Daily Archives: October 4, 2011

Sen. Inhofe: Obama’s EPA Waging War on Fossil Fuels

Sen. Inhofe: Obama’s EPA Waging War on Fossil Fuels
John Rossomando 10/03/2011

Job creation has been all over President Obama’s lips in the past few weeks, but GOP opponents say his Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on fossil fuels is costing the economy far more than the estimated $447 billion price tag of his jobs proposal.

“The President of the United States wants to destroy American energy,” said Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee. “His intention is to kill fossil fuels, which we rely on for 99% of the energy in America.

“All of this killing of our energy supply is not by accident. It’s on purpose.”

Continue reading

The Obama administration gets a lot wrong, but it does seem to be getting more clear-headed about oil

Good For Canada And Us

Energy: Environmentalists are making a last stand against the Keystone XL pipeline with a scare campaign about groundwater. Time to review the facts and let the project proceed.

The Obama administration gets a lot wrong, but it does seem to be getting more clear-headed about oil.

Continue reading

EUC dances to greenies’ anti-energy tune, UK likely to veto

EU Commission Agrees Specific CO2 Value For Oil Sands – Source
Alessandro Torello

BRUSSELS–The European Union executive body has agreed to propose that oil extracted from sands should be treated as a dirtier fuel when compared with conventional oil, in a move set to add to an ongoing spat with Canada, a major producer of oil extracted from sands in Alberta. (Dow Jones)

Britain May Veto Green Plans To Ban Tar Sands, Shale Gas
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 20:29 Fiona Harvey, The Guardian

Fuel from oil sands projects would face effective ban under EU proposals, but UK government likely to veto green plan

Continue reading

UK should celebrate shale gas and France bans it (until after the looming election)

Shale Gas Discovery Should Be A Cause For Celebration In UK
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 11:51 Robin Mills, The National

The prize of European shale gas is in sight. The question is whether it will become the subject of further politicised, unwinnable ideological battles, or a driver of environmental, economic and geopolitical revival. (GWPF)

France to Keep Fracking Ban to Protect Environment, Sarkozy Says
Continue reading

Omitted Costs, Inflated Benefits: Renewable Energy Policy in Ontario

Ontario’s Power Trip: The $4,000 electricity bill
Electricity rates will double, making them among the highest in the developed world
By Glenn Fox and Parker Gallant

While attending an Energy Probe board of directors meeting almost a year ago (we are both directors), several of us around the table — as might be expected — discussed the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act and wondered aloud about the hidden costs associated with the act. Some speculated that the act might lead to a doubling of Ontario’s power rates. Could that possibly be true? (Financial Post)

An albatross named Solyndra

GOP Aims to Taint Bluedog Dems With Solyndra Scandal

During the 2010 election cycle, Republicans earned a surprising amount of traction with an attack ad that hit Democratic incumbents for supporting stimulus spending that ended up funding windmill manufacturing in China.

In 2012, Solyndra could be the new Chinese windmills.

Continue reading

Was this solar energy company absolution for George Kaiser’s oil money?

Solyndra and a Billionaire’s Guilt Trip
Was this solar energy company absolution for George Kaiser’s oil money?

On Wall Street this week protesters dressed as “corporate zombies” are lashing out against corporate greed. If the unfolding Solyndra scandal is any clue, however, maybe someone should ask about the high price we pay when corporate leaders indulge their feelings of guilt.

No one has spoken more frankly about guilt than billionaire George Kaiser, whose family nonprofit was Solyndra’s largest stakeholder. Mr. Kaiser first went public with his guilt in a Rotary Club speech two years ago. There he explained his charitable giving this way:

“It starts with a sense of guilt we should all feel,” he said. “We got to where we are by dumb luck.”

By dumb luck, Mr. Kaiser means that he was born to a caring father who founded an oil business, now known as Kaiser-Francis Oil. Mr. Kaiser took the company over in 1969 and also bought a bank that is now the BOK Financial Corporation. Together oil and banking have made him one of the world’s wealthiest men.

Now, you might suppose that a billionaire whose wealth comes from the progressive world’s two most villainous industries might find himself on the outs with an administration that routinely attacks billionaires, oil companies and bankers. You would, however, be wrong. In fact the record shows that Mr. Kaiser—a top Obama bundler during the last presidential campaign—was welcomed to the White House 16 times over the past two years.

That’s where the now-bankrupt Solyndra comes in. (WSJ)

Merkel suggests cutting solar subsidies further

Merkel suggests cutting solar subsidies further

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday solar energy subsidies should be reduced, and it could make more sense in the future to draw solar energy from places like Greece, where the sun shined longer. (Reuters)

Subsidy farmers seek more unaffordable largess

Renewable energy: Subsidy cuts cause crisis of confidence
By Peter Wise

A winning combination of natural advantages, powerful utilities and public policy has made Spain a world leader in renewable energy. But a government decision to make retroactive cuts in one of the guaranteed subsidies that have helped drive this green revolution raises serious questions for the future of Spanish energy policy.

The retroactive cuts in the subsidies paid to producers of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy announced last December came “at the worst possible moment, given the severe economic crisis affecting Spain”, says Miguel Salis, chief executive of N+1 Eolia, which manages Spain’s largest independent wind and solar PV operator. (Financial Times)

Government has no business mandating this nonsense in the first place

Certain biofuel mandates unlikely to be met by 2022; unless new technologies, policies developed

WASHINGTON — It is unlikely the United States will meet some specific biofuel mandates under the current Renewable Fuel Standard by 2022 unless innovative technologies are developed or policies change, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Research Council, which adds that the standard may be an ineffective policy for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving this standard would likely increase federal budget outlays as well as have mixed economic and environmental effects. (EurekAlert)

Ethanol Industry Reacts to NAS Report

Comment on this post Posted by Cindy Zimmerman – October 4th, 2011
The ethanol industry is challenging a new report from the National Academies of Science that questions the ability of the biofuels industry to meet current goals under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) and the ability of biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (DomesticFuel)

Demonstrating, once again, that consumers want vehicles and not bread boxes on wheels

September: SUV the Planet
October 4, 2011 5:30 P.M.
By Henry Payne

Under pressure from the White House, Ford removed an ad last month dissing the UAW bailout — an ad that had embarrassed an administration spinning the narrative that it had saved the industry. But with September’s sales numbers, there’s more egg on the White House face: The companies they rescued are prospering because they are selling giant, Obama-hated, gas-guzzling SUVs like hotcakes. (Planet Gore)

CO2 Science Volume 14 Number 40: 5 October 2011

The Effects of Climate Change on Infectious Diseases: Are they primarily positive, negative or neutral?

Journal Reviews
Interannual Variability of 20th-Century Climate in CMIP3 Models: How good is it? … or, perhaps more appropriately, how bad is it?

Warming of the Tropical Upper Troposphere: How do model simulations of the phenomenon compare with real-world observations?

A Ray of Light Cutting Through the Dark Pall of Flood Damages: Twenty Taiwanese researchers see what few have seen before.

Tibetan Plateau Vegetation: Past, Present and Future: What do we know about the region’s past and present vegetation? … and what does that knowledge suggest about the region’s future vegetation?

Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment and the Weathering of Soil Minerals: Does the former enhance the latter? … and why do we care?

Ocean Acidification Database
The latest addition of peer-reviewed data archived to our database of marine organism responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment is Blue Mussel [Mytilus edulis] (Bechmann et al., 2011). To access the entire database, click here.

Plant Growth Database
Our latest results of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature are: Canary Grass (Zhou et al., 2011) and Rice (Kim et al., 2011).

Medieval Warm Period Project
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 1015 individual scientists from 584 research institutions in 44 different countries … and counting! This issue’s Medieval Warm Period Record comes from Rumailiah River Floodplain, North-western Coast of Syria. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project’s database, click here.

World Temperatures Database
Back by popular demand and upgraded to allow patrons more choices to plot and view the data, we reintroduce the World Temperatures section of our website. Here, users may plot temperatures for the entire globe or regions of the globe. A newly added feature allows patrons the ability to plot up to six independent datasets on the same graph. Try it today. World Temperatures Database. (co2science.org)

Oh noes! Harvesting timber is environmentally friendly

Wood is the greenest building material, USDA says

A report from the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday found that using wood in building products yielded fewer greenhouse gases than other common building materials, such as concrete and steel. According to the report, which analyzed dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies, 2.1 tons of greenhouse gases were saved for each ton of carbon in wood products versus non-wood materials.

“This study confirms what many environmental scientists have been saying for years,” U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “Wood should be a major component of American building and energy design. The use of wood provides substantial environmental benefits, provides incentives for private landowners to maintain forest land, and provides a critical source of jobs in rural America.” (LA Times)

Marla Conehead discovers there’s, like, chemicals, in the earth’s crust – and they can be found in well water, too!

It’s elemental: Many private wells across U.S. are contaminated with arsenic and other elements
Marla Cone

In Nebraska, along the Platte River, it’s uranium. In Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, it’s arsenic. In California, boron. And in the Texas Panhandle, lithium. Throughout the nation, metals and other elements are tainting private drinking water wells at concentrations that pose a health concern. For one element – manganese – contamination is so widespread that water wells with excessive levels are found in all but just a few states. Arsenic, too, is a national problem, scattered in every region. In the first national effort to monitor well water for two dozen trace elements, geologists have discovered that 13 percent of untreated drinking water contains at least one element at a concentration that exceeds federal health regulations or guidelines. That rate far outpaces other contaminants, including industrial chemicals and pesticides. The most troubling finding involves the widespread contamination of private wells, which are unmonitored and unregulated. (EHN)

Credit where credit is due, the Toronto Star has this one right

Ending raw milk risk

Louis Pasteur was right — and so is an Ontario court ruling against the distribution and sale of potentially dangerous raw milk. Self-described advocates of “food freedom” may lament the finding against Grey County dairy farmer Michael Schmidt, and he vows to appeal. But public safety must come first.

The ruling by Justice Peter Tetley reverses an earlier, ill-judged decision that had allowed Schmidt to continue his raw milk operation on grounds that the farmer’s “cow share” cooperative did not violate health and safety regulations. While the sale of unpasteurized milk is banned in Ontario, farmers are allowed to drink their own product. Taking advantage of that, Schmidt had people buy a share of his cows and obtain raw milk as a result of their investment. Tetley didn’t accept that marketing dodge, and rightly so.

Almost 150 years ago Pasteur showed that heating milk to at least 63 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes kills harmful pathogens, including listeria, salmonella and E. coli. The procedure was so effective at saving lives it has become a standard public health practice. Indeed, Toronto was a leader in this area, passing a bylaw in 1915 requiring pasteurization of milk sold in the city (the Star played an important role in that campaign). Unfortunately, akin to the backlash against immunization, some people insist they’re better off without this protection. (The Star)