In the Pipeline: 8/20/12

Heather Wilson in New Mexico.  Jon Tester in Montana.  Union folks, farmers, ranchers, salon owners, even children.  Pretty much everyone understands the importance of energy and refineries to manufacturing jobs and economic growth.  We welcome them all. Billings Gazette (8/16/12) reports: “Throughout the day, fairgoers, including Sen. Jon Tester, autographed a giant over-the-road bus parked outside the Heritage Building. The bus was driven by representatives of the American Energy Alliance, a nonprofit group that is advocating for a diverse energy policy.”


And if you didn’t see the bus while we were in Montana, you probably heard about it on the radio. Voices of Montana (8/16/12) reports: “[Today’s] show was live from Energy Day at Montana Fair. Various guests were on [today’s] show including Senator John McCain.”


Let me save you the read.  Electricity prices are going to go up, reliability is going to go down.  EPA and FERC don’t seem to care about either.  That is all. GAO (July 2012) reports: “Available information suggests these actions would likely increase electricity prices in some regions. Furthermore, while these actions may not cause widespread reliability concerns, they may contribute to reliability challenges in some regions.”


No better way to put it . . . Environment and Public Works (8/17/12) reports: “”The federal court’s decision to uphold EPA’s plan to permit higher-level blends of ethanol is a huge loss for Oklahomans and consumers nationwide,” Senator Inhofe said. “My constituents in Oklahoma want to be able to use fuel compatible with their vehicles, without having to worry about what kind of damage higher blends of ethanol will do to their engines. This ruling just enables EPA to continue pushing too much corn ethanol too fast through the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a program that has had negative impacts on the safety of those operating vehicles and other equipment as well as food prices.”


Natural gas is the great destroyer.  Fortunately, the Farm Bill spends a lot of your money on biodiesel. Seeking Alpha (8/17/12) reports: The fact that even European producers have begun to cancel plans for the commercial-scale production of biofuels via biomass gasification could result in shareholder pressure on the few remaining employers of the pathway in the U.S. to do the same, or at least to consider feedstock diversification.


Again, either the Canadians are getting smarter (challenging to believe) or we seem more stupid. Canada Free Press (8/13/12) reports: “The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today submitted its recommendation to kill the B.C. carbon tax with the provincial government panel reviewing the tax.”


Just a little more on the carbon tax from our friends in Australia. (8/18/12) reports: “No one is immune. Charities, councils, schools, hospitals, small businesses, community groups, public transport operators, have all seen their costs go up, during a time of increased economic uncertainty.”


Ken Green from AEI has requested from us a formal apology for tying him to our concerns about AEI’s involvement in planning a carbon tax campaign.  We apologize, Ken, and will not make that mistake again.


In his request, Mr. Green notes that Arthur Brooks has told “dozens of people” that he opposes a carbon tax. Not one of the dozens has been someone at AEA or (as far as we know) a reporter on the record. What Arthur Brooks has done is allow the use of AEI resources to contribute towards a campaign in support of a federal carbon tax. We are also sorry about that.


Furthermore, AEI’s fellow travelers on this effort (we know at least five meetings have been held) include some of the most questionable elements of the American environmental movement.  In the South, there is a saying about dogs, and fleas, and laying down with one and rising with the other.  That, too, is regrettable, but inevitable

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