In The Pipeline 8/10/11

I guess that once you’ve done all the damage you can do, it is time to move along.  I wonder if Ron gets the concept of moral hazard yet E&E News (8/10/11) reports: Ron Bloom, an Obama administration official who helped oversee the auto industry bailout, will leave his position as a presidential adviser on manufacturing policy at the end of the month, the White House announced today…Bloom had previously served as the administration’s “auto czar” and helped work on the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler. He also participated in White House negotiations on fuel efficiency standards for model years 2017-2025…”I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve under President Obama and alongside so many talented individuals who worked tirelessly to strengthen the economy and help communities across the nation,” Bloom said in a statement. “We’ve faced many tough choices and dealt with numerous challenges over the past two and a half years — from restructuring the American auto industry to developing historic fuel efficiency standards. I am confident in this Administration’s ability to build on these accomplishments and continue our efforts to revitalize the manufacturing sector.”…Bloom will return to Pittsburgh to spend more time with his family, according to the White House.

OK, we’ve ignored this as long as we can.  But Al seems to be coming unglued.  No wonder why Tipper left ABC News (8/9/11) reports: The ice caps are still melting, the ozone layer is still disappearing and Al Gore is getting pissed…In a speech at the Aspen Institute last week the former Vice President hid no emotion when he disputed claims that global warming was not happening by repeatedly shouting “bullsh*t.”…“They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: ‘This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes.’ Bullshit! ‘It may be sun spots.’ Bullshit! ‘It’s not getting warmer.’ Bullshit!” Gore said, without knowing that his comments were being streamed online.

Maybe this is why Al is so distracted…Reuters (8/9/11) reports: A worsening global economic outlook has dented prices for emissions permits which depend on a robust economy belching greenhouse gases into the air, and has also impacted oil, grains, coal and natural gas…Carbon offsets have fared uniquely badly because a U.N. climate panel continues to print new offsets, regardless of a widening glut in emissions permits in the main demand market, the European Union’s carbon market…Countries and companies in the developed world can buy offsets as a way to meet emissions caps agreed under Kyoto, paying for cuts in developing country projects instead, but the financial crisis has left a global oversupply…”If the European economy goes through a double dip (recession) it could be a lethal threat for the carbon market,” said Marius-Cristian Frunza, analyst at Schwarzthal Kapital…The U.N. scheme for generating certified emissions reductions (CERs), called the clean development mechanism (CDM), faces additional problems besides the economy…Failure by countries to agree a new round of carbon caps after 2012 under drifting U.N. climate talks, has further curbed prospective demand…The financial crisis has blown off course talks to agree a global climate deal, which now seems years off. The CER market had a traded value of $18.3 billion last year, down from $26.3 billion in its peak year 2008.

Finally, something the rich folks (think Robert Kennedy and clan) have in common – happy to make us pay for these white elephants, and happy to give us happy talk about them, but not really that excited about having the ridiculous things next door Guardian (8/10/11) reports: Donald Trump has pledged to use “any legal means” to block the building of an offshore windfarm near his championship golf course in Aberdeenshire, claiming the development would spoil his view…The proposed windfarm in Aberdeen Bay, about 1.5 miles from the golf resort, would install the next generation of offshore wind turbine technology…The £200m energy scheme has just been formally submitted to Marine Scotland for approval. It has been cut back from up to 33 turbines to a maximum of 11 after safety concerns were raised by shipping agencies and Aberdeen heliport, the world’s busiest, which serves the North Sea oil industry…Trump, who hopes to open his first course at the Menie estate, near Balmedie, next July, in a development spanning about 500 hectares (1,235 acres), has renewed his long-standing complaints about the project. He believes the smaller proposal is still unacceptable: some of the turbines could stand up to 195 metres in the water, more than double the height of the Big Ben clock tower…George Sorial, managing director of the Trump Organisation, said the windfarm would compromise the golf resort. “We are here to stay and I don’t think it’s a good idea to interfere with our investment. We are not going to support a project that compromises what we have done. We will use any legal means in our jurisdiction.”

This is coming from a city that imports all their water from the North and most of their electricity from the East. Now, they are saying Alaska shouldn’t drill for energy? Los Angeles Times (8/10/11) reports: Shell Oil’s proposal to drill three exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope received a conditional go-ahead last week from the Obama administration even though the Interior Department has not yet approved the company’s plan for responding to a catastrophic oil spill. That plan fails to adequately address many of the harsh realities of drilling in Arctic seas. It’s too early for any approval, conditional or otherwise…Exploratory offshore drilling in the Arctic doesn’t present the same potential for danger as, say, BP’s offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The hazards of drilling in the Arctic are quite different and in ways worse…Shell’s wells would be just 160 feet underwater, as opposed to the 5,000-foot depth of BP’s Deepwater Horizon well, source of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. That, at least theoretically, would make the Arctic wells easier to cap. But there are other important differences. BP’s rig was located in generally calm waters that happen to contain oil-degrading bacteria. The gulf’s concentration of oil rigs also makes it a hub for Coast Guard rescue equipment and drilling expertise…Shell’s response plan contends that it can clean up 95% of spilled oil, an unprecedented percentage even in much less hostile environments. But the skimmers and booms that are usually employed to clean up spills don’t work effectively in waters with large amounts of floating ice. Nor is there any guarantee that Shell would be able to get disaster equipment to the wells. Canada’s National Energy Board recently reported that on one day out of five, conditions in the Arctic, including the Beaufort Sea, are too harsh to send out spill-response teams. Meanwhile, the nearest Coast Guard station is 1,000 miles away, and the agency told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that it cannot be counted on to respond to spills off the North Slope.

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