In the Pipeline: 8/14/13

Watch as the RFS advocates come crawling to Washington and beg them to prop up their industry by forcing you to buy their product. 

Fox News (8/13/13) reports “Only in Washington can an expensive, unnecessary regulation be considered common sense. The Obama administration is digging in its heels when it comes to repealing harmful energy regulations that increase consumer costs with little benefit to the environment. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a classic example of hugely misguided energy policy, but to the Obama administration and its environmentalist allies, the RFS is a beneficial regulation aimed at curbing emissions and safeguarding against climate change.What they don’t say, but mean, is that it artificially drives up the cost of gasoline and when that happens, people can’t afford to drive as much. Remember how energy prices need to ‘skyrocket?’ Well, they are. ‘The backbone of our policy is the Renewable Fuel Standard,’ said top Obama energy adviser Heather Zichal at an event last week, adding that ‘calls to repeal the standard are nothing but shortsighted.’”

Elon Musk, having mastered the art of the federal fleece, now sets his sights on California taxpayers. Those high speed rail rent seekers better not underestimate this guy, or they just might lose their gravy train.

Business Week (8/13/13) reports: “‘L.A. to S.F. in 30 minutes?’ the front page of the Los Angeles Times asked this morning, reporting on the promise of Hyperloop, the conceptual superfast, solar-powered, tubular transit system that Elon Musk unveiled yesterday. The news came just a day after another L.A. Times piece about the potential of speedy travel up and down California, that one titled: ‘Shovel-ready bullet train construction delayed again.’ As the blog Curbed Los Angeles put it, ‘Nice timing, Musk.’ The contrast between Musk’s futuristic option for bridging Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and the much-delayed, over-budget, fast train that the state already has in the works, couldn’t have seemed starker or more striking. And that’s the point.”

At least she recognizes it’s much harder to be carbon neutral than just buying the next toy with a pretty green leaf on it.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (8/7/13) reports: “The dynapod appeals to conservation-minded people in the same way that wind turbines and biofuel-powered cars and hand-cranked radios do: They’re hard, shiny machines that purport to produce “free” energy. Not just free in terms of cost and independence (because you no longer have to pay a big, bad corporation for electricity or gasoline), but also free from guilt. Because you’re not polluting the air, right? Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. Before you even climb aboard your dynapod or generate your first watt of green energy, you’ve already stomped another carbon footprint into the sands of time through the manufacturing process. And until the energy embodied in machines, vehicles, buildings, gadgets, food, clothing, and other consumer purchases comes to be understood as part of total energy consumption, people can’t make well-reasoned choices about how to reduce their climate impact.”

Wait, you’re telling me the scientists could make conclusions based on flawed premises?

Forbes (8/13/13) reports: “Perseveration on global warming naturally inclines one to seek out other areas of  “science” where things aren’t exactly what they so obviously are, which brings me to the remarkable work of the most important toxicological scientist you have never heard of,  Dr. Ed Calabrese of the University of Massachusetts. His work, painstaking and seemingly obscure, is upsetting just about everything we ‘know’ about cancer and other illnesses commonly associated with environmental ‘pollutants.’ If taken to its logical conclusion, it could derail much of Washington’s regulatory bureaucracy, particularly the EPA’s. Not that this is going to happen overnight, but as Calabrese’s work is increasingly accepted (as has been happening in recent years), the current regulatory paradigm will be forced to adjust.”

Hear that popping noise? That’s Harry Reid’s head exploding.

The Associated Press (8/13/13)reports: “In a rebuke to the Obama administration, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been violating federal law by delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada. By a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the commission to complete the licensing process and approve or reject the Energy Department’s application for a never-completed waste storage site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.”

This just in: the science is settled.

E&E News (8/13/13) reports: “Scientists know that the Greenland ice sheet is contributing to rising sea levels, but many of the details about how its ice is driving drastic change remain a mystery. A new study aims to fill in a piece of the puzzle by concluding that the gliding of ice on meltwater that has seeped through to bedrock is not a significant factor with sea-level rise. The research dampens a long-held fear by questioning a hypothesis that Greenland’s surface meltwater — flowing through well-like holes to the ground — allows ice to rapidly ride on it like a water slide to the sea. While the gliding of ice from sunken meltwater is happening and is changing the character of Greenland’s ice in general, the lubrication dynamic will only contribute about 8 millimeters of sea-level rise through 2200 under a worst-case scenario. That would be no more than 5 percent of the estimated contribution from Greenland’s ice sheet as a whole, according to the study published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ‘If we’re right [Greenland’s slippery slopes] are not as slippery — and therefore as worrying — as we first thought,’ Tamsin Edwards, a co-author of the study and a scientist at the University of Bristol, said in a blog post.”

You remember Cathy Zoi. She’s the one who ordered the NREL hit piece on our good friend Gabriel Calzada. It looks like she is more successful talking about green jobs than creating them. We wish her luck.

Greentech Media (8/12/13) reports: “Cathy Zoi is no longer the Chief Strategy Officer at Tom Siebel’s C3 Energy. Insiders have informed Greentech that she has left the firm. C3 management has not responded to inquiries, but C3’s front desk confirms the departure.  As Jeff St. John reported, ‘C3 Energy, the Silicon Valley startup founded by software billionaire Tom Siebel, has quietly been building on an audacious promise: a big data integration and analytics engine, hosted in the cloud, that can aggregate and put to use all of the world’s information, practically speaking, as it pertains to the complexities of big energy systems.’ Zoi joined the utility data analytics firm after a short stint at investment firm Silver Lake Kraftwerk. Zoi has not responded to our inquiries as to why she has left the firm.”


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