In the Pipeline: 4/22/13

Cheers to ending “misery and vice” Malthusianism. 


Bjorn is right on some things, wrong on others, but mostly we couldn’t resist his headline: “What I’d like to see this Earth Day: More fracking”. The Globe (4/22/13) reports: “Year after year, we are treated to a message of environmental doom and gloom and admonitions on Earth Day. On the back of this sentiment in wealthy countries, governments have invested billions of dollars in inefficient, feel-good policies – such as subsidizing solar panels and electric cars. But really, there are far better ways to improve environmental prospects for humanity and our planet. This Earth Day, we need more fracking, more wealth, smarter investments, and fewer inefficient subsidies.”

It’s too good to be true! Oh right… it actually is too good to be true. LA Times (4/21/13) reports: “But Baucus and Camp are going to run into a big problem: One taxpayer’s “loophole” is another’s sacred birthright. The only deductions in the personal income tax code big enough to make a significant difference in revenue are the ones for home mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes. And every previous attempt to trim or limit them has run into a buzz saw of opposition… So here’s another good bipartisan idea that the tax committees should consider: a new federal tax on emissions — more frequently called a carbon tax.”

This is a moderately well-written story that, incredibly enough, makes oil sands production sound vaguely effete. But we recommend you read it. National Review (4/22/13) reports: “My second flight of the day, this time on a noisy little turbo-prop puddle-jumper that sounds like a bomber from a World War II movie, gives me no reason to doubt his description. Unlike the large jet that took me from Newark, this aircraft is packed full of sturdy men wearing jeans, baseball caps, and steel-toed boots. There are no women — not a single pair of X chromosomes on board — and nobody speaks a word; they because they are discernibly weary of the journey, I because I am stunned into silence by what I can see outside. The 400 miles of Alberta we cross are just spectacular: Endless white fields sweep up toward the horizon for miles until they are broken by a line of snow-capped mountains. The sky is a dazzlingly clear blue, and the moon is visible. After 90 minutes or so of this, we land at a tiny airport and I drag my eyes from the window and look out into the snow. Regimentally, the men troop off. They have been here before.”

So, lots more natural gas and coal consumption is ticking up. All good. WSJ (4/18/13) reports: “These rapid U.S. declines may be short-lived, as natural-gas prices rise and utilities increase coal consumption. “Our coal-fired generation has certainly picked up” in recent months, says Nick Akins, chief executive of Ohio-based American Electric Power Co. AEP +0.93% Natural-gas prices have risen for eight straight weeks, recently closing at $4.40 per million British thermal units, more than twice its price a year ago.”

This is one of those “investments” that Obama loves. Hopefully His Majesty doesn’t manage his own finances. Jalopnik (4/19/13) reports: “Luxury hybrid automaker Fisker is working its way towards bankruptcy and details are starting to make clear just how faulty their business was, including a report that says the company spent $660,000 on each Fisker Karma… a loss of more than $0.6 million per car.”

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