“I don’t think many people know how close we came,” Rep. Kevin Cramer said on Fox News Business yesterday, referring to last year’s “polar vortex” and its potential for causing power shortages.
Cramer had an op/ed in the Wall Street Journal recently called, “Where Will You Be When the Lights Go Out?” in which he detailed the risks federal overreach on emissions regulations are putting us in.
“The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), a regulatory authority that monitors the U.S. and Canadian power systems, released a study on Nov. 12 concluding that the long-term reliability of the U.S. grid in some areas is already at risk,” Cramer wrote. “Because of rapid shifts to renewable and natural-gas generation, combined with closures of coal-fueled power plants due to existing Environmental Protection Agency regulations, “reserve margins” in the Midwest, New York and Texas have reached dangerously low levels—meaning an increased likelihood of brownouts and blackouts in the coldest weeks of winter and the hottest days of summer.”
He made the same point to Fox host Gerri Willis.
Willis asked Cramer if we’re in danger of having “spiking prices or low availability” for electricity.
“We’re in danger of both happening,” Cramer replied.
Meanwhile, the emissions standards seem a little arbitrary. Check out this map released recently by the United Health Foundation which indicates that North Dakota has some of the cleanest air in the country despite a huge amount of energy production both in terms of coal-fired electricity and natural gas flaring (an unfortunate by-product of oil development here).
But we’re usually told by the environmentalists that North Dakota’s clean air doesn’t matter. That air doesn’t recognize borders. North Dakota’s pollution, they tell us, gets blown all over the region.
Except, if that’s true, how do you explain South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and (to a lesser extent) Minnesota having some of the cleanest air the country as well? I’d note that the three states to the south and the west of North Dakota have a great deal of fossil fuel energy development going on of their own.
Where’s the evidence that the federal government’s crackdown on emissions will improve this situation?