Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President
Joint Petition to Reconsider: Although not discussed in prior TWTWs, SEPP joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in filing a joint petition to the EPA to reconsider its 2009 finding that greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare. The petition was filed on February 17, 2017, and slightly revised on February 23.
Such actions fall under the “right to petition” stated in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. The petition has added weight because both CEI and SEPP originally objected to the endangerment finding. The filing has been in the news, but TWTW has mentioned it only in passing. The legal issues were handled by CEI. The chance of success is not high, but the action is important.
By necessity the petition is short, and concise. It focuses on the strongest empirical science available in January, but not available in 2009, that contradicts the assertion that CO2 endangers public health and welfare. The testimony of John Christy on February 2, 2016, was chosen. [Christy’s written testimony to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on March 29, 2017, was even stronger evidence, but did not yet exist.]
Though not given for that purpose, the Christy testimony directly contradicts two of the principal lines of evidence stated by the EPA in support of its finding: 1) the theory; and 2) the validity of the climate models. A third line of evidence, pronounced warming over the tropics centered at about 10 km (33,000 feet), the “hot-spot”, is indirectly contradicted.
First, contrary to the theory as expressed in the 1979 Charney Report, there is no strong warming of the atmosphere, indirectly causing a warming of the surface. Second, the models greatly overestimate the measured warming of the atmosphere by 2.5 to 3 times. The data Christy presented is for 50,000 feet and below. [There may be a cooling of the stratosphere, well above 50,000 feet, causing a confusion about the general term, atmosphere. Any cooling of the stratosphere is unrelated to the warming of the atmosphere assumed in the Charney Report.]
Also, in the data presented by Christy, the hot spot is not found. Another petition by The Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council, filed by attorney Francis Menton goes directly to the failure to find the “hot spot.”
Before the CEI/SEPP petition was submitted, eleven volumes of EPA documents on the endangerment finding were reviewed.to ensure there was no overlap between the thrust of the current petition and what the EPA dismissed in the past.
Promoters of the EPA position are becoming ever more imaginative in declaring where the so-called “missing heat” is hiding. They cannot admit that the heat does not exist and that the theory speculated in the Charney Report was wrong. However, it is incumbent on the EPA to provide strong, empirical evidence supporting its finding, or its science is hollow. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and TWTWs for April and March.
Quote of the Week. Einstein was a giant. His head was in the clouds, but his feet were on the ground. Those of us who are not so tall have to choose! – Richard Feynman
Number of the Week: About 3 Times
Defending the Orthodoxy: An editorial in the Wall Street Journal suggests that the Trump administration should disregard the petitions to the EPA to reconsider the endangerment finding as a waste of resources. In SEPP’s view, the EPA finding is a waste of resources, but vacating it is not.
For example, the US has unknown centuries of low-cost coal available. Japan and China are making great strides in remarkably clean coal-fired power plants now called High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE). Such plants cannot be built in the US under Mr. Obama’s power plan due to CO2 emissions. It is the regulations that waste resources, not getting rid of them.
Retired EPA scientist Alan Carlin has an excellent six-point rebuttable to the thinking in the Journal’s editorial. See Article # 1, Challenging the Orthodoxy, and Return of King Coal?
Hollow Science and Humanity: The endangerment finding is another effort to use hollow science, science not supported by empirical evidence, against humanity.
Using fossil fuels producing carbon dioxide has pulled billions of people out of dire poverty, saving millions of lives. Yet, some Washington politicians are demanding international controls over fossil fuels, regardless of the harm to humanity.
They claim carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming. The laboratory science shows that adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere will cause a slight warming, possibly not measurable globally. But some scientists speculate this slight warming will be greatly amplified by additional water vapor. After over 35 years of searching, the speculated amplification has not been found.
Physical science gives no physical evidence or proof that recent warming is beyond what the earth experienced in the past. Poorly tested computer models are not physical evidence. Indeed, the models greatly overestimate observed of the atmosphere, where any greenhouse gas (CO2) effect occurs.
The science is hollow.
This is not the first time Washington is using hollow science against humanity. By the 1950s, indoor spraying of huts with DDT was shown to be a safe, affordable way of controlling malaria in poor countries. Where indoor spraying with DDT was used, malaria rates plummeted. Also, in the 1950s the US eradicated malaria, with the use of DDT and other programs.
Yet without physical evidence, in 1972 the EPA banned the use of DDT, claiming that it may cause cancer in humans. There may be reasons to control the use of DDT, but an outright ban is not justified by emperical sciences.
The US was a leader in attempting to ban DDT world-wide. Millions died from preventable malaria. The US never accepted responsibility for its leadership in this inhumane policy.
Now, politicians demand the US be a leader in controlling or banning carbon dioxide emissions “to have a place at the table.” For example, former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that: ‘by the agency’s own climate models, the effect of the US climate plan would be only 1/100th of a degree Celsius (1/50th of a degree F). Instead, she said success should be measured in terms of ‘positioning the U.S. for leadership in an international discussion.’” (Wall Street Journal, Mar 31, 2017)
The US should not be leading the world in another inhumane policy based on hollow science.
We need a place at a table for life, not at a table for death.
See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy, After Paris, and Change in US Administration.
Red Team Exercise: Writing in the Wall Street Journal, theoretical physicist Steven Koonin proposed a ‘Red Team’ exercise on climate science – an alternative analysis by qualified parties who are knowledgeable but do not have a “stake” in the outcome. The disagreements regarding the positions of the IPCC, and its followers such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and those who disagree with their findings is becoming quite intense as can be seen by the reactions to the March 29 hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on “Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications, and the Scientific Method.”
Following the Challenger disaster in 1986, a presidential commission was created to investigate its causes and safety in space exploration. Afterwards, NASA kept a list of outside experts on file for future such investigations. The Right Climate Stuff Team has repeatedly suggested such an investigation on global warming and the influence of CO2. Slowly, perhaps Washington will hear that all is not well with the science from the Climate Establishment. Let us hope it will not require a disastrous global cooling. The posts on the Global Warming Science Forum and Climate Etc. cover Koonin’s remarks well.
In the Journal after Koonin the op-ed, SEPP posted the following comment:
“A needed exercise. Since 1993, the US government has spent over $40 billion on climate science as defined in government reports (GAO, CRS). Yet, in over 35 years, it has made little progress in determining the influence of carbon dioxide on temperatures beyond laboratory experiments. These experiments show the influence is minor. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change performed a ‘Red Team’ analysis, but the reports are largely ignored by the multibillion-dollar Climate Establishment.
“Now, the US is being urged to commit to the Paris Agreement, based on a hollow science. A science that is empty of rigorous data. The greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere. The atmosphere is not warming as proclaimed by the Climate Establishment.”
See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and https://science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/full-committee-hearing-climate-science-assumptions-policy-implications-and
Food Production: The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on bumper soybean and wheat harvests in Brazil and Russia and how the significant expansion of world food production is placing dramatic pressure on American farmers with lower prices.
The article describes the tremendous growth of farming in tropical Brazil and Latin America. For example, in Brazil there have been dramatic increases in production of food crops with little destruction of forests (rainforests) with the conversion of pasture lands to farming and with increasing crop yields.
Not discussed in the article is how such increases in food production and crop yields demonstrate how hollow the arguments are of those who proclaim that global warming will cause famine and millions of refugees from it. The Pentagon needs to re-evaluate its threat assessments. See Article # 2 and Repetitive Failure under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Thank You For Your Subsidies: Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow thanks all Americans their contribution in providing programs for subsidies for solar power on his home in Austin, Texas. A lesson for all. See Article #3 and number of the week below.
Number of the Week: About 3 times. Using the latest report of the Council of European Energy Regulators, Euan Mearns of Energy Matters estimates how much renewable subsidies increase the total wholesale price of electricity in Europe as compared with no subsidies – the increase is about 3 times.
“Considering that the wholesale price of electricity in Europe is typically €40 to €60 / MWh we can see that renewables are costing on average about 3 times as much as conventional power (wholesale~50, subsidy~110, total~160). And politicians, who have mandated the use of renewable electricity, are wondering why electricity prices are rising.”
The numbers are rough, but are based on the most extensive analysis of Europe available. Breakdowns by country are presented. See links under Subsidies and Mandates Forever.
SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD
SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:
· The nominee 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 nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
· The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
· The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.
The five past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz and John Holdren are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in August.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Current Solar Activity Resembles Dalton Minimum…Weakest Month 75-100 Period Recorded!
The sun in March 2017 By Frank Bosse and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (Translated/edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Apr 18, 2017
European Commission buries Science on Bees
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Apr 18, 2017
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
Pielke on Climate #1
By Roger Pielke Jr. The Climate Fix, Apr 16, 2017
[SEPP Comment: After a politically motivated investigation by some members of Congress, Pielke states he will be commenting on climate issues occasionally.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Petition of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Science and Environmental Policy Project for Rulemaking on the Subject of Greenhouse Gases and Their Impact on Public Health and Welfare, in Connection with EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding, 74 FR 66,496 (Dec. 15, 2009)
February 17, 2017 (corrected February 23)
Petition to EPA to begin a formal Reconsideration of its January (December) 15, 2009 CO2 Endangerment Finding
By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Apr 10, 2017
How the WSJ Gets It Wrong on Reconsideration of EPA’s GHG Endangerment Finding
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Apr 20, 2017
The TRCS Climate Model
Steven Koonin: A ‘Red Team’ Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science
By Steven Koonin, WSJ, Via GWPF, Apr 21, 2017
A ‘Red Team’ Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Apr 21, 2017
A needed exercise. Since 1993, the US government has spent over $40 billion on climate science as defined in government reports (GAO, CRS).
How inconstant are climate feedbacks – and does it matter?
By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc, Apr 18, 2017
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Apr 21, 2017
“End of the Scare”
By Christopher Moncton, ICCC-12, Mar 24, 2017
Power point and Video
Global Warming Briefing
By Jay Lehr, ICCC-12, Mar 23, 2017
Video and power point
[SEPP Comment: There has been an increase in sea levels since 1910, but the rate of sea level rise has not increased.]
Defending the Orthodoxy
The Climate Change Speech Donald Trump Should Give
By Bob Inglis, Real Clear Science, April 17, 2017
[SEPP Comment: How would a carbon tax in the US clean the air in China? While in Congress, Mr. Inglis would demonstrate hens’ eggs pickled in vinegar, apparently thinking that it was similar to what would happen to the oceans with increased CO2. However, there is no evidence the increasing atmosphere CO2 would decrease ocean pH below 7 – neutral. He was obviously unaware that bogs in his native southeast have truly acidic waters, yet the eggs of fish and amphibians hatch.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Inconvenient Truths The Earth Day ‘March for Science’ Protesters Ignore
Editorial, IBD, Apr 21, 2017 [H/t William Readdy]
“For example, data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that, from 1995-2015, levels of every air pollutant it monitors saw steady declines, to the point where they are at or below national standards.
“Carbon monoxide levels plunged 72% over those years; nitrogen dioxide fell 45%; ozone, 24%; soot, 37%; sulfur dioxide, 73%; and lead declined 93%.”
The Low Cost of Ending Poverty
By Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Apr 19, 2017
10 years in, CO2 regulation based on falsehoods, not science
By William O’Keefe, The Hill, Apr 17, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Global Science Report: Hypotheses Masquerading as Facts in Federal Report on Climate Change Impacts in the U.S.
By Craig Idso and Patrick Michaels, CATO, Apr 17, 2017
Measuring up to emissions targets
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, April 21, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Decrease in energy used per unit of GDP has been an ongoing trend, such as with the replacement of wood with mineral coal. ]
Real science must guide policy: Climate alarmists use faulty science and bald assertions to demand end to fossil fuels
By Steve Heins, The Pulse, Apr 18, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Stand up and “March for Science” say people who don’t know what science is
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Apr 21, 2017
New genetics paper is not about whether climate change causes polar bear hybrids
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Apr 20, 2017
Link to paper: The evolutionary history of bears is characterized by gene flow across species.
By Vikas Kumar, et al. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7: 46487 DOI: 10.1038/srep46487, Aprl 19, 2017
President Trump Should Run, Not Walk, Away From The Paris Climate Treaty
The Paris Climate Treaty is a heat-seeking missile aimed solely at American jobs that will do nothing to reduce global warming. Why would we deploy it?
By Joseph Bast, The Federalist, Apr 18, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Grassroots Rising: Paris Agreement is America Last, Taxpayer Last, and Consumer Last
By Paul Driessen, Master Resource, Apr 19, 2017
White House Floats Excuses to Break Trump’s Promise to Cancel Paris Climate Treaty
By Christopher C. Horner and Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI, Apr 17, 2017
White House advisers postpone Paris climate deal meeting
BY Andrew Restuccia, Politico, Apr 18, 2017
Exiting the Paris Climate Agreement
Scant evidence of expected benefit means Scott Pruitt is right
By E. Calvin Beisner, Washington Times, Apr 17, 2017
Why Big Oil wants Trump to stay in Paris climate deal
By Matt Egan, CNN Money, Apr 18, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Punish coal, sell natural gas, the big oil way!]
Change in US Administrations
Quit Paris climate treaty: Opposing view
Breaking Trump’s vow amounts to a costly betrayal.
By Christopher Horner, USA Today, Apr 19, 2017
Pruitt: EPA no longer about killing off coal
By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Apr 20, 2017
Pruitt takes steps to roll back Obama’s fracking rules
By John Sicilliano, Washington Examiner, Apr 19, 2017
Social Benefits of Carbon
Global Greening in the New York Times (CO2 benefits contradict SCC)
By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Apr 18, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Is global greening from CO2 a social cost?]
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Slingo Speaks: ‘…no extreme weather or climate event can be attributed solely to climate change”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Apr 17, 2017
From the Financial Times, April 13, 2017
Seeking a Common Ground
Five reasons blog posts are of higher scientific quality than journal articles
By Daniel Lakens, The 20% Statistician, Apr 14, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
The Staircase Hypothesis – an alternative explanation for the recent global warming
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Apr 20, 2017
“To sum up. I don’t claim that the Staircase Hypothesis is necessarily correct. More work on data, and in particular more work to quantify a causative mechanism will be needed before this claim can be made, and this won’t happen overnight. What I do claim is that it fits observations as least as well as the AGW hypothesis, which should make it worthy of more consideration than it has so far received.”
[SEPP Comment: Lengthy post explaining a hypothesis that the shifts in measured surface temperatures. Or is CO2 the cause for these shifts? Or is it natural variation?]
Why the March for Science is a Bad Idea
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Apr 21, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Cliff Mass is hardly a “climate change denier.”]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
A Sea Anemone’s Response to Ocean Acidification
Ventura, P., Jarrold, M.D., Merle, P.-L., Barnay-Verdier, S., Zamoum, T., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Calosi, P. and Furla, P. 2016. Resilience to ocean acidification: decreased carbonic anhydrase activity in sea anemones under high pCO2 conditions. Marine Ecology Progress Series 559: 257-263. Apr 21, 2017
The Status of Antarctic Precipitation in CMIP5 Climate Models
Palerme, C., Genthon, C., Claud, C., Kay, J.E., Wood, N.B. and L’Ecuyer, T. 2017. Evaluation of current and projected Antarctic precipitation in CMIP5 models. Climate Dynamics 48: 225-239. Apr 19, 2017
“’Between the periods 1986-2005 and 2080-2099, the CMIP5 models predict, on average, a precipitation increase from 5.5% to 24.5%,’ which ‘changes in Antarctic precipitation correspond to a negative contribution to sea level … between 2006 and 2099.’”
Soil Respiration Responses to Experimental Warming
Carey, J.C., Tang, J., Templer, P.H., Kroeger, K.D., Crowther, T.W., Burton, A.J., Dukes, J.S., Emmett, B., Frey, S.D., Heskel, M.A., Jiang, L., Machmuller, M.B., Mohan, J., Panetta, A.M., Reich, P.B., Reinsch, S., Wang, X., Allison, S.D., Bamminger, C., Bridgham, S., Collins, S.L., de Dato, G., Eddy, W, C., Enqist, B.J., Estiarte, M., Harte, J., Henderson, A., Johnson, B.R., Larson, K.S., Luo, Y., Marhan, S., Melillo, J.M., Penuelas, J., Pfeifer-Meister, L., Poll, C., Rastetter, E., Reinmann, A.B., Reynolds, L.L., Schmidt, I.K., Shaver, G.R., Strong, A.L., Suseela, V. and Tietema, A. 2016. Temperature response of soil respiration largely unaltered with experimental warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 113: 13,797-13,802. Apr 18, 2017
Models v. Observations
New ‘Karl-buster’ paper confirms ‘the pause’, and climate models failure
Anthony Watts, WUWT, April 17, 2017
New Paper Asserts ‘Biased’ Climate Models Underestimate Natural Variability and The Warmth of The Past
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Apr 20, 2017
Models, Observations Not So Far Apart on Planet’s Response to Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Press Release, University of Washington, Apr 13, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
“The new study, published April 17 in Nature Climate Change, focuses on the lag time in Earth’s response. According to most models of climate change, during the early stages of global warming the sensitivity to greenhouse gas emissions is relatively small. As the ocean catches up and feedbacks kick in, however, the sensitivity increases and the warming rate speeds up.”
[SEPP Comment: If correct, can we expect a greater warming of the atmosphere, where the primary warming takes place?]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Antarctica Record High Temp Of 19.8°C In Fact Set 35 Years Ago
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, No Tricks Zone, Apr 16, 2017
Link to paper: Evaluating Highest Temperature Extremes in the Antarctic
The record high temperature for regions south of 60°S latitude is a balmy 19.8°C (67.6°F), recorded 30 January 1982 at a research station on Signy Island.
By Maria de Los Milagros Skansi, et al. EOS, Mar 1, 2017
Climate change steals river
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Apr 20, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Good thing the Corps of Engineers prevented the Mississippi from being stolen from New Orleans.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Emissions Reduction “Without Compromising” Economic Growth?
By John Constable, GWPF, Apr 18, 2017
[SEPP Comment: False growth numbers for the UK issued by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)? Three times too high?]
Solar Power: An Environmental Disaster
By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Apr 14, 2017
“Our military used to boast about its fire power. These days the brass brags about its solar power.”
[SEPP Comment: “Fighting” blizzards with solar panels?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
Do you believe that man-made pollution is the cause for global warming?
Association of Mature American Citizens, Accessed Apr 21, 2017 [H/t William Readdy]
[SEPP Comment: When accessed: Total Voters: 19,888; 97% No or Not sure (92% & 5%), 3% yes. A believable 97%?]
Questioning European Green
The Govt’s Fake Claims About Smart Energy Savings
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Apr 21, 2017
[SEPP Comment: As a minimum, government standards in financial discussion of alternatives should meet the standards required for private investments.]
Job Vacancy: Energy Policy Advisor to Theresa May
By Nick Butler, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Apr 17, 2017
New Study Finds Renewable Fuels Are Dirtier Than Fossil Fuels!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 21, 2017
Questioning Green Elsewhere
New Paper: 100% Renewable Energy Not Feasible, ‘Unsupportable And Reckless’ – Keeps Poor Impoverished
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Apr 17, 2017
Link to paper: Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100%
By Heard, Brook, Wigley, and Bradshaw, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Mar 23, 2017
Power-starved Africa develops appetite for coal, dismisses environmental concerns in West
By Geoff Hill, The Washington Times, Apr 19, 2017
The High Cost of Renewable Subsidies
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Apr 16, 2017
Link to report: CEER Status Review on RES Support Schemes
Offshore Wind Turns a Corner
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Apr 16, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Wind Power being built without subsidies, would it be built without mandates as well?]
Energy Issues – Non-US
How Far Will OPEC Go For $60 Oil?
By Irina Slav, Oil Price.com, Apr 17, 2017,
China Gas Output Rises to Record as Coal Production Rebounds
By Staff Writers, Bloomberg, Apr 16, 2017
Banned at sea: Venezuela’s crude-stained oil tankers
By Marianna Parraga and Mircely Guanipa, Reuters, Apr 18, 2016
Energy Issues – Australia
A Diesel in the Shed
By Viv Forbes & Helpers, Australian Climate Sceptics, Apr 21, 2017
Energy Issues — US
Green Energy Poverty: Are Low Income Americans Impoverished by Alternative Energy?
By Erin Mundahl, Inside Sources, Apr 19, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Gov’t Geologists Discover The US’s Largest Natural Gas Deposit
By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Apr 14, 2017
Link to USGS Report: USGS: Gulf Coast’s Bossier and Haynesville Formations Hold America’s Largest Continuous Natural Gas Resources
By Alex Demas, et al, USGS, Apr 13, 2017
“As the USGS revisits many of the oil and gas basins of the United States, we continually find that technological revolutions of the past few years have truly been a game-changer in the amount of resources that are now technically recoverable,” said Walter Guidroz, Program Coordinator of the USGS Energy Resources Program. “Changes in technology and industry practices, combined with an increased understanding of the regional geologic framework, can have a significant effect on what resources become technically recoverable. These changes are why the USGS remains committed to performing the most up-to-date assessments of these vital resources throughout the United States and the world.”
[SEPP Comment: The estimates avoid waters controlled by Washington. USGS also estimates 4 billion barrels of oil and 2 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in the two formations.]
Opinion: Fracking could fuel Alaska’s next oil boom
Over the past year oil companies have discovered five billion barrels or more of recoverable oil on Alaska’s North Slope
By Scott Montgomery, Market Watch, Apr 18, 2017
US Shale Working Smarter and Harder
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Apr 20, 2017
Big Oil’s Rejection of Silicon Valley Is Finally Coming to End
By David Wethe, Bloomberg, Apr 18, 2017
Coal’s Colossal Comeback
By Stephen Moore, The American Spectator, Apr 17, 2017
Japan and China: Remarkably Clean Coal
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Apr 18, 2017
Trump’s DOE Chief Orders Review To Determine If Green Energy Is Killing Coal
By Chris White, The Daily Caller, Apr 15, 2017
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
How The Ethanol Mandate Is Killing The American Prairie
By William Shughart, IBD, Apr 13, 2017
Wood: The Lethal Renewable Energy Swindle
By Bjorn Lomborg, Forbes, Apr 20, 2017
This Isn’t A March For Science This Is About Economic And Political Policy
By Tim Worstall, Forbes, Apr 16, 2017
Other News that May Be of Interest
Moral Foundations of a Free Society
By Richard Ebeling, Master Resource, Apr 20, 2017
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Apr 21, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Bye, Bye Bondi – according to the UN IPCC!]
“Bondi beach will shrink to a thin ribbon of sand and extreme storm surges would reach the top of its concrete sea wall, research commissioned by the local council shows.
“The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on Friday, found the sea level would rise and could be expected to be up to 80 centimetres higher by the end of the century.
“In the case of an 80-centimetre rise in sea levels, high tides would regularly flood parts of many Sydney suburbs that are close to water, including sections of Annandale, Mosman, Marrickville, Brighton-le-Sands, Sylvania Waters, Five Dock and Narrabeen.
“Rob Brander, a senior lecturer at the University of NSW specialising in coastal geomorphology, said Sydney’s coastal regions faced significant impacts from rising sea levels.
“’If a beach shifts landward, it hasn’t got many places to go,’ Dr Brander said. “Beaches will get narrower and low-lying coastal properties will face damage.’” Sydney Morning Herald, 29 Sep 2013
1. Highway From the Endangerment Zone
Scott Pruitt is right to avoid a fight over an anti-CO2 EPA finding.
Editorial, WSJ, Apr 18, 2017
SUMMARY: The editorial states:
“Scott Pruitt has emerged as a leading voice in the Trump Administration for U.S. withdrawal from the Paris global climate deal, so it’s ironic that the Environmental Protection Agency chief is being assailed from the right for being soft on carbon. Too many conservatives these days are searching for betrayals where none exist.
“As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt successfully sued to stop the enforcement of President Obama’s regulations known as the Clean Power Plan, or CPP, and he’s preparing to dismantle them for good as EPA administrator. The rap from the right is that he won’t challenge the underlying determination for regulating CO 2 emissions known as an endangerment finding. In 2009 the EPA concluded in this finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health and the environment, and this document serves as the nominal legal basis for the CPP and other anticarbon rules.
“Mr. Pruitt’s critics claim that withdrawing from the CPP without reversing endangerment will strengthen his opponents in the inevitable green lawsuits that are coming. Endangerment findings create a legal obligation for the EPA to regulate the relevant pollutants, even if carbon is far different from traditional hazards like SO X and NO X .
“The endangerment finding was deeply misguided and flawed in its execution, and nobody fought it more than we did. But there’s a practical reason that Mr. Pruitt is right about the risks of trying to revoke it now. The finding has been upheld by the courts, and creating a legally bulletproof non-endangerment rule would consume a tremendous amount of EPA resources, especially at an agency with few political appointees and a career staff hostile to reform.
“Technical determinations about the state of the science are supposed to be entitled to judicial deference, but the reality is that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that would hear the case is packed with progressive judges. Climate change has become a theological conviction on the left, so Mr. Pruitt would almost certainly lose either with a three-judge panel or en banc.
“The Supreme Court’s appetite for such a case is also minimal, since it would run directly at the 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA that prepared the way for the endangerment finding. Justice Anthony Kennedy was in that 5-4 majority.
“Mr. Pruitt is already taking on difficult and controversial challenges, so better for the Administration to use scarce political capital where it will make a difference instead of burning it on a doomed mission. The endangerment finding doesn’t dictate any specific regulation, and Mr. Pruitt has the discretion to interpret the Clean Air Act to achieve his favored policy outcomes, including to repeal legally tenuous central planning like CPP.
“A future Democratic President could use the endangerment finding to revive something like CPP, but then that same Administration could restore endangerment too. Mr. Pruitt is a natural target for the left, but when conservatives are impugning one of the leaders of President Trump’s economic deregulation project as a sellout, maybe the problem is the critics, not Mr. Pruitt.”
2. U.S. Farmers, Who Once Fed the World, Are Overtaken by New Powers
Bumper soybean and wheat harvests in Brazil and Russia push down global prices, imperiling America’s growers; ‘hard for our psyche’
By Jesse Newman and Jacob Bunge, WSJ, Apr 20, 2017
SUMMARY: The article discusses the striking changes in food commodity markets. No longer are the US and Canada the world’s virtually sole exporters. They now face competition from Brazil and Russia. Specific examples: in 1985 the US accounted for 77% of the world’s 26 million metric tons exported; in 2016 38% of 143 million metric tons exported; corn, in 1985 the US accounted for 56% of the world’s 55 million metric tons of exported; in 2016 37% of 154 million metric tons exported; and wheat, in 1985 the US accounted for 30% of the world’s 82 million metric tons of exported; in 2016 15% of 180 million metric tons exported. [About one-third of the US corn crop goes to fuel such as ethanol.]
The total area of Brazil tilled has increased remarkably. In 1985 about 10 million hectares were in soybeans, in 2016 about 33 million hectares, about equal to that of the US. With the enormous growth in farm production, major companies in farm equipment, seeds, and fertilizer have greatly expanded in Brazil.
The article mentions that Brazilian farmers have an advantage over US farmers of a year-round growing season, with several key crops per year. Further, “Russia over the past decade boosted its wheat harvests by 61%, the USDA forecasts. Corn acreage has nearly tripled in Russia, and more than doubled in Ukraine. Brazil and Argentina have also ramped up output of the grain.”
3. Thanks for Giving Me Your Tax Money
I’m opposed to all energy subsidies—unless, of course, I’m the one collecting them.
By Robert Bryce, WSJ, Apr 18, 2017
SUMMARY: The fellow at the Manhattan Institute writes:
“…it’s only appropriate that I express appreciation for the generous subsidy you provided for the 28-panel, four-array, 8,540-watt photovoltaic system I installed on my metal roof last year. Thanks to the investment tax credit, I slashed my 2016 federal tax bill by $7,758.”
“In addition to the federal subsidy, Austin Energy (our city-owned utility) paid $6,593 of the cost of my system. Thus, after subtracting local and federal subsidies, the net cost of my 8.54-kilowatt system was $18,100, or about $2.12 per watt of installed capacity. I’m also getting an ongoing subsidy that pays me far more for the electricity I produce than what other generators get in the Texas wholesale market.
“My panels are producing about 12 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. In 2016, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the average wholesale price of electricity was $24.62 per megawatt-hour. But Austin Energy pays me $106 for each megawatt-hour my system produces. Therefore, I’m getting more than four times as much for my solar electricity as other generators in Texas. I get that price regardless of whether the grid needs the juice from my panels or not.
“In the 12 months since I installed the system, half of my monthly electric bills are showing up with a negative balance. I figure my solar panels will pay back their cost in 14 years and that the return on my investment is about 7%.
“Recently, one of my neighbors also had panels installed. But fewer rooftop solar projects are being installed in low-income neighborhoods. That’s true in California, which leads the country in solar-energy capacity. According to a study done for the California Public Utility Commission, residents who have installed solar systems have household incomes 68% higher than the state average. Ashley Brown, executive director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, calls the proliferation of rooftop solar systems and the returns they provide to lucky people like me, ‘a wealth transfer from less affluent ratepayers to more affluent ones.’ It is, Mr. Brown says, ‘Robin Hood in reverse.’
“Do I feel bad about being a solar freeloader? Yes, a little. As Mr. Brown and others have noted, I’m now paying less to maintain the electric grid. That means that the local barista or school janitor—people who likely can’t afford solar panels—are paying incrementally more for the grid’s maintenance and operation. And the more that people like me install panels, the more those baristas and janitors have to pay.
“But don’t trouble me with all that. I’m doing my part for the polar bears. Indeed, I’m a prime example of the ‘green’ economy: I’m socializing the costs of my scheme and privatizing the profits. And I’m feeling virtuous while doing so.
“It doesn’t get much better than that.”