July 20, 2010

NewAEA Report on Severe Economic Consequences of Obama Offshore Ban Gets PriorityPlacement of Drudge Report – 20 Million Folks Visit that Joint Each Day. E&P Magazine (7/19)reports, "The presidential offshore drilling moratorium will cost approximatelyUS $2.1 billion in economic loss to the states along the Gulf of Mexico (GoM)in first six months, according to a recently released paper. "The Economic Costof a Moratorium on the Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration to the Gulf Region" waswritten by Dr. Joseph R. Mason, Louisiana State University endowed chair ofbanking and renowned economist. Mason said he estimates the moratorium will seea loss of 8,000 jobs and $500 million in lost wages in the Gulf Coast in thefirst six months. "The moratorium will cost the Gulf Coast region jobs, money,and economic development," he said. "In fact, the moratorium could be morecostly than the oil spill itself." The study, sponsored by Save US Energy Jobs -a project of the American Energy Alliance – also focuses on the spillovereffect the moratorium will have on other job sectors such as mining,transportation, warehousing, wholesale and retail trade, health care,entertainment, education, and waste management. Texas will see a decrease ofapproximately 2,492 jobs, and Louisiana will see a decrease of approximately4,719 jobs. You can downloada copy of Dr. Mason’s report on the AEA website.

SinoSurprise: Everyone Always Knew China Would Overtake USA As World’s LargestEnergy Consumer – But 10 Years Ahead of Schedule? Really, China? WallStreet Journal (7/19) reports, "China has passed the U.S. to become theworld’s biggest energy consumer, according to new data from the InternationalEnergy Agency, a milestone that reflects both China’s decades-long burst ofeconomic growth and its rapidly expanding clout as an industrial giant. China’sascent marks "a new age in the history of energy," IEA chiefeconomist Fatih Birol said in an interview. The country’s surging appetite hastransformed global energy markets and propped up prices of oil and coal inrecent years, and its continued growth stands to have long-term implicationsfor U.S. energy security. The Paris-based IEA, energy adviser to most of theworld’s biggest economies, said China consumed 2.252 billion tons of oilequivalent last year, about 4% more than the U.S., which burned through 2.170billion tons of oil equivalent. The oil-equivalent metric represents all formsof energy consumed, including crude oil, nuclear power, coal, natural gas andrenewable sources such as hydropower. China, meanwhile, disputed the IEAfigures, but didn’t offer alternative data, according to Zhou Xian,spokesperson for China’s top energy agency. China overtook the U.S. atbreakneck pace. China’s total energy consumption was just half that of the U.S.10 years ago, but in many of the years since, China saw annual double-digitgrowth rates.

"Closed-Door"Meetings Among Hard-Core Enviros, Stockholm Syndrome Suffering Utilities, YieldNo Progress on Cap-and-Raid. Politico (7/19)reports, "Sen. John Kerry led more closed-door talks on Monday with topelectric utility and environmental officials in the search for a sweet spot ona bill capping greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants.  Edison Electric Institute President TomKuhn, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp and David Hawkins, headof the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate center, huddled for about anhour in the Massachusetts Democrat’s Senate office.  All three declined comment as they left the meeting withKerry, a lead author with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) of legislation thatwould set the first mandatory limit on carbon dioxide emissions from powerplants. Krupp and Hawkins spent several hours last week negotiating with ahandful of big U.S. power companies – including Duke Energy Corp., Exelon andPG&E – on the remaining sticking points related to a power plant-firstclimate bill.

AutoCompanies Want Sen. Stabenow to Drop an LCFS Into Reid’s Climate Bill, ForcingRefiners to Prop Up Things Like the Chevy Volt – Today, the Good Guys SwingBack. TheHill (7/20) reports, "Our families are struggling, but unfortunately it’sbusiness as usual in Washington," according to a 60-second radio ad sponsoredby the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and running in four Midwestern states.The "latest bright idea" from Congress is a low-carbon fuel standard, accordingto the ad. Auto companies and the autoworkers union are pushing such astandard. CEA’s radio campaign cites unnamed studies that claim a standardwould cost consumers up to $2,000 annually and increase gas prices at the pumpby up to 170 percent.  Thecoalition funded a recent studyby Charles River Associates that contended a low-carbon fuels standard startingin 2015 and reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 10 percentafter that would increase transportation fuels to consumers by 90 to 170percent by 2025.  A low-carbonstandard would also "further damage our ailing economy" and kill up to 1.1million jobs and "10s of billions of dollars" in economic investment in theMidwest, according to the coalition’s ad. "Low-carbon fuel standards may soundlike a good idea, but as usual Congress wants you to pay the price," accordingto the ad.

SeeHow They Run: Autos DENY They’re Working with Stabenow on LCFS Provision forClimate Bill, a Direct Contradiction to What Debbie Told Darren GoodeYesterday. E&E News (7/20,subs. req’d) reports, "Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance ofAutomobile Manufacturers, which represents Detroit’s Big Three, Toyota MotorCo. and a handful of other carmakers, refuted unsourced reports from Politicoand The Hill that the industry is working closely with Sen. Debbie Stabenow(D-Mich.) to craft and push such legislation. "[W]hile we strongly believethat any policy aimed at enhancing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissionsneeds to include not only autos, but also fuels and consumers, at this time thealliance is NOT advocating for a low carbon fuels standard to be included inthe [S]enate energy bill," Territo said in an e-mail. Consumer EnergyAlliance — a coalition that includes oil and gas companies and the U.S.Chamber of Commerce — will launch a two-week television and radio campaigntoday in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Minnesota that the group says is designedto bring public attention to the issue. "Our families are struggling, butunfortunately it’s business as usual in Washington," the ad opens."The politicians’ latest bright idea: new energy regulations calledlow-carbon fuel standards that will cost you up to $2,000 per year."



"We’reLooking for Pay-Fors": House Ways and Means Searching High and Low to Find anExtra $22 Billion of Your Tax Dollars to Throw Down "Green Jobs" Rat Hole. E&E News (7/20,subs. req’d) reports, "The question of how to pay for an approximately $22billion "green jobs" bill continues to plague House Democrats and maydelay the markup of the bill this week. "We are working on thepay-fors," House Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) told reportersafter a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) yesterday. The WhiteHouse and Democrats are hoping to add the measure to their ammunition of jobcreation bills before the midterm elections in November. Levin could not give adefinite timeline for the markup of the bill, which may mean it could bepostponed until after the August recess. Last week Levin indicated it would bethis week. At a White House meeting scheduled for later today, administrationofficials are expected to meet with community leaders, stakeholders and energyexperts from the federal government to talk about the administration’s effortsto boost a "clean energy economy," including building efficiency, andthe House Ways and Means green jobs bill. The green jobs package includes severaltop energy priorities for Democrats, including expanding and uncapping a 30percent tax incentive for "clean energy" manufacturing companies,energy efficiency tax credits and a more controversial one-year extension of anethanol tax credit that expires this year, according to a draft summarycirculated last week. But paying for the bill is tricky.

NOAA’sArc: WH Seizes Opportunity with the Spill, Announces Sweeping New Oceans PolicyDesigned to Restrict Access to Energy, Fishing, Fun, Etc.  E&E News (7/19,subs. req’d) reports, "The Obama administration set a new policy in motiontoday intended to improve coordination among federal and state agencies on theuse of the Great Lakes and coastal and deep ocean waters for activities rangingfrom recreation, fishing to energy development. The final recommendations froma task force of federal agencies officials call for a National Ocean Councilthat would seek to make sense of the hundreds of different laws affecting theoceans and unify the diverse federal agencies that can have some effect on theGreat Lakes and marine waters. "This sets us on a new path towardscomprehensive planning," said White House Council on Environmental QualityChairwoman Nancy Sutley. President Obama is expected to sign an executive ordertoday backing the plan, Sutley said. "These final recommendations willsignificantly impact the economic and recreational uses of our oceans, oceanlands and potentially all rivers, tributaries and lands that drain or adjoinour oceans," said Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), ranking member of the HouseNatural Resources Committee. For more information on why CEQ’s oceans policy isa cold-blooded economic killer, visitthe National Ocean Policy Coalition website.

JudgeWho Stepped Up to Reject Obama Offshore Ban Refuses to Step Down After BeingTargeted by National Enviro Groups. AssociatedPress (7/19) reports, "A federal judge who overturned the Obamaadministration’s initial six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling hasrefused to disqualify himself from the case. Several environmental groups hadasked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman to withdraw from the case because ofhis investments in several oil and gas companies. Feldman refused in an orderissued Friday and posted Monday. Earlier this month, a federal appeals courtrejected the government’s bid to restore its temporary ban on issuing newpermits for deepwater drilling and suspension of 33 existing drilling projectsin the Gulf of Mexico. The Justice Department later issued a new moratoriumthat it hopes will pass muster with the courts.

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