What happens when you put ignoramuses in charge of a government
President Barack Obama's climate czar said Sunday the Environmental Protection Agency will soon issue a rule on the regulation of carbon dioxide, finding that it represents a danger to the public. The White House is pressing Congress to draft and pass legislation that would cut greenhouse gases by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, threatening to use authority under the Clean Air Act if legislators don't move fast enough or create strong enough provisions.
Carol Browner, Obama's special advisor on climate change and energy, also said the administration is seeking to establish a national standard for auto emissions that could mean tougher efficiency mandates for auto makers. The new standard could be fashioned after strict proposals developed in California that would limit greenhouse gas emissions - initiatives that car makers have vigorously fought. The comments - the first by the administration on the topic - could lead to another blow for beleaguered car companies such as General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) that are already tottering.
"EPA's going to look at Mass. Vs. EPA and will make an endangerment finding," Browner told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. The Supreme Court ordered the EPA in the Mass. Vs. EPA case to determine if carbon dioxide endangered public health or welfare. "The next step is a notice of proposed rulemaking" for new regulations on CO2 emissions, Browner said on the sidelines of the National Governors Association meeting, one of her first public appearances since the inauguration.
Browner declined to say exactly when the EPA would issue the finding or rulemaking, but EPA chief Lisa Jackson has indicated it could be on April 2, the anniversary of Mass Vs. EPA. Obama EPA chief Lisa Jackson said earlier in the month that her office would soon begin drafting rules for regulating CO2. The agency has been intensely reviewing and updating an existing endangerment finding made last year by agency officials - but blocked by the previous administration - that found carbon dioxide threatened human welfare.
Officially recognizing that carbon dioxide is a danger to the public would trigger regulation of the greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, refineries, chemical plants, cement firms, vehicles and any other emitting sectors across the economy. Industry fears it could shut down the economy, not only preventing plants from operating and spurring a dramatic retooling of the energy sector but also pushing up costs and hurting the international competitiveness for a raft of sectors. Environmentalists, meanwhile, say action by the administration is required by law and need to pressure lawmakers to act.
But Browner said the administration prefers that Congress draft legislation rather than CO2 to be regulated under the Clean Air Act because lawmakers could develop a bill that could more deftly regulate the greenhouse gas through a cap- and-trade system. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday he aims to pass a climate change bill by the end of the summer, and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., head of the panel responsible for drafting a CO2 bill, said he wanted a bill approved by the Memorial Day holiday in May.
Browner also declined to say what the administration's target date for Congress to pass a climate bill before accelerating the Clean Air Act rulemaking, but she called Waxman's schedule an "aggressive" one. "In the next several weeks we will begin to see the shape of legislation...( and) we will work with Congress as they shape it," she later told a group of Western Governors.
The climate czar dismissed critics of fast, stringent climate change laws who have said that the existing financial crisis would only be exacerbated by putting a premium on emitting carbon dioxide. She said businesses hoping to invest in CO2 mitigation projects needed more certain policy signals to plow cash into projects and companies, and that the rulemaking process would create a buffer for action and compliance.
Critics of putting an expensive premium on carbon say that such a schedule may be overly optimistic given the global financial crisis and the ramifications that putting a cap on greenhouse gases would have across nearly every sector of the economy. Tough action too fast, they say, not only could curb manufacturing and create an energy crisis by halting new power plant construction, but also could force a rapid migration of businesses overseas to cheaper energy climes.
Specifically, Obama wants an economy-wide law - instead of just some major emitting sectors - and to auction off 100% of the emission credits, which analysts say could exponentially increase the cost of emitting, as well as the pay-off for low-carbon projects.
Browner also said the administration had directed the EPA and the Department of Transportation to develop a national policy for auto emissions. The DOT is currently developing new auto efficiency standards, but the White House and the EPA are currently considering a request from California to implement their own much stricter standards, which consider greenhouse gas emissions rather than just fuel efficiency and are likely to be followed in a more that a dozen other states. The administration could seek to implement the California standards or a negotiated version of them across the country, however, Browner indicated. "We need a unified national policy when it comes to clean vehicles," Browner told the governors, adding that the Department of Transportation and EPA needed to cooperate and determine the impact of both conventional pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and give auto makers the time and policy direction necessary to re-tool their plants. "Both agencies have to meet their responsibilities...we're just trying to figure out how do you do it in a way that the car companies have a clear ( mandate)," Browner told reporters after the event.
Car makers have expressed concern not only about the costs of meeting the tough new standards, but also having to make cars that have to meet two different mandates.
Separately, Browner said the administration was also going to create an inter-agency task force to site a new national electricity transmission grid to meet both growing demand and the President's planned renewable energy expansion. Siting has been a major bottleneck to renewable growth, and lawmakers and administration officials have said they're likely to seek greater federal powers that would give expanded eminent domain authorities.
Some comments on the above from various sources:
1). What's tragic is that we're heading into carbon rationing for no justifiable pretext at ALL. This isn't food or fuel or anything that has obvious value. It's a trace gas. Right now you're inhaling 24 times more ARGON than carbon dioxide, for crying out loud. Ration this trace gas and neither the atmosphere nor global temperatures will know the difference. But people will starve and die and millions will live in misery. For what? For what?
2). Such a decision is irrational and misguided ipso facto, in addition to being economically devastating. Let alone that there is no evidence of CO2 causing global warming, there's no evidence that the increasing amount is principally ours.
3). Since this decision was signaled during the campaign, then after Obama's election, then by appointing Browner and the others, it would seem likely that the markets have already taken it into account and declined accordingly. But perhaps not: even the savviest investors have had a lot of news to take into account; and the potential effects of regulating CO2 under the Clean Air Act are complex and uncertain. It may thus be the case that as the reality approaches and becomes clearer, the stock market will make a major correction downward. A 7000 Dow Industrials may look very good in a few months. As Chris Horner has suggested to CEI's global warming team, we should be out front explaining over and over that this is going to cause enormous fundamental economic damage. The economy cannot recover on the basis of permanent energy-rationing regulations. The medicine they seem eager to give us will force us to live at a lower level of economic activity for as long as the energy diet lasts.
4). 94% of the carbon in the atmosphere has the same isotopic signature as the natural background.
6% signals an organic origin, fossil fuels included.
3% is what the IPCC itself says man is contributing.
Yet all the talk is about amputating the human fraction while no one is willing to mention what a small fraction it is. I'm afraid that if this hysteria does succeed, it will be because it wasn't fundamentally opposed.
Stop the CO2 Madness!
When The New York Times publishes a story, as it did on February 19, regarding the next step in the Obama administration's intention to destroy the U.S. economy, it's a very good idea to pay attention.
"E.P.A. Expected to Regulate Carbon Dioxide" was the headline of John M. Broder's article. "The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to act for the first time to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists blame for the warming of the planet, according to top Obama administration officials."
Those "top Obama administration officials" are unnamed and so too are the "scientists" claiming that the planet is "warming." For the record, although you will never read this in The New York Times, the planet is NOT warming. It is COOLING. It has been cooling for a decade now and it is no secret to meteorologists who track the day to day temperatures or climatologists who study long term trends.
On March 8-10, more than 500 of those scientists who dispute the vast global warming hoax will meet in New York for a second international conference on climate change sponsored by The Heartland Institute, a non-profit, free market think tank.
Joining those scientists and others will be Vaclav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic and current president of the European Union. Also participating will be American astronaut, Dr. Jack Schmitt, Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other leading scientists who have led the effort to shed the light of truth on the global warming hoax.
You can be sure of one thing. They will all continue to be attacked as crazies denying the "consensus" that Al Gore is always braying about. Science is not about "consensus", it is about reproducible facts. All the "facts" about melting glaciers, dramatically rising sea levels, and other claims by the GW crowd have been refuted.
The claims of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the basis for the Kyoto Protocols to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have been demolished repeatedly but the mainstream press refuses to report this, nor the fact that the IPCC is a political, not scientific, entity designed to advance the global warming hoax. Many of the scientists initially enticed to participate have since resigned. The vast bulk, easily 80% or more of those cited as IPCC members are not scientists who deal with issues of climate.
The IPCC's claims have been based entirely on computer models. This in itself should have raised flags long ago. These models, as Hans Schreuder, an analytical chemist, has pointed out, "regard the earth as a flat disk bathed in a constant 24 hour haze of sunlight, without north and south poles, without clouds, and without any relationship to the real planet we live on."
The claim that rising levels of carbon dioxide are responsible for a global warming that is not happening is entirely without scientific merit and, if for no other reason, should not be the basis for implementing EPA regulation of so-called "greenhouse gas" emissions under the Clean Air Act.
While it is true that there has been an increase in CO2 since the end of the last mini-ice age that lasted from 1500 to 1850, there is no research that demonstrates CO2 and an increase in the Earth's temperature has any relationship. What warming occurred was entirely natural. Indeed, CO2, at less than 400 parts per million by volume, cannot influence atmospheric temperature or climate in any measurable way.
CO2 represents just 0.038% of the Earth's atmosphere. The dominant factors in the Earth overall temperature are the Sun, the oceans, and even clouds.
If the U.S. weather service climate models are unable to predict changes in the weather by more than a week's time, why would anyone believe that the IPCC's models could predict it twenty, fifty or a hundred years from now?
Despite this, the EPA is tasked to impose regulations on CO2 emissions that would wreck the economy by requiring a "cap-and-trade" of "carbon credits" that would impact every single business and industrial activity. The European Union tried this and it has proved a massive failure and a huge drag on its economy.
Carbon dioxide is not a "pollutant" as the Supreme Court has ruled. How can the Earth's second most vital gas, other than oxygen, be a pollutant? Not one single piece of vegetation on Earth could exist without CO2. Without vegetation, no animal life including our own could exist on Earth.
The notion that the EPA would regulate it is preposterous. It is absurd. It is criminal. It is immoral. It has no basis whatever in the actual science of the world's climate. It is based on a massive, global hoax masterminded by the United Nations and carried out by charlatans such as Al Gore and NASA's James Hansen.
It is, however, the vehicle for the political control of the world's economy that would fulfill the United Nation's global government schemes and, if enacted here in America, would mark the destruction of an economy that is the engine of the world's economy, despite its current difficulties.
The Earth has existed for 4.5 billion years. The assertion that human beings and/or industrial activity have any effect on its atmosphere is an instrument of fascism.
Wind jobs vs coal jobs revealed to be 'bogus comparison'?
Yesterday's FT had a largely forgettable op-ed by Al Gore and Ban Ki-Moon on green aspects of economic stimulus packages. However, it did have this interesting statement that caught my attention:
In the US, there are now more jobs in the wind industry than in the entire coal industry.
First, is this in fact true? Second, if it is true, how can it be that wind can ever be cost competitive with coal? Consider that coal, according to the US EIA was responsible for generating 155,000 thousand megawatt-hours of energy production in November, 2008. Wind was responsible for 1,300 thousand megawatt hours. This means that the US saw about 120 times as much energy produced from coal as wind. If it takes more employees to generate 0.8% of the energy as coal produces, how can it ever be cost competitive?
Something does not add up. Someone please explain this.
OK, a diligent reader writes in with the explanation:
Gore and Moon are using misleading, bogus information, as documented by the Christian Science Monitor. Here is an excerpt from the CSM:
Earlier this week, Fortune's eco-blog, Green Wombat, ran a story under the headline, "Wind jobs outstrip the coal industry." Blogger Todd Woody cites new report from the American Wind Energy Association that about 85,000 people are now employed by the wind power industry, up from 50,000 a year ago. Mr. Woody then says that "the coal industry employs about 81,000 workers," citing a 2007 report from the Department of Energy. Woody calls this comparison "a talking point in the green jobs debate."
The story was republished on the Huffington Post, cited by Mother Jones magazine, and has been bouncing around the green blogosphere for the past few days. But it's a bogus comparison. According to the wind energy report, those 85,000 jobs in wind power are as "varied as turbine component manufacturing, construction and installation of wind turbines, wind turbine operations and maintenance, legal and marketing services, and more." The 81,000 coal jobs counted by the Department of Energy are only miners. Their figure excludes those who haul the coal around the country, as well as those who work in coal power plants.
It is a good thing that it is not true, as the CSM write, "If it really took that many people to provide so little wind energy, it would never become competitive with fossil fuels."