In the Pipeline: 11/30/12

Let’s be honest.  What happened in New York and New Jersey was an appalling lack of preparedness, in the media center of the planet.  When she came ashore Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane.  If she had hit the Southeastern United States (like hurricanes usually do), blowhards like Senator Whitehouse would have paid no attention (like he usually does).  Politico(11/30/12): “Senate Democrats used an emotionally charged hearing Thursday on the effects of Hurricane Sandy to make an aggressive attack on climate change deniers in and out of Congress. At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing featuring sometimes tearful reports from lawmakers representing East Coast states, some panel Democrats suggested putting customary congressional collegiality on the back burner to push more forcefully for mitigating climate change.”


Dan makes a good point.  Why are the Canadians developing their oil sands?  Are they smarter than us?  Or is it because we have Ken Salazar and they don’t?  E&E News (11/29/12): “Their report advocates hiking a royalty rate that is already five times higher than Alberta’s oil sand royalty rate that has attracted hundreds of billions of dollars in investment,” he said. “The impact of their recommendations would kill potential jobs, royalties and revenues in a quest for a higher percentage of nothing rather than a smaller percentage of a huge resource that could serve U.S. needs for over a century.”


I like what Tolstoy wrote about electric cars:  anything is better than lies and deceit.  National Legal and Policy Center (11/29/12): “In many cases this is intentional,” Car and Driver reported, “with automakers building EVs to satisfy regulators and leasing a limited number of loss-making vehicles in California and a handful of other states.” One such example is the Ford Focus Electric, whose battery alone costs $12,000-$15,000 and whose sales are measly, with only 200-or-so dealers on the West Coast and in the Northeast bothering with it. Ford received a $5.9 billion stimulus loan guarantee to retrofit five of its plants for the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.


Well now, all those Senators and Congressmen who have been carefully avoiding opposing a carbon tax actually have a chance to act like men and take a stand.  I’m betting few take the opportunity.  Senator David Vitter (11/29/12): “‘There’s a lot of talk in Washington about raising taxes, and finding ‘revenues’ in creative ways, to avoid going over the fiscal cliff,’ Vitter said. ‘But a carbon tax – which would force more financial hardship upon family budgets, energy consumers and job seekers – needs to be completely taken off the table. Our resolution would enshrine that.’”


What is the obsession with biofuels?  At $27 dollars a gallon, Mabus must know the whole thing is bogus.  Murkowski surely should recognize the whole thing is a sham and probably tied to some unsavory donors.  Institute for Energy Research (11/29/12): “Interestingly, if the military uses 130 million barrels of oil per year, that means that Alaska’s ANWR, which is estimated to hold 10.4 billion barrels of oil at the mean would supply all of the military’s needs for 80 years. Yet Secretary Mabus’s administration opposes the opening of ANWR’s oil, apparently preferring the green biofuels costing 10 times as much. ANWR’s 10.4 billion barrels of oil are worth almost $1 trillion to the US economy at today’s price of oil, and the jobs, revenue and security of supply they would offer our nation draw a bright contrast to the expensive and unnecessary green energy the Senate decided to waste taxpayers money on this past week.  In fact, Secretary Mabus’s administration actually closed 50% of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska earlier this year for oil exploration.”


Which do you figure is more likely to happen, whatever ridiculous thing the Doha crew comes up with, or 1200 new coal plants worldwide?  Institute for Energy Research (11/29/12):  “While the war on coal is working, reducing coal generation and consumption and associated carbon dioxide emissions here in the United States, many world economies are looking towards coal for future generation needs. China, India, Russia, and Germany, to name a few, are building coal-fired power plants. Worldwide coal plant construction grew 5.4 percent over the past year and now represents about 30 percent of installed capacity. According to the World Resources Institute, almost 1,200 coal-fired power plants are in the planning stages (a capacity of 1.4 million megawatts) and over three-quarters of them are to be built in China and India, where over 500,000 megawatts each are currently planned for construction.”


The following think tank chiefs are opposed to a carbon tax.  The list to date follows.  If your guy is not on the list, it is because he either favors a carbon tax, wants to retain the option of favoring a carbon tax at some point in the future, or has yet to contact us.

Tom Pyle, American Energy Alliance / Institute for Energy Research
Myron Ebell, Freedom Action
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment
Fred Smith, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Andrew Quinlan, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Tim Phillips, Americans for Prosperity
Joe Bast, Heartland Institute
David Ridenour, National Center for Public Policy Research
Michael Needham, Heritage Action for America
Tom Schatz, Citizens Against Government Waste
Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

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