Energy roundup March 29, 2011

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
By Marita Noon
Posted on Mar. 28, 2011

On Sunday, March 20, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, dodged questions about his support of high gas prices while admitting that they would go up—saying the administration is working to take the “pain out of high gas prices.” A week earlier, the day of Japan’s catastrophic earthquake, President Obama held a press conference on gas prices in which he bragged about “producing more oil and importing less,” claiming to be moving on an energy strategy that pursues “more energy production” and increases access to “secure energy supplies.”

These statements would leave us to believe that the administration cares about the “pain” of high energy prices Americans are facing and wants a secure “energy future.” Instead they are a distraction from the true actions of the administration that block access to America’s energy.

Space does not permit a thorough review of the energy killing policies, but here’s a sampling of the administration’s actions indicative of the breadth of sources, agencies, and locales. (Energy Tribune)

Koch-linked group serves notice on Senate EPA vote
By Ben Geman

A conservative group that spent heavily in the 2010 elections is pushing Senate lawmakers to vote this week in favor of stripping the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. (E2 Wire)

Manufacturing industry targets vulnerable senators in ads blasting EPA rules
By Andrew Restuccia

The manufacturing industry launched a series of television and radio advertisements Monday blasting Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed in part at a handful of senators facing tough reelection bids.

The campaign, orchestrated by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), features ads in Arkansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania. (E2 Wire)

Energy Debates in Wonderland: Let’s Go for the Kill Against GasWind (Part I)
by Jon Boone

Energy journalist Robert Bryce in Power Hungry foretells an electricity future anchored by natural gas that will bridge the transition to nuclear power. His third book in less than a decade, Bryce is now a leading light of the energy policy debate, appearing regularly on op-ed pages and on news shows.

Bryce recently participated in two debates. In one hosted by The Economist, he argued for the proposition that “natural gas will do more than renewables to limit the world’s carbon emissions.” In a second debate, an Intelligence Squared forum sponsored by the Rosenkranz Foundation, Bryce and American Enterprise Institute scholar Steven Hayward argued against the proposition that “Clean Energy can drive America’s economic recovery.” (MasterResource)

Are environmentalists an obstacle to clean energy production?
By John Rossomando

The Obama administration has set a target of having 80 percent of America’s electricity come from “clean energy sources” by 2035, but ironically one of the biggest obstacles to this goal could come from within the environmental movement itself.

From coast to coast, efforts to build everything from wind farms to solar plants has run afoul of local environmental groups and the “Not In My Backyard” (NIMBY) phenomenon. Pro-environmental journals, such as the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, as well as business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have each cataloged this trend.

“Often, many of the same groups urging us to think globally about renewable energy are acting locally to stop the very same renewable energy projects that could create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Bill Kovacs, senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wrote in the introduction of the group’s recent “Project, No Project” report. “NIMBY activism has blocked more renewable projects than coal-fired power plants by organizing local opposition, changing zoning laws, opposing permits, filing lawsuits, and using other long delay mechanisms, effectively bleeding projects dry of their financing.” (Daily Caller)

Anti-wind challenge will forge ahead

BY LEE GREENBERG, OTTAWA

TORONTO — Anti-wind campaigners in Ontario will forge ahead with their legal challenge against turbines, the group says.

Wind Concerns Ontario, a grassroots organization, says it will appeal a Superior Court decision earlier in March that ruled against its challenge to the province’s Green Energy Act regulations.

The anti-wind activists say Ontario’s environment ministry failed to properly assess the human health risks of turbines, which they believe emit low-frequency noise that causes sleeplessness and an array of other effects, ranging from psychiatric conditions to cardiovascular disease.

At the centre of the dispute is a government regulation that states turbines must be at least 550 meters from the nearest house. Opponents believe this “setback” is insufficient. (Ottawa Citizen)

EU plans to ban all petrol and diesel cars from cities to force drivers to go ‘green’

The vast majority of British motorists will be outlaws in their own land under controversial new EU plans to ban petrol and diesel powered cars from cities.

But critics said the latest Brussels blueprint to force people into ‘green’ cars, slash dependence on oil and tackle climate change, was bamboozling drivers and taking the European Union into “the realms of fantasy”.

The European Commission says its plan to drive out ‘conventionally fuelled’ petrol and diesel cars within 40 years and replace them with ‘clean’ alternatives such as electric or hydrogen powered vehicles is necessary to save the planet. (Daily Mail)

German nuclear backlash means more coal power -EU

* Commissioner says coal to fill gaps left by nuclear
* RWE exec says gas, renewables too expensive for baseload

By Vera Eckert

BERLIN, March 28 – The political backlash against nuclear power in Germany means power generation will rely more on coal-fired plants, Europe’s Energy Commissioner said on Monday.

“There will be more coal power … with consequences for CO2 emissions,” Guenther Oettinger, a former premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg state where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives lost power on Sunday, told Reuters in Berlin.

“That will have to be taken into account,” he added. (Reuters)

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