Mon 31 Jan 2011
Fri 28 Jan 2011
Thank god this is about over. No need to comment here. He says it all.
n 1845, the French economist Frederic Bastiat published a satirical petition from the “Manufacturers of Candles” to the French Chamber of Deputies, which ridiculed the arguments made on behalf of inefficient industries to protect them from more efficient producers:
“We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us. …?We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the fair industries with which, we are proud to say, we have endowed the country.”
This famous put-down highlights the problem of claiming that protecting inefficient producers creates good jobs. Obviously, the money the French would have wasted on unneeded candles could have been spent on needed products and services — to the increased prosperity of the French economy.
I mention this in the context of the Obama administration’s assertion that by subsidizing alternative energy sources, it will create 5 million green jobs. To that end, Congress passed in the stimulus bill $110 billion to subsidize and otherwise support such green efforts. And in conceptual support of that argument, the administration has referred to “what’s happening in countries like Spain, Germany and Japan, where they’re making real investments in renewable energy.”
Well, in March, one of Spain’s leading universities, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, published an authoritative study “of the effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources.” The report pointed out: “This study is important for several reasons. First is that the Spanish experience is considered a leading example to be followed by many policy advocates and politicians. This study marks the very first time a critical analysis of the actual performance and impact has been made. Most important, it demonstrates that the Spanish/EU-style ‘green jobs’ agenda now being promoted in the U.S. in fact destroys jobs, detailing this in terms of jobs destroyed per job created.”
Go read the rest of the article if you can stomach it. More next week.
Thu 27 Jan 2011
OK I can only take this for another day and I am done. These guys really do not know what they are talking about. They make up numbers that have no basis in this universe, and the reality is they only survive because they take huge amounts of industry money.
Newt Gingrich on Energy & Oil
Former Republican Representative (GA-6) and Speaker of the House
Kyoto treaty is bad for the environment and bad for America
Kyoto is a bad treaty. It is bad for the environment and it is bad for America. It sets standards that will require massive investments by the US but virtually no investments by other countries. The Senate was right when it voted unanimously against the treaty. We should insist on revisiting the entire Kyoto process and resolutely reject efforts to force us into an anti-American, environmentally failed treaty.
The US should support substantial research into climate science, managing the response to climate change, & in developing new non-carbon energy systems. It is astounding to watch people blithely propose trillions of dollars in spending on a topic on which we have failed to spend modest amounts to better understand.
It is astounding to have people focus myopically on carbon as the sole source of climate change. The world’s climate has changed in the past with sudden speed and dramatic impact. Global warming may happen. On the other hand it is possible Europe will experience another ice age.
Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org Dec 1, 2006
Focus on incentives for conservation & renewable resources
A sound American energy policy would focus on four areas: basic research to create a new energy system that has few environmental side effects, incentives for conservation, more renewable resources, and environmentally sound development of fossil fuels. The Bush administration has approached energy environmentalism the right way, including using public-private partnerships that balance economic costs and environmental gain.
Hydrogen has the potential to provide energy that has no environmental downside. Conservation is the second great opportunity in energy. A tax credit to subsidize energy efficient cars (including a tax credit for turning in old and heavily polluting cars) is another idea we should support. Renewable resources are gradually evolving to meet their potential: from wind generator farms to solar power to biomass conversion. Continued tax credits and other advantages for renewable resources are a must.
Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org Dec 1, 2006
Stop scare tactics about drilling in Alaska
It is time for an honest debate about drilling and producing in places like Alaska, our national forests, and off the coast of scenic areas. The Left uses scare tactics from a different era to block environmentally sound production of raw materials. Three standards should break through this deadlock.
- Scientists of impeccable background should help set the standards for sustaining the environment in sensitive areas, and any company entering the areas should be bonded to meet those standards.
- The public should be informed about new methods of production that can meet the environmental standards, and any development should be only with those new methods.
- A percentage of the revenues from resources generated in environmentally sensitive areas should be dedicated to environmental activities including biodiversity sustainment, land acquisition, and environmental cleanups in places where there are no private resources that can be used to clean up past problems.
Source: Gingrich Communications website, www.newt.org Dec 1, 2006
Gas tax sounds OK in DC, but not outside Beltway
When the Bush Administration tried to convince me that a gasoline tax increase would be okay and would barely be noticed, I tested the theory with two phone calls. First I called my mother-in-law in Leetonia, Ohio, and then I called my older daughter in Greensboro, North Carolina. My mother-in-law is retired, at the time, aged 75. She has a lot of friends who live on limited incomes, and driving happens to be one of their pleasures. She was personally against the idea of a gas tax increase, and she thought the idea would go down very badly with her friends. Then I called my daughter Kathy. She runs a small business, and her husband is the tennis coach at the university. Her reaction was, to put it mildly, scathing. “What planet do they live on?” she asked. She thought such a tax increase was the very antithesis of why people had elected the Republicans. After those two conversations, any doubts I may have had simply vanished, and I opposed the tax increase. Source: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, by Newt Gingrich, p. 29-30 Jul 2, 1998
God what slime. More tomorrow.
Wed 26 Jan 2011
I can’t take it anymore AND I am about to lose my mind. For the past 2 weeks with only one break I have put the thoughts about energy policy by the top 15 conservative pundits according to the Right Wing web site. These guys wouldn’t know energy policy if it tapped them on the shoulder and said, “Hi, My name is Energy Policy, what is yours”? So today I put up some intriguing research that if true explains a lot of human history in the 1300s and 1400s especially in Europe.
Was Genghis Khan history’s greenest conqueror?
The Mongol invasion scrubbed nearly 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere, according to surprising new research
Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
Back to the towheads. More tomorrow.
Tue 25 Jan 2011
I am not a huge fan of biofuels. In fact I am not a big fan of liquid fuels, including natural gas. The real problem all along has been methane and then CO2. So in terms of farm policy recycling all of the farm waste into energy would solve so many problems at once that we should have mandated it a long time ago. But what do the conservatives proposes? 100 more nuclear power plants or clean coal technology?
Last Updated: 5:00 AM, August 11, 2007
REPUBLICAN presidential candidates flocked to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa straw poll this weekend, an event that is both an early winnowing process for the GOP presidential field and an object lesson in how one state can hijack the nation’s energy policy.
Ethanol is to Iowans what marijuana is to Rastafarians: a substance that is considered quasi-holy, but only because it delivers really good times. Presidential candidates become fanatical supporters of the corn-based fuel as soon as they begin to compete in the Iowa caucuses. Before it’s over, Mitt Romney might have to promise to use ethanol as pomade and Mike Huckabee – in a naked play for the religious right – to baptize people in the stuff.
We will produce 6 billion gallons of corn ethanol this year, on the way to meeting a mandate of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. The Senate has passed a mandate for 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, although the additional fuel is supposed to come from sources other than corn – so-called cellulosic ethanol, made from switchback grass and the like. When the agricultural firm Archer Daniels Midland first coaxed ($$$) Congress into subsidizing ethanol a few decades ago, it was just a perversely amusing example of rank corporate welfare. Now, with ethanol distorting markets in America and around the world, it’s not so amusing anymore.
Prior to the Civil War, Southerners genuflected before King Cotton. Now, we live in an era of King Corn. It is our most heavily subsidized crop.
We will plant 90 million acres of it this year, up 15 percent from last year. Still, the price of a bushel of corn jumped from $2 to $3 in the past year, thanks to the demand for more ethanol. This is increasing the price of corn-based foods – tortillas have become as much as twice as expensive in Mexico – and meat, poultry and dairy products, since livestock traditionally has been fed corn.
“In some parts of the country,” Jeff Goodell writes in Rolling Stone, “hog farmers now find it cheaper to fatten their animals on trail mix, french fries and chocolate bars.” The higher cost of raising livestock is naturally passed along to consumers. So, with its ethanol mandate, Congress has effectively passed an indirect tax on food. The big winners are agricultural firms that have locked up lots of land, since the price of cropland has gone up 14 percent in the past year. (If your local real estate is slumping, it’s only because you can’t plant corn on it.)
For more of this slop please read the rest of the article. More tomorrow.
Mon 24 Jan 2011
This is an excerpt of an article written the day after the fall elections. This is klassic Karl krowing.
Posted on Wed, Nov. 3, 2010
Rove to drillers: ‘Expect sensible regulation’
By Andrew Maykuth
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
PITTSBURGH – Karl Rove, the Republican operative and former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, today told an appreciative Marcellus Shale natural gas conference that the sweeping Republican victory on Tuesday would put an end to most of the industry’s legislative threats.
Rove said a new Republican House of Representatives supportive of the energy industry “sure as heck” would not pass climate-change legislation that the outgoing Democratic Congress had been unable to pass.
“Climate is gone,” said Rove, the keynote speaker on the opening day of a two-day shale-gas conference sponsored by Hart Energy Publishing L.L.P. And Rove told the trade show, “I don’t think you need to worry” the new Congress will consider proposed legislation to put the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing under federal rather than state regulation. The procedure, known as “fracking,” is responsible for the dramatic growth of shale-gas drilling in formations such as Pennsylvania’s vast Marcellus Shale.
“I think we’re back to a period of sensible regulation,” said Rove, a commentator on Fox News and in the Wall Street Journal.
While Rove spoke, several hundred colorfully dressed anti-drilling activists protested outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, but their drum beats could not be heard inside the conference as about 2,000 people dined on steak and potatoes, followed by Rove’s analysis of Tuesday’s election.
This man (Obama) can not try to pass a major piece of legislation without demonizing some group of people and making them a target,” said Rove, citing Obama’s targeting of the health insurance industry, Wall Street bankers and energy companies to advance his agenda.
Rove lavished praise on the gas-drillers, who he said were bringing prosperity to parts of Pennsylvania.
For more Republican juvenile giggles and fart jokes please see the entire article because in a very short speech he manages to offend almost everyone. More tomorrow.
Fri 21 Jan 2011
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2010/12/michelle-malkin-dems-lame-duck-land-grab-wont-pass-without-fight#ixzz1BgnnDjMF
Michelle Malkin: Dems’ lame-duck land grab won’t pass without a fight
Yes, the hurdles are high. But with Reid and company now vowing to work straight through Christmas into the new year (when politicians know Americans are preoccupied with the holidays), anything is possible. The Constitution is no obstacle to these power grabbers. Neither is a ticking clock.
The Democrats’ brazen serial abuse of the lame-duck session is as damning as the green job-killing agenda enshrined in the overstuffed public lands package.
Earlier this month, Reid assigned worker bees on three Senate committees — Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, and Environment and Public Works — to draw up their public lands wish list. All behind closed doors, of course.
House Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., rightly dubbed it a “Frankenstein omnibus of bills” and pointed out that the legislation “includes dozens of bills that have never passed a single committee, either chamber of Congress, or even been the subject of a hearing.”
The sweeping bill bundles up scores of controversial proposals, including:
— A stalled land transfer and gravel mining ban in Reid’s home state of Nevada.
— The designation of the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness in Oregon as a federally protected wilderness where logging and road development would be prohibited.
— Multiple watershed and scenic river designations that limit economic activity and threaten private property rights.
— The creation of massive new national monument boundaries and wilderness areas along the southern border opposed by ranchers, farmers, local officials and citizens.
One New Mexico activist, Marita Noon, said the federal plans to usurp nearly a half-million acres in her state would result in an “illegal immigrant superhighway” off-limits to border security enforcement. Security analyst Dana Joel Gattuso pointed to a recent General Accounting Office report on how environmental permitting rules and land-use regulations have hampered policing efforts at all but three stations along the border
I actually left out the energy part. It is near the bottom. If you can bear the the Washington Toiletpaper for even a moment, go see. More next week.
Thu 20 Jan 2011
That is right, spending public money to make public transport via trains more effective and competitive is just government waste and fraud. Kinda like the 500 billion $$$ we spend on the military every year or the billion $$$ we just waste on the high tech wall for the Mexican Border.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Somehow, it’s become fashionable to think that high-speed trains connecting major cities will help “save the planet.” They won’t. They’re a perfect example of wasteful spending masquerading as a respectable social cause. They would further burden already overburdened governments and drain dollars from worthier programs – schools, defense, research.
Let’s suppose that the Obama administration gets its wish to build high-speed rail systems in 13 urban corridors. The administration has already committed $10.5 billion, and that’s just a token down payment. California wants about $19 billion for an 800-mile track from Anaheim to San Francisco. Constructing all 13 corridors could easily approach $200 billion. Most (or all) of that would have to come from government at some level. What would we get for this huge investment?
Not much. Here’s what we wouldn’t get: any meaningful reduction in traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, air travel, oil consumption or imports. Nada, zip. If you can do fourth-grade math, you can understand why.
High-speed inter-city trains (not commuter lines) travel at up to 250 miles per hour and are most competitive with planes and cars over distances of fewer than 500 miles. In a report on high-speed rail, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service examined the 12 corridors of 500 miles or fewer with the most daily air traffic in 2007. Los Angeles to San Francisco led the list with 13,838 passengers; altogether, daily air passengers in these 12 corridors totaled 52,934. If all of them switched to trains, the total number of daily airline passengers, about 2 million, would drop only 2.5 percent. Any fuel savings would be less than that; even trains need energy.
Wed 19 Jan 2011
What a difference the evaporation of 5 $$$ gasoline and 2 years makes. Obama is President and one of the greenest Presidents we have ever had. McCain is not. Gasoline, though rising, is at 3.25 $$$ a gallon. Electric cars have just rolled out of two car companies, one of which Obama saved through a bailout. The electrics are popular and have waiting lists. The new normal for cars is 40 miles to the gallon. Of course I have the advantage of hindsight but I was pointing out that Obama had the superior energy policy back then so I can crow alittle.
June 19, 2008
McCain Scores With Offshore Drilling Proposal
John McCain has drawn first blood in the political debate following Barack Obama’s victory in the primaries. His call yesterday for offshore oil drilling — and Bush’s decision to press the issue in Congress – puts the Democrats in the position of advocating the wear-your-sweater policies that made Jimmy Carter unpopular.
With gas prices nearing $5, all of the previous shibboleths need to be discarded. Where once voters in swing states like Florida opposed offshore drilling, the high gas prices are prompting them to reconsider. McCain’s argument that even hurricane Katrina did not cause any oil spills from the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico certainly will go far to allay the fears of the average voter.
For decades, Americans have dragged their feet when it comes to switching their cars, leaving their SUVs at home, and backing alternative energy development and new oil drilling. But the recent shock of a massive surge in oil and gasoline prices has awakened the nation from its complaisance. The soaring prices are the equivalent of Pearl Harbor in jolting us out of our trance when it comes to energy.
Suddenly, everything is on the table. Offshore drilling, Alaska drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar, flex-fuel cars, plug-in cars are all increasingly attractive options and John McCain seems alive to the need to go there while Obama is strangely passive. During the Democratic primary, he opposed a gas tax holiday and continues to be against offshore and Alaska drilling and squishy on nuclear power. That leaves turning down your thermostat and walking to work as the Democratic policies.
McCain has also been ratcheting up his attacks on oil speculators. With the total value of trades in oil futures soaring from $13 billion in 2003 to $260 billion today, it is increasingly clear that it is not the supply and demand for oil which is, alone, driving up the price, but it is the supply and demand for oil futures which is stoking the upward movement.
The Saudis have made a fatal mistake in not forcing down the price of oil. We could have gone for decades as their hostage, letting their control over our oil supplies choke us while enriching them. But they got greedy and let the price skyrocket.
Just so we are clear here, the Greedy Saudi’s had nothing to do with the gasoline prices, speculators and greedy refinery owners did. But then they are these guys friends so they couldn’t possibly see that. More tomorrow.
Tue 18 Jan 2011
Apparently Mike Barone believes the tautology that we use a lot of coal now, so we always will. He believes that politicians are gutless when it comes to environmental damage. We shall see.
Obama Cap-and-Trade Will Meet Coal-Fired Energy Political Opposition
Posted: March 25, 2009
By Michael Barone, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Bill Galston at the New Republic‘s blog provides some clear thinking on the prospects for the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade legislation. His conclusion: ain’t gonna happen. Galston notes that national polls show that on the question of balancing economic against environmental considerations, voters have switched and are now more concerned about the economy—as in holding down utility costs—and less concerned about the environment.
And, as Galston points out, a cap-and-trade system would substantially increase the price of electricity produced by coal. Nationally, we get 49 percent of our energy by coal (these are 2006 figures, from the 2009 Statistical Abstract of the United States), but reliance on coal varies widely by state. The following table may help you to understand the political implications. It shows the percentage of electricity produced by coal in each state above the national average and the number of Democratic senators and representatives from each of those states.
|% of electricity produced by coal in each state above the national average||senators||representatives|
Do the math. That leaves only 32 Democratic senators from less-than-average coal-reliant states and only 157 Democratic House members from less-than-average coal-reliant states. Now I’m not saying that every member from such states will vote against cap-and-trade, but I think an awful lot would. And I don’t think many Republicans are going to vote for cap-and-trade. In his press conference last night, Barack Obama seemed to accept the Senate Budget Committee’s Democrats’ decision to jettison the money for cap-and-trade and expressed a wistful hope that something might be done later. But even in better economic times, the numbers tend to work against any such proposal.