In the Pipeline: 9/18/12

Well now.  Grover Norquist opens his kimono on the energy tax.  Guess what?  It turns out that the pledge would allow an energy tax, provided it was initially offset by reductions elsewhere.  So at least we now have some idea why Jim Hansen (the dude who gets paid by NASA but spends most of his time lobbying for larger government and less economic growth) was given time to sell his wares at Grover’s Wednesday meeting last week. Bloomberg(9/13/12) reports: “I called Grover Norquist — lord of the anti-tax pledge — to run my fantasy scenario by the Republican Party’s chief anti-tax enforcer. “If one cut the income tax dollar for dollar and had a carbon tax in its place, it would not be a violation of the taxpayer protection pledge,” he said.”


If you stop paying for our free lunch, it won’t be free any more. Politico (9/18/12) reports: “As major U.S. employers and some of the largest non-utility purchasers of renewable energy, we urge you to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy before the end of the 112th Congress.”


Senator Feinstein.  Senator Alexander.  But not Senator Inhofe.  Or Chairman Upton.  And the President and Governor Romney are about the same.  I have no clue why nuclear power isn’t doing better.  I really don’t.  Although they might want to think about getting some better help. Politico (9/17/12) reports: “It doesn’t take all that many members as long as they’re in the right positions, they invest the time, the effort and the energy into it,” the Nuclear Energy Institute’s top lobbyist Alex Flint told reporters Monday, citing Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) as both engaged on the issue.”


Sure the EU is screwed up in many ways, but unlike the federal government, they understand that you shouldn’t mandate the burning of food. WSJ (9/17/12) reports: “The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said Monday it plans to limit the use of biofuels derived from food crops to 5% of transport fuel, in a radical change to its biofuel policy.”


If you are thinking about an ethanol waiver, this may not be very helpful.  But if you are trying to make the case that global warming is harming crop yields (like that moron in Politico yesterday), it is disastrous news. Tom Nelson (9/16/12) reports: “Globally, USDA is still projecting the second-largest corn crop in history”, for the U.S., “farmers are likely to harvest the eighth-largest corn crop on record this fall…”


Jeff Kueter and crew remind us that there is no link between global warming and national security, except in the heads of the kinds of people who let the attack in Libya happen last week. Marshall Institute (9/17/12) reports: “In summary, efforts to link climate change to the deterioration of U.S. national security rely on improbable scenarios, imprecise and speculative methods, and scant empirical support.  Accepting the connection can lead to the dangerous expansion of U.S. security concerns, inappropriately applied resources, and diversion of attention from more effective responses to known environmental challenges.”


Does any of this sound familiar? Wind Power Monthly (9/17/12) reports: “Energy regulator SWERC has decided to cut tariffs for all existing wind energy projects by ten per cent and those for solar even more, in a move Bulgarian wind energy association BGWEA says will push the majority of renewable energy projects into bankruptcy and could endanger the country’s financial stability.”


And I’m optimistic that I will become tall and good-looking next year. Nebraska Radio Network (9/14/12) reports: “A top TransCanada official expresses optimism the Keystone XL oil pipeline will win approval early next year.”

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