Argus Headline: "Planet hinges on PUC"
Planet: "I'm so screwed"

(Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. heh.)

The Argus Leader reports today that several groups are making the claim that the PUC should disapprove of the Big Stone II plant because of Carbon Dioxide emissions and their effect on climate:
The PUC is known to many South Dakotans for its five televised safety tips, such as, "Never put a ladder near a power line." But the panel also must protect the environment from "serious injury" caused by new plants.

It already is facing a big moment in its history. It has never considered a permit application for a coal plant, or any power plant close to Big Stone II's size.

But the environmental groups are asking for something even bigger - for the PUC to become perhaps the first state commission anywhere to reject a permit based on carbon dioxide emissions.

Commissioner Dusty Johnson, for one, is not sure that's his job.

"Those are things that are most effectively done on a national and international level," he said after the hearings. "We don't have the sum of all knowledge here at the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission."

Big Stone opponents disagree.

"You've got to do it locally. There is no other way to do it," said David Schlissel, a Boston-area consultant hired as an expert witness for the opponents. "You can't just talk nationally, you can't just talk internationally, you have to take concrete steps."


Johnson said the economic arguments might not be a major factor in his decision and those of the other commissioners, Bob Sahr and Gary Hanson. South Dakota law does not require the companies to prove need, only that their project will not impair development or harm human health or the environment.

Johnson said a bigger issue will be interpretation of the law.

"What does that word 'environment' mean vis a vis national environmental policy? What role do we play in that?" he said.
Read it all here. Put me in the column of big doubter on humans affecting climate change. Just a few years ago it was "methane generated by cow flatulence." Now it's all our fault.

If anyone has happened to notice, the climate has managed to change over the course of millions of years without our help. At times it gets warmer, at times we go into an ice age. I believe the cycles are driven more by vulcanism and solar output than anything we could ever manage to do.

Does that mean I embrace pollutants? Well, of course not, silly. I want my kids to grow up in a healthy environment as much as the next person. But that doesn't mean I believe if I use my grill every night for a week I'm going to send the planet into an ice age. It does mean that we shouldn't empty oil and anti freeze into the environment, and we should dispose of pesticides and other pollutants safely.

So, as far as I'm concerned, I think people need to think rationally, and then act locally.


Anonymous said…
A doubter that we cause anything on the planet to change, huh?

Sorry... but, that's just not a realistic position. What about Gov. Rounds acknowledging it?

Are you saying Gov. Rounds is wrong, PP? Wouldn't the mouthpiece of the conservative right want to support Rounds in his position?
PP said…
I'm a mouthpiece of the conservative right? (I thought I was just a snarky blogger.)

And since when do I walk lockstep with anyone?
Anonymous said…
Who says Rounds is an expert on anything? GF&P Sec. Cooper evidently believes Gore's crackpot theories on global warming, so of course the governor does too.
Anonymous said…
I think it's safe to say that "a mouthpiece for the conservative right" would often find himself disagreeing with Rounds.
Anonymous said…

Tony Dean also believes in global warming, so it must be true.
Anonymous said…
You wacky right-wingers are just flat out opposed to science. No matter how strong the evidence or how many scientists agree with it, if it doesn't comport with the ideology invented by Karl Rove and read by Dubya on a teleprompter you refuse to believe it.

As far as you're concerned, it's just a coincidence that oil multimillionaires Bush/Cheney deny global warming, which scientists blame on fossil fuels. W & Big-Time only look out for the public good, and not their own wallets and those of their friends, right?

I bet if GW read on a teleprompter that the world is getting warmer because God is punishing liberals, you dittoheads would be all over that theory like stink on @#&*.
PP said…
Actually, I've never asked the president. I got it from reading and watching the discovery channel.

That, and not swallowing everything the media tried to shove down my throat.
Anonymous said…
Carbon dioxide is good, it's elementary science. Plants take it in and it makes them grow. The carbon is used in growth and structure, and the dioxide becomes oxygen , is expelled and WE breath it to live. If Phony Dean believes in global warming, it's got to be false.
Anonymous said…
Boy aren't we lucky that the future rests on such impressive minds like Gary Hanson and Dusty Johnson now. I'm sure Koskan doesn't believe in global warming he probably thinks that it will save fuel costs for cold South Dakota winters. We are in trouble if the earth rests on these dim minds.
Anonymous said…
Up here next to the North Dakota border, we're all for global warming. And from the looks of all the hot air emanating from the likes of Gore, Rounds, Cooper, Phony Dean, and anonymous 6:44, we're defiantly going to be able to count on a warming trend.

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