How Virginia Can Meet and Exceed Its Targets under the EPA Power Plant Carbon Standard

, , Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy | July 28, 2014, 4:01 pm EST
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On June 2, the EPA issued draft carbon standards for existing power plants. The standard sets state-specific goals for emissions rate reductions that are expected to add up to nationwide power sector emissions reductions of 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. We analyzed Virginia’s target and found that the state is well on track to meet – and can even exceed – its required goal.

Overall, nationally, UCS analysis shows that we could cost-effectively lower emissions by twice as much as the EPA’s draft standard requires, with renewable energy and energy efficiency playing a key role.

Virginia’s power sector today

Virginia’s dominant sources of electricity are its two nuclear power plants (North Anna and Surrey), which together supply 38% of the state’s electricity (EIA). The next biggest source is natural gas, followed by coal (see chart below).


Virginia’s emissions rate reduction target


This post is part of a series on the EPA Clean Power Plan.

Under the EPA’s proposal, Virginia is required to reduce its carbon emissions rate 38% below 2012 levels by 2030.

These reductions can come from four major building blocks, which states are free to combine in a flexible manner: heat rate (or boiler efficiency) improvements at existing coal-fired plants, shifting generation from coal to natural gas, generating electricity from low-carbon resources (including ramping up renewable energy and preserving nuclear generation that may be at risk of retiring), and increasing energy efficiency. The EPA made state-by-state estimates for each of these building blocks; however, the only binding target for a state is its overall emissions rate reduction.

Meeting the EPA’s standard

Virginia’s ability to meet the EPA’s draft standard rests on the fact that already a dominant share of its electricity comes from lower carbon sources including nuclear power, natural gas, and renewables.

Virginia receives credit for 6% of its nuclear fleet (a nationwide average for nuclear plants at risk for retirement) under the EPA’s formula for calculating emissions reduction targets. This amounts to 1,645 GWh.

In 2013, the state had 2,740 GWh of non-hydro renewable energy. Currently the state has a weak voluntary renewable electricity standard, set at 15% of the 2007 level of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2025 (approximately 1.1 MW of new renewable energy by 2030). If this goal is met, non-hydro renewables are projected to grow to at least 10,275 GWh by 2025, according to projections from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In calculating Virginia’s emissions reduction goal, the EPA estimated that the state would achieve 11,192 GWh of renewable electricity by 2030. So under existing policies, the state is well on track to meet its renewable electricity goal.

The EPA also estimated that Virginia could achieve energy efficiency savings of 9.33% (in terms of avoided electricity sales) by 2029. The state currently has a voluntary energy efficiency goal of a savings of 10% by 2022; however, that is not currently on track to be met. Were the efficiency standard to be made mandatory, the state would achieve its efficiency goal ahead of time.

A number of coal-fired power plants in the state, with generation totaling 2,275 GWh, have recently been announced for retirement primarily because they are increasingly uncompetitive with cleaner forms of electricity. These include five units at the Potomac River coal plant (514 MW) closed in 2012 and another nine units (1,600 MW) at three plants (Chesapeake, Glen Lyn, and Yorktown) which are scheduled to retire in 2015.

Overall the retirements already announced are approximately equivalent to 38% of the amount of coal generation that is assumed to be displaced by natural gas according to the EPA’s calculations. Recent UCS analysis identified an additional 1,887 MW of coal-fired power in Virginia (amounting to 2,200 GWh of generation) that is uneconomic relative to existing natural gas combined cycle plants and could be considered for retirement.

Together, the announced and ripe for retirement generation gets Virgina three-quarters of the way toward meeting the amount of coal generation the EPA estimated would be displaced to meet the state’s 2030 emissions goal (see chart below).

Building block 2

Existing natural gas plants in Virginia were already being run at a fairly high (60%) capacity factor in 2012, so the opportunity to further switch from coal to gas is somewhat limited. In 2012, there was also nearly 2 GW of new natural gas capacity under construction in the state. However, an over reliance on natural gas as a compliance option comes with significant economic and climate risks. Diversifying the electricity mix by switching to more renewables will help reduce these risks. 

Opportunities to further reduce Virginia’s carbon emissions

Virginia has significant opportunities to drive down its emissions through cost-effective investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. If the state were to adopt a mandatory, more ambitious renewables goal, it could achieve deeper reductions. For example, just next door, DC has a renewable electricity standard of 20% by 2020 and Maryland has a standard of 20% by 2022. The state has significant wind and solar energy potential — 4,589 GWh of wind and 1.9 million GWh of utility-scale solar, according to NREL data cited by the EPA.

A recent study by ACEEE shows that the state could go much further in its energy efficiency goals, achieving a 23 percent reduction in electricity consumption in 2030 relative to 2012 by implementing an energy efficiency savings target combined with national model building codes, investments in combined heat and power systems (CHP), and equipment efficiency standards.

The state could also be an important site for offshore wind development. Dominion Virginia Power recently won a Department of the Interior lease for an area off Virginia Beach that could support 2 GW of offshore wind, and $47 million from the Department of Energy to develop a 12 MW demonstration plant.

Coal mining in Virginia

Although Virginia’s coal industry has been in economic decline, it still has several coal mines, mainly in the southwestern part of the state including Buchanan and Wise counties, which together provide employment to approximately 5,000 miners. However, EIA projections show that, even under business as usual, coal from Virginia is likely to become increasingly uncompetitive compared with coal from Wyoming and the interior coal fields of Indiana, Illinois, and western Kentucky. In addition, low natural gas prices are putting pressure on coal demand nationwide.

As these economic factors combine with the nation’s continuing transition to cleaner, cheaper forms of electricity, it is imperative to make investments in transition assistance for coal miners. Funds for this could come from state severance taxes or, potentially, a price on carbon.

Coastal Virginia on the front lines of sea level rise

Virginia’s coast faces extremely high risks of flooding due to sea level rise and worsening storm surge. The lower Chesapeake Bay region has experienced some of the fastest rates of sea level rise (3.6 to 7.0 mm per year) on the eastern seaboard, and is also home to 60% of the state’s 8.2 million residents. Norfolk has seen 10.5 inches of local sea level rise over the last 50 years. For planning purposes, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science recommends anticipating sea level rise of an additional 18 inches within the next 20 to 50 years.

The Norfolk-Hampton roads region already experiences routine flooding during high tides. It is also home to Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world – and site of the state’s largest (2 MW) solar PV facility. As my colleague, Adam Markham, writes, Norfolk and surrounding towns are all already dealing with significant costs of flooding, and the city has spent millions to raise roads, build flood defenses, and improve storm-water management.

Ironically, the seaport at Norfolk is also the nation’s largest coal export facility, handling nearly 40% of U.S. coal exports in 2012.

Add your voice in support of strong power plant carbon standards

On July 29 and 30 the EPA is scheduled to hold public hearings on the draft carbon standards in Washington, DC, Denver, CO, and Atlanta, GA, followed by hearings on July 31 and August 1 in Pittsburgh, PA. Please add your voice in support of strong standards that include a significant role for renewables and efficiency, in person at the hearings or online.

If you’re from the Commonwealth of Virginia, now you know your state can definitely meet and even exceed the standard – and it desperately needs ambitious efforts to cut carbon emissions to help slow the pace of climate change and sea level rise.

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  • JaneT

    Good analysis. Thanks

  • Ivy Main

    It’s worth pointing out that Virginia’s voluntary RPS is actually only 15% of non-nuclear generation, not all generation, making it effectively more like 10%. Using 2007 instead of 2025 further weakens the requirements. When 2025 arrives, I calculate the RPS will be satisfied with as little as 7% renewable energy. And the sources that count as renewable energy under the law include biomass (even from unsustainable forestry operations), which is not emissions-free. Yet Virginia has huge potential for wind and solar, and our failure to adopt serious energy efficiency measures means we have a lot of low hanging fruit on the efficiency side. Meeting the EPA carbon target is both doable and necessary.

  • mememine

    Why won’t science say a crisis is “proven” and finally put an end to this costly debate to SAVE THE PLANET? Big oil does not feed the denier voting majority for it’s science’s 32 years of “could be” and never “will be a crisis” that feeds and fosters all doubt and denial.
    Why can we say a crisis is proven when science can’t say it’s proven but they are 100% sure the planet is 100% not flat?

    A mob of determined “lazy news editors” do not determine certainty for a global climate crisis.

    • CB

      Science is never 100% certain of anything.

      Now, how certain are you there won’t be a crisis?

      If we haven’t set the world on a course toward total polar meltdown, 75 meters of sea level rise, the drowning of the homes of billions of people, and untold climate chaos just with the CO₂ we’ve already emitted, why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?

      • Gary Slabaugh

        I hope that there are plenty of quiet readers of commentary who appreciate the wealth of information, penetrating analysis, and sharp queries you bring to the table. Thanks CB

      • S Graves

        Do you actually believe that there is science that supports CB’s wild claims above about an actual 75 meter SLR occurring? Can you cite it?
        Do you believe there is science that supports her nonsense about ice caps and the history of the Earth? Can you direct me to it?

      • Gary Slabaugh

        Do you challenge those who unapologetically deny that man made GHG emissions and self reinforcing feedback loops will most probably result in abrupt climate disruption? Do you challenge those who claim that human activity has zero discernable effect on earth systems, including biodiversity? Do you maintain silence with those who claim that the polar regions are not warming/melting? Do you call out the scientific ignorance and stupidity of those who maintain that the “empirical evidence” is on the side that more carbon dioxide is “good” for the planet?

      • S Graves

        What feedback “loops” are you suggesting? Can you define “abrupt climate disruption”. CD has pretty much been abandoned after the effort to move for CAGW to CACC to CACD.
        No. However, the melting we are seeing in some areas is not unprecedented. Where is most of the planet’s ice? Is it melting?
        More CO2 can easily be demonstrated to be good for the planet…within limits. Sort of like H2O.
        I would be happy to be more specific…if you can.
        Now…can you answer my questions in the post above?

      • Gary Slabaugh

        might be a good place to educate yourself if you are genuinely interested in learning about self reinforcing feedback loops with respect to climate change.

        I’m sure that you are able to get a scientifically acceptable definition of “abrupt climate disruption” for yourself. Your dismissal of the IPCC as a scientific organization, however, makes your sources and conclusions lack credibility. So such an attempt on my part would clearly go nowhere.

        With your prior refusal to discuss your personal credibility, why would I open up the conversation to esoteric nuances? If you are authentically interested in the science of AGE theory, I suggest that you educate yourself. If you want good educational material geared toward the amateur and layman, the IPCC & NOAA are good and credible places to start.

        Your questions in your post above have mostly to do with CB. Take it up with her. I’m sure if you displayed some tact and cordial verbiage, CB would be happy to reciprocate. I’m not interested in triangulation.

      • S Graves

        Actually, my questions had to do with YOUR statement: “I hope that there are plenty of quiet readers of commentary who appreciate the wealth of information, penetrating analysis, and sharp queries you bring to the table.” Your efforts at misdirection are the usual.
        I am quite aware of the governmental panel’s work. Can you tell me which of the climate “disruptions” is the worst actually predicted from your point of view? By the way…you do understand that when the science is done at the IPCC the politicians do their work on those findings. Otherwise, your hyperbole is just nonsense. Don’t blame you for dodging.

      • Gary Slabaugh

        S Graves, please let me be clear with you. I actually like you. I think it would have been cool to have you as a close friend or acquaintance or co-worker. Instead we are on opposing sides of a debate… a debate that involves both science and an existential threat in my opinion. You asked me in a previous post to discuss one specific scientific paper. This is my proposal for discussion… “Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options” by Lonnie G. Thompson, The Ohio State Univ., in the journal “The Behavior Analyst” 2010, 33, 153-170; No.2 (Fall).

        My ANSWERS to your QUESTIONS in your reply to this particular thread are this: I am not interested in discussing CB with you nor do I feel the need to defend her comments to you. Period. I thought we had resolved this issue. My first comment in this article was to CB and to the quiet readers of CB’s commentary. You are not one of those quiet readers. Instead you seem to have a personal history of animosity with CB. Work that out with her if you can; not with me. OK? Is this not quite reasonable on my part?

        Discussing accusations of hyperbole, misdirection, dodging, etc is a non-starter. Is this not clear to you also? If you want to declare rhetorical victory and go away, that’s fine with me as I have said in previous posts. If you want authentic, genuine, true information about the anthropogenic element of AGW; the scientific information is available. You seem quite close minded about it though. Even if you are in serious error, I don’t think that you are open to the possibility that you are wrong. Are you?

        I do try to be skeptical; that is I try to question authority, question my own beliefs, think for myself, test my ideas by following the evidence, and trying to remember that I am the one in this particular ideological debate who could be wrong. Maybe my attempts fail more often than they should. But I am not accountable to you for my failings any more than you are answerable to me. Do you embrace the same rationale?

        This is the “meat” of this current post, so N.B. There are ideas “out there” that are pretty esoteric, but which are “settled” by the professional scientists with real credentials and real credibility. To be skeptical about the epistemology of science… when the science itself among the pros with real credentials IS THE DEBATE… is counter-productive to genuine knowledge. Agreed? Some of these esoteric scientific ideas (arrived at by the pros and available to us laymen and amateurs only third- and fourth-hand… or separated by even greater degrees) include eukaryotic cell theory, the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics, the synthesis of genetics with Darwinian natural selection, Newtonian physics. The scientific idea that is pertinent to our discussion that is not settled is the existential threat that AGW poses. If we want to discuss it rationally, I suggest a good beginning might be my follow up on your request to present a paper worthy of discussing and then discussing it. Is this acceptable to you?

        I have tried to expand the conversation toward cordiality, namely shared credibility (since I assume we are both laymen and amateurs) and common ground understanding of the science. I guess you consider such an attempt as a waste of time. That’s fine. Until we do have some shared understanding though, I consider further discussion futile.

        You have previously brought up the poster “Sky Hunter” and that you two have come to some sort of agreement about mistakes. (If you make it a point of trying to correct all the mistakes in commentary on articles online I’m afraid you have a gargantuan task ahead of you 😉 Maybe you are only concerned with some people’s mistakes?) Maybe you have a degree of respect, therefore, with Sky Hunter and you two could discuss the anthropogenic in CAGW fanaticism. He is a better source of information than I am anyway, seeing that he has much more thorough knowledge of important subject matter than me. I hope that you can strike up a good rapport with him.

        Sorry for the length of this post. I’m really just trying to be friendly and courteous, in spite of lasting disagreement over something that deeply matters to both of us. I’m looking forward to the reply.

      • S Graves

        You said; “Sorry for the length of this post. I’m really just trying to be friendly and courteous, in spite of lasting disagreement over something that deeply matters to both of us. I’m looking forward to the reply.”

        And you go further; “I have tried to expand the conversation toward cordiality, namely shared credibility (since I assume we are both laymen and amateurs) and common ground understanding of the science.”

        Slabaugh…with respect to you platitudes here, how do you reconcile them with this that you have said elsewhere about me to Stone just within the last couple of days? “When deniers are not able to be educated (plain old stupidity due to cognitive dissonance?), ridicule is appropriate and even necessary. Good continued success!”

        You see, Slaybaugh, when you play silly word games you will usually be caught out, as you are here. It makes you appear perfidious.

        My point in contesting issues with CB, Stoner and you is to simply point out the methods of exaggeration, misdirection, efforts at mockery, etc., employed by…yes…fanatics of CAGW. I don’t blame you for not wanting to address the shortcomings in their anti-science nonsense.

      • Gary Slabaugh

        But I do blame you for your shortcomings, esp your anti-scientific close minded denial of the anthropogenic in AGW. The fact that you make this overly personal (such as my posts to others, specifically about denialism in the name of scientific skepticism, when it is plain that none of this is commentary is professional dialogue among those with bona fide credentials)… instead of dealing with what is most pertinent, namely my invitation (or rather me taking you up on your invitation) to discuss a scientific paper.

        And I do blame you for focusing on such inanities as fanaticism, misdirection, perfidy, etc (esp when such things are to be expected when confronting an existential threat) when you could stand by a previous commitment to rationally discuss a bona fide scientific paper published in a scientific journal by a professional scientist. I guess you simply enjoy scoring imaginary rhetorical points. More is the pity.

      • S Graves

        “…esp your anti-scientific close minded denial of the anthropogenic in AGW.” Demonstrate to me that’s my position. Actually, you can’t. I have never stated my position on these boards but only challenge the anti-science statement of blind followers. You can only infer based upon your own biases.

        “And I do blame you for focusing on such inanities as fanaticism, misdirection, perfidy, etc…”. Yes…not good to call people on their efforts to attack others and misstate the science. Just let them go…right, GS?

      • Gary Slabaugh

        If you have never stated your position, is it because you are afraid to? Are you officially neutral, but think that you are stating the science accurately? Do you get to call others on their mistakes, but you are always correct? You don’t ever engage in “attack” do you? Only lesser beings? Or only when you are provoked by being attacked first? See how fun focusing on the inane is?

        “Blind followers” of what, my rhetorical debate philiac? CAGW? Where do you get your “unbiased” information on “CAGW”? Why don’t you share some synthesis source materials? Can you?

        Why are you running away from discussing a scientific paper? esp when I responded to your invitation to discuss one? Shall I simply let you go on obfuscation on your part? Or did I misstate your intentions? Do I need to go through your posts in order to quote you accurately and give you the time and date of your invitation? Isn’t inanity insanely interesting?

      • S Graves

        ” Do I need to go through your posts in order to quote you accurately and give you the time and date of your invitation?”

      • Gary Slabaugh

        Of all the questions, this is the one you don’t run away from. The one which requires the least work on your part.

        How very insightful of your persona!

        If you cannot remember the content of your posts to me, you make me remember them for you. How childish! It seems to me simply another excuse to practice avoidance, SG.

      • S Graves

        GS…remember, I clearly demonstrated that you are disingenuous. You say one thing to my face and something else about me to others on these boards. I have shown you…in your own words…to be a beguiling but deceptive in your patronizing approach. Now WHY would I want to hold a conversation with you about ANYTHING? But it IS fun…and funny…to watch you in your feckless attempts to goad me into engaging in your nonsense.

      • Gary Slabaugh

        Run away, SG, run away. As long as you can conclude my moral inferiority (disingenuous, beguiling, deceptive, patronizing) it allows you to assume a high moral ground you simply do not hold. Going back on your word to discuss a scientific paper is an example of your clear and present ineffectiveness as a debater.

        My attempts to engage are met by your refusal to do so. Discussing science is about as far from “nonsense” as I can imagine.

        /s No doubt your superior morality, integrity, and intellect allows your point of view to dominate.

      • S Graves

        “No doubt your superior morality, integrity, and intellect allows your point of view to dominate.” With respect to you and your disingenuous and gratuitous niceties, I possess all those characteristics, your /s notwithstanding. You are now boring, GS.

      • Gary Slabaugh

        Why are you re-engaging? The characteristic you most possess is being a lying poseur. Or did you decide to man up and swim in the shark tank of the great debate with me.

        And you are tiresome, SG. You run away from direct questions that are the basis of the great debate. Worse than that, you lack the integrity to keep to your own word. Disgraceful!

        What I said to your face was that I actually like you and it would be cool to be friendly. Now I am changing my mind. It’s extremely difficult to be that way with a liar and a pseudoscientific fraud.

        Even worse than your personal dishonesty, is your refusal to engage in the authentic debate. Instead of that, you play small-minded, nit-picky games while acknowledging your unwillingness to take a stand. Talk about disingenuous!

        You could redeem yourself instead of hiding behind pretentious sanctimonious character traits. Such BS on your part is typical, yet nauseating. Grow up!

      • webucsusa

        At this point we must ask both commenters to please refrain from further commenting on this thread, as it is violating our comment policy (see below). Thanks for your engagement.

      • Gary Slabaugh

        You are welcome. My apologies for my part of the conversation becoming uncivil, toxic, disrespectful. Appreciate the moderation and will adjust my behavior accordingly at any future date. And thanks for the blog and the articles.

      • S Graves


      • Gary Slabaugh

        SG, the moderator below asked us to stick to the topic of the article and to abide by the comment policy. This is my attempt to do so. The article concludes: [The Commonwealth of Virginia] desperately needs ambitious efforts to cut carbon emissions to help slow the pace of climate change and sea level rise.” Do you deny that carbon emissions are contributing to sea level rise and are forcing climate change?

        I don’t think that continuing to discuss fecklessness or a disingenuous attitude is within the scope of this site’s comment policy. If I do attempt to goad you, it’s for the purpose of getting you to admit to a STAND re campaigns to undermine public confidence in scientific opinion on climate change.

        Maybe it’s time for both of us to grow up and re-engage on a more civil playing field. If anything our verbiage demonstrates that two people engaged in an ideological debate over an existential threat are going to use fighting words, logical fallacies, emotional appeals, etc to try to make a point. Such is to be expected when discussing cognitive dissonance and fanaticism, no? Want to bury the hatchet and move on?

        If you want an apology for the comments that I made to another poster in another thread to another article (which commentary you inferred was a behind-the-back insult to you) about climate change denial… I apologize. I do not apologize for asserting that anti-scientific, closed-minded denials ARE IN FACT unintelligible propositions.

        If you do decide to re-engage on this thread (unless it is closed) or another I would say that I am proud of your ability to man up and possibly even to be forgiving and conciliatory.


      • Gary Slabaugh

        Copied from a discus response

        S Graves a month ago

        “So…as I have asked before, what’s the “theory”? Better classed a hypothesis? It must, in any case, be falsifiable. So just provide your favorite peer reviewed work that pulls the hundreds of billions in research, scores of hundreds of peer reviewed papers…all the reams of evidence…into a nice clear picture that is scientifically verifiable. Just your favorite ONE. Just one. With all the research, money, etc., someone must have succinctly put it all together…right? Just one peer review paper…and NOT the IPCC which does NO science themselves.”

        I take it the above post was not to be taken literally in terms of the numbers of papers involved. Would you like to run away from this paper the same way you have been accused of running away from any discussion in which you are directly put on the spot?

        My candidate paper is from the Journal “The Behavior Analyst” 2010, 33, 153-170; No.2 (Fall) “Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options” by Lonnie G. Thompson, The Ohio State University

      • S Graves

        Your answer is below you following post.

      • Gary Slabaugh

        RUN away and accept being disingenuous about the science. I’m chump change compared to the paper.

      • S Graves

        You’re chump change…period.

      • Gary Slabaugh

        /s Very mature. :-/

        Try to stay on the topic of discussing a scientific paper, if you please

      • S Graves

        Slabaugh…you don’t tell the truth. I demonstrated it to you in your own words. You direct ad hominem against to others away from our discussion and then play nice to me. You are disingenuous. I’m not interested in this discussion with you. I find people who do what you have done to be boring. But your inane and actually obsessive efforts to engage after me telling you I’m not interested is entertaining…in a pathetic way.
        Time to move on. If you ever discuss anything other than your inane sophistry perhaps we can re-engage.

      • S Graves

        How do you reconcile what you have said previously, quote here, with the above?

        CB • 15 days ago Tues, 3-27-14 3:56 PM

        Yes, during the Eocene-Oligocene transition roughly 34 million years ago, polar ice caps formed with levels of CO₂ at roughly twice today’s levels, or around 800PPM.

        You see, CB, when you claim that they actually FORMED and, as you have also said, lasted a few million years at least, it’s had to now claim the opposite.

        Can you cite a single peer reviewed work that actually predicts what you are claim will occur wrt total polar meltdown and billions of people suffering. I don’t believe you will find a single scientist that predicts what you do…therefore, you apparently just made that up.

      • CB

        You haven’t produced a single peer-reviewed citation. Without a peer-reviewed citation, you give people no reason to believe you.

        Here is peer-reviewed evidence polar ice caps persisted for 800,000 years with CO₂ under 400PPM:

        If you think polar ice caps persisted with CO₂ over 400PPM, please provide the following 3 things:

        1. A point in time before 1750CE polar ice caps were able to withstand levels of CO₂ over 400PPM.
        2. The length of time these ice caps persisted.
        3. The peer-reviewed paper from which you get this information.

        Because you have a habit of spamming threads about climate science with non sequitur and unsupported claims, if you cannot provide all three of these things or admit my characterisation of the history is accurate, you will be ignored. I note in advance your failure to do so.

      • S Graves

        CB…you stated; “…why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?” Your post above is clearly a misguided effort at misdirection.

        I asked you for the science. You provided a citation that covers 800ky. Do you somehow believe that is the extent of the “Earth’s history of polar ice caps”? That would be a yes or no. If it yes…well, what can I say. If it’s no…provide the peer reviewed work to support your claim about ice caps and the “Earth’s history”. Simple as that.
        Why do you somehow believe I should do your homework for you?