Threat of carbon tax blackouts: secret report
THE security of electricity supplies would be at risk and power prices would be likely to rise under a carbon price if assistance measures failed to prevent the financial collapse of coal-fired generators, a report has warned.
A tax on carbon emissions could undermine investments in new low-emissions generation, if the viability of generators was undermined, according to a confidential report by investment bank Morgan Stanley.
President Of Royal Society Bemoans Freedom Of Scientific Information
Thursday, 26 May 2011 07:32 Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill
It’s rather as if the science has taken a leave of absence from the Royal Society and only the scientists remain.
The Guardian has one of those articles with no comments thread, usually a sure sign that they have written something…disputable. The subject is an interview they have done with Sir Paul Nurse about FOI and scientific research. You can probably guess the contents. (GWPF)
Still Hiding The Decline?
Boxer plans hearing on new climate report
By Ben Geman – 05/26/11 01:31 PM ET
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is planning a hearing to review the latest in a string of major reports that sounds the alarm about human-induced climate change.
Boxer tells The Hill that the panel will hold a hearing soon on a National Academy of Sciences report issued earlier this month that Congress requested. (E2 Wire)
Sound, Fury And The Policy Of Climate Change
Obama’s Offshore Drilling Policy: Nil baby Nil
By Art Horn
In April the EPA was handed a convincing defeat. The House voted 255 to 172 with 5 voting present to pass House Resolution 910 which is “To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.” From here the bill will have to go the Senate where it faces an uphill battle. Be very clear that the Obama administration has no intention of taking this defeat lying down. When the president realized that his first choice to control carbon dioxide emissions was dead he responded with “Cap and Trade was just one way of skinning the cat, it’s not the only way.” The president has every intention of finding that other way. (Energy Tribune)
Fracking’s Only Drawback: Rampant Rent-Seeking
Electricity: The Master Master Resource
by Robert Bradley Jr.
May 26, 2011
“Great are the powers of electricity,” commented a newspaper story in the late 19th century about the fascinating new energy source. “It makes millionaires. It paints devils’ tails in the air and floats placidly in the waters of the earth. It hides in the air. It creeps into every living thing.”
Electricity is the most utilitarian of energies and the master form of the master resource, as explained below by leading experts and even some critics of energy. Just ask residential users, commercial establishments, or the manufacturing facilities if they want to pay more or less for power.
And so it was distressing to hear Barack Obama in a moment of ‘green’ candor declare that electricity prices would “skyrocket” under a cap-and-trade program to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In his exact words and phrasing from November 2008:
You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.
Lawmakers may back electric cars bill: White House advisor
U.S. lawmakers may be able to pass a small energy package this year focused on popular measures such as electric cars and energy efficiency, White House energy adviser Heather Zichal said on Wednesday. (Reuters)
On Green Energy: Italy and the Eco-Mafia
By Kenneth P. Green
The Mafia like ‘green jobs,’ but Italians shouldn’t.
Part of a series on “green jobs” in Europe, this article focuses on Italy. Italy has been another early European leader in wind and solar power deployment. But a study performed by Luciano Lavecchia and Carlo Stagnaro of Italy’s Bruno Leoni Institute found serious problems with the Italian experience; in particular, that capital spent on green energy was vastly less efficient at creating jobs.
Finally, we have compared the average stock of capital per worker in the RES [Renewable Energy Sector] with the average stock of capital per worker in the industry and the entire economy, finding an average ratio of 6.9 and 4.8, respectively. To put it otherwise, the same amount of capital that creates one job in the green sector, would create 6.9 or 4.8 if invested in the industry or the economy in general, respectively—although differences exist between RES themselves, with wind power more likely to create jobs than PV power. This fact is particularly relevant because we didn’t even consider the non-trivial value of the renewable energy produced, but we focused on pure subsidies. If we had considered the energy value, the average stock of capital per worker would result even higher. Since subsidies are forcibly taken away from the economic cycle and allocated for political purposes, it is especially important to have a clear vision of what consequences they beg. (The American)
Analysis: Bidding war heats up for low U.S. corn supplies
A bidding war is heating up among users of corn in the United States as livestock feeders and ethanol makers scramble to lock in supplies before extremely low stocks run dry by this summer.
Reading Can Also Make You Dumb
By Christian Stöcker
The Internet makes us stupid. It robs us of our souls, leads to a flattening of our personalities and reduces our attention spans. This nonsense is now being spouted from an unexpected source: Bill Keller, the executive editor of the Internet-savvy New York Times. (Spiegel)
Quebec backs down on 2,4-D, says it is not harmful to humans
Terence Corcoran May 26, 2011
Dow scores NAFTA challenge victory over famous herbicide. What about BPA?
The details have yet to emerge, but Dow AgroSciences says it has settled a NAFTA challenge case with Ottawa over the pesticide 2,4-D. As part of agreement, a victory for the company, the government of Quebec has agreed to a statement saying the pesticides used chemical does “not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.” (Financial Post)
Regulatory review plans: A look at EPA, DOI and DOE
By Andrew Restuccia – 05/26/11 10:45 AM ET
The White House on Thursday released a series of long-awaited regulatory review plans mandated by President Obama under a January executive order that called for all federal agencies to analyze their regulations to ensure they are not “outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.”
E2 will have more on the plans soon, but in the meantime, here’s a quick overview. (E2 Wire)
EPA Gives Money to China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection
Normally, in exchange for a loan, you agree to pay the bank the principal borrowed along with interest. You would never think of then giving the money back to the bank so that the bank could remodel, sweep the parking lot, or buy cases of those squiggly government-approved light bulbs. If the bank wants to do that, they can pay for it themselves.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does things differently. While the People’s Republic of China holds over $1.1 trillion of our debt, EPA is busy giving grants to China (see here, here, here, here , here, and here). The Chinese grantees include their Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The Chinese would be stupid not to take the money and run. They get whatever the EPA is funding for free. Even if the Chinese don’t really want or need whatever it is, it’s revenue or salaries that make them richer and us poorer. On top of that, we pay them interest to take the money.
Could the EPA be less responsible with your hard-earned money? Unfortunately, yes. (The Foundry)
Lighting Specialists Stockpiling Incandescent Bulbs
by BRIAN MCGRAW on MAY 26, 2011
Via The New York Times
Unsurprisingly, the article takes a holier-than-thou tone towards those Americans who (*GASP*) won’t just roll over and let Washington bureaucrats tell us what’s best, and those who don’t feel that it is the government’s business to tell them what kind of lighting they can use in their home.
However, this attack on us mere commoners who actually appreciate consumer freedom runs into a problem: many hotshot interior decorators and lighting specialists also like the incandescent bulbs, thus the stockpiling. It’s an interesting contrast — it is okay for experts who appreciate light to stockpile incandescent bulbs but everyone else is overreacting, possibly succumbing to the right-wing media machine: (Cooler Heads)
by Ben Pile on Thursday, May 26, 2011
I have an article up on Spiked-Online today, about the Third Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability and their mock-trial of humanity.
The ‘trial’ was merely a stunt, of course, designed to make a stuffy, pompous and self-serving enterprise such as this more appealing to the media and the hoi polloi it sought to prosecute. It was one of a number of sessions at the event, each intended to qualify the sustainability agenda with the expertise of its participants. But this circle-jerk, show-trial symposium revealed far more about its members and the hollowness of the sustainability agenda than it revealed about humanity.
The Laureates and their pals seem to want to create political institutions at all levels of government to enforce the entire human race’s observation of the sustainability agenda. This is legitimised, on their view, by their own expertise (“science”, they say, though even they admit that their knowledge is incomplete) and the end-of-the-world scenarios it foresees. It is not legitimised, as we’d expect, on a democratic basis of popular assent — agreement with its values, principles, perspective. However hard environmentalists try to claim that theirs is not a political agenda, there is no escaping the fact that, whatever the basis of their argument in facts, their aims are political. (Climate Resistance)
Jane Fonda’s brother called POTUS a traitor without a trace of irony, union hippies are geographically challenged and UVA may be exposed to some sunshine disinfectant in the near future. (Daily Bayonet)
EPA’s green tyranny stifles America
By: Rich Trzupek 05/25/11 8:05 PM
When carbon cap-and-trade legislation officially died in Congress last year, many environmentalists lamented defeat while coal and oil proponents celebrated victory. As a scientist who has been working in the environmental industry for decades, I found both reactions misguided. Subsequent events have — I am sorry to say — proven me right. Thanks to the most aggressive and radicalized Environmental Protection Agency in history, the Obama administration is strangling America’s energy sector in the name of greenhouse gas reduction.