Thursday, June 20, 2013

Meet the little nobody from Texas with big power at EPA

He dropped out of nowhere and landed with a crash in the director's seat of the Office of Environmental Justice at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Matthew S. Tejada, 33, Texas-born Latino, Ph.D. (History, Oxford University, 2006) and five years as a community organizer (like the young Barack Obama), was appointed director by former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson in January.

Jackson pushed Matt Tejada through Big Green's revolving door from Air Alliance Houston, which was suing the EPA (Tejada's signature is on the notice of intent to sue), leapfrogging him over EPA insider candidates.

The chair of EPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council welcomed Tejada as "an unpleasant surprise," according to Inside EPA.

Tejada is another Big Green plaintiff-turned-EPA defendant like Al "crucifier" Armendariz and his flip from WildEarth Guardians to an EPA regional director with a lawsuit pending, the perfect setup for a sue and settle deal.

Tejada's unexpected hiring alarmed industry leaders fearing a radical with power, and jolted the national environmental justice movement -- they didn't know this little nobody from Texas.

Who is this guy? He's actually a big somebody in a segment of the movement known as "environmental justice" or sometimes "environmental equity."

EJ denizens are Big Green's ambulance chasers, building constituencies in "Poisoned Places" -- as areas like the Mississippi River shorelines near New Orleans are claimed to be.

EJ activists are community organizers among the poor and minorities who live near refineries and industrial complexes in "fenceline communities," blame their ills on industry, and demand reform -- and, in some cases, free relocation.

EJ groups are small but their constituencies -- not members -- comprise many thousands. Tejada's six-employee Air Alliance Houston (with a $9,000 EPA grant) has a web of group affiliations and admirers that is truly astounding.

Matt Tejada's backstory is an epic of network building. It shows plainly in the lawsuit his AAH filed against EPA -- with three other groups -- including close friends, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, formerly a project of the far-left super-networked Tides Foundation. Private foundations are a powerful networking force in Big Green.

LABB is a money machine (over $1 million in 2011-2012, including over $168,000 in EPA grants) that empowers communities using a five-gallon bucket, plastic bag, and air pump rig anyone can use to take air samples as "scientific" evidence of pollution. The samples have proven unreliable, but fence-line communities, the media and donors love the politically powerful gimmick.

Ironically, of the $1.7 million in foundation grants to LABB, over $400,000 came from the Marisla Foundation, based on the Getty Oil fortune.

The bucket idea came from Tejada friends in the California-based LABB affiliate, Global Community Monitor ($726,000 in foundation grants), with chapters in over 20 states and several countries worldwide.

Denny Larson, founder and executive director, got the bucket idea in 1995 with the Refinery Reform Campaign before it reorganized as GCM. "We use science, but only in the service of organizing," he wrote in a 2006 handbook. Politics rules.

Tejada's Air Alliance Houston shows his organizing skill: He began as the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention and convinced Mothers for Clean Air to merge, blending their constituents into AAH.

He convinced a foundation based on the fortune of a developer instrumental in building the Houston Ship Channel to give AAH over half a million dollars.

He routinely piggy-backs with dozens of other groups, including the Sierra Club's Lone Star Chapter and the Environmental Defend Fund. Hundreds of thousands of constituents.

America lost 66 oil refineries 1990-2010, closed by regulations that sapped their capital. Do not underestimate the "little nobody." Unelected, unaccountable Matt Tejada's pro-regulation constituencies are bigger than the EPA.


U.S. conservatives Reach Common Ground On A Carbon Tax, And That's The Problem

A much-anticipated carbon tax debate in Washington D.C. last Thursday brought some much needed clarity to assertions that conservatives should or indeed do support a carbon tax. The timing of the debate couldn’t have been better, as Senate leaders announced on that same day the Senate will hold hearings on a carbon tax next month.

Advocating for a carbon tax were Bob Inglis and Andrew Moylan. Inglis is a former Republican congressman from South Carolina who was trounced in the 2010 Republican Party primary – 71 percent to 29 percent – even though he was running with all the advantages of the incumbency. The seeds of his defeat were sown when he frustrated grassroots conservatives by frequently advocating for liberal programs. Moylan is a senior fellow with the recently formed R Street Institute. R Street advocates for free markets while frequently working closely with environmental activist groups.

David Kreutzer and I took the stage opposing a carbon tax. Kreutzer is a research fellow in energy economics and climate change at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Only a relative few conservatives support a carbon tax under any conditions. Conservatives understand there are many troubling aspects of such a levy. Also, conservative legislators understand that voters will severely punish them if they support a carbon tax. Reasonable minds can disagree about whether the totality of Inglis’ congressional voting record qualified him as a conservative, but his shellacking in the Republican primary despite all the advantages of the incumbency shows what happens to self-professed conservatives when they support such troubling policies as a carbon tax.

By the end of the debate, the two opposing sides reached some very significant common ground. Most importantly, Inglis and Moylan conceded several prerequisites had to occur before they would support a carbon tax proposal. Those prerequisites include (1) a carbon tax must be revenue neutral, with all collected revenues offset by reductions in payroll taxes and capital gains taxes (and NOT offset by liberal “targeted” tax cuts), (2) government must scrap all existing and planned regulations and restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions, (3) government must eliminate subsidies for low-carbon and carbon-free energy sources and (4) government must impose similar tax penalties on other energy sources, such as appropriate tax penalties on wind turbines for bird kills and land conservation shortcomings, and solar thermal power for water depletion.

The debate clarified that those four prerequisites are absolutely crucial and non-negotiable, even among carbon tax supporters. Take any one of those prerequisites away, Inglis and Moylan pledged, and they will vigorously oppose a carbon tax. This is a very, very important point that must be emphasized each and every time the assertion is made that some Republicans or conservatives support a carbon tax. Inglis and Moylan agreed these are not initial wish-list items that are subject to negotiation. Instead, these are non-negotiable prerequisites that must be guaranteed in stone before any serious discussion of a carbon tax can occur. Any proposal that does not guarantee all of these prerequisites up front is a non-starter, Inglis and Moylan agreed.

The prerequisites that Inglis and Moylan require bring us closer to agreement on the overall question of a carbon tax. Nevertheless, serious obstacles remain.

First, there is every reason to believe liberals will consider it a political non-starter to provide an equal amount of tax relief in the form of payroll taxes and corporate gains taxes. Once conservatives signal that a carbon tax is in play, liberals will morph any proposed payroll tax relief and corporate gains tax relief into either new spending commitments or “targeted tax relief” that merely fund liberal causes. Inglis and Moylan insist they will only support a revenue-neutral carbon tax swap that provides across-the-board payroll tax cuts and corporate gains tax cuts, but there is no way liberals will allow this to happen.

Second, government would very likely jack up taxes soon after a carbon tax swap even if liberals did agree to an initial revenue-neutral tax swap that reduced payroll taxes and capital gains taxes. Our federal budget deficits remain alarming, our federal debt continues to grow, and it is quite unlikely that liberals will allow the spending cuts necessary to rein in our deficits and debt without tax increases. Ultimately, liberals will beat the drum for more taxes and will likely get them. Any short-term tax relief gained in a tax swap will be quickly abandoned. We will be left with the double whammy of higher taxes throughout the economy and new, punitive taxes discouraging utilization of our most economical, affordable energy sources.

Third, the whole point of a carbon tax is to discourage the use of inexpensive carbon-intensive energy sources. Yet when a carbon tax induces power providers to switch to expensive low-carbon or no-carbon energy sources, government collects no carbon taxes and therefore provides no carbon tax relief. The economy suffers as it is punished by expensive low-carbon and no-carbon energy, yet consumers and taxpayers receive no compensatory tax relief because the economic punishment is taking the form of higher energy prices rather than carbon tax collection. The high costs of a carbon tax will greatly exceed the limited compensatory tax relief promised.

Fourth, Inglis and Moylan did not provide a carbon tax rate or a formula to determine the rate. Once conservatives agree to a carbon tax, liberals and global warming activists will almost certainly use junk science, use junk economics and engage in political games to claim the highest possible negative externalities for carbon dioxide and place the highest possible price on carbon emissions. Accordingly, a carbon tax will not put a fair and accurate price on carbon dioxide’s negative externalities, but will instead punish and induce the abandonment of affordable energy sources far beyond what is economically and environmentally justified.

Fifth, the net effects of carbon externalities are beneficial rather than harmful. Carbon dioxide itself is fertilizer for the biosphere. As we add a little carbon dioxide to the trace amounts already in the atmosphere, crop production increases, trees and grasslands flourish and deserts recede. Moreover, a warmer planet has always benefited human welfare more than a cooler planet. Indeed, during the past several decades as our planet modestly warms and continues its recovery from the Little Ice Age, tornadoes have become less frequent and severe, hurricanes have become less frequent and severe, droughts have become less frequent and severe, crop production has set all-time records, etc. Any asserted negative externalities to carbon dioxide-induced global warming must also take into account the demonstrated benefits of global warming. The net equation is positive, rendering a proposed carbon tax economically unjustifiable and foolish.

Sixth, liberals will not abandon EPA regulations and other heavy-handed carbon dioxide restrictions. We can entertain ourselves and engage in an exercise of wishful thinking regarding a carbon tax that nullifies such heavy-handed government programs, but there is no way that liberals and global warming activists will agree that EPA cannot regulate and restrict carbon dioxide emissions. In the real world, a carbon tax will come in addition to – rather than instead of – EPA regulations, presidential executive orders and other costly and restrictive government programs for which there is no tax relief.

Seventh, liberals will not abandon subsidies for wind power, solar power, etc. See my sixth point above.

Eighth, Inglis and Moylan provided no formula for determining similar taxes to account for the negative externalities created by wind turbines and other low-carbon and no-carbon energy sources. Just as liberals and global warming activists will almost certainly assign a much higher price on carbon dioxide externalities than is economically or environmentally justified, they will almost certainly assign a much lower price on wind power, solar power and biomass externalities than is economically or environmentally justified. Proof positive is the federal government’s stringent punishment of oil and natural gas companies if they inadvertently harm a few common birds compared to their giving a free pass to wind power companies that foreseeably and by design kill hundreds of thousands of birds each year including many endangered and protected birds such as bald eagles and California condors.

Ninth, to even begin a discussion on a carbon tax before receiving iron-clad guarantees on all of the Inglis and Moylan preconditions merely encourages, and indeed guarantees, an end product that meets few if any of the Inglis and Moylan preconditions. After Congressional horse trading is over and Congress enacts a punitive carbon tax that bears little resemblance to the terms and conditions of the carbon tax advocated by Inglis and Moylan, Inglis and Moylan will tell us, “Don’t blame us; THIS isn’t the type of carbon tax we advocated.” Nevertheless, it is foolish to assume or assign plausible credibility to the notion that liberals will not use the Inglis and Moylan proposal as cover to completely transform the plan, claim conservative support, and then pick off the few Republicans necessary to impose a carbon tax that bears little resemblance to what Inglis and Moylan are now advocating. Indeed, the media ALREADY publishes story after story claiming many conservatives support a carbon tax, without even hinting at all the prerequisites Inglis and Moylan pledge to require. Moylan and Inglis encourage the media to spread such inaccurate propaganda by calling media attention to a proposed carbon tax they realize, or should realize, will never in the real world meet their necessary prerequisites.

All of these points bring us back to the most important and emphasized factor in the debate – that each and every one of the Inglis and Moylan preconditions is a non-negotiable prerequisite for a carbon tax even among the few conservatives who may support one. Media reporters and global warming activists who claim many Republicans or conservatives support a carbon tax rarely mention these necessary preconditions, even though these necessary preconditions are not included in any of the proposals working their way through Congress. This is like conservatives saying “We will support a Joe Biden-Hillary Clinton ticket in 2016 if they support tax cuts, massive spending cuts and smaller, less intrusive government,” and then having the media spin this as “Even conservatives support a Biden-Clinton ticket in 2016.”

My greatest fear about the Inglis-Moylan carbon tax proposal is that by opening up the discussion to political mischief and the machinations of politicians, Inglis and Moylan will set into motion the imposition of a punitive tax that will bear little resemblance to the one they are proposing. This political mischief is foreseeable and unavoidable. Inglis, Moylan and any other self-professed conservatives cannot thereafter claim innocence when politicians morph their fragile, idealistic plan into a liberal bludgeon with which to punish consumer living standards, conservative principles and the U.S. economy. Conservatives should know better, which is why very few true conservatives support any form of a carbon tax.


Why Doesn't The Precautionary Principle Apply to Windmills?

On June 18th Jessica Marszelek posted an article titled, “Australia:Wind power 'terrorising' rural communities, rally hear”

She reports about 150 people who “turned up to a three-hour rally at Canberra's Parliament House”because of health concerns over windmills. They complain that windmills cause“a constant rumbling and pulsing in their heads and a feeling of oppressive anxiety they attribute to wind power.” She notes in the article that “everyday farmers upset with turbines in their communities.” Why?

She cites comments by a man named David Mortimer, “retired Naval electronics engineering officer and beef farmer” $12,000-a-year to allow these avian cuisinarts on their land, and 17 more are planned. Mr. Mortimer now claims that he “suffers night-time panic attacks, acute anxiety, heart palpitations, tinnitus, earaches, headaches and angina-like pains and his wife has dizzy spells”.

Doctors can’t find anything wrong, but the problems continue, and he claims that he gets “this sensation of absolute acute anxiety and it feels like someone is pushing an x-ray blanket over me and weighting me down into the chair and I can't get out.” He claims to feel as if he is on narcotics. He goes on to say; “We've got this constant turmoil, constant pulsing in our head, constant rumbling ... deep, drumming rumbling”, and is afraid the added windmills will kill them.

According to the article the “Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh dismissed the claims, saying no international research had attributed health impacts to wind power”, but one lady felt “there was not enough research into the effects of wind energy.”

Okay, so now why I’m I publishing this? I have no idea if more research needs to be done. I have no idea if these monsters of the skyline are causing any or all of the health problems of these people, but does anyone besides me see the huge lack of consistency in all of this?

Aren’t these the same kind of complaints, comments and anecdotal evidence put forward by the green movement regarding just about every chemical on the market? Aren’t these the same kinds of speculative, anecdotal arguments that prompted governments all over the world to pass anti-chemical regulations such as REACH in the European Union, which has been described as "a costly, burdensome, and complex regulatory system".

Now we have the REACH inspired Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 (SCA),which is intended to replace Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), both promoted by former Senator Lautenberg. He stated that the“Congress will once again discuss modernizing the country's 35-year-old chemicals laws”. He also went on to say;"Our current law forces EPA to search for dangerous chemicals”"This bill puts a mandate on companies to confirm safety before chemicals reach the market." In short, he wished to once again impose the Precautionary Principle (PP), which promotes two concepts.

First, by PP standards all products must be proven safe before they can be used, which is physically and scientifically impossible and the greenies know it. It’s called proving a negative. Can’t be done! You can only prove what things do, not what they don’t do. It’s like demanding that a spouse prove they aren’t cheating on their mate. Secondly, the PP outlines the idea that even if there is no scientific evidence of harm, everyone should assume there is harm and forbid the sale and use of…..well…… just about everything.

As one writer noted: “In precautionary principle, no evidence is needed that something is harmful or even could be harmful. No plausible reason to believe it could be harmful is needed either. In many cases no amount of scientific evidence against the thesis that something is harmful ever seems to be reasonable to counter the argument that something is “not proven safe.” Good scientists are often reluctant to state something is “impossible” - for example, the designer of a nuclear reactor may be highly confident that the reactor will never melt down and that even if it did the containment vessel would hold the material. But despite this, the designer would understandably be reluctant to say it *cannot* happen. After all, it’s not impossible that the containment structure won’t be breached by a hit by a massive meteor, even if it is astronomically unlikely.”

This brings me to the thrust of my concern. Why aren’t these speculative and anecdotal adverse health claims by these citizens as important and the speculative and anecdotal health claims by green activists regarding chemicals? Why isn’t the PP being applied in this case?

We absolutely know these monsters are chewing up avian life to the tune of “573,000birds….each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons andeagles”, and that doesn’t include the massive destruction of bat life, which are also protected species.

Why? The reality of the green movement is they have no love of facts, and consistency of logic is totally alien to them because environmentalism is the secular religion of the urban atheist. They aren’t interested in facts or consistency of logic because they "know" what is needed for all of humanity. The PP is merely a tool used to promote every form of junk science they can think of in order to destroy every advancement mankind has made over the last 100 years.  Advancements that have given us better, longer and healthier lives than any other time in history.  We need to understand that and stop pandering to these people. Why is that so difficult to grasp?


British Warmists now predicting cold wet weather

Even Warmists eventually have to notice the actual weather!

As the prospect of another gloomy Glastonbury and wet Wimbledon looms, leading climate scientists have warned that the UK could be set for a further five to 10 years of washout summers.

The grim conclusion was delivered after an unprecedented gathering of scientists and meteorologists at the Met Office in Exeter to debate the range of possible causes for Europe's "unusual seasonal weather" over recent years, a sequence that has lasted since 2007.

Many will have hoped for news of sunnier times ahead. But after experts brainstormed through the day they delivered the shock finding that the UK could be in the middle of a 10-20 year "cycle" of wet summers. The last six out of seven summers in the UK have seen below-average temperatures and sunshine, and above-average rainfall.

Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre and professor of meteorology at the University of Reading, stressed that the finding was not an official long-term forecast and does not automatically mean the UK will now have a further decade of wet summers. But, he said, the scientists' conclusion was that the chances of this occurring are now higher than they first thought.

"Predicting when this cycle will end is hard," said Belcher, who led the meeting of 25 scientists. "We have seen similar patterns before – in the 1950s and the 1880s – and we have hints that we are coming towards the end of this current cycle. However, it might continue for the next five to 10 years. There is a higher probability of wet summers continuing. But it's very early days in trying to understand why this is happening."

More HERE  (See the original for links)

Britain should reap the rewards of GM crops

A disastrous harvest ahead and poor productivity mean farmers need all the help they can get

In an era of plenty, we risk forgetting the importance of the harvest. Once, its failure would have been devastating, ushering in a period of penury and hardship. Yet today, with our supermarket shelves groaning all year round with exotic fruits, vegetables and umpteen varieties of bread, what is there to worry about? After all, we can always rely on other sources of food from across the world to make up a shortfall in our domestic production. One day we may have cause to regret such complacency.

This year’s UK wheat harvest has been ravaged by an exceptionally wet autumn and the coldest spring for 50 years. Reported production is down by one third and the expected yield of 11-12 million tonnes will be the lowest for a generation. Normally, Britain would be exporting 2.5 million tonnes of wheat, but this year we will have to import that amount. Oilseed rape, oats and sugar beet have also suffered. Yet this calamity has merited little national attention. There was much gnashing of political teeth in Parliament last week about the rising cost of living, without the connection explicitly being made to the potential impact of food prices on family budgets.

In fact, the additional reliance on imports will not necessarily push up prices because, globally, there has been a bumper cereal crop as a result of good weather in the American Mid-West, Australia and a beneficial monsoon in India. Here at home it was a different story, as waterlogged fields made sowing impossible. Of course, the effects of unusual weather are hard to combat and were even the subject of a Met Office summit yesterday to try to explain the recent lurches from drought to deluge. It is far too early to say that a new meteorological pattern has established itself over the UK, but if it has then cereal farmers might have to consider greater diversification. We will then become even more dependent on imports that are themselves subject to the vagaries of climate change.

But the poor harvest should focus attention on another issue: productivity. A recent report from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) highlighted “the lack of progression in UK average farm yields for wheat and oilseed rape”. Whereas yields increased rapidly between 1980 and 1996, since then they have stagnated, despite improved crop protection measures minimising loss from weeds, pests and diseases. The AHDB recommends earlier sowing to mitigate drought as well as better selection and management of cereal varieties.

There is, however, another approach that might improve productivity and that is a serious scientific exploration of the efficacy of genetically modified (GM) crops. In a speech tomorrow, Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, will call for a renewed debate about the use of GM, which is severely restricted in the European Union. Only two crops, a pest-resistant maize variety and a potato that mainly produces starch for industrial uses, have been licensed by the EU, and neither is grown in the UK, though they are in Spain, Germany and France, albeit not widely. Even so, around the world more than 170 million hectares of land are under GM crops, sustained by 16 million farmers in 28 countries, with no reports of apparent damage to health or the environment.

Mr Paterson’s attempt, therefore, to get the EU to reopen this subject is eminently sensible, yet it has provoked outrage among eco-campaigners. The whole “Frankenfood” scaremongering has been revived and GM supporters are accused of being in the pockets of the big multi-national, agrochemical conglomerates such as Monsanto. The people who are against GM are invariably the same crowd who are in favour of wind farms and against nuclear power. They say man-made global warming will change the climate, thereby affecting food production. Yet they won’t countenance the scientific tests that might show GM is a safe way to improve crop yields without causing a real-life Day of the Triffids.

This strange neo-Luddism, often fuelled by anti-Americanism and a distrust of corporate power, has taken a grip on the national psyche ever since the BSE scare 15 years ago. In a recent YouGov poll, only 21 per cent supported GM technology, while 35 per cent opposed it. The people who produce the food are largely in favour, however. A Farmers Weekly survey found that 61 per cent of farmers would grow GM crops if they could.

I would guess that most people who object to GM have never given a great deal of thought to the science behind it and instinctively recoil from something that looks to be tampering with nature. But with the world population growing rapidly, Europe cannot continue to ignore technology that can protect crops against pests and drought. Moreover, many African countries have emulated the EU ban for fear of being shut out of European markets; yet Africa either needs to improve productivity or put more land under cultivation, which is far more damaging to the environment.

When this debate was last reopened a few years ago, Paul Collier, the development economist, wrote: “Europe can afford romanticism, but the African poor cannot… The GM ban has already persisted for 12 years: how much more hunger must be endured before it is faced down?” That question remains unanswered; and Mr Paterson and his colleagues face a monumental fight to turn public opinion around. A few more bad harvests, however, and the argument will be made for them.



Three current articles below

Climate BS ignores the facts

All sorts of bad things are happening as a result of climate change, according to the claims below.  Problem:  There has been no temperature change for 17 years.  So all the problems listed CANNOT be a result of "climate change".  They are natural

The cost of climate change on human health has Monday been hit home with a report by the Australian Climate Commission outlining the serious threat of extreme weather.

According to the report, heat causes more deaths than any other type of extreme weather event in Australia, and the country's hottest days are still getting hotter.

"Climate change is a serious threat to our health with the elderly, the very young, rural and indigenous communities and those with pre-existing medical conditions being particularly vulnerable," said Dimity Williams, general practitioner and spokesperson for Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA).

According to the report, the duration and frequency of heatwaves has been increasing and is projected to continue to do so in the future -- posing risks for Australians and putting additional pressure on health services.

"During a heatwave our body is placed under extreme stress and we can experience lethargy and heatstroke, with heart attack and even death effecting vulnerable people.

"During the 2009 heatwave in Victoria there were 374 excess deaths and a surge in demand for ambulance and emergency care," said Williams.

Climate change may also lead to various other health consequences for Australians and the global population.

Changes in temperature and rainfall may allow mosquito-borne illness like dengue fever to spread south in Australia, and air quality may also be affected worldwide with increased concentrations of ozone, fine particles and dust.

"Climate change will have far reaching consequences for health and will also lead to increases in certain types of air pollutants as well as airborne allergens like pollen. These have serious impacts on lung diseases like asthma and on heart disease," Williams said.

"As a GP who has many patients with asthma I am concerned that climate change will mean an increase in the frequency and severity of asthma attacks for my patients," she added.

Climate change and extreme weather are also reported to lead to mental health issues, with increased depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicide and self-harm -- as seen in the wake of recent natural disasters in Australia.

Western Australian GP George Crisp added, "we are already seeing increasing mental health problems from the impacts of extreme weather events and changing rainfall patterns particularly in rural communities and in younger people."

The Climate Commission has previously announced that 2011-2020 is the critical decade for tackling climate change -- particularly for turning around rising emissions of greenhouse gases and stabilising the climate system.

"Climate change is making many extreme events worse in terms of their impacts on people, property, communities and the environment, " said Chief Commissioner Tim Flannery in a statement.

"Protecting the community means strong preventative action through deep and swift cuts in emissions this decade, to stabilise the climate and halt the trend toward more intense extreme weather, " he added.


No drink container deposit for Qld

And the Greens are peeved that their suspect survey was ignored

AN overwhelming majority of Queenslanders want a 10c cash-for-containers recycling scheme but the idea has been rejected by the State Government.

The Federal Government is investigating a national deposit scheme which would feature a 10c refund per can or bottle.

Greenpeace campaigner Reece Turner said a decision would be made within weeks on the issue, despite opposition from Queensland.

The Newspoll, which found 85 per cent of people in Queensland wanted the scheme, was commissioned by Greenpeace and recycling group the Boomerang Alliance.  [I'd like to see the wording and sampling frame]

"With state leaders due to make a decision any time in the next few weeks, this poll should send a clear message that we have had enough of trash polluting our parks and waterways and killing our birdlife," Mr Turner said.

State Environment Minister Andrew Powell said the sticking point for any refund scheme was that someone had to pay for it.

"While the Newman Government is passionate about reducing litter and improving recycling rates, we do not believe increasing the cost of living is the best way to achieve that outcome," he said.

"Rather than increasing the cost of living for Queenslanders, this Government has introduced a range of initiatives to improve recycling rates and reduce litter."

These included boosted litter clean-ups, the rollout of a bin network and grants to help councils crack down on illegal dumping.

Clean Up Australia's Ian Kiernan backs the refund scheme, which is aimed at reducing litter.

Most packaging material would be returned either through current collection systems, collection depots such as charity bins or via the retailer.

Australians use 13 billion to 14 billion drink containers a year and Clean Up Australia estimates 45 per cent of the rubbish collected every Clean Up Australia Day is beverage-industry related.

Waste such as plastic and balloons launched at functions are devastating for creatures such as marine turtles and birds.

South Australia has had a container-deposit scheme since 1977 and has a recycling rate of cans and bottles of up to 85 per cent, while other states are less than half of this.

A similar scheme in the Northern Territory was stopped after Coca-Cola, Lion Nathan and Schweppes took the NT government to court.


Financing wind power in Australia

So then, just where do these huge subsidies go?  Are they used to line the pockets of those who propose these renewable plants?

Well, no, not directly, but in the long run.

Let’s do a scenario, based on virtually every renewable power plant proposal.(and here I’ll use the most common, a Wind Plant)

Here you need to realise that ALL the costs for the plant are recovered from the sale of the electricity to the grid for consumption by, well, consumers of power from the grid, in those three sectors, Residential, Commerce and Industrial. Those costs are the up front Capital cost for the construction, (all of it associated with that) maintenance, wages, upkeep, and of course the profit margin, and everything associated with the Plant. That electricity is then sold to the grid, and the retailers then add on their extras, including their profit margin as well, so that’s why there is a large disconnect between the wholesale price and the retail price.

So then let’s have a wind plant around 500MW, around 250 towers. The most recent one proposed, that for King Island comes in at around $2 Billion. That cost has to be recovered from the sale of electricity, calculated over the (hoped for) 25 year life of the Plant.

However, as is the case with every renewable plant, Governments, both Federal (the larger amount) and States will chuck in up to half that cost, so now all the plant has to recover for the sale of their electricity is only $1 Billion, making it now obvious how the cost of the electricity generated seems cheaper, now the cost has been, umm, manipulated.

Now, on top of that, in that stage when the plant is, umm, negotiating with Government, a further subsidy is now worked out. The government will subsidise that wholesale cost of electricity by giving the wind plant operators a set amount per MWH for the electricity that they generate. So now, the wholesale cost of electricity has come down again, further making it seem cheaper to generate. As part of negotiations, it is further mandated that the retailers MUST purchase ALL the power generated from the wind plant, no matter when it is generated, so, as is often the case, anything up to half and more of that power is generated while we all sleep, when consumption is at its lowest, and the plants that run all the time cover all that consumption, so, given the chance, retailers would (naturally) purchase only the cheapest power for that period, and no be locked into having to purchase the expensive wind power, which is more often than not, not even being consumed, because the load is already being covered by those 24/7/365 plants with their infinitely cheaper electricity.

This adds to the retail price, but does not make wind cheap, and in fact seemingly gives the opposite impression, adding to the out of hours electricity wholesale cost by bumping up the average cost for those hours, making coal fired power seem to be more expensive.

The third subsidy is that now this is a renewable plant, they now receive renewable energy certificates for the power they generate, and these certificates can then be on sold to CO2 emitting plants to cover their CO2 emissions debt.

So, now we have three relatively large subsidies.

All are put towards that wholesale cost for electricity, lowering it significantly, and allowing now for any slight increase adding to the overall profit margin going back to the operators, if you can see that point, because even just a couple of dollars extra amounts to a huge amount, and THAT is what goes into the pockets of the operators.

However, this is not free money for these people. Someone has to pay. The governments (both of them) get their money back by now setting their part of the return from the retailers, thus adding to the cost of every consumer’s power bill.

This added extra comes in at around 14 to 16% of your total electricity bill, not just for you in the residential sector, but for the huge consumers, those in the Commerce and Industrial sectors.

So, while 14 to 16% (some people) may see as reasonable, here’s the rub.

That 14 to 16% extra on your power bill is for only 2 to 2.5% of the power actually being provided for sale.

So, while wind power seems cheap and coal fired and even gas fired power now seems more expensive, at each stage those costs have been artificially manipulated.

Either way, it’s not cheap, because all those original costs are being paid for, by you and me and everyone who consumes electricity, and commerce and industry overheads (their electricity bills) are all passed down to consumers anyway.

WE pay. WE pay. WE pay.

Now, while all these wind plant protests concentrate on bird and bat chopping, health problems, loss of visual aspect etc, and while these problems have their own significance, by far the biggest thing we should be concentrating on is CAPACITY FACTOR, and the total inability of Wind Plants to deliver their power at better than 30to 35%, and at intermittent times instead of for times when power is being consumed the most. Wind supporters and their lobbyists can fight those first mentioned problems by quoting a lack of published evidence, and how any and all of these are (quoted off the cuff in a dismissive manner) anecdotal. What they have no answer to is a direct question about that failure to deliver, Capacity Factor, and intermittence. This was classically shown last night in an interview between Ticky Fullerton and Morton Albaek from the Vestas Company, touring Oz at the moment to drum up business. When asked about Baseload, one fleeting question, he totally ignored it, continued with the meme and mentioned the overall MIX of electricity supply.

We pay an absolute Motza for wind power in ways we don’t even realise, and yet, at every step, we are told it is cheap, and in fact getting cheaper.

If all these subsidies were totally removed, watch how proposals for wind plants would disappear, and disappear ….. IMMEDIATELY.

This is an absolute con job, and no one even mentions it.

See how they are winning.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  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 and here


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