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Google Joins Apple in Condemning the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan (theverge.com) 127

An anonymous reader shares a report: Google filed a public comment today criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to roll back the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era policy that aims to cut power plant pollution. With its comment, Google joins Apple in arguing that keeping the policy is a good deal for the US. Google's comment, which it shared with The Verge, lays out what it called a strong economic case for the Clean Power Plan.It says that the plan would encourage utilities and companies like Google to keep investing in renewable energy -- which Google says is getting cheaper, is desired by both consumers and investors, and is a good source of jobs.
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Google Joins Apple in Condemning the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

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  • by zippo01 ( 688802 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:07AM (#56506741)
    If it is really that important it should be passed as a law. This is the issue with executive orders and regulations. Then next guy can just undo it. Perhaps previous administrations should have focused more on compromised laws and less on orders and regulations.
    • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:29AM (#56506895)

      If it is really that important it should be passed as a law. This is the issue with executive orders and regulations. Then next guy can just undo it. Perhaps previous administrations should have focused more on compromised laws and less on orders and regulations.

      Executive Orders are abused more by each successive President. They're completely out of hand in the Obama/Trump era. I really think there needs to be some soul-searching and perhaps an amendment to the constitution. They're not supposed to be used as work-arounds when the President can't get a law passed that he wants. They are supposed to be for use executively not legislatively. Both Obama and Trump have abused executive orders and used them for things it was not designed to do.

      We need to rein in on abuses, close down loopholes, and put checks and balances on executive orders.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gtall ( 79522 )

        You are confusing Trump and Obama. Obama abused E.O.s because he couldn't get them passed by Congress. Trump is abusing them because he has the attention span of gnat and needs instant gratification so he can bellow at his base about all the wonderful things he's doing to America.

        • An interesting assertion....evidence of them being virtuous in the first case and not so in the second?

          Ferret
      • by tomhath ( 637240 )

        They're not supposed to be used as work-arounds when the President can't get a law passed that he wants

        An effective president works with Congress regardless of which party controls it (e.g. Reagan, Clinton, and Bush all got things they wanted passed even when the other party was in control). Sometimes they needed to compromise to get what they really wanted.

        Obama was good at delivering speeches, but he was useless when it came to executive leadership.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Actually you're retarded. The Republican obstructionist Congress passed just about nothing during Obama or since of any value. They can't balance a budget or fix health care, nothing. They were SAVED by Obama's bailout also, which they resisted on the grounds that spending money to save the economy was bad math - then they ignored their own party line on the deficits and passed a massive giveaway for the richest despite economists saying it would only swell the debt further, which it has.

          Obama understood

          • by tomhath ( 637240 )

            The Republican obstructionist Congress

            It wasn't Republicans obstructing; Harry Reed used filibusters to block anything he didn't like.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              No shame, Tom? It's amazing you can breathe at all with your head so squarely wedged in your corpulent liar's asshole... but enjoy Trump's prison tour! You're going to ensure Democratic control of congress for DECADES.

              http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/nov/22/harry-reid/harry-reid-says-82-presidential-nominees-have-been/

              Oh yeah, and you're still a moron for asserting something that wasn't true again Tom. The same old problem you've always had : Lying like a bitch.

              https://www.cnn.com

          • by Altus ( 1034 )

            He also clearly doesn't remember the shit show that was the republican congress that Clinton had to deal with.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Obama (and by extension the Democratic Party) never understood that they had to fight fire with fire when it came to the Republicans. That was his biggest failure.
           

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        I think that looking at executive orders will not really solve anything. The abuse of orders is not the problem, they are the result of the problem.

        And that problem is that to much power is given to one person in a 'win all' election system. That system only looks at the winner and you automagically roll into a bi-party system, even if that means your policy disagrees with 75% of the population.

        The only way to go is to look how you can reinstate a multy party system. The problem there is that many people be

        • The problem there is that many people believe that some dudes 250 or so years ago can not be wrong, no matter what. Once you realize that what they have put in place was designed to be changed, you can start doing that

          Interestingly enough. Many of the founding fathers, including George Washington saw the problem with party politics and wanted to prevent political parties forming. So even those "old dudes" knew how dangerous party politics could be on the American political set-up.

          But you are right, the constitution was written so it could be changed and it was intended that it would be changed. They knew what they had set up would not be 100% applicable at all times in the future.

        • The USofA has a second amendement to throw people out if the people do not like them. It is right there that it says that if the system does not work, kill them. (Yeah, those guns are for killing, not for hunting so you can feed the people at the picket lines)

          Actually, the Second was put in there so that we wouldn't be forced to maintain a standing Army. Obviously, it didn't succeed in that mission terribly well.

          And where, exactly, does it say "if the system does not work, kill them". I've managed to mis

          • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @12:53PM (#56507579)

            And where, exactly, does it say "if the system does not work, kill them". I've managed to miss that every time I've read the Constitution....

            That's because it is elsewhere, not in the Constitution.

            When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

            We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

            That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

            He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

            He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

            He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

            He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

            He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

            He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

            He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

            He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

            He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @12:56PM (#56507605)

        They're completely out of hand in the Obama/Trump era.

        The Obama era? You mean the Obama who has cast the lowest number of executive orders per year since Grover Cleveland in 1889? Is that the Obama era you're talking about?

        And as much as we like to heap shit on Trump, he's got a long way to go before he gets to the level of Carter. Actually he's got a long way to go to get to the level of T. Roosevelt to Carter, as in the first 80 years of last century.

        • Source for the above claim. [wikipedia.org] Obama falls pretty much right in the middle of the pack, with Trump a few places higher.

          The question is really whether "number of executive orders per year" is a good metric for executive overreach. Surely not all executive measures are created equal. Hypothetically, Trump/Obama (35 and 55 executive orders per year respectively) could have issued much more over-reaching executive orders than FDR (308 per year). The problem lies not in the number, but in the content. You'd ha

      • by Strider- ( 39683 )

        They're not supposed to be used as work-arounds when the President can't get a law passed that he wants.

        What the US needs, then, is a mechanism to deal with a dysfunctional government. In Canada, for example, if a matter of confidence fails to pass (the budget being the big one), the government falls, and an election occurs shortly thereafter. Even with the absurdity that is the Citizens United decision, eventually the taps will run out of money for another election campaign.

        • They're not supposed to be used as work-arounds when the President can't get a law passed that he wants.

          What the US needs, then, is a mechanism to deal with a dysfunctional government. In Canada, for example, if a matter of confidence fails to pass (the budget being the big one), the government falls, and an election occurs shortly thereafter. Even with the absurdity that is the Citizens United decision, eventually the taps will run out of money for another election campaign.

          The President is not a legislator though. If a President can't get laws past- tough cheese! That's not his job. A President is not the same role as a Prime Minister, or at least, is not intended to be.

      • by BadTuna ( 575923 )

        This says Mr Trump is averaging more than every prez back to Carter. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu... [ucsb.edu]

    • If it is really that important it should be passed as a law. This is the issue with executive orders and regulations. Then next guy can just undo it. Perhaps previous administrations should have focused more on compromised laws and less on orders and regulations.

      The next guy(s) can just undo a law too, just so you know. At least, that's how it's supposed to work.

      The main objection here doesn't seem to be to the executive order-ness, but that it was possible to undo it at all.

      Apparently decrees of Obama are like from the King of Babylon or something. Even he can't reverse them!

    • It says that the plan would encourage utilities and companies like Google to keep investing in renewable energy -- which Google says is getting cheaper, is desired by both consumers and investors, and is a good source of jobs.

      ok, well if all thats true... you dont need a law, or an act to make you do it. you just keep doing it.

  • by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:16AM (#56506811)

    The repeal of this measure has nothing to do with the environment, economy or jobs. Slowing or stopping the cost reductions in clean energy is what this is about. Robert E. Murray, the chief executive of Murray Energy, the owner of the largest number of coal fired plants in the country, is a long time personal friend of Trump. The fact that clean energy has been getting cheaper every year is killing his company whose margins are getting cut every year. This has nothing to do with anything other than improving Trump's friends bottom line; everything else is irrelevant.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:18AM (#56506829)

      Don't worry, them "condemning" anything also has nothing to do with the environment but way more with PR.

    • [citation needed]

      Or are we just rolling with unfounded conspiracy theories now? Because what you just described is literally a conspiracy theory.

      • One Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/climate/coal-murray-trump-memo.html [nytimes.com]

        You're acting like this is some big secret that I'm claiming is being hushed up. Trump makes no apologies for his friendship with Murray or his role in crafting White House energy policies. You can do a Google search if you want more details on their relationship. I'm not going to research 20 links that your not going to read anyway. Remember, one of Trump's biggest traits, whether you love it or hate it, is that he does w

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Slowing or stopping the cost reductions in clean energy is what this is about.

      How does that happen?

      "We were going to make more cost efficient solar panels, but we decided not to because of Trump conspiracy worries." Is that how you think things happen?

      • How does it happen? Here's the goal in this (whether they succeed is another mater): By making the rule change that no one but Murray Energy wanted, the government is sending a signal that renewables are not as good as an investment as they had been and that people should spend their money elsewhere, preferably coal. If successful, it would reduce R&D into those more efficient solar panels that you brought up that I'll use for an example thus delaying when newer, more efficient panels hit the market.

        • by Kohath ( 38547 )

          Pretty sure people will still want better solar panels. If a solar panel maker is truly threatened by hints of possibilities of problems, maybe they weren't destined to succeed anyway.

    • And squirrel aficionado:

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/bro... [slate.com]

    • The creation of this measure had nothing to do with improving the environment we live in. It was all about making current primary energy sources more expensive. It has nothing to do with "clean air", because CO2 isn't "dirty air". You have plenty of CO2 in your lungs right now, because you produce it yourself and then use your lungs to remove it from your bloodstream before expelling it into the atmosphere.

      The war against CO2 turns on how much economic growth, how many jobs, people want to destroy in order

      • Economic analysis of anti-global warming programs invariably demonstrates that even if the baseline assumptions of global warming alarmists are true, the best course is to not slow down the world economy now, but instead to use the increased wealth as a result in the future to mitigate whatever negative effects are imagined as a result of not limiting CO2 emissions.

        You are saying we should kick the can down the road and let future generations deal with it. That is bad environmental/economic planning.

        • When analyzed, the Stern proposal for limiting CO2 resulted in an estimated net loss of $14 Trillion if you assume all of his guesses at damage from climate change are correct. Gore's proposed carbon rules net'd out to a loss of $21 Trillion. That's how much the world economy would suffer under their prominent policy proposals if you take all of their assertions about damage from global warning as true (which is unlikely) and just compare their proposed measures to the level of economic growth over time whe

    • by dj245 ( 732906 )

      Robert E. Murray, the chief executive of Murray Energy, the owner of the largest number of coal fired plants in the country,...

      Completely untrue. According to the April 2018 edition of Power magazine, Duke, Southern Company, and AEP are the top 3 operators of coal plants. As far as I know, Murray Energy doesn't have any power stations, but recently stated that they want to. I'm not sure why they would be so stupid, as coal plants are nearly impossible to make money on currently.

      The clean power plan is unviable not due to coal, but due to natural gas power. The clean power plan mandates CO2, which of course natural gas plants p

  • Silicon Valley billionaires don't care about middle class workers in the energy industries or poor people who can't afford to pay more on their utility bills. Let them eat cake.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Silicon Valley billionaires don't care about middle class workers in the energy industries or poor people who can't afford to pay more on their utility bills. Let them eat cake.

      Except Apple/Google claim it will create jobs, and the more people invest the more affordable it will be, therefore, they do care.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Except Apple/Google claim it will create jobs, and the more people invest the more affordable it will be, therefore, they do care.

        Except Google and Apple are promoting their own aesthetic concerns as ultimately better for everyone? Of course they are saying that. Otherwise they would have to consider the other side.

        In other words:

        Why don't they just eat cake? What's wrong with cake? I don't understand these ignorant peasants at all.

        • Breathing clean air is an aesthetic choice?

          OK, clearly you can't help thinking with and talking through your bottom hole, but maybe you should stop trying to breath through it?
          Or try harder, by sealing all other orifices on your body with super glue?

          • by Kohath ( 38547 )

            Take a look outside. The air is clean. The last tiny bit of perfection to make air perfectly clean is an aesthetic choice, yes.

            Especially when you don't care about the cost.

    • Neither do billionaire presidents.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You know what powers your Tesla, your Prius?
    Coal.

    Or you can create new nuclear plants, Captain Nimby.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @11:30AM (#56506903)

    They say the plan shouldn't be rolled back because then companies would not be encouraged to use renewables.

    But are Apple and Google going to cease using renewable power sources? No. Nor will lots of other companies.

    They also claim it's getting cheaper - great! Then obviously that alone would be a driving factor toward companies seeking renewable energy.

    So what does this rollback really hurt?

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Religious leader like their followers to be devoted, not opportunistic. You must care about green power. Merely using it because it makes financial sense is a sort of blasphemy.

    • At issue is the ability for local utility to provide means to connect sources that reduce CO2 emissions. While some companies do indeed generate on-site power, they also rely on local utility to also provide any additional energy. Some locations provide the means to determine the source of power delivered to the site. Now obviously the local utility doesn't come out and hook Apple up to a wind farm or anything, but it is more along the lines of, "You used x kWh of power, so we generated x kWh of power fr

  • Google/Apple could just contract with clean power producers to supply their data centers and other operations. And pay what market asks for that type of power.

  • Need to stay in California.

    • Elitist? So we're against being elite? Isn't that what "Merica is all about? Being the best, the brightest? So in order to be #MAGA we have to settle for Common? Average? The best of the lousiest and the lousiest of the best? I'm aware of your connotation but it's ridiculous.
    • Agreed.

      Its about time the rest of the country didn't have to deal with those coastal elites exporting their dollars and ideas to other parts of the country.

  • Any policy that subsidizes solar is subsidizing the PRC since they have been dumping panels for ages.
    The problem with solar particularly is that the panels have a limited lifespan and the materials they are made out of are difficult to recycle and can not be dumped without impacting the environment

  • says it all.

    Time to end the tax exemptions, subsidies, exclusions, and deferrments for fossil fuels so that there is a level playing field for renewables - fossil fuels get 90 percent of the Dept of Energy subsidies that aren't for nuclear weapons.

  • ...that they won't use clean power unless they're forced to? Seems they could just use "clean power" (whatever that means today) anyway, and continue to expand their resources and supplies of same regardless.

    Seems rather against their stated point, I think.

    Ferret
  • the plan would encourage utilities and companies like Google to keep investing in renewable energy

    So, Google wants to continue being "encouraged" to do, what it already thinks is a good idea...

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