In the Pipeline: 3/25/13

Show me the Moniz. ProPublica (3/20/13) reports: “When President Obama nominated Ernest Moniz to be energy secretary earlier this month, he hailed the nuclear physicist as a “brilliant scientist” who, among his many talents, had effectively brought together “prominent thinkers and energy companies” in the continuing effort to figure out a safe and economically sound energy future for the country… ‘His connections to the fossil fuel and nuclear power industries threaten to undermine the focus we need to see on renewables and energy efficiency,’ said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.”


Next up, fines for heating your home and breathing. Fox NY (3/21/13) reports: “Businesses in Paramus, New Jersey are getting tickets when they leave their sign lights on… Paramus has a quality of life ordinance that fines businesses $200 or more, plus $33 in court costs, if their signs don’t go dark after 11 p.m.”


It is a sad day for Canada when Al Gore is more of a man than the Premier of Alberta. Calgary Herald (3/20/13) reports: “Under fire from the opposition parties over carbon tax comments, Premier Alison Redford said Tuesday she is not calling for a national carbon levy… Redford told Postmedia News on Monday the federal government should follow Alberta’s lead in establishing a $15-per-tonne levy on large industrial emitters that are unable to meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets.”


When it’s all bread and circuses, there’s no time or need to care about real science. American Spectator (3/22/13) reports: “The fact remains that because American industry is greatly improving its environmental practices and is proactively addressing all the “big problems,” there’s only one way for the EPA to stay relevant: find little “problems” — even tiny, infinitesimal ones — and inflate them into issues of tremendous importance. Combine the poorly understood concept of risk, a technically ignorant mainstream media, and a public that has been conditioned to equate the word “chemical” with “deadly poison” and you have the ideal conditions to do just that. And if that kind of approach to environmental management sounds as if it will require the services of a public relations firm rather than a team of scientists, no matter. The environmental movement has been comfortable working in this manner for decades.”


It was a busy week last week. Lots of collectivists were busy. Al Gore (3/21/13) reports: “Taxes are always a regrettable necessity, but some are less regrettable than others. A tax that strengthens energy security and cuts pollution, while minimising the damage done to employment and investment, is one of the least regrettable of all… Yet a carbon tax, which has all those characteristics, is struggling to find support from the US administration or in Congress. It deserves much wider enthusiasm.”


I will only point out that at CPAC a bunch of kids who said they were associated with Arthur Laffer were passing out “Conservatives for a Carbon Tax” stickers. So, apparently, there is still a need for the kind of education George is providing here. Frontiers of Freedom (3/20/13) reports: “It is not surprising that there are liberals in Washington proposing new stealth carbon taxes. What is surprising is that a few ‘conservatives’ support the idea. Even more inexplicable is the fact that some have called the carbon tax a ‘once in a generation opportunity.’… Let me see if I’ve got this right. A huge, gargantuan tax increase — one that would make everything cost more — is a ‘once in a generation opportunity?’”


Now that’s gratitude for you… Bloomberg (3/21/13) reports: “NextEra Energy, the largest U.S. wind-power operator, sued 16 banks yesterday in Manhattan federal court, asking a judge to interpret a 2011 credit “guarantee agreement” in light of recent changes in Spanish law… NextEra said Spain enacted favorable tariff laws in the 1990s to encourage investment in solar power so that by 2008, the country accounted for more than 40 percent of the world’s solar installations.”


What does wind power have to do with chicken you-know-what? Neither is helping North Carolinians. News Observer (3/23/13) reports: “Meanwhile, electricity generated by wind as well as poultry and swine waste have made almost no progress here despite being eligible for the same subsidies that are available for solar power. Those renewables continue to face significant economic and technological obstacles.”


With all the mayhem of St. Valentine’s Day, we missed this last month. But it should be required reading across the land. Ben Zycher takes Congressman Waxman and Senator Whitehouse to school. AEI (2/14/13) reports: “Whatever the actual magnitude of the prospective effects of changes in ambient concentrations of GHG, what is not in dispute is the international nature of those anthropogenic impacts. The policy inquiry in your letter is limited specifically to actions and legislation at the federal level. U.S. emissions of GHG are about 18 percent of global emissions, a proportion that is declining steadily. [3] If we ignore that ongoing decline in the U.S. proportion, the U.S. would contribute about 0.5 degrees of the IPCC best estimate of 3 degrees. Suppose that U.S. policies over time reduce our contribution by half, an outcome that could be achieved only in the face of massive economic dislocation.  In that case, the reduction in the U.S. contribution would be about 0.2-0.3 degrees, a change that no climate model predicts would yield measurable effects in terms of climate patterns and attendant impacts upon weather and other parameters.”

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