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April 16, 2010

Donít Let the Gas Pass

Joe Charlebois

The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced plans to further limit the release of toxic greenhouse gases in a press release entitled “A Summary of Current Threats to Global Air Quality and Recommendations to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” The new summary provides guidelines and details future requirements.


The report shows clear evidence that the anthropogenic production of both methane and carbon dioxide have increased dramatically. The institution of satellite technology has allowed the scientific community to measure the levels of both of these pollutants accurately. The report points out the evidence that these increases have had a deleterious impact on our global climate. There has been a direct correlation of a significant increase in these pollutants and the unwelcomed warming trends worldwide.


The EPA’s summary has the new regulations being phased in over the next six years. The agency admits that the implementation of these regulations will be costly to the economy, but states that the benefit to the environment will far outweigh the costs.  EPA Administrator Susan Paz-Verde was appointed to her post in part because she was one of the first and prominent voices to point out the excess gas in the room. She believes that limiting pollutants like carbon dioxide and methane are the first step in righting the global warming ship. “Our environment has been floundering on a rising sea and taking on ever more water, we need to eliminate the threat.”


Some of the measures to be implemented include the installation of highly specialized sensors on each cattle farm with more than a dozen head. These sensors would calculate the level of methane released by the bovine herd and would automatically store the information in remote data centers that would then be uploaded weekly. A report will then be generated – essentially lighting a warning candle – at EPA headquarters for analysis. Fines for failure to comply are $250,000 for a first offense and forfeiture of the property for a second offense. The federal government would then administer the farms under the Carbon Dioxide and Methane Recapture Department or COMRADE.


Farms that exceed federal limits would also be subject to fines based on the size of the business. Finds would be issued starting at $5,000 and for the largest corporate farms would reach a level of $100,000. On the upside, a cottage industry is expected to emerge – the bovine dietician. Experts would be recruited to either eliminate the emission of methane through diet or increase methane output for expertly equipped COMRADE approved farms. The expected job-growth is expected to be brisk for the next 15 years.


The EPA points out that several corporations with funds from ‘green’ venture capitalist groups are funding several start-up companies that are looking to harness this methane to use as an alternative fuel. It is unknown at this time if this will be a profitable endeavor, but the “green lobby” has already had several senators and congressman sign onto the idea of large federal subsidies.


Congressman Frank Kernals (D., NE), who once lead the bio-fuel effort with corn, has realized taking corn out of the food supply caused great disruptions in the price of nearly every food product, produced an expensive fuel and was not efficient. He looks at methane as the best possible solution to rip through our energy crisis. He was quoted as saying “My constituents appreciate the opportunity of taking this once unusable commodity (methane gas) and passing it on to the American people!”


Of greater consequence to the general public has been the controversial issue of carbon dioxide as a pollutant. The EPA panel addresses the increase in CO2 emissions by warning of potential climatic disaster if the overt discharge of this gas is not stalled and reversed.


Instead of carbon emissions from use of fossil fuels – that the Cap and Trade legislation addresses – the summary has requested the initiation of a three-year-old pilot study where several medium-sized cities would require residents to carry around oxygen breathing apparatuses – like the ones that firemen use – with a modification to take the CO2 emitted and capture that in a twin tank for later disposal. The wearing of the apparatus would only be required outside of the home as the homes would be equipped with similar devices to collect the dangerous expulsion of the pollutant CO2 for the entire house.


The use of screens and open windows in this pilot program would be strictly forbidden. The EPA has set fines for homeowners that don’t permanently fix their windows and install the household CO2 vacuum. The positive impact on the economy, however, cannot be overstated. HVAC companies will have their market open to a whole new number of homeowners who previously did not have central air. Construction companies will see a marked increase as well as they’ll be needed to work with the HVAC companies in making the home secure of leaks.


EPA officials are excited at the idea of ridding the climate of this poisonous air. Haley Ozona predicted that once the pilot program is taken nationwide, the end of global warming would be right around the corner. “The future is now, with the use of OBAs and home-installed carbon vacuums, the seas will once again return to pre-industrial levels and the plants can breathe again!”


When it was pointed out to Ms. Ozona that plants breathe CO2, she responded by saying that “the flat-earth crowd is just trying to confuse the public. We will not be distracted by out detractors. The deniers and corporate interests will not prevail!”


Ms. Ozona also announced at her press conference that a government and private partnership was being initiated to ramp up the production of millions of new OBAs and air filtering systems for the pilot program. The no-bid contract was awarded to a consortium including Al Gore’s Green Initiative Corporation as the winner of the contract. Mr. Gore could not be reached for this story at the time of publication.


(Gregory “Geep” Charlebois contributed to this report from Seattle, Washington)


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