Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #303

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week.“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

“In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

“Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

“Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite

“It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society. — President Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961 [Boldface added.]

Number of the Week:10.2 million barrels per day.

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

False Intelligence: President Eisenhower’s farewell address, from which the above quotation is taken, gives valuable advice for setting government policy and the need to ensure that policy is not based on incorrect information, false intelligence, no matter how scrupulously obtained. As the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force in the European theatre during the planning and execution of Operation Overlord (the Allied invasion of German occupied northwestern Europe), Eisenhower understood the value of solid intelligence, and the dangers of false intelligence. In part, the success in Normandy was built on deception, false intelligence.

The most logical place for the Allied landings was at Pas de Calais, the area in northern France, which is the shortest distance on the English Channel from southeast England and France, about 33 km (21 miles). This area is over 250 km (160 miles) east of the actual location of the landings. To deceive the German High Command and Hitler into believing that the landings would occur at Pas de Calais, The Allies invented the fictitious First U.S. Army Group, supposedly located in Kent and Sussex under the command of Lieutenant General George S. Patton. They constructed dummy tanks, trucks, and landing craft, positioned them near the coast and allowed German high-altitude recognizance planes a brief view. Some of this “invasion force” was made of specially designed inflatable rubber.

In addition, several military units moved to the area to bolster the illusion that a large force was gathering there. Real radio traffic from the actual landing force was routed to Kent via landline and then broadcast, to give the Germans the impression that most of the Allied troops were stationed in southeast England. The ruse, trick, was so successful, that for several critical weeks after the Normandy landings, the Germans held back vital combat units to defend against landings at Pas de Calais, which never came.

Eisenhower’s forces had their own difficulty with faulty intelligence. The hedgerows separating fields in France were not as easily penetrated by mechanized equipment as the hedgerows in England. As a result, the offensive stalled for weeks.

It is not clear what Eisenhower thought about the faulty Allied intelligence. No doubt, he would have dealt harshly with those providing it, if it were deliberate.

Many in Washington are attempting to establish greenhouse gas policy, namely carbon dioxide (CO2) policy, and related energy policies based on faulty intelligence provided by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) in its National Climate Assessments. The greenhouse gas effect occurs in the atmosphere. To directly measure any changes in climate due to greenhouse gases, we need to measure changes in the atmosphere. Surface-air temperature measurements are a poor proxy, as the strong divergence between surface-air temperature trends and atmospheric trends demonstrates.

Before the method of using satellite data to comprehensively calculate atmospheric temperature was announced in 1990, and thoroughly tested shortly thereafter, there was no option but using incomplete, sparse, surface data. Now, there is no excuse for not using the 39-year satellite data record.

Yet, the USGCRP, and programs with NOAA, and NASA continue to promote false intelligence based on faulty surface data. Worse, they use long-term forecasts from global climate models which are demonstrated to be wrong – they fail in short-term forecasts. Thus, there is no logical reason to assume the models will succeed in long-term forecasts.

The US government errs in believing it can build prudent policy based on “scientific research” that deliberately uses false intelligence. That the USGCRP boasts on its web site that it follows the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an insult. The USGCRP ignores its independent mandate to understand both human and natural influences on climate. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Challenging the Orthodoxy, last week’s TWTW and Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm


Another Victim of False Intelligence: According to the once distinguished Science Magazine,

“Kathleen Hartnett White, who had been picked to chair the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), came under fire from senators in both parties for what they characterized as her extremist views and disregard for science.”

Ms. White has withdrawn her nomination to that post. Her “disregard for science” is that she refused to accept the false intelligence promoted the USGCRP and the Climate Establishment and made statements such as: “CO2 does not have the characteristics of an air pollutant that ‘contaminates and fouls and has a direct impact on human health.’” The questioning by senators from both parties demonstrates that both political parties are infected by false intelligence. The article linked to a letter signed by hundreds of Ph.D.s demonstrating the extent of false intelligence.

A similar commotion is occurring in the European Union, where key positions rotate among countries every six months. The new president of the EU environment council is the environment minister of Bulgaria, Neno Dimov, who has expressed skepticism about the UN’s version of climate change. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.


Professor Pangloss? In his satire Candide, ou l’Optimisme, Voltaire created Pangloss, a Professor of “metaphysico-theology-cosmolonigology”, who proved through reason, logic, and analogy this was the best of all possible worlds. Scott Pruitt, the new Administrator of the EPA, expressed the idea, also expressed by SEPP, that increasing CO2 may be beneficial to the world, humanity and the environment. Immediately he was criticized by “scientists” promoting False Intelligence claiming Pruitt was misleading the public. According to E&E “Pruitt’s comments inch closer to those of controversial figures like the former nominee to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, who has pointed to carbon dioxide as the ‘gas that makes life possible on Earth.’” Voltaire would have the material to write another satire. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Change in US Administrations.


Sea Level Rise Reversed? The Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has long been considered an example a country with is endangered by rising seas. Now, a new study using 43 years of aerial photographs and satellite imagery finds that about three-quarters of the islands grew in land area.

Probably, this news is not surprising to Nils-Axel Mörner, Clifford Ollier, and others who have physically examined the sea level change in various Pacific Islands and who have expressed skepticism to the claims of a dramatic increase in sea level rise, which is largely based on questionable models. But this increase in land area may be news to the Climate Institute, which has been promoting fear of CO2-caused sea level rise among small island nations, featuring a web site with titles such as “Submerging Paradise: Climate Change in the Pacific Islands” stating:

“Nowhere is climate change more evident than in small island states, where entire populations are facing existential challenges – the very real prospect of full evacuation, dispersed resettlement, and potential cultural annihilation. Of these, many of the most threatened territories lie within the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean.”

It should be noted that Michael Calvin MacCracken is a director at the Climate Institute and formerly Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs. Also, he was executive director of the USGCRP. His objections to the petitions for review EPA’s Endangerment Finding are noted in the July 24, 2017 TWTW. See links under Changing Seas and http://climate.org/


Ozone Again? Reports indicate that the globe’s stratospheric ozone layer may be thinning. If so, it contradicts claims of success of the Montreal Protocol, which was enacted “to protect” the earth’s ozone layer over when greatly exaggerated claims where made on the extent of ozone loss over the polar regions. In the laboratory, it was shown how certain man-made gases used as refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), could breakdown ozone molecules. However, it was never well demonstrated how dense molecules of CFCs rise to the stratosphere.

Today, the Montreal Protocol, which was rushed through and ratified by the US Senate, is being used by international groups to justify controls on greenhouse gases. These actions make one skeptical of the validity of the latest reports on the ozone layer. See links under Models v. Observations


The Right Touch: The on-line Australian magazine Quadrant had an interesting pair of articles on how the Australian Climate Council is promoting the fear of CO2 – caused climate change. It is claiming that the country’s most popular tourist attractions are threatened, including the Great Barrier Reef. A professor who dared to question the threats to the Great Barrier Reef has been sanctioned by his university – the James Cook University, which attempted to silence Robert Carter, one of the editors of the reports by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) by not renewing his position.

In the US, claims of damaging the tourist industry are used to oppose the opening of the US continental shelf to drilling beyond the state limits. These fears at least have some basis and have been effective in some states such as California and Florida. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the Federal government changed its royalty laws and allowed states which do not share in royalties to do so. See links under Censorship, Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda, and Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?


Litigation Issues: The litigation issues raised by California municipalities and New York City in their lawsuits against five oil companies continue to raise questions as to the hypocrisy demonstrated by these actions – the governments claim of specific damages from climate change, yet do not so inform investors in their municipal bonds. Over the past two weeks, TWTW has covered some of the issues. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, a former hedge-fund manager who specialized in sovereign debt describes the apparent deceit of municipalities in California, when issuing bonds. The conclusion of his essay bears repeating:

“Plaintiffs’ lawyers probably never intended that their war on the fossil-fuel industry would end up shining a light on the perilous state of local public finances. But wars have a funny way of creating unintended consequences. If the unqualified statements made in court about the impact of climate change are even half true—regardless of the cause—the finances of many of California’s coastal cities could soon be underwater. [Boldface added.]

The taxpayers in these municipalities may be severely burdened by foolish political actions. See Article # 1 and links under Litigation Issues.


Expanding the Orthodoxy: According to reports, “The Ohio State University has joined the newly launched University Climate Change Coalition, an alliance of 13 leading research universities that will create a collaborative model to help local communities achieve climate goals.”

The University of California leads the group and a list of all committed members is included. According to the report: “In 2016, the U.S.-based members of the coalition performed about one-quarter of the environmental science research conducted by all U.S. institutions, according to data collected by the National Science Foundation.”

These actions affirm the wisdom of President Eisenhower’s address.

If policies and programs to “fight climate change” by reducing CO2 emissions are implemented, they are likely to be as successful as German defense of the Pas de Calais against a non-existent army equipped with inflatable tanks, guns, and trucks. See link under Expanding the Orthodoxy.


Number of the Week – 10.2 million barrels per day. According to EIA estimates, in January the US oil production averaged 10.2 million barrels per day, exceeding its average daily production per month record set November 1970 at 10.04 million barrels per day.

“EIA estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 10.2 million barrels per day (b/d) in January, up 100,000 b/d from the December level. EIA estimates that total U.S. crude oil production averaged 9.3 million b/d in 2017 and will average 10.6 million b/d in 2018, which would mark the highest annual average U.S. crude oil production level, surpassing the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970. EIA forecasts that 2019 crude oil production will average 11.2 million b/d.”

In 1956, geologist King Hubbard predicted US oil production would peak about 1970. His prediction embodied assumptions, which were forgotten by those who modeled long-term oil production for the Club of Rome and the US government. His assumptions excluded oil from shale, oil sands, and deep-water production. Already, US production of natural gas and natural gas liquids exceed historic maxima. Now, so does oil. Changing technologies with human innovations have a way of making fools of those who make dire predictions. See links under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past? and https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/


Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Grand Minimum May Usher In 50 Years Of Global Cooling

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of people Know That, Feb 8, 2018


Scripps: Cooling Sun May Partially Offset Climate Change by Humans

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, Feb 5, 2018 [H/t WUWT]


Link to Press Release: Reduced Energy from the Sun Might Occur by Mid-century; Now Scientists Know by How Much

UC San Diego scientists review satellite observations of nearby Sun-like stars to estimate the strength of the next “grand minimum” period of diminished UV radiation

By Robert Monroe, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Feb 5, 2018



Science or silence? My battle to question doomsayers about the Great Barrier Reef

By Prof. Peter Ridd, Fox News, Feb 8, 2018


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013


Summary: http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/pdf/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

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

Princeton Physicist Points Out The Obvious: Climate Models ‘Don’t Work’

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Feb 5, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Link to video of Will Happer.]

Certainty breeds intolerance

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Feb 9, 2018


Marvel et al.’s new paper on estimating climate sensitivity from observations

A guest post by Nic Lewis, Climate Audit, Feb 5, 2018


Link to paper: Internal variability and disequilibrium confound estimates of climate sensitivity from observations

By Marvel, Pincus, Schmidt, & Miller, Geophysical Research Letter, Jan 29, 2018


Defending the Orthodoxy

Scientists correct Pruitt’s climate claims

By Scott Waldman, E&E News, Feb 8, 2018


“Past civilizations have not thrived in those types of temperatures, because they pre-date human societies, said Allegra LeGrande, a paleoclimate researcher at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.”

“It’s misleading to say that the current rate of change is comparable to the past, said Kevin Trenberth, a meteorologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He said the world is changing about 100 times faster than what would occur naturally, in terms of the long-term trends.”

[SEPP Comment: What would Trenberth say about the Younger Dryas?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Things Your Professor Didn’t Tell You About Climate Change

By John Kudla, American Thinker, Feb 3, 2018


20 New Papers Crush Claims Of A Man-Made Link To Arctic Climate Change, Glacier Retreat, Sea Ice

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Feb 8, 2018


‘In climate we trust’

By Anthony Sadar, Washington Times, Feb 6, 2018


Shock Paper Cites Formula That Precisely Calculates Planetary Temps WITHOUT Greenhouse Effect, CO2

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Feb 5, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Question part of the analysis. Numerous independent experiments demonstrate a greenhouse gas effect, but not as large as claimed by the IPCC and its followers.]

After Paris!

Green group threatens to sue State Dept. over absent climate-change report

By Miranda Green, The Hill, Feb 5, 2018


[SEPP Comment: More reasons to avoid UN commitments.]

Change in US Administrations

With Tax Reform Done, President Trump Should Set Record Straight On ‘Climate Change’

By James Wallace and Francis Menton, IBD, Feb 9, 2018


EPA administrator questions ‘assumptions’ that global warming is bad

By Luis Sanchez, The Hill, Feb 7, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Do we live in a “best of all possible” times?]

Pruitt suggests warming can help humans

By Scott Waldman and Niina Heikkinen, E&E News, Feb 7, 2018


Trump plans shakeup of science council

By Christa Marshall, E&E News, Feb 6, 2018


Meet the climate guy who quit Interior

By Brittany Patterson, E&E News, Feb 6, 2018


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Remember when global warming was going to increase Malaria? Never mind…

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 7, 2018


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

A Global Analysis of Recent Trends in Streamflow

Do, H.X., Westra, S. and Leonard, M. 2017. A global-scale investigation of trends in annual maximum streamflow. Journal of Hydrology 552: 28-43. Feb 5, 2018


“Consequently, the three Australian scientists conclude that ‘although there may be evidence of regional increasing trends in flood hazard, the hypothesis that there is a significant increase in flood hazard when averaged over all the data-covered regions of the globe is not supported by this analysis.’ And so it is that another model-based claim is invalidated by observations.

Copepod Response to Ocean Acidification and Salinity Stress

Hemraj, D.A., Allais, L. and Leterme, S.C. 2017. A combination of salinity and pH affects the recruitment of Gladioferens pectinatus (Brady) (Copepoda; Calanoida). Limnology and Oceanography 62: 1799-1809. Feb 7, 2018


No Evidence of an Anthropogenic Influence on Floods

Hodgkins, G.A., Whitfield, P.H., Burn, D.H., Hannaford, J., Renard, B., Stahl, K., Fleig, A.K., Madsen, H., Mediero, L., Korhonen, J., Murphy, C. and Wilson, D. 2017. Climate-driven variability in the occurrence of major floods across North America and Europe. Journal of Hydrology 552: 704-717. Feb 5, 2018


“Hodgkins et al. report that ‘there was no compelling evidence for consistent changes over time in major-flood occurrence during the 80 years through 2010,’ adding that ‘the number of significant trends in major-flood occurrence across North America and Europe was approximately [equal to] the number expected due to chance alone.’”

Models v. Observations

Ozone Layer Continues to Deplete Over Last 3 Decades, Warns Study

A team led by researchers from ETH Zurich and the Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos in Switzerland have found that despite the ban on CFCs, the concentration of ozone in the lower part of the stratosphere has continued to decline at latitudes between 60 degree South and 60 degree North.

By Staff Writers, News 18, India, Feb 6, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Don’t question! Expand regulations!]

More about “Ozone at lower latitudes is not recovering”

Guest Brief by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Feb 7, 2018


Measurement Issues — Surface

Scandal: BoM ignores major site changes at iconic, historic, Sydney Observatory. Sloppy or deliberate?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 7, 2018


“The BOM needs an independent audit. No one would accept this from a public company.”

Changing Weather

Weather-related natural disasters 2017: was this a reversion to the mean?

By Roger Pielke Jr. Risk Frontiers, Feb 5, 2018


NOAA Scientist Says It’s ‘Misleading’ To Blame Global Warming For Hurricane Harvey’s Rainfall

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 6, 2018


Link to paper: Hurricane Harvey’s Rainfall and Global Warming

By Christopher W. Landsea, National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, No Date


PIK Potsdam Climate Institute Emerges As A Non-Credible Outlier When It Comes To Hurricanes

Hurricane activity trend declines significantly over the past 65 years

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, Translated by P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 7, 2018


Europe Cooling…Weather Service Data Show Falling January Mean Temperatures Over Past 30 Years

January shows no global warming

By Chris Frey, EIKE, Feb 5, 2018, Via No Tricks Zone, Translated, By P Gosselin, Feb 9, 2018


Changing Climate

Before climate change: Falling rocks set fire to 10% of land, trigger mini ice age for 1000 years

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 6, 2018


Link to press release: New research suggests toward end of Ice Age, human beings witnessed fires larger than dinosaur killer, thanks to a cosmic impact

By Brendan Lynch, University of Kansas, Feb 1, 2018


Link to paper: Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago. 1. Ice Cores and Glaciers

By Wendy Wolbach, et al. The Journal of Geology, Feb 1, 2018


Link to second paper: Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ∼12,800 Years Ago. 2. Lake, Marine, and Terrestrial Sediments

By Wendy Wolbach, et al. The Journal of Geology, Feb 1, 2018


Changing Seas

‘Sinking’ Pacific nation is getting bigger: study

By Staff Writers, Phys.org, Feb 9, 2018


Link to paper: Patterns of island change and persistence offer alternate adaptation pathways for atoll nations

By Kench, Ford & Owen, Nature, Communications, Feb 9, 2018


‘Sinking’ Pacific Island Touted as Prime Climate Change Victim is Actually Rising Out of the Sea: Study

By Breitbart Landon, Breitbart, Feb 9, 2018 [H/t Paul Homewood]


World Leading Authority: Sea Level “Absolutely Stable”… Poor Quality Data From “Office Perps”…IPCC “False”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 4, 2018


Changing Earth

China launches electromagnetic satellite to study earthquake precursors

By Staff Writers, Beijing (XNA), Feb 05, 2018


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Panic! Put up a solar panel or tourism will lose $40b in Australia. (Sure, and people “want” cold holidays.)

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 8, 2018


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Trump to dump controversial environmental nominee

By Science News Staff, Science, Feb 4, 2018


The Historian Who Denies Climate Change? Not so Fast

By Yoni Anijar History News Network, Oct 4, 2018 [H/t GWPF]


Link to book: A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism

By Patrick Allitt, Amazon, UK, Mary 20, 2014


‘Shocking’: Anger after climate change sceptic becomes EU environment chief

New president of key European body Neno Dimov previously described phenomenon as a ‘hoax used to scare the people’

By Josh Gabbatiss, Independent, Jan 26, 2018


Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

Attention, Reporters. Your Story Is Ready

By Roger Franklin, Quadrant, Feb 8, 2018


Link to report: Icons at Risk: Climate Change Threatening Australian Tourism

AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR tourist destinations are in the firing line, with intensifying climate change posing a significant threat to the nation’s iconic natural wonders.

By Staff Writers, Climate Council, AU, Feb 2, 2018


The Climate Council’s Global Damage

By Roger Franklin, Quadrant, Feb 9, 2018


[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Ohio State University joins new University Climate Change Coalition

By Karen Farkas, Cleveland.com, Feb 6, 2018


TERI, EPTRI team up with NOAA to strengthen climate modelling

By Staff Writers, Outlook, India, Feb 8, 2018 [H/t Dennis Ambler]


“NOAA National Centre for Environmental Information Chief David Easterling said, ‘Our goals are to not only share expertise across the science organisations and experts, but also to empower India in understanding and analysing climate model projections and assess their outputs for consideration in developing the State Action Plans.’”

Time Magazine Promotes Climate Broken Window Fallacy

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Feb 6, 2018


[SEPP Comment: From planned, functional obsolescence to planned regulatory obsolescence?]

Questioning European Green

Smart Meter Roll Out Stalls

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 6, 2018


Questioning Green Elsewhere

Green Dreams of Econ Dictatorship

By Ashley Fent, GWPF, Feb 6, 2018


Link to full paper: Dreams of Eco-Dictatorship: Senegalese Democracy in the Age of Environmental Crisis

By Ashley Fent, Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, 40(1), Winter 2018


Environmentalists Push Global Wealth Redistribution

By Wesley Smith, National Review, Feb 6, 2018 [H/t Paul Homewood]


Link to paper: A good life for all within planetary boundaries

By O’Neill, Fanning, Lamb, and Steinberger, Nature, Sustainability, 2018


Non-Green Jobs

270 Job Losses At Generator Manufacturer Due To Subsidised Renewable Energy

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 5, 2018


“It is a sad fact of economic life that job losses occur all the time. But it is doubly galling when they are the result of subsidised competition.”

Litigation Issues

State Dept Sued For Not Handing Over Paris Accord Docs

By Chris White, Daily Caller, Feb 7, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]


[SEPP Comment: Since these documents were made to formulate public policy, should they not be public? Besides, they were produced by “the most transparent administration in history”—the Obama administration.]

If only to harness hot air

Editorial, Washington Time, Feb 4, 2018


“The civic shakedown of the oil and gas producers continues, and the frenzy has spread to California.”

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Why a carbon tax does not work

By H. Sterling Burnett, Washington Times, Feb 6, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Nixing oil subsidies won’t stop climate change — study

By Chelsea Harvey, E&E News, Feb 8, 2018


Link to paper: Limited emission reductions from fuel subsidy removal except in energy-exporting regions

By Jessica Jewell, et al. Nature, Feb 7, 2018


[SEPP Comment: The vaunted subsidies have mostly been in petrostates to maintain domestic stability.]

Stop The Stall — It’s Time To Get Energetic About Energy

By Steve Goreham, Daily Caller, Feb 6, 2018


“The world is being forced to return to sensible energy policies based on cost, performance, and real environmental benefit.” [Not subsidies.]

Solar growth ‘threatened’ by new EU power market rules

By Frédéric Simon | EURACTIV.com, Feb 5, 2018 [H/t GWPF]


“A ‘big fight’ is currently taking place in Parliament about whether small renewable energy installations should enjoy so-called ‘priority dispatch’ to the electricity grid and be exempted from grid balancing responsibilities.”

Energy Issues – Non-US

Russia and Saudi Arabia Forge Energy Pact to Counter U.S. Shale Boom

By Staff Writers, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Feb 8, 2018


The UK’s Costly Electricity Could Prevent Further Emissions Reductions

By John Constable, GWPF, Feb 7, 2018


Link to report: Final UK greenhouse gas emissions national statistics: 1990-2016

Final estimates of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

By Staff Writers, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Feb 6, 2018


Gavin Williamson is right: Britain’s energy supply is threatened by Russia

By Tony Lodge, The Spectator, Feb 1, 2018


Energy Issues — US

Department of Energy projections to 2050 suggest that fossil fuels, not renewables, are the energy sources of America’s future

By Mark Perry, AEIdeas, Feb 6, 2018 [H/t GWPF]


Link to report: Annual Energy Outlook, 2018

By Staff Writers, EIA, Feb 6, 2018


“Projections in the Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) are not predictions of what will happen, but rather modeled projections of what may happen given certain assumptions and methodologies.”

[SEPP Comment: The EIA appears to do a better job testing their assumptions and methodologies than the IPCC and the USGCRP!]

Growth in Electricity Consumption – Part 2

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 30, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Why it is important to keep nuclear and coal-fired power plants open.]

Around The World – U.S. Oil, Gas And NGLs Now Inextricably Linked To Global Energy Markets

By Rusty Braziel, RBN, Feb 4, 2018


New England’s needless energy crisis

By Karen Harbert, R.I. Providence Journal, Feb 8, 2018 [H/t ICECAP]


Link to report: “What if Pipelines Aren’t Built into the Northeast”

By Staff Writers, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2017


[SEPP Comment: As the US is increasing exports of hydrocarbon fuels, to include LNG, New England is becoming more dependent on imports.]

Northern Pass denial in N.H. upends Mass. energy plan

By Saqib Rahim, E&E News, Feb 7, 2018


[SEPP Comment: No hydro-power from Canada to Mass thru N.H.]

Washington’s Control of Energy

Budget deal envisions largest oil stockpile sale in history

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Feb 8, 2018


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Historic energy milestone: US oil output surges to new record highs reflecting America’s deep pools of ingenuity, risk taking and entrepreneurship

By Mark Perry, AEIdeas, Feb 7, 2018


Trump Wants Offshore Drilling, but States Are Choosing Wind Energy

States bordering the outer continental shelf are looking for carbon-free electricity as the Trump administration rolls back rules requiring it

By Brittany Patterson, Scientific American, Feb 5, 2018


California officials vow to block Trump plan for more coastal drilling

By Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle, Feb 8, 2018 [H/t Cooler Heads]


Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Controversial Pennsylvania pipeline can resume construction

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Feb 8, 2018


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Exelon to Close New Jersey Nuclear Plant Ahead of Schedule

The company, citing operating costs and competition from other energy sources, will shut the Oyster Creek plant a year earlier than expected

By Austen Hufford, WSJ, Feb 2, 2018


In 2010, Exelon reached a deal with New Jersey regulators to close the Oyster Creek plant at the end of 2019, 10 years ahead of its then-scheduled closure date. That agreement allowed Exelon to avoid building an expensive cooling tower.

[SEPP Comment: What portion is market economics and what portion is regulatory?]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind and solar on Thursday Island

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Feb 8, 2018


[SEPP Comment: Dated study and no doubt state-of-the-art turbines would do better, but doubtful if they would do the job.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Electricity Storage

Battery acid spills at SA star “Green’ hospital – and blackouts as Doctors operate

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 9, 2018


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

China and the imaginary EV “market”

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 10, 2018


Tesla´s Hong Kong sales fall off a cliff

By James Hester, Capital.com, Feb 5, 2018 [H/t GWPF]


Carbon Schemes

Carbon Capture Nirvana

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 2, 2018


[SEPP Comment: McKinsey & Company ignoring basics to promote a political agenda?]

California Dreaming

California Water Rationing: Unintended Consequences (rural areas are next)

By Wayne Lusvardi, Master Resource, Feb 7, 2018


Other Scientific News

Study: A barrage of viruses and bacteria is falling from the sky

By Athony Watts, WUWT, Feb 6, 2018


Other News that May Be of Interest

Albert Einstein’s Forgotten Inventions

By Ross Pomeroy, Real Clear Science, Feb 08, 2018


Automated Five-Axis Machining Boosts Productivity

By Bill Koenig, Advanced Manufacturing, Feb 1, 2018 [H/t Toshio Fujita]



NPR Is Seeking A Science Editor. Science Education Not Required.

By Alex Berezow, ACSH, Feb 5, 2018 [H/t WUWT]


This is getting serious!

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Feb 3, 2018


“Climatologist Martin Mozny of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute and colleagues say that the quality of Saaz hops – the delicate variety used to make pilsner lager – has been decreasing in recent years. They say the culprit is climate change in the form of increased air temperature.”

New Scientist 13 Sep 2009


1. Climate Change Could Swamp Your Muni-Bond Portfolio

California localities warn of disaster when suing oil companies. So how come they don’t tell investors?

By Jay Newman, WSJ, Feb 2, 2018


SUMMARY: The former hedge-fund manager who specialized in sovereign debt describes the apparent deceit of municipalities in California, when issuing bonds. He writes:

“By the end of this century Oakland, Calif., will be experiencing a ‘100-year flood’ every week. At least that’s what the Oakland city government argued last year, when it filed a lawsuit against several oil companies for contributing to climate change. The city forecasts that rising water levels in the San Francisco Bay will threaten the sewer system and other property ‘with a total replacement cost of between $22 billion and $38 billion.’


“Suppose you hold some of Oakland’s municipal bonds. This climate apocalypse sounds like a serious risk, right? Yet a recent prospectus for Oakland’s general-obligation bonds shrugs off the threat. ‘The City is unable to predict when seismic events, fires or other natural events, such as sea rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm, could occur,’ the prospectus states. And even if such events occur, the city can’t be sure ‘whether they will have a material adverse effect on the business operations or financial condition of the City or the local economy.’


“Other California localities have told courts one thing and investors another regarding climate change. In a similar lawsuit, San Francisco claims it faces ‘imminent risk of catastrophic storm surge flooding.’ But in a bond offering last year, the city said it is ‘unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding . . . will occur.’ San Mateo County claims in another suit that there is a 50% chance that a ‘devastating three-foot flood . . . occurs before 2030.’ The county uses boilerplate similar to San Francisco’s to play down such risks in its communications to bondholders.


“These jarring inconsistencies have led Exxon Mobil, a target of the lawsuits, to seek judicial relief. In a petition to a Texas court, the company states: ‘The disconnect . . . indicates that the plaintiff municipal governments do not actually believe the allegations in their complaints and that the allegations were not made in good faith.’ Exxon is also asking for permission to depose the lead plaintiff’s lawyer, along with 15 California officials involved in filing the lawsuits.


“It is possible the California officials were truthful in their attestations about their forecasts. But that means they seriously misled their investors, hoping they could ding deep-pocketed oil companies while continuing to borrow cheaply in the municipal bond markets.

Stating that the actions of the municipalities and reneging on contracts are not uncommon practice, the author explains that bondholders have little relief because their bonds are usually lumped into class action litigation of long duration and unpredictability. Then, the longtime investor states:

“But this case may be different thanks to the astonishing presence of contemporaneous, and directly contradictory, legally binding statements. This could prompt the Securities and Exchange Commission to abandon its hands-off approach and require state and local governments to disclose to investors risks arising from climate change, rather than allowing them to equivocate.


“States and municipalities facing climate-change-associated risks would suffer a significant blow to their credit ratings, according to a Moody’s Investors Service report issued in November 2017. Municipalities that sought big paydays from major oil companies may end up with a bitter second prize—more disclosure and higher borrowing costs.


“Plaintiffs’ lawyers probably never intended that their war on the fossil-fuel industry would end up shining a light on the perilous state of local public finances. But wars have a funny way of creating unintended consequences. If the unqualified statements made in court about the impact of climate change are even half true—regardless of the cause—the finances of many of California’s coastal cities could soon be underwater.” [Boldface added]


2. America’s Self-Imposed Uranium Shortage

The U.S. and its allies have plenty, but we still buy from despots.

By John Barrasso, WSJ, Feb 7, 2018


SUMMARY: The Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee writes:

Uranium plays a vital role in maintaining America’s national security. The element powers nearly a quarter of the U.S. Navy’s fleet and keeps the lights on in around 20% of American homes and businesses. So why is the U.S. relying on adversaries to supply it with uranium?


“The American West—including my home state of Wyoming—is rich in uranium. In 2016, commercial nuclear power plants purchased 50.6 million pounds of uranium, according to the Energy Information Administration. The U.S. could produce tens of millions of pounds a year, relying on friendly countries like Canada or Australia for the remainder. Yet the element often comes from nations like Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Together, the three supply around 40% of America’s commercial nuclear fuel.


“Making matters worse, America’s only plant capable of preparing natural uranium for enrichment was idled last year. All uranium mined in the U.S. must now leave the country for processing in places like France and Canada. Then it is reimported for use in domestic nuclear power plants.


“The federal government has made the situation worse. Since the 1990s, the Energy Department has maintained a stockpile of uranium from decommissioned nuclear weapons. For the past decade, the agency has actually bartered uranium away in exchange for services from contractors. The contractors then sell the uranium.


“If the department sold its uranium directly, the funds would go to the U.S. Treasury, not to the agency’s coffers. This bartering scheme effectively circumvents Congress’s power of the purse, which is why the Government Accountability Office called it illegal in 2006 and 2011. The department kept doing it anyway.


“This is happening while the U.S. is producing uranium at the lowest levels since the early 1950s. None of that matters to Washington. Each year since 2011, Energy has bartered away more uranium than the U.S. has produced.


“In the past two years, the department has given contractors more than double the amount of uranium that America generates. Even though U.S. producers suffer harm from this racket, they don’t have standing to challenge the government in court. The result is that American uranium producers now supply less than 5% of American nuclear fuel, and the number of American uranium workers was cut in half between 2011 and 2016.”

Arguing that DOE policies benefit foreign governments at the expense of US uranium producers, the senator concludes:


“At a minimum, the administration should pursue policies that promote robust American uranium production. America is on the cusp of losing its ability to produce its own nuclear fuel. The administration can’t let that happen.”

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