsez
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    HMmmmsez - June 26, 2013 5:05 pm
    What would Jesus say? Would he say try an slow down global warming? Would he be for burning lots more coal, or maybe even burning no coal at all?. How's a body suppose to know?
  32. OLD JOE
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    OLD JOE - June 26, 2013 4:54 pm
    MMike is will only cost a little over 45 trillion dollars for america to go green. I know that is just chump change if your a state worker.

    Now what is our national debt $17 trillion?

    If Obama invested the money into clean coal that he did failed energy companies, coal would be clean today. Instead government robs money from clean coal research to pay for government retirees retirement.
  33. MMike
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    MMike - June 26, 2013 3:59 pm
    If you folks want coal to survive we will need to develop CO2 sequestering technologies. Denying the science of climate change won't save your jobs, but maybe this breakthrough will:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130626143110.htm

    Getting the Carbon out of Emissions

    June 26, 2013 — Proposed method could be more efficient than previous systems and easier to retrofit in existing power plants.

    Many researchers around the world are seeking ways to "scrub" carbon dioxide (CO2) from the emissions of fossil-fuel power plants as a way of curbing the gas that is considered most responsible for global climate change. But most such systems rely on complex plumbing to divert the steam used to drive the turbines that generate power in these plants, and such systems are not practical as retrofits to existing plants.

    Now, researchers at MIT have come up with a scrubbing system that requires no steam connection, can operate at lower temperatures, and would essentially be a "plug-and-play" solution that could be added relatively easily to any existing power plant.

    The new electrochemical system is described in a paper just published online in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, and written by doctoral student Michael Stern, chemical engineering professor T. Alan Hatton and two others. ...
  34. shoestring
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    shoestring - June 26, 2013 3:20 pm
    @red...man - " I am a 3rd generation coal-miner " - which helps to explain your ignorance. "Muslim Obama" - ignorance proven. " taking away their pensions and health-care was a slap in the face of God! " - and more ignorant nonsense to seal the deal.
  35. MickeeD
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    MickeeD - June 26, 2013 12:37 pm
    Coal will still be around for some time to come and should be part of the overall energy mix. Let's get rid of these old polluting plants and concentrate on building more energy efficient ones, or scaling down. As far as killing the southern Illinois coal industry? These communities should have diversified instead of relying on just one one industry.
  36. Ishmael
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    Ishmael - June 26, 2013 12:15 pm
    "Antichrist Obama ... Muslim Obama's ... The greenie meanie tree-hugging agenda ... please Jesus keep President Obama in Africa!" - redneck hillbilly Jesus man

    First of all, none of that is very Christian. Second, according to Christian dogma everything happens according to God's will. Lastly, as a Christian, you are not supposed to question God's will.

    To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, "I know Christians. I worked with Christians. You, sir, are no Christian."
  37. redneck hillbilly Jesus man
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    redneck hillbilly Jesus man - June 26, 2013 11:32 am
    Antichrist Obama had a closed meeting yesterday on the coal power plants issue! I am a 3rd generation coal-miner it was a sad dark gloomy day for old King Coal for John L. Lewis is turning over in his grave for Muslim Obama's war on coal. What the coal companies did to the dearly beloved retired coal-miners and widows taking away their pensions and health-care was a slap in the face of God! What the coal companies sow is what they will reap in being shut down. The greenie meanie tree-hugging agenda is the death of Old King Coal. Yahoo please Jesus keep President Obama in Africa!
  38. MMike
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    MMike - June 26, 2013 8:57 am
    Democrats like Enyart from coal areas will still fight for coal. But exports are your best bet.
  39. OLD JOE
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    OLD JOE - June 26, 2013 7:39 am
    Obama's war on coal will increase everyone's energy cost. Voting democrat will take $$$$$ out of everyone's pocket. Just how much more $$$$$$$ can the american voters afford to give away because of poor leadership?
  40. WXMAN
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    WXMAN - June 26, 2013 7:17 am
    So...we have the cleanest coal burning power plants in the world and that's not good enough so Obama wants to shut them all down? What does this really accomplish? The rest of the world continues to build new coal powered plants while we shut ours down. Other Nations will continue to provide cheap electricity to improve their economies while we will see our electricity bills skyrocket along with tens of thousands of middle class jobs disappear! What is Obama's alternative to replace coal? Nuclear power plants? Can't have that...the Sierra Club will shut that idea down along with the EPA. Windmills?....too expensive and unreliable. Solar?...well just think about Solandra (the $500 million we gave to this company that went bankrupt in a year).....what will it be?
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