As we all know, there are consequences for our actions - both good and bad. Here's one example that might hit close to home.
The Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new rules for coal-fired power plants like the one here in Sikeston. The consequences of these new regulations is that we may be paying much, much higher electric rates if the plan is approved by the courts come April.
Under the new EPA rules which went into effect Dec. 30, coal-fired plants like ours will operate under new guidelines concerning the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide. Those rules were delayed because of a court challenge. But in April, a federal appeals court will hear the case. The outcome of that decision will impact your pocket book if you are a Sikeston customer.
But it gets worse.
Another issue - again from the Obama administration - monitors mercury emissions. That new rule would force our plant to spend millions to adhere to the new guidelines and those costs would be passed along to consumers.
But wait, it gets even worse.
The Obama feds want to change the classification of fly ash from the power plant. The fly ash is currently sold to make concrete. But the feds want to reclassify fly ash as a hazardous material.
The worse case scenario is the eventual closure of the Sikeston Power Plant. The best case scenario is a steep increase in our power costs - all in the name of environmental protection.
The true goal of these draconian federal plans is to shut down coal-fired power plants. The environmentalists have long held the view that coal-fired plants are a major source of pollution despite the fact that our plant - for example - has always exceeded quality guidelines established by the feds. But now they want to change the rules.
And Sikeston customers will pay for this federal folly.
The potential impact of this upcoming court decision is as important to Sikeston as it is to any community in the United States. We have so much at stake. We're now being told - despite excellent quality marks since this plant first went online - that it's not enough.
The potential impact will be devastating to our community.
So yes, there are consequences to our actions. In this case, the left-wing zealots who hug trees, who stop construction to save a frog and who support environmental changes without regard to their impact, are clearly to blame.
Remember the old political saying that elections have consequences? Well, by golly, they actually do.