People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter, December, 2015
Repeal Arizona’s Renewable Energy Mandate
by Jonathan DuHamel
Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is petitioning the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for a 7 percent increase in electricity rates. TEP says the increase is necessary to help pay for the approximately $100 million TEP needs to spend to meet ACC’s requirement for electricity generation from renewable sources.
Now is the time to write to state legislators to urge them to repeal Arizona’s renewable energy standards and tariff (REST).
REST requires that electric utilities generate an ever increasing amount of electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar. The mandated goal is to reach a total of 15% renewable generation by the year 2025.
Six reasons why we should lay REST to rest:
1. Electricity generated from renewable sources is much more expensive than conventional generation. That expense is reflected in higher electricity bills. For instance, my bill from Tucson Electric Power itemizes an expense for “Renewable Energy Standard Tariff” and another charge for “DSM Surcharge.” (DSM is demand side management). In 2011, TEP raised about $35 million from these charges. A study from the Beacon Hill Institute estimates that REST will cost Arizona’s electricity consumers $1.383 billion more than conventional electricity generation would from 2013 to 2025, within a range of $857 million and $2.221 billion.
Beacon Hill also estimates that these increased energy prices will hurt Arizona’s households and businesses and, in turn, inflict harm on the state economy, lower employment by 2,500 jobs, and reduce real disposable income by $334 million.
2. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent, unpredictable, and unreliable. Increased generation from unreliable sources will make our electric grid more susceptible to blackouts and brownouts. Solar and wind generation typically produce at only about 20% of rated generation capacity. Tucson Electric Power operates one of the largest solar PV arrays in the United States, a 5-MW system. But during five years of operation it has produced at only 19% of its rated capacity. Even in Arizona, clouds cause rapid fluctuation in the array’s power output.
3. Because generation from renewable energy sources is intermittent and unpredictable, these sources require backup generation which is usually by burning fossil fuels. Because the time and duration for backup generation need is unpredictable, the fossil-fuel fired backup generators cannot be run efficiently. Experience in Europe shows that backup generators actually use more fuel and produce more carbon dioxide emissions and pollutants such as sulfur dioxide than they normally would if they were run efficiently for primary generation.
A report from the European Nuclear Energy Agency analyzed the effects erratic intermittent source generation on the electric grid: The report considers “six technologies in detail: nuclear, coal, gas, onshore wind, offshore wind and solar. It finds that the so-called dispatchable technologies – coal, gas and nuclear – have system costs of less than $3 per MWh, while the system costs for renewables can reach up to $40 per MWh for onshore wind, $45 per MWh for offshore wind and $80 per MWh for solar. The costs for renewables vary depending on the country, technology and penetration levels, with higher system costs for greater penetration of renewables.”
4. Use of renewable energy will not impact climate. By using data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, NOAA, and the IPCC, it is possible to estimate the temperature impact of carbon dioxide emissions. For instance, if we stopped all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions it could theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.08ºC by 2050. If Arizona stopped all carbon dioxide emissions it could theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.0015ºC by 2050. Will you notice? (Data from Science & Public Policy Institute report “Analysis of US and State-by-State Carbon Dioxide Emissions & Potential ‘Savings’ in Future Global Temperature & Global Sea Level Rise”)
Besides, the increasing emissions from other countries such as China will completely wipe out any imagined savings from REST.
5. Wind turbines cause health problems due to low frequency vibrations. (See here)
In the United Kingdom a study “claims thousands of people are falling sick because they live near” wind farms. Wind turbine syndrome is alleged to cause dizziness; increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, and depression among other things. All due to low-frequency vibrations. In December 2011, in a peer-reviewed report in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Dr. Carl Phillips, one of the U.S.’s most distinguished epidemiologists, concluded that there is “overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate.”
6. Political philosophy: Who is in charge of public policy, state legislators as representatives of the people, or the Arizona Corporation Commission?
Renewable energy is not as green as advertized.
For example, many PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels.
A Cato report found that the materials required for thermal-solar projects were 1,000 times greater than for a similarly sized fossil-fuel facility, creating substantial incremental energy consumption and industrial pollution.
A wind farm uses about 85 times the area required by a gas-fired plant, about 10 to 80 acres per megawatt capacity. Solar requires about 10 acres per megawatt, still much larger than fossil fuel plants. This large footprint may impact wildlife.
Besides chopping up birds, a study from M.I.T. says wind turbines cause a rise in local temperatures of up to 1.8ºF because the turbines disrupt local air flow that can transport heat away from the land surface.
My argument here is not against any use of renewable energy because there may be circumstances where such use is appropriate. My argument is against government mandated use which raises our electricity rates unnecessarily, distorts the market, and makes our electric grid less reliable.
Renewable energy mandates are bad for ratepayers, bad for the environment, and even bad for the state’s economy because of the increased electrical costs on business and the expense of government subsidies required by the mandate. The mandate fails to accomplish the stated rationale and is essentially just a politically correct eco-fad (with a little crony capitalism thrown in) that increases our electricity costs but provides no benefit. When the new Arizona legislature convenes in January, tell them to lay REST to rest. Dump the mandates.
Milton Friedman, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
STATE OF THE UNION
DHS spends $1B to digitize, only 1 immigration form available online
A Department of Homeland Security agency spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer money to digitize immigration paperwork — and after a decade of work, only has managed to put one document online.
The Washington Post reported Monday that officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services still are only able to offer a single form — out of nearly 100 — for online applications, and make a single fee payable electronically.
All other forms can still only be filed with paper.
The report sheds light on a struggling effort that not only has frustrated immigrant applicants but raises national security concerns and could put at risk any effort to overhaul immigration policies.
The project was originally supposed to be done in 2013, for a half-billion-dollar price tag.
Now, according to the Post, it isn’t projected to be done for another four years and could cost over $3 billion. Read more
After Muslim Truckers Refuse to Deliver Beer… Obama Does the Unbelievable
by Bill Callen | Top Right News
Barack Obama just sided with Muslims to enforce Islamic Sharia Law on an American business, leaving many outraged and two FoxNews anchors absolutely stunned.
Two Muslim truck drivers — former Somali “refugees” — refused to make deliveries of beer to stores for their employer. So they were understandably fired.
They claimed it was a violation of their religious beliefs — even though Islam bars only the consumption of alcohol. And, as the employer pointed out, the workers knew they would have to deliver alcohol before they took the job.
So guess what Barack Obama did.
He SUED the employers on behalf of the pair, Mahad Abass Mohamed and Abdkiarim Hassan Bulshale, claiming religious discrimination.
Obama’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) represented them in the case, providing tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars in legal support, judicial filings and court appearances against the employer who was hopelessly outgunned by the Federal government.
And this week the Muslims were awarded a stunning $240,000 by a jury, presided over by an Obama appointee who stunned analysts by allowing the case to go forward at all. Read more
Feds Take $4.5 Billion Worth of Private Property From Americans in 2014
by Ali Meyer, Washington Free Beacon
The Department of Justice took $4.5 billion in private property including cash, cars and homes from Americans in 2014, which includes both civil and criminal forfeitures, according to a report from the Institute for Justice.
A majority, or 87 percent, of the forfeitures by the government from 1997 to 2013 were civil forfeitures, while only 13 percent were criminal.
“Under civil forfeiture laws, the government can seize this property on the mere suspicion that it is connected to criminal activity,” the report, entitled “Policing for Profit,” said. “No charges or convictions are required.”
“Every year, police and prosecutors across the United States take hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, cars, homes and other property—regardless of the owners’ guilt or innocence,” the report found.
Proceeds from the sale of this personal property are used to generate revenue for the federal government.
In 1986, the Justice Department took $93.7 million in revenue from these forfeitures and in 2014, they took $4.5 billion, representing a 4,667 percent increase.
The report drew attention to a case of asset forfeiture involving Charles Clarke, a 24-year old carrying $11,000 in cash on a flight home to Florida. Federal agents claimed that Clarke’s bag smelled of marijuana and seized the funds. Although the law enforcement officials could not find any drugs on his person or his bag, current law allowed his property to be seized.
“The officers found no evidence that he was guilty of any crime before seizing his money,” the report said. “In the upside-down world of civil forfeiture, they did not have to.”
“Civil forfeiture threatens the constitutional rights of all Americans,” said Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice. “Using civil forfeiture, the government can take your home, business, cash, car or other property on the mere suspicion that it is somehow connected to criminal activity—and without ever convicting or even charging you with a crime.”
Angela Erickson, a senior research analyst at the Institute for Justice said civil forfeiture should be abolished.
“Civil forfeiture needs to be completely abolished,” Erickson said. “Short of that, the federal government should reform its laws by requiring a criminal conviction and eliminating the profit incentive that allows law enforcement to fill their coffers.” Source
In spite of a state law in New Mexico which abolished civil forfeiture, the city of Albuquerque continues to seize about 1,000 vehicles each year. That brings in roughly $1 million in forfeiture proceeds, which are used primarily to pay the salaries of the police and prosecutors who run the program – in other words, exactly the sort of perverse financial incentive New Mexico’s reforms were designed to eliminate. Read more
Charley Reese’s final column for the Orlando Sentinel
545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. (The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees. We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Obama says he’s not interested in America Winning
Just when you thought you’ve heard it all. Hours before Islamic State jihadis killed 129 people in Paris, Barack Obama boasted that his strategy had “contained” the group formerly known as the JV team. Clearly, that self-praise was incredibly ill-timed. Undeterred, at a press conference, he proceeded to utter what might become the defining statement of his atrocious presidency: “What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning.” read more
The Arizona Daily Independent has an interesting series of articles on downsizing the federal government
“The government ‘anti-poverty’ programs are specifically and intentionally designed to make absolutely sure that nobody who takes the handouts ever escapes from poverty. From the bureaucracy’s perspective, it is absolutely essential that the number of people counted as being in poverty be kept high. – Francis Menton (see post)
Global Warming Activists Don’t Like When Someone Follows The Money
by Andrew Follett
Environmentalists like to claim skeptics are making money off hampering global warming regulations, but those same activists are making a lot of money promoting global warming alarmism.
“Funding of science, in this particular case, climate change science, is dominated by the federal government. We assert that this will cause recipients of [government] grants to publish findings that are in-line with government policy preferences (i.e., don’t bite the hand that feeds you),” Chip Knappenberger, the assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.
“After a while, the scientific literature becomes dominated by these types of research findings which then produces a biased knowledge base,” Knappenberger said. “This knowledge base is then ‘assessed’ by intergovernmental and federal science committees (i.e., IPCC, USGCRP) to produce authoritative reports that supposedly represent the scientific ‘consensus,’ which is then tapped by the federal government in determining policy and setting regulations, such as the CPP [Clean Power Plan].”
Studies that receive financial support from the public sector don’t have to disclose it as a conflict of interest, even when that support is in the millions of dollars. Recent studies that the Environmental Protection Agency is using to support the scientific case for its Clean Power Plan saw the EPA itself give $31.2 million, $9.5 million, and $3.65 million in public funds to lead authors according to EPA public disclosures.
The author who received $3.65 million, Charles Driscoll, even admitted to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the result of his study was predetermined, saying “in doing this study we wanted to bring attention to the additional benefits from carbon controls.”
Universities typically received about 50 percent of the money that their researchers get in public funds if their research finds positive results, making them deeply dependent upon federal funding and likely to encourage studies which will come to conclusions that the government wants.
Even counting only private money, environmental groups massively outspend their opposition. Opposition to global warming activism only raises $46 million annually across 91 conservative think tanks according to analysis by Forbes. That’s almost 6 times less than Greenpeace’s 2011 budget of $260 million, and Greenpeace is only one of many environmental groups. The undeniable truth is that global warming activists raise and spend far more money than their opponents.
Attempts by governments to encourage solar and wind power have created incentives for corruption that even environmentalists acknowledge. The push to encourage “green” systems has already led to serious corruption, such as the Solyndra scandal, which “crowds out” investment dollars that could be better spent on more workable solutions. Source
Google search gets political on climate
It has recently been discovered that the Google search engine fails to produce many papers and articles that are skeptical of the current political orthodoxy on climate. To remedy that situation, a group has developed another search engine that will find these publications.
Here is the search engine: http://defyccc.com/search/#gsc.tab=0
Two news studies say Antarctica gaining ice and snow – not melting
by Jonathan DuHamel
Contrary to the hype that certain coastal glaciers in Antarctica are melting due to global warming, two new studies, one by NASA and one by the American Geophysical Union and the British Antarctic Survey show that gains in snow and ice are more than the losses. With coastal glaciers, if more snow is piles on the top (land side), gravity will make them flow faster to the terminus (into the sea).
“A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers. According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”
The NASA study is based on radar altimeter data from two European Space Agency European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites and from NASA’s own satellites. They also used data from ice cores.
NASA says: “The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice – enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.” NASA says that the extra accumulating snow is reducing sea level rise by 0.23 millimeters per year (not much, but it shows that local melting in Antarctica is being offset).
AGU & BAS:
The American Geophysical Union/British Antarctic Survey study deals with the West Antarctica peninsula that is subject to warming winds and is underlain by many active volcanoes which add geothermal heat to the area.
“The new study used ice cores to estimate annual snow accumulation from 1712 to 2010 along the coastal West Antarctic. Until 1899, annual snow accumulation remained steady, averaging 33 and 40 centimeters (13 and 16 inches) water, or melted snow, each year at two locations. Annual snow accumulation increased in the early 20th century, rising 30 percent between 1900 and 2010 and the researchers found that in the last 30 years of the study, the ice sheet gained nearly 5 meters (16 feet) more water than it did during the first 30 years of the studied time period.”
The study “attributes the higher annual snow accumulation over the last 30 years in part to an intensification of a regional low pressure system and more storms in the region. These storms could increase as a result of climate change, possibly leading to further increases in snow accumulation.”
These studies are very inconvenient for the big U.N. climate conference in Paris next month where the U.N. will try to extract $100 billion per year from developed countries to mitigate “climate damage” to developing countries.
Thank a cow for cooling the planet
by Larry Bell
A significant but media-ignored 2013 report published in the journal Nature concluded that livestock greenhouse gas “excretions” may tend to cool, not heat up, temperatures.
Titled “Molecular understanding of sulphuric acid-amine particle nucleation in the atmosphere,” the report concludes that the ammonia-laden content contributes in creating cloud cover which reflects daytime solar infrared energy back to space.
Although the clouds also hold heat near the surface at night, the net overall effect likely lowers temperatures.
The researchers are part of CERN, the prestigious 21-national-member European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN uses the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the fundamental particles of matter. Read more
Data tweaking heats up climate hype
by Larry Bell
Executive Department agencies within the Obama Administration have tweaked historic real-world data 16 times in the past 3 years alone to try to hide the fact that there has been no global warming for nearly two decades and to falsely claim that the current temperatures are the highest on record. And why not? Billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled to those whose reports line up with the political agendas of the White House and others with a vested interest in “climate change.” In reality, these shenanigans should be rewarded with a loss of jobs and credibility. Read more and even more.
Nevada neighborhood first to feel sting of sage grouse rules
By Scott Sonner
One of the first, actual on-the-ground disruptions caused by new U.S. efforts to protect the greater sage grouse isn’t on a cattle ranch in Oregon or an oil field in Colorado.
It’s in the backyard of a residential neighborhood north of Reno, Nevada, where plans to acquire federal land to build a badly needed school are on hold because the government considers it sage grouse habitat. Read more The same thing happened with the pygmy owl in Tucson many years ago.
What’s Actually in the Trans Pacific Partnership?
By Howard Richman, Raymond Richman and Jesse Richman
On November 5, the White House released the text of the 5,544 page Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that President Obama had just finished negotiating under the FastTrack authority that Congress gave him. That trade pact can no longer be amended. The up-or-down votes in the House and Senate will take place as early as January 2016.
So what’s in the TPP? Here’s a quick summary:
A legislative body superior to Congress
A vehicle to pass Obama’s climate change treaty
Increased legal immigration
Reduced patent protection for U.S. pharmaceuticals
Quotas on U.S. agricultural exports
Increased currency manipulation
Reduced U.S. power Read the details
“Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.” -Robert Louis Stevenson
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People for the West – Tucson
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation.
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