In the Pipeline: 3/13/13

I suppose China, a nuclearized North Korea, and Islamic militants in the Philippines are largely trivial matters. I also assume this means that the Navy will start shelling powerplants, refineries, and automobile factories. Boston Globe (3/12/13) reports: “America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change… Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet ‘is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’”


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Washington Times (3/12/13) reports: “Mr. Vitter also released some of Mr. Armendariz’s emails, obtained in a broader investigation of EPA emails, and released several portions Tuesday showing Mr. Armendariz was pleased with new rules and restrictions EPA was pursuing on power generation… ‘We have set things in motion, including empowering and shaming the states, to clean up the oil/gas sector,” Mr. Armendariz said in the email. “Further progress is inevitable. I am extremely proud of the work that we have done collectively. Gina’s new air rules will soon be the icing on the cake, on an issue I worked on years before my current job.’”


Let’s hope she does to the anti-technology crowd what she did to the Beatles. The Guardian (3/11/13) reports: “An eclectic group of celebrities including Yoko Ono, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Susan Sarandon have joined forces in a music video calling for New York state to ban hydraulic fracturing… Titled Don’t Frack My Mother, the song was written by Sean Lennon, with about 25 musicians, actors and comedians performing in the video.”


Our friend Bryan over at the Empire was kind enough to send this along.  The author is rude enough to point out that EPA doesn’t actually have the statutory authority to do what it is about to do. Like anyone cares about such things in the post-legal Republic. Federalist Society (March 2013) reports: “With the prospect of imminent action, and growing political pressure to coerce unwilling states into unprecedented greenhouse gas regulation, whether the EPA has the authority to take these actions must be explored. . . .  This paper concludes that it does not: In amending Section 111(d) in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Congress unambiguously provided that the subsection could not be used to set standards for industries that are also regulated under the Clean Air Act’s Section 112 air toxics program. Because existing power plants have been regulated under that program since the 2012 Utility maximum achievable control technology (“MACT”) Rule,  the EPA may not lawfully regulate them under Section 111(d).”


What does this have to do with energy? Plenty. The scarcity narrative has broken down everywhere.  It is being replaced by the paradigm of plenty. Which is bad news for folks, like many of our environmental brethren (yes, we mean you John Holdren), who do not like humans. CBS (3/11/13) reports: “For the first time in the history of the world, more people will die from overeating than undereating [starvation] this year. … It’s all happened in the last 20 years. … As long as you don’t ban Cheez-Its. Cheez-Its are OK. That’s my addiction.”


The Price of Green Energy: Is Germany Killing the Environment to Save It? Speigel Online (3/12/13) reports: “The German government is carrying out a rapid expansion of renewable energies like wind, solar and biogas, yet the process is taking a toll on nature conservation. The issue is causing a rift in the environmental movement, pitting “green energy” supporters against ecologists.”


We missed this yesterday, but in all fairness Brooks routinely misses things (like the surge in oil and gas production) by years. So we don’t feel too bad. NYTimes (3/11/13) reports: “People in China and elsewhere are wondering if the fracking revolution means that the 21st century will be another North American century, just like the last one… What are the names of the people who are leading this shift? Who is the Steve Jobs of shale? Magazine covers don’t provide the answers. Whoever they are, they don’t seem hungry for celebrity or good with the splashy project launch. They are strong economically, but they are culturally off the map.”

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