Thursday, December 09, 2010

Evidence of fraud by Phil Jones and his Warmist colleagues

Excerpts from Doug Keenan. There is a lot in it but Doug is to be congratulated for making it easy to read. A mathematician with a talent for writing!

The 1990 study

In 1990, the following study was published in the leading scientific journal Nature (note that Jones is the first author).

Jones P.D., Groisman P.Y., Coughlan M., Plummer N., Wang W.-C., Karl T.R., “Assessment of urbanization effects in time series of surface air temperature over land”, Nature, 347: 169–172 (1990).

This study concerns an issue with measurements of global temperature. As a simple example of the issue, consider a thermometer in the middle of a large field. Suppose that there was a city nearby, and over time, the city expanded to replace the field with asphalt and buildings. Then the temperatures recorded by the thermometer would tend to be higher, because asphalt, buildings, cars, etc. give off extra heat.

Many thermometers used by weather stations are in areas that have undergone urbanization. Thus, such thermometers might show temperatures going up, even if the global climate was unchanging. It is widely accepted that some of the increase in measured temperatures during the past century is due to many weather stations being located in areas where urbanization has occurred. A critical issue is this: how much of perceived global warming is due to such urbanization effects?

The latest (2007) assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change considers this issue The IPCC does not do original research itself; rather, it assesses research previously published in scientific journals. The IPCC assessment of the urbanization effects concluded that such effects are insignificant overall. One of the main studies cited by the IPCC to justify that conclusion is the 1990 study of Jones et al. The study of Jones et al. looked at urbanization effects in eastern China (as well as eastern Australia and western Russia). It found that urbanization effects there were insignificant. Eastern China has had much urbanization; so if the temperature measurements from there were essentially unaffected by urbanization, then that would suggest the temperatures records from other countries around the world were also little affected, in general. Hence urbanization effects are probably insignificant globally.

The study of Jones et al. is not the sole study relied upon by the IPCC report for its conclusion about the global insignificance of the urbanization effects. Hence even if the study were wholly invalidated, that would not imply that the conclusion was unsupported. On the other hand, arguments made in some of the other main studies have been strongly criticized (both in the peer-reviewed literature and on scholarly blogs). The Russell report rightly states that the study of Jones et al. “is important”.

Fraudulent claims

A problem with analyzing temperature measurements from weather stations is that the stations sometimes move, and that can affect the measurements. For example, one of the stations used in the 1990 study was originally located upwind of a city and later moved, 25 km, to be downwind of the city; such a move would be expected to increase the measured temperatures, because a city generates heat. It is obvious that when a station moves, the temperature measurements from before the move are not, in general, directly comparable with the measurements from after the move.

The 1990 study of Jones et al. claims that the weather stations that were studied “were selected on the basis of station history: we chose those with few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location or observation times”. That claim is essential for the study.

Jones et al. asserted that they obtained the Chinese data from a report that was jointly published by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The DOE/CAS report states that its purpose is to present “the most comprehensive, long-term instrumental Chinese climate data presently available”. The report also states, though, that for a majority of the stations studied by Jones et al., “station histories are not currently available” and “details regarding instrumentation, collection methods, changes in station location or observing times … are not known”. For a minority of the stations, histories are available: over half of those had substantial moves. Thus, there is strong evidence that the claim of Jones et al. to have selected stations on the basis of their histories is fraudulent.

Potential problems with the claim of Jones et al. were first raised on the Climate Audit blog of Steve McIntyre. I subsequently investigated. It became clear that fraud had occurred, but that Phil Jones was innocent: the evidence strongly indicates that, for the Chinese data, Jones trusted and relied upon one of his co-authors, Wei-Chyung Wang.

Wang is a professor at the State University of New York at Albany. In 2007, I filed a formal allegation of research fraud with the University. Details are given in a peer-reviewed article that I published in the journal Energy & Environment (2007), entitled “The fraud allegation against some climatic research of Wei-Chyung Wang”. The University conducted an investigation, which concluded that Wang was not guilty. There were, however, serious procedural irregularities during the investigation. For example, I was not contacted during the investigation: a breach of the University's own policies, U.S. federal regulations, and obvious natural justice.

Moreover, when asked to produce the station histories, Wang claimed, in effect, that he had plagiarized the work and that the person from whom he had plagiarized had since lost the information; yet the university ignored the admission of plagiarism. Details are on my web site here

The U.S. Congress' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has contacted me about the irregularities in the investigation. In November 2010, the Committee informed me that it is considering whether to investigate the matter. Final status of the allegation against Wang thus remains to be decided.

IPCC misrepresentation

Although Jones was innocent in 1990, he was no longer so by 2001, when the following research paper was published (note that Jones is one of the authors).

Yan Z., Yang C., Jones P., “Influence of inhomogeneity on the estimation of mean and extreme temperature trends in Beijing and Shanghai”, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 18: 309–321 (2001).

The paper of Yan et al. studied two weather stations, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai. The Beijing station had five locations spread over 41 km. The Shanghai station had only a single move, but that move caused a doubling of the long-term warming trend there (according to Yan et al.). The station movements imply that the temperature measurements from the stations cannot be directly used in analysis, as discussed above. Yet the measurements had been used in the analysis of Jones et al. (1990). And given that this problem arose for both the stations that were studied by Yan et al., then it must be suspected for at least some of the other stations used in 1990.

Thus, by 2001, Jones must have known that the 1990 study should not be relied upon. As the lead author of the 1990 study, Jones should have then tried to have had the study retracted: it is clear that that is the ethical thing to do. Indeed, the UK Research Integrity Office now has guidelines stating that a retraction may be necessary “when there is clear evidence that the reported findings are unreliable, either as a result of misconduct, such as fabrication of data, or honest error, for example, miscalculation or experimental error”. Jones, however, did not try to have the 1990 study retracted.

In 2007, the IPCC published its most-recent assessment report on climate change. The IPCC reports are widely considered to be the most authoritative assessment of the science of global warming. For the 2007 report, there were two scientists with final responsibility for the chapter in the report on “surface and atmospheric climate change” (here “surface” refers to the surface of the Earth, i.e. where people live). Those two were Phil Jones and an American colleague, Kevin Trenberth.

The chapter of Jones & Trenberth cites the 1990 study for its assessment of the issue of urbanization effects. Thus, in 2007, Jones was responsible for having the IPCC cite the 1990 study even though he knew that the study should not be relied upon. This constitutes fraud— fraud in the writing of the most important reference that there is on global-warming science.

On 19 June 2007, I e-mailed Jones about this, citing Yan et al. and saying “this proves that you knew there were serious problems with Wang's claims back in 2001; yet some of your work since then has continued to rely on those claims, most notably in the latest report from the IPCC”. I politely requested an explanation. I did not receive a reply.

In August 2007, I submitted a draft of my article on these allegations to the journal Energy & Environment. The journal editor then sent the draft to Jones. Jones replied with many comments, but he did not attempt to rebut the allegation against him.

On 2 February 2010, in the wake of Climategate, The Guardian published a front-page story that reported on my allegations. The Guardian is a major advocate for global warming; yet the report was highly positive. The story was re-reported around the world. Later that day, the University of East Anglia issued a press release to clarify some issues. Yet the press release did not attempt to rebut the allegation.

Jones has never publicly attempted to deny the fraud allegation against him.

Note that the allegation against Jones is separate from the allegation against Wang. The allegation against Wang relies on the DOE/CAS report. The allegation against Jones is independent of that and relies on the paper of Yan et al.

The 2008 study

In 2008, Jones and two colleagues (neither of which was Wang) published a study that claimed to verify the conclusion of the 1990 study. Jones, and others, have since cited the 2008 study to argue that issues with the 1990 study are therefore immaterial.

The 2008 study, however, relies upon the same station histories as the 1990 study. The histories that are not extant. Indeed, Jones discussed my fraud allegation in an interview with Nature (published on 15 February 2010), and in the interview Jones acknowledged that the histories had been lost long ago. In the same interview, however, Jones reasserted that the 2008 study verified the conclusions of the 1990 study —which is obviously impossible.

Moreover, in 2008, Wang made a submission to the University at Albany during the university's investigation of my allegation against him. His submission (which was leaked as part of Climategate) included a letter from a colleague in China who co-authored the DOE/CAS report. The letter stated that the relevant histories had been lost long ago. Indeed, it is manifest that if the histories were available in 2008, Wang would have produced them to defend himself.

Jones' story about the 2008 study is plainly false. Jones changed that story in a second interview with Nature (published on 15 November 2010). In the second interview, Jones claimed that the histories had not been lost, but “the authorities [in China] have not released the full station-history data”. Jones' change of story seems highly suspicious. Moreover, the changed story has a problem: what reason do the authorities have for not releasing the histories? The histories are not state secrets; their release, if they were extant, would benefit science; and CAS undertook a project with DOE to publish them.

Oxburgh and Russell panels

The Oxburgh panel had, as its remit, to assess the integrity of work done at CRU. The allegation that I made against Jones is the sole explicit allegation of fraud that has been made against anyone at CRU. Yet the report of the Oxburgh panel does not consider the allegation. Indeed, Lord Oxburgh stated, when giving oral evidence to the Committee on 8 September 2010, that he did not recall looking at the allegation.

The Russell panel did consider the allegation: Section 6.6 of their report is devoted to this. Neither that section nor any other section of their report, however, cites Yan et al. In other words, the Russell panel did not consider the evidence for the allegation.

The Russell panel claimed, though, that the 2008 study by Jones et al. “verified the original conclusions for the Chinese data”. As discussed above, this claim is extremely dubious. Additionally, my allegation is that Jones committed fraud. The allegation does not concern the validity, or otherwise, of the 1990 conclusions. If those conclusions were invalid, that might potentially have consequences for global-warming science, but it is of little consequence for the central issue: the integrity of Jones' research.

The panel further claimed that Wang being found not guilty by the University at Albany implied that Jones was not guilty. As discussed above, the allegation against Wang is independent of the allegation against Jones.

It is also notable that the Russell panel had, in its remit, the investigation of e-mails that were released in Climategate and that three of those e-mails included copies of my e-mail to Jones on 19 June 2007, which cited Yan et al. and requested for an explanation for his actions (the e-mails were #1182342470, #1182346299, #1182361058). If every member of the Russell panel read all the Climategate e-mails, as Sir Muir asserted in his oral evidence to the Committee on 27 October 2010, then surely they would have seen the reference to Yan et al.

That is particularly so given the publicity that my e-mail to Jones received. For example, the Associated Press had a report on the Climategate e-mails in December 2009. That report highlighted my e-mail to Jones as one of the most significant (though regarding Wang rather than Jones). The report was apparently published in over 1000 newspapers around the world, often of the front page. A Climategate e-mail given that much publicity would be expected to have gotten the attention of a panel investigating the Climategate e-mails.


From this summary account, two main conclusions emerge. First, there is good evidence to support the allegation that Jones committed fraud in some of his research —including research which influenced a chapter of the principal report upon which governments rely for a scientific assessment of global warming. Second, the evidence for the allegation was not considered by either the Oxburgh panel or the Russell panel; indeed, it has not been properly investigated by any competent and authorized body.


More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims - Challenge UN IPCC & Gore

More than 1000 dissenting scientists (updates previous 700 scientist report) from around the globe have now challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 2010 320-page Climate Depot Special Report -- updated from 2007's groundbreaking U.S. Senate Report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming "consensus" -- features the skeptical voices of over 1000 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. This updated 2010 report includes a dramatic increase of over 300 additional (and growing) scientists and climate researchers since the last update in March 2009. This report's release coincides with the 2010 UN global warming summit in being held in Cancun.

The more than 300 additional scientists added to this report since March 2009 (21 months ago), represents an average of nearly four skeptical scientists a week speaking out publicly. The well over 1000 dissenting scientists are almost 20 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

The chorus of skeptical scientific voices grew louder in 2010 as the Climategate scandal -- which involved the upper echelon of UN IPCC scientists -- detonated upon on the international climate movement. "I view Climategate as science fraud, pure and simple," said noted Princeton Physicist Dr. Robert Austin shortly after the scandal broke. Climategate prompted UN IPCC scientists to turn on each other. UN IPCC scientist Eduardo Zorita publicly declared that his Climategate colleagues Michael Mann and Phil Jones "should be barred from the IPCC process...They are not credible anymore." Zorita also noted how insular the IPCC science had become. "By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication," Zorita wrote. A UN lead author Richard Tol lead author grew disillusioned with the IPCC and lamented that it had been "captured" and demanded that "the Chair of IPCC and the Chairs of the IPCC Working Groups should be removed." Tol also publicly called for the "suspension" of IPCC Process in 2010 after being invited by the UN to participate as lead author again in the next IPCC Report.

Other UN scientists were more blunt. South African UN scientist declared the UN IPCC a "worthless carcass" and noted IPCC chair Pachauri is in "disgrace". He also explained that the "fraudulent science continues to be exposed." Alexander, a former member of the UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters harshly critiqued the UN. "'I was subjected to vilification tactics at the time. I persisted. Now, at long last, my persistence has been rewarded...There is no believable evidence to support [the IPCC] claims. I rest my case!" See: S. African UN Scientist Calls it! 'Climate change - RIP: Cause of Death: No scientifically believable evidence...Deliberate manipulation to suit political objectives'

The rapidity of the global warming establishment's collapse would have been unheard of just two years ago. Prominent physicist Hal Lewis resigned from American Physical Society, calling "Global warming the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life." UK astrophysicist Piers Corbyn was blunt about what Climategate revealed: "The case for climate fears is blown to smithereens...the whole theory should be destroyed and discarded and UN conference should be closed."

Even the usually reliable news media has started questioning the global warming claims. Newsweek Magazine wrote in May 2010 about the "uncertain science" and how "climate researchers have lost the public's trust" from a "cascade of scandals" from the UN IPCC. Newsweek compared the leaders of the climate science community to "used-car salesmen."Once celebrated climate researchers are feeling like the used-car salesmen" and the magazine noted that "some of IPCC's most-quoted data and recommendations were taken straight out of unchecked activist brochures, newspaper articles...Just as damaging, many climate scientists have responded to critiques by questioning the integrity of their critics, rather than by supplying data and reasoned arguments."

As the global warming edifice crumbled in 2010, the movement lost one of its leading lights due to the Climategate revelations. Dr. Judith Curry, the chair of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at GA Institute of Tech, explained her defection from the global warming activist movement. "There is 'a lack of willingness in the climate change community to steer away from groupthink...They are setting themselves up as second-rate scientists by not engaging, Curry wrote in 2010. Curry critiqued the UN IPCC for promoting "dogma" and clinging to the "religious importance" of the IPCC's claims. "They will tolerate no dissent and seek to trample anyone who challenges them," Curry lamented. "The IPCC assessment process had a substantial element of schoolyard bullies, trying to insulate their shoddy science from outside scrutiny and attacks by skeptics...the IPCC and its conclusions were set on a track to become a self fulfilling prophecy," Curry wrote.

Much more HERE

The truth is getting out in India too

The following letter to the editor from Prof ARUN DEEP AHLUWALIA, Emeritus Geologist-Environmentalist, Planet Earth Centre, Chandigarh was published in THE TRIBUNE of India

*Climate change: the truth must be told*

Global warming, wrongly attributed in an exaggerated manner entirely to man, is, in fact, largely natural. All the hype and projections about it makes most geologists wonder if the climate change has been hijacked from scientists by politicians, and some scientists in the IPCC have been bending backwards to conform to the politicians and gain grants and favours from the UN and various governments.

The earth has witnessed prolonged ice ages with much longer spells of global warming since the first ice age. The only issue to ponder over is if man during last 50 years of fast industrialisation has accelerated the natural process of global warming.

The last word on this question as a simplistic cause and effect relation cannot be said with any certainty. The sun-earth system and atmosphere ocean system is too complex to make such generalisations. Our biosphere may have a huge capacity to absorb the carbon dioxide generated.

I was amazed to learn that climate was a political issue in the meeting. It is indeed a pity that in their haste to fleece the poor nations the Al Gores and the Obamas are twisting climate science to suit their political and economic agendas.

Let us restore our balance and sense of proportion in matters of global warming and environmental pollution. Over 1,000 eminent scientists across the world are debating if we are entering a mini-ice age and if global warming is waning.

At times one suspects that the huge money involved in all other pollutions of soil, water, air and consequently our food chain makes the powers-that-be and their brokers all around create a hype around global warming and divert attention from real man-made pollution of the environment.

Indeed, we need to promote walking, cycling, better public transport and safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Look around if any of these do-gooders is bothered about it. None at all! They travel in chartered flights to preach car pooling! If there were a Nobel Prize for hypocrisy there would be tough competition for it.

If anything, they are all in a mad race to promote the use of more cars, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and GM food, and to discourage organic farming systematically. We do plant trees but never care to look back at the saplings after the ritual. It is time to call the bluff of the politicians-turned-pseudo-environmentalists and recreate respect for water, soil, air in the spirit of our gurus and Vedas and see the truth of climate change as well as environmental pollution.

North America: The new energy kingdom

The American Petroleum Institute reports that the United States produced more crude oil in October than it has ever produced in a single month, “peak oil” or not.

This reversal of trend helps explain why U.S. domestic production for the year will be 140,000 barrels a day higher than last year (which was 410,000 barrels a day higher than 2008). Although the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says U.S. production will decline next year, who knows?

Could these numbers reflect the beginning of the end for U.S. dependence on Mideast oil? Well, in fact, they could be. As Forbes magazine publisher Steve Forbes optimistically asserted the other day, the whole world is “awash in energy.”

Mr. Forbes isn’t the only one to notice. As an article last month in The New York Times observed: “Just as it seemed that the world was running on fumes, giant oil fields were discovered off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, and Canadian oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia. In addition, the United States has increased domestic oil production for the first time in a generation.”

Further still: “Another wave of natural gas drilling has taken off in shale rock fields across the United States, and more shale gas drilling is just beginning in Europe and Asia.”

Mr. Forbes was explaining why CNOOC, China’s principal state-owned oil company, was paying Chesapeake Energy $1.08-billion (U.S.) in cash for a one-third interest in the company’s next shale gas play in Texas – and paying 75 per cent of the cost of developing it.

Yes, China was investing in drilling technology: China itself has abundant shale gas reserves. But China had another objective. “Within a decade,” Mr. Forbes said, “the U.S. will be a major natural gas exporter.” And China will be a major importer.

The two countries signed an accord (the U.S.-China Shale Gas Resource Initiative) last year to reflect this coming U.S. energy reversal. “The United States,” the accord notes, “is a world leader in shale gas technology.” The accord commits the U.S. to deliver this technology to China – and, by implication, requires China to open further its oil and gas industry to Western companies.

With rising production from shale fields, the U.S. surpassed Russia last year to become the world’s largest supplier of natural gas. Shale now accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s natural gas production – up from 2 per cent in 1990. Chesapeake’s production from its next Texas project, expected by the end of 2012, will by itself supply the energy equivalent of 500,000 barrels of oil a day.

For new oil, the U.S. has the huge Green River play that overlaps Colorado and Utah, one of the largest shale oil fields in the world. The EIA reports that the country’s proven reserves of crude rose last year by 9 per cent to 22.3 billion barrels.

For natural gas, the U.S. has the four largest fields in the world: the Haynesville field in Louisiana (with production up by 77 per cent in 2009); the Fayetteville field in Arkansas and the Marcellus field in Pennsylvania (both with production up by 50 per cent); and the Barnett field in Texas and Oklahoma (with production up by double-digit increases). The EIA reports that proven U.S. reserves of natural gas increased last year by 11 per cent to 284 trillion cubic feet – the highest level since 1971.

Beyond shale oil and shale gas, there’s the awesome energy promise of methane hydrates, frozen crystals of water and gas that lie beneath the northern permafrost and beneath oceans floors around the world in quantities that boggle the imagination.

“Assuming 1 per cent recovery,” the U.S. Geological Survey says, “these deposits [in U.S. territory] could meet the natural gas needs of the country (at current rates of consumption) for 100 years.”

The UN Environment Program describes methane hydrates as “the most abundant form of organic carbon on Earth.” The agency says field testing, in which Canada has been a leader, will be finished by 2015; and that commercial exploitation will be under way by 2020 or 2025. Within a decade or so, North America will almost certainly emerge as the world’s biggest supplier – and exporter – of reasonably cheap energy.


Why Do Greens Hate and Fear Abundant Energy?

New Republic recently admitted that, "Utopian a form of escapism and disengagement from reality." The extremists scoff at science and would apparently prefer scarcity so that bureaucratic rationing will enforce a change in American lifestyles.

Instead of producing more of the cheap, abundant energy that fueled America's dynamic growth, the extremists who support and surround Obama dream of drastically cutting American consumption.

Powerful green (and Luddite) lobbies believe that a source of clean and abundant energy would be an unmitigated disaster to their cause (and their livelihood). That is one reason that the Obama administration is trying so hard to bankrupt coal before clean technologies can gain a foodhold, and to prohibit shale gas and oil sands through backdoor faux environmental regulations.

Abundant, clean energy would be a boon to the private sector of the economy and to economic growth. Greens and Luddites hate nothing more than a prosperous, growing private sector.

Geoffrey Styles confronted the energy starvationists on a recent webinar, where the fanatical zeal of energy starvationists and dieoff.orgiasts was on full display:

"Yesterday I participated in a webinar on The Energy Collective examining the sustainability aspects of the shale gas revolution. The online audience asked good, probing questions, and if there was a theme to them, it seemed to be that somehow the sudden abundance of natural gas resulting from a novel combination of shale-exploitation technologies--as well as the technologies themselves--must at a minimum be considered a mixed blessing, if not actually too bitter a pill to swallow, because of its perceived shortcomings and the potential threat it poses to other, favored energy technologies.

The biggest uncertainties associated with shale gas don't concern the size of the resource or our ability to extract it safely, but whether we will decide to allow this to be done on a scale that would make a meaningful difference in our energy and emissions balances, or under such tight restrictions that we will forgo its game-changing potential. Like anything, shale gas drilling and fracking must be done responsibly, in accordance with state and local regulations and to industry standards that are constantly improving. Post-Deepwater Horizon, that's a much tougher sell, but it doesn't make it any less important. Shale gas isn't perfect energy, not because of any unique imperfections, but because there is no perfect energy source. It requires mature, reasonable assessments of its risks that don't assume that there is."

Greens and Luddites want nothing more than to starve the developed nations down to a much smaller size. Their motives are mixed, being based on both political biases and faux environmental premises. The end result -- if Salazar, Holdren, Obama, Boxer, etc. are allowed to succeed -- is an industrial collapse in the west due to "voluntary" energy starvation.

The rest of the world will survive in better condition, because China, Russia, India, Brazil, and other nations are not so foolish as to destroy their own nations' industrial and commercial capacity via energy starvation. Unfortunately, the EU and the Anglosphere may be too invested in carbon hysteria and faux environmentalism to reverse course before running aground on its own idiocy.


U.S. Republicans Go After Green Opponents By Cutting Off Their Funding

Billions in federal subsidies for manufacturers of solar panels and wind- and solar-power facilities will end Jan. 1, 2011, unless lawmakers who negotiated a deal to extend tax cuts back down from their positions.

The clean-energy incentives were created by 2009 economic stimulus legislation. Republicans are taking a firm stand that they aren't part of a deal reached with the White House, and shouldn't be a part of broader legislation to extend tax cuts for individuals and businesses, according to GOP aides.

Democrats have sought to extend the programs, most recently in legislation from Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) that failed in the Senate last week. Republican leaders Tuesday said the deal they reached with the White House is final, and only some specifics of the provisions that were part of the deal need to be ironed out.

Congressional staff of both parties began that process Tuesday, meeting behind closed doors for several hours with White House officials to began putting legislation together.

Ultimately some decisions about what to include will be subject to negotiations by GOP and Democratic lawmakers. One open question is an extension of Build America Bonds for state and local infrastructure projects. Democratic staff in Tuesday's meeting pressed for those bonds to be extended as part of the tax package, participants said.

On the energy-tax breaks, solar- and wind-power facilities for the past two years have been able to get federal grants equal to 30% of the cost of installing new facilities. Tax credits have long been available for those costs, but the stimulus act removed the need for new solar and wind operators to tap the tax credit market for financing.

The American Wind Energy Association warned in a Tuesday press release that a refusal to extend the grant program could jeopardize 15,000 jobs in the sector. "We are risking those jobs by not sending a clear signal that America remains open for business in wind energy," said CEO Denise Bode.

A one-year extension of the program sought by Mr. Baucus would have provided $3 billion in federal grants in 2011, according to congressional tax estimators. A 30% tax credit for builders of plants that manufacture solar panels or other clean-energy components also appears set to be phased out, according to Republican aides. That provision, also created as part of the stimulus law, could have provided $2.5 billion in tax credits under the Baucus proposal.



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1 comment:

Fungus the Photo! said...

I still suspect the entire GW farago is an attempt to lower growth rates of China and India, while making $$ for the usual cronies.