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Apple Tells the EPA Why Cutting the Clean Power Plan Is a Bad Move (theverge.com) 131

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Apple is pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The company filed a public comment with the EPA today arguing that scrapping the policy, which calls for cutting power plant pollution, would dull the United States' competitive edge in the clean energy economy. The Clean Power Plan (or CPP) was finalized by the Obama administration, and it takes aim at power plants -- the number one carbon polluters in the U.S., according to the Obama-era EPA website. Had the CPP ever taken effect, it would have given power plants until the year 2030 to curb their carbon emissions by about 30 percent, a move that the Obama administration said could protect the environment, public health, and consumer's pocketbooks.

Apple's comment cites the economic advantages of supporting clean energy, including that it provides "corporate electricity buyers with a hedge against fuel price fluctuation." The price of solar and wind don't change like the price of oil, Apple's filing says. (It also notes that China is currently beating the U.S. in clean energy investments.) The company also says that regulating the grid's carbon emissions "power plant by power plant" won't work. It references its own experiences operating with 100 percent renewable energy here in the U.S. and the work of its subsidiary, Apple Energy LLC, which sells the excess electricity the company generates back to the grid. The electricity system is far too interconnected, the filing says, so "regulation should consider the dynamic and interconnected nature of how power is generated, sold and consumed." That's why it supports the clean power plan, which it says provides a nationwide framework for regulating electricity generation: "It is both needed and the smart thing to do."

Apple Tells the EPA Why Cutting the Clean Power Plan Is a Bad Move

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  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @09:22AM (#56397319)
    half the reason Trump got elected was desperate coal miners. This is an utterly impotent gesture on Apple's part. He's got to do something to appease them or they're not going to come out to vote for him next election.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      half the reason Trump got elected was desperate coal miners.

      That would make one hell of a lot of coal miners.. I had no idea that many even existed, let alone were out of work. Or is this one of your made up comments?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That would make one hell of a lot of coal miners.. I had no idea that many even existed, let alone were out of work. Or is this one of your made up comments

        Not the original poster but I decided to check this out.

        20 of the 25 states that produce coal in the US voted for Trump. That makes up 195 of the 306 electoral votes that he got (64% of them).

        Now you can't simply say that the only reason these states went Trump was because of coal, but Pennsylvania for example, previously went Democrat. They are the #4 top coal producing state in the country (as of 2014) and have 20 electoral votes.

        Was coal half the reason Trump got elected? Maybe not. Was it a large pa

        • by nomadic ( 141991 )

          How many coal miners though?

        • That would make one hell of a lot of coal miners.. I had no idea that many even existed, let alone were out of work. Or is this one of your made up comments

          Not the original poster but I decided to check this out.

          20 of the 25 states that produce coal in the US voted for Trump. That makes up 195 of the 306 electoral votes that he got (64% of them).

          Now you can't simply say that the only reason these states went Trump was because of coal, but Pennsylvania for example, previously went Democrat. They are the #4 top coal producing state in the country (as of 2014) and have 20 electoral votes.

          Was coal half the reason Trump got elected? Maybe not. Was it a large part? Possibly.

          This shows how poorly the electorate and their representatives understand the US economy and job markets. Coal mining has been shedding jobs due to new methods of mining, e.g. mountain-top removal, ever bigger mining machines that require fewer operators, and increasing automation. Even if the US went crazy on coal and started building new coal power plants, it still wouldn't create many jobs. Those coal jobs are gone for good and they're not coming back. Ex-coal miners need new opportunities to find new jo

          • How about retraining to work in the solar/wind power industry?

            This practically exactly what Pres. Obama and Sec.Clinton said in their campaigns. The actual truth and reality of the situation is simple, however, and that is, it's REALLY hard to retrain people into new fields like you suggest. Bordering on impossible. One of the best pieces of television I've ever seen that really handled this question was on Season 1 or 2 of House of Cards, where a Congressman has a town hall meeting with workers from a

            • This practically exactly what Pres. Obama and Sec.Clinton said in their campaigns.

              Yes, empty promises. The Democrats track record since the 1980s (with Bill Clinton) has been one of serving and protecting Wall St. executives at the expense of everyone else.

              it's REALLY hard to retrain people into new fields like you suggest. Bordering on impossible.

              No, it isn't hard to train people who are already proficient at engineering jobs to do other engineering jobs. However, effecting and efficient training doesn't come cheap (I work in education and training and so read the current literature on these subjects). But then it's less expensive than the lost tax revenue from all those worker

      • The country is essentially split down the middle at 49% to 49%, when they can be bothered to vote. So it does not take much to sway a state and start shifting around electoral votes.

    • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @10:25AM (#56397457) Journal

      That does not add up.
      How many voters do you have in the US?
      How many are coal miners or in any way related to the coal industry?

      • by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @12:47PM (#56397841)
        States that once relied on mining are easy to sway by throwing a bone or two their way. Then other blue collar workers who feel overlooked think Trump is going to look out for them.

        Do not discount the gullibility of the average American voter.

        (I'm an American, fwiw).
      • Not everybody who votes shows up to vote. And you don't need 100% of the vote in a state to get all of its electoral votes. You also don't need to sway the state very far because most of the states are in a statistical tie. So find 4 or 5 hotbutton issues, sway those voters with absurd claims, and you get more votes and more campaign donations. Then the more people pay attention to you, the more the media pays attention to you, which causes even more people to pay attention to you, etc.

      • That does not add up. How many voters do you have in the US? How many are coal miners or in any way related to the coal industry?

        In the US . . . it's all coal miners . . . all the way down.

      • We Have a winner takes all political system instead of a parliament. This is by design, it makes it easy for the ruling class to maintain an illusion of democracy while having a practical oligarchy. [bbc.com]

        Anyway, we have what's called an "Electoral College" where if you get a majority of the votes in a state you win the entire state. Most states can be counted on to vote for a certain party's candidate. For example, California always votes for the Democrat. Arizona always votes for the Republican. Etc, etc.
      • by Xarius ( 691264 )

        I made this same mistake in the UK when the Brexit vote happened....

        I thought "who would possibly vote for this nonsense" - I live in one of the 7 or so large cities in the country and mistakenly projected my experiences onto the population at large.

        I forgot about the other 60 - 70% of the country that lived outside of metropolitan areas, and didn't have a working understand of their wants, hopes, fears or perceptions.

        And now we're economically fucking ourselves over, I have taken the time to understand the

    • It was A reason. It wasn't nearly half. He won West Virginia. Big fucking deal.

      Once the coal miners look around and realize nothing has really changed for the better for them, they might think twice.

    • half the reason Trump got elected was desperate coal miners

      Uh... hate to break it to you but the brainwashed left might be onto something about the Russians, 'cause... there's no fucking way all twelve* of 'em voted him in without someone's help.

      *Note, I've spoken with far too many Trump supporters from virtually all cultures and background (albeit most of them with one thing in common: they tend to be successful) to subscribe to the belief that either the Russkies or some economically-desperate, asthmatic West Virginians were required to outvote that festering ca

    • Hurray, we can finally bring back all those lost whaling jobs that dried up when people stopped wanting whale oil lamps in their houses!

    • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      theres fewer than 100k people in the entire coal industry.
      less than half are actual miners.

  • Just who would be producing the equipment used to implement this "clean power plan" nationwide? I bet China, our obvious enemy today, would benefit greatly.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2018 @09:34AM (#56397355)

      Just who would be producing the equipment used to implement this "clean power plan" nationwide? I bet China, our obvious enemy today, would benefit greatly.

      And why is that? Maybe because we neglected green and clean energy because the fossil fuel industry has our government (pretty much the Republicans) by the balls? (Mitch McConnell [R-KY] origninated the lie about the "War on Coal" at the behest of his masters in the industry.)

      And maybe they did a great job in convincing half the electorate that green and clean is some "librul horseshit" to destroy jobs and ...socialism?

      We are backwards. Sticking to fossil fuels - an antiquated dirty backwards fuel source - will ruin this country. While the rest of the World progresses and surpasses us (like China already has in terms of energy), we will become a backwards shithole because of ignorant short sighted ideology and folks trying to preserve their outdated business - like the coal miners.

    • and to Trump's credit he's put some tariffs on some of the cheap panels China was dumping here (to be fair those tariffs were proposed during the Obama admin).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What does a music player company have to do with setting energy policy? They make terrible products. How good can their judgement be on other issues?

    And I'm not an Apple hater. I still have a PowerBook (yes, PPC based) that I love as well as a few more modern MacBooks (that run 10.13 which I don't much care for). It went to crap when they made iOS and started turning powerful UNIX workstations into media consumption devices.

    • Think of them as a major us employer and energy consumer. They are less focused on a product in this space and more on the nature of the grid. Almost a more conservative approach than Tesla.

      They also have a corporate history in understanding the botched deregulation of the California energy market and want to be able to better manage costs.

      The only way clean energy does not make sense as a national grid objective is if the fuel is practically free, and you need significant multi-week storage capacity local

      • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @11:23AM (#56397557)

        Think of them as a major us employer and energy consumer.

        Or not, since TFA mentions that Apple produces its own clean energy and sells the excess to the grid. Perhaps Apple is worried that they won't be able to sell their excess for quite so much as they had planned on....

        The only way clean energy does not make sense as a national grid objective is if the fuel is practically free, and you need significant multi-week storage capacity locally. Battery economics plus improved transmission capacity are likely to marginalized those benefits.

        If it makes sense, then you won't have to force people to do it, do you? Or does it only make sense when you use force?

  • The EPA tell Apple why dropping Intel in favor of ARM processors will be a bad idea...
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday April 07, 2018 @11:30AM (#56397581)

    The capacity of American oil production is such now that there is essentially a natural cap of $70/barrel, which which get lower over time as oil production improves technology. Natural gas is also really cheap now compared to where it used to be and is going to stay that way for a very long time.

    Alternative energy will take over naturally is the technology there improves also... just let it do its thing.

    • We shouldn't always wait for a disaster to react to. We should be wise and make moves in advance of "market conditions" to form. The invisible hand of the market is NOT god and it's not wise either; it's mostly reactionary and short sighted.

      Alternatives needed to get jump started and they did... but they need to grow faster than they have and most importantly, they need to be large enough to bribe government officials on a competitive scale with the fossil fuel industry. THEN we can seriously talk about sit

      • Parent needs to be modded up, badly.

      • Alternatives needed to get jump started and they did.

        Why? We gained five years advancement, max. I am actually pretty dubious about that since most of the tax credits went to back companies that were basically money laundering operations for politically connected people [decryptedtech.com]. The only real gain was because Musk, not really a politically connected person, managed to game the tax laws to actually divert some of the flow of government funs to himself instead of the intended targets. Why do you think they were a

  • Apple Tells the EPA [...]

    A giant multinational KKKorporation controlling — or attempting to control — US Government.

    The so called "Liberals" side with the corporation...

  • That kills any chance of it getting implemented under the current regime. They don't believe in "smart".

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