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Posts from December 0

Taking the Environmental High Ground on Fossil Fuels

By <a class="post-author" href="/about#aepstein">Alex Epstein</a> -- August 29, 2013

“You may know that coal has dramatically improved the economies of India and China by allowing them to build super-productive factories that make their people much more well off financially. But you might not know that their environments have gotten much better as well.”

Yesterday I wrote about why it is so important for the energy industry to take the moral high ground in the debate about fossil fuels, and today I want to connect that to the related issue of taking the environmental high ground.

One of the ways in which environmentalists have been able to gain the moral high ground is by accusing the energy industry of polluting the environment and making life on earth worse. On its face that may seem plausible, but as I wrote Tuesday, if you look at key indicators of human health as they relate to the environment, fossil fuels have actually improved our environment and made us healthier than we’ve ever been at any other time in history.…

CO2 Cap-and-Trade Meets the (China) Dragon: Why Legislating Trillions of Dollars in Regulatory Costs Would Be Climatically Inconsequential

By Donald Hertzmark -- May 13, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Projected emissions from China will more than cancel the effects of Waxman-Markey in the year 2050 when the proposed law’s 83% cut in U.S. emissions would be fully imposed. This finding, calculated with the assistance of Chip Knappenberger and the MAGICC model, is part of a wide-ranging analysis below. Discussion, comments, and questions are invited by the author.]

The Waxman-Markey climate bill–characterized as a “648 page cap-and-trade monstrosity” by Al Gore’s mentor, James Hansen–is intended to bring the U.S. into line with Europe and Japan on CO2 policy. But as I have explained previously, the current U.S. policy discouraging new coal and new nuclear capacity will:

  1. Make the U.S. more dependent on energy imports,
  2. Drive up generation costs,
  3. Artificially incite demand for fickle natural gas, and related infrastructure such as LNG regasification facilities, and
  4. Increase reliance on old coal and old nuclear for baseload power, resulting in less efficient, less clean, and less reliable electricity.