VIDEO: California’s 100% ‘renewables’ law viewed from a homeless camp

Nothing reveals the disparities between the “haves” and the “have nots” like a climate conference.

As I drove from Jerry Brown’s San Francisco global warming summit to view CFACT’s billboard campaign revealing the folly of California’s new 100% renewable / zero CO2 energy law, I saw something shocking.  From the elevated highway above Oakland, I saw that I was passing over one of the Bay Area’s many homeless camps.  I got off the highway to say hello.  There I met Gerry Damiano, an extraordinary man, and a clearer thinker than the Governor Jerry in my rear view.

Watch the video of our conversation:

“I think he’s (Brown’s) living in the past,” he said, “Los Angeles has over 60,000 on the streets… They’re killing our jobs… I think he needs to change priorities.   We pay for it in extra taxes on our fuel, we pay for it on the price we pay for power of any kind, and we get no benefit.”

At CFACT we’ve seen this time and again.

At UN COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico, CFACT bused delegates from their air conditioned luxury hotels and meeting rooms to the nearby neighborhood of La Libertad where people live without electricity.

At UN Rio+20 CFACT allied with with activists from the “favelas,” (squatter villages) that line the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro‘s luxurious Copacabana and Ipanema beaches where the VIPs were staying, to reveal the nightmare expensive energy means for the poor.

The climate elite shuttle about in private jets and limousines, like 18th century French nobles in gilded carriages, ignoring the high costs and low (if any) benefits of their “solutions.”  They are self-absorbed and blissfully disconnected from the realities impacting real people’s lives.

Here are some realities facing California:

When electricity prices drive manufacturers out of state, will California’s ruling class take it in stride, or demand the rest of us share their self-inflicted pain?

Left-wing climate policy strangles economies and hits the poor hardest.

California is leading the way.  Backward.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is from CFACT.

Insane electricity prices ahead

CFACT put up two new billboards during Governor Brown’s climate summit that tackle California’s ridiculous 100% renewables / zero emissions law head on.

The billboards are on the Sierra Highway between Palmdale and Rosamond, California, just north of Los Angeles.

The first depicts a road sign that warns, “Insane Electricity Prices Ahead.”  That’s a no-brainer.  We’ve seen this story before.  The data is in.  California is making the exact same mistakes that wrecked energy markets in Europe.

Inefficient “renewables” caused electricity prices in countries like Germany, Denmark and Spain to double and triple, placing great hardships on ratepayers and making it tough for their industries to compete.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Engergiewende,” or energy transition, is estimated to have cost over one half TRILLION Euros by 2025.  Meanwhile all those solar panels and wind farms can’t meet Europe’s energy needs.  Anti-nuclear campaigners overlap with climate campaigners so Germany’s nuclear reactors are shutting down.  That leaves coal in charge of keeping the lights on.  Despite mind-boggling useless spending, European emissions have not declined.

Who gets hit the hardest?

CFACT’s second billboard features a vanity license plate which reads “PWR HIKE —  100% renewables with one million+ energy poor?  California’s pipe dreamin.'”

Energy poverty is no joke.  California leads the nation in poverty and homelessness.  Tripling California’s electricity price will hit the poor the hardest.  It’s the ultimate regressive tax.  California elites won’t like it, but can take high costs in stride.  It’s not the same for people struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg, Jerry Brown, Alec Baldwin and the rest of the gilded elite just don’t get it.

California’s mistaken new energy law spells trouble for everyone.  As business flees, the politicians in Sacramento are going to want to inflict the same burdens on the rest of us to “make things fair.”

This energy-wound is self inflicted.  California should adopt a wiser course and others should avoid repeating their mistake.

CFACT exposes ‘climate zombies’ at California conference

CFACT is at Jerry Brown’s “Global Climate Action Summit” in San Francisco. We staged a “march of the climate zombies,” mindless followers of “Al Gore” (played by me). The zombies moaned “save the Earth, stop global warming.”

The point CFACT’s zombies’ were making was triple underscored when we arrived at San Francisco’s Moscone center and found it besieged by the the real-life hard global warming Left, who were equally mindless.

The protesters formed “human chains” blocking every entrance and exit to Jerry Brown’s “summit” and for a long while prevented everyone, including the media, from getting in. Eventually the meeting tried to get started, but the demonstrators snuck in, hoisted a banner demanding world Socialism, and shouted down billionaire, and former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. “Only in America,” Bloomberg quipped, “could you have environmentalists protesting an environmental conference.”

Bloomberg should take a good look and see the kind of forces his misguided global warming campaigning would unleash.

Governor Brown just signed a 100% “renewables” law which places California on the most economy-destroying energy trajectory in America. That’s not enough for the climate Socialist zombies surrounding his event. They want Brown to issue an executive order putting all of California’s many oil wells out of business. “Jerry Brown keep it in the ground!” they chanted. The Protesters said that Brown has taken $9.8 million in campaign contributions from energy companies and called his summit a “trade show.” They then shut down key San Francisco arteries and caused a major traffic jam to further ingratiate themselves with the locals.
I (Craig Rucker), as Al Gore, stepped to the fore and said, “I ride around the world in personal jets and limo’s, everyone else should take public transportation.” “Save the Earth stop global warming” the climate zombies replied.

“Climate models have never been right, but that doesn’t matter. What do we say?” “Save the Earth stop global warming” the climate zombies replied.

“Sea levels have risen at the same rate for centuries. Polar bears are increasing. Who cares? What do we say?” “Save the Earth stop global warming” the climate zombies replied.” “When CFACT tells us the real facts, what do we say?” “Denier! Denier!” the zombies hissed. This got a big thumbs up from the cordon of police outside the center.

Sadly, in San Francisco reality is more frightening than parody. The global warming activists raised banners proclaiming “Capitalism is the disease and Socialism the cure,” along with red flags emblazoned with the iconic silhouette of Che Guevara. That Guevara was a mass murderer apparently doesn’t faze them.

Earlier this week Al Gore stated that “we have to make the decarbonization of the global economy the central organizing principle of human civilization.”

It’s pretty clear that the VIPs inside Jerry Brown’s climate summit are as dangerous as the climate zombies protesting outside.

Government for Hire? Emails Show ‘Climate Industry’ Funds Jobs in Offices of Governors, Attorneys General

California Gov. Jerry Brown is host of a three-day “Global Climate Action Summit” in San Francisco organized by an “activist donor network” that has burrowed into state government agencies, a climate change skeptic says in a new report.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, is the author of two reports detailing how a well-endowed “climate industry” steers donor money through nonprofit organizations into the offices of state governors and attorneys general.

The relationship between governors and environmental activists who are using governors’ offices to advance the climate change agenda of certain donors is the subject of a report by Horner released Tuesday by CEI, a libertarian think tank in Washington.

“A particular theme slated for the San Francisco event is that President Trump’s promise to withdraw from the Paris climate treaty is isolating the United States from what is otherwise and elsewhere a doable, successful, and economically beneficial adoption of this agenda,” Horner writes.

The new report highlighting Brown, a Democrat, builds on Horner’s report last month describing how these same special interests work with compliant state attorneys general.

It views the actions of Brown in California as a case study, examining how elected officials and other political figures allow their offices to be used to pursue climate change policies that conform with the international accord known as the Paris Agreement.

Government officials around the world negotiated the agreement in Paris as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015. The agreement calls on countries to combat the perceived threat of climate change by working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which he said “disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries.”

Brown’s San Francisco summit, set for Wednesday through Friday, places a strong emphasis on opposition to Trump’s policies, Horner writes:

Trump vowed to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because it is in reality a costly and ineffectual solution to the alleged climate crisis, it mostly directs resources to politically favored industries, and it harms disfavored ones. For similar reasons, the climate industry is dedicated to reversing Trump’s not yet consummated decision.

A major component of its campaign is claiming momentum toward Paris’s goals and rebutting the history of economic and social costs involved in implementing the policies that Paris demands. Implementation of the Paris agenda requires domestic policies, and implementing those policies is the principal objective of the campaign detailed in this paper.

The Daily Signal sought comment from Brown’s office on the new report, but had not received a response at publication time.

The California governor’s three-day summit comes with a budget of $10 million made possible through the support of individuals, foundations, governments and business, according to Horner’s report.

The nonprofits involved “take a handsome percentage for serving as middlemen,” it says.

Emails obtained from open-records requests indicate that politicians are making use of nonprofits and consultants as “pass-throughs for donors to support politicians with resources that the relevant legislatures will not provide and that donors cannot legally provide directly,” Horner’s report says.

The email records describe privately funded staff members placed in governor’s offices as “refugees” from the Obama administration who are working to reposition U.S. policy on climate and energy to conform with their preferred policies.

Horner, author of a 2007 book called “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism,” raises several questions in the new report in response to what he uncovered:

Are the donors going to such lengths to avoid 1) directly placing consultants in governors’ offices or 2) giving the money to do so directly to those offices, because they are barred from such placement? If so, why is this permissible? Or is the effort creating middlemen all merely due to appearances? Why do we find participants misleading or telling outright falsehoods when questioned about what we have found?

And the biggest issue of all is, does this represent government for hire?

The “off-the-book” operations detailed in the emails call out for legislative oversight to determine whether they violate state laws, Horner concludes.


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COLUMN BY

Portrait of Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Kevin. Twitter: @KevinMooneyDC.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of California Governor Jerry Brown delivers his final state of the state address in Sacramento, California, January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Greaves/File Photo.

100% “renewables” will fuel poverty and homelessness in California

By Ronald Stein.

In pursuit of the emissions crusade, the Governor, Senate, and Assembly have demonstrated their lack of understanding of basic math, with Governor Brown signing Senate Bill 100 into law that now sets California on a path toward 100% renewables and “zero-carbon” sources in electricity by 2045.

For wind farms that generate about 3 watts per square meter, to replace either the closed San Onofre 2,200 megawatt plant, or the to-be-closed Diablo Canyon’s 2,160 megawatts of power in 2024, would require land area 6 times the size of San Francisco for each closed plant!

California drought.

The emissions crusade goals (and costs) to reduce California’s one percent contribution to greenhouse gases have already increased the costs of electricity and transportation fuels to be among the highest in the nation and may be very contributory to California having the largest percentage of homelessness and poverty in the nation.

California households are already paying about 40 percent more than the national average for electricity according to 2016 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Continuation of that emissions crusade at the expense of our 40 million citizens, and further funding for the Choo Choo train, will further fuel the growth of our homelessness and poverty populations.

In addition, Californians continue to pay almost $1.00 more per gallon of fuel than the rest of the country due to a) the state sales tax per gallon which are some of the highest in the country; b) refinery reformatting costs per gallon; c) cap and trade program compliance costs per gallon; d) low-carbon fuel standard program compliance costs per gallon; and e) renewable fuels standard program compliance costs per gallon. More costs onto fuels are projected by 2030 from cap and trade and the low-carbon fuel standard that may add ANOTHER $1.00 to $2.00 per gallon to fuel.

With California energy and fuel costs among the highest in the nation, the State is leading the nation in the numbers of homeless and those on poverty:

Basic math tells us that intermittent electricity from the huge land mass requirements of wind and solar is not, and will not, be running the California economy. SB100 will further fuel the growth of our homelessness and poverty populations.

While California has chosen to have no zero emission nuclear power capacity, while the world is steadily increasing its nuclear power generating capacity with more than 50 reactors currently under construction. China has launched the most aggressive nuclear program on the planet, with plans to add about 150 new nuclear reactors to its fleet, and about 300 more are proposed.

Today there are about 450 nuclear reactors operating in 30 countries. Additionally, there are 140 nuclear powered ships that have accumulated 12,000 reactor years of “safe” marine operation.

Closing PG&E’s Diablo Canyon’s 2,160 megawatts of power in 2024 which will eliminate 9% of today’s electricity from the grid.  Thus, California ratepayers’ electrical needs will more heavily rely on procuring power from other States, usually at a premium, or rely on unreliable, intermittent electricity from solar and wind to meet our energy requirements.

An understanding of basic math by our elected officials should be obvious that displacing fossil fuel consumption within California would virtually:

  1. Shutdown the military operations in California.
  2. Shutdown the aviation industry at 145 California airports(inclusive of 33 military, 10 major, and more than 100 general aviation) that has a daily need for 13 million gallons/day of aviation fuels.
  3. Shutdown transportation that has a daily need for 10 million gallons/day of diesel fuels, and 42 million gallons/day per day of gasoline to support its 35 million registered vehicles.
  4. Shutdown the Ports of San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  5. Shutdown the cruise liner industry calling on California ports.
  6. Raise the costs of materials of 6,000 products from petroleumused by every infrastructure that are made from the chemicals and by-products that are manufactured from crude oil.
  7. Stymy the 90 percent of our population that cannot afford an EV, leaving them without transportation.

The future economic viability of the California economy will be dependent on our citizens electing representatives that have an understanding of basic math.

ABOUT RONALD STEIN

Ronald Stein is founder of PTS Staffing Solutions, a technical staffing agency headquartered in Irvine, CA.

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The ‘Global Climate Action Summit’s’ Destructive Decarbonization Tsunami

Batten down the hatches! A tsunami of global warming and “clean energy” propaganda is approaching! San Francisco is hosting the September 12-14 Global Climate Action Summit, a massive event at which “international and local leaders from states, regions, cities, businesses, investors and civil society … will be joined by national government leaders, scientists, students, nonprofits and others … [to share] what they have achieved to date and commit to doing more to usher in the era of decarbonization.”

Decarbonization means phasing out the fossil fuels that now provide over 80% of all the energy we use – in favor of wind, solar and other supposedly clean energy sources. In his video promoting the Summit, Governor Jerry Brown said, “It’s up to you and it’s up to me, and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change.” The Summit home page even claims “decarbonization of the global economy is in sight.”

That is ridiculous. The world has been using more coal, oil and natural gas over the past decade, not less, because they are the best energy sources available. The supposedly clean, green renewable energy sources and their long transmission lines are far too expensive and unreliable for widespread use. They also have major pollution issues of their own, though the worst impacts occur in countries with weak environmental controls. They require vast amounts of fossil fuel energy and raw materials to manufacture. They impact millions of acres for mining, waste disposal, wind and solar facilities, and transmission lines.

At the recent America First Energy Conference, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry noted that just generating enough electricity to power the Houston metropolitan area would require over 21,000 square miles (13.4 million acres) of corn fields, if the fuel source was corn ethanol. “Think about that footprint!” Landry exclaimed. To produce the same amount of electricity from wind power would take almost 900 square miles of wind turbines or 150 square miles of solar panels, he added (and millions of batteries).

Wind turbines already kill millions of raptors, other birds and bats, many of them rare, threatened or endangered. Imagine the impacts from all the turbines needed to generate all the world’s electricity. And climate change is almost entirely a natural phenomenon, over which humans have essentially no control.

To support the decarbonization ruse, Summit speakers will employ simple but effective language tricks. We’re already getting a taste. For example, the Summit’s Press Room proclaimed on August 23, “19 Global Cities Commit to Make New Buildings ‘Net-Zero Carbon’ by 2030.”

The World Green Building Council says the objective of net-zero carbon building is to “achieve net zero carbon emissions annually in operation.” But of course, that just means that most of the emissions merely have to be created somewhere else, as discussed above.

The WGBC says this is being done to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, “the start of the most important race in our existence – the race to curb global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so that global temperature rise remains below 2 degrees Celsius and, ideally, below 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

But that rise began with the modern industrial revolution and end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 – which means we now have less than a degree to spare before climate chaos allegedly sets in. That too is ridiculous. Moreover, humans cannot control climate as if we had a global thermostat, and we are not really talking about controlling “carbon” anyway.

Al Gore started that deception with his 2006 pseudo-documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which claimed “carbon emissions” were going to destroy our planet. Gore helped popularize the term “carbon footprint,” while always hiding the enormity of his own footprint – and hiding the fact that the “dangerous pollutant” is actually carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas that people and animals exhale and plants use to grow. The more CO2 in the air, the better and faster plants grow.  It’s a natural, happy, mutually beneficial process.

So, in an unfortunately all too successful attempt to scare people, Gore and his cohorts began using “carbon” as a synonym for carbon dioxide, knowing it would conjure up visions of soot, lamp black and coal dust. Aside from the fact that CO2 contains a single molecule of carbon, it has about as much in common with elemental carbon as lightning does with lightning bugs.

Robert Gould, MD, president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, further illustrates how distorted the climate debate terminology has become. Gould says “the decarbonization of our planet is imperative for human survival.” In reality, a decarbonized Earth would be a dead world, a world devoid of all life, including ours.

Many people have unwittingly accepted the “carbon” sleight-of-hand, without realizing they are being manipulated toward negative thoughts about plant food. It is possibly the best example of subliminal brainwashing ever.

Fears that CO2 increases can deleteriously impact temperatures should also be scuttled. Carbon dioxide can absorb only a narrow wave length of the radiation (heat) returning to the atmosphere from Earth, which initially absorbs it from the Sun. That wavelength is 15 microns or millionths of a meter – and the atmosphere’s current 410 parts per million of CO2 has already absorbed essentially all of the heat’s wavelength the Earth has to give. That means any further additions of CO2 can have no measurable impact on the Earth’s greenhouse effect and temperature.

Journalist H. L. Mencken accurately summed up the real goal of these deceptions. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary,” he observed. Global warming is the best hobgoblin the radical environmentalists have concocted so far.

Misuse of the word carbon is no laughing matter, however. This unsubstantiated fear is depriving the less fortunate among us of sorely needed, inexpensive energy, by eliminating life-giving fossil fuels and the miracle molecule of life, CO2. In the process, society is subjected to further government control, reduced individual freedom, greater socialism, less free enterprise capitalism – and lower living standards for everyone except wealthy, privileged ruling elites.

If you don’t think such nefarious word games can have such an impact, just remember how the term “Y2K” struck fear in many hearts and minds, by conjuring up endless turmoil that awaited us on New Year’s Eve 1999. Most of us woke up laughing at how we had been conned into worrying for months and years – when in reality turning to the new millennium simply required changing two digits on each computer that controlled planes, trains and electric grids.

The havoc never happened, and billions of dollars were wasted – just as is happening with climate chaos.

Some might say we are merely arguing semantics. If by “semantics” they mean “the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning,” they’d be right. In fact, linguistic and logic deception will be a major weapon wielded by Global Climate Action Summit speakers next week. Indeed, University of Florida linguist M. J. Hardman tells us, “language is inseparable from humanity and follows us in all our works. Language is the instrument with which we form thought and feeling, mood, aspiration, will and act[ion], the instrument by whose means we influence and are influenced.”

So as the Summit wears on, note how often you hear the word “carbon” – as in “carbon emissions,” “carbon footprint,” “carbon trading” and “decarbonization” – when the real topic is carbon dioxide, the plant-fertilizing “gas of life.” Reword the sentences using carbon dioxide, and ponder how they are trying to deceive you, scare you about manmade climate cataclysms, convince you to eliminate 80% of the energy you use, and let them control your life and living standards – while they get rich and powerful.

These word games are not like the difference between saying a flower is “pretty” or “beautiful.” They are intentional distortions used to drive their anti-fossil fuel agenda. We must call them on it every time.

About the Author: Tom Harris

Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition.

About the Author: Dr. Jay Lehr

Dr. Jay Lehr is The Heartland Institute’s Science Director. At AFEC, he moderated the conference panel “Why CO2 emissions are not creating a climate crisis.”

Good Riddance to Obama’s Energy Mistake

In 2015, President Obama’s EPA released the final version of a rule they called the “Clean Power Plan.”

The “CPP” was a wrong-headed mistake, guaranteed to make American power more expensive while not meaningfully cleaning anything.

EPA is now working to rectify Obama’s CPP and has unveiled a replacement called the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule.

In promulgating the CPP, EPA indulged in severe bureaucratic overreach when it went beyond the authority granted it under the Clean Air Act and issued its infamous “endangerment finding,” through which it labeled CO2, the essential gas you just exhaled, a “pollutant.”

A Manhattan Institute study found that EPA overestimated the benefits of Obama’s CPP and underestimated its costs.  In reality there is no meaningful benefit at all. The CPP would lower world temperature only 0.01 degrees Celsius by 2100 if EPA’s choice of climate modeling is accurate. Of course, such models never are!

Obama’s CPP was so egregious that no less than 27 states filed suit to block it, along with a host of others.  Even the generally reluctant Supreme Court weighed in and granted a nationwide “stay” blocking the CPP from taking effect!

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce posted seven ways they find the Affordable Clean Energy Rule to be better than Obama’s plan:

  • EPA doesn’t stray beyond the bounds of the Clean Air Act
  • States are truly in the driver’s seat
  • “Flexibility” isn’t just a tag line
  • New source review is addressed
  • Useful life considerations for coal plants are permitted
  • Emissions will continue to decline
  • Vastly improved regulatory process

The Chamber is correct that the Trump Administration’s new rule is a major improvement over Obama’s CPP. However, we believe EPA should go further and admit that its economy-wrecking CO2 “endangerment finding” was also in error, and then scrap that too!

The CPP recklessly limited America’s energy mix in ways certain to hurt consumers and industry.  CFACT senior policy analyst Bonner Cohen explains at The Hill:

Having diversified sources of power — natural gas, coal, nuclear, oil, hydroelectric and other renewables — has enabled the U.S. economy to avoid the perils of being overly dependent on one source of electricity. The CPP, by pushing utilities to shutter coal-fired power plants, seriously undermined that diversification and threatened the reliability of the grid.

EPA’s new approach empowers energy companies to use technology to solve America’s energy challenges. That’s the kind of challenge the American economy is geared to meet.

China now emits more CO2 than the U.S. and E.U. combined, while America has led the world in reducing emissions as a result of its shale energy revolution.  Over the last two years China claimed to be reducing emissions for climate policy.  That was a lie.  Chinese emissions peaked when its economy temporarily declined.  Satellite images revealed: that as soon as its economy picked back up, China went right back to building new coal plants.  Chinese coal use is set to increase four percent right away.

Restricting American coal, while China and India and others expand their use of it as quickly as their economies allow, is foolish — unless you think shifting even more manufacturing from the U.S. to Asia is a good thing.

EPA is doing the right thing by replacing Obama’s ill-conceived “Clean Power Plan” with a smarter “Affordable Clean Energy” rule.  While not perfect and improvements can still be made, it is clearly a step in the right direction.

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VIDEO: Straw bans are the ultimate virtue signaling movement

vir·tue sig·nal·ing

the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.

“it’s noticeable how often virtue signaling consists of saying you hate things”

On last night’s episode of The Ezra Levant Show, Climate Depot founder Marc Morano joined guest-host David Menzies to explain why the straw ban craze is really just the latest leftists virtue signalling movement.

WATCH their discussion to see how the straw ban is forcing Starbucks to use lids that waste even MORE plastic!

Sustainable Energy vs. Evolving Energy

In this column, we’re going to discuss how energy freedom leads, not to “sustainable” energy, but to evolving energy.

People often are concerned about the future of energy. They worry, “If we keep producing and consuming energy the way we are today, won’t we run out?” The answer, if you take that literally, is absolutely. If you do anything the same way, over and over, you will eventually run out: if you look for the exact same solar panel materials at the exact same places, for example, you’re going to run out of those. Or if you keep getting your steel from the exact same place, at some point it’s going to run out.

But we shouldn’t think of human beings as repeaters. The fact that a behavior cannot be repeated forever doesn’t mean that it’s unsustainable in the sense that the behavior is short-range and irrational. The truly long-range behavior is to always do the best thing at any given time, and improve and adapt over time.

image

Always use the best

The long-range behavior in metal, for example, is to always look for and use the best form of metal. Maybe that will be steel for 500 years and then maybe something completely different. And maybe the iron ore and the carbon for that steel will come from one place for 20 years, and then a different place for the next 20 years—we don’t know. As long as policy supports using the best metal at any given point in time, then human beings will keep discovering better ways to produce and use metal.

If somebody says, “We shouldn’t use metal at all because it’s not renewable,” and instead mandates that we make our skyscrapers out of wood because that’s renewable, you would probably think that doesn’t make much sense. There’s no reason why we should commit to using some particular material indefinitely. The same is true for energy.

We don’t need repeatable energy or sustainable energy. We want evolving energy.

Human beings are not repetitive creatures. We are evolving creatures who continually improve the materials and processes we use to flourish. And the key to evolving energy is freedom from endangerment, freedom to develop, and freedom to compete. That will ensure that we have the best form of energy at any given time.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Evolving Energy Systems.

Freedom to Compete

In this column, we’re going to discuss the freedom to compete.

Free to compete, free to choose

Because of threats to fossil fuel development and use, it’s very important for us to understand the truth about their impact on human life. Ultimately, we’re trying to promote human flourishing, not fossil fuels per se. We’re championing fossil fuels when they’re the best source of energy. And fossil fuels are at this point of history usually the best form of energy in any given situation. But they’re not the best for every situation.

For example, take somebody off the grid who’s willing to pay more for energy, and willing to use less energy. A solar installation with a lot of batteries could be a better solution because either they don’t have access to the grid or it would be inconvenient to use a diesel generator.

The best form of energy is the cheap, plentiful, reliable, and safe source of energy that consumers freely choose, when they’re given the choice among all alternatives that producers produce. This is why the freedom to compete is so important—the best form of energy can only be decided by the free choices of individuals.

image

A proper energy policy, then—one that truly benefits human life—is one that allows freedom of competition. As with phones or computers, when every energy producer is free to compete, the best ideas win.

No energy favoritism

The good forms of energy don’t need favoritism—special subsidies, protections, loans from the government. They need the freedom to compete and the freedom to improve—without interference, but also without special privileges.

The freedom to compete means that no energy gets special privileges. Every form of energy is free to compete for consumers’ dollars, as long as it doesn’t violate the rights of others—and as long as it doesn’t fail the endangerment test.

If we allow the freedom to compete then this will lead to the most energy for the most people.

Environmental Activists Ignore The Strong Case For Offshore Oil Drilling

By David Mica

While environmental activists continue to push the same weak claims for opposing offshore energy exploration and production despite successful operations elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, there are 56,000 reasons why Florida should open its waters to exploration.

That’s the number of high-paying Florida jobs Florida could see by 2035 if it embraces its offshore opportunities. And the benefits don’t stop there. In addition to jobs, additional offshore oil and gas production could positively impact:

National security: Why depend on foreign, often hostile, sources of energy when we have the potential to secure our own resources here at home?

Exports: With abundant domestic energy resources, the U.S. can be the world’s energy leader, creating jobs at home and enhancing security for our allies abroad. Win-win.

Increased Safety: Offshore operations today are safer than ever before. Since 2010, more than 100 standards have been created or strengthened, including for improved safety and environmental management, well design, blowout prevention, and spill response.

Price at the pump: Every barrel of oil we produce domestically adds stability to the global oil supply, putting downward pressure on prices. As the third largest consumer of motor fuels in the U.S., Florida benefits from greater domestic energy production and has the potential to significantly contribute to it as well.

Environmental Protection: Florida has received more than $908 million in federal funding over the past five decades to conserve our precious natural and historic treasures. That funding comes from oil and natural gas revenues. We can safely produce energy and use the revenues for important environmental conservation throughout the state. Another win-win.

Hurricane disruptions: Everyone in Florida knows the potential damage hurricanes can have on daily life and livelihoods. Further diversification of the nationwide energy infrastructure network would help prevent disruptions to gasoline supply after storms.

Energy conservation: Greater use of natural gas for electricity generation has helped drive U.S. carbon emissions to 25-year lows. Florida is on the front lines of this exciting trend, generating more than 60 percent of its electricity from clean, affordable natural gas and demonstrating that energy production and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive.

Florida’s Tourism Economy: Decades of experience in the Gulf of Mexico confirm that energy development can safely coexist with fishing and tourism, as state officials with firsthand experience enthusiastically attest.

The facts support taking advantage of Florida’s offshore energy resources. Florida families and businesses already benefit from offshore energy exploration — from the sidelines. By getting in the game, we can grow our economy and be part of making the nation more energy secure.

ABOUT DAVID MICA

David Mica is the Executive Director of the Florida American Petroleum Institute.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Benefits of U.S. Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Development in the Eastern Gulf

How Do You Tell If The Earth’s Climate System “Is Warming”?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act. The Revolutionary Act has no financial or other affiliation with API.

Freedom to Develop

In this column, we’re going to discuss the freedom to develop.

What is the freedom to develop?

To develop is to change our environment from one form into another form—in particular, a form that the developer regards as more conducive to human life. All energy production requires development, and a lot of it.

Thus, for energy production to occur, we need to be free to develop; to be free to take our ideas—the best place for a power plant, which basin has the most potential for oil and gas, a new kind of refinery—and translate them into value.

What does freedom to develop mean? It means that others cannot forcibly interfere: private individuals should not be able to sabotage development, as sometimes happens with pipelines, and governments shouldn’t be able to sabotage development, which is far more common.

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Pro-development vs. anti-impact

If we want the best laws to promote human well-being through energy abundance, we need this freedom. However, there are a lot of people in the world, particularly in wealthy countries, who advocate the idea that development is bad. They sometimes call it “being green” or “minimizing impact.”

If you really take that idea seriously it means that we shouldn’t do the things that we need to do to prosper, and that in fact we shouldn’t have done most of what we’ve already done to make ourselves prosperous.

If we’re anti-development, if we want to minimize our impact, then we should have never turned the patch of dirt and trees in the northeast United States into New York City.

If you look at the map of North Korea and South Korea, you’ll see that South Korea is lit up at night while North Korea is almost completely dark: if we really want to minimize impact, North Korea is doing a much, much better job.

I think this anti-development idea is a dangerous idea. We don’t want to be anti-development. We want to be anti-pollution, but pro-development.

The vital importance of private property rights

This doesn’t mean that the government has to develop itself. It just means the government has to allow people to be free to develop.

Historically, the United States has been the world’s energy leader and the world’s energy innovator because we have had the most freedom to develop of any place in the world—including a strong respect for private property rights, which are vital for enabling people to develop energy resources.

But today, the right to private property and the right to develop are both under attack. Much damage has already done by anti-development activists preventing people from using their land as they choose, and instead saying that landowners are obligated to use their land only in the way the activists see fit.

We might ask, “Does freedom to develop mean that anyone can develop anywhere?” There’s room for debate here, but in general, people who own private property can and should preserve the areas that they really want preserved and develop the areas they really want developed. It’s a very dangerous idea that one person’s property rights should be restricted because someone else wants that property to remain pure.

If I buy several acres with some trees, and then I learn that underground there’s an amazing amount of hydrocarbons, I should be free to extract that so I can get a royalty from it. Someone in Washington D.C. or Washington State shouldn’t get to say, “I want your land“ or to tell you how to use your land.

The freedom to develop is crucial, so if we respect the freedom to develop while respecting the freedom from endangerment, we can make a lot of progress.

RELATED ARTICLE: Trump blames California wildfires on ‘bad environmental laws’

Trump to California fuel standards: “You’re fired!”

Driven by Green ideology, the Obama Administration set unrealistic fuel standards (a.k.a. “CAFE” rules) for cars sold in America.

Yesterday, the Trump Administration announced it is putting a freeze on their implementation before any serious damage is done.

As recent as the Bush administration, the fuel efficiency standard was 27.5 miles per gallon. The Obama approach was set to jack up the CAFE mandate to a whopping 54.5 mpg by 2025. It was inspired by the eco-topian standards set in California and designed to force Americans to either buy electric cars or force them to drive unsafe, matchbox-sized gasoline powered ones.  Most Americans did not want to voluntarily buy either.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler highlight exactly this point in an important editorial in the Wall Street Journal:

The 2012 standards were designed to encourage the development and sale of electric vehicles. Today electric vehicles are only about 1.5% of new vehicles sold. Some data conclude that nearly half of consumers who purchase an electric car do not buy another because of challenges with range and recharge times. Yet to meet the previous administration’s fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas standards, manufacturers would have to produce vehicle lineups that are 30% electric or more over the next seven years—far more vehicles than buyers are likely to want.

Further, the effect of the last administration’s standards was to subsidize these expensive electric vehicles at the expense of affordable traditional cars and trucks. Our goal is to ensure that consumers have a variety of safe, fuel-efficient choices so they can decide for themselves which options suit them best. This includes electric vehicles, for those who want them.

The President, by putting a freeze on the Obama CAFE rule, is also ending California’s practice of using its large market power to dictate Green ideology to the rest of the nation from the Left Coast.

The framers crafted the U.S. Constitution to safeguard the rights of individuals and of the states.  At the same time they realized that there were some powers they could not entrust to the states.  The Commerce Clause was crafted specifically to prevent the states from taxing and obstructing the flow of goods across state lines.  They reserved regulation of interstate commerce to the federal government.  The federal government has since wildly expanded its Commerce Clause powers far beyond the framers intent.  California’s practice of setting national environmental policy from Sacramento in cahoots with a compliant EPA is just the sort of thing the Constitution was written specifically to prevent.

Crafting smarter fuel efficiency standards is a needed reform.

Standing up to California’s heavy-handed eco-bullying is courageous.

CFACT applauds both wise moves.

Wind and Solar Power are the Welfare Dependents of the Energy World

Every turbine and panel that goes up raises the cost of electricity for the community it (allegedly) serves.

Take a look at this hard-hitting editorial at CFACT.org that reveals the hypocrisy of the wind and solar crowd.

Failing the laugh test: Wind, solar power make subsidy accusations

The lavishly subsidized wind and solar power industries apparently don’t like other meth dealers – er, make that energy subsidy recipients – on their federal-pork street corner. The evidence? Wind and solar apologists are squealing with outrage that coal and nuclear power may finally get their own small piece of the action.

For important context, the wind and solar power industries each receive such enormous taxpayer subsidies that all other energy industries combined do not receive as much taxpayer pork as either wind or solar power alone. According to the U.S. Energy Information administration, the net subsidies for coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power combined amount to only 1/9th of the amount of federal renewable energy subsidies (see Table 3: https://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf).

Keeping wind and solar power’s dominance of the energy subsidy racket in mind, wind and solar apologists are making laughable objections to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to provide credit – on energy security grounds – to power facilities that can produce electricity 24/7 and can store their fuel onsite. With coal and nuclear power fitting these energy security goals, and wind and solar power falling short, renewable power apologists claim energy security considerations amount to “subsidies” and “bailouts” for coal and nuclear power.

For example, University of Michigan professor Mark J. Perry argued Tuesday in the Washington Examiner that coal and nuclear power “are being pushed out of competitive electricity markets by an abundance of cheap natural gas and renewable energy.” He may be correct that low natural gas prices are giving coal and nuclear power a run for their money, but wind and solar power prices certainly don’t. It is precisely because wind and solar power are so expensive and unreliable that the wind and solar industries need lavish subsidies and renewable power mandates to force consumers to purchase their products.

Perry digs himself a deeper hole by calling energy security considerations a “bailout” and then arguing, “It is time to let natural gas and renewable power earn their fair share of the electricity market, unencumbered by government interference.”

“Unencumbered by government interference”?!! This is a renewable power apologist talking? Forgive us for spewing our coffee all over our keyboard as we read this.

Free-market economists can debate whether the federal government should assign preference to baseload power that is available 24/7 and is relatively immune to supply interruptions. But people championing wind and solar power are the last ones who can criticize coal and nuclear power finally being considered for a small portion of the renewable power industry’s federal energy subsidies.

Wind Turbines, the Military, National Security and Sausages

There’s a well-known observation that close inspection of how legislation is made, is very much like watching sausage being created. In both cases it’s very unappetizing.

This process was on display recently with the machinations going on with the annual federal legislation for our military: the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). To understand the missed opportunity here, one needs to have a bit of background as to how we got to where we are today.

It would be nice to be able to convey this whole story in a single sound-byte sentence, but that’s not possible. If you care about our national security, it is important to understand some related information. Let me summarize it as simply as I can, by identifying the key points, in approximate chronological order…

#1: There has been several years of conflict between military operations (in the US and elsewhere) and industrial wind energy. There have been multiple conflicts, ranging from tall structures obstructing low-level flight paths, to weather and navigation radar interferences, to specialized cases (like deteriorating the important ROTHR facility).

#2: Initially the COs of affected military facilities simply voiced their objections, and in most cases the proposed offending wind project was not approved.

#3: This was unacceptable to the powerful wind industry, and some of their well-connected allies. Their plan was to get military base COs basically out of the equation — while simultaneously giving the public the impression that military concerns were being fully addressed. That might seem like a tall order, but we’re dealing with expert marketers here. Their end result was to create the DoD Wind Siting Clearinghouse (2011: during the Obama administration).

#4: The Clearinghouse was all about expanding US industrial wind energy, not protecting our military or our national security. The rules and regulations for the Clearinghouse were written to assist the wind industry. If that wasn’t enough, the initial people in charge of the Clearinghouse were unabashed wind energy promoters. (Upon retiring, the first head-person was quickly hired as a wind energy lobbyist!)

#5: Not surprisingly, numerous conflicts continue to exist between wind energy and our military. The public has little awareness of these issues, due to classified agreements, carefully enmeshed in bureaucratic double-speak. The wind industry repeatedly trumpeted that everything was just peachy. For those who didn’t bother to closely look behind the curtain, things may well have seemed to be OK.

#6: Effectively what happened was that military defenders had to now look for some protection from state level legislation.  Of course the wind lobby has infiltrated state politics as well, so this was no easy solution. That said there have been some major victories — e.g. Texas passing S277, and North Carolina passing a two year statewide moratorium (see here, Part XIII) while they did an investigation of the wind energy military interference issue.

#7: Ultimately the defense of our military, and our national security, is a federal matter. Towards that end, in early 2017 I sent to some key legislators an outline of this problem, which included three simple but effective solutions to this serious matter to be incorporated into the current year NDAA: a) substitute a better word for “mitigate” (like “remediate”) as this can result in no meaningful change being made,  b) require that the developer pay for all costs incurred [not the taxpayer, which is the case now], and c) broaden the allowable reasons for denying a permit — e.g. to include if the lives of military personnel were put at risk.

#8: Both the 2018 House and Senate bills actually did endorse a part of the third (“c”) recommendation. The Clearinghouse rules basically say that to reject a proposed wind project, that there has to be substantial proof that it is an “unacceptable risk to national security.” (How that is defined has evolved, and is still subject to interpretation.) This has to be then endorsed by the DoD Secretary, etc. In other words, the bar was purposefully set very high, so that it was almost impossible to turn down a proposed wind project. (Reference: only one project out of over 15,000 has been so terminated via the Clearinghouse process over many years now.)

#9: One of my three recommendations was to reasonably expand the allowable reasons to deny a wind project. For example, if a wind project could be shown to threaten the lives of our military personnel, that this (by itself) would be an acceptable justification to deny it a permit to be built. The 2018 NDAA (see section 311) improved the wording in this regard from the original 2011 legislation, but further clarification and more conditions are recommended. [For example, military lives could be at risk due to the deterioration of the ROTHR signal from wind energy interference, and the current words do not seem to address that.] In this session both the House and Senate NDAA bills, approved improving the Clearinghouse rules, to add some words to that effect.

#10: In later July 2018, this change was removed from the NDAA conference legislation (see page 1951 of 2019 NDAA). An experienced DC lobbyist told me that he could not recall a single case, where an important bill provision agreed to by both House and Senate, was then eliminated from the final conference legislation. What is of even more concern, is that during all this research and negotiation, that neither of the other two important deficiencies of the Clearinghouse (see #7 above), were fixed.

#11: As an apparent compromise, our legislators added a new last-minute provision to the NDAA: Section 318 (page 179). Basically it authorizes the DoD to engage the National Weather Service (NWS) to do a study about the impact of wind turbines on weather radars and military operations. It seems like the intent here is to convey the impression that legislators are serious about our military safety, and national security.

#12: Of course the devil is in the details. From all appearances, this provision amounts to more delays. Furthermore, nothing in the study will be about protecting the lives of pilots from wind turbine obstructions. Nothing in the study will be about assessing the impact of wind turbines on navigation radar. Nothing in the study will be about protecting the exceptionally important ROTHR facility or the military lives impacted by it. Lastly, who knows what will happen when the study is finished? In the meantime our military and national security is being compromised.

#13: What’s disappointing is that several good reports have already been generated on this issue. For example, here is a detailed NWS explanation of the problem. For example, earlier this year the NWS wrote a blistering report about how wind development in upstate NY was compromising FIVE (5) different important NEXRAD radar facilities! For example, Fort Drum issued this official statement about wind energy interference. What else do legislators need to know? Oh, they want more pertinent studies? How about: this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. We already have solid studies. We already know what the problems are and what some good solutions are.

#14: The reason we are procrastinating, is that the wind industry has done a superior job in creating the deception that wind energy is a good thing (i.e. a societal benefit). However, the fact is that industrial wind energy is a technical, economic and environmental net liability. Once that understanding is fully absorbed, no reasonable legislator would agree to allow such a detriment to interfere with our military, or national security.

#15: The bottom line here is that the protection of our military (and our national security) is being compromised by powerful special-interest lobbyists — who have undue influence on the government, and our lives. (For more info on that, see here.)

Please contact your federal legislator and insist that the Clearinghouse wind energy siting rules be fully and properly fixed (via the NDAA or otherwise):