October 28, 2010

Flashback:Prof. Calzada Sounded Alarm on Out of Control “Green” Subsidies in Spain TwoYears Ago. Today: Spain Set to Rein in Solar Subsidies, Unsustainable. Bloomberg(10/28) reports, Spain may limit the hours during which photovoltaic-powerplants may earn subsidies as part of a plan to rein in electricity costs forconsumers, according to a government official involved in talks with theowners. It’s too early to say how much the cut might cost companies thatgenerate the solar power using photovoltaic panels, said Antonio Hernandez,general director of energy policy at the Madrid-based Industry Ministry. Hesaid the ministry aims to reach an agreement during the next few weeks ofnegotiations. “We want to prevent electricity becoming more expensive as thesun shines more,” Hernandez said in a telephone interview this week. “One ofthe possibilities is that the number of hours that subsidies can be earned wouldhave limits.” Plant operators and trade groups have held talks with ministryofficials for months and threatened to sue the government for as much as 1billion euros ($1.4 billion) should it cut the subsidies. The aid, which isadded to consumer bills, is guaranteed for 25 years under a 2007 law, plantoperator T- Solar Global SA Chief Executive Officer Juan Laso has said.”

LeadingAnti-Affordable Energy Organization Comes Out in Support of HydraulicFracturing; Wonder Who Cut the Check.Washington Examiner (10/26) reports, “InJanuary, the documentary Gasland won a special jury prize at theSundance Film Festival. The documentary attacked the process of “fracking,”which involves pumping a solution that is 99 percent sand and water, plus a fewtrace chemicals, underground at high pressure. This creates fractures in therock formations that allow oil and gas to flow to collection points. The filmclaimed that the process pollutes groundwater with devastating consequences.Multiple EPA studies have shown fracking is safe and effective, but thepropaganda effort got the attention of congress. In March, Rep. Henry Waxman,D-Calif., held hearings on whether the practice should be federally regulatedrather than regulated at the state level. After issuing subpoenas to eightenergy companies, Waxman dropped the probe. Now fracking is being defended by avery unlikely source — the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the biggestand most active environmental non-profits in the country. Appearing on theEnergy and Environment program “On Point” EDF Senior Policy Advisor was utterlydismissive of the concerns about fracking…” Click HERE for E&ETV interview.”

GetThis: Obama Admin. Wants More Electric Cars, Pin Wheels and Sun Catchers, But OpposesMining for Rare Earths in the USA – An Essential to All-Things“Renewable.” Solution? Send Clinton to China, Ask for More Exports. Wall Street Journal (10/28) reports, “U.S.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she will press China this week toclarify its policy on the exports of rare-earth minerals amid fears Beijingcould use them as a political weapon. Mrs. Clinton, en route to Asia for a keyregional summit, stressed following a meeting with her Japanese counterpart inHawaii that recent Chinese restrictions on sales of the important commercialinputs must serve as a "wake-up call" for the U.S. and its allies todiversify their sourcing. China is estimated to supply about 97% of the globaldemand for these metals, which are essential for the production of computersand other electronic products. "Because of the importance of theserare-earth minerals, I think both the minister and I are aware that ourcountries and others will have to look for additional sources of supply,” Mrs.Clinton said at a joint press conference with Japanese Foreign Minister SeijiMaehara. Tensions between China and Japan have increased in recent months,fueled by a dispute over islands jointly claimed by the two Asian nations. InJuly, Beijing announced a drastic curtailment of its export quotas for theseminerals, as well as a crackdown on smuggling, which began to be felt insubsequent months. China says the limits reflect its growing environmentalawareness, are perfectly legal and won’t be used as a policy tool. In BeijingWednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry said it wouldn’t use its dominance inrare-earth minerals as a "bargaining tool" with competing nations.”

Can’tSay I Blame Him. Louisiana’s Lt. Gov. Switches from D to R Over Obama’sHandling of Gulf Spill, Moratorium. New Orleans Times-Picayune (10/27) reports, “BATON ROUGE — Lt. Gov.Scott Angelle said Tuesday that he has changed his party affiliation fromDemocrat to Republican because of his dissatisfaction with President BarackObama and the administration’s recent actions on oil drilling in the Gulf ofMexico. Angelle, who has served as Gov. Bobby Jindal’s Department of NaturalResources secretary and chief liaison to the Legislature, said he grewdisenchanted with the Democratic Party’s philosophy of dealing with energymatters, especially the moratorium on drilling that followed the Deepwater Horizonexplosion that claimed 11 lives and spilled millions of gallons of oil into theGulf and sensitive coastal estuaries.He said the scientificstudies and investigations into deepwater exploration have indicated themoratorium should have been lifted weeks before it was. Instead, thousand ofworkers have been left jobless because of the Obama administration’s actions."I felt it was not handled in the right way," said Angelle, who hastestified before investigatory panels and Congress on the accident and itseffects. "Going through the process of the moratorium, I knew I had to dothis," he said. "It was an accumulation of things I was hearing aboutthe oil and gas industry (from the Democrats in Washington, D.C.). Our statecan only prosper with a strong oil and gas industry."

CarbonCriminalization Hot Topic in Alaska Senate Race; One Candidate Outright OpposesCap-and-Trade/Carbon Tax. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (10/28) reports, “Thedebate over “cap and trade” legislation to curb fossil fuel emissions has beenheating up Alaska’s U.S. Senate campaign. The Alaska Republican Party and thecampaign for Republican nominee Joe Miller have hit GOP write-in candidate LisaMurkowski and Democrat Scott McAdams hard on the cap and trade issue, saying inads that their support for the legislation will result in higher taxes, energyprices and unemployment. Murkowski and McAdams say that is an unfair characterizationof their positions on the issue. Polluters are issued permits for each ton ofcarbon they emit under a cap and trade system, and companies that reduce theiroutput are able to sell permits they don’t need. Critics say the system amountsto a tax on the use of fossil fuels. The basis for cap and trade legislation isgrounded in the belief, shared by most scientists, that fossil fuel emissionsare contributing to climate change. Assessing penalties for burning fossilfuels will spur producers and consumers to find cleaner alternatives,supporters of the concept say. Miller is the most critical of any form of“carbon tax” or cap and trade bill. Miller strongly opposes any suchlegislation, which he believes is unconstitutional. He said the penalties tiedto cap and trade — specifically in a version passed by the House thisyear — will be a devastating drag on the nation’s economy. As a fix for“something that may not even exist,” he says on his campaign website, the costis too steep.”

White House Readying Plans to Implement Energy RationingScheme Through Executive Order; Taxpayer Handouts for “new sidewalks, trolleysand street cars.” Politico(10/27) reports, “The White House doesn’t regret simultaneously pushing healthcare and climate change legislation, despite the ultimate failure to pass capand trade, President Barack Obama’s domestic policy adviser said Wednesday.Barnes said the White House believes the country can still tackle climatechange without Congress passing legislation that caps greenhouse gas emissions,noting the push for executive agencies to curb emissions, coupled with effortsat the state and local government levels. "The president feels that it’scritical that we move forward, and whether or not it’s through legislation,which would set a big comprehensive framework for companies, for the privatesector, for investors and for the rest of the world to see, and obviouslythat’s a priority and that’s why we tried to move it in the first two years,that there’s still other ways that we can advance this energy agenda,"Barnes said during an event hosted by The Atlantic Magazine. We’ve beenabsolutely thinking about this at every level,” Barnes said, citing theEnvironmental Protection Agency and Energy Department programs, as well asfederal grants to help local governments build more sidewalks, light rail linesand street trolleys.”

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