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EPA’s CO2 Power Grab: Economic Consequences (Part 3)

“The climate change adaption program could make EPA a powerful master that could dictate to all departments in the government. Already the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Defense have numerous programs that promote President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”

At her public announcement June 2, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy made the following comments about the economic consequences of the Clean Power Plan:

I know people are wondering: can we cut pollution while keeping our energy affordable and reliable? We can, and we will. Critics claim your energy bills will skyrocket.  They’re wrong.  Any small, short-term change in electricity prices would be within normal fluctuations the power sector already deals with.  And any small price increase—think about the price of a gallon of milk a month—is dwarfed by huge benefits. This is an investment in better health and a better future for our kids.

Here is her math:

In 2030, the Clean Power Plan will deliver climate and health benefits of up to $90 billion dollars.  And for soot and smog reductions alone, that means for every dollar we invest in the plan, families will see $7 dollars in health benefits. And if states are smart about taking advantage of efficiency opportunities, and I know they are, when the effects of this plan are in place in 2030, average electricity bills will be 8 percent cheaper.

Bottom line? [Read more →]

July 11, 2014   2 Comments

Asthma Reduction: The Joker Card of EPA’s CO2 Power Grab (Part 2)

“Slight increases [in CO2] can have no effect on causing asthma or stimulating its attacks…. It may be that EPA’s calling ‘wolf’ causes parents to keep their children inside homes where actual air pollution is more severe. EPA should go back to the drawing board and work from the science out rather than from the agenda in.

Along with the postmodernistic claims of averting catastrophic climate events, the Obama Administration introduced its proposed carbon pollution standards with a hearty, but bogus, claim of public-health benefits.

The Guardian (May 31) carried an article, “Obama heralds health benefits of climate plan to cut power plant emissions,” which described a presentation President Obama made–with white-robed individuals in the background–in an asthma ward at the Children’s National Medical Centre in Washington, DC. The President said, “just in the first year the plan would reduce asthma attacks by 100,000 and heart attacks by 2100.”

Ditto on June 2 when EPA Administrator Gina McCarty announced EPA’s Carbon Pollution Plan would reduces illnesses like asthma by reducing what she called carbon pollution. “The first year that these standards go into effect, we’ll avoid up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks–and those numbers go up from there,” she claimed.

A seven-page report from The White House, “The Health Impacts of Climate Change On Americans,” listed their claims of health problems from global warming.

Buyer beware. [Read more →]

July 10, 2014   4 Comments

U.S. EPA’s Futile, Costly Crusade Against CO2 (Part 1)

“CO2 emissions are quite the opposite of the dirty soot (sulfur dioxide, or SO2) that older people remember turned snow black in the winter, ruined laundry hung outside to dry, and coated outside parked cars. EPA’s power grab is a direct attempt to deceive the public about the nature of the hazard being foisted upon them.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is off environmental track. Having addressed the real pollutants, the agency has invented an unconquerable “pollutant” to regulate–not to enable more and better human living but to satisfy an anti-industrial agenda and give itself new purpose for money and power.

The emission at issue is carbon dioxide (CO2), the green greenhouse gas, also accurately characterized as the gas of life.

EPA’s mantra has worked against what otherwise is man-made energy abundance. The regulatory result is higher energy prices, as well as a recession in coal country beyond that from increased competition from natural gas. Such has contributed to the U.S. economic malaise of the last several years.

June 2nd Power Plant Proposal

The latest assault occurred last month with the EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards, a proposal to require a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from existing power plants below the 2005 level by the year 2030.

The year 2005 was a high CO2-emission time for the United States with total carbon dioxide emissions of 6.723 billion tons and 2.642 billion tons for electric power generation (39 percent).  A 30 percent reduction in power emissions by 2030 is 0.793 billion tons, leaving no more than 1.85 billion tons of carbon emissions for electric power generation.

CO2 emissions are quite the opposite of the dirty soot (sulfur dioxide, or SO2) that older people remember turned snow black in the winter, ruined laundry hung outside to dry, and coated outside parked cars. EPA’s power grab is a direct attempt to deceive the public about the nature of the hazard being foisted upon them. [Read more →]

July 9, 2014   1 Comment

Natural Gas Vehicles 2014: Caution, not Government Subsidies

“It was somewhat disconcerting to hear about the economic challenges from NGV fleet operators. In an interview [one] said: ‘Right now, we’re doing it solely for sustainability. We’re not saving any money. I’m glad to hear we’re not the only one to struggle with fuel mileage’.”

Several weeks ago, the Natural Gas Vehicle USA Conference was held in Houston, Texas. The promise of the industry was discussed in light of the economic challenge facing the fuel’s acceptance for transportation.

There are a handful of vehicles in Houston powered by compressed natural gas. Their owners, many of whom are affiliated with the natural gas or energy industries, talked about the benefits of their cars. 

However, they are often forced to acknowledge the challenges that come with owning a natural gas vehicle (NGV), which includes the loss of significant storage space in the vehicle due to the need for a large fuel tank. Another challenge is finding a fueling station unless you are fortunate enough to work at a location with refueling capabilities, or you have access to a pump in your own garage. [Read more →]

July 8, 2014   1 Comment

AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: July 7, 2014

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:

Brookings: Economically, Wind & Solar are Worst Options

Bill Gates: “I Used to Take Electricity for Granted”. No more.

Levelized cost of energy: A limited metric

Why “Green Energy” is Economic Nonsense

Solar (and Wind): Green for the Air, Filthy for the Grid

Solar power compared to some conventional sources

Rooftop Solar Leases Scaring Buyers When Homeowners Sell

Net Metering 101

Greenpeace: “a threat to national economic security”

France Proposes Substituting Unreliables for Nuclear

New Study: The Economic Impact of the Illinois RPS

Green-collar crime ~ carbon markets and financial crime risks

Houston man allegedly sold more than $29 million in fake renewable credits

Senator Manchin: Don’t renew wind tax credit (PTC)

[Read more →]

July 7, 2014   No Comments

Independence Against Big Government

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

- Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Most Americans easily recall these eloquent words with which the Founding Fathers expressed the basis of their claim for independence from Great Britain in 1776. But what is usually not recalled is the long list of enumerated grievances that make up most of the text of the Declaration of Independence.

The Founding Fathers explained how intolerable an absolutist and highly centralized government in faraway London had become. This distant government violated the personal and civil liberties of the people living in the 13 colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America.

In addition, the king’s ministers imposed rigid and oppressive economic regulations and controls on the colonists that was part of the 18th-century system of government central planning known as mercantilism.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,” the signers declared. [Read more →]

July 4, 2014   1 Comment

Remembering Adam Smith this July 4th (Part 2)

Part I yesterday explained Adam Smith’s notion that general human betterment was the unintended result of each individual following his own self-interest in the market arena of voluntary and competitive exchange. Adam Smith considered such natural order far superior to attempts by government, by those in political power, to design and impose an order and coordination in the actions of the members of society.

Echoing his earlier warnings about the social engineer, that “man of system,” Smith stated:

By pursuing his own interest [the individual] frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good . . .

What is the specie of domestic industry which his capital can employ, and of which the produce is likely to be of the greatest value, every individual, it is evident, can, in his own situation, judge much better than any statesman or lawgiver can do for him.

The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which can safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

[Read more →]

July 3, 2014   No Comments

Remembering Adam Smith this July 4th (Part I)

Editor note: Adam Smith (1723–1790) is considered the father of modern libertarian thought, although economics and political economy have advanced significantly since the 18th century. Many of Smith’s insights have proved prescient, and it is often remarkable how today’s follies bring to mind a quotation or insight from his books, essays, or correspondence.

Richard Ebeling, a leading scholar in the Smithian tradition, penned this two-part look-back at Adam Smith, which MasterResource reposts this July 4th week.

The Wealth of Nations was published in March 1776, just a few months before the signing of the American Declaration of Independence in July of 1776. If the American Founding Fathers articulated in The Declaration of Independence the political case for individual freedom, Adam Smith presented the complementary argument for economic freedom and free enterprise.

A “System of Natural Liberty”

A primary motive for writing the book was to refute the then existing regime of pervasive government controls and regulations known as Mercantilism. Adam Smith stated that if government management of the marketplace were to be repealed there would arise in its place what he called a “system of natural liberty.”

Every individual, as long as he did not violate the “laws of justice” – a respect for every other person’s right to their life, liberty and honestly acquired property – would then be “left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man” or group of men.

What, then, are the functions of government in this “system of natural liberty”? Adam Smith assigned a small, but what he considered essential, set of responsibilities to the political authority: [Read more →]

July 2, 2014   No Comments

Wind Setbacks: Safety First (unless you’re a wind developer)

“After years of debate there is still disagreement and uncertainty regarding appropriate safety setback distances. This uncertainty has benefited the wind industry. Thousands of turbines are erected throughout the U.S. that are dangerously close to where people live.”

Last month, Ohio infuriated wind proponents by passing Senate bill 310, a bill that delays the state’s renewable electricity standard for two years and eliminates the requirement that half of the renewables mandate be met with in-state resources.

Within days of SB310 passing, Ohio Governor John Kasich approved a change to the safety setback distances for wind turbines. Under the new law, setbacks will now be measured at the property line of the nearest adjacent property as opposed to the wall of a nearby home. In practice, this will require minimum distances of at least 1,300 feet from property lines to each turbine base.

Wind developers and Ohio’s media cried foul over due process claiming the legislature gave no warning of the setback rule change or opportunity for testimony. They insisted the provision was ‘anti-wind’ driven by coal and oil interests intent on destroying the economics of large-scale wind and called on the governor to veto the change.

Industry Setback Recommendations

For decades, the wind industry has advanced the notion that these massive spinning structures can safely be erected a few hundred feet from where people live and gather.

The industry’s preferred setback has been 1.1x to 1.5x the height of the tower (including the blade) which was derived from the fall-zone of the tower. We saw variations on this over the years beginning in California, that measured as much as 3-4x the total tower height. In general, there was no consideration in the setback distances for noise nor did the 1.1 to 1.5x setback adequately address ice/blade throw. [Read more →]

July 1, 2014   3 Comments

Risky Argumentation: Henry Paulson (2014) Recycles Ken Lay (1997)

“The business voices change, the decades change, but the arguments are familiar. Problem is, the global average temperature today is not appreciably higher than when Ken Lay penned his op-ed. The year 1998 would be the temperature peak, in fact, that marked the beginning of ‘the pause‘.”

Henry Paulson began his recent New York Times opinion-page editorial, “The Coming Climate Crash,” as follows:

“There is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my work in finance, government and conservation, it is to act before problems become too big to manage.”

Ken Lay ended his Houston Chronicle opinion-page editorial of December 5, 1997, “Let’s Have an Ounce of Global-Warming Prevention,” [1] similarly:

“It’s time to stop debating the issues surrounding climate change initiatives and focus instead on simple, realistic, cost-effective solutions. This is one area where an ounce of near-term prevention will be worth considerably more than a pound of cure later on.”

Consider this parallel 17 years apart. Paulson 2014: [Read more →]

June 30, 2014   4 Comments