21 July 2004
Is your electric utility a "public nuisance"?
If you live in California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont or Wisconsin, your state's Attorney General evidently thinks so; those states and the City of New York have joined together to file a public-nuisance lawsuit against five major power companies, demanding that they cut carbon-dioxide emissions in the interest of curbing global warming.
The utilities AEP, Southern Company, Xcel, Cinergy, and the Federally-operated TVA are said in the suit to produce about ten percent of the nation's CO2 output.
According to the suit, those emissions can be reduced by increasing efficiency at coal-burning plants, switching from coal to cleaner-burning fuels, investing in energy conservation and using clean energy sources such as wind and solar power. Some of this is even true, though the "cleaner-burning fuels" business is a canard. How much carbon dioxide is produced from a fuel is solely a function of how much carbon it contains in the first place; anything else along for the ride has no effect on CO2.
If the suit should fail, the next step is obvious. Humans exhale carbon dioxide with every single breath, yet have no emission controls whatsoever. So far.Posted at 8:17 AM to Dyssynergy