June 30, 2010

Kerry-Lieberman "AmericanPower Act" (Really, Guys?) Will Cut 5.1 Million U.S. Jobs over Next 40 Years -And, As Usual, Disproportionately Affect Working-Class Families. Investor’sBusiness Daily (6/29) editorializes, "On Wednesday, the Institute forEnergy Research will release an analysis of the American Power Act, pushed byKerry and Lieberman (sans Graham). IER says it will cut U.S. employment byroughly 522,000 jobs in 2015, rising to more than 5.1 million by 2050."Gross annual burden" imposed by the current Senate version ofcap-and-trade is put at a paltry $125.9 billion a year or $1,042 per household,with costs disproportionately borne by low-income households. According to IER,Kerry-Lieberman will redistribute roughly $12.3 billion per year from thebottom 80% of earners to the highest quintile. As the average age of eachhousehold rises, so does the economic burden imposed on it. Health carerationing and Kerry-Lieberman – a double whammy for seniors. Whether throughthe front door, the back door or behind another closed Senate door,cap-and-trade will put a price not only on carbon, but also on freedom. Thepower to tax is the power to destroy, but it is also the power to control. Clickhere for IER’s press release on the study. And clickhere to access the study itself.

No Respect forElders: IER-Commissioned Analysis Finds Folks over the Age 75 Hit the HardestUnder Kerry-Lieberman. MarkTapscott writes (6/29) for the WashingtonExaminer, "More than half a million jobs could be lost by 2015 if Congressapproves the cap-and-trade portion of the Kerry-Lieberman anti-global warmingbill, according to an independent analysis to be made public tomorrow by theInstitute for Energy Research. The study was done by Chamberlain Economics LLCat IER’s request of the measure being sponsored by Sen. John Kerry, D-MA, andSen. Joe Lieberman, I-CN. Besides the 522,000 jobs lost within five years, themeasure if approved would destroy an estimated 5.1 million jobs by 2050. Otherfindings of the Chamberlain study include:  Households would face a gross annual burden of $125.9billion per year or $1,042 per household, with costs disproportionately borneby low-income households. On a net basis, the top income quintile will benefitfinancially, redistributing to these households roughly $12.3 billion per yearfrom the bottom 80ercent of earners. Households over age 75 bear the largestburden at 2.3 percent of income, followed by households aged 65-74 and underage 25 at 2.1 percent. By contrast, the nation’s highest-earning householdsbetween age 45 and 54 years would bear the smallest percentage burden of just1.5 percent.

Kerry Emerges fromMeeting with the President with Promises to Scale Back Cap-and-Raid Provisions -But the Enviros Know Better than That.Politico(6/30) reports, "Some moderate Democrats aren’t even interested in going thatfar. "I’ve got a lot of concerns about utility-only, in a state like mine whereI’ve got a lot of low-income consumers," said Senate Agriculture CommitteeChairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who urged Reid to keep the focus on theenergy bill approved more than a year ago in Bingaman’s committee. And some ofthe far left environmental groups don’t like the idea all that much either. "Capitulate,then compromise is not a strategy that will produce a real climate bill," saidErich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth. "It’s time for senators to stopcaving to corporate polluters and start listening to the people they representwho are demanding clean, safe energy and jobs." Reid is planning a mid-Julyfloor debate on the energy and climate bill, before the Senate begins theconfirmation debate on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, his spokesman, JimManley, told reporters Tuesday. "I think it’s probably at least a week, if notmore," Manley said of the amount of time Reid has blocked off for energy andclimate.

The Wax ManCometh: Energy Chairman Introduces a Bill that would Allow Any Joe Off theStreet the Shut Down a $400 Million Offshore Rig. TheHill (6/29) reports, "Waxman floated a draft 34-page bill to otherpanelists Friday that would impose new drilling safeguards.  Beginning in one year, it would preventnew "high-risk" onshore and offshore oil-and-gas drilling unless the drillingcompany has a plan ensuring a blowout could be prevented or promptly stopped.Companies must also be able to drill a relief well within 15 days of a blowoutand complete that well within 90 days. The draft sets minimum federal standardsfor blowout preventers and the casing and cementing of wells – areas that aresubject to intense scrutiny in probes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. One provision that may ruffle some feathersallows for citizen suits to "compel compliance" with the bill’s requirements.It also requires minimum standards for work stoppage "when there are conditionsindicating an immediate risk of a blowout at a high-risk well," and establishesan independent panel to review well-control technology and assess the adequacyof regulations. Other requirements in the draft include unannounced inspectionsof rigs and the banning of retaliation against whistleblowers.  A Waxman spokeswoman called it a "straightforward"plan that will be the subject of a hearing Wednesday in the panel’s Energy andEnvironment Subcommittee.

Obama AgencyDecision to Deny Sale of US PRODUCTS to India Just Because They’re Used to MineCoal Really Rubbing Folks in Wisconsin – Rs and Ds – the Wrong Way. ClimateWire (6/30,subs. req’d) reports, "Pressure is mounting on President Obama to reverse theExport-Import Bank of the United States’ decision to deny funding to a3,960-megawatt coal plant in India. In a letter to President Obama, WisconsinRepublicans criticized the bank’s rejection of a $250 million loan guarantee toReliance Industries Ltd. in India. The financing would have helpedMilwaukee-based Bucyrus International Inc. provide about $600 million worth ofdraglines, electric mining shovels and trucks to a coal mine and supercriticalpower plant in Madhya Pradesh, India. The board voted 2-1 against the loanbecause the plant will produce 26.4 million tons of emissions annually, acarbon footprint Ex-Im bank officials indicated they felt was too high. Butthis week, Bucyrus received cancellation orders for its three contracts withReliance, affecting what the company estimated to be nearly 1,000 jobs acrossseveral states. "It’s a big order for us," Bucyrus President and CEOTim Sullivan said. "It’s substantial business, not only for our plant butall our suppliers and contractors in 13 different states."

Defense Dept.Currently in the Middle of Two Wars and One Rolling Stone Article – And Yet:Investing Millions of Your Dollars in "Extreme" Solar Installations. WiredMagazine (6/25) reports, "For years, the military has made on-again, off-againattempts to find eco-friendly ways to get power war-zones, bases and drones.Now Darpa, usually the agency behind the Pentagon’s most out-there ideas, isputting their money into an old standby: solar power. They’re investing $3.8million into the creation of high-powered, lightweight solar cells that can "standup to battle conditions and environmental extremes." Birkmire is quick to pointout, the cells Darpa’s after will require some lofty innovation. Thin-film,flexible solar cells are a major priority for the military, because they can beapplied onto almost everything – from tents to uniforms – and would minimizethe number of generators and portable battery packs needed by troops in battle.In 2005, the Army tested tents lined with silicon-based solar cells that wereable to generate adequate power for fans, lap tops and lights.Right now,Birkmire said, the cells are in their infancy, and operate at 7-11 percentefficiency. Darpa wants to see that doubled – at least. "They want to takeperformance to another level, and I’m not sure that we’ll get there," he saidof the program, which will also include four industry partners. "Add to that thechallenge of encapsulating these models to make them resilient for battle, andkeeping them lightweight in spite of that, and it’s a big challenge."

At Least It’s Goodfor Something: Squabbles over Corn-Based Ethanol Effectively Shut DownNegotiations in Ways and Means over "Green Jobs" Mass Subsidy Bill. E&E News (6/30,subs. req’d) reports, "A debate over whether to extend tax credits forcorn-based ethanol has emerged as a stumbling block for Democratic members ofthe House Ways and Means Committee working to develop a "green jobs"tax package, even as the larger question of how to pay for the possible $20billion bill lingers. Democratic committee members yesterday left a meeting onthe bill without resolving whether to include an extension of a 45-cent taxcredit for oil companies that blend ethanol with gasoline. Davis is aco-sponsor of a bill — H.R. 4940, introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.),another member of the Ways and Means Committee — that would extend the ethanol"blenders’ credit" until 2015. Pomeroy has noted if the blenders’credit is allowed to expire this year, North Dakota would lose 2,930 jobs, andthe United States would lose a total of 112,000 jobs. Corn ethanol is criticizedfor escalating food prices and polluting the environment — especially withfertilizer run-off into rivers and oceans. Supporters tout the fuel for cuttinggreenhouse gas emissions and imports of foreign fuel, as well as supportingU.S. farmers and rural communities.

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