via Jo Nova
EPA Funds Green Groups That Sue The Agency To Expand
By JOHN MERLINE, INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
When the Environmental Protection Agency said in late June that it would force Western coal-fired power plants to install haze-reducing pollution-control equipment at a cost of $1.5 billion a year, it said it had to in order to settle a lawsuit by environmental groups.
One organization involved in the suit, the Environmental Defense Fund, has a long history of taking the EPA to court. In fact, a cursory review finds almost half a dozen cases in the past 10 years.
The odd thing is that the EPA, in turn, has handed EDF $2.76 million in grants over that same period, according to an IBD review of the agency’s grant database.
This strange relationship goes well beyond EDF. Indeed, several environmental groups that have received millions in EPA grants regularly file suit against that same agency. A dozen green groups were responsible for more than 3,000 suits against the EPA and other government agencies over the past decade, according to a study by the Wyoming-based Budd-Falen Law Offices.
The EPA even tacitly encourages such suits, going so far as to pay for and promote a “Citizen’s Guide” that, among other things, explains how to sue the agency under “citizen suit” provisions in environmental laws. The guide’s author — the Environmental Law Institute — has received $9.9 million in EPA grants over the past decade.
And, to top it off, critics say the EPA often ends up paying the groups’ legal fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. (IBD)
New Rochelle, NY, July, 6, 2011—Once broken, a compact fluorescent light bulb continuously releases mercury vapor into the air for weeks to months, and the total amount can exceed safe human exposure levels in a poorly ventilated room, according to study results reported in Environmental Engineering Science, a peer-reviewed online only journal published monthly by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com). The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/ees
A Climate Change Dissenter Who Has Left His Mark on U.S. Policy
By JOHN J. FIALKA
BOSTON — Richard Lindzen is 71. His career as professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is winding down. The rumpled, bearded, soft-spoken scientist no longer teaches regular classes and looks forward to a quiet retirement a year from now, perhaps at his second home, in Paris.
“Quiet” is not a word you could apply to his career. In the 1970s, he developed a mathematical analysis that disproved much of the accepted scientific theories about how “tides” in the Earth’s atmosphere move heat around the planet. For that, he won a number of prestigious awards and was invited to become a member of the National Academy of Sciences at the tender age of 37.
In the 1990s, when a group of climate scientists using computer-driven climate models and environmental groups asserted that climate change caused by man-made greenhouse gases would dangerously warm the Earth, Lindzen set out to disprove them. He lost that battle. The message of the computer modelers is now the prevailing wisdom of the National Academy and other distinguished scientific bodies around the world.
But Lindzen hasn’t given up. He became a major force in the political war that raged within the incoming George W. Bush Administration over what to do about global warming. After holding seminars with leading climate scientists, Bush rejected U.S. participation in the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Lindzen’s message in these tutorials — that man-caused global warming was real, but would hardly cause any change at all — was the one that Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared to favor the most. U.S. climate policy hasn’t been the same since. (Climate Wire)
Republican spending measure would block EPA climate rules
By Andrew Restuccia and Ben Geman
A fiscal 2012 spending bill unveiled Wednesday by House Republican appropriators includes a policy rider that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and refineries for one year.
It is the latest effort by the House GOP to delay the agency’s climate regulations, which Republicans and some Democrats argue will impose huge costs on the economy. (E2 Wire)
A top House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican said Wednesday that he plans to finish crafting legislation in mid-July that would delay upcoming EPA air toxics rules for power plants, and hopes for some Democratic co-sponsors.
“We are going to have [the bill] out soon,” said Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the panel’s Energy and Power Subcommittee. (E2 Wire)
GOP bill weakens light bulb efficiency law
By Andrew Restuccia
House Republicans plan to bring to the floor next week legislation that would water down a provision in a 2007 energy law that requires light bulbs to be more energy efficient. (E2 Wire)
Who would possibly have thought it? The latest news is that the world may be threatened by a sharp drop in temperatures, possibly so severe that it could herald a new mini ice age.
And one reason being put forward for this is that all the pollution being chucked out by thousands of coal-fired power stations may be blocking the sun’s heat from the Earth.
by WILLIAM YEATMAN on JULY 6, 2011
Swiss Re, one of two global re-insurance titans, yesterday issued a report, “The hidden risks of climate change: An increase in property damage from drought and soil subsidence in Europe,” suggesting that global warming could “magnify” the risks of property damage caused by soil subsidence. In 2010, the other global re-insurance titan, Munich Re, concluded that, “The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change.” (Cooler Heads)
I must admit that this is a topic that I continually struggle with. I’m sure I’m not the only one, and that in years to come diligent young historians will be earning their PhDs off the same question: how is that the ruling elites in the West bought in so totally into the whole anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory. And, despite the increasing scepticism of electorates and the growing number of scientists willing to admit to doubts as the evidence grows ever weaker, our politicians shown no signs of coming to their senses. If anything the mania seems to be getting worse as they bet everything on windfarms, solar energy and cutting CO2 emissions.
So why is it? Now there are some who survey the scene and conclude that it only makes sense in the context of some grand conspiracy. You know the score. Evil one worlders out to impose a de facto UN government under cover of saving the planet. They’ll even point the finger at specific individuals, like Maurice Strong, as being behind this conspiracy. But, I’m afraid that being a sceptic means remaining sceptical about conspiracies too. Sure, the IPCC, the major scientific societies, huge chunks of academia, almost the entire mass media and so on are completely over-run by warmista comrades, but that doesn’t make for a conspiracy. Instead I see networks of mutual aid and support, all buying in because that’s where the money and the prestige lie.
Absenting a conspiracy, is there another explanation? (Progressive Contrarian)
Climate change will increase threat of war, Chris Huhne to warn
UK climate secretary to tell defence experts that conflict caused by climate change risks reversing the progress of civilisation
Climate change will lead to an increased threat of wars, violence and military action against the UK, and risks reversing the progress of civilisation, the energy and climate secretary Chris Huhne will say on Thursday, in his strongest warning yet that the lack of progress on greenhouse gas emission cuts would damage the UK’s national interests. (Guardian)
500 polluters spared tax on carbon
JULIA Gillard’s decision to exclude fuel has narrowed the reach of the carbon tax to about 500 companies – half the “1000 biggest polluters” the Prime Minister insisted should pay.
Government sources cited the fuel decision as the major reason the reach of the scheme had been pared back to cover fewer companies than the 700-800 that would have been liable to pay for emissions under Kevin Rudd’s aborted 2009 carbon pollution reduction scheme. (The Australian)
By P Gosselin on 4. Juli 2011
German solar skeptic website SOLARKRITIK.DE here provides the background on the rundown, weed-covered solar facility in former communist (and now “green”) East Germany, which I presented in my last post here.
It’s much worse than we thought. The story behind the above photo and the project itself appears here at the online Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper. The facility is sprawled over an area of 20 acres. The Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper wrote just before the facility went into operation: (No Tricks Zone)
Wind Development in North Carolina
By John Droz, Jr.
What is going on in NC appears to be indicative of what is going on almost everywhere — so this is an exceptional case study. This is what I have been able to uncover on my own, by talking to officials in the Elizabeth City community, communicating with about two dozen key state agency people, plus reviewing the documents posted on such sites as the NC Utilities Commission.
This whole matter is precipitated because NC is mandating extensively more wind energy through its Renewable Energy Standard. This in itself is an extraordinary matter that has escaped critical journalistic scrutiny. If renewable energies are so beneficial and cost competitive (which are the claims of their lobbyists) WHY would the state FORCE their utilities (and citizens) to use these?
This action came about due to the exceptional influence of lobbyists, and any benefit to North Carolina taxpayers, ratepayers or the environment is inadvertent. (Energy Tribune)
Three U.S. senators working on a framework to replace the $6 billion a year ethanol tax credit with far less costly incentives could strike a deal as soon as Thursday, Senate and industry sources said.
The agreement would be a significant step toward reforms for ethanol subsidies, but would offer some assistance to the ethanol industry as it loses the lucrative benefit.
“We are very close to a deal,” Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, one of three senators working on the deal, said on Wednesday.
“A deal is likely as early as tomorrow,” a Congressional aide with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters.
China will reform its export of rare earths based in part on World Trade Organization rules, state media reported on Wednesday, a day after the global trade governing body ruled against its curbs on exports. (Reuters)
An underwater bonanza of rare earth deposits discovered by Japanese scientists poses little threat to miners already developing major rare earth projects on solid ground.
Companies such as Molycorp, Lynas and Avalon Rare Metals may rest assured that developing the offshore bounty could take decades and cost billions, making it little more than a pipe dream, analysts say. (Reuters)
Mmmaybe… but deepwater oil & gas, “tight gas” and extraction from shale deposits were “pipe dreams” not too long ago. Just sayin…
Airline opposition to carbon trading another blow against EU system
The European Union’s plan to force international airlines to participate in its emissions trading scheme (ETS), thus lumbering them with additional costs, has run into severe turbulence.
On Tuesday, led by the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), a number of major airlines and airline trade associations, including the National Airlines Council of Canada, sought to overturn what amounts to a new EU climate tax at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. China has taken an even harder line, threatening a trade war by imposing countervailing taxes, blocking routes or holding up aircraft orders from European aerospace giant Airbus.
While the EU seeks to spread its self-inflicted climate-fighting pain to others, however, it seems to be losing conviction that policy masochism is such a great idea. As the airlines were taking the EU to court, the European Parliament was voting against a plan to increase EU emissions reduction targets from 20% below 1990 levels to 30% below those levels by 2020.
With Alice in Wonderland reasoning, countries that supported the tougher targets — including Britain and France — suggested that since Europe was in such economic bad shape, meeting the targets would be easier. On this basis, what is really needed is a complete collapse of the European economy, which is in fact what many climate catastrophists would appear to welcome. (Financial Post)