Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:

EPA is proposing to take common-sense steps under the Clean Air Act to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. … Power plants are the largest individual sources of carbon pollution in the United States and currently there are no uniform national limits on the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be able to emit. Consistent with the US Supreme Court’s decision, in 2009, EPA determined that greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans’ health and welfare by leading to long lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment. [EPA Press Release]

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Number of the Week: 1000 pounds per megawatt hour

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THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Skinning the Cat: When the cap-and-trade bill on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions failed in the US Senate, President Obama famously announced that there is more than one way to skin the cat. Through the EPA, the administration is skinning the cat – live. The EPA has proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants to 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour to take effect in 12 months. Effectively, the proposed rule prevents the future construction any coal fired power plants larger than 25 megawatts unless the plant incorporates carbon capture and storage, an unproven technology with unknown costs.

The EPA announcement speaks of carbon pollution, as if diamonds are a pollutant; or humans who contain large amounts of carbon and produce carbon dioxide are, in themselves, a pollutant. 

According to the latest statistics from the Energy Information Administration, in 2011 coal produced 42 percent of the electricity generated in the US and natural gas was second with 25 percent. This represents a dramatic shift since 2005 when coal generated almost 50% and natural gas was third with 19%, just behind nuclear. This shift reflects the availability and the low price of natural gas as well as the efforts of the environmental industry to stop the construction of new coal fired plants by citing unsubstantiated public health claims as well as global warming.

Accordingly to the Wall Street Journal, on March 22 the contract futures price for natural gas in the US was $2.27 per million BTUs. For Western Europe, the Mideast, west India, Australia the price was between $10 and $15 per million BTUs. For Japan and Korea the price was above $15 per million BTUs. There is no reason to assume that the price in the US will remain so extraordinarily low. In July 2008, the price in the US hit $13 per million BTUs and some were questioning if natural gas fired power plants were economically feasible.

The current low prices in the US, was brought on by a number of circumstances the most important was the development of deep underground hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of dense shale to produce natural gas, combined with horizontal drilling of the shale seams. The newly discovered techniques have produced an economic boon, not expected by Washington’s economic planners. This was coupled with a very mild winter, and now the natural gas storage facilities are approaching maximum capacity.

Many defenders of the EPA’s action state that the low price of natural gas justifies EPA’s action of preventing a coal fired power plant being built in the future. However, there are no assurances that natural gas prices will remain low. For over a year, the low gas prices have been forcing energy companies to drill for oil or other liquids rather than natural gas. In addition, increased consumption by industry and, possibly, transportation vehicles result in rising prices. Also, the production life of the expensive wells is not yet established. Further, there is no reason to assume that the EPA will not arbitrarily announce new rules on hydraulic fracturing that will significantly drive up the cost of natural gas.

EPA’s finding that carbon dioxide endangers public health and welfare is still being litigated. Among the issues are: 1) science does not support the finding; 2) EPA failed to make an independent analysis of the science; and 3) EPA failed to consult its Science Advisory Board. In a separate review, the Inspector General of the EPA concluded the EPA failed to meet the last two criteria and did not address the first.

No doubt, the new proposed rule will be litigated. However, it demonstrates how potentially destructive the 2007 Supreme Court decision that CO2 is a pollutant that can be regulated by the EPA can become when such power is given to an aggressive, controlling agency. Please see Article # 6 and links under “EPA and other Regulators on the March.”

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Australian Elections: Last weekend the states of Queensland and Victoria held elections that went against the party of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who broke her campaign promise that she would not institute a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Perhaps this is a warning to politicians who take their campaign promises lightly, and seek to control energy producing industries. Please see links under “Subsidies and Mandates Forever.”

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Senate Vote on Tax Subsidies: In a symbolic gesture, the Senate failed to pass a bill, strongly supported by the President, to strip oil and gas companies of any tax subsidies they may receive. Washington is obsessed with the idea the increasing costs to oil and gas companies will reduce the price of gasoline. As reported last week, the Congressional Budget Office estimates these subsidies amount to about $2.5 Billion per year. A major one is the depletion allowance which exists for all extraction industries. Companies, such as Mitchell Energy, which developed the innovative techniques of extracting oil and natural gas from dense shale no doubt, take advantage of this allowance; but, contrary to political claims, it is not available to major integrated oil companies such as Exxon-Mobil. Please see links under “The Political Games Continue.”

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Corrections and Amplifications: The link to the article in Oceanus describing a newly discovered current in the Ocean Conveyer in the North Atlantic became distorted. It is:

http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=132749&sectionid=1021

Professor Cliff Ollier of the University of Western Australia gave two references to the existence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age in the Pacific. Nunn, P.D. 2007. Climate, Environment and Society in the Pacific during the Last Millennium. Elsevier, Amsterdam.  This includes a specific chapter and Nunn, P.ED. 2007. The AD 1300 event in the Pacific Basin.  The Geographical Review, 97, 1-23

The article, Solar Activity and Svalbard Temperatures, was linked in the December 17, 2011 TWTW not a February 2012 TWTW as previously stated. Svalbard is between about 74 to 81 deg North Latitude, well within the Arctic Circle. http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.3256

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April Fools Award: Many nations have an informal holiday falling on, or about, April 1, which in some nations is called April Fools’ Day. The holiday is marked by pranks and tricks played upon others. Some of these tricks may be in merriment, others may be quite serious.

In recognizing that day, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) plans give an Annual April Fools’ Award to the government official or political leader, who, in the determination of a special SEPP panel is the most deserving. The criteria are as follows:

  • The official has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
  • The official does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
  • The official declared that physical science supports such measures.
  • The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

All readers of TWTW are invited to nominate a government official in their country as possible recipients of the award, provided that country is generally recognized as having a democratic system of government with protection of individual freedom of speech. Please send the nomination to Ken@sepp.org with a one to two sentence explanation why that official is most deserving. The winning nominee will be announced in TWTW at the end of April.

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at: http://www.sepp.org. The articles are at the end of the pdf.

1. The Gas Price Kerfuffle: Obama’s Achilles Heel?

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Mar 28, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/the_gas_price_kerfuffle_obamas_achilles_heel.html

2 Global Warming Models Are Wrong Again

The observed response of the climate to more CO2 is not in good agreement with predictions.

By William Happer, WSJ, Mar 26, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304636404577291352882984274.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

3. The Anti-Energy President

He really meant it when he said prices would “skyrocket.”

By Pete Du Pont, WSJ, Mar 29, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577309660763228238.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond

4. Perry Beats Obama

A federal court slams the EPA’s clean-air war on Texas.

Editorial, WSJ, Mar 29, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577311782025040926.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_AboveLEFTTop

5. Planned Pipelines to Rival Keystone XL

By Tom Fowler, WSJ, Mar 26, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577305980790538586.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

[SEPP Comment: Forget the Administration and Nebraska]

6. Steel Finds Sweet Spot in the Shale

Natural-Gas Boom Begets Low Prices for Fuel, Strong Demand for Piping—a Double Boon for Mills

By John Miller, WSJ, Mar 26, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577305611784871178.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Funding Agency Bias – A Short Summary

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Mar 27, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/funding-agency-bias-a-short-example/

Challenging the Orthodoxy

McKitrick & Michaels Were Right: More Evidence of Spurious Warming in the IPCC Surface Temperature Dataset

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 30, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/mckitrick-michaels-were-right-more-evidence-of-spurious-warming-in-the-ipcc-surface-temperature-dataset/

[SEPP Comment: Spencer also brings up his frustration with getting significant articles published in scientific journals.]

CSIRO alarmism more dangerous than CO2

By Cliff Ollier, ICECAP, Mar 28, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/csiro_alarmism_more_dangerous_than_co2/

[SEPP Comment: Views from a distinguished scientist who boldly stated that IPCC projections of Himalayan ice melt were not substantiated by the empirical evidence.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

Rising concern on climate change

Editorial, Washington Post, Mar 24, 2012 [H/t David Manuta]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rising-concern-on-climate-change/2012/03/20/gIQAC73UYS_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

[SEPP Comment: The US must lead the world in economic destruction?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Climate Obstinately Refuses to Cooperate with Global Warming Alarmists

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Mar 27, 2012

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/03/27/climate-obstinately-refuses-to-cooperate-with-global-warming-alarmists/

Amazing Disconnect From The Scientific Process

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Mar 28, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/amazing-disconnect-from-the-scientific-process/

[SEPP Comment: Pielke cites a convoluted statement in a paper, inviting anyone to defend it. “A global climate model that does not simulate current climate accurately does not necessarily imply that it cannot produce accurate projections.”]

IPCC, CRU Climate Science Product of Public Relations and Peer Review

By Tim Ball, Different Perspective, Mar 30, 2012

http://drtimball.com/2012/ipcc-cru-climate-science-product-of-public-relations-and-peer-review/

Earth Hour’s” global Propaganda Campaign

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Mar 29, 2012

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/

Questioning European Green

Britain faces power shortfall that could affect 5m homes after German energy giants pull plug on £10bn nuclear deal

By Peter Campbell, Daily Mail, Mar 29, 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-2122355/CITY-FOCUS-Britains-energy-gap-needs-plugging.html

Dash For Gas Would End Recession Almost At A Stroke

By Alan Jones, 3000 Quads, Mar 30, 2012

http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/5337-alan-jones-dash-for-gas-would-end-recession-almost-at-a-stroke.html

[SEPP Comment: Perhaps overly optimistic, but gives a brief overview of the history of coal gas and methane in Britain.]

Green debate in Europe has reached ‘deadlock’

It is almost inevitable that we will see the evolution of a more pragmatic and less zealous approach to tackling climate change and energy policies – claims think-tank

By Benny Peiser, Public Service Europe, Mar 28, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/1723/green-debate-in-europe-has-reached-deadlock

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Greening science

By Garth Paltridge, Quadrant, Mar 29, 2012

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2012/03/greening-science

Expanding the Orthodoxy

The Royal Society’s Blatherfest

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Mar 24, 2012

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/03/24/the-royal-societys-blatherfest/

Obama Requests $770 Million to Fight Global Warming Overseas

By Matt Cover, CNSNews, Mar 26, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-requests-770-million-fight-global-warming-overseas

Climate Fund Seeks UN-Style Diplomatic Immunity

By Staff Writers, Fox News, Mar 22, 2012 [H/t Catherine French]

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpps/news/climate-fund-seeks-un-style-diplomatic-immunity-dpgonc-km-20120322_18755189

[SEPP Comment: Why should those who hope to distribute $100 Billion from developed countries to others be held accountable for their actions? They demand to be more protected than Wall Street firms selling sub-prime securities.]

Problems within the Orthodoxy

Official IPCC Words: We Do Not Know If The Climate Is Becoming More Extreme

By Maurizio Morabito, Omnologos, Mar 28, 2012

http://omnologos.com/official-ipcc-words-we-do-not-know-if-the-climate-is-becoming-more-extreme/

After Durban it’s back to the trenches

By Sonja van Renssen, European Energy Review, Mar 26, 2012

http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagina.php?id_mailing=261&toegang=b1a59b315fc9a3002ce38bbe070ec3f5&id=3603

Rio +20 – More Demands

Where Freedom and Energy Intersect

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Mar 30, 2012

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/where-freedom-and-energy-intersect/

2C warming target ‘out of reach’ – ex UN climate chief

By Staff Writers, London (AFP), March 27, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/2C_warming_target_out_of_reach_ex_UN_climate_chief_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Governments can stop global temperature change! More reason why the US to pull out of the UNFCCC, or, at least, stop financing it.]

Upcoming United Nations Summit Repackages Global Warming Agenda Under the Guise of “Sustainability”

By Kevin Mooney, Net Right Daily, Mar 22, 2012

http://netrightdaily.com/2012/03/upcoming-united-nations-summit-repackages-global-warming-agenda-under-the-guise-of-sustainability/

Shadow of ‘Anthropocene’ falls over Rio Summit

By Staff Writers, London (AFP), March 26, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Shadow_of_Anthropocene_falls_over_Rio_Summit_999.html

“We’ve invented a new geological era: the Anthropocene,” he said referring to an epoch shaped by Man, not nature.

Cities on front line of climate change

By Staff Writers, London (AFP), March 27, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Cities_on_front_line_of_climate_change_999.html

Cultural inertia is slowing effective action to address climate-change

By Staff Writers, London OR (SPX), Mar 29, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Cultural_inertia_is_slowing_effective_action_to_address_climate_change_999.html

Seeking a Common Ground

A science-policy research agenda

By Judith Curry, Climate, Etc, Mar 26, 2012

http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/26/a-science-policy-research-agenda/#more-7855

[SEPP Comment: Addressing a much needed issue for discussion. Those scientists, who exaggerate certainty, in order to be effective, may be damaging the credibility of others.]

U.S. weather prediction: falling behind

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Mar 30, 2012

http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/30/u-s-weather-prediction-falling-behind/#more-7896

[SEPP Comment: A rather long post describing what is wrong with the US weather prediction.}

JC’s recommendation: Get NOAA out of the climate modeling business, and put DOE in charge of GFDL and their climate modeling activities. The U.S. needs to get serious about weather and seasonal climate forecasting. The problems at NOAA/NCEP are so overwhelming I don’t even know where to start. In the mean time, I will keep purchasing the ECMWF weather forecast data.

Manufacturing and Industrial R&D

By Roger Pielke, Jr, His Blog, Mar 25, 2012

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/03/manufacturing-and-industrial-r.html

[SEPP Comment: The claims that private industry is reducing support of research and development is not supported by the evidence.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

State of the planet

By Staff Writers, Stockholm, Sweden (SPX), Mar 28, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/State_of_the_planet_999.html

IPCC now too moderate for professional scaremongers

By Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, AU, Mar 31, 2012 [H/t WUWT]

http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/ipcc_now_too_moderate_for_professional_scaremongers/

[SEPP Comment: The science has long been irrelevant to the scaremongers.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible

The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.

By Nina Chestney, Scientific American, Mar 26, 2012

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=global-warming-close-to-becoming-ir

Link builds between weather extremes and warming

By Nina Chestney, Reuters, Mar 25, 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/25/us-weather-climate-change-idUSBRE82O0EA20120325

US wind generation increases by 27 percent

By Staff Writers, Washington (IANS), Mar 13, 2012

http://www.winddaily.com/reports/US_wind_generation_increases_by_27_percent_999.html

In its Annual Energy outlook 2012, the agency estimates that increased generation from renewable energy resources in the power sector will account for 33 percent of total electricity generation between 2010 and 2035.

[SEPP Comment: No such statement appears in the preliminary annual report. Full report has not been released.]

Simultaneous action needed to break cultural inertia in climate-change response

Press Release, University of Oregon, Mar 26, 2012

http://uonews.uoregon.edu/archive/news-release/2012/3/simultaneous-action-needed-break-cultural-inertia-climate-change-respons

Models v. Observations

Multi-Decadal Climate Model Testing Requirements – A Summary

By Roger Pielke, Sr, Climate Science, Mar 30, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/multi-decadal-climate-model-testing-requirements-a-summary/

[SEPP Comment: Sensible prerequisites before climate models are used for additional research.]

Changing Weather

RSS global and US temperatures have some surprises

By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell, Mar 30, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/rss_global_and_us_temperatures_have_some_surprises/

Another blow to warmist hysteria over weather is not climate unless we say it is: “2011 damage is qualitatively indistinguishable from 1974″

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 28, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/28/another-blow-to-warmist-hysteria-over-weather-is-not-climate-unless-we-say-it-is-2011-damage-is-qualitatively-indistinguishable-from-1974/#more-60292

Weather is climate, or loaded dice, or something

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 25, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/25/weather-is-climate-or-loaded-dice-or-something/#more-60148

[SEPP Comment: Refuting the latest alarmism from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)]

Weather Runs Hot and Cold, So Scientists Look to the Ice

By Justin Gillis and Joanna Foster, NYT, Mar 28, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/science/earth/arctic-sea-ice-eyed-for-clues-to-weather-extremes.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120329

[SEPP Comment: Global warming has changed to regional warming. Carbon dioxide emissions do not explain regional warming.]

Changing Climate

Cherry Pie or Baloney sandwich?

By Joe Bastardi, ICECAP, Mar 25, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/cherry_pie_or_baloney_sandwich/

[SEPP Comment: Producing data falsifying a hypothesis is not cherry picking.]

Medieval Warming Period Cools Climate Change Alarmism

Editorial, IBD, Mar 27, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/605815/201203271858/medieval-warming-period-is-no-myth.htm

Changing Seas

In ice-ages, CO2 hides in the oceans (yes we knew that)

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 30, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/in-ice-ages-co2-hides-in-the-oceans-yes-we-knew-that/#more-21122

[SEPP Comment: Cold oceans absorb more CO2, were they more acidic (less alkaline) than current oceans?]

Changing Sea Ice

West Antarctic Ice Shelves Tearing Apart at the Seams

By Staff Writers, Austin TX (SPX), Mar 29, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/West_Antarctic_Ice_Shelves_Tearing_Apart_at_the_Seams_999.html

[SEPP Comment: See contradiction to this alarmist article immediately below.]

Crack in the Antarctic!

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 28, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/28/crack-in-the-antarctic/#more-60272

[SEPP Comment: Countering the alarmist press release of a new crack in ice shelves in Antarctic Peninsula, while Antarctic sea ice is growing.]

Changing Earth

Signs of thawing permafrost revealed from space

By Staff Writers, Paris (ESA), Mar 29, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Signs_of_thawing_permafrost_revealed_from_space_999.html

[SEPP Comment: No surprise here. Five to eight thousand years ago tree lines were much further north than today. Yet, the Arctic did not explode with methane.]

The Political Games Continue

House Panel Says Obama ‘Hides Ball’ On Energy Truth

Editorial, IBD, Mar 29, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/606065/201203291839/house-subpoenas-obama-energy-records-.htm

[SEPP Comment: Revising reports after they have been agreed upon by the authors – shades of the IPCC.]

House Oversight Committee Reports $14.5B DOE Green Loan Program Train Wreck

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Mar 29, 2012

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/03/29/house-oversight-committee-reports-14-5b-doe-green-loan-program-train-wreck/

Western States Tell Washington To Get Off Their Lawns

Editorial, IBD, Mar 29, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/606068/201203291839/new-sagebrush-rebellion-brews-in-western-states.htm?

Senate defeats Democrats’ measure to kill off ‘Big Oil’ tax breaks, 51-47

By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Mar 29, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/219015-draft-draft-senate-again-blocks-dems-bid-to-nix-big-oil-tax-breaks

Litigation Issues

ECJ says Commission cannot dictate emissions ceilings

By Dave Keating, European Voice, Mar 29, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2012/march/ecj/74035.aspx

[SEPP Comment: The European Commission can approve emissions plans but not dictate them.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

There go those gravy trains in Queensland & Victoria

Australia is stepping back from the cliff

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 28, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/03/there-go-those-gravy-trains-in-queensland-victoria/#more-21108

[SEPP Comment: The state elections in Australia may produce significant changes to the current global warming programs.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants

Press Release, EPA, Accessed Mar 27, 2012

http://epa.gov/carbonpollutionstandard/

All Cost No Benefit: EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Regulation for Power Plants

By Todd Wynn, American Legislator, Mar 27, 2012 [H/t Gordon Fulks]

http://www.americanlegislator.org/2012/03/all-cost-no-benefit-epa-proposes-carbon-dioxide-regulation-for-power-plants/

The EPA Wrecking Ball

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Mar 28, 2012

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/

The EPA’s Unreliable Science

By John Dale Dunn & Steve Milloy, American Thinker, Mar 29, 2012 [H/t Kris Allen]

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/03/the_epas_unreliable_science.html

Lisa P. Jackson – US EPA Administrator: Fulfilling the UN Mission

By Dennis Ambler, SPPI, Mar 22, 2012

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/epa_un_mission.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Questioning the goals of the administrator of the EPA.]

Energy Issues – Non-US

Alberta to reap big royalties from second oil sands ‘boom’, study show

By Claudia Cattaneo, Financial Post, Mar 26, 2012

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/26/alberta-to-reap-big-royalties-from-second-oil-sands-boom-study-show/?__lsa=5dd535ed

The government of Alberta is expected to pocket $1.2-trillion in royalties from the oil sands in the next 35 years, as oil production rises to 5.4 million barrels a day from today’s 1.6 million b/d,

Ottawa to eases pipeline rules in bid to boost oil exports to Asia

By Claudia Cattaneo and Peter Koven, Financial Post, Mar 30, 2012

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/29/ottawa-eases-pipeline-rules-in-bid-to-boost-oil-exports-to-asia/?__lsa=5dd535ed

[SEPP Comment: Unlike Washington, the Canadian government is promoting the development of natural resources to enhance national prosperity.]

PetroChina bids to help build $5.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline

By Claudia Cattaneo, Financial Post, Mar 28, 2012

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/28/petrochina-bids-to-help-build-5-5-billion-northern-gateway-pipeline/

Energy Issues — US

Rising Gas Prices Take Toll On American Families

By Jack Rafuse, IBD, Mar 27, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/605754/201203271822/scapegoating-big-oil-no-solution.htm

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Assessing Transportation Fuels

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Mar 23, 2012

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/assessing-transportation-fuels/

[SEPP Comment: Compressed natural gas may be a winner for fleet use and taxis.]

North America’s Rich Energy Potential Could Change The World

By Victor Davis Hanson, IBD, Mar 29, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/606070/201203291839/north-american-energy-potential-could-change-world.htm

Return of King Coal?

OPEC’S Growing Stranglehold: Only Coal Can Break the Noose

By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts, Mar 29, 2012

http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=29bc7d5d85828d574f86c157a&id=499ec9bd23&e=

Oil Spills & Consequences

Study by Haverford College professor reveals unprecedented impact of Deepwater Horizon on deep ocean

By Staff WritersHaverford PA (SPX), Mar 28, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Study_by_Haverford_College_professor_reveals_unprecedented_impact_of_Deepwater_Horizon_on_deep_ocean_999.html

[SEPP Comment: What may be solid research is buried by an alarmist headline. There should be no reason not to expect deep water coral affected by the BP oil spill; but, oil seeps are common in the Gulf.]

Nuclear Energy and Fears

UK energy plans in ‘tatters’ after Npower and E. ON nuclear plant withdrawal

Britain’s long-term energy policy lay “in tatters” on Thursday after two of the ”big six” energy companies pulled out of multi-billion pound plans to develop new nuclear plants.

By Staff Writers, Telegraph, UK, Mar 29, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/nuclearpower/9173253/UK-energy-plans-in-tatters-after-Npower-and-E.-ON-nuclear-plant-withdrawal.html

What next for energy in the UK?

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Mar 30, 2012

http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/what-next-energy-uk

[SEPP Comment: Britain’s officials do not have a back-up plant to replace the expected nuclear plants.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Engineers enlist weather model to optimize offshore wind plan

By Andrew Myers, Stanford CA (SPX), Mar 23, 2012

http://www.winddaily.com/reports/Engineers_enlist_weather_model_to_optimize_offshore_wind_plan_999.html

Politics aside, most energy experts agree that cheap, clean, renewable wind energy holds great potential to help the world satisfy energy needs while reducing harmful greenhouse gases.

[SEPP Comment: Bunk!]

California Dreaming

Brown administration, bullet train board seek to ease environmental reviews of the project

Environmental groups that have joined discussions on relaxing reviews say they’ll support small-scale concessions but not wholesale exemptions.

By Ralph Vartabedian and Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times March 29, 2012

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0328-bullet-exemption-20120329,0,882981.story

[SEPP Comment: Quick environmental reviews are more important than careful financial reviews.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org

Extreme Temperature Occurrences in China: 1961-2008

Reference: Zhou, Y. and Ren, G. 2011. Change in extreme temperature event frequency over mainland China, 1961-2008. Climate Research 50: 125-139.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/mar/27mar2012a1.html

[SEPP Comment: Urban Heat Island effect cannot be dismissed in temperature measurements.]

Rainfall Extremes Over India, 1951-2003

Reference: Ghosh, S., Das, D., Kao, S.-C. and Ganguly, A.R. 2012. Lack of uniform trends but increasing spatial variability in observed Indian rainfall extremes. Nature Climate Change 2: 86-91, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE1327.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/mar/27mar2012a5.html

Extreme Snow Events Throughout Central and Southern China

Reference: Hao, Z., Zheng, J., Ge, Q. and Wang, W.-C. 2011. Historical analogues of the 2008 extreme snow event over Central and Southern China. Climate Research 50: 161-170.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/mar/27mar2012a4.html

A Century of Global Sea Level Change

Reference: Wöppelmann, G., Letetrel, C., Santamaria, A., Bouin, M.-N., Collilieux, X., Altamimi, Z., Williams, S.D.P. and Miguez, B.M. 2009. Rates of sea-level change over the past century in a geocentric reference frame. Geophysical Research Letters 36: 10.1029/2009GL038720.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/mar/28mar2012a4.html

Oh Mann!

UVa keeps digging in email dispute

A new legal novelty aside, Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act is clear: UVa should release climate emails.

Editorial, Roanoke Times, Mar 28, 2012 [H/t Lars Hagen]

http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/306703

Climate scientists and smear campaigns

By Michael Mann, CNN, Mar 28, 2012

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/28/opinion/mann-climate-change-email-attacks/index.html?hpt=op_t1

Environmental Industry

Pesticide fear-mongering is the real pest

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Mar 28, 2012

http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.3498/news_detail.asp

The Enormous CEO Salaries Behind Earth Hour

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Mar 28, 2012

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/03/28/the-enormous-ceo-salaries-behind-earth-hour/

Earth Hour Organizers Prey on Mexico

Mexico is crippled by corruption, violence, and poverty. But the World Wildlife Fund wants it to show leadership on climate change

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Mar 29, 2012

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/03/29/earth-hour-organizers-prey-on-mexico/

Lights out for Earth Hour

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Mar 29, 2012

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/03/29/peter-foster-lights-out-for-earth-hour/

Other News that May Be of Interest

Mountaintop blasting to mine the sky with the Giant Magellan Telescope

By Staff Writers, Pasadena, CA (SPX), Mar 28, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Mountaintop_blasting_to_mine_the_sky_with_the_Giant_Magellan_Telescope_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Don’t try this in the US.]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Climate-change skepticism must be ‘treated’, says envior-sociologist

Dubious on warming peril? You’re the kind who’d own slaves

By Lewis Page, The Register, Mar 30, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/30/climate_scepticism_racism_slavery_treatment/

VIMS professor helps lead international study of ocean value

By David Malmquist, Gloucester Point VA (SPX), Mar 26, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/VIMS_professor_helps_lead_international_study_of_ocean_value_999.html

[SEPP Comment: The ocean is a victim?]

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15 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. It’s Déjà vu all over again.

    Back when that pathetic fool Jimmy Carter stumbled into the White House, he strong armed a lot of electric utilities to switch from coal. And then he created the oil shortage. Tampa Electric resisted and was able to provide reasonable prices (burning coal) to their customers for years. These politicians and bureaucrats live inside an echo chamber and they are divorced from reality and from the damage they cause. It would be better for the rest of us if they would just go home….. or to Cuba.

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  2. Streetcred says:

    In Australia, the State election last week referred to above were in Queensland. The state of Victoria elections were a few months ago although the outcome was similarly anti-Labor Party.

  3. pat says:

    The country has been taken over by fools. And Romney is of the same mindset. We are doomed.

  4. James Sexton says:

    Steamboat Jack says:
    April 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    It’s Déjà vu all over again.

    Back when that pathetic fool Jimmy Carter stumbled into the White House, he strong armed a lot of electric utilities to switch from coal.
    ======================================
    True that……… Jimmy II is nearly indistinguishable from Jimmy I……. except dumber. The thwarting of our coal industry makes absolutely no sense. We’re sitting on more of it than any other place on earth and we’re not going to utilize one of our greatest resources?

    The idiot nat gas industry helped fund those lunatic advocacy groups and now they’re crying about them turning their attention on them. ……… imbeciles.

  5. Tom J says:

    I don’t think it’s coincidental that the EPA announcement regarding coal fired power plants just happened to come out right when all the news media was embroiled in the Supreme Court case regarding Obamacare. I think it would’ve been front page news otherwise. Even the Wall Street Journal has yet to editorialize about it. Obama’s sneeky alright. The Chicago Way.

  6. stpaulchuck says:

    It’s even more insidious than that. The EPA is now working up a whole series of nasty things to hobble the natural gas industry because natgas power plants DO meet the new standards. So, they are working as fast as they can to cut off the supply of gas. These insane people are determined to force expensive, inefficient, idiotic “power” sources on us like wind and algae.

    November 6, 2012 – end dependence day (because these insane people MUST be stopped)

  7. emmenjay says:

    > “A global climate model that does not simulate current climate
    > accurately does not necessarily imply that it cannot produce
    > accurate projections.”

    Sounds perfectly plausible to me.

    If we assume that the modellers have no predictive capability, then the projections of future climate are effectively random guesses. Thus the modellers’ guess is just as likely to be right as any other guess. So in spite of Dr Pielke’s pessimism, the projections *may* yet be valid.

    QED.

  8. James Bull says:

    How about for Earth Day or whatever it’s called next year the operators of all the coal fired power plants in the US cut supply for an hour and show what the EPA and all these green nut groups want for the future of all the people (except themselves of course), this would be a big wake up call for many who live in cloud cuckoo land thinking these organisations know what’s best and what they are doing!
    Rant over
    James Bull

  9. scotchman1 says:

    I,m sorry but I cannot take seriously any organisation which talks about 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide. It just seems a rather neat round number and has absolutely no scientific basis whatsoever. Also, the whole world (even backward UK) adopted the metric system for chemical calculation years ago and 1000 pounds would emerge as 453 kg, not nearly so eye catching. I cannot be bothered converting into imperial units. To be taken seriously get with the metric programme.

  10. johanna says:

    The one that caught my eye was the US green loans debacle. The Australian government has pledged $10 billion (which is a lot in our much smaller economy) for similar purposes. This has been done to placate the Greens who hold the balance of power in Parliament.

    As a fiscal conservative, my first response is that it should not be spent (and it will be ‘spent’, in every sense) at all. However, if it is going to be spent, there are many things on the list that $10bn would be better used for.

  11. Skeptical Citizen says:

    To be honest we are increasing the number of humans on the planet at an alarming rate. If the Un wants to take the bull by the horns and address that issue Ok. But the rest of their agenda is not good for the people. There agenda is unrealistic. and not even the Un can change the clatyclismic events we are having. I dont like the UN or the NWO.

  12. Alan Watt says:

    I believe converting a coal or oil-fired powerplant to natural gas is a relatively simple matter of replacing the boilers. Everyone agrees natural gas is cleaner than coal, totally apart from CO2, so in principle converting to NG is not a bad idea, although just refitting existing steam turbine plants to new boilers is not the most efficient way to use NG.

    Several questions I have not seen discussed which should play into the debate:

    1) How many coal plants are in areas not already served by adequate natural gas and will
    therefore require new pipelines? Our current President doesn’t like oil pipelines;
    will he be more supportive of new NG pipelines?
    2) Coal and oil-fired powerplants can store a significant amount of fuel on site and be somewhat
    insulated from supply disruptions. So if a natural disaster slows or stops fuel deliveries, the
    powerplant can operate for a while anyway, which is important in recovering and rebuilding.
    To store significant NG on site requires liquification and cryogenic storage. The first requires
    significant energy and the second is way more expensive than coal bins or oil tanks. Both
    raise the effective cost of NG as a fuel.

    What is the risk of having significant power generating capacity taken down by pipeline disruption?

  13. harrywr2 says:

    Alan Watt,

    How many coal plants are in areas not already served by adequate natural gas

    A bigger problem is pipeline utilization rates. I.E. The South Eastern US is a ‘summer peak’ region. A fair proportion of their residential heating is heat pumps. So the pipeline has very low utilization rates on a year round basis. Hence the cost of natural gas to produce electricity is substantially higher in the Southeast as the power plant is shouldering the total price of the pipeline.

    In the Northeast natural gas fired electricity makes more sense as no one is heating in the summer so there is excess summer pipeline capacity that utilities can take advantage of.

Comments are closed.