Daily Archives: October 5, 2011

Inhofe calls for reopening carbon finding in light of IG report

Inhofe calls for reopening carbon finding in light of IG report

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Link to Article

Inhofe Speech: Inhofe Calls for Hearing on Serious Flaws in EPA Endangerment Finding Process


One of the Senate’s top foes of U.S. EPA climate regulations said yesterday that a report last week by the agency’s inspector general was reason to reopen EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health.

The IG report did not cast doubt on the science EPA used to support the endangerment finding, but it did question EPA’s process for reviewing that science. EPA says it followed established procedure to the letter when preparing its finding.

The endangerment finding, finalized in 2009, forms the basis for all of EPA’s climate-related regulations, for both stationary sources and vehicles.

In his remarks yesterday on the Senate floor, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in particular questioned the agency’s use of data from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to support the endangerment finding.

“EPA’s findings rest in large measure on the IPCC assessments, and EPA appears to have accepted them wholesale,” said Inhofe, who serves as top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (EPW)

Roger Pielke Sr.: Erroneous Information In The Report “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes”

Erroneous Information In The Report “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes”

The EPA Office of the Inspector General published the report

“Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes,” dated September 26, 2011.

There has been discussion of this Report in the media, e.g. see and see, but I want to report here on a specific significant error that continually is told to policymakers. (Roger Pielke Sr.)

Shale gas panel offers olive branch to industry

Shale gas panel offers olive branch to industry
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

When a government task force said natural gas drilling wasn’t inherently dangerous to water supplies — but still urged tougher standards for the practice — most environmentalists said the industry had gotten a free pass.

Industry leaders, however, complained that the group had overlooked existing regulations and voluntary improvements — including best practices espoused by the American Petroleum Institute — that are already designed to make drilling safer.

Today, members of the panel defended their approach and offered an olive branch to gas producers.

“We’re not recommending that for the existing standard-setting groups, there be something new on top of that,” said Daniel Yergin, the head of IHS-CERA, and a member of the Energy Department’s shale gas advisory board at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. “We’re trying to create an ongoing process for discussion among the players and participants in this,” whether they are regulators, drillers or local residents. (fuelfix)

Hydraulic fracturing wrongly bears brunt of public concerns on shale gas development, expert says

Hydraulic fracturing wrongly bears brunt of public concerns on shale gas development, expert says

WASHINGTON — Hydraulic fracturing has wrongly been the focus of public concerns over growing natural gas development in the nation, members of a special Energy Department panel told a Senate Committee on Tuesday.

Though natural gas exploration can pose air and water pollution threats, the process of fracturing shale rock to free trapped natural gas thousands of feet below the ground should not be the primary concern, the panel’s experts told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

“Hydraulic fracturing has sort of become a bumper sticker for everything we have to watch out for,” said Mark D. Zoback, a Stanford University professor of geophysics who has been studying hydraulic fracturing for 30 years.
“The constant reference to hydraulic fracturing misrepresents” where the most significant environmental impacts could be, Zoback said.

Those potential impacts include well blowouts, leakage from faulty well casings and leakage and spills from areas containing flowback fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, he said. (NewsOK)

CCS farce blunders on

Carbon-Capture-and-Storage Projects Make “Measured Progress”

Despite a series of high-profile cancellations, projects to capture and store the carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and other sources are under construction (SciAm)

Peter Foster: Fuzzifying ­fossil subsidies

Peter Foster: Fuzzifying ­fossil subsidies
Oil and gas will beat green energy with or without subsidies

With green-energy policies proving increasingly costly and destructive, the attack on alleged fossil-fuel subsidies has been given a new slant: Now it’s all about confronting the global economic crisis.

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Only partly right – the correct course is to repudiate all “renewables” mandates

Industry split emerges over biofuels’ indirect impact

European bioethanol producers have broken ranks and urged EU policymakers to introduce rules on the indirect climate impacts of biofuels that distinguish between “good and bad biofuel pathways,” Reuters has learned. (Reuters)

Bill would ease ethanol rule when corn stocks low

Two U.S. lawmakers are seeking to dilute the requirement to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into the nation’s motor fuel mix, aiming to alleviate upward pressure on food prices when corn supplies are short. (Reuters)

John Hinderacker: Solyndra II, And More Green Jobs Failure

Solyndra II, And More Green Jobs Failure
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 22:22 John Hinderacker, Powerline

Emails released by a Congressional committee show, almost unbelievably, that the Obama administration was poised to lend Solyndra another $469 million loan during the summer of 2010, even as auditors “warned the company was in danger of closing due to its rapidly mounting debts and expenses.” Analysts in the Office of Management and Budget greeted the proposal for a second loan with gallows humor. (GWPF)

Tom Nelson: Solyndra e-mails: Dept. of Energy was poised to approve *another* $469 million for firm

Solyndra e-mails: Dept. of Energy was poised to approve *another* $469 million for firm

Solyndra: House seeks more Obama White House emails, as revelations continue – The Washington Post

The Obama administration’s Department of Energy was poised last summer to give Solyndra a second major taxpayer loan of $469 million, even as the company’s financial situation was growing more dire.

The Energy Department was actively pushing to provide the second loan guarantee to the troubled solar-panel manufacturer in April and May 2010, when Solyndra’s auditors warned the company was in danger of closing due to its rapidly mounting debts and expenses, according to complete e-mails just released by a House committee investigating the original loan.

(Tom Nelson)

Solar bubble may not have burst – but it seems to be developing a serious leak

Solar Sales May Drop for First Time as Rates Cut, BNEF Says

Oct. 5 — Sales of solar panels may decline for the first time in 2012, leaving manufacturers with mounting inventories and excess capacity, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst.

“New capacity in 2012 is likely to be flat if not lower than this year after significant drops in subsidies in key European markets,” Martin Simonek, a solar analyst at the London-based research firm, said in an interview. “That demand during 2011 has been stronger than last year has helped many companies stay alive. Next year will be different.” (Bloomberg)

About time there was open discussion of ridiculously low radiation limits

U.K. expert says limits on radiation ‘unreasonable’

The government should relax restrictions on the amount of allowable radiation in food and also rethink its evacuation criteria for Fukushima Prefecture, site of the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, a British physics professor said Monday.

“The real problem is fear,” Oxford University professor emeritus Wade Allison said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

Citing the doses of radiation received in medical procedures, such as CT and PET scans, Allison said Japan’s standard — which bans the sale of food containing more than 500 becquerels per kilogram of radiation and requires the evacuation of areas receiving 20 millisieverts a year — is far too conservative.

While setting standards is difficult for the government, which must balance radiation risks against the hardships of evacuation, Allison argues its conservatism does more harm than good.

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New study of Glover’s Reef challenges whether corals will benefit from Marine Reserves’ protection

New study of Glover’s Reef challenges whether corals will benefit from Marine Reserves’ protection

MIAMI — The ability of marine reserves to replenish fish stocks has been studied extensively, but evidence of their ability to benefit shallow-water communities to thrive remains a mystery. A team of scientists from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science recently tested whether 10 years of reserve designation has translated into positive impacts on coral communities in Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Belize. Results from their surveys of 87 patch reefs both inside and outside the marine reserve showed no clear indication of reserve implementation benefiting coral cover, colony size or the abundance of juvenile corals. The study, conducted by Brittany Huntington, Mandy Karnauskas and UM Professor Diego Lirman appears in the journal Coral Reefs.

“We had hoped to find evidence of reserve protection benefiting the coral community as well as the fish community at Glover’s Atoll. Unfortunately, the coral communities on protected reefs were in no better condition than the fished reefs,” says Huntington. (EurekAlert)

Cranks and scammers seek to sabotage advanced agriculture in the name of “consumer information”

Here’s some sad news for you guys – unless you only eat weeds and wildlife all your food has been modified and has been since the advent of farming.

In fact a lot has been modified very deliberately since Man learned to use fire for cooking (we alter the molecular structure of food to make it [more] digestible, palatable and/or nutritious).

Are “foreign” genes a particular hazard in foodstuffs? Of course not, some of our basic grains (wheats) contain 2 or 3 complete sets of 7 paired chromosomes – these are the staples of our diets that are made up of 2 or 3 complete genomes and have done for millennia, all without turning consumers into grasses.

Biotech enhanced foods are no more unusual or novel than strains developed by say chemical- or radiation-forced mutagenesis, a development not noted on packaging and information of no practical bearing on consumers.

Neither has biotechnology information any bearing on consumers except for scammers and fear mongers trying to extract premiums for inferior products by creating fear of competitor product. Amusingly none of the label promoters seem keen on such precise information being made prominent about their own products. How many worried young moms would buy that natural stone-ground wholewheat flour if the exact content of foreign materials (bug bits, rodent hairs, weed seeds, dust, grinding wheel residue and so on) was printed on the packaging? (Yes, there really is a percentage tolerance for “foreigns” in grains and flours and man, you should see what gets crushed for your fine wines 😉 )

Apart from organic and “natural food” fantasists (the same group stupid enough to consume raw [unpasteurized] milk) we have the misanthropes desperate to limit human population by suppressing more productive agriculture but they do not openly fly their people-hating colors during their sabotage efforts.

No one trying to foment hysteria over enhanced agriculture is acting in the best interests of humanity or the environment and the only reason to push labeling is to try to pretend biotech is somehow different or dangerous.

Group seeks labels on genetically altered food
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They’re right, the problem with current geoengineering plans it that they just might work and no one is better off with a colder planet Earth

What we really want is for people to be bogged down in endless discussion of what an ideal climate might be, so they never get around to actually trying to screw with the weather.

The Problem With Geoengineering: What if It Works?
OCT 3 2011, 6:02 PM ET
The postponement of a massive experiment is a chance to think about what would happen if we had the power to control the weather

A major experiment to use a one kilometer-long hose to pump water droplets into the atmosphere as a precursor to a large-scale geoengineering interventions has been postponed for six months. More than 50 groups, led by Canada’s ETC Group, had recently signed a letter condemning the field trial, calling it a “Trojan Hose” and imploring the British government to suspend it until an international agreement to govern geoengineering efforts has been reached. The letter read in part:

It is unacceptable for the UK government to sponsor – even chair – discussions at the [Convention on Biological Diversity] while simultaneously funding experiments and developing hardware for the deployment of stratospheric aerosols, one of the most controversial geoengineering technologies under discussion. This apparent conflict of interest will undermine the credibility of the UK, not only at the CBD, but also in other climate-related negotiations, notably at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

That said, protecting the political process from these sorts of conflicts of interest is a lesser concern to geoengineering’s critics than the potential moral hazards and environmental damage. What happens if something goes wrong? What if efforts to right the planet’s climate result in famine or mass extinctions? (The Atlantic)

Monbiot’s Silence – Wrong Kind of Heat as Orange Groves Refuse to Attack

Monbiot’s Silence – Wrong Kind of Heat as Orange Groves Refuse to Attack
Maurizio Morabito

We’re coming to the conclusion of a time of record-setting September and October high temperatures in several parts of Europe, England included. It’s news, and of course it is. However, keen readers of the local docufiction that passes for British news articles may have noticed something very odd about the latest heatwave.

Not a mention of global warming/climate change. (OmniClimate)