Energy

Will Trump rein in regulation?

Have we just witnessed a second American revolution; one that repudiates the policies of the political establishment of both Republicans and Democrats? We had a hint of this when Trump beat out establishment Republicans in the primary.

Trump will have much to deal with. In this article I will concentrate on the EPA, an agency whose regulations have trampled private property rights, and killed much inexpensive electricity generation.

What if, in his inaugural address, Trump were to issue an executive order that says something like “no federal agency shall regulate carbon dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels and all existing regulations to that effect are null and void?” Even the EPA admits that the possible effect on climate of its “Clean Power Plan” is prevention of just 0.03°C by the year 2100. That would be a great positive step in quelling the climate madness. It would also boost our economy. EPA regulations on particulate matter have no basis in science (see references below).

The EPA itself could be phased out and replaced by the environmental agencies of each state.

The EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule (WOTUS, see here and here) impacts private property rights because the rule has become so invasive that it regulates every puddle and rill that may occur on or pass through a property.

In addition to the above:

The U.S. should withdrawal from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, from the Paris climate agreement and from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC). These agencies and agreements suck money and provide no benefit. In the thousands of pages from reports by the IPCC, they have never produced any physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in controlling global temperature.

The U.S. should also terminate all federal government subsidies for climate change research and for “renewable” energy. Let the solar and wind turbine companies test the demand for their product on the free market without any artificial markets produced by mandates and subsidies.

Endangered species listings based on projected climate change should be rescinded. In fact, the Endangered Species act should be amended or replaced with something that is more science-based and provides a positive incentive for conservation.

I hope Trump can “drain the swamp” and make the government serve the people once again.

 

See also:

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

EPA’s own human experiments debunk health claims

EPA claims on dangers of particulate matter are false

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

Replace the Environmental Protection Agency

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

The Flaws in the Endangered Species Act

 

 

Federal land grabs hurt economy and trample property rights

Using the Antiquity Act, the Endangered Species Act, and by executive moratoria, President Obama has now seized more land by executive order than any U.S. President in history.

Arizona has a Federally-imposed 20-year moratorium on new mining claims near the Grand Canyon, an area rich in uranium. The rationale is that such mining could contaminate the Colorado River. However a study by the Arizona Geological Survey shows this worry to be far-fetched. (see ADI story).

Obama’s Interior Department is proposing to withdraw up to 10 million acres of sage grouse habitat from new mining operations in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. This action is being proposed in spite of the fact that DOI recently announced that listing of the greater sage grouse as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is not warranted and DOI’s finding that mining is not a major threat to the bird or its habitat.

The National Mining Association says “This over-reaching and unprecedented action would seriously damage the United States economy and mineral security, while harming the very species it purports to protect.” “DOI maintains that the withdrawal is necessary to prevent a listing of the sage grouse. However, most of the reports prepared for the listing determination do not identify mining activities as a significant threat and instead point to wildfires and invasive species as the greatest threats.” NMA also notes that “Already half of the nation’s hardrock mineral estate is either off-limits or under restrictions for mineral development.” (Source) NMA has released a video explaining how these withdrawals negatively impact our nation, industries, and citizens.

This past August, Obama greatly expanded the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii to 582,578 square miles. This area will be off-limits to scientific investigation, petroleum exploration, and commercial fishing. (Source)

Also in August, Obama created the “Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument,” placing 87,563 acres of Maine’s woods under federal control. This designation did not sit well with the local people. (Source) Obama also set aside two million acres in Utah as the “Big Ears National Monument.”

In July, 2015, Obama claimed more than 1 million acres in California, Texas and Nevada to designate as national monuments. The Washington Times opined: “With the move, Mr. Obama has established or expanded 19 national monuments, taking 260 million acres of land and placing it under control of the federal government. Critics say the administration simply wants to expand government control across the country.” (Source)

On Nov. 1, 2016, members of the House Committee on Natural Resources sent a letter to the White House expressing concerns that national monument designations in California and Oregon will exacerbate water shortages and increase threats of catastrophic wildfire. (Read letter)

Do you want such policy to continue? Or, should we wisely use our own natural resources to become less dependent on foreign sources?

 

See also:

Trump Weighs In On Western States Land Grab Battle – ADI article

Open federal land to energy exploration and development to boost economy – Wryheat

Free the Land from the Feds

Scientific misconduct at USGS lab affects Arizona

According to an Inspector General report published June 15, 2016, the inorganic section of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Geochemistry Laboratory in Lakewood, Colo. manipulated data on a variety of projects from 1996 to 2014. The manipulation was caught in 2008, but continued another six years.

The Inspector General report “ detailed two instances in which mass spectrometer operators in the Energy Geochemistry Laboratory’s Inorganic Section had violated established laboratory practices without detection for many years. The initial incident involved scientific misconduct that began in 1996 and continued undiscovered until 2008. The second incident began in 2008 and continued undiscovered until late 2014.”

“Once the results of the inquiry became known, USGS closed the Inorganic Section, effective February 25, 2016. Along with the closure, the agency initiated personnel actions, started determining what should be done with the lab equipment, and began notifying end users of potentially suspect data generated in the lab. USGS currently is assessing the full impacts of the incident on affected research and assessment projects, a process that will take some time to complete. USGS accused the chemist of data manipulation by intentionally changing the results produced by the mass spectrometer. The chemist also failed to preserve the data. Further, the Bureau accused the chemist of failing to operate the mass spectrometer according to established practices, which constituted scientific misconduct.”

“Twenty-four research and assessment projects that have national and global interest were potentially affected by erroneous information. These affected projects represented about $108 million in funding from FY 2008 through 2014.” Assessment of uranium in the environment in and around Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona was one of the affected projects.

Arizona State Geologist, Lee Allison, notes on his blog:

“According to the report, the matter was discovered in late 2014, but had been taking place since 2008. This covers the time period when the Secretary of Interior was conducting a review of impacts of potential mineral exploration and development, particularly of uranium, in northern Arizona. As a result of the federal studies, the Secretary placed a 20-year moratorium on exploration and mining on nearly 1 million acres of federal lands in the region.”

“The fraudulent data could bring into question the scientific justification of the land withdrawal, and the current political effort to establish a 1.8 million acre national monument in the region specifically to protect the area from impacts on water from uranium mining.”

My report, “Uranium mining ban near Grand Canyon all politics, no science” was on work done by the Arizona Geological Survey which depended, in part, on USGS data. I think, however, that the basis of the Arizona Geological Survey report remains valid.

Read full Inspector General report.

UPDATE from the Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: Congressman Says Fed Lab Closure For Data Manipulation Is ‘Suspicious’

Sally Jewell speaks at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, California. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Mis-conduct by two U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) officials led to the “suspicious” shutdown of a federal scientific lab in Lakewood, Colorado, without informing Congress, a skeptical lawmaker and career engineer told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The way they closed the facility without notifying Congress of it until after the fact, that seems a little suspicious,” said Rep. Bruce Westerman, an Arkansas Republican and member of the House Natural Resources Committee, in an interview Monday.

“If it was just some tweaking of the equipment, then something’s wrong. They didn’t close the facility over a piece of equipment being mis-calibrated,” Westerman told TheDCNF. To date, no federal official has publicly explained why the two analysts manipulated the data over such a long period of time.

The unusual closure occurred eight years after a USGS analyst resigned in 2008 while under investigation for manipulating energy-related data from 1996 to 2008. He had worked in the inorganic section of the Energy Geochemistry Laboratory. Despite the resignation, however, a second analyst almost immediately continued distorting research data until 2014.

USGS consequently closed the lab in March 2016, but Westerman thinks it is odd that an entire lab was shuttered without first telling Congress.

The analysts consistently calibrated equipment beyond what’s typically allowed within the scientific community, which affected test outcomes, often altering data by as much as 20 percent, USGS spokeswoman Anne-Berry Wade previously told TheDCNF.

The manipulated data was “basic scientific research,” said Westerman, who was a professional engineer for 24 years before entering politics, with degrees in agricultural and biological engineering. “You’re talking about the building blocks of research.”

Because the data is so important, Westerman worries that “this stuff has a domino effect. If that data is flawed coming out of that research lab, then all that research downstream is flawed. I would hate to think that any kind of project or any big policy decisions were made by some flawed data.”

Westerman also wonders what happened to the backup data for the research done by the two former USGS employees and he’s not happy with what he’s been told to date by Department of Interior officials.

“Why were all of the notes and calculations and backup data either never produced or destroyed? Why did it go on for so long? Why can’t they just give us a straight answer,” Westerman asked. “It sure smells fishy. There’s just too many things that raise a red flag and I just don’t have a good feeling about it.”

USGS officials knew about the first analyst’s misconduct years before it was stopped but they were oblivious to the second analyst’s actions, even though data issues were widely known outside the lab, TheDCNF previously reported. The agency also procrastinated in notifying scientists who may have depended upon the flawed data.

USGS is unaware of any affected policy decisions, Wade previously told TheDCNF, but the Department of the Interior Inspector General disagreed, saying in a June 2016 report that “the full extent of the impacts are not yet known but … they will be serious and far ranging.”

USGS also continues investigating the effects of the data manipulations, but refuses to reveal what punishments the second analyst or any supervisors faced. No recommendations for prosecution were referred to the Department of Justice because the IG only conducted an inspection, which bears significantly less consequences than a full investigation or audit.

“Maybe they need to take an investigative approach,” Westerman told TheDCNF. “We need to raise the rug up and see what’s under it.”

Additionally, the watchdog knew about the second analyst’s manipulation more than a year before its inspection was published.

The IG was told that a USGS employee had boasted, saying “tell me what you want and I will get it for you. What we do is like magic,” although the exact context of that quote is unclear.

“That’s highly suspect when people talk like that,” Westerman said. “That’s not what you’d expect from a federal research lab.”

The IG, however, has said no further investigations are planned.

Plastic bags and global warming

Plastic bags are made from ethane (C2H6) which is a byproduct from production of natural gas and oil. Ethane has a global warming potential 5.5 times that of carbon dioxide according to the IPCC.

Ethane has a high heat capacity and makes natural gas too unstable to be used in industrial processes and home heating. Therefore ethane is removed and usually burned off.

A new study from the University of Colorado Boulder (see press release) finds that a steady decline of global ethane emissions following a peak in about 1970 ended between 2005 and 2010 in most of the Northern Hemisphere and has since reversed. The decline in ethane emissions after 1970 coincides with the growing widespread use of plastic bags.

Natural gas liquids

The recent increase in ethane emission could be attributed to the recent spectacular increase in natural gas production from fracking. However, another factor could be the decreasing production of plastic bags due to the banning of such use by various municipalities and other governments. California has a statewide ban on use of plastic bags. (See my wryheat article “Tilting at plastic bags” and the ADI article “Plastic Patrol: Sunday’s Comic”)

Less production of plastic bags may mean that more ethane will be burned or simply released into the atmosphere.

The University of Colorado researchers say, “Chemical models by the team show that the increase in ethane and other associated hydrocarbons will likely cause additional ground-based ozone production, particularly in the summer months.”

“There are really good things about plastic bags—they produce less greenhouse gas, they use less water and they use far fewer chemicals compared to paper or cotton. The carbon footprint— that is, the amount of greenhouse gas that is produced during the life cycle of a plastic bag—is less than that of a paper bag or a cotton tote bag. If the most important environmental impact you wanted to alleviate was global warming, then you would go with plastic.” (Source)

 

The eco-fad of discouraging or banning use of plastic bags may have the unintended consequences of increasing global warming and producing more ozone smog. It seems that “saving the environment” is complicated.

Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth

Earth’s climate has been changing for at least four billion years in cycles large and small. Few in the climate debate understand those changes and their causes. Many are fixated on carbon dioxide (CO2), a minor constituent of the atmosphere, but one absolutely necessary for life as we know it. Perhaps this fixation derives from ulterior political motives for controlling the global economy. For others, the true believers, perhaps this fixation derives from ignorance.

Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore has written an excellent summary of the history of carbon dioxide on Earth titled, “The Positive Impact of Human CO2 Emissions On the Survival of Life on Earth.” In this 24-page paper, Moore notes that we came dangerously close to losing plant life on Earth about 18,000 years ago, when CO2 levels approached 150 ppm, below which plant life can’t sustain photosynthesis. Currently, atmospheric CO2 stands at about 400 ppm which is about one-third the level for optimum plant growth.

Phanerozoic temp CO2 moore

Here is the executive summary of Moore’s paper:

This study looks at the positive environmental effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a topic which has been well established in the scientific literature but which is far too often ignored in the current discussions about climate change policy. All life is carbon based and the primary source of this carbon is the CO2 in the global atmosphere. As recently as 18,000 years ago, at the height of the most recent major glaciation, CO2 dipped to its lowest level in recorded history at 180 ppm, low enough to stunt plant growth.

This is only 30 ppm above a level that would result in the death of plants due to CO2 starvation. It is calculated that if the decline in CO2 levels were to continue at the same rate as it has over the past 140 million years, life on Earth would begin to die as soon as two million years from now and would slowly perish almost entirely as carbon continued to be lost to the deep ocean sediments. The combustion of fossil fuels for energy to power human civilization has reversed the downward trend in CO2 and promises to bring it back to levels that are likely to foster a considerable increase in the growth rate and biomass of plants, including food crops and trees. Human emissions of CO2 have restored a balance to the global carbon cycle, thereby ensuring the long-term continuation of life on Earth.

Moore presents a concise history of CO2 beginning in the Cambrian Period 540 million years ago when CO2 was about 7,000 ppm. He follows that with a discussion of how carbon is distributed today between the atmosphere, oceans, plant life, and rocks.

In his concluding remarks, Moore briefly discusses the politics of CO2 and notes: ” Lost in all these machinations is the indisputable fact that the most important thing about CO2 is that it is essential for all life on Earth and that before humans began to burn fossil fuels, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was heading in a very dangerous direction for a very long time.”

There is no physical evidence that our CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels will produce catastrophic climate change. Moore asks, “Given that the optimum CO2 level for plant growth is above 1,000 ppm and that CO2 has been above that level for most of the history of life, what sense does it make to call for a reduction in the level of CO2 in the absence of evidence of catastrophic climate change?”

You can read Moore’s full paper here.

Also of interest is a 40-page paper published by the Canadian Friends of Science Society entitled “A Confluence of Carbonbaggers.” – great title. Here is part of the executive summary:

Given that in most industries, margins of error are required to be small, this paper reviews the substantial failings of the IPCC in everything from the original premise that human activity producing greenhouse gases was the primary cause of recent warming, to vast statistical errors in climate models that are 500 and 600% off trend.

Few average citizens have any knowledge of these goings on – despite the fact that billions of their tax dollars are vanishing every year on causes proclaimed by this august organization and echoed around the world by enthusiastic Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) who find climate catastrophe predictions the easiest way to raise money to ‘save the planet’ – all the while demonizing traditional industries that have provided jobs, energy and resources that have created our modern, industrialized world.

This report is a compilation of errors, false and wildly exaggerated predictions, and the IPCC’s claim that it in fact ‘makes no recommendation of any kind on any topic’ – effectively washing its hands of responsibility for the damage its reports and meetings have done in the Western world. National economies have been ruined, investment markets distorted, industries devastated, thousands have died prematurely due to sharp rise in power prices across the UK and Europe as the poor and middle class have been pushed into ‘heat-or-eat’ poverty – and yet governments still persist in designing faulty climate and economic policies based on flawed documents from the IPCC – cited as ‘the authority on climate change.’

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

A Modest Proposal: Triple Your Carbon Footprint

The cost and consequences of “green” energy

Solar and wind generation are not practical alternatives to fossil fuel-generated electricity. Biofuel is not practical for transportation. We are now seeing the consequences of politically correct green policies on energy.

Here are some recent stories in the news:

What Happens to an Economy When Forced to Use Renewable Energy?
By Robert Bryce

Some of America’s most prominent politicians want national mandates for renewable electricity. Had these politicians considered the surge in electricity costs that have occurred in Europe in recent years, they might have been less eager to push such mandates.

Between 2005, when the EU adopted its Emissions Trading Scheme, and 2014, residential electricity rates in the EU increased by 63 percent, on average; over the same period, residential rates in the U.S. rose by 32 percent.
EU countries that have intervened the most in their energy markets—Germany, Spain, and the U.K.—have seen their electricity costs increase the fastest: during 2008–12, Germany’s residential electricity rates increased by 78 percent, Spain’s rose by 111 percent, and the U.K.’s soared by 133 percent.

While European countries have succeeded in creating jobs in the solar and wind industries, their energy policies have also resulted in significant job losses elsewhere. Read full report

States Which Support Green Energy Have Higher Electric Bills
by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller

States which offered substantial taxpayer support for green energy pay a lot more for electricity, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis.

The most notable examples of this trend were California and West Virginia. California had some of the nation’s highest power prices, paying 14.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, and had a whopping 183 policies offering support to green energy. In contrast, West Virginia had some of the nation’s cheapest power at 7.91 cents per kilowatt-hour and a mere 11 policies.

Statistical analysis run by TheDCNF found a positive and statistically significant correlation existed between high electricity bills and states with numerous policies supporting green energy. States which offered rebates, buy-back programs, tax exemptions and direct cash subsidies to green energy were 64 percent more likely to have higher than average electric bills. For every additional pro-green energy policy in a state, the average price of electricity rose by about .01 cents per kilowatt-hour. Read more

More US Taxpayer Cash Giveaways for Clean Energy
by Eric Worrall

The US Government is concerned that huge taxpayer underwritten loan guarantees for renewable energy projects aren’t producing the results they want, so they have decided to step up the effort to give away money, by offering free cash and work space to projects which are too “high risk” to attract investment from venture capitalists, or qualify for other green funding schemes. Read story

European Union Scraps Biofuel Targets
EU laws requiring member states to use “at least 10%” renewable energy in transport will be scrapped after 2020, the European Commission confirmed, hoping to set aside a protracted controversy surrounding the environmental damage caused by biofuels. Read more

New administration rule would permit thousands of eagle deaths at wind farms
Fox News
The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles. Under the plan, companies could kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year without penalty — nearly four times the current limit. Golden eagles could only be killed if companies take steps to minimize the losses, for instance, by retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution. Read more

Devastating Finding: New Study Deems Solar PV Systems In Europe “A Non-Sustainable Energy Sink”!
By P Gosselin
Despite hyped claims, much doubt has emerged over the years on whether or not renewable energies such as wind and sun would able to substitute fossil and nuclear energy.

Getting a sound answer to that question naturally would have been a reasonable step to take long before countries rushed to invest tens of billions of euros.

A brand new paper by Swiss researchers Ferruccio Ferroni and Robert J. Hopkirk published by the Journal of Energy Policy now further intensifies that doubt, finding that solar power remains an inefficient way to produce energy in most cases. It’s beginning to appear that Europe has wasted tens of billions of euros in a mass energy folly.

Thus it should not surprise anyone that Germany’s fossil fuel consumption has not been falling over the past years.

So is solar energy a worthwhile alternative in places like Europe? The authors conclude that it is not. They write in the conclusion that “an electrical supply system based on today’s PV technologies cannot be termed an energy source, but rather a non-sustainable energy sink” and that “it has become clear that photovoltaic energy at least will not help in any way to replace the fossil fuel“.

The authors add that “photovoltaic technology would not be a wise choice for helping to deliver affordable, environmentally favorable and reliable electricity regions of low, or even moderate insolation.“ (Source)

Germany’s Green Energy Fiasco
Wind Farms Paid €500 Million A Year To Stand Idle
Because of the boom of renewable energy, more and more wind turbines have to be switched off. The reason is power overloading. The network operators must turn down electricity generated from windmills when their power threatens to clog the network. For the grid operator Tennet alone, these costs added 329 million euros in 2015 – two and a half times as much as in the previous year. The other network operators 50Hertz, Amprion and EnBW had a combined cost of 150 million euros, according to a survey of Wirtschaftswoche among the four network operators in Germany. –Christian Schlesiger, Wirtschaftswoche, 28 April 2016 (Source)
“Consumers are now paying more for their power than ever before” — some 30.27 euro cents per kilowatt hour. Families today are paying 21% more for electricity than they did 5 years ago. (Source)

The “Social Cost of Carbon” Scam

The “social cost of carbon”(SCC) is a computer-generated artifice that puts a dollar figure on the alleged environmental and economic damage caused by carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. This number is supposed to allow bureaucrats to offset the alleged damage through regulation and taxes, i.e., it will increase the cost of electricity. The computer models fail to take into account the benefits of carbon dioxide, such as making our crops more robust and more water efficient. Also, there is absolutely no physical evidence that our carbon dioxide emissions have any significant role in controlling global climate.

To read the grisly details of this scam, I recommend three articles:

Marlo Lewis, Hearing Shines Light on Social Cost of Carbon Sophistry

Ronald Bailey, The Social Cost of Carbon: Garbage In, Garbage Out

Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Obama’s ‘Social Cost of Carbon’ Is at Odds with Science

To read about the benefits of carbon dioxide, see:

Craig Idso: The Positive Externalities of Carbon Dioxide: Estimating the Monetary Benefits of Rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations on Global Food Production

Lewis succinctly reports the basics of SCC:

The social cost of carbon (SCC) is the present discounted value of cumulative damages allegedly inflicted on society by an incremental metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over a period of decades to centuries.

Discernible in neither meteorological nor economic data, carbon’s social cost exists in the virtual world of “integrated assessment models” (IAMs) — computer programs that combine speculative climatology with speculative economics. By fiddling with non-validated climate parameters, made-up damage functions, and below-market discount rates, SCC analysts can get almost any result they desire.

What they typically desire is to make fossil fuels look unaffordable no matter how cheap, and renewables look like a bargain at any price. However curious as an academic exercise, when used to make or influence public policy, SCC analysis is computer-aided sophistry.”

Lewis also notes: “Agencies have an incentive to periodically increase SCC estimates to make their regulations look more beneficial.”

The computer models fail to fully consider the positive side of rising carbon dioxide and a warming climate. Idso notes that the results of a wide-ranging study found that the aerial fertilization effect of carbon dioxide on crop production was substantial. “The results indicate that the annual total monetary value of this benefit grew from $18.5 billion in 1961 to over $140 billion by 2011, amounting to a total sum of $3.2 trillion over the 50-year period 1961-2011. Projecting the monetary value of this positive externality forward in time reveals it will likely bestow an additional $9.8 trillion on crop production between now and 2050.”

The Idso study also found that “With respect to human health, several studies have shown that the net effect of an increase in temperature is a reduction in sickness and death rate. A warmer climate, therefore, is less expensive in terms of health care costs than a colder one.”

The House Committee on Natural Resources recently held a hearing on the process and development of the Obama Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) commented:

“The Obama Administration has given itself – and future administrations – a mammoth blank check to stop any project based on a radical fantasy. The Social Cost of Carbon is exactly that – a social restructuring of the way Americans live their lives. This unprecedented authority, disguised as an innocuous guideline for regulatory analysis, is a dangerous ideological weapon for the Administration. The numbers can be so easily manipulated that it simply allows any Administration to pick winners and losers, but the American people and the American way of life will be the ultimate losers.”

In testimony before Congress, Dr. Judith Curry (Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) said that Obama’s proposed reduction of U.S. emissions of 28% “will prevent 0.03 C in warming by 2100.”

Billions of dollars of economic disruption for barely discernable climate result.

Dr. Curry goes on to say (source):

“…these estimates assume that climate model projections are correct; if the climate models are over sensitive to CO2, then amount of warming prevented will be even smaller.

“The economic argument is rather dicey; economic impact models are far more uncertain even than climate models. The social cost of carbon estimates made by the White House require assumptions out to the year 2300 for drastic CO2 reductions to be cost effective.

“The public health arguments are even weaker. CO2 has absolutely nothing to do with asthma. Extreme weather events are not increasing with increased CO2; extreme weather events are dominated by natural climate variability. Particularly in the U.S., extreme weather was substantially worse in the 1930’s and 1950’s.”

SCC is another example of what H L Mencken warned us about: “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” And “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

See also:

Renewable energy causes electricity cost to skyrocket

EPA’s Clean Power Plan would disproportionally hurt the poor

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Renewable energy causes electricity cost to skyrocket

President Obama recently said that he wanted 28% of America’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030, mainly by increasing the use of wind and solar power. Currently about 10% of US energy is produced by renewable energy sources.

But, of that 10%, half comes from burning biomass, 26% comes from hydroelectric generation, and 22% comes from solar and wind power combined which means just 2.2% of total energy generation comes from wind and solar according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Differentiating between total energy and electricity production, the EIA says that in 2014, solar produced 0.4% of the nation’s electricity while wind power produced 4.4% of the nation’s electricity for a combined total of 4.8% of electrical generation. (EIA)

energy_consumption_by_source_2014-large

Current average electricity cost in the U.S. is 12.95 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh), according to the EIA. See EIA reported costs by state and region here.

So what happens as a country increases the amount of electricity generated by renewal sources (mainly wind and solar) as the European Union has been doing? As renewable energy becomes a larger percent of electricity generation, costs per kwh rise from about 12 cents per kwh to 32 cents per kwh.

EU electricity cost vs renewables

Here are the costs of electricity by country in the European Union. The highest costs are in the countries with the most renewable energy capacity.

EU electricty prices

Under Obama’s plan, if the U.S. follows the European Union example, electricity costs will nearly triple in the next 15 years. Obama is keeping a campaign promise. Remember he said that under his plan electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. That is the reality of the war on coal and other fossil fuels.

And that’s not our only expense. According to the EIA, for just the period 2010-2013, we taxpayers have subsidized wind power to the tune of $5.5 billion together with $4.5 billion for solar installations.

Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation opines: “The Clean Power Plan is a centralized plan for electricity generation in the United States that is likely to harm public health, increase energy bills for households and businesses, destroy American jobs, and cause blackouts in communities across the country.” (Read article)

The proposed reductions in CO2 emissions will have the grand effect of preventing warming of about 0.02 C. (Source)

In my opinion, Obama’s power plan is a foolish, even criminal, waste of resources.

(H/T to Paul Homewood of Not A Lot of People Know That for the graphs.)

See also:

Capitalism is not a zero sum game

Climate and Communism

Environmental Sophistry

The Collectivist Mind

How NEPA crushes productivity

Sustainability indoctrination invades our colleges

According to the National Association of Scholars (NAS) “‘Sustainability’ is a key idea on college campuses in the United States and the rest of the Western world. To many, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word has come to mean something much larger: an ideology that demands new limits on economic, political, and intellectual freedom as the price that must be paid to ensure the welfare of future generations.”

NAS has just released a study critical of the “sustainability” movement in our colleges. The report is titled “Sustainability – Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism.” This 260-page report may be downloaded as a whole or by chapter from http://www.nas.org/projects/sustainability_report.

Before getting to the NAS report, here is some background on “sustainability” taken from an article on my WryHeat blog:

“Sustainable development” and “sustainability” have become mantras of environmentalists, the UN, federal, state, and local governments, and even some corporations that strive to be politically correct. The City of Tucson has an Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development. Perusal of that site shows that City bureaucrats and administrators have swallowed carbon-dioxide flavored Kool-Aid and sing Kumbaya to each other.

Sustainable development (aka Agenda 21) has its origins in a United Nations program. Henry Lamb of Sovereignty International traces its history in an article in Canada Free Press:

Agenda 21 was developed over a period of time, traceable from the 1972 U.N. Conference on the Environment, which identified “environmental protection” as the world’s greatest problem, and gave the world the U.N. Environmental Programme, followed almost immediately by Nixon’s Executive Order that created the EPA.

Then came the 1976 U.N. Conference on Human Settlements, signed by the U.S., which proclaimed that “Public control of land use is…indispensable.” The next major step was the creation of the U.N. World Commission on Environment and Development in 1983, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland. The commission issued its final report in 1987, called Our Common Future. This document produced the concept and defined the term “Sustainable Development” to be: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

This rather ambiguous definition was spelled out in great detail in a 40-chapter, 300-page document titled Agenda 21, signed and adopted by 179 nations in 1992 at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.

A document from that 1976 UN conference states: “Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice…”

To repeat the definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

On the surface, that sounds all warm and fuzzy, perhaps even prudent. But below the surface we find impracticality and an assault on private property rights and liberty.

Sustainable development invariably involves giving some central authority control over the economy. The former Soviet Union is a good example of how badly that works.

The reason central planning doesn’t work is that we cannot know what the needs of future generations will be. The concept of sustainable development is actually one of arrogance.

The NAS report excerpts:

“This report is the first in-depth critical study of the sustainability movement in higher education. The movement, of course, extends well beyond the college campus. It affects party politics, government bureaucracy, the energy industry, Hollywood, schools, and consumers. But the college campus is where the movement gets its voice of authority, and where it molds the views and commands the attention of young people.”

“We also examine the financial costs to colleges and universities in their efforts to achieve some of the movement’s goals. Often the movement presents its program as saving these institutions money. But we have found that American colleges and universities currently spend more than $3.4 billion per year pursuing their dreams of ‘sustainability’ at a time when college tuitions are soaring and 7.5 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed and another 46 percent underemployed. In addition to the direct costs of the movement, we examine the growing demands by sustainability advocates that colleges and universities divest their holdings in carbon-based energy companies without regard to forgone income or growth in their endowments. What makes ‘sustainability’ so important that institutions facing financial

distress are willing to prioritize spending on it? In this report, we examine that question.”

“To the unwary, ‘sustainability’ is the newer name for environmentalism. But the goals of the sustainability movement are different. They go far beyond ensuring clean air and water and protecting vulnerable plants and animals. As an ideology, sustainability takes aim at economic and political liberty. Sustainability pictures economic liberty as a combination of strip mining, industrial waste, and rampant pollution. It pictures political liberty as people voting to enjoy the present, heedless of what it will cost future generations. Sustainability’s alternative to economic liberty is a regime of far-reaching regulation that controls virtually every aspect of energy, industry, personal consumption, waste, food, and transportation. Sustainability’s alternative to political liberty is control vested in agencies and panels run by experts insulated from elections or other expressions of popular will.”

How pervasive is the “sustainability” movement? NAS reports:

“There are upwards of 50 professional bodies to serve the intellectual and career interests of sustainability experts. There are 1,438 sustainability-focused academic programs at 475 campuses in 65 states and provinces to credential those experts.”

“Hundreds of millions of dollars in private philanthropy have been channeled into sustainability research. Government agencies, too, have poured billions into academic research aligned with the sustainability movement’s agenda. The EPA alone has spent more than $333 million in the last 15 years sponsoring sustainability fellowships, predominantly for college and university professors, in addition to another $60 million in sustainability research grants. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records show more than $3 billion in grants for climate science research since 1998 (more than $89 million in 2014), while the National Institutes of Health has granted in the last four years alone $28 million for research on climate change and another $580 million on ‘Climate-Related Exposures and Conditions.’ The National Science Foundation records show more than $1.7 billion since 1998 in sustainability research grants. The National Endowment for the Arts invested $2 million over the same period. The disparity in date ranges available in government grant databases makes direct comparisons difficult. But these numbers indicate an average of $465 million in federal funding for sustainability and climate change research each year—though in recent years government funding for climate research has increased substantially.”

Could you think of some better use for those funds, time, and energy?

The NAS report concludes with 10 recommendations in the form of advice to colleges and universities to uphold with greater vigor their traditional standards.

See also:

Capitalism is not a zero sum game

Climate and Communism

Environmental Sophistry

The Collectivist Mind

How NEPA crushes productivity

EPA’s Clean Power Plan would disproportionally hurt the poor

According to a study commissioned by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” would have “serious economic, employment, and energy market impacts at the national level and for all states, and that the impacts on low income groups, Blacks, and Hispanics would be especially severe.”

The report is entitled “Potential Impact of Proposed EPA Regulations On Low Income Groups and Minorities.” You can read the full report here (127 pages).

The report abstract reads as follows:

“EPA is proposing new regulations, including guidelines to reduce CO2 emissions from existing fossil-fueled power plants. These regulations would have serious economic, employment, and energy impacts at the national level and for all states, and the impacts on low-income groups, Blacks, and Hispanics would be especially severe. The EPA rules would: 1) Significantly reduce U.S. GDP every year over the next two decades – over $2.3 trillion; 2) Destroy millions of jobs; 3) More than double the cost of power and natural gas to over $1 trillion; 4) Require the average family to pay over $1,225 more for power and gas in 2030 than in 2012.”

“The EPA regulations will increase Hispanic poverty by more than 26% and Black poverty by more than 23%. The energy burdens for Blacks and Hispanics will increase and large numbers of both groups will be forced into energy poverty and Black and Hispanic household incomes will decline by increasing amounts each year. There would be increasing job losses: By 2035, cumulative job losses for Blacks will total about 7 million and for Hispanics will total 12 million. Most job losses would occur in the states in which Blacks and Hispanics are most heavily concentrated.”

The report provides analysis of impact nationally and by state.

In concluding remarks (page 103) the report warns:

“The EPA regulations will significantly increase the energy burdens for Blacks and Hispanics and increase the numbers of Blacks and Hispanics suffering from “energy poverty.” The regulations will greatly increase energy prices and set off repercussions throughout the economy, but nowhere do high prices bring consequences as swiftly and harshly as in low-income and minority households. For the tens of millions of low income households, the higher energy prices will intensify the difficulty of meeting the costs of basic human needs, while increasing energy burdens that are already excessive. At the same time, the EPA regulations will threaten low-income access to vital energy and utility services, thereby endangering health and safety while creating additional barriers to meaningful low-income participation in the economy. While home energy costs average about four percent per year in middle class households, they can reach a staggering 70 percent of monthly income for low-income families.”

The government’s campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has no basis in science or economics; it is essentially a method for obtaining power and making citizens more dependent on government. As Dr. Indur Goklany writes, “…it is a strange moral calculus that endorses policies that would reduce existing gains in human well-being, increase the cost of humanity’s basic necessities, increase poverty, and reduce the terrestrial biosphere’s future productivity and ability to support biomass, all in order to solve future problems that may not even exist or, if they do, are probably more easily solved by future generations who should be richer both economically and technologically. Moreover, because food, fibre, fuel and energy – basic necessities – consume a disproportionately large share of the income of the poorest, they would also pay the highest price for these policies.” Goklany is the author of a paper “The Pontifical Academies’ Broken Moral Compass.” Read full paper here.

See also:

EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue

EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply

EPA fuel standards costly and ineffective

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

Electricity supply endangered by EPA regulations

Impact of new EPA ozone rule

EPA experiments on humans debunk their ozone and particulate matter health claims

EPA conducted illegal and potentially lethal experiments on children

The EPA is destroying America

Replace EPA