July 6, 2010

Authorof New Study Commissioned by IER – Which Finds Kerry-Lieberman Leads toHemorrhaging of 5.1 Million Jobs – Takes on Entire Blogosphere One Greenie At aTime. Andrew Chamberlain writes(7/3) for PajamasMedia,"President Obama has repeatedly told Americans he has three main policypriorities – rewriting health care, overhauling the financial system, andimposing a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He met hisfirst goal and he’s closer than ever on the second; time is running out if hewants to meet the trifecta by the end of 2010. But make no mistake, thepresident and his allies in Congress are working hard to pass cap-and-tradebefore this year is up. The problem is that cap-and-trade bills are expensive,they inevitably cost jobs, and the American people know it. Last year, theHouse passed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. But now that 1400+ page billis stalled in the Senate in large part because of its massive costs toAmericans. To jump start the debate, Senators Kerry and Lieberman recentlyannounced a new strategy to impose a cap-and-trade system on Americans – theinaptly named "American Power Act." Senator Kerry no longer calls his variousproposals "cap-and-trade," but changing a bill’s name to disguise itsintentions is a time-honored ruse in Washington. Click herefor IER press release; herefor Chamberlain study; and herefor NRDC’s hit piece (guess that means we hit bone).

AsObama Offshore Ban Claims Livelihoods of Thousands of Gulf Coast Residents aDay, American Energy Alliance Says Enough Is Enough – Launches New Campaign toSave US Energy Jobs. AEA officiallylaunches SaveUSEnergyJobs.com:Save U.S. Energy Jobs is a project of the American Energy Alliance (AEA)dedicated to promoting safety in the development of our offshore resources andto promoting America’s energy jobs. The public widely acknowledges that the BPoil spill is a disaster of staggering societal and economic proportions. Whilethe accident itself is tragic, it is important to separate the actions of onebad actor from the rest of the industry. The far reaching impacts of thisdisaster should not include cutting off access to our domestic energyresources, the economic prosperity and national security benefits thoseresources provide, and the much needed jobs energy production provides to hardworking Gulf residents. By focusing efforts on industry best practices, andensuring across the board implementation of the best technologies andprocesses, we can more safely cultivate our vast national resources while alsogrowing our economy and creating more jobs. Now more than ever, it is essentialthat our leaders turn to America’s world leading energy experts and engineersto guide the way forward, not to partisan rhetoric and talking points. SaveU.S. Jobs will set the record straight.

Battleover Marcellus Shale in Northeast PA is Really a Battle Between Farmers WhoLived There All Their Life (Pro) and Rich Folks from NY with Second Homes(Anti). PhiladelphiaInquirer (7/4) reports, "Tim Coulter’s farm in this rocky corner ofnortheastern Pennsylvania is in financial trouble. He’s sold off the livestock.There’s no market for the timber. And with only 121 acres left, Coulter can’tcarve off any more of the land that his family has owned for five generations.In September, a week before the Wayne County sheriff was scheduled to forecloseon Coulter’s farm to collect $7,000 in taxes, salvation arrived in the form ofa check from a natural-gas company that leased Coulter’s land for MarcellusShale exploration. "Everybody’s counting on the gas to come through,"said Coulter, 48. "Without it, we would have gone under." KarlCanfield, interviewed as he was milking his 70 Holsteins last week, said hisgas-lease bonus offset the $70,000 his farm lost last year because of thedepressed dairy market. His wife, Susan, earns extra money cleaning thevacation homes of wealthy New Yorkers. Pat Carullo, a Staten Island, N.Y.,native who moved to Wayne County after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, goescrimson with rage at the mention of hydraulic fracturing, the extractiontechnique that involves huge injections of water, chemicals, and sand deep intoa well. He compares it to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. "Look at thegulf!" shouted Carullo, a Damascus Citizens cofounder who speaks inhigh-volume sound bites. "We’re fighting for our lives here! Look at myhands. They’re shaking! It’s no game here!"

GoodMoney After Bad: Obama Acknowledges that No Jobs Created Yet From His GreenJobs Push – So What Does He Do? Dump Another $2 Billion into Expensive SolarProject. Energy Guardian (7/6, subs.req’d) reports, "President Barack Obama is acknowledging much of the impact ofhis jobs stimulus package hasn’t been felt yet, but he is targeting fresh moneyto the clean energy sector that has been one of the few economic bright spots.The president used his weekend radio and video address to announce that theEnergy Department is providing $1.85 billion in loan guarantees to two solarprojects in Arizona and Colorado that promise to create as many as 5,000 jobs.More than $1.4 billion in loan guarantees will go to Abengoa Solar to help itbuild one of the world’s largest solar plants in the desert near near GilaBend, Arizona. Abengoa Solar, based in Lakewood, Colo., is a division of theSpanish renewable energy and engineering company Abengoa. The project willcreate 1,600 construction jobs. "After years of watching companies build thingsand create jobs overseas, it’s good news that we’ve attracted a company to ourshores to build a plant and create jobs right here in America," Obama said.Obama said $400 million in loan guarantees will also be awarded toColorado-based Abound Solar Manufacturing to manufacture advanced solar panelsat two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500permanent jobs. A Colorado plant is already being built and an Indiana plant willbe retooled from an empty Chrysler factory.

IndependentsDay? Carol Browner Admits that Lifting Liability Cap Will Eliminate Ability ofIndependent Oil and Gas Producers to Produce Offshore – And She’s AbsolutelyFine with That. WallStreet Journal (7/3) reports, "The White House’s top energy adviseracknowledged that smaller oil firms might no longer be able to drill in theGulf of Mexico as a result of legislation moving through Congress that wouldeliminate the cap on their liability for oil spills. "Maybe this is asector where you really need large companies who can bring to bear theexpertise and who have the wherewithal to cover the expense if something goeswrong," Carol Browner, special adviser to President Barack Obama on energyand climate change, said in an interview. Eliminating the $75 million cap onliability for oil spills "will mean that you only have large companies inthis sector," she said. The administration has imposed a now-challengedmoratorium on deepwater drilling while a presidential commission conducts asix-month investigation of the BP disaster. Oil companies have been pushing theInterior Department to lift the moratorium, saying that new safety regulationscould allow drilling to resume. "The small companies did nothing wrong -andyou’re going to shut them down?" said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Sen.Lisa Murkowski (R, Alaska.) "So the only thing you are going to have leftare the big, national oil companies like China. Where are the free-marketvalues in that?"

NYTReporter Apparently Confused Over Which Industries Get Grants and Tax Credits(Renewables) and Which Are Allowed to Keep Slightly More of What They Earn(Oil, Gas) NYTimes (7/3) reports, "With federal officials now considering a new tax onpetroleum production to pay for the cleanup, the industry is fighting themeasure, warning that it will lead to job losses and higher gasoline prices, aswell as an increased dependence on foreign oil.  But an examination of the American tax code indicates that oilproduction is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaksavailable at virtually every stage of the exploration and extractionprocess.  According to the mostrecent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investmentslike oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent forbusinesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry. And for manysmall and midsize oil companies, the tax on capital investments is so low thatit is more than eliminated by various credits. These companies’ returns onthose investments are often higher after taxes than before.  Oil industry officials say that the taxbreaks, which average about $4 billion a year according to various governmentreports, are a bargain for taxpayers. By helping producers weather marketfluctuations and invest in technology, tax incentives are supporting anindustry that the officials say provides 9.2 million jobs.

China’sPremier Declares He’s Prepared to Use an "Iron Hand" to Make His People UseEven Less Energy Than They Already Do – But Numbers Might Sink Him Anyway. NYTimes (7/4) reports, "Premier Wen Jiabao has promised to use an "iron hand"this summer to make his nation more energy efficient. The central governmenthas ordered cities to close inefficient factories by September, like the vastGuangzhou Steel mill here, where most of the 6,000 workers will be laid off orpushed into early retirement. China has shut down more than a thousand oldercoal-fired power plants that used technology of the sort still common in theUnited States. China has also surpassed the rest of the world as the biggestinvestor in wind turbines and other clean energy technology. And it hasdictated tough new energy standards for lighting and gas mileage for cars.  But even as Beijing imposes the world’smost rigorous national energy campaign, the effort is being overwhelmed by the billionfolddemands of Chinese consumers. Chinese and Western energy experts worry that China’s energy challengecould become the world’s problem – possibly dooming any international effortsto place meaningful limits on global warming.  If China cannot meet its own energy-efficiency targets, thechances of avoiding widespread environmental damage from rising temperatures "arevery close to zero," said Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the InternationalEnergy Agency in Paris.

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