Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week. “The modern world, after all, is not the product of a successful search for consensus. It’s what’s emerged from centuries of critical enquiry and hard clash.” – Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President
Letter To Scott Pruitt: On October 17, SEPP President Kenneth Haapala sent EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt a letter requesting action on two science-based petitions for reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases, one filed by the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC) and one filed jointly by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Science and Environmental Policy Project. The letter stated a willingness to assist in a new Endangerment Finding assessment that is carried out in a fashion that is legally consistent with the relevant statute and case law. The letter contained the names of over 60 supporters of the petitions with expertise in climate science and related science fields or energy, public health, and welfare.
The letter was accompanied by a cover letter from CEI and SEPP emphasizing the burdensome nature of the wide-ranging regulations based on the Endangerment Finding. “These threaten access to affordable energy, as well as millions of jobs, and countless lives around the world. The finding has been used by other federal agencies to greatly expand their own regulatory programs, while other nations and international groups have relied on it to justify their own restrictions on affordable energy.” The cover letter was signed by Sam Kazman, general counsel for CEI. James Wallace and Joseph D’Aleo of the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC) assisted in gathering supporters for the petition.
Given the current turmoil in Washington, unsurprisingly, some reporters did not have the story quite correct. Neither CEI nor SEPP is “conservative” organizations. CEI can best be described as libertarian. Unless the urging that “science-based” public policy be based on rigorous science is an ideology, members of SEPP defy political classification. Although SEPP has worked with The Heartland Institute, SEPP is not part of that organization. SEPP is incorporated in Virginia and has separate officers, board of directors, attorney, accountant, etc. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – Petition.
Two Separate Petitions: Immediately after the inauguration of President Trump, CHECC quietly filed a petition requesting the EPA to reconsider the Endangerment Finding, based on new science. The appeal focused on additional data showing that the “hot spot” cannot be found, which was central to theoretical claims of a distinct human fingerprint, and a new study by Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo showing that natural variation explains changes in atmospheric temperatures far better than rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.
Using simultaneous equations, the new study finds that the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) explains atmospheric temperature variation, particularly if ENSO involves changes in solar activity and the 1977 Pacific Ocean Shift. The 1977 shift baffled scientists at the time.
CEI and SEPP approached the Endangerment Finding differently. After EPA made the endangerment finding in December 2009, ten petitions were filed to reconsider the finding including a joint petition by CEI, SEPP, and Freedom Works. EPA stated its reasoning for denying the ten petitions on July 2010, leading to an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn the EPA decision.
To prepare for a request to reconsider under the new administration, SEPP reviewed multiple volumes of text claimed to justify the denial of prior petitions to clearly delineate the reasons why a new petition for reconsideration is germane.
In the past, the EPA rejected arguments such as:
· conspiracy to manipulate data to produce artificial trends,
· errors in the 2007 Assessment Report (AR-4) of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
· claims that climate change is not happening, and
· the failure to find a hot-spot.
It appears that supporters of the finding consider that the hot spot may be diffused through the atmosphere, thus not a key issue, even though it was a key issue for several of the IPCC reports.
According to the EPA reports “EPA relied on major scientific assessments, including reports from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, National Academy of Sciences, and IPCC, because they represent the best available information to determine the state of climate change science.”
Some of the best available scientific assessments are disturbing. For example, The summary of the report of the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) states:
“GREENHOUSE GASES such as carbon dioxide (CO2) absorb heat (infrared radiation) emitted from Earth’s surface. Increases in the atmospheric concentrations of these gases cause Earth to warm by trapping more of this heat. Human activities—especially the burning of fossil fuels since the start of the Industrial Revolution—have increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations by about 40%, with more than half the increase occurring since 1970. Since 1900, the global average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F). This has been accompanied by warming of the ocean, a rise in sea level, a strong decline in Arctic sea ice, and many other associated climate effects. Much of this warming has occurred in the last four decades. Detailed analyses have shown that the warming during this period is mainly a result of the increased concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Continued emissions of these gases will cause further climate change, including substantial increases in global average surface temperature and important changes in regional climate. The magnitude and timing of these changes will depend on many factors, and slowdowns and accelerations in warming lasting a decade or more will continue to occur. However, long-term climate change over many decades will depend mainly on the total amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted as a result of human activities.” [Boldface added]
The conclusions states:
“This document explains that there are well-understood physical mechanisms by which changes in the amounts of greenhouse gases cause climate changes. It discusses the evidence that the concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere have increased and are still increasing rapidly, that climate change is occurring, and that most of the recent change is almost certainly due to emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activities. Further climate change is inevitable; if emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, future changes will substantially exceed those that have occurred so far. There remains a range of estimates of the magnitude and regional expression of future change, but increases in the extremes of climate that can adversely affect natural ecosystems and human activities and infrastructure are expected.” [Boldface added.]
As decades of laboratory tests show, the issue is not that increasing CO2 may cause warming. but the issue is: to what extent? Further, the “well understood physical mechanisms” may be a major issue!
As one example, the Kiehl-Trenberth Energy Budget model (which is generally accepted by the modelers) follows the speculation in the Charney Report. The release of latent heat in the troposphere causes warming far exceeding that from CO2 alone. But, rigorous testing of this mechanism is lacking.
Because these “well established” studies state the greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere, SEPP focused on atmospheric data rather than general climate change. Further, atmospheric temperatures calculated from satellite data are the most global, that is, most comprehensive, data existing.
SEPP found none of the reports cited by the EPA as evidence address atmospheric warming, or the lack thereof. Why the presidents of scientific organizations such as the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences would sign reports blaming atmospheric gases for global warming, without discussing atmospheric temperatures, can only be known to them.
By contrast, John Christy’s presentations to Congress, such as on February 2, 2016, showed the models greatly overestimate atmospheric warming. The atmospheric data his organization presents monthly is in marked contrast to the surface data, which may be subject to many other human and natural influences. CEI agreed that new atmospheric temperature data would be a focus in requesting a reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding, which was quietly filed in February.
Review of EPA postings in the closing days of the Obama Administration indicated that focusing on atmospheric data would be a more effective strategy for the brief petition than other strategies. These late postings are in three volumes under EPA’s Response to the Petitions to Reconsider. They are: Volume 1: Climate Science and Data Issues Raised by Petitioners; Volume 2: Issues Raised by Petitioners on EPA’s Use of IPCC; and Volume 3: Process Issues Raised by Petitioners.
The major points in the CEI/SEPP petition are: 1. There has been no statistically significant atmospheric warming despite a continued increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels; 2. Contrary to the endangerment finding’s second line of evidence, changes in global temperatures in recent decades are far from unusual; and 3. The growing accumulation and refinement of balloon and satellite data demonstrates that the atmosphere is far less sensitive to carbon dioxide forcing than predicted by the climate models.
Please note that high points in atmospheric temperatures from the El Niño year of 1998 to the El Niño year of 2016 show there is no increase in temperatures beyond that which can be attributed to instrument error – essentially zero increase. Yet, according to data from Mauna Loa the mean annual concentration of CO2 was 366.70 ppm (parts per million) in 1998 and 404.21 ppm in 2016, an increase of 10.2%. There appears to be no increase in the effect of CO2, and no amplification of temperature increase from water vapor as shown in the Kiehl-Trenberth Energy Budget model. Earlier temperatures were influenced by volcanic activity reducing measured temperatures.
See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Challenging the Orthodoxy – Petition, and Defending the Orthodoxy.
End Sue and Settle? The EPA has established a procedure called Sue and Settle. It would encourage certain organizations friendly to increasing government regulations to sue the EPA. Some of these organizations may be receiving funds from the EPA. Then, as the litigation continued in court, the EPA and the suing organization would reach an out-of-court agreement, often requiring the EPA to expand regulatory power. The court would certify the settlement, giving the EPA added legal power. Often, many individuals and organizations affected by this increase in regulatory power would be excluded from the procedure, thus have no say in procedures that may severely affect them, or rights to just compensation if property rights were taken.
The entire procedure is an expansion of executive power over what should be legislative power and the rights of citizens. EPA Administrator Pruitt has issued an order for the EPA to end this practice. Legislative action is needed to end the practice for good. See Article # 2 and links under EPA and other Regulators on the March
California Wildfires: Sudden intense winds in Sonoma and Napa drove fires that caused significant damage and deaths in places such as Santa Rosa, typically not known for seasonal fires. Of course, global warming was one of the usual suspects. Meteorologist Cliff Mass has a description of the unusual weather that contributed to these fires:
“In short, this blog will make the case that the extreme nature of the wildfires were [sic] the result of a very unusual weather event, one that our weather models had the ability to forecast and warn about, if only their output were applied more effectively. The blog also suggests that better use of state-of-the-art weather prediction offers the hope of preventing a similar tragedy.”
To summarize: the intense localized winds were the result of established, mountain-wave breaking intensified by a thermal inversion. The 60-90 mph winds were local, with near-by areas having moderate winds. [The records date back only to the 1990s.] The fires had nothing to do with “climate change.” A similar situation can be seen along a beach, where stronger breaking waves occur in certain areas. See links under Changing Weather.
Instrumentation Issues: Australian Jennifer Marohasy brings up a problem with the changes in instrumentation. If the new, automated instruments measure at shorter intervals than previous instruments, higher record temperatures may result than with the prior instruments. Such a change creates a problem in maintaining meaningful records. Careful calibration is required, and it is doubtful that blanket mathematical formula are sufficient. See link under Measurement Issues – Surface.
Number of the Week: 2.2 million workers needed to replace 52 thousand? One of the sillier essays in Politico stated: “And as jobs go, coal mining is now a tiny sliver of the U.S. economy, employing about 52,000 Americans last month, down 70 percent over three decades… By contrast, the solar and wind industries employed almost 10 times as many Americans last year, and they’re both enjoying explosive growth.”
If this essay is correct (it is not, and the definitions are vague), the energy industry that employed only 52,000 in mining produced 30% of the US Electricity in 2016, but wind and solar required 520,000 employees to produced 7% (6% wind and 1% solar). To generate the electricity produced by the coal industry, the wind and solar industries would need 2.2 million workers. Who can afford such inefficiency? See link under Defending the Orthodoxy and https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=electricity_in_the_united_states
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
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
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Endangerment Finding Must Go
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 17, 2017
The Talk Heard Around the World
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 20, 2017
On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot” & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding
By Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo, August 2016
Challenging the Orthodoxy – Petition
Conservatives Renew Campaign To Invalidate A Key Pillar Of Obama’s Global Warming Legacy
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Oct 17, 2017
Link to letter by CEI and SEPP
Sixty-Five Scientists Demand Reconsideration Of EPA’s Endangerment Finding
By Francis Mention, Manhattan Contrarian, Oct 17, 2017
Link to letter to Pruitt:
Scientists’ Letter to EPA Calling for Immediate Reopening of its GHG Endangerment Finding
Press Release, By The Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council, Oct 17, 2017
60 scientists call for EPA endangerment finding to be reversed
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 17, 2017
Letter to EPA Administrator Pruitt Signed by Over 60 Climate Experts Urges Revocation of the GHG Endangerment Finding
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Oct 17, 2017
Climate Change: Evidence & Causes
An overview from the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences
Signed by Ralph Cicerone, President, NAS, and Paul Nurse, President, Royal Society, (No Date)
Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration of the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act
By Staff Writers, EPA, Jan 19, 2017, Accessed Oct 21, 2017
Fiji to issue bond to fight climate change
Fiji has announced it will issue a sovereign green bond of US$50 million to raise funds for the Pacific nation to tackle climate change.
By Staff Writers, AAP, Oct 18, 2017 [H/t WUWT]
“The announcement comes as Fiji prepares to chair the 23rd Climate Change Conference in Germany in early November.”
Trump’s Love Affair with Coal
Why a president who struggles to stay on topic has a laser focus on one shrinking industry.
By Michael Grunwald, Politico, October 15, 2017
The world’s first “negative emissions” plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone
By Akshat Rathi, Quartz, Oct 12, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Recent CO2 Climate Sensitivity Estimates Continue Trending Towards Zero
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 16, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Continue to decline would be more appropriate than trending towards zero.]
The Mis-Measure of Development
By Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Oct 19, 2017
Link to report: SDG Index and Dashboards Report, 2017
By Staff Writers, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Another indication the UN is a bloated bureaucracy unable to effectively address major humanitarian issues.]
University of Chicago Air Quality-Life Index
By Andy May, WUWT, Oct 7, 2017
[SEPP Comment: It is important to differentiate between PM 10 and PM 2.5. Rigorous research showing PM 2.5 is a threat is lacking – See Article # 1.]
Media coverage of climate negotiations greeted with indifference
Widely publicized event didn’t push people toward political or personal action.
By Cathleen O’Grady, Ars Technica, Oct 13, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Link to paper: The appeasement effect of a United Nations climate summit on the German public
By Michael Brüggemann, Nature Climate Change, Oct 9, 2017
All the major nations are failing to meet their Paris targets says Nature paper
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 18, 2017
Link to paper: Prove Paris was more than paper promises
All major industrialized countries are failing to meet the pledges they made to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, warn David G. Victor and colleagues.
By David G. Victor, et al. Nature, Aug 1, 2017
Dutch will miss 2020 green energy, climate targets – report
By Toby Sterling, Reuters, Oct 19, 2017
Change in US Administrations
H. Sterling Burnett: Trump Cuts Clean Power Plan, Boosts America’s Prospects
By H. Sterling Burnett, Breitbart, Oct 16, 2017
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Finding parallels between Hadley Cell expansion and the global warming hiatus
By Dillon Amaya, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, US CLIVAR Climate Variability and Predictability Program, Sep 29, 2017
Africa, U.S. Question Green Energy Policy on Poor
By Staff Writers, The Zimbabwean, Oct 10, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Tensions came to the fore last week when the World Bank held its annual meeting in Washington. Zimbabwe, Nigeria and India all have doubts about a policy they say does little to lift people out of poverty. Their unlikely ally is Donald Trump.
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Elevated CO2 Increases the Nitrogen Productivity of 12 Tree Species
Ågren, G.I. and Kattge, J. 2017. Nitrogen productivity and allocation responses of 12 important tree species to increased CO2. Trees 31: 617-621. Oct 20, 2017
“However, the strongest response was noted in deciduous tree species (average increase of 34%) and the weakest in conifers (average increase of 8%). Two other observations of note include the findings that elevated CO2 had “no clear effects on biomass allocation” of plant organs (i.e. stem, leaves, coarse and fine roots), nor was there any statistical difference in whole-plant nitrogen concentration among the trees growing in the different CO2 and nitrogen regimes.”
Reef Corals Responding to Extremes in a Natural Environment
Camp, E.F., Nitschke, M.R., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Houlbreque, F., Gardner, S.G., Smith, D.J., Zampighi, M. and Suggett, D.J. 2017. Reef-building corals thrive within hot-acidified and deoxygenated waters. Scientific Reports 7: 2434, DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-02383-y. Oct 18, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Who would have thought nature gave reef corals the ability to respond to wide natural changes in ocean pH and temperatures?]
The Future Fate of Coral Calcification in a CO2-Enriched World
Von Euw, S., Zhang, Q., Manichev, V., Murali, N., Gross, J., Feldman, L.C., Gustafsson, T., Flach, C., Mendelsohn, R. and Falkowski, P.G. 2017. Biological control of aragonite formation in stony corals. Science 356: 933-938. Oct 16, 2017
Models v. Observations
Surprise: Defying Models, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent 100 Years Ago Similar To Today
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, German text edited/translated by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Oct 17, 2017
More hot days — or “purpose-designed” temperature sensors at play?
By Jennifer Marohasy, The Spectator, Australia, October 19, 2017 [H/t Jo Nova]
The NOAA Database and Global Warming
By Edward R. Long, American Thinker, Oct 12, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Highlighting three major problems in the database.]
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
NASA Pinpoints Cause of Earth’s Recent Record Carbon Dioxide Spike
Press Release, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Oct 12, 2017
“The only thing new about this study is that they have evidence from OCO2 just where the extra CO2 during an El Nino event comes from. That El Ninos cause spikes (and La Nina, dips) in atmospheric CO2 has been known for several decades, studied, and was even in the first IPCC report, as I recall.” – Roy Spencer
The Real Story Behind the California Wildfires
Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 16, 2017
“The good news in all this? Our models seemed to be able to simulate this event, providing some warning of the imminent wind acceleration.”
5000 Mile Atmospheric River Will Hit the Northwest on Saturday: Heavy Rain in the Offering
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Oct 20, 2017
Feds predict cooler northern US, warmer south this winter
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 19, 2017
Link to report: U.S. Winter Outlook: NOAA forecasters predict cooler, wetter North and warmer, drier South
By Staff Writers, NOAA Climate Prediction Center, Oct 19, 2017
Ex Hurricane Ophelia
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 17, 2017
[SEPP Comment: A weak sister of Debbie (1961); then we have Faith (1966) traveling 6,850 miles (11,020 km), reaching 61.1°N, and being tracked to above 80°N, above Siberia.]
Inconvenient: NASA shows global sea level…pausing, instead of rising
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 16, 2017
Will Global Warming Overflow the Chesapeake Bay?
By Roger H. Bezdek, NIPCC Policy Brief, Oct 2017
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Antarctica-Regional Climate and Surface Mass Budget
By Vincent Favier, et al. Glaciology and Climate Change, Oct 4, 2017
“Even though climate over the East Antarctic Ice-Sheet remained quite stable, a warming and precipitation increase was observed over the West Antarctic Ice-Sheet and over the West Antarctic Peninsula (AP) during the twentieth century. However, the high regional climate variability overwhelms climate changes associated to human drivers of global temperature changes, as reflected by a slight recent decadal cooling trend over the AP.”
‘Supervolcano’ Under Yellowstone May Have Planet-Killing Potential
By Staff Writers, CBS Sacramento, Oct 11, 2017
Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple ancient Egypt: study
By Marlowe Hood, Paris (AFP), Oct 17, 2017
Lake waves penetrate, disturb the surrounding earth
By Brooks Hays, Washington (UPI), Oct 16, 2017
The New York Times Embraces Fake Science, Fake Engineering, and Fake Economics
By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Oct 18, 2017
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
RFF’s ‘E3 Carbon Tax Calculator’: How About Energy Prices, Climate Effects?
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Oct 18, 2017
The Met Office’s Obsession With Gusts
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 20, 2017
Veteran Meteorologist Slams German Media For Poor Warnings As Storms Reveal Reporting Incompetence
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 18, 2017
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Air Pollution: How To Deceive People With Maps
By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Oct 16, 2017
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
Another meaningless survey shows 4 in 5 Australians want “clean energy” (if someone else pays)
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 14, 2017
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
Children to sue European countries over climate change
By Manisha Ganguly, CNN, Oct 20, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Not old enough to be legally responsible, but old enough to claim others are legally irresponsible?]
Social Justice Warriors are Coming for Mathematics
And they’re coming hard and fast
By William Briggs, The Stream, Oct 16, 2017
“According to the not-unusual official want-ad, Texas State University is looking for math education professorial candidates… ‘who share our commitment to educational equity, to social justice, and to the recruitment and high-quality education of students from historically underserved and systemically marginalized communities. We are especially interested in applicants whose scholarly interests and work include attention to the concerns of race, ethnicity, multilingualism, immigrant, social class, gender, and diversity, broadly defined.’”
Questioning European Green
The UK’s Clean Growth Strategy – and the greens are back
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Oct 16, 2017
“And what’s the point in spending billions of pounds of taxpayer money to make the UK a world leader if it already is one?” [In emission reductions]
[SEPP Comment: Green energy: no cost is too great; no effort is sufficient.]
Energy Efficiency: Lessons from the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation
By John Constable, GWPF, Oct 10, 2017
Industry Group Warns German “Electricity Prices To Rise Significantly”, Fueled By Green Energies!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 14, 2017
“The Deutsche Mittelstand Nachrichten site cited the head of the BDEW energy association, Stefan Kapferer, who blasted the ‘constantly more frequent and expensive interventions that are needed to keep the grid stable due to the fluctuating feed-in of renewable energies’“.
The Curse of Good Intentions
Politics is increasingly about motives, not results
By Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist, Oct 19, 2017
“The Paris climate accord is one big virtue-signalling prayer, whose promises, if implemented, would make a difference in the temperature of the atmosphere in 2100 so small it is practically within the measuring error. But it’s the thought that counts. Donald Trump just does not care.”
[SEPP Comment: Or that he is not baffled by the bluster?]
Questioning Green Elsewhere
“Green” Energy Fails Every Test
By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Oct 15, 2017
Link to paper: Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure
By Steven Hayward and Peter Nelson, Center of the American Experiment, October 2017
Green Power is Part Time Power
Guest opinion by Viv Forbes, WUWT, Oct 18, 2017
Green Madness: More Than 100,000 South Australians Seeking Food Donations, Forced to Skip Meals to Pay Electricity Bills
By Liz Walsh, Sheradyn Holderhead, The Advertiser, Via GWPF, Oct 18, 2017
How the World Bank keeps poor nations poor
Its policy of eco-imperialism forces renewables on a reluctant but largely helpless developing world
By James Delingpole, The Spectator, Oct 21, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Gorsuch takes swipe at Chevron doctrine
By Amanda Reilly, EE News, Oct 16, 2017
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
The Case Against a U.S. Carbon Tax
By Robert P. Murphy, Patrick J. Michaels, and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Oct 17, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Lengthy paper addressing that the demonstrated “need” for a tax on carbon is superficial (carbon based fuels or carbon dioxide emissions).]
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
German wind industry “threatening to implode” as subsidies end wiping out half or more of new plants
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 18, 2017
Administrator Pruitt Issues Directive to End EPA “Sue & Settle”
EPA Press Office, Oct 16, 2017
Link to directive: Directive Promoting Transparency and Public Participation in Consent Decrees and Settlement Agreements, October 16, 2017
EPA Pushes Back on Practice That Environmentalist Groups Used to Dictate Agenda
By Daren Bakst, The Daily Signal, Oct 17, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]
EPA Proposes Clean Break With Dirty Energy Politics
By Larry Bell, Newmax, Oct 16, 2017
New Directive Will Force Trump’s EPA To Scrutinize Deals Cut With Activist Groups
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Oct 17, 2017
Energy Issues – Non-US
Renewable Energy Threatens the World’s Biggest Science Project
Inside the $24 billion long bet on fusion power in France.
By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg, Oct 20, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Africa’s Largest Wind Power Plant Rejected By Kenya
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 18, 2017
Energy Issues –Australia
Australia’s new NEG National Energy Plan hides a carbon tax, international carbon credits
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 19, 2017
“No job gets created here, no soil gets improved, and no weather gets changed.”
Andrew Bolt: Turnbull’s New Energy Plan Just Died
Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, Via GWPF, Oct 20, 2017
Malcolm Turnbull’s Magic Energy Plan Has a Reality Problem
By Graham Lloyd, The Australian, Via GWPF, Oct 17, 2017
Renewable power subsidies dumped as Malcolm Turnbull unveils new energy policy
By Sarah Martin and Paul Osborne, AAP, The West Australian, Oct 16, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Politicians “shocked” at the power crisis waiting in the Australian electricity grid
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 19, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Ever stricter Renewable Energy Targets (RET) will turn bad to worse.]
Santa’s arrived! Australia drops new Renewables Targets, will meet “Paris”, stop blackouts, reduce costs
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 17, 2017
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Rick Perry’s vision of hot tub-sized nuclear power plants isn’t so far-fetched
By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Oct 9, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow
By John Solomon and Alison Spann, The Hill, Oct 17, 2017
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
State-Subsidized Solar Panel Maker to Close in Mississippi
Another green energy company heavily incentivized by Mississippi is shutting down, raising questions about whether the state will get repaid.
By Jeff Amy, AP, Oct 19, 2017
World’s First Offshore Wind Farm Retires: a Post-Mortem
By M J Kelly, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, GWPF, Oct 18, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Delivered an average of 22% of nameplate capacity, which is 55% of expected output.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Trump Bends The Knee To King Corn
Editorial, IBD, Oct 21, 2017
Trump Tells EPA to Boost Biofuels After Iowa Uproar
By Jennifer Dlouhy, Jennifer Jacobs and Ari Natter, Bloomberg, Oct 18, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Norway Seeks $9,000 ‘Tesla Tax’ on Electric Cars
By Staff Writers, The Local, Oct 13, 207
“Norway, a world leader of zero-emission vehicles, on Thursday proposed a “Tesla tax” aimed at cutting a tax advantage granted to large electric cars in a heavily criticised move.
“Electric cars, which have hitherto been exempted from heavy taxes imposed on other vehicles, accounted for 20 percent of new registrations in the Nordic country since the beginning of this year, an unprecedented market share in the world.”
Electrifying the A9 Trunk Road in Scotland
By Euans Mearns, Energy Matters, Oct 18, 2017
Health, Energy, and Climate
Double standards in safety assessment
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Oct 20, 2017
“In the highest category of known carcinogens are ‘alcoholic beverages’ and ‘solar radiation’ (sunlight) – along with plutonium.”
In glyphosate review, WHO cancer agency edited out ‘non-carcinogenic’ findings
By Kate Kelland, Reuters, Oct 19, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Claim: use ‘nature’ to beat climate change
Anthony Watts, WUWT, October 17, 2017
Link to report: Natural Climate Solutions
By Staff Writers, Nature Conservancy, No date
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
By Staff Writers, Phys.org, Oct 13, 2017
Anti-fracking Groups Stage Tone Deaf “Die-in”
By Rebecca Simons, Energy in Depth, Oct 6, 2017 [H/t WUWT]
No fragrance in short rice
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Oct 15, 2017
“An experiment by Indian agriculture scientists points to the enormous effect global warming could have on the fragrant basmati rice. Basmati, Sanskrit for the fragrant one, may lose not just its aroma, the famous long grains may get shorter, say scientists.
“H Pathak, principal investigator of Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Climate Change Challenge Programme, told TOI the Tarawari basmati grown in research fields in Delhi did not grow long enough and wasn’t as fragrant as it should have been when cooked.”
Times of India, 30/1/11
1. The Clean Power Plan’s Counterfeit Benefits
The Obama EPA claimed its regulation would have a $55 billion payoff. You’ll never believe how.
By Steve Milloy, WSJ, Oct 15, 2017
SUMMARY: The author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” who served on the EPA Trump transition team, now writes:
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed repeal of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan is a milestone. No Republican administration has ever mustered the courage to roll back a major EPA regulation. In a clever twist, the Trump administration has done so by directly challenging the plan’s purported health benefits.
Although the Clean Power Plan was pitched as a way to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants, averting climate change was not how the Obama EPA justified the rule. In 2015 House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith forced Obama’s EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, to acknowledge that the plan would produce no change to global temperatures. Instead, the EPA justified the net benefit of the rule based on collateral reductions in power plants’ emissions of fine particulate matter. In regulatory parlance, this soot is called PM2.5.
While the compliance costs to industry of the Clean Power Plan could be as high as $33 billion a year, the Obama EPA claimed that the economic benefits from reducing PM2.5 emissions would be even larger—as much as $55 billion a year.
What are the supposed $55 billion in economic benefits? That sum is intended to represent the value of thousands of premature deaths allegedly prevented every year by the Clean Power Plan via the co-benefit of reduced PM2.5 emissions. The EPA values lives “saved” at around $9 million each. Thousands times millions equal billions.
EPA staff invented this calculus in 1996 to justify the agency’s first effort to regulate PM2.5, although there’s no scientific evidence, then or now, to support the notion that particulates in outdoor air kill people. The EPA regulated them anyway, stiff-arming not only the Republican-controlled Congress’s demands for proof of the danger of PM2.5 emissions but the objections of then-Vice President Al Gore, who thought the rule too costly.
The Clean Air Act requires air-quality standards for pollutants such as PM2.5 be set at a “safe” level. The EPA has long claimed that there is no safe level of exposure to PM2.5 and that inhalation can cause death within hours. But the EPA could never lower the PM2.5 standard to zero because such a standard could not be attained even if the economy was entirely shut down.
The Trump EPA has now largely jettisoned the notion that PM2.5 is a killer by slashing the supposed economic benefits of reduced emissions by $29 billion per year. That nets out favorably against the rule’s anticipated annual costs of as much as $33 billion.
A robust body of scientific literature—from large epidemiologic studies to clinical research to historical air-quality data—supports the EPA’s reversal. Standing against it are a few decades of dubious agency-funded studies, the underlying data for which the agency has kept well hidden in order to prevent independent analyses. The Obama EPA even defied a congressional subpoena in order to keep its PM2.5 epidemiologic secret.
Mr. Malloy concludes that this may be the beginning of the end of the “war on coal”, but green groups and NY Attorney General Schneiderman threaten to sue. However, according to Mr. Malloy:
“When the Supreme Court voted to stay the Clean Power Plan in February 2016, it was a clear signal that the coal industry and red-state plaintiffs would prevail on the merits in any future legal challenge. The EPA’s acknowledgment that the Clean Power Plan has no economic or climate benefits is the final nail in the regulation’s coffin.”
2 Stopping Sue and Settle
The EPA moves to limit extortion by environmental lawsuit.
Editorial, WSJ, Oct 18, 2017
SUMMARY: Claiming that the end of “sue and settle” lawsuits is a victory for democratic consent over legal extortion, the editorial states:
“For years green activists have used sue and settle to impose policies they can’t get through Congress. Their allies in the EPA would invite lawsuits, then settle with the greens by agreeing to implement some or all of their policies in consent decrees. When citizens or business complained, EPA would claim its hands were tied by the settlement.
“Mr. Pruitt saw the abuses first-hand as Oklahoma’s attorney general, notably as the state battled over the EPA’s Regional Haze Plan. Under the Clean Air Act, states are supposed to develop programs to reduce emissions. Oklahoma came up with a smart plan to do so at minimal cost by replacing coal with natural gas.
“But under a consent decree between the EPA and green litigants, the federal government prescribed a plan that required retrofitting six Oklahoma power plants with sulfur-dioxide controls. The cost: $1.8 billion. Even as the state’s utility bills skyrocketed, “the resulting impact on regional haze would be practically imperceptible,” Oklahoma Gas & Electric concluded.
“The agency overrode 17 states’ regional haze programs after sue-and-settle agreements. In total, the Obama EPA imposed a record-breaking 55 federal implementation plans under the Clean Air Act. And since 2009 EPA agreements with litigious environmental groups have resulted in no fewer than 137 new Clean Air Act regulations. The costs of several of these rules run well into the billions, including some of the most expensive ever written.
“Mr. Pruitt’s directive says the EPA will no longer commit to specific policy outcomes in its settlements or consent decrees, instead agreeing only to review a rule or provision. It will also require the EPA to provide vastly more opportunity for diverse public comment.
“Too often, bureaucrats and greens have been the sole parties involved in sue-and-settle negotiations. That has meant no dissenting perspectives and no representation for voters and consumers who pay for heavy-handed federal regulation. Under the new directive, the EPA will invite states and industries affected to weigh in. Proposed consent decrees and settlements will be open to public comment the way new or modified regulations are now.
“Environmental groups will also no longer be considered the “prevailing party” when litigation does end in settlement. This is an immediate victory for taxpayers, given that green activists have used their prevailing party status to get the EPA to reimburse them for millions of dollars in legal fees.
“These are useful changes that will improve transparency and lead to more honest policy. They are also a lesson to Congress that it needs to write environmental law with more precision so the next EPA Administrator can’t easily revive sue and settle.”
3. Big Oil Touts Its Core Business: Fossil Fuels
Renewables alone not enough to satisfy world’s energy needs, executives say
By Sarah Kent and Lynn Cook, WSJ, Oct 18, 2017
SUMMARY: The article begins:
“Big oil company executives asserted that fossil fuels would remain the central part of their business for decades, despite recent investments in renewables and other energy sources made in response to efforts to curb carbon emissions.
“’Despite the attraction of renewables, the world can’t run on them alone and won’t be able to for some time,’ BP PLC Chief Executive Bob Dudley told the Oil & Money conference in London Wednesday.
“The remarks by Mr. Dudley and other executives at Europe’s largest oil companies represented a defense of the industry’s traditional work at a time of growing pressure from investors and activists to manage their risks related to climate change. The optimism comes as oil prices are on the rise in the recent months, closing in on $60 a barrel for Brent crude, the international benchmark, in recent days after a prolonged downturn caused by a global oversupply.”
Readers of TWTW are aware how promoters of renewables have greatly exaggerated the ability of wind and solar to deliver reliable, stable electricity at costs similar to those of fossil fuels. Despite the recent publicity of renewables, the authors conclude:
“Mr. Dudley said BP is approaching investments in renewables with caution after efforts to move ‘beyond petroleum’ in the 1990s faltered. The company is more certain of its bet on the “low-carbon” fossil fuel, natural gas, he said, arguing that the target shouldn’t be to simply race towards renewables, but to seek a solution that lowers greenhouse gas emissions.”