In the Pipeline: 8/12/13

All future measurements should be in fruit-based units.

Forbes (8/10/13) reports: “There’s much screaming and shouting from the usual suspects about the new radiation leak discovered at Fukushima, the stricken nuclear power plants in Japan. What they’re not telling you is that the radiation leakage is around the same as 76 million bananas. A fact which should help to put it all into some perspective. Here’s Greenpeace: Environmental group Greenpeace said Tepco had ‘anxiously hid the leaks’ and urged Japan to seek international expertise. ‘Greenpeace calls for the Japanese authorities to do all in their power to solve this situation, and that includes increased transparency…and getting international expertise in to help find solutions,’ Dr Rianne Teule of Greenpeace International said in an e-mailed statement. Not that Greenpeace is ever going to say anything other than that nuclear power is the work of the very devil of course. And the headlines do indeed seem alarming.”

It takes over 200 days to get a permit to drill on federal lands in the Land of the Free.

The Telegraph (8/9/13) reports:  “David Cameron’s plans to kick-start shale gas fracking faced a fresh setback after the environmental regulator said energy companies could face a six month wait to secure permits despite a government pledge to cut the process to less than a fortnight. In a development that will be welcomed by those concerned about shale gas, the Environment Agency (EA) said the ‘current level of public interest’ in fracking meant that the permitting process was likely to be extended to allow for more consultation. In June, the Treasury pledged the government would take a series of measures ‘designed to kick start the shale gas industry in the UK’ including plans for the EA to ‘significantly reduce the time it takes to obtain environmental permits for exploration’. It said the EA would ensure shale gas permits which currently take a varying length of time would be issued within a “standard 13 week period” by September and then “within 1-2 weeks” by February.”

How many of the assumptions underlying the environmentalist view of the world depend on global warming and scarcity? What are they going to do when both are discredited?

Climate Depot (8/9/13) reports: “Another major European media outlet is asking: Where’s the global warming? Moreover, they are featuring prominent skeptic scientists who are warning of a potential little ice age and dismissing CO2 as a major climate driver. And all of this just before the release of the IPCC’s 5AR, no less! The August 7 print edition of the Danish Jyllands-Posten, the famous daily that published the ‘Muhammad caricatures’, features a full 2-page article bearing the headline: ‘The behavior of the sun may trigger a new little ice age’ followed by the sub-headline: ‘Defying all predictions, the globe may be on the road towards a new little ice age with much colder winters.’ So now even the once very green Danish media is now spreading the seeds of doubt. So quickly can ‘settled science’ become controversial and hotly disputed. The climate debate is far from over. And when it does end, it looks increasingly as if it’ll end in favor of the skeptics. The JP writes that “many will be startled” by the news that a little ice age is a real possibility. Indeed, western citizens have been conditioned to think that nothing except warming is possible. Few have prepared for any other possibility. In its latest 2-page report, the JP now appears to tell its readers that our views on climate science have to be much more open minded and unshackled from the chains of dogmatism.”

The ethanol industry complains of monopoly persecution, but when you talk to customers, they’ve got a very different perspective on monopolies and mandates.

The Star News Online (8/11/13) reports: “For most folks, it’s the price of gasoline that matters. But for a vocal minority, it’s what’s in the gasoline that really matters. Or, to be more precise, what isn’t – specifically ethanol. Several years ago, Musa Agil looked to capitalize on that demand and make his mark in the Wilmington market by starting to sell ethanol-free gasoline at his pair of independent gas stations – Wrightsville Country Store and Masonboro Country Store…Six years later, Agil has a loyal customer base that drives from as far away as southern Brunswick County to fill the tanks of their cars, boats, motorcycles and lawn equipment with his ethanol-free fuels – which he now sells in three grades. The gasoline is a hot seller even though it can cost 30 to 40 cents more per gallon than the fuels that are blended with ethanol.”

The Journal mischaracterizes these people. Most of them are really lobbyists for companies, trade associations, or law firms with interests and issues before the Commission. They want to make sure that the new boss likes them. In short, they are part of the problem.

The Wall Street Journal (8/8/13) reports: “As former commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, we object to your July 30 editorial ‘Ron Binz’s Rules for Radicals’ criticizing Ron Binz, the president’s nominee to chair the FERC, and implying that the FERC is pursuing an agenda unconstrained by law or national policy. Mr. Binz is criticized for helping draft, at his governor’s request, provisions of new utility legislation in Colorado. The law requires utilities to submit regulatory plans so that coal plants comply with expected Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Mr. Binz’s commission implemented the law, issuing a balanced decision that closed older, heavier-emitting coal plants while outfitting newer coal plants with emissions controls.”

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