October 18, 2010

Must Read: U.S.-Based TidesFoundation, Funders of NRDC, Sierra, Et. Al, Sending Tens of Millions ofDollars Across the Border to Fight Development of Canadian Energy.Financial Post (10/14) reports, “Like most protests, theone against oil tankers has all the look and feel of a Canadian grassrootsmovement. The campaign against Alberta’s oil sands also seems to rise out ofthe people, but the interesting thing is that there are very few roots underthat grass. Money comes in from a small core of U.S. charitable groups. One ofthose groups — the U.S. Tides Foundation of California and its Canadiancounterpart have paid millions to at least 36 campaign organizations. All themoney, at least US$6-million, comes from a single, foreign charity. The TidesU.S. campaign against Alberta oil is a campaign against one of Canada’s mostimportant industries. It’s fair for Canadians to inquire about who’s fundingthis campaign and why. The trouble is, nobody knows. But Tides U.S. is notalone. U.S. tax returns and public records show that Tides U.S. and charitiesbased in California and New York have granted US$15-million since 2003specifically for campaigns against Alberta oil and against oil tanker trafficand pipelines through British Columbia. The purposes for these grants areclearly outlined in the filings. For example, Tides U.S. received US$700,000 in2009 from the Oak Foundation of San Francisco “to raise the visibility of thetar sands issue and slow the expansion of tar sands production by stopping newinfrastructure development.”



Only Two Minor Issues withElectric Cars, Reports WSJ: 1) They Won’t Reduce Emissions and 2) No One KnowsHow to “Recycle” the Rare Earth Lithium Batteries; Other Than That, They’reAwesome.Wall Street Journal (10/18) reports, “Today, though, manybuyers of electric cars will be charging up on power created by burning coal."For modern coal-fired power plants, if you drive a mile on electricity itis practically the same as having driven it with a Prius," said EladioKnipping, a researcher with the EPRI. Another potentially troubling issue withthe coming generation of electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles iswhether their lithium-ion battery packs will be recycled. As it stands, fewrecycling companies will even take laptop and cellphone batteries, let alonethe exponentially larger battery packs used in electric cars. Everything inthe packs can be recycled, but it’s just not economically worthwhile to do so,experts say. Realizing they could face an environmental backlash if batterypacks start ending up in landfills, car companies including General Motors Co.and Nissan Motor Co. are studying ways to give old car batteries a second lifeonce a car is scrapped or the batteries reach the end of their ability to becharged fully. GM has partnered with Swiss company ABB and Nissan with SumitomoCorp. of Japan, both of which are looking at ways to use the old batteries asbackup storage in the electrical grid.



Isn’t EDF Supposed to Bethe “Moderate” One? New Ad from Environmental Defense Fund Shows Little Girl ina Hospital Bed – All ‘Cuz Kit Bond Opposed EPA Carbon Criminalization. Politico’s Morning Environmentalist (10/18) reports,“The Environmental Defense Fund will begin running a new TV spot today blastingSen. Kit Bond for his efforts to block U.S. EPA from writing new air pollutionrules. The ads will run throughout the week in major media markets in theretiring senator’s home state of Missouri. The 30-second video makes nomention of global warming or greenhouse gases, but instead focuses on thepotential health impacts of air pollution, complete with video of a young girlin a hospital bed. Watch the not-so-subtle ad here. Bond is on the greens’ naughty list as aresult of his unsuccessful bid last month to attach an amendment to the defensebill that would have undercut EPA’s ability to regulate carbon emissions and hisopposition to tighter standards on mercury pollution from boilers. "WhileSenator Bond’s efforts did not succeed, it is clear that this is the beginningof a sustained assault on the air pollution rules that protect the health ofall Americans," EDF’s Tony Kreindler e-mails Morning Energy. A WARNINGSHOT – "While Senator Bond is retiring, we intend this ad to be [a]message to any Member of Congress – Democrat or Republican – who might considerfollowing his lead in the weeks and months ahead," Kreindler said.



Installed Solar in US WillEqual Power Capacity of One Nuclear Reactor By End of 2010 – But It WillGo No Further, Says NYT, Because Applications for Free Gov’t Money Are “TooLengthy.”NY Times (10/17) reports, “The U.S. solar energy industry is having itsbest year ever, yet financing remains scarce for the billion-dollar projectsneeded for it to gain ground on global leaders like Germany. For the U.S. solarsector to move up from rooftop add-on technology to the scale of fossil fuelpower plants, the country needs to build large plants covering hundreds ofacres. Each can cost as much as $1 billion, a huge sum for the nascent industryto finance, even with U.S. government incentives. U.S. solar sales are ontrack to reach about one gigwatt this year, equivalent to one nuclear reactor.Globally, solar installations are expected to reach 14 gigawatts this year. Atleast half of that will come in Germany, where developers have rushed to buildprojects before financial incentives are cut. The U.S. government has twoprograms to help the industry: a cash grant that pays 30 percent of projectcosts for plants under construction by Dec. 31, and a loan guarantee programthat covers as much as 80 percent of project costs. Applicants to the loanguarantee program have complained that the process is too lengthy and murky,leading to just a handful of projects’ winning approval. “We and everyone else”need a loan guarantee, said Solar Trust’s chief executive, Uwe T. Schmidt. “Weand everyone else need a cash grant.”



Supporters of California’sJob-Killing Climate Law Outspending Opponents By 2 to 1 Margin – Promiseto Dump Even More Dough into the Referendum These Last Two Weeks. The Hill (10/17) reports, “California has become the primarybattleground for environmental activists this election cycle thanks to a ballotinitiative that would stymie a first-in-the-nation cap on greenhouse gasemissions. The Proposition 23 measure would suspend California’s global warminglaw — which calls for a reduction in emissions back to 1990 levels by2020 — unless the state’s unemployment rate drops below 5.5 percent.Currently, the state’s unemployment rate is 12.4 percent, the third highest inthe nation. Protecting California’s global warming law has become a top priorityfor environmental activists who are still smarting over the defeat ofcomprehensive energy legislation in Congress this year. If the law survives theballot challenge, it could become a model for other states to emulate.Opponents of the ballot measure have outraised supporters about 2-1 and raisedmore than $16 million, including $5 million from billionaire asset manager TomSteyer, co-chair of the “No on Prop 23” Campaign. The League of ConservationVoters and its sister organization, LCV Education Fund, have committed $1.2million so far to defeat Prop 23, the group announced Thursday — morethan they are spending on any candidate races this year.



Perspective: Calif. Leadsthe Nation in Wacky Enviro Mandates – And How’s That Done For Them? StateHas the Third Highest Unemployment Rate in U.S. Wall Street Journal (10/18) editorializes, “California’sclimate change law (known as AB 32) mandates a 30% cut in carbon emissions fromcars, trucks, utilities, agriculture and other businesses by 2020, with a webof new taxes and regulations that take effect in 2012. Governor ArnoldSchwarzenegger sees AB 32 as his crowning achievement and is assailingsupporters of Proposition 23 as "black oil hearts [who are] spendingmillions and millions of dollars" to promote their own "self-servinggreed." In reality, dozens of industries support the initiative, andArnold never mentions that much of the money to defeat Proposition 23 alsocomes from energy companies. Alternative energy investors realize that withoutnew taxes on carbon energy and mandates for "renewables" like windand solar, so-called clean energy sources can’t compete. Environmentalistscounter that "green jobs" will save the day, as if a millionCalifornians will make windmills and solar panels. California already leads thenation in regulations and subsidies to boost alternative energy, and it stillhas the third highest jobless rate in the nation. Voters are also told the lawwould reduce the state’s carbon footprint and save the planet from globalwarming. Except it can’t and it won’t. No single state—even one the sizeof California—can reduce global emissions by unilaterally taxing and regulating.



“Brute Force”: RecognizingHis Time Might Be Limited in White House, Obama and Advisors Said to BeConsidering “Unilateral” Approach to Making American Energy More Expensive. Washington Post (10/17) reports, “The president could alsochoose to use – or threaten to use – his executive powers to get some of whathe wants done without seeking congressional approval. Last year, he backed EPAAdministrator Lisa P. Jackson’s decision to enact tough new regulations oncarbon emissions unless Congress takes action. Similarly, President George W.Bush, faced with opposition from Democrats in Congress, made significantchanges to federal environmental rules to make it easier for the oil and gasindustry to explore on federal lands. Obama’s lack of a specific plan for thesecond half of his term contrasts with the blueprint he drew up as he preparedto take office in 2009. He and his advisers carefully plotted what theyintended to do and in what order they intended to do it. Health care was thecenterpiece, of course, but Obama even instructed aides to begin making listsof possible nominees for the Supreme Court. “The biggest difference is going tobe that we had a unique situation as we took office that required us to doextraordinary things that were not particularly popular," said RobertGibbs, the White House press secretary.



Moses Was Right: U.S.-BasedEnergy Companies Get Set to Tap Massive Natural Gas Reserve Off the Coast ofIsrael – Enough In One Field to Supply Nation for 100 Years. Wall Street Journal (10/18) reports, “Oil companies in Israel,led by Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. this week are expected to start drillingone of the world’s most promising natural-gas prospects of recent years,according to executives. Seismic surveys show the Leviathan prospect, located135 kilometers, or about 84 miles, off Israel’s northern coast, may hold 16trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to supply all of Israel’s gas needsfor 100 years. Leviathan follows the 2009 discovery of Tamar, an offshore gasfield containing 8 trillion cubic feet, which was the largest gas find in theworld in 2009 and the largest ever for Israel. For most of Israel’s history,energy prospectors searched in vain for oil, lamenting the country’s lack ofenergy resources in a region awash in oil. International energy companiesavoided Israel for fear of angering Arab and Muslim states with vast energyresources. Israel’s luck started to turn with a modest offshore gas find in2000. The discovery of Tamar nine years later that triggered the current boom. "Wecan say that Israel’s natural-gas needs will be covered for more than 20 yearsto come by Tamar," said Delek’s Mr. Tadmor. "It’s a dramatic changefrom a macroeconomic and political perspective.


Speak Your Mind


Anonymous says:
Your email has been received. Thank you for signing up.