Friday, September 30, 2011

Environmentalists Lose Bid to Preemptively Prevent American Energy Independence

Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth delivered a major blow to the environmental activists who have been using regulations lawsuits and billions of dollars to prevent the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska from helping to provide American energy independence. Judge Aarseth handed down a 154-page ruling in favor of Alaska in the most recent lawsuit aimed at preventing the Pebble Mine Project from even being able to begin the permit process.



Pebble Mine is one of the largest copper deposits in the world. It is in the United States and could release us from our dependence on buying copper from China, which provides 97% of the copper used in the world.

The environmentalist have argued that the Pebble Mine MIGHT impact salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, even though the mine is over 200 miles north of the area.

The judge ruled that evidence “did not support the plaintiffs’ claims that mineral exploration activities in the Pebble Project area were significantly impacting or causing long term harm to concurrent uses.” In his ruling, Judge Aarseth wrote:
“…[T]here is no evidence that Pebble’s exploration activities are now causing or will in the future cause permanent and deleterious changes to the environment. Indeed, Plaintiffs have failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that any long-term and harmful environmental impacts have actually occurred or necessarily will occur at the project site or surrounding environment.

The evidence shows that more than 20 years after minerals were first discovered at Pebble, the site continues to have pristine water and support wildlife and fisheries resources. The harms that Plaintiffs’ witnesses describe are speculative; they are neither harms occurring in fact nor did they show that the harm will necessarily occur.”

In other words, the environmentalists hysterical claims are hogwash.

While this ruling is a significant win for the goal of American energy Independence, it is not the end of the issue. Environmental groups have aggressively fought the Pebble Mine Project for years. This particular lawsuit has been ongoing since 2009. Since Judge Aarseth’s ruling, they say they are taking the case to the Supreme Court.

In order to keep this positive momentum going we must make sure we stay attentive and make sure that our voices continue to get heard. Big green has big bucks and are on a mission to stop the U.S. from extracting the copper in Southwest Alaska. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has attempted to preemptively prevent the permit process from moving forward. Federal agencies such as The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have used regulations to stall the Pebble Mine Project from even beginning the permit process for years.

The environmentalists are keeping a close watch on the Twitter hash-tag #GivePebbleAChance and using that to troll sites that refer to this project and leave cut and paste comments promoting their propaganda that has no foundation in scientific evidence.

SOURCE





Most interesting: Temperature rises and falls now "unpredictable"

Is this the new Greenie version of the global warming scare? First they abandoned "global warming" in favour of "climate change". Will it now be "climate unpredictability". I hope it is because that will mean that they have finally got it right

As the climate heats up, scientists expect all sorts of animals to move to cooler places. But that may be easier said than done.

When researchers mapped out the escape routes that a variety of amphibians would need to take in the coming decades to adapt to changing climate conditions, they uncovered some serious trouble.

Because of unpredictable rises and dips in temperature, many salamanders, frogs and newts will get stuck in unfavorable conditions along their travels -- enough to threaten their survival.

The findings are likely to apply not just to amphibians, but also to insects and other types of animals as well as plants. The study adds fire to a longstanding debate among conservation biologists and wildlife managers.

Some experts argue that threatened species need to be bred in captivity or that animals should be moved to places that will foster their survival. Others cite infamous examples like the invasive cane toad in Australia and argue that introducing species to new environments is simply a recipe for disaster.
hackers

"What conservationists have been planning for some time is that we might be able to use green habitat corridors so species can jump from place to place quite easily," said Regan Early, a climate change ecologist at the University of √Čvora, in Portugal. "We're finding it isn't going to be that simple. If we put corridors in place, we are going to have to do a lot of work to help species along."

More HERE




The Fascist Al Gore

As usual his only argument is the mythical consensus. He mentions not a single scientific fact but relies on authority. And now he doesn't like democracy either. He likes it only if it does what he wants

Al Gore has warned that there is now clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts that displaced millions of people this year.

Speaking to an audience of business leaders, political leaders including Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond and green energy entrepreneurs in Edinburgh, Gore said the world was at a "fork in the road".

The former US vice-president and climate campaigner also argued that America has suffered a "breakdown in democratic governance", because members of Congress are obsessed with appeasing special interests in return for campaign funding, rather than confronting climate change.

The former vice president and climate campaigner said that US democracy had been undermined. "In the language of computer culture, our democracy has been hacked," he said.

In a near hour-long speech to the Scottish low-carbon investment conference, Gore said the evidence from the floods in Pakistan, China, South Korea and Columbia was so compelling that the case for urgent action by world leaders to combat carbon emissions was now overwhelming, Gore said.

"Observations in the real world make it clear that it's happening now, it's real, it's with us," he said. Failing to take action meant the world would face a catastrophe.

He added that nearly every climate scientist actively publishing on the subject now agreed there was a causal link between carbon emissions and the sharp increase in intense and extreme weather events seen across the globe.

"Every single national academy of science of every major country on earth agrees with the consensus and the one's that don't agree with it do not exist. This is what they say to governments: 'The need for urgent action is now indisputable'.

More HERE

And now for the facts that the GoreFraud ignores. China and Pakistan have been having disastrous floods for as long as they have existed











Much more of the same HERE




Obama's Communist-style central planning

The offense here is government picking industries over consumers. Consider the Obama Energy Department’s extraordinary, ChiComm-like announcement this week that it is pushing ahead with its green five-year plan despite the Solyndra scandal:

“There’s one energy challenge that outweighs all the others in terms of economic, military and ecological importance. We’ve got to kick our reliance on oil. And to do this we’ve got to build a lot of electric cars,” writes the administration."

What’s next? Government plans to build TVs? IPads? Washing machines?

“As a result of this Review, we find that DOE is underinvested in the transportation sector relative to the stationary sector (energy efficiency, grid, and electric power),” continues the directive. “Yet, reliance on oil is the greatest immediate threat to U.S. economic and national security, and also contributes to the long-term threat of climate change. Barack Obama’s energy goals include reducing oil imports by one third by 2025 and putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. The most important role of the DOE is investing in research to develop hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric, and fuel cell vehicles.”

This Gosplan drivel is also a straw man.

Contrary to Obama’s planners, oil is not a national security threat. Our ally Canada, after all, is America’s largest oil exporter. Where countries pose a security threat — Iran, for example — we simply outlaw trade. In fact, if the administration believed its own con, it would be helping develop — rather than hindering — America’s own bountiful domestic reserves of cheap, efficient, job-producing oil in the West and offshore.

But like China, Obama’s central planners are driven by ideological ends. The problem isn’t GM. Take away the governments of China and Obama, and GM would be producing unsubsidized cars that consumers want.

SOURCE




EPA IG Finds Serious Flaws in Centerpiece of Obama Global Warming Agenda

Report calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding

Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today announced that a new government report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals that the scientific assessment underpinning the Obama EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gasses was inadequate and in violation of the Agency’s own peer review procedures.

The IG report released today, “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes,” was requested by Senator Inhofe in an April 7, 2010 letter to the EPA IG. Senator Inhofe asked that the OIG conduct an investigation into whether EPA followed the Data Quality Act and its own peer review procedures—which are designed to ensure that EPA makes decisions according to the best possible science—when it issued its finding that greenhouse gases harm public health and welfare, otherwise known as the endangerment finding. The EPA OIG Report finds that EPA failed in this respect.

“I appreciate the Inspector General conducting a thorough investigation into the Obama-EPA’s handling of the endangerment finding for greenhouse gases," Senator Inhofe said. “This report confirms that the endangerment finding, the very foundation of President Obama’s job-destroying regulatory agenda, was rushed, biased, and flawed. It calls the scientific integrity of EPA’s decision-making process into question and undermines the credibility of the endangerment finding.

“The Inspector General’s investigation uncovered that EPA failed to engage in the required record-keeping process leading up to the endangerment finding decision, and it also did not follow its own peer review procedures to ensure that the science behind the decision was sound. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson readily admitted in 2009 that EPA had outsourced its scientific review to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is an institution whose credibility has already been called into question. Even so, EPA still refused to conduct its own independent review of the science. As the EPA Inspector General found, whatever one thinks of the UN science, the EPA is still required - by its own procedures - to conduct an independent review.

“The endangerment finding is no small matter: global warming regulations imposed by the Obama-EPA under the Clean Air Act will cost American consumers $300 to $400 billion a year, significantly raise energy prices, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is not to mention the ‘absurd result’ that EPA will need to hire 230,000 additional employees and spend an additional $21 billion to implement its greenhouse gas regime. And all of this economic pain is for nothing: as EPA Administrator Jackson also admitted before the EPW committee, these regulations will have no affect on the climate.

“One asks, what happened to Administrator Jackson’s vow in 2009 that the Agency would commit to high standards of transparency because ‘The success of our environmental efforts depends on earning and maintaining the trust of the public we serve’ or Obama Advisor John Holdren’s promise that the Administration would make decisions based on the best possible science because, as the President said, ‘The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions’? Given what has come to light in this repor t, it appears that the Obama EPA cannot be trusted on the most consequential decision the agency has ever made.

“I am calling for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, the committee of jurisdiction over the EPA, to hold immediate hearings to address EPA’s failure to provide the required documentation and have the science impartially reviewed. EPA needs to explain to the American people why it blatantly circumvented its own procedures to make what appears to be a predetermined endangerment finding.”

Specifically, the EPA IG found that EPA neglected to identify from the outset if the endangerment finding Technical Support Document (TSD) was a Highly Influential Scientific Assessment, (HISA) which, under the Office of Budget and Management’s Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review, requires complete record-keeping of all documents leading up to that decision and a thorough review of the science by an impartial panel.

EPA told the OIG that it did not consider the endangerment finding TSD a HISA, but in the course of its investigation, the OIG determined that the endangerment finding TSD was indeed a HISA and therefore EPA should have engaged in a more rigorous process.

The OIG found that EPA could not produce the required records, and because one of the 12 members of the peer review panel for the endangerment finding TSD was also an EPA employee, OIG also found that the required impartiality of the peer review process under the requirements of a HISA was undermined.

More HERE





Mr Garnaut, climate policy should be questioned

By Henry Ergas, commenting from Australia

ROSS Garnaut has an unusual concept of democracy. The Prime Minister goes to the country promising "there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead". Once in office, she then proposes to implement one, with the added twist of making repeal by a future government prohibitively costly. Yet, according to Garnaut, rejection of the government's proposed legislation would amount to a failure of Australian democracy on a historical scale, indeed to "a corruption of democracy" caused by "distortion of reality and abuse of truth".

But then again, Garnaut has insights ordinary mortals are denied. Talk about access all areas. For, as he told the the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation earlier this week, he was assisted, in his work on the US, "by the top advisers to the President: people who report directly to the President of the United States". And how many of the great unwashed have "joined Jiang Zemin in reciting the Gettysburg Address with the fruit at the end of a meal"?

So it is even more striking that Garnaut accepts that in the US "there will be no carbon price nationwide". As for India, "for quite a while, total emissions will increase". And in China too there will be a "large increase" in emissions, albeit less than without any efforts aimed curbing their growth. Moreover, Garnaut recognises, in reducing global emissions, "there is no chance of success unless all substantial countries do their fair share".

All that, one might have thought, suggests abatement by Australia risks being both futile and costly. And that locking the country into the government's carbon scheme is at best dangerous, at worst reckless. Not so, says Garnaut. Rather, to express that concern is a distortion of reality.

Quite how stating the obvious distorts reality, Garnaut does not explain. Nor does he explain where the risks have been assessed, and shown to be worth bearing, of a scheme whose own proponents boast it would be prohibitively costly to unwind. Not that that worries Garnaut. Rather, he asserts, the government's proposal involves "reasonable economic costs".

As best one can tell, that assertion relies on Treasury's modelling. Yet no scientist would accept that modelling. Not because it is necessarily wrong but because the models and data on which it relies is secret, and hence incapable of being tested.

That is bad enough. But it has also become increasingly clear that Treasury's results depend on assumptions that were not adequately disclosed.

Three such assumptions are at the core of Treasury's recent replies to questions I put to them some time back. A first relates to the global framework for carbon emissions. Treasury, in its modelling report, assumed there would be a harmonised, global carbon price by 2016. But how was such a price established? After all, prices don't fall from the sky; rather, they emerge from the interaction of demand and supply in markets. And usually that requires some form of trading. So how was that trading going to occur, given that many key countries did not have, and would not have, any form of carbon pricing in place?

To this, it appears, the answer is as clear as mud. "The modelling does not rely on an assumption that there is a perfectly harmonised global emission trading scheme", Treasury says. But, it now admits, it does assume that even in countries such as the US, there is "some mechanism" that "allows individual firms or governments themselves to trade abatement with other countries". What mechanism? No one knows. Where is the legislation that would put such a mechanism in place? No one knows. And what happens to the assessed costs if there is no such mechanism? Again, no one knows. And since the models and data are not public, nor will they, least of all the hoi polloi who will pay the price.

In short, Treasury has assumed away the problem. Indeed, it has done so even more starkly than in its work on Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme. Then, the base case (against which the costs of the CPRS were assessed) involved a world without abatement targets. This time, however, the modelling starts from the premise that global abatement efforts are in place, even after the commitment period for Cancun pledges ends. So the costs for Australia are only assessed assuming global abatement will occur and persist.

It gets even better. As I suggested on these pages, and at greater length in a post on the Catallaxy website, the modelling involves an extreme assumption: that for all emissions outside Australia (so 98 per cent of emissions worldwide), merely increasing the carbon price costlessly allows emissions reductions, as carbon-saving innovations rain, like manna from heaven, on to carbon emitting processes.

In the Senate Select Committee on Scrutiny of New Taxes, Treasury claimed otherwise, saying the "marginal abatement cost curves" that effect this miracle were "fully costed". Now it accepts my contention was correct. How big an effect would this have? Likely large, as it implies a greater contraction in emissions-intensive industries than Treasury's results suggest. But can we know for sure? Not without the models and the data.

Finally, Treasury constantly repeats the claim that its modelling shows there would be no adverse impact on employment. But it now admits that in the model it uses, it takes employment five to 10 years to recover from a major shock, such as imposing a carbon tax. And here the price rises substantially each year. So how do we get the result that there is no impact on employment? Treasury waves this question away, saying that because employers will foresee carbon price rises, the impacts of continuing increases will be slight. But if anything, the exact opposite is true: because employers will know the price will rise each year, the immediate effects will be far greater than the present modelling suggests.

Extracting even these concessions has been like pulling teeth. Yet it barely scratches the surface of the problems. No wonder Garnaut would rather no questions were asked. And no wonder he feels more comfortable with Jiang than with the local debate.

But silence isn't what Australian democracy is about. Rather, it is about forcing truth from power, however painful that may be. Long may it stay that way.

SOURCE

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1 comment:

slktac said...

I know I have commented in this direction before, but it bears repeating: When National Geographic airs a special on the drought/rain cycles in Africa and Australia, people are enchanted. Yet when the same cycles exist where people live, Al Gore claims global warming. Why isn't Al Gore in the African desert in dry season claiming disaster? Oh, wait, no audience......The "disaster" cycles are just natural cycles where people live and are affected by the cycles.