Tuesday, November 26, 2002
More on New Source Review: Count on The Wall Street Journal to publish a commonsense article on the entire issue.
My carburetor analogy in the article below turns out to be amazingly apropos.
In one famous case, DTE Energy Corp., parent of Detroit Edison Co., tried to replace older, less efficient propeller blades in several steam turbines at its biggest coal-fired plant. The new blades were 15% more efficient than the old, meaning they could generate 15% more power using the same amount of energy--more power, less pollution. But the Clinton EPA threatened to invoke New Source Review anyway, so the plan was scrapped.
And it turns out, despite Krugman's contention, that industry isn't entirely thrilled about the new rules.
Last week's announcement didn't entirely please industry, which has been hoping that the whole New Source Review process would be scrapped entirely. Their concern is that it is difficult to distinguish between routine maintenance and new investment. Therefore, the New Source Review process is an invitation to future bureaucrats to abuse the regulations. This helps explain why no new refineries have been built in the United States in years, despite the danger of periodic supply disruptions that cause the price of gasoline and other fuels to spike.
Californians are certainly aware of the problems that come with a lack of refinery capacity.
Contrary to what some would have you believe, the GOP isn't interested in turning the entire planet to some sort of environmental wasteland. We just think that environmental regulation should be used to actually protect/improve the environment, rather than as another method of ensuring full-employment for lawyers.