The Week That Was (Nov 15, 2008) brought to you by SEPP
NO TWTW ON NOV
Luncheon talk at Manhattan Institute,
NYC, and debate at Argonne National Laboratory, Chi
Quote of the Week:
science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge;
in religion it is condemned as heresy.
EPA has issued an ANPR (Advance
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), detailing how they would control CO2 as a
pollutant under the Clean Air Act (see Item #1). Comments are due by Nov 28. Anyone can submit his/her own comments or
join a generic Comment. Contact Marlo Lewis at
The EPA under
Bush fought the notion that the Clean Air Act applies to CO2 all the way to
the Supreme Court. The law has been used successfully to regulate six
[criteria] pollutants, including sulfur dioxide and ozone. But regulation of
CO2 under the Act ``could result in an unprecedented expansion of EPA
authority,'' EPA Administrator Stephen
Johnson said in July. The law “is the wrong tool for the job.''
regulation are hoping for better results under a new president. Obama adviser
Jason Grumet, executive director of the National
Commission on Energy Policy, said if Congress hasn't acted in 18 months,
about the time it would take to draft rules, the president should. “I think any responsible president would want
to have the regulatory approach.'' http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=alHWVvGnkcd4
Editorial #12 (11/15/08)
Controversy -- Part-3
We continue the saga of the paper of Santer+16 co-authors [S17 in IJC
2008]. You recall from recent TWTW
newsletters at www.sepp.org that it attacks the
findings of Douglass, Christy, Pearson, and Singer [DCPS in IJC 2007] as well
as of the NIPCC report “Nature – Not
Human Activity – Rules the Climate” http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf
S17 claim that the observed temperature trends in the
tropical troposphere agree with those calculated from greenhouse (GH) models. The claim is based on two assertions: The observations (or more properly, the
analyses of the data) have changed drastically just in the past two years. And
also -- the uncertainties of both observed and modeled trends are found to be
The first thing that struck me about S17 was their figure
6A, which depicts 7 (yes, seven) curves derived from the same set of radiosonde
data, each claiming to show the true dependence of the temperature trend with
(pressure) altitude. The curves fall into
three “families” that show striking differences – for reasons that I will
discuss elsewhere. Here I will
concentrate on one feature only: the time interval chosen by S17 is 1979 –
1999. Please remember that 1998 was the
year of unusual warmth because of a strong El Nino.
Does the choice of endpoint matter and affect the trend
values shown? You betcha. To check up on this matter, I briefly thought
of writing to Santer at <email@example.com> to request the underlying
temperature data. But why waste time? So I used a proxy, the MSU-UAH data set for
lower troposphere temperatures from satellites, kindly sent to me by John
Christy. Here then are the OLS trends
calculated for a time interval starting at the beginning of the satellite data
set, 1979, and ending in 1993, 1996, 1999, or 2002: -0.010, 0.035, 0.103, 0.121
No need to comment further, except I just cannot resist quoting from
page 130 of the CCSP-SAP-1.1 report <www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm> (Karl et al 2006]. In an Appendix, Wigley, Santer, and Lanzante
explain the mysteries of “statistical issues regarding trends” to the great
unwashed in real simple words:
“Estimates of the linear
trend are sensitive to points at the start or end of the data set…. For
example, if we considered tropospheric data over 1979 through 1998, because of
the unusual warmth in 1998 … the calculated trend may be an overestimate of the
true underlying trend.”
1. The horrors of
CO2 regulation under the Clean Air Act
2. US senator says Congress delays global
emissions plan hits snag
4. Schwarzenegger and global warming
6. Foreign producers urge Obama to take a long
view on ‘Clean Energy’ incentives
7. 'Fixing' global warming just another
NEWS YOU CAN USE
Michael Crichton’s Caltech Michelin Lecture -
Jan 17, 2003. Worth reading again
ALIENS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING http://brinnonprosperity.org/crichton2.html
also: Crichton's Wisdom: He understood that even scientists
fall to temptations of fame, profit and power
A “must-read” Prof
Richard Lindzen (MIT) on climate science and politics http://arxiv.org/abs/0809.3762
W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute
for Global Economic Growth http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/12/raising-stock-prices/
The Revelle-Gore story -- again http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/06/gores_grave_new_world.html
UCal science history prof Naomi Oreskes smears scientists (in The Times) http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/lies-posing-as-history-4709
Why climate models are not useful for
predictions -- of interest but no surprise.
Rapid Rebound Brings Ice Back to Levels
from the 1980s. An abnormally cool Arctic is seeing dramatic
changes to ice levels. In sharp contrast to the rapid melting seen last
year, the amount of global sea ice has rebounded sharply and is now growing
rapidly (Source: Arctic Research Center, University of Illinois)
Global temps on track to cool since Bush took
office: I enjoy offering this to mostly
European audiences interested in US politics of global warming: We are on track
to see the global temperatures having cooled by the day George W. Bush leaves
office compared to when he entered. You’ve just gotta love that. http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTI2MjRmZDlhMjE5NTY2YjhhZWVkZTRkYzU4ZmJjOGY=
The Sun Proves an Embarrassment to Climate Orthodoxers and Carbon
Hysterics: The orthodox position has depended upon the spectre of "melting
ice sheets" to inject fear into the minds of the masses of common media
consumers. As long as they could claim that ice sheets were "melting at
unprecedented rates" and "approaching the tipping point", the
proles could be stampeded into backing the right political candidates--the ones
stupid enough to believe in the hysteria or corrupt enough to sell themselves
to the orthodoxy.
Now that the ice sheets are showing some resiliency, global temperatures
have stabilised or reversed, and oceans are cooling, the orthodoxy is reduced
to outright lying and an accelerating rate of obfuscation and political
threats. But even worse for the orthodoxers, the ice sheets themselves appear
to have much less to do with climate than the hysterics have been claiming all
along. The tried and true propaganda they have used all along lacks any support
Australians elected a carbon hysteric as leader. The Americans have done
the same. Europe's leadership positions at both national and EU levels are
infested by carbon hysterics. Does the science really matter, when the
politicians all back the orthodoxy? We'll find out shortly. http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/2008/11/sun-proves-embarassment-to-climate.html
Matt Wald (NYT) points out that the country's grid is
already stretched to the limit and unlikely to be able to handle bigger, intermittent
pulses of electricity from wind turbines and big solar-power arrays.
WASHINGTON - Adding electricity
from the wind and the sun could increase the frequency of blackouts and reduce
the reliability of the nation's electrical grid, an industry report says. The
North American Electric Reliability Corporation says in a report scheduled for
release Monday that unless appropriate measures are taken to improve
transmission of electricity, rules reducing carbon dioxide emissions by
utilities could impair the reliability of the power grid. The corporation is
the industry body authorized by the federal government to enforce reliability
rules for the interlocking system of electrical power generation and
The Apollo Alliance, a
San Francisco coalition of environmental and labor groups, also released a
study in September. It concluded that five million green jobs could be had with
an investment of $500 billion -- more than three times Mr. Obama's number. Kate Gordon, co-director of the Apollo
Alliance, says the numbers are less important than the message.
"Honestly," she says, "it's just to inspire people."
The truth can be found here: http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm2122.cfm
UNDER THE BOTTOM LINE
"Climate Change Threatening
Science Monitor Web site. **********************
Formerly known as the “ozone man,” Al Gore thought of himself as the
"Science Vice President," claimed credit for being "the father
of the internet," was without any doubt the creator of the prize-winning *crockumentary*
film, "An Inconvenient Truth."
1. The horrors of
CO2 regulation under the Clean Air Act
Thanks to EPA’s Advanced Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (ANPR), several congressional testimonies by attorney Peter Glaser,
and the U.S. Chamber’s compliance burden report, it is now clear that setting
GHG emission standards under Clean Air Act (CAA) §202 would trigger a
regulatory cascade throughout the Act, imposing potentially crushing burdens on
regulated entities and the economy.
Tens of thousands of previously unregulated
buildings and facilities could face new regulation, monitoring, controls, and
penalties under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)
pre-construction permitting program; hundreds of thousands could face pointless
paperwork burdens under the Title V permitting program; millions could face
onerous yet inscrutable technology requirements under the Hazardous Air
Pollutant (HAP) program.
Regulating stationary GHG sources under PSD -
the inescapable consequence of establishing GHG standards for new motor
vehicles - would likely bring construction activities to a screeching halt and
overwhelm the administrative resources of permitting agencies. Consider the
EPA issued 282 PSD permits last year. On
average, each permit cost $125,120 and 866 burden hours for a source to obtain,
plus $23,280 and 301 hours for a state or local agency to process. As the U.S.
Chamber points out, if owners seek to modify only 40,000 of the 1.2 million
buildings exposed to PSD for greenhouse gases in a given year, PSD compliance
would cost the regulated entities more than $5 billion. State and local
agencies would also have to spend $931.2 million.--.more than four times the
$227.5 million Congress appropriated in 2008 for state, local, and tribal
air-quality management assistance grants.
An endangerment finding under §202 could also
compel EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for
GHGs. NAAQS specify how many parts per million of a targeted pollutant are
permissible in the ambient air. Both plaintiffs in Massachusetts, and all the
endangerment petitions filed since Massachusetts, assert that current GHG
concentrations are already harming public health and welfare. Thus, EPA could
be compelled to establish NAAQS for GHGs below current atmospheric levels. Yet
the Kyoto Protocol would barely slow the increase in GHG concentrations. Even
outright de-industrialization of the United States might not be enough to lower
atmospheric concentrations, especially if emerging economies such as China and
India continue to industrialize and energy-related U.S. production, jobs, and
emissions migrate to those places.
In short, applying the NAAQS program to GHGs -
a likely consequence of an endangerment finding for GHG emissions - could turn
the CAA into an economic suicide pact. If EPA establishes NAAQS for GHGs below
current atmospheric levels, there is virtually no economic sacrifice that could
not be demanded of the American people. The ANPR tacitly acknowledges this,
noting that EPA is forbidden to take costs into account when setting NAAQS.
A NAAQS set below current atmospheric levels
would also compel EPA to regulate “major” stationary sources of CO2 under the
Non-Attainment New Source Review (NNSR) pre-construction permitting program.
Before any firm could build a facility with a potential to emit 100 TPY (tons
per year) of CO2 (a new McDonalds, for example), or modify such a facility if
the modification increases emissions, it would have to comply with Lowest
Achievable Emissions Rate (LAER) standards, which are very stringent. Moreover,
under NNSR, firms must offset any emission increases from a new or modified
source by reducing emissions from an existing source. Roughly speaking, nothing
could be built or modified anywhere in the United States unless something else
is shut down.
The ANPR suggests various options for EPA to
avoid the destructive consequences of GHG regulation under the CAA. All of
these involve EPA more or less brazenly re-writing the statute. Two egregious
examples deserve mention. In one place, the ANPR suggests that EPA could set
the threshold for PSD regulation of “major” sources at 10,000, 25,000, or even
100,000 TPY, even though the statute says 250 TPY. In another place, the ANPR
suggests that EPA could avoid the obligation to establish NAAQS for GHGs by
simply not “planning” to produce the requisite analysis - a transparent
attempt to read mandatory language as discretionary. Indeed, this reading of
CAA §108 would arguably gut the NAAQS program, often described as the Act’s
We think it speaks volumes about the validity of
the Court majority’s reasoning in Massachusetts that the only way EPA could
regulate GHGs under the CAA without risking administrative chaos and economic
devastation is to assume legislative powers and amend the statute.
When Massachusetts was being litigated,
plaintiffs claimed that the case posed no risks to the U.S. economy. GHG
emission standards for new motor vehicles could have the effect of tightening
new-car fuel economy standards, they acknowledged. But, they noted, §202
requires EPA to consider compliance costs and the lead times automakers need to
commercialize new technologies. Thus, plaintiffs said, concerns voiced by the
business community and others about slippery slopes and potentially devastating
economic impacts were alarmist. Such assurances now ring hollow. As should now
be clear even to the plaintiffs, the CAA is a deeply flawed, inappropriate,
even destructive instrument for establishing climate policy.
The Court majority in Massachusetts went astray
when they interpreted CAA §302(g) to define “air pollutant” as anything
“emitted” into the ambient air. Since fossil fuel combustion emits CO2, and
since the CAA authorizes EPA to regulate “air pollutants,” the majority
concluded that EPA has authority to regulate CO2 emissions. But §302(g) does
not say that anything emitted per se is an “air pollutant.” Rather, it says
that any emitted “air pollution agent” is an air pollutant. An “air pollution
agent” is something that causes or contributes to air pollution. Because CO2
does not dirty, foul, or otherwise pollute the air, it is not an “air pollution
agent”; hence, not an air pollutant. Under the majority’s misreading of
§302(g), even clean air is an “air pollutant” if is “emitted.” That is absurd.
The real issue in Massachusetts was not whether
the CAA definition of “air pollutant” can be edited to justify regulating GHGs
from one source category (new motor vehicles) under one provision (§202), but
whether Congress intended for EPA to regulate GHGs from all sectors and
industries under the CAA as a whole. In short, did Congress intend for EPA to
regulate GHGs under the “cornerstone” of the CAA - the NAAQS program - and
its statutory adjuncts: PSD, LAER, and Title V?
The Court majority in Massachusetts said that
EPA must make an endangerment finding with respect to GHGs.- unless EPA
provides a “reasonable explanation” (by giving “reasons” “grounded” in the
“statute”) why it cannot or will not make such a determination.
The reasonable explanation is that an
endangerment finding would have statutory consequences no Congress would ever
approve. Congress never intended for §202, which deals solely with a subset of
mobile sources, to jump-start an unprecedented expansion of stationary source
regulation, impose a de facto moratorium on new construction, or bog down
environmental agencies in a morass of paperwork. Yet applying PSD to GHGs could
produce all those undesirable consequences, and setting GHG emission standards
under §202 would automatically subject GHGs to PSD regulation.
Further, Congress never intended for §202, which
requires EPA to consider compliance costs when setting emission standards, to
leverage money-is-no-object regulation under the NAAQS program. Yet an
endangerment finding - the prerequisite to setting GHG emission standards for
new motor vehicles - could compel EPA to set NAAQS for GHGs.
Few if any Supreme Court Justices would openly
and directly order EPA to implement a Super-Kyoto program via either the NAAQS,
PSD, LAER, and Title V programs, or the HAPs program, for a very simple reason.
No public official wants to take responsibility for wrecking the economy. Had
the real issue been squarely before the Court, we believe Massachusetts would
have been decided differently.
senator says Congress delays global warming law
Associated Press, Nov 12, 2008
WASHINGTON: Congress will not act until 2010 on
a bill to limit the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming despite
President-elect Obama's declaration that he will move quickly to deal with
climate change, the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee predicted
Wednesday. Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman said that while every effort should be
made to cap greenhouse gases, the economic crisis, the transition to a new
administration and the complexity of setting up a nationwide market for carbon
pollution permits preclude action in 2009.
"The reality is, it may take more than the
first year to get it all done," Bingaman told a carbon markets conference
here. Instead, he said, Congress is "ready to go" early next year on
legislation to boost energy savings in buildings and transportation and to
require utilities to produce more electricity from renewable sources like
windmills and solar panels.
Obama advisers and members of his transition
team said this week that climate change remains a priority for the incoming
president, whose term begins on Jan. 20.
Jason Grumet, a senior environmental adviser to the president-elect and
on the short list for a position in the White House, predicted at the same
conference Wednesday that it was going to be a "very, very busy 2009"
on climate. Obama could begin to tackle global warming without Congress, by
giving California permission to regulate global warming gases from motor
vehicles and by issuing regulations under the existing Clean Air Act.
The Supreme Court said in April 2007 the
government has authority under current law to regulate carbon dioxide, the most
prevalent greenhouse gas. The Bush administration said, however, that the
three-decades-old clean air law is the wrong tool and would cripple the
economy. "Action can take many forms and it could include administrative
action, legislative action or both," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, also a
Democrat, who has primary jurisdiction over climate change legislation because
she chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Asked if she
expected a bill to be enacted next year, Boxer said: "I believe there will
be major action on energy independence, which includes climate change."
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of
Representatives, would not rule out congressional action on climate change in
2009 but added that it will require "a significant amount of time to reach
Environmentalists, emboldened by larger
Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democrat in the White House, are
championing an all-in-one approach. They argue that green energy would cure the
nation's energy and economic woes while also solving climate change problems.
"We should not silo the economic crisis and the climate crisis," said
Larry Schweiger, the president of the National Wildlife Federation. "What
we ought to be doing instead of 'drill, baby, drill' is be looking for a green
shovel to dig our way out of this." But even some advocates concede that a
global warming bill that limits greenhouse gases will take time. A similar bill
last year got only 48 votes and fell victim to delays in the Senate that killed
Congress and the incoming Obama administration
are under increasing pressure from other countries and the states to do
something on climate change. In September, 10 northeastern states launched the
first mandatory carbon market in the United States, the Regional Greenhouse Gas
Initiative. And in December 2009, representatives from major countries will
meet in Copenhagen, Denmark, to negotiate a new international treaty to curb
greenhouse gases for 2012 and beyond. U.S. leadership is essential, the head of
the U.N. secretary-general's climate change team said Wednesday. "A global
deal can only be meaningful if the U.S. is part of it," said Janos
Pasztor. "The world is looking to the U.S. to lead in the energy
revolution domestically and globally." Bingaman said Congress will not be
influenced by international expectations.
emissions plan hits snag
By Adam Satariano, Bloomberg, 11 November 2008
SAN FRANCISCO - California's blueprint to address global
warming won't include details of an emissions-trading program as regulators try
to build consensus on how best to organize the market-based system. The
California Air Resources Board will begin a rule-writing process after next
month's approval of what is called a scoping plan and is seeking outside help
from specialists to recommend ways to build a cap-and-trade system, said Mary
Nichols, chairwoman of the rule-making panel. Under state law, the program must
be ready to begin by 2012.
Nichols told venture capitalists and clean-energy executives
last week in Mountain View, Calif., that she was "thinking of punting,"
saying the specifics of the emissions-trading program may not be ready for one
to two more years.
FULL STORY at http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/11/11/calif_emissions_plan_hits_snag/
4. Schwarzenegger and
Los Angeles Times, Nov 13, 2008
It might be better if our
governor just vents concern about climate change and doesn't sign any global
deals at an upcoming summit.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will get a break next week
from the miserable business of trying to solve California's wrenching budget
woes, jetting to Los Angeles to take on a role he genuinely seems to relish:
standing on the international stage as a leader on climate change. This will
probably be his last chance to play the part, and we wish him well. But it's
past time for this particular show to close.
Schwarzenegger has emerged as a national leader on
global warming, the one whose name most frequently comes up in foreign capitals
when international cooperation on reducing carbon emissions is discussed. Al
Gore might have a Nobel Prize, but Schwarzenegger heads a state that, if it
were a country, would rank among the 10 biggest economies in the world. Given
the Bush administration's unwillingness to seriously address the problem,
Schwarzenegger's initiatives to mandate hard emissions targets and set up
carbon-trading schemes with other states and Canadian provinces make him this
country's most forward-thinking governor, and its greenest Republican.
But our superstar is about to be upstaged.
President-elect Barack Obama is even greener than Schwarzenegger, and he
intends to pursue federal policies similar to California's. That's a positive
development because Schwarzenegger's pursuit of international climate pacts is
in danger of doing more harm than good.
The Governors’ Global Climate
Summit kicks off Wednesday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, bringing together governors
of several U.S. states and environmental ministers from a host of important
countries, including Brazil, China and India. Schwarzenegger has attended
similar gatherings before -- last year, he made a splash at a major United
Nations conference on global warming -- and they typically amount to little
more than feel-good exercises for countries that want to promote their concern
about climate change without actually doing very much to stop it. Yet,
occasionally, business gets done at these meetings that might be better left
Indonesia will announce at the governors' summit that
it wishes to join California's carbon-trading program. That could mean
polluters in California would be granted permission to emit greenhouse gases
here in exchange for buying "offsets" in Indonesia that compensate
for the damage -- for example, a California refinery might buy a chunk of rain
forest in Indonesia to act as a carbon sink. Schwarzenegger seems to favor such
offsets, but they would undercut the effectiveness of the program. It's
extremely hard to verify whether offsets reduce carbon as much as the amounts
claimed, and they discourage innovation because they use existing technology to
clean the air somewhere else rather than encouraging new technology to clean it
The cap-and-trade schemes advanced by both
Schwarzenegger and Obama aren't the ideal way to fight global warming (carbon
taxes would be far simpler and more effective), but they could work -- as long
as the programs are tightly regulated and monitored. That's nearly impossible
to do across borders, which is why even California's plan to trade carbon
credits with Canadian provinces is problematic. Getting involved with distant
and corruption-plagued countries, such as Indonesia, would be outright disastrous.
So while we appreciate the international goodwill Schwarzenegger will generate
next week, this is one global conference at which we'd be happy to see nothing
can watch the conference online on Nov 18-19 at http://www.uctv.tv/climate
-- if you can stand it
AFP, 11 November 2008
PRAGUE (AFP) - Central Europe's top power producer, Czech-based CEZ, is pinning
hopes on the financial crisis to thwart the approval of the EU's green package,
saying it would hit hard at the region's coal-dependent industry. The EU's climate-energy package seeks to
raise the share of renewable sources in power production by 2020, boost energy
savings and tighten the rules for trading in CO2 emission permits in a bid to
cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Martin Roman, CEZ chairman and chief executive, said in
an interview with AFP that a "yes" vote on the package from EU
members in the region would be "economic suicide." Roman attacked
above all the plan to make companies pay the full price for their CO2 emissions
from 2013 as a move that might have a devastating effect on central European
industry, affected by the financial turmoil. "The EU is shooting around
without knowing where the enemy is," Roman said, adding the EU should take
its time and commission an analysis of the situation before ordering companies
to buy all carbon permits in auctions.
The European Commission and most member states want to
see the climate package agreed at an EU summit in mid-December so Europe can be
in a strong position at international climate change talks next year.
The EU now earmarks CO2 emissions permits for
individual countries, which hand them out to companies for free. Those which
emit more CO2 than the permits cover must buy further permits from rivals who
emit less. But industrial companies in
the region may now find it hard to raise the necessary funds because of the
crisis, which may also force many to curb investment in new, environmentally
On Thursday, the state-run CEZ got a solid backing from
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who stood up against full auctioning from
2013, saying he preferred a gradual switch to the auctions too. Rather than a
pollution tax paid to Brussels, Topolanek would prefer "money for
investment to stay in this region" to help "improve the environment
by investing in new technologies and technology upgrades."
Roman is also betting on allies abroad, particularly in
Poland, which has established itself as one of the plan's fiercest opponents.
"I can't imagine Poland committing an economic suicide by approving full
auctioning as of 2013. They can never do that when they produce 95 percent of
their energy from coal," he said.
The prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agreed on Wednesday that the
costs of the climate package could stunt economic growth in the post-communist
countries.” We want an energy-climate package that will not threaten our economies,"
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.
Within the overall targets of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by 2020, the 27 EU nations have agreed to bring renewable energy use
up to 20 percent of the total and to make 20 percent energy savings. The Czech
Republic is expected to raise its share of renewable sources, such as wind,
hydro, biomass and solar, to 13 percent by 2020 from the current level of about
But CEZ is betting above all on nuclear projects, like
many rivals in the region which believe this is a way to reduce dependency on
oil and gas supplies from Russia, jeopardised by conflicts such as the invasion
in Georgia in the summer. "I think nuclear energy will be accepted as a
renewable source, so we won't have a problem," Roman said. "After
all, it's the most environmentally friendly source you can get. There are no
Just as with carbon permits, Roman relies on foreign
allies to help to make this very political decision come true, starting with
the French who are among the strongest advocates of the nuclear option. CEZ has
been lobbying hard at different European forums in the past months to
rehabilitate the atom in the wake of the energy crisis. The company is now
planning to add two nuclear units to the two 1,000 MW reactors it already runs
at Temelin in southern Czech Republic, and to build a new reactor in Dukovany
(southeast), where it runs four smaller 440 MW units.
CEZ is buying up stakes in power producers and
distributors in countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Albania, Russia and Turkey. The company produced 32.2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of
power in the first half of this year. Coal-fired sources contributed more than
a half of the amount with 17.5 TWh, while nuclear plants added 13.8 TWh.
6. Foreign producers Urge Obama to Take a Long
View on Clean Energy Incentives
By JAMES KANTER, NOVEMBER 6, 2008
Even from across the ocean, the
message to Barack Obama from the clean energy industry is crystal clear: Stick
by plans to reform the subsidy system for green power producers.
A recurring complaint about the way the United States supports the clean energy
industry is intermittency: A so-called federal
production tax credit expires once a year and
must be renewed, creating significant anxiety for clean energy entrepreneurs -
even those headquartered in other countries.
"We don't sleep well when we get closer to the tax credit expiry
dates," said David Corchia, the chief executive of EDF Energies Nouvelles, the Paris-based
renewable energy arm of the giant French utility, Electricite de France. "Having a long-term view on tax credits
lasting perhaps four or five years would be very helpful," said Mr.
Corchia, whose company derives between 40 percent and 50 percent of its
operating profit from wind farms in California, Minnesota, Colorado and
Washington. That echoes the concerns expressed by
Randy Zwirn, head of energy at Siemens, a
major German manufacturer of wind turbines, to my colleague Kate Galbraith
early last month.
Production tax credits are not
outright payments. Instead they allow clean energy developers to reduce the
amount of taxes they owe based on the amount of kilowatt-hours of energy they
produce from technologies like wind turbines.
Mr. Corchia has big plans to
continue expanding in the United States and he aims to make the country his
company's primary market in the years ahead. He said the potential in the
United States for wind power is vast because of the availability of wide-open
spaces for wind farms. He also pointed out there is even greater potential for
generating solar power compared to Europe because of the relatively southerly
latitude of the United States. But to reap the full potential of those
geographical blessings, the Obama administration will also have to support
efforts to upgrade the national electricity grid in order to deliver that power
efficiently to where Americans live and work. "The good part of that story
is that it will create jobs at just the time when America may need to create
jobs," said Mr. Corchia.
There is a final wish on Mr.
Corchia's list: He would like the Obama administration to allow renewable
energy companies that are eligible for subsidies like production tax credits to
buy and sell those rights on public markets. That could free up access to those
rights, Mr. Corchia said, and give even greater incentives for ambitious
companies like EDF Energies Nouvelles to produce more clean power at a profit.
SEPP Comment: Yeah!
Foreign companies have found gold in the US – created by Congress from
taxpayer funds. A miracle of modern
7. 'Fixing' global warming just another
LORRIE GOLDSTEIN, Edmonton Sun, November 13, 2008
Canadians, it's time to start thinking of "fixing" global warming the
same way we do "ending" child poverty. Or "settling" native
land claims. Or "shortening" medical wait times. Like these other issues, "fixing"
global warming has become yet another meaningless promise that politicians of
all stripes will be paying lip service to in perpetuity.
they will spend billions of our dollars "fixing" year after year. To
the end, "fixing" global warming will be a boon only to present and
future generations of lobbyists, activists, consultants and other rent-seekers
who will be, in the famous phrase coined by Tom Wolfe, "mau-mauing the
flak catchers" into eternity.
are the professional whiners who perpetually haunt the corridors of federal,
provincial and municipal governments, demanding ever-increasing amounts of our
money to "fix" global warming.
In response, the "flak catchers" -- complicit and cowed
politicians -- will keep shovelling our money out the door to appease them,
although nothing will ever be "fixed," prompting new demands for more
look to the media for help. They're
still trying to explain why U.S. president-elect Barack Obama -- the guy
they've been describing for months as the jolly green giant, who would leave
Prime Minister Stephen Harper choking in the dust on global warming -- has a
weaker climate change plan than Harper.
Harper's promising to reduce Canada's man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
to 3% below 1990 levels by 2020. Obama's only promising 1990 levels by 2020.
again, both promises are nonsense because:
neither Harper nor Obama can promise anything beyond one, four-year election
both targets fall laughably short of what the Kyoto accord calls for;
even if the handful of industrialized countries required to reduce emissions
under Kyoto achieved their targets (most, including us, won't), the fact the
developing world, led by China and India, is exempt means Kyoto actually
guarantees GHG emissions will go up, not down;
both Obama and Harper support a cap-and-trade market in carbon dioxide, which
has been a fiasco in Europe, where emissions are rising.
the "bright" side, if Al Gore is right and humanity has only a few
decades to change its ways before unstoppable man-made global warming fries us
or drowns us, then we're only looking at having to pay billions of dollars
annually in worthless attempts to "fix" the climate, for a relatively
would in a twisted way be comforting, if Gore himself wasn't living an
obscenely high-carbon consumption lifestyle, along with his celebrity friends,
while lecturing the rest of us to take a vow of poverty, beyond the one we're
already being force-fed because of the global recession.
no, neither Gore nor his pals can wipe out their huge carbon footprints on the
Earth by retroactively purchasing "carbon offsets," as they claim. Sorry. The only effective way to reduce your
GHG emissions is not to emit them in the first place.
to paraphrase environmental journalist George Monbiot: "Every time someone
dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, every pseudo-environmentalist
politician, movie star, rock star, rap star and professional athlete shopping
on Rodeo Drive, should be dragged out of the store and drowned." After all, if we're going to be stupid about
this, and, trust me, our politicians are, let's get serious.