November 1, 2010



Don’t Call It a Comeback:Or Maybe That’s Exactly What You Should Call It; Defamed by Enviros, Media,World Coal Consumption Hits 40 Year High. Bloomberg News (10/30) reports, “Chris Cline foresaw thatthe dwindling Appalachian supply, coupled with what he expected would be rulesto force all power plants to add scrubbers to remove pollutants, would makeIllinois coal attractive. If plants had to clean the coal anyway, Clinereasoned, why not use inexpensive Illinois stock? He was right. Three yearslater, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required power plants to addscrubbers to cut emissions. As a result of that and other market forces, thevalue of Illinois deposits quintupled during the next five years, helping Clineraise $1.2 billion to build the mines that he’s now parlaying into a fortune.In an age obsessed with global warming and green energy, coal – a combustiblerock that has generated heat for humanity for 5,000 years – is staging adefiant comeback. Condemned by environmentalists who say that digging it marsthe land and that cleaning it is impossible, coal supplied 29.4 percent of theplanet’s man-made energy last year – the highest level since 1970. Cline sayshe may reach top speed in eight years, when his sons Christopher, 16, and Alex,15, will be old enough to join the firm. He says he has no plans to sell,especially if Foresight becomes a public company that trains his boys. "There’s a good possibility they’ll be the fourth generation," Clinesays. "I’m hoping they will."



Valero’s Calif. RefineryAmong Cleanest and Most Efficient in U.S. – And Guess What? AB 32 StillWould Zap $170M from It a Year in New Compliance Costs. LA Times (10/31) reports, "Scrubbers can reduce nitrogen oxides,sulfur oxides and particulates," he said. "But there is no scrubberfor greenhouse gas." As for improving the refinery’s energy efficiency,"We replaced an aging boiler two years ago," Faichney said."We’ve put insulation in every application where it’s necessary to retainheat. Any increase in energy efficiency would be very small." In fightingAB 32, Valero officials had suggested in the past that the cost of complyingwith the law could total $170 million a year for its two California refineries,in Wilmington and Benicia. But in the conference call with analysts, Valeroacknowledged that the annual cost might be closer to $80 million. "Wedon’t have the rules or regulations or how it’s all going to work," Klessesaid. Those estimates don’t take into account California regulators’ pledge tointroduce new rules slowly in the early years, and give breaks to firms thatface out-of-state competition from unregulated competitors, such as Asian oilrefiners. But whatever the cost, Klesse said, "it will all be passedthrough to the consumer. The companies aren’t going to able to absorb this orthey’re going to go out of business."



Say It Ain’t So, Mo: Fmr.Hinchey Supporters Say Rep.’s “Endangering the Planet” By Continuing to OpposeResponsible Development of Marcellus Shale.E&E News (10/29, subs. req’d) reports, “Hinchey isperceived as the anti-drilling, anti-fracturing candidate in the race, whilePhillips’ role is the booster for drillers and fracturing. But the candidatesthemselves seek to add nuance. Phillips wants to move forward"aggressively" but only after state regulators say it is safe.Hinchey has said he wants to "make sure that this frack drilling does notoccur in New York" but clarifies that such a moratorium could be liftedafter a comprehensive study of drilling’s effects on health and theenvironment. Hinchey is a lead co-sponsor of the FRAC Act. Locally, he has alsosigned on to a drive to get Gov. David Paterson (D) to delay drilling in NewYork and start over on a state study and has leaned on the federal representativeon a regional board to slow drilling until a separate study is done. Hisapproach has angered Barbara Hirshfield, who considers herself a dedicatedenvironmentalist but sees Hinchey’s resistance to gas production aswrong-headed. She sees more use of natural gas as crucial to reining in climatechange. "Mr. Hinchey is not going to get my vote, which makes mesad," Hirshfield said, "I’ve been in lockstep with him for manyyears. But I think he’s endangering the planet."



On Day After Halloween, aQuick Look Back at Some of the Most Ghoulish (and Ridiculous) Predictions fromEhrlich, Holdren, Et. Al on Climate, Carbon, Humanity. Robert Bradley, Jr. writes (11/1) on, “If I were a gambler, I would take evenmoney that England will not exist in the year 2000.” – Paul Ehrlich, quoted inJulian Simon, The Ultimate Resource 2, (Princeton: Princeton University Press,1996), p. 35. In the name of science, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, and JamesHansen (et al.) have made doom-and-gloom predictions about business-as-usual inan attempt to shock humanity into immediate legislative action and lifestylechanges. It did not work. The elapsed predictions have failed to come to pass.Little wonder that new installments of climate alarmism, such as JulietEilperin’s ”25% of Wild Mammal Species Face Extinction: Global AssessmentPaints ‘Bleak Picture,’ Scientists Say, and Figure of Those at Risk Could BeHigher” in the Washington Post (October 7), don’t register with voters. Worsening their predicament, theperpetrators will not renounce their specious predictions. They remain thesmartest guys in the room–versus all of us commoners, we the hundreds ofmillions of market-failure-ites. Here are the Big Three: 1) the dean of modernalarmism, Paul Ehrlich; 2) Al Gore’s influential climate scientist JamesHansen; and 3) Obama’s “dream ‘green’ team” member John Holdren.



Beats 3rd PeriodFrench: Gas Producers in PA Team Up with Local Schools to Give Kids Up CloseLook at How Natural Gas Is Harvested from Shale.WPXIPittsburgh (10/29) reports, “Experts are predicting the Marcelus Shale industrywill be around in western Pennsylvania for at least the next 50 years andthousands of people will be needed to work here. On Friday, educators met atWaynesburg University to figure out how to give students the education theyneed to get those jobs. “We are talking to the superintendents of schools andcounselors about an energy education looks like," said Barbara Kirby ofWaynesburg University. To educate the educators, a mobile energy classroompulled up at the university. Inside the trailer, videos played, showing everyaspect of the Marcellus Shale process. Channel 11 talked to a senior engineerfrom Range Resources who is already working with local schools, trying to setup a Marcellus Shale curriculum. "We will have them come in and look overthe shoulder of a petroleum engineer and an environmental engineer,” saidMichael Forgione of Range Resources.



Meanwhile, One State Overin Ohio – They’re Gonna Party This Week Like It’s 1860: Year of the FirstEver Natural Gas Well in the Buckeye State.WKBN Ohio (10/28) reports, “The first natural gas well was drilledin Ohio 150 years ago. To celebrate that milestone, the industry has startedthe Ohio Energy Proud campaign to highlight its importance in the state. Itemploys 75,000 people and supplies billions of cubic feet of natural gas tolocal residents. "In Ohio last year, statewide, we produced over 88billion cubic feet of natural gas, and the great thing about that is almost 100percent of that stays right here in our own backyard," said Rhonda Reda,Ohio Oil and Natural Gas Education. Mahoning County produced more than 7.3billion cubic feet of natural gas, Reda said. Because seven out of 10 homes inthe county use natural gas, this provides a lot of local energy benefits, sheadded. There are more than 2,000 gas producing wells in Mahoning County.



EPA Decisions NotDetermined by Politics, Right? Except This One: Politico Reports Agency WillNot Release New Smog Rule ‘Til After Election – Avoid Handing GOP“Fodder.” Politico’s MorningEnvironmentalist (11/1)reports, “EPA is unlikely to issue controversial smog standards prior to theelection tomorrow. The agency planned to release the federal ozone limit on oraround the end of October, but may be holding off in order to avoid givingRepublicans last-minute campaign fodder. EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan saidthe agency is working hard to finalize the standard. "We will announce thefinal rule as soon as it is ready – this is an important and complex rulemakingand we’re working to ensure we get it right," he said. W. Lafayette (Ind.)Journal & Courier (10/6) reports, “Transportation officialsare raising a red flag over what proposed stricter standards for ground-level ozonewill mean for Tippecanoe County. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ispoised to adopt new health-based air-quality standards by the end of the month."I would be surprised if we keep our ‘attainment status’ under the newstandards," said John Thomas, assistant director of transportation forTippecanoe County Area Plan Commission. If the counties are designated"nonattainment" areas, they will be subjected to tougher review forbusiness development and road projects as state and federal officials work toreduce emissions.



Big Wind “Has SlowestQuarter in Three Years” – But At Least It Knows Exactly What It Needs toTurn the Beat Around: More Taxpayer Loot. E&E News(10/29, subs. req’d) reports, “The U.S. wind industry just had its slowestquarter in three years, and it is using the weak period to ask for moreincentives favoring renewables. The industry added 395 megawatts ofwind-powered electric generating capacity from July through September of thisyear, the slowest growth since 2007. Total installations this year stood at1,634, down 72 percent from last year and the lowest level since 2006, theAmerican Wind Energy Association said today in a market report. The trade groupblames the decline on a lack of long-term energy policies, such as a renewableelectricity standard that would require utilities to source a certainpercentage of their electricity from renewable sources. "We’re increasingour dependence on fossil fuels, impacting our national security, instead ofdiversifying our portfolio to include more renewables," said AWEA CEODenise Bode in a statement. "U.S. wind energy can again lead the world,but if federal policymakers do not act quickly to provide investment certaintythrough a renewable electricity standard and longer-term tax policy like ourenergy-generation competitors enjoy, the U.S. wind industry will stallout." The group says U.S. installation rates are half those of Europe anda third of the rate in China. "This is a global race, and we need a levelplaying field with fossil fuels to stay competitive," Bode said.


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