EPA's forced closing of U.S. power plants will disrupt food supply, cause empty shelves at grocery stores

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(NaturalNews) With President Obama's direction and approval, the Environmental Protection Agency has just issued new rules supposedly aimed at reducing "harmful emissions" but which critics say will do nothing but force a dramatic increase in energy prices and an overall decline in production of food and other commodities.

"Specifically, the EPA is proposing state-specific rate-based goals for carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, as well as guidelines for states to follow in developing plans to achieve the state-specific goals," says a summary of the massive 645-page rule [PDF].

The rules seek to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels, which the EPA says is equal to the emissions from powering more than half of the homes in the U.S. for one year.
But critics note that the rule would essentially cause the shuttering of dozens of domestic coal-fired power plants because of its reliance on emissions-control technology that does not currently exist. Furthermore, they note that the process of building additional, cleaner-burning plants can take years to wind through bureaucratic red tape. The result will be a dearth of energy production that could lead to rolling blackouts and power grid failure and cost hundreds of billions in lost productivity and higher energy costs. Experts in Britain have issued similar warnings about blackouts and electricity scarcity, as power plants there are scheduled to be closed as well.

'Our worst fears'

"If these rules are put into place, there's no question that electricity prices will skyrocket... I find it outrageous this administration would put our country at a distinct disadvantage," West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, said, adding that the "proposal appears to realize some of our worst fears."

Then again, raising your electric bill has been a goal of Obama's since before he won his first presidential term in 2008. During a question-and-answer session with editors of the San Francisco Chronicle, Obama said that, under his plan, "electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket."

But it's not just energy for home use; businesses -- and in particular, industries that produce and package our food -- will be affected by any increases in electricity rates (which will be passed along to consumers, of course) and blackouts.

As noted by The Daily Sheeple, it is this hit to our food supply that is most onerous and game-changing.

Food production and transport rely on electricity

"It's often said that we are only nine meals from anarchy. The theory behind the saying is simple. Most people have no more than a three day supply of food in their homes, and that equates to nine meals before they start to go hungry," said site writer Lizzie Bennett.

The article goes on to point out that our commercial logistics systems have been set up in a manner that increases efficiency and lowers costs. When a barcode on a product is scanned at the store, for example, a "message," if you will, is sent to the store's warehouse, wherever that happens to be, in essence "reordering" the item. That's all well and good, says Liz, who appears to be from Britain, but it is a "next-day" system that depends on a stable environment -- one that relies on electricity.

She further notes that the U.S. and the UK are on similar paths concerning power plant reductions and that those reductions in power generation are, in turn, putting both populations on a similar course regarding the potential for major interruptions in the supply chains of each country, food included:

We are coming close to the time that when the shelves are empty their [sic] will be no assurances that fresh stocks will arrive the next day.

There are distribution warehouse
[s] all over the place, and if it's that zones day to be off the grid then nothing will be going onto the trucks because they have no idea what is needed where. Even if they did they may not be able to get fuel for the trucks as the pumps rely on electricity.

Food for thought, as you ponder the EPA's new carbon emissions rule.



[PDF] http://www2.epa.gov




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