Thursday, April 05, 2018

Environmentalist Publishes Op-Ed on Climate Change… Covers it With Blatant Lies

An anti-fossil fuel movement proponent dubiously claimed Tuesday natural gas development’s methane emissions are hitting catastrophic levels.

Activist are failing to impress upon people the dangers associated with the fracking industry, according to Vermont’s Middlebury College Professor Bill McKibben. He also suggested most research shows methane emissions from natural gas are pitching above a safe level, yet many studies show the antithesis.

“When I think about my greatest failing as a communicator — and one of the greatest failings of the climate movement — it’s not that global warming still continues,” McKibben wrote Wednesday for Yale Environment 360.

The movement’s biggest moral failing, he said, was not selling people on the danger unchecked methane emissions pose to the climate.

Democrats, Republicans and the public have generally accepted the idea natural gas is a fine alternative to other forms of fossil fuel production, but the general population is unaware methane emissions from such energy put the climate in a precarious spot, McKibben added.

“It turns out that there are lots of places for leaks to happen — when you frack a field, when you connect a pipe, when you send gas thousands of miles through pumping stations — and so most studies show that the leakage rate is at least three percent and probably higher,” he noted without citing any specific study buttressing his claim.

McKibben relied on data from Cornell University Ecology Professor Bob Howard’s studies to conclude methane emission leakage rates were nearly three percent, he told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Howard’s work has been criticized in the past for using too short a time frame. He uses a 20-year window to study the global warming potential of methane emissions in the atmosphere as opposed to the more common 100-year horizon.

Environmental groups have also scrutinized Howard’s work.

“While I can see an argument for using a time horizon shorter than 100 years, I personally believe that the 20-year GWP is too short a period to be appropriate for policy analysis,” former National Resources Defense Council director Dan Lashof said in 2011 of McKibben’s chronological methodology.

Environmental Protection Agency research and other studies, meanwhile, paint a much different story.

Actual emissions from gas power plants were “nearly 50 times lower than previously estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency,” a 2013 University of Texas study availed. Researchers at UT concluded methane emissions from the supply chain’s upstream portion are 0.38 percent of production.

EPA’s latest methane emissions data from 2017 show very low methane leakage rates of approximately 1.2 percent. The agency and UT’s data and research were concluded, using the more reliable 100-year time frame. McKibben has spent several years thrashing Democratic leaders for promoting the natural gas industry.

McKibben was singing a different tune in 2009 when he felt so strongly about power plants switching to natural gas he was willing to be jailed in support of the cause. He was one of several celebrities who protested on Capitol Power Plant’s front steps in Washington, D.C.

“There are moments in a nation’s — and a planet’s — history when it may be necessary for some to break the law … We will cross the legal boundary of the power plant, and we expect to be arrested,” McKibben told reporters prior to the March 3, 2009, protest.

“(I)t would be easy enough to fix. In fact, the facility can already burn some natural gas instead, and a modest retrofit would let it convert away from coal entirely. … It would even stimulate the local economy,” he added.


EPA’s Scott Pruitt Begins Repeal Of Obama Climate Regs For Cars, Trucks

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday the Obama administration’s fuel economy regulations were not appropriate and would be revised.

Pruitt said EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would begin crafting new greenhouse gas emission and mileage, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), standards for vehicles built in 2022 through 2025.

“The Obama EPA’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in a statement. “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality and set the standards too high,” Pruitt said.

EPA’s revising of CAFE regulations also put the agency on a collision course with California. The Golden State got permissions from the Obama administration to issue its own, higher emissions standards.

Conservative groups urged Pruitt to repeal California’s waiver, arguing the state can use its influence over automakers to supplant federal standards. EPA is still examining California’s waiver, but Pruitt seemed critical of continuing the policy as it stands.

“Cooperative federalism doesn’t mean that one state can dictate standards for the rest of the country,” Pruitt said. “EPA will set a national standard for greenhouse gas emissions that allows auto manufacturers to make cars that people both want and can afford – while still expanding environmental and safety benefits of newer cars.”

“It’s in everyone’s best interest to have a national standard, and we look forward to working with all states, including California, as we work to finalize that standard,” said Pruitt.

EPA’s is also moving against President Barack Obama’s emissions pledge under the Paris accord, which he joined in 2016. Obama committed the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

The Obama-era rules required cars to get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Officials estimated the rules would cut 540 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and save consumers money.

However, automakers missed fuel efficiency targets for model year 2016 cars and light trucks by about 9 grams per mile. Indeed, the Obama EPA’s own analysis found cars may not meet the 2025 target, only getting between 50 and 52.6 miles per gallon by then.


UK: 'Major milestone' as first well completed at controversial fracking site

Work on creating the first well at a controversial Lancashire fracking site has been completed.

Energy firm Cuadrilla said drilling of the UK's first horizontal shale gas well had been successfully completed at its site on Preston New Road in Fylde.

The company will now begin drilling a second well and has planning permission for a total of four wells on the site.

A spokesman for the firm said it would apply for permission to frack the completed well in the "very near future" and planned to be in a position to frack the first two wells on site later this year.

CEO Francis Egan said:

Our completion of the UK's first ever horizontal shale gas well is a major milestone towards getting Lancashire gas flowing into Lancashire homes as we lead the way on UK exploration.

"From the data we have amassed so far we are optimistic that, after fracturing the shale rock, natural gas will flow into this horizontal well in commercially viable quantities demonstrating that the UK's huge shale gas resources can be safely produced and contribute to improving the UK's energy security."

The site was initially refused planning permission by Lancashire County Council in 2015 but was given the go-ahead by Cabinet minister Sajid Javid following an appeal and a planning inquiry.

Campaign groups lost a High Court action to overturn the decision, but protests have continued at the site.

The controversial process of fracking involves drilling vertically deep underground and then horizontally, before pumping in liquid at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas trapped in the shale.

A planning inquiry on a second Cuadrilla site, at Roseacre Wood in Lancashire, is due to be held next week


If environmental radicals are in full panic mode over Scott Pruitt at EPA, that means he is doing a good job

The left has spent over a decade trying to expand the influence and oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but the American people voted against this influence when they elected President Trump to prioritize economic advancement. Trump followed through on this promise by appointing Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator. The left is now trying everything to destroy his position and defame his record, but Pruitt must power through, his job is far too important.

Last year, nearly every Republican and two Democrats voted to confirm Pruitt. North Dakota Senate Democrat Heidi Heitkamp explained, “Once Mr. Pruitt is confirmed to lead EPA, I’ll work to make sure EPA focuses on smart regulation and works with states and local communities to address issues like the unworkable Waters of the U.S. rule and the punitive final Clean Power Plan rules.”

And this is exactly what Pruitt has done. Under Pruitt’s leadership in the last year, the EPA has begun receiving public comments to replace the Clean Power Plan and blocked the implementation of the Waters of the U.S. rule. Both of these Obama-era initiatives dramatically expanded the EPA’s influence over local waterways and implemented emissions regulations to “combat climate change,” and as a consequence, close businesses ruled environmentally hazardous.

Pruitt has been integral in implementing the conservative agenda of President Trump, and it terrifies liberals. So the left has resorted to character attacks.

Democrats, such as Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), have been quick to blast Pruitt for his expenditures on increased security this year, not realizing, they are the reason for the cost.

Pruitt and his entire family have received an unprecedented number of direct threats to their life.

The EPA’s assistant inspector general for investigations, Patrick Sullivan, told CNN on Nov. 2017, “We have at least four times — four to five times the number of threats against Mr. Pruitt than we had against [Obama’s EPA Chief] Ms. McCarthy… They run the variety of direct death threats — ‘I’m going to put a bullet in your brain’ — to implied threats — ‘if you don’t classify this particular chemical in this particular way, I’m going to hurt you.’”

Additionally, the Washington Examiner reported on Feb. 2018; the EPA currently has 70 open probes into threats against Pruitt and his family. This has caused the EPA’s Criminal Investigations Division to provide Pruitt with a 24/7 security detail to ensure his and his family’s safety.

Now, the left has cooked up a new conspiracy against Pruitt.

It has recently been revealed that Administrator Pruitt and his family stayed in a Capitol Hill condominium partially owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist several times over the last year. The lease has sparked controversy because of its “unconventional” term, Pruitt paid for the space by the day at a rate of $50 a night. His payments amounted to $6,100 over the course of six months, according to documents shared with Bloomberg News.

Pruitt received approval in advance for the arrangement by the EPA Ethics office, but in spite of this okay, Democrats have been quick to call “corruption!”, claiming that the lobbyist wife’s ownership of the condo makes it a “gift” to Pruitt.

In a March 30 memo, Kevin Minoli, a career attorney, and the EPA’s designated ethics official explained, “Market value for rental apartments is commonly thought of in terms of rental cost per month. Under the terms of the lease, if the space was utilized for one 30-day month, then the rental cost would be $1500, which is a reasonable market value… “The lease authorized use by the administrator and his immediate family, specifically including his spouse and children, and consistent with that provision of the lease his immediate family did stay there when they were in Washington, D.C.”

Minoli continued, “Entering into the lease was consistent with federal ethics regulations regarding gifts, and use of the property in accordance with the lease agreement did not constitute a gift as defined in those regulations.”

Minoli is the second EPA ethics official to come to Pruitt’s defense. Justina Fugh, an ethics lawyer at the EPA for a dozen years, told BuzzFeed News this story was causing “so much drama” for what she believes to be an above board living arrangement.

Scott Pruitt has done his job, and he has done it well. All the left’s continued attacks prove is that it is willing to dismiss facts in favor of pushing an agenda. Pruitt must continue charting the EPA’s path toward a balance between environmental concerns and economic development and security, rather than be distracted by the baseless attacks from political opponents, and President Trump needs to stand behind this stalwart of his administration, who is big part of what is needed to make America great again.


What the Pope Doesn’t Know about the Environment

Along with poverty reduction, Pope Francis made environmental protection a theme of his 2015 encyclical about “care for our common home.” Unfortunately, the pontiff voiced widespread misunderstandings about markets and the environment, mistaken claims he repeated last January during his widely reported visit to Peru. In truth, rather than being inherently antagonistic, the free market creates strong incentives for the prudent conservation of earth’s amenities.

“Private property and the profit motive are crucial to the long-term preservation of resources, from water and land to endangered species,” write Independent Institute Research Fellows Robert M. Whaples and Adam B. Summer in a recent op-ed. “Pope Francis and other critics of free-market capitalism need to understand that the deciding issue isn’t whether or not capitalists—or companies—have humanitarian motives. It’s whether or not the environment and humanity are better served when environmental resources are privately owned and property rights are vigorously enforced, or when government runs the show.”

Free-market pricing for water, for example, discourages the wasting of that scarce resource, whereas mandated below-market pricing encourages demand to outstrip supply. Similarly, a free market in rhinoceros farming and the sale of horns drastically reduced rhino poaching in South Africa, whereas a ban in neighboring Kenya decimated the rhino population, Whaples and Summer explain. Such examples can be found around the globe, enabling us to draw a robust conclusion. As one study by Guatemalan economist Daniel Fernandez puts it, “The greater the economic freedom, the better the environmental quality indexes.”




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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