Wind energy development in the United States has slumped. Despite record installations in 2012, and eking out a 1-year, $12 billion extension  of the wind production tax credit (PTC), new wind capacity last year fell to just 1,087 megawatts, a level not seen in more than a decade. Development in 2014 is showing signs of improvement, but the year may not fare much better.
The industry blames Congress and the uncertainty surrounding the PTC for the slowdown. But such thinking is overly simplistic and ignores the fundamental challenges facing big wind. This slump, like others that plagued development in prior years, can be traced directly to generous government assistance, current energy prices, and the inherent limitations of wind power.
The Section 1603 cash grants enacted under ARRA fueled a wind bubble as developers raced to build and qualify their sites. By the end of 2012, the industry’s project pipeline was exhausted with just 43 MW of wind under development in two states. The surge in new capacity created a glut in RPS-qualified generation and eroded demand for wind as states met and/or exceeded their renewable mandates. The shale gas boom further hampered growth by driving down energy prices and harming wind’s economic competitiveness against cheaper, more reliable fuels. [Read more →]
September 2, 2014 No Comments
… and already looking forward to the November release of Alex Epstein’s historic, timely call to national/international debate.
Early Praise ….
“With more politicians in climate science than scientists, the refining fire of debate has devolved into the burning of heretics. Alex Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels may make your blood boil, but his cool reason and cold, hard facts will lead us beyond hysterics to a much better future.”
–Peter Thiel, entrepreneur and investor (cofounder of PayPal)
“If you want to see the power of fine logic, fine writing, and fine research, read Epstein’s book. In my long career, it is simply the best popular-market book about climate, environmental policy, and energy that I have read. Laymen and experts alike will be boggled by Epstein’s clarity.”
–Patrick J. Michaels, director, Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute
“Alex Epstein has written an eloquent and powerful argument for using fossil fuels on moral grounds alone. A remarkable book.”
–Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist
“With this brave and welcome book, Alex Epstein provides a clear, full-throated response to the catastrophists who want us to trash nearly all of our existing energy and power systems and replace them with expensive, incurably intermittent sources like wind and solar. We need more people like Alex who are willing to make the case for hydrocarbons. As Alex shows, those fuels are allowing billions of people to live fuller, freer, healthier lives.”
–Robert Bryce, author of Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper
August 27, 2014 No Comments
“Events are spiraling down so rapidly that I struggle to sleep…. Ironically, environmental groups’ insistence that renewables are the only alternative to fossil fuels actually assures expansion of fracking, locking in long-term dependence on gas for electricity, and crude oil for vehicles.”
- James Hansen, “The Energy to Fight Injustice,” August 20, 2014.
James Hansen is “nauseous” about Beijing’s “impenetrable smog”—fair enough. China needs to use off-the-shelf technology to clean up its their coal fleet, one plant at a time (as done in the U.S.).
Hansen is “troubled” about “the injustice” of climate change—highly debatable. The doctor’s own prognostications about global warming have been falsified and again (along with many others).  The warming of the 1990s was due to natural factors, not only anthropogenic ones, the latest science suggests. The current “pause”—fifteen years going on twenty—should interject humility into all climate scientists’ thinking, Hansen included.
And Hansen “struggle[s] to sleep” because there does not seem to be the political appetite in the U.S. and around the world for a massive carbon tax (‘fee and dividend’) regime to radically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (not to mention methane and other man-made greenhouse gases).
“Events are spiraling down so rapidly that I struggle to sleep,” he states, adding (peculiarly): “Declining production and rising costs of conventional oil are making it commercially viable to extract unconventional fossil fuels, such as shale gas and tar sands, that should be left in the ground.” [Read more →]
August 26, 2014 1 Comment
A culture war on college campuses today revolves around the politics of food production. In countless departments (history, sociology, anthropology, geography), and in so-called grievance (race, gender, class) programs, students are bombarded with the SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical) food narrative.
In an attempt to bring balance to the issue, Pierre Desrochers of the University of Toronto Mississauga has developed a series of courses and reading seminars that take a broader perspective on the issue. He proceeds by discussing the economic and food safety and security concerns that led to the development of our globalized food supply chain.
Desrochers is author of the influential The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet and a featured contributor at MasterResource. His courses bring together insights about agriculture, business, economics, globalization, cities, and the environment.
A scholar’s scholar, Professor Desrochers’ food-related courses and readings are provided below for all readers to peruse and enjoy: [Read more →]
August 25, 2014 No Comments
“It is good to see that with far less resources, the free-market, pro-consumer, pro-taxpayer, pro-progress, pro-science, pro-realism side is getting to the dark underbelly of the beast. Such transparency will aid lawmakers and the public fully access a raft of public policies that are supposed to be good for the environment but, in fact, are good for bad.”
Three major stories about the Green movement and its ties to major Left-wing foundations and Left-wing journalists have been in the news.
- MediaTrackers uncovered Gamechanger Salon, a secretive group of over 1,000 Leftwing leaders and activists from organizations like AFL-CIO, Change.org, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Huffington Post, CNN, MSNBC, ThinkProgress, Media Matters, and such climate-alarm groups as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, US Climate Action Network, shaping news reporting and government policy.
- The U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee revealed a “Billionaires’ Club” of carefully orchestrated and hidden Leftwing support for environmental organizations totaling over $1.3 billion per year that exploits ties with the Environmental Protection Agency and other parts of the Obama Administration to pass policies Congress, the real representatives of the people, won’t adopt.
- Capital Research Center exposed a concerted effort in the mainstream media here and around the world, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and the BBC as well as leading newspapers and magazines, to exclude the views of “climate-change skeptic” scientists from coverage, thus hiding from the public the real and growing debates over climate change among qualified climate scientists.
Here are more details. [Read more →]
August 21, 2014 1 Comment
“Since Siemens’ tax-sheltering market is drying up in Europe, their marketing efforts in the U.S. are clearly geared towards increasing income for its investors via wind’s tax sheltering schemes here. Taxpayers, consumers take note!”
If you watch much mainstream TV, you’ve probably seen Siemens’ recent multi-million-dollar advertising blitz to sell the American public on industrial wind.
As it turns out, the wind business abroad has taken a huge hit of late. European countries have begun slashing renewable mandates due to the ever-broadening realization that renewables cost far more than industrial wind proponents have led everyone to believe — not only economically, but environmentally, technically, and civilly as well.
As reported in the article Siemens onshore, offshore pain: “Siemens’ energy business took a €48m hit in the second quarter related to a bearings issue with onshore turbines and a €23m charge due to ongoing offshore grid issues in Germany.”
Since Siemens’ tax-sheltering market is drying up in Europe, their marketing efforts in the U.S. are clearly geared towards increasing income for its investors via wind’s tax sheltering schemes here. Taxpayers, ratepayers beware! [Read more →]
August 20, 2014 5 Comments
To: Ms. Bonnie Lysyk (Auditor General for Ontario) (Letter of August 11, 2014)
Dear Ms Lysyk,
Please consider this letter as an urgent formal request for a complete and impartial audit for all matters pertaining to the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009, and its false assertions and negative results for Ontario: these misrepresentations include vigorous job creation, suggested cleaner air space, the ability to create energy facilities, wind and solar, in particular, in a cost savings manner, or competitive manner.
The Green Energy and Green Economy Act has suggested with not a little hyperbole, that it will “spark” growth in “renewables sources in Ontario, while creating savings, and producing 50,000 jobs, direct and indirect,” and “make a positive contribution towards climate change objectives,” whereas in fact the GEA threatens to eviscerate the economy of Ontario and Canada as a whole. The factual results of the GEA are of economic chaos, massive job losses, environmental degradation of the highest order, a decay of our treasured environmental protections in law, and yet uncounted human health and productivity costs.
Under the guise of positive net growth, and climate change objectives, this Act has been used to gouge and tyrannize the province, materially and economically. [Read more →]
August 19, 2014 9 Comments
The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving energy & environmental policies. Our basic position is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science. It’s all spelled out at WiseEnergy.org, which has a wealth of energy and environmental resources.
A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every 3 weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and environmental matters. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.
Greed Energy Economics:
Senate Report: How Billionaires Control the Environmental Movement
August 18, 2014 1 Comment
“[The] almost certain outcome is that within a few days after January 1, 2015, the cap-and-trade program will cause the price of gasoline in California to increase by 9-10 cents, less than the drop in gas prices over the last few weeks…. Before I move to confront some of the spin, let’s consider that price increase in context. A 10-cent increase will be about 2.5%. Here are some things you could do to fully offset that additional cost:
*Drive 70 mph instead of 72 mph on the freeway.
* Buy a car that gets 31 mpg instead of 30 mpg.
* Keep your tires properly inflated.
Instead of this simple reality, we are hearing misinformation coming from both sides.”
– Severin Borenstein, “Californians Can Handle the Truth About Gas Prices”, The Energy Collective, August 12, 2014.
Severin Borenstein, Director of the University of California Energy Institute, says that “Californians Can Handle the Truth About Gas Prices” resulting from the state’s Cap and Trade program. To Borenstein, that truth is that his purported 10-cent per gallon gas tax hike would be unnoticeable at the service station pump.
But, can Borenstein handle the truth about the Cap and Trade program’s empty policies in the first place? [Read more →]
August 14, 2014 4 Comments
The words “environmental justice“ were coined years ago to help stop low-income living areas from being selected for unwanted property additions such as landfills and industrial plants. Now, this term is used by environmentalists to enlist minority groups such as African-Americans and Latinos to help them in their goals to stop fossil fuel use.
The claim is that minorities suffer more from health effects due to fossil-fuel use because they live closer to power plants or refineries. Thus we need to replace such facilities with renewable energies such as solar and wind. No thought is given to higher priced electricity from these energy sources and how this impacts minority communities. And concerns about sprawl are forgotten since this solution is really a call for energy sprawl.
Based on faulty science, environmental movements have called for banning the following with disproportionate effects on minorities:
1. DDT is banned for alleged weakening of bird eggshells.
2. Genetic modified foods, such as corn and rice, must be banned for alleged health effects.
3. Nuclear power should be banned because it is unsafe and causes nuclear weapons proliferation.
5. Fossil fuel use should be banned because of health effects and carbon dioxide combustion products causing global warming with catastrophic effects.
These bans could be said to be in the name of “environmental justice”. [Read more →]
August 13, 2014 No Comments