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America Should Avoid Germany’s Failed Energy Policy

Jared Meyer — Manhattan Institute — December 1, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposed ozone regulations, released the day before Thanksgiving, will raise the price of American energy by forcing new requirements on utilities, coal, oil, and natural gas. The new regulations, out for proposed comment, would limit ozone pollution to between 65 and 70 parts per billion, rather than the current standard of 75 parts per billion.

As the American public considers the EPA proposals, along with other forthcoming EPA regulations on power plants, the German experience provides a cautionary tale.

Germany has been pressing for lower carbon emission for years. The country wants 80 percent of its energy production to come from favored green energy sources, such as wind and solar, by 2050. But today, less than a quarter of Germany’s energy comes from green sources.

Germany’s energy production is in such disarray that the country has been forced to beg neighboring Sweden for assistance. Vattenfall, Sweden’s state-owned utility, is planning to sell two coal mines it owns in Germany’s Northeast in an attempt to reduce its carbon footprint. Both the German economic minister and vice-chancellor are pushing the Swedish government to reconsider its decision because Germany needs coal-fired energy.

It is surprising that in its quest to “go green” Germany is relying heavily on coal power. Coal has nearly twice the carbon emissions of natural gas, at 215 pounds of CO2 emitted per million British thermal units compared with 117 pounds. Energy produced though nuclear power barely releases any CO2.  (Continue reading here…..)



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