Global Warming-Energy-Environment

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IER Response to EPA’s Clean Power Plan Repeal Proposal

WASHINGTON — Institute for Energy Research President Thomas Pyle has issued the following statement regarding EPA’s proposed repeal of its existing source rule, commonly known as the Clean Power Plan, in accordance with President Trump’s energy independence executive order:

“The Clean Power Plan was never about clean power. The nation’s electricity generation fleet is already very clean and getting cleaner—as shown by the nearly 70-percent reduction in criteria pollutants since 1970. The plan was really about instituting more federal control over a dispersed system and driving up the cost of reliable electricity in line with the previous administration’s climate ideology. The result would have been residents in more than 40 states experiencing double-digit percentage increases in their electricity rates by 2030. For that reason, we preferred to call it the Creating Poverty Plan.

“Beyond its implications in terms of dollars and cents, the plan wasn’t cooperative federalism as EPA claimed, but coercive federalism and a misapplication of the Clean Air Act. It extended EPA power in unprecedented ways and marked a clear deviation from the agency’s traditional role. IER commends EPA for its decision to rescind this harmful rule. This is a major victory for American families because it enables all of us to continue reaping the benefits of the affordable energy we need to power our lives and grow the economy.”


By Institute for Energy Research - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - Full Story

The “Amazon Effect” Is Coming To Oil Markets

While OPEC mulls over further steps to once again support falling oil prices, tech startups are quietly ushering in a new era in oil and gas: the era of the digital oil field.

Much talk has revolved around how software can completely transform the energy industry, but until recently, it was just talk. Now, things are beginning to change, and some observers, such as Cottonwood Venture Partners’ Mark P. Mills, believe we are on the verge of an oil industry transformation of proportions identical to the transformation that Amazon prompted in retail.

By --Irina Slav- Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - Full Story

Wood Burning Pollution

The use of wood for electricity generation and heat in modern technologies has grown rapidly in recent years. For its supporters, it represents a relatively cheap and flexible way of supplying renewable energy with benefits to global climate and to forest industries. For its critics, Duncan Brack adds this important observation, “Overall while some instances of biomass energy use may result in lower life-cycle emissions than fossil fuels, in most circumstances, comparing technologies of similar ages, the use of woody biomass for energy will release higher levels of emissions than coal and considerably higher levels than gas.” 1

By Jack Dini - Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - Full Story

Politicized sustainability threatens planet and people

Sustainability (sustainable development) is one of the hottest trends on college campuses, in the news media, in corporate boardrooms and with regulators. There are three different versions.

Real Sustainability involves thoughtful, caring, responsible, economical stewardship and conservation of land, water, energy, metallic, forest, wildlife and other natural resources. Responsible businesses, families and communities practice this kind of sustainability every day: polluting less, recycling where it makes sense, and using less energy, water and raw materials to manufacture the products we need.

By Paul Driessen - Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Full Story

Can Mali Maintain Its Gold Mining Status?

Mali’s gold exports are falling, and new discoveries aren’t enough to make up for the loss of its giant legacy mines, where production is already dead or winding down, and the fate of one of the biggest of them all—Sadiola—now hangs in the balance.

The world-class Sadiola gold mine needs an investment of $380 million to keep it open for another 10 years, accessing 3.4 million ounces in reserves.

By -- Joao Peixe- Friday, October 6, 2017 - Full Story

Hockey Stick Revisited

The hockey stick is the nickname given to a temperature graph that became the central icon of the 2001 publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It purported to show that temperature had been roughly stable from the year 1000 AD until the 20th century—after which it began to shoot up dramatically. The flattish part of the line reminded people of the long handle of an ice hockey stick at rest, while the uptick resembled the blade, reports Donna Laframboise. 1

The 2001 graph profoundly influenced world energy and environmental policies. It has appeared in a variety of government documents and featured prominently in the documentary film version of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

By Jack Dini - Friday, October 6, 2017 - Full Story

UN Head Offers Misleading Data on Hurricanes and Climate Change

The United Nations is manipulating statistics to try and prove a causal relationship between the reported increase in carbon dioxide concentrations and the purported increase in extreme hurricane events over the last several decades, focusing in particular on the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. “Over the past 30 years, the number of annual weather-related disasters has nearly tripled, and economic losses have quintupled,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at a press briefing on Wednesday. To “prove” his point, graphs were distributed to reporters that show carbon dioxide concentration levels and ocean temperatures rising since 1960, together with an increase in the number of meteorological natural disasters. “Scientists are learning more and more about the links between climate change and extreme weather,” the Secretary General added. He then predictably called for “countries to implement the Paris Agreement [on climate change], and with greater ambition.”

By Joseph A. Klein - Friday, October 6, 2017 - Full Story

The United States Needs to Maintain Its Existing Electricity Sources

A recent study by analytics firm IHS Markit and co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows the importance of our current mix of coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy generating capacity. The report, ‘Ensuring Resilient and Efficient Electricity Generation, found that the current mix of electricity resources is saving our nation $114 billion annually in electricity costs, lowering the cost of electricity by 27 percent. Without significant contributions from nuclear and coal generation, the study found that the price of electricity would increase and the higher prices could lead to the loss of 1 million jobs, the loss of $158 billion to our economy within 3 years and the loss of up to $845 in disposable income for every U.S. household each year.

By Institute for Energy Research - Thursday, October 5, 2017 - Full Story

New York’s Clean Energy Standard: Costly and Ineffective

A recent report evaluated New York State’s clean energy programs and found them costing the state’s consumers and businesses over $1 trillion with no measurable impact on world climate.1 Thus, the carbon dioxide reductions that would cost the state’s residents heavily would have no value. This is nothing new; New York finds numerous ways to tax its people with little benefit to show for it.

By Institute for Energy Research - Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Full Story

The Next Big Offshore Boom Is About To Happen Here

Say what you will about offshore oil and gas exploration, but it’s still alive and kicking—high production costs and all. The latest demonstration of the viability of deepwater projects, even in the post-2014 oil industry era, comes from none other than Brazil.

On Wednesday, the country’s National Petroleum Agency put 287 oil and gas blocks up for auction, and only 37 found buyers. Too few, it might seem at first. But the proceeds came in at more than US$1.2 billion—a hefty share of this pledged by heavyweight Exxon. The NPA’s expectations for the proceeds were much more modest, at $157 million.

By -- Irina Slav- Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Full Story

EPA endangerment finding endangers USA

Nine years ago, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency issued an “Endangerment Finding.” It claimed that methane leaks from natural gas production and pipelines, and manmade carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, cause dangerous global warming that poses an imminent danger to the health and wellbeing of Americans. However, the Finding was based on computerized climate models that couldn’t even successfully hind-cast the weather we’d had over the past century—much less forecast Earth’s climate 100 years into the future. In fact, Earth’s climate has changed frequently, often abruptly.

EPA essentially asserted that the 80% of our energy that comes from coal, oil and natural gas caused all our planet’s recent warming and any more warming is a long-term threat. Obama’s team thus bet in 2009 that Earth’s warming from 1976-98 would continue. But it didn’t. Never mind all those recent NOAA and NASA claims that 2016 was our “hottest year” ever. Satellites are our most honest indicator, and they say our planet’s temperature has risen an insignificant 0.02 degrees C (0.04 degrees F) since 1998.

By Dennis Avery - Monday, October 2, 2017 - Full Story

No Need for a Carbon Tax in Any Tax Reform Plan

Although there is no mention of a carbon tax in the recently released GOP blueprint for tax reform, there had been the familiar chatter of a “grand bargain” wherein Democrats get a carbon tax and Republicans get corporate income tax relief. For example, Edward Kleinbard wrote such an article for the Wall Street Journal earlier in the week.

Because this issue will no doubt continue resurfacing, it’s important to expose the flaws in Kleinbard’s case. He simply ignores the political impossibility of his proposal: why would Democrats agree to a massive new tax falling on poor people, in order to fund tax cuts for corporations? Furthermore, why do we need a “revenue neutral” tax reform plan? As I’ll show, federal spending and taxation are both at relatively high levels, historically speaking. If policymakers want to reduce the deficit, they should trim their budgets, not enact a massive new tax on energy and transportation.

By Institute for Energy Research - Saturday, September 30, 2017 - Full Story

The Jones Act: Distorting American Energy Markets Since 1920

One notable consequence of this hurricane season has been the renewed interest in the controversial Jones Act. Enacted in 1920, it mandates that only vessels that are built, owned, crewed, and flagged in the United States can participate in maritime shipping between domestic ports. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended the controversial law in order to increase the supply of refined fuel to areas affected by the storms. Yesterday, President Trump also waived Jones Act shipping restrictions to Puerto Rico as they were holding back response efforts to Hurricane Maria. The temporary suspension of the legislation is noteworthy because one of the stated purposes of the Jones Act is to better prepare the country for natural disasters. Waiving these provisions in the wake of these recent hurricanes is an admission that the legislation actually hinders disaster relief by limiting the supply of ships that can legally be used to transport goods between American ports.

By Institute for Energy Research - Saturday, September 30, 2017 - Full Story

Trump’s Solar Tariff Confusion Creates An Opportunity

The solar sector is reeling from confusion, and stock prices are reeling right along with it. The time it has taken investors and traders to wrap their heads around Trump’s industry tariffs and the pyrrhic victory of two solar companies in a case against cheap Chinese imports has seen stocks rally in a big way, and then fall just as hard.

When the International Trade Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs Suniva and SolarWorld in their case against cheap Chinese solar module and cell imports, reactions were polarized: the U.S. solar industry was outraged—as it had been for most of the duration of the court investigation—and investors, apparently, were extremely upbeat for the future of this same outraged industry, sending solar stocks sky-high.

By -- Irina Slav- Saturday, September 30, 2017 - Full Story

Hurricanes not the result of climate change

A view of His Majesty’s Ship Thisbe, Charles Dudley Parker Esq. Commander at sea in a Hurricane on the 23rd August 1798 in Latitude 44: 00 N & Longd 44: 00 West, by A. Hodge Second Lieutenant

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Thursday shows that 55% of Americans think that the severity of recent hurricanes is most likely “the result of global climate change.” That people believe this is not surprising—we are told over and over: man-made global warming has made the Gulf of Mexico warmer and the air more humid thereby making tropical cyclones—called hurricanes in the North Atlantic—more frequent and more intense. ‘We must reduce our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to lessen the increasing hurricane threat,’ they claim.

But this is completely wrong. Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville explains that “major hurricanes don’t really care whether the Gulf [of Mexico] is above average or below average in temperature.” Similarly, M. Mohapatra and V. Vijay Kumar of the India Meteorological Department state in their March 2017 research paper, “there is a decreasing trend in the tropical cyclone number over the North Indian Ocean in recent years, though there is an increasing trend in the sea surface temperature…”

By Guest Column -- Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar and Tom Harris- Friday, September 29, 2017 - Full Story

​What natural disasters should teach us

I express my deepest sympathies to the people in the Caribbean and United States who have been impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The loss of life was tragic but has thankfully been much lower than in many previous storms. Buildings are stronger, people get warned in time to get out, and they have vehicles to get to safer places until the storms pass.

I also send my sincere sympathies to my fellow Ugandans who have been affected by terrible landslides in eastern Uganda, near Kenya. Natural disasters often strike us hard. Sometimes it is long droughts that dry up our crops and kill many cattle. This year it is torrential rains and landslides.

By Steven Lyazi - Friday, September 29, 2017 - Full Story

Olive mill wastewater transformed: From pollutant to bio-fertilizer, biofuel

Olive oil has long been a popular kitchen staple. Yet producing the oil creates a vast stream of wastewater that can foul waterways, reduce soil fertility and trigger extensive damage to nearby ecosystems. Now in a study appearing in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, scientists report on the development of an environmentally friendly process that could transform this pollutant into “green” biofuel, bio-fertilizer and safe water for use in agricultural irrigation.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - Full Story

The Oracle of Apollo

In former times, it was thought to be prudent to consult with the purveyors of advice and wisdom prior to major undertakings, such as starting big wars.

One of the most important oracle “institutions” in ancient times was the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, Greece. It swayed much oracular power for nearly one thousand years, lasting well into the times of the Roman Empire after Greece lost its former status as the leading “world power” of the Mediterranean area.

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Monday, September 25, 2017 - Full Story

Renewables and Electricity Prices

Wind energy is ‘free’ but countries with the most wind power are also the most likely to get to the top of the Prize Pool for exorbitant electricity prices. It’s not even close. South Australian households pay the highest power prices in the world at 47.13 cents per kilowatt hour, more than Germany, Denmark and Italy, countries also noted for high ‘free’ wind energy concentration reports Joanne Nova. (1)
The US pays 15.75 cents per kilowatt hour.

Could there be a message here?

By Jack Dini - Monday, September 25, 2017 - Full Story

Now it’s a war on pipelines

The radical environmentalist war on fossil fuels has opened a new front: a war on pipelines.

For years, activist zealots claimed the world was rapidly depleting its oil and natural gas supplies. The fracking revolution (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) obliterated that argument, by sending US oil and gas production to new heights. Indeed, it was record gas supplies and plummeting gas prices, combined with the Obama EPA war on coal, that closed down so many coal-fired power plants.

By Paul Driessen - Sunday, September 24, 2017 - Full Story