Monday, October 07, 2013

Only 6.6% of EPA Employees Considered 'Essential'

As if we didn’t already know how useless and unnecessary the EPA is, following the government shutdown we saw just how little we really need them. When various government agencies were releasing many of their workers on furlough with lack of funding, the EPA went through its employees and decided which were “essential” and which were “non-essential”.

According to an EPA guidance, which Reuters obtained, the agency said it only had 1,069 of its 16,205 employees listed as “essential”. That is only 6.6 percent of their workforce! This guidance, which is used in the event of a government shutdown, also said that “most workers in the Office of Air and Radiation, which is in charge of writing and implementing most of the EPA’s major air pollution rules,” would be furloughed.

Why is it that we have an agency that could run on less than 7 percent of current staff? To be clear that means more than 9 out of every 10 employees at the EPA are non-essential.

Although this government shutdown may not be considered as the greatest way to get through funding differences, perhaps there is a silver lining here. When agencies are forced to go through their list of employees and whether they are integral to the organization’s work it seems we get quite a sneak peek into how we could gut and cut the government bureaucracy. Is it just me, or should all employees be essential in order to remain at their jobs? This could be a good way to go forward with finding places to cut money in the budget.


Fallacious Claims Prop Up Ethanol

Arguments put forward to support ethanol and other biofuels hold water like sieves – leaking billions of gallons of precious fresh water that are required to produce this expensive, unsustainable energy.

These and other renewable energy programs may have originated for the best of intentions. However, the assumptions underlying those intentions are questionable, at best. Many are rooted in anti-hydrocarbon worldviews and Club of Rome strategies that raised the specter of “looming disasters” like resource depletion and catastrophic manmade global warming, in which the “real enemy” is “humanity itself.” They also underscore how hard it is to alter policies and programs once they have been launched by Washington politicians, creating armies of special interests, lobbyists and campaign contributors.

A review of biofuel justifications shows why these programs must be revised – or (preferably) scrapped.

* Renewable fuels will prevent oil depletion and reduce imports. Baloney. US oil and natural gas were declining and imports rising for decades, because environmentalists and politicians blocked leasing and drilling. The very people decrying the situation were causing it. They wanted to justify a non-hydrocarbon future that would give them greater control over our economy and lives – and build a political power base that tied them and votes to farmers and companies that benefitted from this Washington-mandated industry and vast wealth transfers from taxpayers and consumers to the new energy cartel.

In reality, the United States has vast storehouses of petroleum. Hydraulic fracturing alone has unlocked billions of barrels of oil equivalent energy, created 1.7 million jobs, generated hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity and government revenues, and made America the world’s number one energy producing nation. Opening up areas that are now closed to leasing would build on this record.

This renewed production also reduced oil imports – even as increasing ethanol mandates and a persistent drought have forced the USA to import ethanol from Brazil. So now we’re importing oil and ethanol!

* Renewable fuels reduce carbon dioxide emissions and dangers of catastrophic climate change. Bunk. Many studies have found that ethanol in car and truck fuels actually increases airborne ozone levels.

As I point out here, here and here, there is no evidence that rising CO2 levels are about to cause climate chaos. Global average temperatures have not increased in 17 years. The new NIPCC report demonstrates that human influences on our climate are small and localized, and their effects on temperature, climate and weather are almost impossible to separate from frequent, cyclical, completely natural variability.

The latest UN IPCC report deleted all references to this temperature standstill from the Summary for Policy Makers, and eliminated an IPCC graph that revealed how every single climate model predicted that average global temperatures would be up to 1.6 degrees F higher than they actually were over the past 22 years. IPCC bureaucrats politicized the science to the point of making their report fraudulent.

* Biofuels are better for the environment. Nonsense. We are already plowing an area bigger than Iowa to grow corn for ethanol – millions of acres that could be food crops or wildlife habitat. The energy per acre is minuscule compared to what we get from oil and gas drilling, with or without fracking. To meet the latest biodiesel mandate of 1.3 billion gallons, producers will have to extract oil from 430 million bushels of soybeans – converting countless more acres from food or habitat to energy.

To produce that biofuel, we’re also using massive quantities of pesticides, fertilizers, fossil fuels – and water. The US Department of Energy calculates that fracking requires 0.6 to 6.0 gallons of fresh or brackish water per million Btu of energy produced. By comparison, corn-based ethanol requires 2,500 to 29,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu of energy – and biodiesel from soybeans consumes an astounding and unsustainable 14,000 to 75,000 gallons of water per million Btu!

* Farmers benefit from ethanol. Yes, some get rich. But beef, pork, chicken, egg and fish producers must pay more for feed, which means family food bills go up. Biofuel mandates also mean international aid agencies must pay more for corn and wheat, so more starving people remain malnourished longer.

* Ethanol brings cheaper gas and better mileage. Nonsense. Ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gasoline, so motorists pay the same price per tank but can drive fewer miles. It collects water, gunks up fuel lines, corrodes engine parts, and wreaks havoc on lawn mowers and other small engines. E15 fuel blends (15% ethanol) exacerbate these problems. Biodiesel and ultra-expensive biofuel for military ships and aircraft make even less sense, especially when we have at least a century of petroleum right under our feet, right here in the United States, that many “renewable” energy advocates flat out don’t want us to touch.

* Ethanol creates jobs. Yeah, spending billions in taxes that could otherwise pay for other government programs … and billions in extra consumer costs for energy and food … does prop up biofuel programs, until companies go bankrupt anyway. As to “green” jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines “green jobs” as any that make a company “more environmentally friendly” – and elsewhere includes bus drivers piloting natural gas, biofuel or hybrid vehicles. The Solar Energy Society includes accountants, lawyers and landscapers involved even part time with making or installing solar panels. They could even include burger flippers, if they sell a meal to a truck driver who’s hauling corn to an ethanol plant.

Those capacious definitions should certainly include prosecuting attorneys and staffs going after the growing number of shady dealers who got “renewable energy tax credits” for selling fuels that were not 100% biodiesel – and others who sold fraudulent RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers) to refineries that face stiff penalties if they fail to buy mandated amounts of ethanol and blend it into gasoline.

Because gasoline consumption is down, many refineries have hit a “blend wall” – meaning the gasoline they are producing already contains as much ethanol as vehicle engines and related equipment can safely handle. However, the government still requires them to buy more corn pone fuel – or purchase RINs or pay hefty fines.

If Congress would simply let real free markets work, instead of creating Renewable Fuel Standards, much of this crime and corruption would end. Instead, it perpetuates perverse incentives, perks and money trains – which promote what seems to be the Environmentalist-Industrialist-Governmentalist Complex’s motto: “We don’t tolerate corruption. We insist on it.” Outright criminal activity is the tip of the iceberg.

“Green slime” doesn’t just describe algae-based biofuels. It also describes the entire DC-mandated biofuel system. About the only thing really green about it is the billions of dollars taken from taxpayers and consumers, and funneled to politicians, who dole the cash out to friendly constituents, who then return some of it as campaign contributions, to get the pols reelected, to perpetuate the gravy train.

Even some Democrats are finally questioning their party’s “steadfast support” for policies that promote “renewable” energy over oil and gas: Ben Cardin (MD), Robert Casey (PA), Kay Hagan (NC) and several colleagues have openly expressed concern about renewable mandates. One has to wonder why so many Republicans still can’t say no to ethanol.


Thanks to Fracking USA Rises to Number One in Energy; Thanks to Obama, We Won't Stay There

On the very same day that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) announces: “US Rises to No. 1 Energy Producer”—thanks to the shale boom made possible through a technology known as hydraulic fracturing—an environmental group released a report calling for a complete ban of the practice, which would effectively shut down the oil-and-gas industry (and all of the jobs and revenues it creates) and increase dependence on foreign oil. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

You probably haven’t heard about either, as most news coverage, on October 3, centered on the government shutdown—eclipsing all else.

Why would Environment America choose to release a report, that they call “the first to measure the damaging footprint of fracking,” on a day when it would likely receive little attention? The answer is found in the WSJ: “the shale boom’s longevity could hinge on commodity prices, government regulations and public support.” (italics added)

Americans support the concept of energy independence. We don’t like the fact that we’ve been funding terrorists because we buy oil from people who hate us and who happily slaughter our citizens.

The Obama Administration is the most anti-fossil-fuel in history, yet within the past month, three Obama cabinet members—two former, one current—have declared fracking a safe technology for extracting oil and natural gas:

·At a speech in Columbus, Ohio, former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said that fracking “is something you can do in a safe way” and dismissed a study critical of fracking by saying: “we didn’t think it was credible.”

·At the Domenici Public Policy conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico, former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar stated: “I would say to everybody that hydraulic fracking is safe.”

·In a meeting with the NY Daily News editorial board, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz asserted: “Fracking for natural gas is climate-friendly, environmentally safe and economically stimulating” and added: “Which is just what America and New York need.”

Then, in the same month, in the greenest state of the Union, against strong opposition, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a hotly-contested bill that reflects the fact that he favors some level of fracking.

These pro-fracking news items, along with several recent reports pointing to the safety of hydraulic fracturing, have the anti-fracking crowd resorting to desperation. And, then the WSJ announces America’s energy dominance on its front page. I suspect that Environment America had their little report ready to go and were just waiting for the right time to release it—probably after the shutdown, when the news cycle had some space. But, when the WSJ heralded the US energy comeback, they just had to spring it—hoping to shift public opinion.

The environmentalists’ advertising efforts have had an impact—even though, as Secretary Chu noted, the anti-fracking argument isn’t “credible.” A September Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that opposition to increased use of fracking rose to 49% from 38% in the previous six months.

Why, when hydraulic fracturing has brought America to the brink of energy independence, been the biggest driver of job growth, lowered utility bills, and positively impacted the trade deficit, are people opposed to it? Because they don’t really know what it is, and, therefore, are gullible to the old adage: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

A University of Michigan report on hydraulic fracturing found: “The public tends to view the word ‘fracking’ as the entirety of the natural gas development process, from leasing and permitting, to drilling and well completion, to transporting and storing wastewater and chemicals.” In fact, fracking is limited to the process of injecting fluids into a well—just a few days of a multi-month operation (not counting leasing and permitting).

This widespread misunderstanding explains why the repeated lies have taken hold.

One of the most rampant lies about fracking made by the environmentalists is about water. The press release about the “fracking by the numbers” report, claims: “Of particular concern are the billions of gallons of toxic waste created from fracking, which threaten the environment, public health and drinking water.”

On page 5, Fracking by the Numbers states: “Fracking operations have used at least 250 billion gallons of water since 2005.” Which sounds ominous until you get some perspective. For example, over that same period, car washes have used more than twice as much water: 600+ billion gallons. In the state of Colorado, where water supplies can be constrained and oil-and-gas development is high, water used for fracking amounts to less than one-tenth of one percent of the state’s total water demand.

Also on page 5: “While most industrial uses of water return it to the water cycle for further use, fracking converts clean water into toxic wastewater, much of which must then be permanently disposed of, taking billions of gallons out of the water supply annually.” And: “Farmers are particularly impacted by fracking water use as they compete with the deep-pocketed oil and gas industry for water, especially in drought-stricken regions of the country.” These statements are just plain false. The oil-and-gas industry is now often using water that is not suitable for farming or drinking and then reusing the water over and over.

Mike Hightower, a hydrologist at Sandia National Labs adds: “Five years ago fresh water was used for each frac job, now they are using frac fluids that are 5 times saltier than sea water. That allows more reuse of waters, and is putting less strain on water resources in many western states.”

Dexter Harmon, Exploration Manager at Fasken Oil & Ranch, says they are using 88 percent produced water and Santa Rosa water that has been treated to remove harmful components and 12 percent fresh water to frac their Wolfberry wells near Midland, Texas. It cost about $1.75-$2.00/barrel to treat the produced water to get it ready to re-use on a frac job.

Plus, the industry is continually being revolutionized by technological advances. For example, GE has a new energy-efficient process that could cut the cost of water treatment in half, eliminate the need to transport the water for treatment, and decrease the chances of spills. MIT Technology Review, September 24, 2013, reported: “Based on pilot-scale tests of a machine that can process about 2,500 gallons of water per day, GE researchers say they are on track to cut the costs of treating salty fracking wastewater in half. The system needs to be scaled up for commercial use, but a full-sized system could treat about 40,000 gallons per day.”

Another lie repeated in the report (page 9): “There are ‘more than 1,000 cases’ of groundwater contamination.” Yet, the three major investigations of water contamination that were conducted by the EPA—Pavillion, Wyoming, the Range Resources case in Texas, and Dimock, Pennsylvania (made famous by the Gasland movie)—have all been cleared.

Additionally, three different environmentally aligned Obama administration members have made statements regarding an absence of evidence of fracking contaminating groundwater:

·At an August 1 breakfast, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, stated: “To my knowledge, I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.”

·Ken Kopocis, President Obama’s nominee to be Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Water, was asked recently in testimony before Congress if he was aware of any cases of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing. His answer? “No I am not.”

·Lisa Jackson, President Obama’s former EPA chief, said: “In no case have we made a definitive determination that the [fracturing] process has caused chemicals to enter groundwater.” This comment follows her previous testimony before Congress, when she explained that she is “not aware of any proven case where [hydraulic fracturing] itself has affected water.”

We could go on picking apart the 47-page report, but these lies, untruths, and deceptions on water give you the idea. Energy In Depth has a more thorough review of Environment America’s “Fracking by the Numbers,” in which they call the anti-fracking group “professional activists bent on preventing responsible energy development from taking place.”

The budget they have to produce propaganda and advertising campaigns to change public opinion seems unlimited. Environment America’s IRS Form 990 for fiscal year ending 06-30-2011, shows it has 210 employees with revenues of $3.7 million. In the acknowledgements, Environment America thanks the “Park Foundation for making this report possible”—The Park Foundation funded the anti-fracking movie Gasland and other anti-fracking activities. And they call the oil-and-gas industry “deep-pocketed.”

Thanks to hydraulic fracturing America is on the brink of energy independence, it has provided the biggest driver of job growth, lowered utility bills, and positively impacted the trade deficit, yet one small, well-funded, and vocal segment of the population is opposed to it—using false scare tactics to sway pubic opinion. When you think about why they would want to ban this single, effective economic stimulus, it should make you shudder and cause you to commit—with me—to spreading the truth.


‘Lukewarmist’ Scientist Judith Curry Calls for End of IPCC

Climate scientist Judith Curry, who has gained a reputation as a “lukewarmist” for agreeing with many climate assertions made by global warming activists but calling for more scientific scrutiny of alarmist claims, called for an end to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Curry, a climate science professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, called IPCC an ends-driven process that impedes scientific progress.

Curry explained IPCC suffers from paradigm paralysis, which she defined as “caused by motivated reasoning, oversimplification, and consensus seeking; worsened and made permanent by a vicious positive feedback effect at the climate science–policy interface.”

Among the problems facing IPCC, Curry noted:

“as temperatures have declined and climate models have failed to predict this decline, the IPCC has [very curiously] gained confidence in catastrophic warming and dismisses the pause as unpredictable climate variability ...

“Growing realization that you can’t control climate by emissions reductions ...

“increasing levels of shrillness on both sides of the political debate, with the ‘warm side’ steeped in moral panic and hyperbole ...

“after several decades and expenditures in the bazillions, the IPCC still has not provided a convincing argument for how much warming in the 20th century has been caused by humans ...

“the politically charged rhetoric has contaminated academic climate research and the institutions that support climate research, so that individuals and institutions have become advocates; scientists with a perspective that is not consistent with the consensus are at best marginalized (difficult to obtain funding and get papers published by ‘gatekeeping’ journal editors) or at worst ostracized by labels of ‘denier’ or ‘heretic.’ ...

“decision makers needing regionally specific climate change information are being provided by the climate community with either nothing or potentially misleading predictions from climate models.”

“The diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal in the case of the IPCC, given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning,” Curry observed. “We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease. Fortunately much of the population seems to be immune, but some governments seem highly susceptible to the disease. However, the precautionary principle demands that we not take any risks here, and hence the IPCC should be put down.”


Green energy to cost British consumers £400 over next five years

Every British household will pay an average of more than £400 in higher bills over the next six years to pay for subsidies under controversial Government plans to hit green power targets.

The money will go solely to paying for otherwise uneconomic offshore wind turbines, onshore wind farms, biomass plants, landfill gas sites and hydro power plants, new figures show.

The first analysis of newly agreed prices paid to “green” generators, carried out by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, shows that the total subsidy will be nearly £22 billion by 2020.

The subsidies are paid for by consumers and businesses through their annual bills and passed to the green energy generators.

Half of energy bills are paid by business, with the other half by domestic consumers, and the total subsidy divided among British households equals £425 per household.

Many, however, will pay more because they have bigger bills.

As well as recouping the cost of renewable subsidies through domestic bills, households will also foot the bill for the carbon floor price tax and the Energy Company Obligation efficiency scheme, where suppliers are supposed to fit out homes with roof insulation and better boilers.

The other schemes suggest the possibility of further increases to the cost of electricity.

The calculation comes amid mounting political pressure over the cost of “green” subsidies, with George Osborne, the Chancellor, and Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, said to be at loggerheads over other aspects of attempts to reduce the amount of carbon produced to generate electricity.

The Taxpayers Alliance said the huge bill showed both the failure of the Government’s energy strategy and the folly of Labour leader, and former energy secretary, Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze domestic gas and electricity bills at the same time as sticking to the “green” targets.

Its analysis shows that almost £2 billion was spent in renewable subsidies in the 2012-2013 financial year.

This will rise to an estimated £5.3 billion by 2018-2019, adding another £60 to every annual domestic electricity bill in the country and increasing business costs dramatically.

Over the six years the total subsidy will be £21.9 billion, the Taxpayers Alliance said, with wind farms accounting for the majority.

Matthew Sinclair, Taxpayers Alliance chief executive, said it was clear the Energy Bill had failed and that the vast amounts of money earmarked for renewable generation should instead be used to support research aimed at bringing down the cost of green power.

He said: “Targets that require massive investment in the energy sector, to install expensive technologies like offshore wind turbines on an enormous scale, will always mean profits for energy companies and much higher prices for consumers.

“If the Government are serious about easing the pressure on people’s living standards, they need to take action and scrap lavish renewable energy subsidies.

“And it is a joke for Ed Miliband to pretend he is taking on the Big Six on behalf of consumers when he is proposing to keep the targets in place. If politicians are serious bout helping families with struggling bills, then they need to do something about dysfunctional and painfully expensive energy policies.”

The Taxpayers’ Alliance calculated the figures by analysing for the first time the planned increase in renewable capacity over the coming years and the official strike price agreed by the Government for the power that will be produced.

The strike prices guarantee renewable power generators a far higher power price than the prevailing cost on the wholesale energy market.

In 2014-2015, the strike prices for onshore wind will be £100 per megawatt hour (mW/hr), the standard unit of power production.

Offshore wind producers will be paid £155 per mW/hr. Electricity is sold “wholesale” by producers to firms which supply homes and businesses, including the so-called “Big Six”, which includes the largest domestic power firms, but the predicted wholesale price is £50 per mW/hr, far less than the “strike price”. The difference has to be made up by the supply firms, who will pass it direct to bills.

Dr Lee Moroney of the Renewable Energy Foundation, which is critical of the “green” energy plans, said: “Government subsidies which are added to electricity bills in order to meet over ambitious EU climate change targets are complex, opaque, and very expensive for the consumer.

“The subsidy costs are set to increase significantly and will last 15 to 25 years. The scale of the consumer costs is shocking and senseless in view of the fact that UK greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced faster and more economically by less extravagant measures.”

Britain’s ’Big Six’ energy suppliers have lined up this year to claim that environmental and other Government levies are the main reason why domestic gas and electricity bills are set to rise yet again this winter.

In July, the head of npower, Paul Massara, said households would be paying £240 more a year for their power by 2020 to cover the cost of Government green policies.

Experts believe a price hike from one of the Big Six is imminent with estimates that bills will rise by as much as 10 per cent.

British Gas was last month rumoured to be preparing a price rise of 8 per cent, which would push its average dual fuel bills up by around £100 to record levels of almost £1,450.

The Taxpayers Alliance report comes just five months after the Sunday Telegraph revealed wind turbine owners were paid £1.2 billion in the form of consumer subsidies last year, the equivalent of £100,000 for every job in the wind farm industry.

However turbines have proved to be deeply controversial, with people living in areas where they are being built or planned often opposed to them. Complaints about appearance and noise have dominated local concerns, but critics also say that they will not solve a looming energy crisis caused by switching off older power stations and decommissioning nuclear generators, because they cannot generate power when it is not windy.

Other “green” methods have attracted other criticisms, with solar farms also proving unpopular in areas where there are large-scale projects planned, while others are expensive to build.

The report, seen by The Telegraph, comes just days after Business Minister Michael Fallon said it would be “unfair” to add further costs and green levies onto consumer bills.

His comments, at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference, were taken as the strongest indication yet that the Tories may pledge to scale back existing green policy costs. Mr Fallon said: “We shouldn’t put industry at a disadvantage against Europe and the US: for our manufacturers this would be assisted suicide.”

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "The Government is transparent about the impact of energy and climate policies on bills.

“It’s the global gas price, not green subsidies, that has primarily been pushing up energy bills. 60 per cent of the increase in household energy bills between 2010 and 2012 was caused by this. Investing in home grown alternatives is the only sure fire way of insulating our economy and bill payers from this volatility.

“In any case, our household energy efficiency policies are on average more than offsetting the costs of clean energy investment. By 2020 the average household bill will be £166 lower than it would be if we were doing nothing.”


Carbon tax too expensive’, says British industry

Ministers are under renewed pressure to scrap their controversial green “carbon tax” after delays in European Union state aid left British heavy industry without promised protection from the costs of the levy.

Tata Steel and BASF have warned that the so-called carbon price floor — levied on fossil fuels used in power generation — is putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

The Government promised that energy-intensive industries would be offered a £100m compensation package to protect them from the unilateral tax, which was introduced last April.

But the compensation has been held up for several months awaiting EU state aid approval, with businesses already facing millions of pounds in costs. Ministers said last October that they expected EU approval “by the summer of 2013”, but last night disclosed the earliest a resolution would come would be the end of this year.

If approval were rejected, it could call the whole tax into question. Industry hopes that the Government may be prompted to review the tax, especially after the Conservatives indicated that they were looking to mitigate rising energy costs in the wake of Ed Miliband’s price freeze pledge.

“We shouldn’t put British industry at a disadvantage against Europe and the US: for our manufacturers this would be assisted suicide,” Michael Fallon, the energy minister, said last week.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel, which employs 18,500 people in the UK, said: “Unilateral taxes like the carbon price floor hurt competitiveness. I welcomed the Government’s energy tax mitigation package, but the delay in its implementation caused by the EU state aid process harms UK manufacturers.”

Andrew Mayer, head of UK public affairs for BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, which employs about 2,000 people in Britain, said: “Without clarity on state aid approval for energy intensive rebates from the CPS [carbon tax] we are facing a 5pc rise in our energy costs today and 20pc from April 2015.

“Even with that clarity, many of our customers and smaller sites are still facing that increase. It is an unsustainable policy that is damaging UK competitiveness. It should be scrapped,” he continued.

The carbon tax was originally intended to encourage new low-carbon power plants such as wind farms and nuclear sites by making it increasingly expensive to run coal and gas works that emit carbon.

But it has failed to secure the low-carbon investment — with ministers now offering developers additional subsidy packages — and critics say it simply serves to push up the price of electricity. Official estimates say that the tax, which is expected to raise billions of pounds for the Treasury over the next decade, will add £5 to household energy bills this year, rising to about £50 by 2020, even before the costs of compensating industries have been implemented.

Tony Cocker, chief executive of energy supplier E.On, has described it as a “stealth poll tax” that would hand windfall gains to existing nuclear plants. In a meeting with business leaders in February, before becoming energy minister, Mr Fallon called the carbon tax “a fairly absurd waste of your money”, mistakenly saying that the policy had been inherited from Labour.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said it had notified the European Commission of the carbon price floor compensation scheme in September 2012.

He said: “The formal consideration and approval of the case has so far been delayed due to the novelty of the case and internal resourcing issues within the Commission. We will continue to work with them to ensure that the CPF state aid case is approved as soon as possible.”

He added that it will explore whether businesses might be able to claim back part of the compensation to last April. “The Commission has advised that the earliest that they can come to a decision on this case is the end of the year,” the spokesman said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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