In the Pipeline: 12/17/12

Even the Washington Post thinks the wind PTC should end.  Too bad they blow on the carbon tax. Washington Post (12/15/12) reports: “Some of those who sympathize with the wind subsidy, known as the production tax credit (PTC), say that it represents a second-best approach to supporting green energy. In fact it is not even a third- or fourth-best alternative to a carbon tax. At a cost of $1 billion a year, it offers wind operators a flat tax credit for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce. No matter if the grid doesn’t need the electricity at any given moment or if the policy blunts the incentive to reduce costs.”


Soot, Lies and Videotape:  Has anybody else noticed that the EPA tends to release these “all benefits, no cost” rules on a Friday afternoon?  You should pay attention to Scott Segal and Jay Timmons on this one.  Unfortunately, they are on the mark. NYTimes (12/14/12) reports: “Scott H. Segal, representing a coalition of coal companies and utilities, wrote to Ms. Jackson, pointing to a 2011 study saying that citing counties for noncompliance ‘increases energy prices, reduces manufacturing productivity and causes local manufacturing companies to exit the areas that are designated as being in nonattainment.’ Six senators, led by Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, wrote Ms. Jackson on Friday expressing concern about the new rule. ‘E.P.A. should not rush at this time toward imposing more regulatory burdens on struggling areas,’ the lawmakers wrote.”


EPA expects all but 7-10 counties to reach attainment under currently existing rules “without any additional action”.  At the same time, EPA claims that its new standard will “prevent up to 40,000 premature deaths, 32,000 hospital admissions and 4.7 million days of work lost due to illness”.  How many dead bodies are there currently in those counties?  How busy are their hospitals?  How can any business survive that many sick days?  How can anyone believe anything that comes out of EPA nowadays? Politico (12/15/12) reports: “The finished rule that emerged from the agency Friday is mostly as stringent as the one that EPA submitted for White House review in the summer. That’s a turnaround from the experience of the last couple of years, in which White House pressure forced the EPA to postpone a new rule on smog and placed regulations on toxic coal ash into a deep freeze.”


The kisses of an enemy are deceitful, the wounds of a friend are true. Sierra Club (12/14/12) reports: “For all of us at the Sierra Club, Denise Bode has been a brilliant partner, a skilled colleague, and a fearless leader. Her work at AWEA has helped bring clean energy to the forefront of the national conversation and has put the wind industry on track to be a leading energy producer in the country. I am confident that wherever her future endeavors take her, Denise will continue to be a strong advocate for clean energy, and an important ally for environmentalists everywhere.”


We’d say this secures a solid spot on Santa’s ‘nice list’ for the year. The Spectator (12/15/12) reports: “No more would I trade in blood diamonds or child pornography than I would accept money in any shape or form from Big Wind. The time is long since past when anyone complicit in this vile, corrupt, mendacious industry — not the lawyers, not the engineers, not the land agents, not the investors — could be unaware of the damage it does: to the landscape, to rural communities, to wildlife, to people’s health, to the economy generally.”


Did Richard Windsor thank the staff as well? EPA (12/14/12) reports: “Dear Colleagues: As President Barack Obama’s second term draws near, it is a great time to pause, take stock of the past four years and look to our future at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the President’s continuing leadership. I am immensely proud of the work we have done together and the extraordinary contributions of the EPA’s talented and dedicated work force. We can say with confidence that protection of public health and the environment is stronger today because of our efforts.”

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