Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Celebrate human achievement tonight!

Posted by Richard on March 28, 2015

Tonight, from 8:30 to 9:30 in your time zone, the anti-technology, anti-human eco-crazies want you to celebrate their “Earth Hour” by turning off all your lights and appliances, huddling in the dark to atone for your “sins” against Gaia. As Edward Hudgins pointed out:

But this is another way of saying that we humans are actually a burden on the Earth. We don’t belong. We should apologize and feel guilty for every blade of grass we step on, every tree we cut down to build our homes, every bit of food we eat—in other words, we should feel guilty of our own existence. Of course, Earth Hour is wrapped up in touchy-feely theatrics to the effect that turning off our lights expresses our caring about “Gaia” without requiring us to actually think about what values we are actually accepting.

When a blackout occurs because of a storm or some other cause, when the lights, refrigerator, AC, heat, computers, and TVs go out, we don’t cheer, we curse the darkness. Earth Hour asks us to bring a curse down upon ourselves.

I hope you’ll join me instead in celebrating the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Human Achievement Hour. Turn on lots of lights, play music, watch TV, get on the computer, call friends — in other words, use energy. And celebrate all the wonderful ways in which cheap, readily available energy and technological innovation in general — the products of human achievement — have improved human existence.

I plan to spend the hour creating the largest carbon footprint I possibly can without burning down something.

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Al “crucify them” Armendariz resigns

Posted by Richard on April 30, 2012

Last week, Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) released a video in which EPA administrator Al Armendariz talked about crucifying oil and gas companies. According to Christopher Helman at Forbes, the EPA tried just that with Fort Worth’s Range Resources until a federal court slapped them down.

Armendariz’s apology didn’t quiet the furor over his remarks, so over the weekend he was apparently persuaded to spend more time with his family:

The EPA Region 6 administrator who boasted of his “crucify them” philosophy of enforcement for oil and gas producers has resigned from his post at EPA. Al Armendariz announced Monday that he had submitted a letter of resignation Sunday.

Prior to his resignation the EPA administrator had more than half of the representatives from the states contained within Region 6 calling for his ouster.

(Region 6 includes Texas and the surrounding states, the heart of America’s oil and gas industry.)

Sen. Inhofe wasn’t satisfied by Armendariz’s resignation:

The ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works said that while it was right for Al Armendariz to resign in the wake of his comments positively comparing oil and gas regulation enforcement to Roman crucifixions, the EPA, under President Barack Obama, still has a problem with how it treats America’s energy producers.

“It is not just Armendariz. There are a lot of other Armendarizes around,” Inhofe told TheDC, explaining the problem has not been solved with the Region 6 administrator’s exit.

“We watch these guys. We get the complaints from people who are being run out of business by the EPA, and he’s one but there are several others also,” he said.

I’d wager a pretty penny that Armendariz is replaced by someone just as dedicated to the Obama administration’s War on Fossil Fuels, but more circumspect about what’s said in public.

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Celebrate Human Achievement Hour

Posted by Richard on March 30, 2012

A few years ago, the World Wildlife Fund came up with an annual event called Earth Hour, when Gaia-worshipping idiots around the world who think the planet would be better off if the Industrial Revolution had never occurred turn off their lights “to reduce energy consumption and draw attention to the dangers of climate change.”

For several years (when I’ve remembered it), I’ve marked Earth Hour by maximizing my energy consumption to celebrate the Industrial Revolution, progress, modernity, and technology. This year, Earth Hour starts at 8:30 PM (in whatever time zone you’re in) on Saturday, March 31st. I’ll turn on every light, appliance, and electronic device in the house.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has a similar idea. Instead of Earth Hour, they’re going to celebrate Human Achievement Hour:

Human Achievement Hour (HAH) is a celebration of individual freedom and appreciation of the achievements and innovations that people have used to improve their lives throughout history. To celebrate Human Achievement Hour, participants need only to spend the hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on March 31 enjoying the benefits of capitalism and human innovation: Gather with friends in the warmth of a heated home, watch television, take a hot shower, drink a beer, call a loved one on the phone, or listen to music.

You can also utilize one of man’s greatest achievements, the Internet, to join CEI’s in-house party, which will live stream right here at CEI.org beginning at 8:00 pm EST. You can use the chat function to tell us how you are celebrating human achievement in your neighborhood

I hope you’ll join me and the fine folks at CEI in celebrating human achievement on Saturday night. As I’ve stated before, “My ancestors didn’t survive the Black Plague and Dark Ages, create the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, and bring about the past two hundred years of astonishing scientific and technological progress so that we could huddle in the dark.”

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Just the fracks, ma’am

Posted by Richard on January 23, 2012

Casey Research has published an excellent essay by Marin Katusa that explains the technology behind hydraulic fracturing (AKA fracking), its benefits, and its drawbacks (and how they’re being addressed). Katusa debunks many of the claims made in the “frac-bashing” documentary, Gasland, including the nonsense about all the “deadly chemicals” in frac fluids:

Allowing for variance among companies and operations, fracking fluid is typically a bit under 91% water and 9% sand. Tiny amounts of added chemicals reduce friction, fight microbes, control pH, and prevent corrosion of equipment. Many are found around the house, including guar gum (in ice cream), borate salts (a fungicide), and mineral oil. And yes, there are 596 ingredients that have at some point been used to make frac fluids, but any single fracturing job uses only a few of the available options.

Even the 0.44% of added chemicals in typical frac fluid is about to become a non-issue:

Another way to ease the problem of frac fluids spills or leaks is to make frac fluids so benign that we could literally drink them. It sounds pie-in-the-sky, but the world’s second-largest oilfield services company is working hard on the idea. In fact, Halliburton (NYSE.HAL) has created a frac fluid called CleanStim, made from materials sourced from the food industry. A Halliburton executive showed the stuff at a recent conference – and then tossed it down his gullet.

Read the whole thing to learn much more about fracking — including how it may just prevent big earthquakes.

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Canada, Keystone XL, and national insanity

Posted by Richard on January 23, 2012

When President Obama nixed the Keystone XL pipeline project, Robert Samuelson called it “an act of national insanity.” Besides the several reasons Samuelson cites for why this decision was idiotic, there’s the fact that it isn’t even going to stop the project.

The company behind it, TransCanada Corp., said in effect, “Just because we’ve got Canada in our name doesn’t mean the pipeline has to begin in Canada, eh?” So they’re looking at a slightly shorter version, running from Montana to the Gulf. It would carry oil from the Bakken field. And since it wouldn’t cross borders, it wouldn’t require federal approval:

The Bakken shale-rock formation is estimated to hold as much as 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil in North Dakota and Montana, according to a 2008 U.S. Geological Survey report. Oil production in North Dakota surged 42 percent to 510,000 barrels a day in November, exceeding the output of Ecuador.

Production in the Bakken field may reach 750,000 barrels a day this year, Edward Morse, managing director of commodities research for Citigroup Inc., said at a conference in Calgary today.

The original Keystone XL plan was based on carrying up to 830,000 barrels a day, so the Bakken output alone may be plenty to make the project economically feasible. TransCanada can always ask for approval to extend it into Alberta later, perhaps after there is a less insane administration in Washington.

For a look at what some of our neighbors to the north think of Washington’s idiocy, check out this excellent video commentary by Ezra Levant:


[YouTube link]

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Earth Hour forgotten

Posted by Richard on March 28, 2011

A friend chided me today, and rightly so. Saturday night, Gaia-worshippers across the globe plunged themselves into pre-industrial darkness for the absurd event known as Earth Hour. And I completely forgot to remind my readers to maximize their energy consumption during that hour to celebrate the Industrial Revolution, progress, modernity, and technology. In fact, I forgot to do so myself! Mea culpa!

I'll try to make up for it by increasing my energy consumption throughout the coming week. As I've said before, "My ancestors didn't survive the Black Plague and Dark Ages, create the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, and bring about the past two hundred years of astonishing scientific and technological progress so that we could huddle in the dark." 

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Circumventing the ban on incandescent bulbs

Posted by Richard on September 28, 2010

Human ingenuity is a wondrous thing. With an opportunity for profit as a motivator, human ingenuity can find a way to overcome the best efforts of bureaucrats to stifle, regulate, control, and harass us. Case in point: The European Union's phase-out of incandescent light bulbs is well under way, with clear bulbs over 100W and all frosted bulbs already banned. (Similar regulations hit the US in January 2012, so start stockpiling traditional light bulbs now.)

The enviro-fascist busybodies behind these bans argue that incandescent bulbs are very inefficient, wasting a lot of energy as heat and thus contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and the destruction of the planet. So they mandate CFLs that are much more efficient — produce less heat per lumen of light output. 

These EU regulations define lamp as a device to produce visible light. So it occurred to a clever German that the regulations don't apply to heating appliances. When a heater produces heat, it isn't waste — it's the intended output. Thus the Heatball was born. The page is in German. Here's my translation (with a little help from Babylon) of some key bits:

HEATBALL® What is that? 

A HEATBALL® is not a lamp, but it fits into the same socket!

The best invention since the light bulb! Heatballs are technologically very similar to classic light bulbs, but they are intended to heat instead of to illuminate.

In passive houses [?], incandescent lamps contribute significantly to heating the rooms. When incandescent lamps are replaced by energy-saving lamps, that heat must be replaced. …

A Heatball is an electrical resistance device intended to produce heat. Heatball is [also] performance art! Heatball is resistance against regulations that exceed democratic and parliamentary powers and that disempower citizens. Heatball is also resistance against extremist measures to protect our environment. …

That is so cool … I mean, hot! The Heatball is simply (ahem) brilliant, and it should stymie the nanny-staters in Brussels for now.

At least until they impose regulations limiting how much energy a heater can "waste" as visible light. 🙂

(HT: Slashdot)

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“We want to go back to work”

Posted by Richard on July 23, 2010

The Obama administration doesn't want a government of laws, it wants a government of men. And there's no better illustration of that than the ongoing struggle over off-shore drilling in the Gulf. Despite the fact that the administration's own hand-picked experts opposed a moratorium on deep-water drilling and in essence said the administration lied about their recommendations, despite the fact that two separate federal courts have slapped down the administration's moratorium, the administration merely rearranged a few commas in their edict, and the moratorium continues.

And it's not just the deep-water moratorium. By refusing to approve or renew permits and throwing up other regulatory and bureaucratic roadblocks, the Obama administration has also effectively imposed a moratorium on shallow-water operations — a moratorium that no reasonable person thinks makes sense. Because it fits their ideological agenda, and because they never want to let a crisis go to waste, the Obama administration has used the Deepwater Horizon spill to effectively end all energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yes, this is the same administration that dithered and delayed for weeks, refusing foreign assistance that could have ameliorated the situation. Ameliorating the situation wasn't their goal. Remaking the American energy economy was their goal. 

On Wednesday, over 11,000 people attended the Rally for Economic Survival in Lafayette, LA. Gov. Bobby Jindal was one of the speakers. Here is a portion of his remarks: 


[YouTube link]

More of Jindal's speech here. As he said, the oil rigs are already starting to leave the Gulf for places like Nigeria and Brazil. In the words of Bruce Springsteen, "these jobs are going, boys, and they ain’t coming back." President Obama isn't stupid or ignorant. These aren't unintended consequences, this is what he wants. 

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Turning an accident into a catastrophe

Posted by Richard on June 28, 2010

In a Financial Post column, Lawrence Solomon provided much more detail about the Dutch offers for help in the Gulf oil spill that I posted about ten days ago. It's clear now that the Obama administration has turned an accident into a catastrophe that could have been averted (emphasis added):

Some are attuned to the possibility of looming catastrophe and know how to head it off. Others are unprepared for risk and even unable to get their priorities straight when risk turns to reality.

The Dutch fall into the first group. Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands offered the U.S. government ships equipped to handle a major spill, one much larger than the BP spill that then appeared to be underway. “Our system can handle 400 cubic metres per hour,” Weird Koops, the chairman of Spill Response Group Holland, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, giving each Dutch ship more cleanup capacity than all the ships that the U.S. was then employing in the Gulf to combat the spill.

To protect against the possibility that its equipment wouldn’t capture all the oil gushing from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch also offered to prepare for the U.S. a contingency plan to protect Louisiana’s marshlands with sand barriers. One Dutch research institute specializing in deltas, coastal areas and rivers, in fact, developed a strategy to begin building 60-mile-long sand dikes within three weeks.

… The U.S. government responded with “Thanks but no thanks,” remarked Visser, despite BP’s desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer — the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge. Even after the U.S. refused, the Dutch kept their vessels on standby, hoping the Americans would come round. By May 5, the U.S. had not come round. To the contrary, the U.S. had also turned down offers of help from 12 other governments, most of them with superior expertise and equipment — unlike the U.S., Europe has robust fleets of Oil Spill Response Vessels that sail circles around their make-shift U.S. counterparts.

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per millionif water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it.

The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn’t want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.

There's more. Far superior Dutch dredging vessels aren't being permitted to build protective berms. Instead, the Dutch have been asked to train Americans to do the work. The Dutch are perplexed.

To be fair, Solomon noted that the US also turned down Dutch help with the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. "Not invented here" syndrome and an inability to get priorities straight aren't unique to the Obama administration. Although I'd argue that in the wake of this unprecedented accident, they've taken insane environmentalism, protectionism, and loyalty to their labor union base to new heights. Or depths, depending on your perspective. 

(HT: Carpe Diem)

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Change! Dutch offer of help with oil spill accepted!

Posted by Richard on June 17, 2010

The Obama administration has now accepted one of the thirteen offers of help with the oil spill cleanup from foreign countries, a mere 54 days after the offer was made (emphasis added):

Three days after the Gulf oil rig explosion, the Netherlands offered to send in oil skimmers to pump oil off of the surface of the ocean. The Obama Administration turned them down because they were not 100% efficient and small amounts of oil would be pumped back into the Gulf with the excess water. EPA regulations do not allow for residue water to contain any oil. So rather than use equipment that was not 100% efficient the Obama Administration chose to let all of the oil run into the Gulf. This is not just bad policy, it is criminal.

Since the Obama Administration turned down assistance from The Netherlands at least 125 miles of Louisiana coastline has been ruined by the BP oil spill. Tar blobs began washing up on Florida’s white sand beaches near Pensacola days ago. And, crude oil has also been reported along barrier islands in Alabama and Mississippi.

According to The Examiner, the Dutch offer was to fly in the skimmer arms for mounting on American ships, not to send Dutch ships. So apparently I was wrong to suggest that the administration refused the offer because of the Jones Act and the administration's ties to labor unions. The refusal was instead due to the administration's mindless adherence to dumb EPA regulations and its utter stupidity (emphasis added):

As of June 8th, BP reported that they have collected 64,650 barrels of oil in the Gulf. That is only a fraction of the amount of oil spilled from the well. That is less than one day’s rated capacity of the Dutch oil skimmers.

Turning down the Dutch skimmers just shows a total lack of leadership in the oil spill. To just leave the oil in the water because regulations do not allow you to pump slightly polluted oil back into the ocean is just plain stupid. The small amount of oil pumped back into the ocean with the Dutch system is tiny droplets of suspended oil that will be quickly broken down by naturally occurring bacteria.

Well, at least they've wised up. And it took them less than two months. 

Still, does the phrase "a day late and a dollar short" ring a bell? 

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Refusing foreign help with oil spill cleanup

Posted by Richard on June 16, 2010

The President's first Oval Office address, on Day 57 of the Gulf oil spill, was mercifully brief. But it was also pretty light on content. Stephen Green summarized one of its main points nicely: "Hurricanes are easy. Leaks are hard."

The President insisted that his administration is in complete control and right on top of this thing, and that they've got the best scientists and experts advising them. But he failed to explain why the administration ignored the experts' advice — and in fact misrepresented it — regarding the offshore drilling moratorium announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

There was the predictable pitch for a "new energy economy" — the absurd argument that the government can create jobs for everyone and make us all better off by forcing families and businesses to switch to energy sources costing up to ten times as much as coal and oil.

The President also didn't explain why his administration has turned down a baker's dozen offers of help from foreign governments that have the equipment and expertise to greatly speed the oil cleanup. But the Heritage Foundation has an explanation: 

… Just three days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Dutch government offered to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms and proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) supported the idea, but the Obama administration refused the help. Thirteen countries have offered to help us clean up the Gulf, and the Obama administration has turned them all down.

According to one Dutch newspaper, European firms could complete the oil spill cleanup by themselves in just four months, and three months if they work with the United States, which is much faster than the estimated nine months it would take the Obama administration to go at it alone. The major stumbling block is a protectionist piece of legislation called the Jones Act which requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. But, in an emergency, this law can be temporarily waived, as DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff did after Katrina. Each day our European allies are prevented from helping us speed up the cleanup is another day that Gulf fishing and tourism jobs die.

Now, why do you suppose such an internationalist would blow off all those offers of help from our European allies and insist on us going it alone? Why would he refuse to temporarily suspend a stupid 90-year-old protectionist law at the cost of greatly increasing the damage to the Gulf Coast environment and the livelihoods of its residents? Two words: labor unions. 

Or maybe Rush Limbaugh is right, and the Obama administration doesn't want a quick resolution to the problem. Maybe this is another one of those fortuitous (for them) crises that Rahm Emanuel doesn't want going to waste. It's an opportunity to further extend the reach of the federal government, to tightly regulate and control another significant sector of the economy, to ram through "cap-and-tax" or something similar.

Or maybe it's just incompetence and ineptness.

Stupid? Evil? Or simply in the pocket of the labor unions? I don't know. But I can't think of a fourth alternative. 

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Regulation Reality Tour hits Colorado

Posted by Richard on April 19, 2010

Americans for Prosperity is bringing its Regulation Reality Tour to Colorado April 19-21. It sounds like a fun event with a serious message. "Carbon Cops" in SMART cars will drive home the message that the EPA's efforts to regulate carbon emissions (without congressional action) threaten to burden us with onerous regulations, taxes, and fines for activities that harm no one, further harming our economy.

I plan to drop by the Denver event at the State Capitol Monday evening (5-6 PM) after work. There'll be free hot dogs and something called "moon bounce." I don't know about the latter, but I'll definitely grab a free hot dog. If you're in the neighborhood, please join me.

Other Colorado events are scheduled in Ft. Collins and Aurora on Monday, Highlands Ranch and Colorado Springs on Tuesday, and Montrose, Grand Junction, and Wheat Ridge on Wednesday. All offer free food and most offer the mysterious "moon bounce." Get more info and sign up to attend here (you don't have to sign up to attend, but the free food supply is more likely to be adequate if you do). Bring the family — I'm guessing "moon bounce" is something the kids will like. 

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I forgot about Earth Hour!

Posted by Richard on March 28, 2010

Aw, jeez, I completely forgot that Earth Hour was tonight! From 8:30 to 9:30 PM, Gaia-worshipping idiots around the world who think the planet would be better off if the Industrial Revolution had never occurred turned off their lights "to reduce energy consumption and draw attention to the dangers of climate change."

As I have in the past, I'd intended to counter this anti-technology, anti-reason, anti-modernity, and anti-human nonsense by turning on every light and electrical device in the house. But I spaced it out. So I only had on the usual lights, two computers, big-screen HDTV, satellite receiver, 6.1 audio system, and assorted small electronic devices. Damn! I could have done so much more!

Well, maybe I'll just leave some lights on overnight to compensate for my earlier slacking. And I'm sure there'll be another Carbon Belch Day this June, and I can celebrate by maximizing my carbon footprint then. 

As I've said before, "My ancestors didn't survive the Black Plague and Dark Ages, create the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, and bring about the past two hundred years of astonishing scientific and technological progress so that we could huddle in the dark." 

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Stop Cap-and-Tax

Posted by Richard on June 24, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats are trying to ram through the Waxman-Markey "Cap and Trade" bill this week. It seems that the more radical, expensive, and consequential a bill is, the less time the Democrats want to allow for consideration and debate. This godawful 1200-page monster that no one has read is projected to cost us $2 trillion in just the next eight years and almost $10 trillion by 2035. More accurately described as "Cap-and-Tax," it would be by far the largest tax increase in the history of the world.

It's debatable which is the more radical and dangerous — this so-called energy bill or the health care reform bill still being drafted. Robert E. Murray says it's Waxman-Markey:

Perhaps the most destructive legislation in our country's history will, as soon as this week, be voted on in the House of Representatives: the Waxman-Markey tax bill in the guise of addressing climate change.

It will have adverse and lingering consequences for every American. It will raise the cost of electricity in our homes, the fuel for our cars and the energy that produces our manufacturing jobs, with little or no environmental benefit.

All Americans in the Midwest, South and Rocky Mountain regions will be most drastically affected because the climate change legislation will destroy the nation's coal industry and the low-cost electricity it has provided to these regions for generations.

Wealth will be transferred away from almost every state to the West Coast and New England.

In other words, from the red states to the blue states. As the Church Lady would say, "How convenient."

The legislation discards coal and low-cost energy with it by setting an unattainable cap on carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, with the first reductions due by 2012.

Reliable estimates show that this bill will cost each American family at least $3,000 more in energy costs each year, notwithstanding the $2 trillion cost to the economy in just eight years. The chief executive of one of the nation's major utilities recently said it best in the Wall Street Journal:

"The 25 states that depend on coal for more than 50% of their electricity . . . will have to shut down and replace the majority of their fossil fuel plants as a result of the climate change legislation."

Supporters of the bill claim that won't happen because of carbon credits it gives to utilities and investments it makes in "carbon capture" technologies. Nonsense (emphasis added): 

But this technology will not be commercially available for at least 15 to 20 years, long after the reductions are required in 2012 and long after our coal plants are shut down and our manufacturing jobs are exported to China, India and other countries.

All these countries have stated that they will not place any restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. China alone, which has surpassed the United States in carbon dioxide emissions, brings a new 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant on line every week. They will have low-cost electricity, and America will massively export more jobs to them.

Investor's Business Daily called it intense pain for no environmental gain, and said the immediate economic consequences would be disastrous: 

The bill would also cause an additional 1.1 million job losses each year, raise electricity rates 90% after adjusting for inflation, provoke a 74% hike in inflation-adjusted gasoline prices, and add $1,500 to the average family's annual energy bill, says Heritage.

The Congressional Budget Office says the poorest one-fifth of families could see annual energy costs rise $700 — while high-income families could see costs rise $2,200. Harvard economist Martin Feldstein estimates that the average person could pay an extra $1,500 per year for energy. And those are just direct energy costs.

The bill requires CO2 emissions to be cut 83% by 2050, reducing them to the 1908 level. If you're now cheering because you believe the dire predictions of global climatic catastrophe, guess what? It won't make a difference (emphasis added): 

Even worse, the draconian rules would have no detectable benefits, even assuming CO2 does cause climate change. Using global warming alarmists' own computer models, research climatologist Chip Knappenberger calculated that the painful 83% reductions would result in global temperatures rising a mere 0.1 degrees F less by 2050 than doing nothing. That's because Chinese and Indian emissions would quickly dwarf America's job-killing reductions.

Call and/or email your congresscritter today. Or send a letter via the National Taxpayers Union. Go to American Solutions and sign the petition. Contribute to the ad campaign if you can. Let's stop this misbegotten monstrosity.

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Arctic oil and gas bonanza

Posted by Richard on June 3, 2009

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists is meeting in Denver next week. One of the featured sessions looks at a recent re-appraisal of arctic oil and gas potential that significantly increased previous estimates:

The session will be co-chaired by Don Gautier and David Houseknecht, both with the U.S. Geological Survey, and will follow-up on a USGS report released in late May that said 30 percent of the world's undiscovered gas and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil are estimated to be located north of the Arctic Circle.

The study, presented by Gautier and colleagues, is the first detailed, peer-reviewed and geologically based assessment of natural resources in that region. Most of the undiscovered oil and gas will be found underwater, on continental shelves, the researchers said.

The USGS study was recently published in Science magazine, but is only available for free to AAAS members/subscribers. There's a brief overview (heavy on concern for the poor creatures of the Arctic and somewhat dismissive of the value to us humans) at ScienceNow

Some of the richest Arctic oil fields are likely to be off the Alaskan coast in the Bering, Beaufort, and Chukchi Seas. A lease auction last year in the Chukchi area brought in over $2.6 billion. Many of the promising parcels there are comparable in size to the North Slope field (Prudhoe Bay) that's fed over 15 billion barrels of oil down the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in the past 30 years. 

Unfortunately, on April 17, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Appeals Court vacated the Alaskan leasing program and ordered the Interior Dept. to "conduct a more complete comparative analysis of the environmental sensitivity of different areas…" Fortunately, the ruling was fairly narrow, and the court dismissed plaintiffs' arguments that Interior needed to consider the "climate change" impact of burning any oil found. Interior Secretary Salazar is at least giving the impression that he wants to "move forward and fix the shortcomings," not scrap Alaskan offshore development completely. No suggestion that they might appeal, though. I suspect he's delighted by the ruling and won't seriously try to reverse it.

With oil (and gas) prices on the rise again, it's high time the government stopped standing in the way of increased domestic oil production. That's especially true in the Alaskan Arctic, where — as Investor's Business Daily pointed out — if we don't go after those resources, others will:

It ought to be reassuring to Americans that energy can be developed here. Americans are environmentally conscious, and Palin herself has a good record on balancing development with ecology.

The alternative isn't reassuring: If we don't drill, the Russians will. Situated over on the eastern end of the Chukchi Sea, they have global ambitions of dominating the energy trade and no qualms about muscling in on the U.S.

Drill Chukchi. Drill now. Pay less.  

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