Carbon Taxes, Will They Work – Will they work in time

Can making the world pay the true cost of dirty energy really be implemented!? What would the world do in the face of energy “riots” like what happens in congress when legislators try to pass climate legislation of any kind? One can only imagine what would happen if those protests moved to the street. That is the question this article raises.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/09/magazine/climate-change-politics-economics.html?fbclid=IwAR1g3oNMa_0ha-kjJdx1MHcjifTV2sfTW1Sj_yVGoq_4GsYuJsuDwDbnZgg

The Problem With Putting a
Price on the End of the World

Economists have workable policy ideas
for addressing climate change. But
what if they’re politically impossible?

In a Saturday afternoon in early December, inside a soaring auditorium on the campus of Stockholm University, William Nordhaus gave the crowning lecture of his half-century career as an economist. The occasion was his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in economics, which Nordhaus, a trim, soft-spoken Yale professor, had been jointly awarded. The title of the lecture was “Climate Change: The Ultimate Challenge for Economics.”

As a young professor on a sabbatical in Vienna in the mid-1970s, Nordhaus happened to share an office with an environmental researcher, who helped spark his interest in the emerging issue. While there, Nordhaus came up with the target, now famous, of holding global warming to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. He chose the target, as he recently explained to me, because he believed that the earth has experienced similar fluctuations before and that humans had tolerated them.

The Nobel was a tribute to the originality and influence of his work developing economic models that help people think about how to slow climate change. It also seemed to be a cri de coeur from the Swedish academics who choose the economics laureates: Climate change is a threat like no other. Fatal heat waves, droughts, wildfires and severe hurricanes are all becoming more common, and they are almost certain to accelerate. Avoiding horrific damage, as a United Nations panel of scientists recently concluded, will require changes in human behavior that have “no documented historic precedent.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Oil Sands Suck – This story gets more ghastly by the day

First a word to New York Times Magazine, I was going to run your article on Pricing Catastrophe On Apocalypse or what ever you were calling it. You however informed me that my “free articles were over” and wanted a subscription from me. Well intentioned I am sure but NO ARTICLE here for you today.

 

Anyone who has read here for long knows that I think the tar sands operations in Canada are crime against humanity. Everyone involved should be charged, tried convicted and put in jail. I personally believe it is worse than open air Nuclear Bomb Testing. Really!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/04/alberta-canadas-tar-sands-is-growing-but-indigenous-people-fight-back/

This is the world’s most destructive oil operation—and it’s growing

Indigenous people and environmentalists want to prevent the expansion of Canada’s oil sands development, and the water and air pollution that come with it.

As the world’s largest industrial project, the scale of Alberta’s tar sands operations is hard to grasp. Imagine driving on a highway and to either side behind a thin screen of trees is a vast industrial landscape as far as the eye can see. Now imagine 500 miles of that highway.

If Alberta, with its population of four million people, was a country it would be the fifth largest oil producing nation. While it produces conventional oil, most comes from the Alberta oil sands, the world’s third largest proven oil reserve at 170 billion barrels.

The local and national Canadian governments are pushing to expand oil extraction operations in the vast tar sands region, which already has a footprint roughly the size of England, even as they promote action on climate change on the world stage. And although the relationships between local people and the extraction operations are complex, involving jobs and services, a growing chorus of environmentalists and indigenous people are speaking out against pollution and degradation in the oil sands. Many are digging in for a fight against proposed expansions, including a major pipeline project.

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Go there and read. Warning – Pictures are gross. More next week.

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This Is How A Dying Industry Behaves – They try to steal every dime they can get before they fail

Next up, they will try to get the government to by their excess capacity. Oh They  already ARE, through Nuclear subsidies.

https://www.citizensutilityboard.org/blog/

A thing called capacity—and why it could be devastating to our power bills

When CUB threw its support behind the Clean Energy Jobs Act, the watchdog said one of the biggest reasons is an ongoing battle with fossil fuel generators in a special electricity market called the capacity market. If we don’t do something, this could cost most electric customers in the state up to $500 million a year in higher electric bills.

You may not know it, but EVERYONE pays for “capacity” on their electric bills. Here’s what you need to know—and why you should support the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

What is capacity?

Not only do you pay for the power you use now, but you also pay for power you could use in the future. Capacity refers to extra payments consumers give power plant operators for the commitment to have enough electricity available if demand suddenly spikes. (Think of a hot summer afternoon, when everyone blasts the AC.)

The PJM power grid stretches from Illinois to the East Coast.

The price for capacity for ComEd customers is determined through auctions run by PJM Interconnection, the power grid operator for northern Illinois and all or part of 12 other states and Washington, D.C.. (Ameren’s market is run by a different power grid operator.)

How does capacity affect my bill?
For most customers, capacity charges are embedded in the electricity supply charge on your power bill. While actual electricity prices have been relatively low in recent years, capacity has become a bigger and bigger part of your bill, and is now roughly 21 percent of the supply charge, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission. (By the way, alternative energy suppliers as well as ComEd buy electricity on this market. So you won’t escape capacity charges by changing suppliers.)

CUB has long said that capacity market rules are stacked against consumers, causing us to pay higher bills for more capacity than we actually need. But a new plan pushed by PJM and fossil fuel generators could make it even worse.

Why do generators want to change the rules?

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Leave It In The Ground – A Global Warming strategy gaining ground

Fossil fuels and their burning to generate energy for work, like gasoline in an internal combustion engine in your typical automobile is killing this planet. Humans have used our atmosphere as an open sewer for as long as we can with out killing our species off. Yes if we leave it in the ground it will cause radical changes in our lives and our economy. NO we will not huddle in the cold and the dark. But even if we did is it better to be dead?

https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/02/22/inevitable-death-natural-gas-bridge-fuel-renewables

The Inevitable Death of Natural Gas as a ‘Bridge Fuel’

Read time: 11 mins

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced the city is scrapping plans for a multi-billion-dollar update to three natural gas power plants, instead choosing to invest in renewable energy and storage.

This is the beginning of the end of natural gas in Los Angeles,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The climate crisis demands that we move more quickly to end dependence on fossil fuel, and that’s what today is all about.”

Last year America’s carbon emissions rose over 3 percent, despite coal plants closing and being replaced in part by natural gas, the much-touted “bridge fuel” and “cleaner” fossil fuel alternative.

As a new series from the sustainability think tank the Sightline Institute points out, the idea of natural gas as a bridge fuel is “alarmingly deceptive.”

But signs are emerging that, despite oil and gas industry efforts to shirk blame for the climate crisis and promote gas as part of a “lower-carbon fuel mix,” the illusion of natural gas as a bridge fuel is starting to crumble.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Lets Start A Wall of SHAME : I think it should be in Love Canal

Seriously, if Love Canal wouldn’t take it then there are Super Fund sites like Rocky Flats Weapons Factory that would. We could put up honorary members like the originators and manufacturers of Agent Orange, Whose ever idea leaded gasoline was, maybe the inventor and manufacturers of Mustard Gas. But the people who proposed and actually carried out atomic fracking must go near the top of the list.

https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/02/nuclear_bomb_pennsylvania_proj.html

How about setting off a nuclear bomb to mine Pa.’s natural gas? It was considered

Fifty years ago Pennsylvania officials were presented a plan to detonate a nuclear device below north-central Pennsylvania. While the project never got past the planning stages it was part of a larger plan to use nuclear bombs in natural gas extraction. (Pennsylvania State Archives)

Editor’s note: This story has been update to fix broken art on this article.

HARRISBURG — In May 1966, Columbia Gas and the federal Atomic Energy Commission presented an audacious plan to a representative of the Governor’s Science Advisory Committee: A proposal to detonate a nuclear bomb more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima 3,500 feet below north-central Pennsylvania.

“At the present stage, this proposal involves a detonation of a ‘shot’ of perhaps 20,000 tons TNT equivalent at a location on the boundary between Centre and Clinton counties,” wrote Louis Roddis Jr., the governor’s representative in his report.

The goal was to use the nuclear blast to create a chamber that could then be filled with pressurized natural gas. Named Project Ketch, the proposal was an offshoot of another nuclear explosive-powered idea, Project Gasbuggy, which called on increasing natural gas production by detonating nuclear bombs underground to fracture rock deposits — nuclear fracking.

From the get-go, however, Roddis noted there would be challenges to the proposal. Safety considerations, he wrote, fell under three categories: seismic problems, immediate radioactivity problems, and long-term radioactivity problems.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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More Americans Fear Climate Change – But they won’t pay anything to stop it

I have mixed feelings about this article. On one level the Corporations and the international concerns that are most responsible for Global Warming should be MADE to pay the price. Very little should be paid by Common People. Still Common People drive cars, heat their homes and work in places that pollute so they should pay a little. It’s the willingness to pay that bothers me. We should all be pulling in this together.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/do-most-americans-believe-climate-change-polls-say-yes/580957/

A surging number of Americans understand that climate change is happening and believe that it could harm their family and the country, according to a new poll from Yale and George Mason University.

But at the same time, Americans are not any more willing to pay money to fight climate change than they were three years ago, says another new poll, conducted by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago.

The polls suggest that public opinion about climate change is in a state of upheaval. Even as President Donald Trump has cast doubt on climate change, most Americans have rejected his position. Record numbers of Americans describe climate change as a real and present danger. Nearly a quarter of the country says they already see its tidings in their day-to-day life, saying “personal observations of weather” helped convince them of climate change’s reality.

Despite this increasing acceptance, there is no clear political path forward. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” were needed to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius. Such a transformation would be, in other words, expensive. But almost 70 percent of Americans say they wouldn’t pay $10 every month to help cool the warming planet.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Year End Reviews – This one is from Forbes

I’ll put a few more up. Why not start out with the Capitalist’s point of view.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/12/23/the-top-10-energy-stories-of-2018/#5f91c2c4799a

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2018

Energy

As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to review the top energy stories of the year. This year there wasn’t an overwhelming choice for the top story as we have had in some previous years (e.g., the Deepwater Horizon spill), but many of the year’s biggest developments impacted oil prices.

Here are my picks for the stories that shaped the year in energy.

Oil price roller coaster

The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) opened the year at $60/bbl. Brent crude was just under $67/bbl. By early October, on the back of several developments that are covered in other stories below, WTI was closing in on $80/bbl and Brent was above $86/bbl. But then prices collapsed in part because the ongoing trade war with China caused them to stop importing U.S. oil, and in part because sanctions on Iranian exports were waived at the last moment — after Saudi Arabia had already increased production to compensate for Iran’s lost exports. The overall impact was a collapse in the price of oil. As we head into the last week of the year, WTI has fallen to $45/bbl and Brent crude is at $54/bbl.

U.S. shatters oil production record

Early in 2018, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that the previous monthly record for U.S. crude oil production – 10.044 million BPD set in November 1970 — had been broken. U.S. oil production would continue to rise steadily throughout 2018, reaching 11.475 million BPD by September 2018 (the last month for which monthly numbers are available).

China slows solar program

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I hate that last one. Go there and read. More next week.

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COAL – The gift that keeps on giving .. death

I have a severe head cold this week and last so I will be brief. The negative effects of burning coal will be with us for at least 100 years. Maybe more if humans make it that far.

https://www.sj-r.com/news/20181128/report-groundwater-contamination-at-coal-fired-power-plants-across-illinois

Report: Groundwater contamination at coal-fired power plants across Illinois

Coal ash disposal sites throughout Illinois, including at City Water, Light and Power’s Dallman Power Station in Springfield, have contaminated surrounding groundwater supplies, according to a report released Wednesday by a consortium of environmental groups.

CWLP officials responded that the city’s ash ponds do not pose a risk to Springfield’s water supply.

The report’s results are based on data sets made public for the first time earlier this year as part of new federal regulations of coal ash, a toxic byproduct of coal-fired power generation that is commonly stored in unlined ponds or landfills near the plants. The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, Prairie Rivers Network and the Sierra Club found toxic pollutants emanating from 22 of 24 coal ash dump sites for which the data became available in March.

The coalition called for new legislative standards that would protect groundwater and regulate the closure of coal ash ponds to be drafted next year.

“Illinois needs to act now to strengthen rules that protect the public from coal ash,” said Andrew Rehn, a water resources engineer from Prairie Rivers Network. “We’re reaching a turning point as Energy companies are proposing to leave coal ash in floodplains of rivers and exposed to groundwater. We need stronger rules that provide permanent protection with a financial guarantee and give the public a voice in these decisions.”

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Go there and read. More next week if I live.

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How Many Times Can I Write, Coal Is Dead – I will let you know when I get tired

This was is the way it always going to happen. The market shifts after a slow pivot.Then it was going to bust loose suddenly. Clean Energy was going to chase coal all across the globe as it fought a rear guard action. Then it would become a novelty – OH LOOK they still use that stupid stuff. Then people will marvel at all the damage it had done and it would go away.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/environment/2018/11/02/indiana-utility-says-renewables-save-customers-4-billion-over-coal/1837469002/?fbclid=IwAR1N_p2XCFjH-OlFdVwiFlr3-lpQufzWCNqvsJuKrEvccVWfIkz6lX20VFY

This Indiana utility may have just put the final nail in coal’s coffin

The embers of the coal industry have been slowly fading in recent years, despite efforts by the Trump administration to reignite the flames.

But an announcement this week from a northern Indiana utility — in the heart of a state that ranks in the top 10 for both coal production and consumption — suggests the end may be nearer than some expect.

After having already announced plans to speed up the retirement of its coal power plants, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company said this week that it will switch to renewable energy to make its electricity instead.

Why? Because it’s cheaper. A lot cheaper, they said, to the tune of more than $4 billion over a few decades. Still, those long-term savings might come with a short-term price. The utility is asking for a raise in its rates to upgrade infrastructure.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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The Economic Civil War In America – Rich white guys face off

It turns out that it is rich white progressives verses rich white recessivesthat is politically rivening this country. This leaves all of us in the middle angry and confused. I disagree with Buffet on this one, but I see why he is fighting the fight.

https://www.afr.com/news/world/north-america/warren-buffett-and-casino-boss-sheldon-adelson-clash-in-nevada-over-electricity-20181030-h17bc5

Warren Buffett and casino boss Sheldon Adelson clash in Nevada over electricity

by Trevor Hunnicutt

New York | Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and investor Warren Buffett are set for a desert showdown over electricity next week as the two billionaires’ interests collide on election ballots in Nevada.

At issue in the November 6 election is the cost and control of power from the neon lights shining on the Las Vegas Strip to the state’s gold mines.

A measure supported by Republican donor Adelson, who is also Las Vegas Sands Corp’s chairman, would force state legislators to break up control over much of the state’s electricity in effect held by a unit of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, NV Energy. It would allow customers to choose their own power provider by 2023.

Buffett has supported liberal causes and backed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Unlike previous western duels, both sides in Nevada are showing up with cash. The energy tussle is shaping up as one of the more costly of an election season in which Democrats are trying to wrest control of at least one chamber of US Congress from Republicans.

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Go there and decide for yourself. More next week.:

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