Thursday, September 22, 2022

California Turns To Jet Fuel-Burning Power Plant To Keep The Lights On

California’s Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), a large state grid operator, is requiring the Dynegy Oakland power plant, which burns jet fuel, to continue operating until the end of 2023 to stave off power outages, according to a Thursday news release.

CAISO’s board unanimously voted to extend the Dynegy plant’s “reliability must-run contract designation” (RMR), which contracts the plant to deliver power during peak demand periods so it remains available to be called into service during “grid emergencies,” according to the news release. However, in 2018, the operator accepted a plan to close and replace the jet fuel plant, which it is now relying on to prevent electricity shortages, with cleaner and more efficient alternatives, according to trade magazine Power Engineering.

The Oakland-based jet fuel-burning plant is required to operate under the RMR until Dec. 31, 2023, and will provide a total of 159.2 megawatts (MW) of electricity to meet local power demand.

“New grid facilities and the state’s progress on resource adequacy have lessened the need for RMR contracts in recent years, however, they remain a valuable backstop mechanism to provide energy when it’s needed to meet heightened summer demand,” the press release reads.

The plant generated 4,066 megawatt-hours of energy by burning only jet fuel in June, according to the Energy Information Administration. The state is currently facing severe energy shortages amid elevated grid demand as people move to cool their homes during a heat wave, and residents are being urged to curb energy consumption to prevent power outages, according to a Wednesday CAISO announcement.

“We are not responsible for policy or procurement, but jet fuel is not being considered in any of our transmission plans,” CAISO Senior Public Information Officer Anne F. Gonzales told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We don’t have visibility into resource types unless it affects our transmission or interconnection.”

CAISO will also keep three other petroleum and natural gas power plants open to offset some of the stress being placed upon its electrical grid.


Uncool: Biden Pushes Senate to Ratify Treaty That Would Raise Cost of Air Conditioning

After a hot summer with utility bills rising, reasonable people would think that President Joe Biden would want to keep air conditioning costs low for Americans.

But the Senate is poised to vote on a climate treaty that would raise those costs and put yet another notch in the belt of Biden’s whole-of-government, whole-of-the-economy climate agenda.

In his first week as president, Biden issued Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” Among the many regulatory actions it initiated, Biden’s order also directed his administration to pursue the Senate’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the U.N. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

What does a treaty on the ozone layer have to do with global warming? Very little, but it offers a convenient cover to slip in costly climate policy that would drive Americans’ air conditioning costs even higher.

The Kigali Amendment mandates a phasing down of hydrofluorocarbons—the most common and affordable compounds used in the U.S. and globally for air conditioning, refrigeration, building insulation, semiconductor manufacturing, and even fire extinguishers. Hydrofluorocarbons also emit greenhouse gases (more on that later) and consequently have become a target of global warming alarmists for elimination, regardless of the costs or benefits of doing so.

Think just of where Americans use air conditioning—in houses, cars, businesses, offices, hospitals, and data centers—and the scope of the Kigali Amendment becomes clearer, to say nothing of the other uses of hydrofluorocarbons.

Ratification of the Kigali Amendment is an unmistakable item on the Biden administration’s climate “to do” list. But it adds up to trouble for Americans.


U.S. Farmers Grab the Lobbying Pitchforks as Greens Sow Costly New Reporting Mandates

Echoing conflicts from Sri Lanka to Canada to the Netherlands, tensions between farmers and green-minded government policymakers are building in the United States, where producers are squaring off against a costly proposed federal mandate for greenhouse-gas reporting from corporate supply chains.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March proposed requiring large corporations, including agribusinesses and food companies, to report greenhouse gas emissions down to the lowest rungs of their supply chains as a means of combatting climate change, which environmental campaigners contend imperils the planet and life on it.

Reporting such indirect, “scope 3” emissions would require corporations to demand data on the use of fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, and other chemicals from small-scale farmers who say they lack the personnel and resources to comply. The challenge has been led by the powerful American Farm Bureau Federation and its state affiliates, whose representatives have met with SEC officials and organized their lobbyists in Washington.

“The farmers we represent are already heavily regulated at the state, local, and federal level but have never been subject to things concerned with Wall Street,” said Lauren Lurkins, director of environmental policy at the Illinois Farm Bureau. “Our farmers do not have a team of compliance officers or attorneys, and they don’t have a network of people to help them understand this. They really want to make sure they are growing crops and raising livestock and that [they] take care of the food supply.”

Farmer protests worldwide, including tractor blockades, come at a time of heightened global food insecurity created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a major wheat exporter, and other supply-chain disruptions from the pandemic. The restiveness darkens global economic prospects with recession a foregone conclusion to many as the Federal Reserve and other central banks tighten credit to tame high inflation.

The most dramatic consequences of a governmental push for sharp limits on farming occurred in Sri Lanka, where a 2021 fertilizer ban led to a massive reduction in crop yields, sparking starvation that helped bring down the government in July.

In the United States, the last major farmer protest was in 1979, when thousands of farmers – some on tractors – came to the Capitol in Washington to pressure the Carter administration to prioritize the lagging agricultural sector.

“If we start going down this path where regulators literally put farmers out of business as in Sri Lanka and the European Union with these climate decisions, you could see something like that,” said Jordan Dux, a lobbyist for the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

The downstream data reporting is required, the SEC claims, to determine larger, publicly traded companies’ green score, called an ESG, or environmental, social, and governance rating. The greenhouse gas measurements would be made at least partly in accordance with a set of standards developed in 2011 by an international consortium of environmental groups and corporations.

While the SEC released its first climate-related disclosure guidance in 2010, the new requirements are driven by the “elevation of climate issues,” Erik Gerding, the SEC’s deputy director of legal and regulatory policy in its division of corporation finance, said in a May webinar put on by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, an international group formed to increase reporting by companies of climate-related information.

The proposed rule is not driven by the average individual investor, but rather investment giants managing large portfolios.

“Several institutional investors who have collectively trillions of dollars and investments under management have demanded climate-related information … because of the investor assessment of how climate change poses a risk to their portfolio,” Gerding said.

Most shareholders in the U.S. prioritize traditional corporate performance over environmental and other social welfare concerns, according to a Gallup study released in February. The poll queried its Gallup Panel with $10,000 or more in equities or bonds.

In another survey, investment professionals in the National Investor Relations Institute ranked an ESG score fourth in risk to a company behind performance, crisis, and management troubles.

Agriculture industry supporters contend the pending SEC rule will hinder an already struggling food supply chain, driving up prices while harming small communities reliant on agriculture, and forcing many small and mid-sized operations across the U.S. to close.

Gary Gensler, the Biden-nominated chairman of the SEC and a long time progressive, said in announcing the plan that “it would provide investors with consistent, comparable, and decision-useful information for making their investment decisions.”

But the plan drew “an extraordinarily high” number of substantive comments to the agency – around 14,000 – during the 60-day requisite comment period, according to Ropes & Gray, a law firm that compiled a report on public comments submitted to the SEC on the climate disclosure proposal. Because of that, the comment period was extended an extra 30 days and closed on June 17.

Agribusiness represented 20% of the total comments received by the SEC, mostly opposing the rule. The SEC was scheduled to adopt the plan in October, but it is expected to finalize the rule later due to the volume of comments and pleas for reconsideration.

Among the comments was the promise of litigation from a group of 24 Republican state attorneys general, which cited this year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA that a federal agency does not have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.


Sydney: no petrol or diesel cars, no gas, no future

New South Wales is in for an energy nightmare, and it makes no difference whether they vote Labor, Green, or Kean at the next election.

There is a plot underway to ban the purchase of all petrol and diesel cars and outlaw gas connections in new properties.

Too bad, I guess, when the next blackout comes along. I’ll be boiling water on the stove and having a hot dinner – the rest of the state will be staring at the darkness eating a packet of biscuits.

Before we get into the nonsense, I have a question for Labor’s Anthony Albanese.

If cutting our emissions in half by 2030 is the government’s chief priority, why has Labor decided to import 400,000 new people next year? How many services and privileges are the rest of us going to lose in order to maintain our existing standard of living and endure the emissions cut with all these additional ‘carbon units’ wandering around?

No really, Albanese. Are we saving the planet or pushing toward a ‘Big Australia’ which requires ‘Big Infrastructure’ for your union mates?

As far as anyone can determine, the Labor government is deliberately making the quality of life for Australians paper-thin so that we can be comfortably bundled up into a Treasury report.

The nonsense specific to NSW is coming out of the Committee for Sydney thinktank – also known as ‘a collection of people paid to sit around and make everyone’s lives miserable’.

The Decarbonising Sydney report reads more like a guide to return to the stone age:

Sam Kernaghan, the Committee’s Resilience Director, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report (August 2021) had put an intense focus on what a warming world would look like, and the need to accelerate climate action.

‘We still have time, but not much,’ he said.

‘We can’t wait until 2050. We need to set ambitious and optimistic goals for 2030 – goals that show leadership and set the direction.

‘These actions will help Sydney play its part in combating Climate Change, but they’ll also provide benefits to our communities, economy, and environment – from improved air quality to lower household bills and more resilient energy grids that are better able to cope with the extremes of weather that we can expect to face in coming years.’

Utter fantasy. The more ‘green’ our grid goes, the higher our energy costs climb. This is a worldwide pattern that some call ‘teething issues with transition’ but the rest of name as ‘a permanent flaw’ that is opening like the Mariana Trench beneath our feet.

The Sydney Committee’s plan is to funnel as much money as possible into the billionaire renewables barons. If their business model is so successful, why are the increasingly poor public paying for it?

Why hasn’t anyone asked the Committee what they plan to do about global shortages of raw materials that currently prohibit the creation of their energy dreams?

It’s almost like the ‘thinktank’ didn’t ‘think’ about any of the real-world practicalities and instead prefers to prattle off dangerous idiocy from their gilded city cages without having any clue that their comfort comes off the back of coal, oil, and gas.

Their plan (if you can call it that) is to halve Sydney’s emissions by 2030. We could probably achieve that by putting a stop on the flight plans and unnecessary mansions of Sydney’s richest businessmen and politicians, but in a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ reality, only the peasants will suffer.

Banning gas to households is stupid and petty. The government is not doing it to ‘save the planet’ – they are doing it because they desperately need the gas reserves to prop up their failing renewables grid. They don’t want to come out and say that because it involves admitting that solar and wind require fossil fuels to work.

If politicians opened a few nuclear plants, citizens could have as much cheap gas as they wanted, instead, panic is setting on the energy industry as unreliable renewables shake grid stability to its core.

If you do any sort of real work in this country, banning petrol and diesel cars is going to be a catastrophe. The state government wants vehicles sales to be 100 per cent EV, but as of 2021, there were only around 10,000 in the whole state (because no one wants them).

As pointed out earlier, the world doesn’t have the resources to build these cars and Australia doesn’t have the power grid to charge them.

At the same time, NSW is pushing for solar on homes made from the same limited resources that EVs require. The natural consequence is what we are already seeing around the world – huge price increases in EVs and renwables. Their costs are growing in tandem and they have no price ceiling as resources dry up.

Owning your own car is soon to become a fantasy for the middle and working classes.

The report says as much. One of their priorities is a ‘shift to car-sharing’ that says:

‘In the future [of Sydney] people are going to use a car when they need one without having to own one. Car-sharing (as represented today by companies like GoGet) and ride-sharing (as represented today by companies like Uber) are the early examples. As the vehicle fleet evolves toward autonomous electric cars; it’s simply not going to make sense for people to own their own cars when they can summon one to get where they want to be at any time. The net result will be a massive gain of urban space as all of the street space and garages can be converted to new uses. Sydney should do everything in its power to support this transition.’

They also want to see a ‘dynamic road pricing plan’ to make your trip to the city even more unaffordable.

This will make the eco-fascists happy. Their goal is not to facilitate a green ‘change’ to our transport sector, it’s to strip cars away from the population to improve their Net Zero goals. While those penning these thinktank travesties live in the middle of the cities, half a block from civilisation, everyone else in the country is going to have to go out and find themselves a horse and cart – that is, provided you’re still allowed to own farm animals.

Where is the Liberal government? They are supposed to protect the people from this kind of selfish, reckless, bureaucratic garbage.

If you are wondering where all of this comes from, Kernaghan, the man behind the virtuous plan, worked with the Chief Resilience Officers ‘across Australia, New Zealand and across Asia to develop and implement comprehensive city resilience strategies as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Network’.

Most of the links for the 100 Resilient Cities Network no longer go anywhere, with their webpages long-dead, just like our cities will be if we keep pursuing the thought bubbles of Utopian ideologues.




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