In the Pipeline: 7/19/2013

When Bill Nordhaus thinks a tax scheme is pointless, it is pointless. If we were Hill staff, this would go into our everyday talking points.Fox News (7/18/13) reports: “As President Obama last month launched a sweeping new national program to combat ‘climate change,’ including tens of billions of dollars in likely new subsidies for solar and wind power and bio-energy, a separate, groundbreaking study by the National Research Council has warned that those kinds of subsidies are virtually useless at quelling greenhouse gases. The study, which looks at the subsidies and other incentives embedded in U.S. federal tax law after the past several years of climate change initiatives, concludes that they have done little or nothing so far to cut U.S. contributions to global carbon emissions, and are unlikely to do much more before 2035, the project’s research horizon.”

We just saw this piece from across the pond, and you should too. The Telegraph (6/28/13) reports: “You’d think Greens would be delighted by the shale gas bounty under our feet. Here is a plentiful energy supply which does not emit soot (as coal does), nor jam estuaries (as tidal turbines do), nor starve Africans (as biofuels do), nor slaughter rare birds (as wind farms do). It does not require public subsidies (as both nuclear and renewables do). On the contrary, it will generate a healthy stream of tax revenue for the Exchequer. It will diminish our reliance on nasty regimes, from Tehran to Moscow – precisely the sorts of regimes that Greens march against. Oh, and it will reduce our carbon emissions, by displacing coal in electricity generators.”

Tom Pyle: very nearly always right. Politico (7/18/13) reports: “White House energy adviser Heather Zichal said Thursday that President Barack Obama has ‘raised the bar’ on taking into account the Keystone XL oil pipeline’s effects on climate change. But she declined to put the ultimate responsibility for the final decision on the controversial pipeline project on the president’s shoulders. ‘Again, the process is being run directly by the State Department, and I think the president certainly did raise the bar and make it clear that climate impacts should be part of that analysis. Beyond that, I would direct you to the State Department,’ Zichal said during POLITICO Pro’s Future of Energy Breakfast Briefing.”

There’s definitely been an increase in the hot air spewed around the subject. The Daily Caller (7/18/13) reports: “In a Senate hearing Thursday, environmental scientist Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado said it’s ‘incorrect’ to claim that global warming is spurring more extreme weather disasters. ‘It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,’ Pielke said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. ‘It is further incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases…Hurricanes have not increased in the U.S. in frequency, intensity or normalized damage since at least 1900,’ Pielke added. ‘The same holds for tropical cyclones globally since at least 1970.’”

Honestly, there aren’t that many instances where this dude can seek rents. Once he finishes making his money on Keystone, he might hang around for one or two things, then he will be gone. Politico (7/19/13) reports: “Tom Steyer, the San Francisco billionaire and former hedge fund manager, burst onto the national political scene this year, launching an aggressive campaign to raise the profile of environmental issues at the ballot box. And he is already looking ahead toward the 2014 election cycle to broaden the strategy he employed in the Massachusetts Senate race. Democrats and Republicans alike have their eyes on Steyer, who is emerging as an influential player in the world of money and politics.”

Put in his place.


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