Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Indiana County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(AP) Three years ago, the operators of one of the nation’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants warned of “immediate and devastating” consequences from the Obama administration’s push to clean up pollution from coal.
Faced with cutting sulfur dioxide pollution blowing into downwind states by 80 percent in less than a year, lawyers for EME Homer City Generation L.P. sued the Environmental Protection Agency to block the rule, saying it would cause it grave harm and bring a painful spike in electricity bills.
None of those dire predictions came to pass.
Instead, the massive western Pennsylvania power plant is expected in a few years to turn from one of the worst polluters in the country to a model for how coal-fired power plants can slash pollution.
Editor’s note: Wondering when we will end our dependence on foreign oil? This isn’t the way to do it!
Backed by government subsidies and mandates, hundreds of ethanol plants rose among the golden fields of the Corn Belt, bringing jobs and business to small towns, providing farmers with a new market for their crops and generating billions of dollars in revenue for the producers of this corn-based fuel blend.
Those days of promise and prosperity are vanishing.
Nearly 10 percent of the nation’s ethanol plants have stopped production over the past year, in part because the drought that has ravaged much of the nation’s crops pushed commodity prices so high that ethanol has become too expensive to produce.
A dip in gasoline consumption has compounded the industry’s problem by reducing the demand for ethanol.
There’s a new sheriff in town for stink bugs. The EPA is temporarily permitting orchards to use the pesticide dinotefuran. Dinotefuran is normally used on leafy plants but the EPA is allowing orchards to use this weapon to combat stink bugs in PA, MD and NJ. The pesky bugs have been responsible for destroying as much as 40% of some orchards crop!
Back at the ranch, the USDA is working away on a biological weapon but that is at least a year away from being ready. This temporary pesticide exemption is to help farmers combat the voracious stink bugs until the biological weapon can be deployed.