Archive for September, 2010

Republicans green with Democrat envy: GOP activists pursue a liberal eco-agenda

September 28, 2010

By Steve Milloy
September 28, 2010, The Washington Times

Just who are the Republicans against environmental protection? That’s the intriguing question posed by the activist group that calls itself Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP).

At first glance, REP violates in spades former California state Republican Party Chairman Gaylord Parkinson’s Eleventh Commandment, later adopted by Ronald Reagan: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” REP implicitly and sanctimoniously defames all Republicans – or at least the vast majority who haven’t signed on to its dubious agenda.

REP formed in 1995 when a network of anti-development, nominally Republican activists gelled to fight the new Republican-controlled Congress’ effort at regulatory reform, including the oft-abused Endangered Species Act (ESA).

So as Contract With America Republicans tried to get a meaningful grip on the alphabet soup of laws and regulations empowering federal agencies to be impervious to sound science, cost-benefit-analysis and even common sense, REP was helping Clinton administration EPA chief Carol M. Browner portray the newly empowered congressional Republicans as pillagers of the Earth and threats to the public health.

In that landmark battle of the 104th Congress, REP actions were indistinguishable from those of any radical environmental group. The consequences can be seen today in the greens’ use of the ESA-protected snail darter to block much-needed water from farmers in California’s Central Valley.

Fast-forward to the current 111th Congress, and the REP is again working against the interests of Republicans and America.

REP supported the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill, which squeaked by in the House, 219-212. Eight REP-applauded Republicans helped Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pass the bill, including REP honorary board members Reps. Michael N. Castle of Delaware and Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois. And what did REP say about Republicans who opposed Waxman-Markey?

Reps. Joe Barton of Texas, John Shimkus of Illinois and Fred Upton of Michigan were given “environmental harm demerits” for their supposed “failure to engage constructively in the committee debate about climate legislation.” No word from REP on the “constructiveness” of Mrs. Pelosi inserting a 300-page amendment in the bill at 3 a.m. the day of the final vote.

REP slammed Reps. Mike Pence of Indiana, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and John A. Boehner of Ohio “for their efforts to poison and polarize the debate on energy and climate legislation.” REP doesn’t just speak ill of fellow Republicans – it demonizes them.

On the Senate side, REP slammed South Carolina’s Jim DeMint for the audacity of trying to bar the Department of the Interior from reducing water allocations to the aforementioned California farmers. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski was hit for blocking efforts to regulate carbon dioxide because of polar bears. Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn got a demerit for opposing a 2009 Obama administration land grab.

Though Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine earned “environmental leadership credits” for supporting carbon caps, one can only imagine the insults they will get from REP because Mr. Graham single-handedly torpedoed the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill by withdrawing his co-sponsorship, and Mrs. Collins voted to block EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases. REP honorary board member Sen. John McCain may very well be defrocked for vocally opposing efforts to ram through cap-and-trade.

So it appears that any Republican who dares to oppose the radical environmentalist agenda of total government control over energy use and property is a Republican Against the Environment.

Though REP members probably aren’t the same sort of hard-core Marxist-socialists who make up the radical environmental movement, they appear at the very least to be severely misguided highbrows (honorary board member Theodore Roosevelt IV comes to mind) who think the government ought to protect the natural world from the plundering plebeians – and no taxpayer/consumer expense is too great to bear and no individual freedom or constitutional principle is too sacred to sacrifice in that cause.

Giving REP the benefit of the doubt about Marxist-socialism, perhaps it would consider re-forming as Democrats for Freedom and Capitalism. That would solve several very obvious problemsimmediately, including this one: Because environmental protection is essentially a luxury affordable only by wealthy nations, as the Obamacrats impoverish America with high taxes, outlandish spending and more economy-killing regulations, they also will wind up, ironically, hurting the very environment about which they claim to care so much.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery, 2009).

Why does Brownback push RES?

September 22, 2010

By Steve Milloy
Kiowa County Signal, September 22, 2010

Will Sam Brownback’s last act as a senator be to sellout Kansas and the rest of America on capping greenhouse gas emissions?

Sen. Brownback joined Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and several other senators earlier this week in introducing a bill to establish a national renewable electricity standard (RES), which Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated he would try to make the consolation prize in this Congress’ final lame duck-clash over global warming regulation.

Sen. Brownback called RES a common-sense energy policy and said, “the beauty of this is it is not cap and trade.”

What is RES and why should Sen. Brownback not let an RES bill stain his senatorial legacy?

An RES would require that electric utilities generate a set percentage of their power from so-called “renewable” power sources, like solar and wind, by a certain date. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, which was disastrous-for-House-Democrats, passed in June 2009 and would, for example, require that utilities generate 20 percent of their power from renewables by the year 2020. Sen. Bingaman’s bill would reduce the Waxman-Markey standard to 15 percent as per Sen. Brownback’s request.

But even a 15 percent RES would be quite the monumental challenge given that solar and wind power provide less than 2 percent of current electricity generation and require massive subsidies to do even that much. According to the Department of Energy, solar and wind are each subsidized at a rate 55 times that of coal, 97 times that of natural gas and 15 times that of nuclear power. Solar panels and windmills aside, it’s only the taxpayer wallet that makes these forms of energy “renewable.”

But cost is not the main reason for rejecting the arbitrary targets and deadlines of a national RES.

Imagine a utility that generates 100 percent of the electricity it sells by burning coal or natural gas . Impose the Bingaman-Brownback RES standard on that utility and, all of a sudden, only a maximum of 85 percent of its electricity can be generated by fossil fuels. In other words, the utility’s use of fossil fuels has been capped.

Since the passage of the Waxman-Markey bill, Americans have been up in arms against cap-and-trade. But the same reasons for opposing cap-and-trade can, and ought, to be applied to RES, which should be labeled “cap-and-subsidize.”

Under cap-and-trade, electric utilities would be compensated for higher generation costs by charging consumers more for electricity and by selling billions of dollars of carbon credits, received for free courtesy of taxpayers. Under RES, electric utilities would be similarly compensated for higher generation costs, courtesy of over-charged consumers and untold billions in taxpayer subsidies. So the difference between RES and cap-and-trade is merely a change in form, not a change in substance of an economy-killing consumer/taxpayer rip-off.

Sen. Brownback hasn’t yet figured out that the effort to regulate greenhouse gases is not spurred by good faith intentions to protect the environment as much as it is spurred by the left-wing political agenda to increase government control over the U.S. economy through energy rationing.

It is ironic that just as Kansas succeeds in beating back the radical green agenda — witness the likely permitting this year of the controversial Sunflower coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas — Sen. Brownback would surrender the state and nation to the agenda of the Obama administration’s admitted socialists, energy czar Carol Browner and former green jobs czar Van Jones.

America has rightly rejected cap-and-trade and its associated political agenda. Sen. Brownback should too; and if he returns to Kansas as governor, he needs to leave such bad green ideas in Washington, D.C.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery 2009).

Tell Sen. Brownback that an RES is a bad idea and he’s being played for a sucker by Harry Reid.

Obama’s Great Leap Forward

September 19, 2010

The White House released a report entitled “100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America” to counter criticism of the stimulus as a failure. Vice President Joe Biden said,

“With Recovery Act projects like these, we’re starting to turn the page on a decade of failed economic policies and rebuild our economy on a new foundation that creates good middle class jobs for American families.”

And the Vice President is spot on. The Recovery Act has created some great jobs.

The report covers some $7.5 billion spent to create about 27,400 jobs — as best as can be gleaned from the report, including giving the projects the benefit of doubt when the jobs figures are unclear.

That works out to about $273,723 per job.

The top ten egregious projects described in the report are:

  1. $4.38 million/job to build an elevated highway in Tampa, Florida. (Project #14 in the report)
  2. $3.67 million/job to rehabilitate the 107-year old Atlantic Avenue Viaduct in New York City. (Project #27)
  3. $2.91 million/job to provide broadband service in western Kansas. (Project #38)
  4. $1.87 million/job to seismically retrofit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (Project #37)
  5. $1.46 million/job to rehabilitate the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. (Project #19)
  6. $1.39 million/job to install smart meters in Chattanooga, TN. (Project #51)
  7. $1.02 million/job to conduct cancer research. (Project #2)
  8. $985,000/job to install solar panels at the Denver Federal Center. (Project #41)
  9. $967,000/job to build houses/roads in Nevada County, CA. (Project #30)
  10. $940,000/job to widen I-94 in Wisconsin. (Project #10)

Applying the outrageous average cost/job for these 100 projects to the $787 billion stimulus plan means that the Recovery Act should have produced 2.88 million jobs. However since the Recovery Act, we’ve actually lost about 2.5 million jobs.

Recovery Act? Indeed. The nomenclature is reminiscent of Chairman Mao’s own “recovery” program — the Great Leap Forward.

NYTimes critic on DDT doc: Ongoing genocide isn’t news

September 17, 2010

On the bright side, New York Times film critic Neil Genzlinger reviewed the new DDT-malaria documentary “3 Billion and Counting” on the morning of the film’s premier in New York City.

On the less bright side, Genzlinger was decidedly less than impressed by the film’s message:

As for the argument, it’s not exactly new: advocates have been speaking out in support of increased DDT use for a decade, contending that its negative effects were exaggerated or misrepresented when it was banned by the United States in 1972 and that in any case they are outweighed by the millions of deaths caused by malaria.

No, it’s not news that millions of poor Africans (mostly children under 5) continue to die preventable deaths. That’s been going on for decades — ever since the New York Times helped advocate for DDT to be banned in the 1960s. The Times was even warned about the coming “genocide” in 1969 letters-to-the-editor by Thomas H. Jukes.

Then again, the Holocaust isn’t news either, yet when Genzlinger reviewed “Verdict on Auschwitz” in 2007, he found that film to be “emotionally draining.”

AIDS has been around since the early 1980s, but an HBO show about AIDS in Africa was “compelling.” That show’s producer told Genzlinger,

“Hopefully [the show] makes people who are maybe in more fortunate positions try to make a difference in whatever way they can. Even if they just think about [AIDS in Africa], that in itself is a significant thing.”

Apparently, the same consideration is not merited for the millions who have already died and will continue to die from malaria in Africa.

Genzlinger credited CNN’s “Planet in Peril” with being “thought-provoking” for showing how the introduction of the wolf into Yellowstone National Park had affected the ecosystem. But millions of kids allowed to die preventable deaths? Bo-ring.

Aaron Hillis: Inhuman Idiot Film Critic?

September 16, 2010

What does a connoisseur of erotic gay cinema think of a documentary that’s trying to save children’s lives?

First-time film producer Dr. Rutledge Taylor’s new epic/call-to-action on DDT and malaria, “3 Billion and Counting,” opens Friday at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Sadly, Left-wing media is already on the attack in its typical ad hominem, knee-jerk, ignorant and misanthropic ways. Take Village Voice movie critic Aaron Hillis who opens his commentary on the film as follows:

“The death toll is mounting,” shrieks the tagline of this dawdling, hysterical documentary that may as well be named Every 12 Seconds a Child Dies From Malaria, and Why Haven’t You Done Anything About It?

Compare that with Hillis’ opening line in his review of “No Impact Man” last September:

The bold environmental project Colin Beavan began in the fall of 2006—to expunge his carbon footprint by giving up material consumption, electricity, non-local foods, and basically all worldly pleasures in Manhattan for one full year—was always destined to have some naysayers crying “publicity stunt.”

So to Hillis, eco-self-flagellation is “bold” while trying to save millions of real children from dying real deaths from a preventable disease is “hysterical.”

Hillis criticizes “3 Billion and Counting” because it,

… hinges only on Rutledge Taylor’s findings…”

Aside from the fact that any documentary filmmaker can only ever present his findings, Hillis omitted mention of the numerous opportunities in the film that Taylor provided environmentalists and other DDT opponents to defend themselves. For the most part, DDT opponents don’t take Taylor up on his offers because they aren’t willing to defend their indefensible actions on camera.

Hillis objects in ad hominem fashion to Taylor’s vilification of William Ruckleshaus and Rachel Carson while erroneously writing that malaria is responsible for “hundreds of millions of deaths each year.” [Earth to Hillis, the annual malaria death toll is on the order of 1-3 million per year. If you had paid attention to the movie, you wouldn't have made such a basic mistake.]

Aaron Hillis is too stupid to realize his good fortune in growing up to be a Manhattan-based film critic — as opposed to dying before the age of 5 years, which is what happens to about a million African children every year due to malaria. Worse, perhaps, is that once presented with uncontroverted facts about this ongoing tragedy, Generation Me’s Aaron Hillis is too callous to care.

Until he can complete some sort of program in compassion/humanity/empathy, maybe Hillis should just stick to reviewing films more up his alley, like gay zombie movies.

Senate takes another bite at the EPA’s greenhouse apple

September 14, 2010

UPDATE: Senate Democrats have cancelled the mark-up of the EPA budget reportedly because they were concerned that Republicans would offer an appropriations rider to block EPA regulation of greenhouse gases (described in the article below).

By Steve Milloy
GreenHellBlog, September 14, 2010

The Senate has a chance to at least partially redeem the 111th Congress when the Appropriations Committee meets to vote on the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, September 16.

Two Committee Democrats, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), have indicated they may vote favorably on an appropriations rider that would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions starting in January 2011.

Given the 18-12 Democrat-Republican split on the Committee, only two more Democrats would be needed (along with a unanimous Republican bloc) to stop the EPA from implementing the most sweeping, expensive and controversial environmental/energy/economic regulation in history.

Those two Democrats might not be hard to find given that Committee members Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) voted earlier in the year for the Murkowski resolution to block EPA regulation. And Committee member Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) is a co-sponsor of the Rockefeller proposal to delay EPA regulation for two years.

Why should the Appropriations Committee take the extraordinary step of reining in the EPA?

First, greenhouse gas regulation would necessarily impact the entire U.S. economy, as it would affect 70 percent of electricity generation and nearly 100 percent of transportation energy use. The totality of this impact demands that Congress, as opposed to a single and often controversial federal agency, address the issue.

Next, there is no serious dispute over the fact that greenhouse gas regulation will raise energy costs without providing any offsetting and near-term economic benefits. Given current economic conditions, making energy cost more will do nothing but further set back, if not reverse economic recovery. EPA has shown precious little concern for the real-world impacts of its impending regulations, so it’s time for the adults in Congress to step forward and assert authority over the EPA.

Third, there is a misconception among many on the Hill and in the public that that Supreme Court ordered to the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. Nothing could be further from the truth. In its 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA decision, the Court merely ruled that the EPA could, not that it must, regulate greenhouse gases. Evidence of the debatable nature of EPA regulation is that the Bush EPA opted not to regulate greenhouse gases while the Obama administration reversed that decision.

It is no secret that President Obama ordered the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as a prod to get Congress and industry moving on greenhouse gas regulation. The Senate now has another chance (after the 51-47 defeat of the Murkowski resolution) to reassert Congress as the driver of this major domestic policy.

Moreover, the EPA may have acted illegally and usurped congressional authority by issuing its so-called “tailoring rule,” part of the suite of greenhouse gas regulations. Under the Clean Air Act, if the EPA decides to regulate a “pollutant,” then all sources that emit 250 tons annually of that pollutant must be regulated.

But the EPA has unilaterally decided to change the law for greenhouse gases. Over the course of the past year, the EPA has arbitrarily and without congressional authorization raised the threshold from 250 tons to 50,000 tons and then to 75,000-100,000 tons — otherwise the agency would find itself with the Herculean and unpopular task of regulating thousands of small businesses and apartment buildings.

If Senate Democrats want to take steps to stem the bleeding that seems likely to occur in November and perhaps beyond, they should remember that America has pretty much rejected the policy known as “cap-and-trade” and that EPA regulation of greenhouse gases amounts simply to “cap” — that is, all pain with no gain. Any politician that takes no action to stop that will be in deep trouble this fall and in 2012.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery 2009).

The Last Green Puppy: Still a Dog Named ‘Cap’

September 13, 2010

By Steve Milloy
GreenHellBlog, September 13, 2010

Should Senate Republicans stomp all over the “last living puppy”?

Yes, because in this case the “last living puppy,” according to Grist.org writer David Roberts, is the so-called renewable electricity standard (RES), which Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) says he will try to make the consolation prize in this Congress’ final clash over global warming regulation.

What is RES and why should Senate Republicans —pay attention Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) — make sure it gets put to sleep (permanently)?

An RES would require that electric utilities generate a set percentage of their power from so-called “renewable” power sources, like solar and wind, by a certain date. The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill passed in June 2009 would require that utilities generate 20 percent of their power from renewables by the year 2020.

This would be quite the monumental challenge given that solar and wind power provide less than 2 percent of current electricity generation and require massive subsidies to do so. According to the Department of Energy, solar and wind are each subsidized at a rate 55 times that of coal, 97 times that of natural gas and 15 times that of nuclear power.

Solar panels and windmills aside, it’s the taxpayer wallet that makes these forms of energy renewable.

But even cost is not the main reason for rejecting the arbitrary targets and deadlines of a national RES.

Imagine a utility that generates 100 percent of the electricity it sells by burning coal. Impose the Waxman-Markey RES standard on that utility and, all of a sudden, only a maximum of 80 of its electricity can be generated by coal. In other words, the utility’s use of coal has been capped.

Since the passage of the Waxman-Markey bill, Americans have been up in arms against cap-and-trade. But the same reasons for opposing cap-and-trade can and ought to be applied to RES, which ought to be labeled as calling cap-and-subsidize.

Under cap-and-trade, electric utilities would be compensated for higher generation costs by charging consumers more for electricity and by selling billions of dollars of carbon credits, which they received for free courtesy of taxpayers. Under RES, electric utilities would be similarly compensated for higher generation costs, courtesy of over-charged consumers and untold billions in taxpayer subsidies.

So the difference between RES and cap-and-trade is merely form of the consumer/taxpayer rip-off.

But not every Republican in Congress yet understands this.

Sen. Brownback recently stated that he could support a “modest” RES where energy efficiency gains count toward the RES standard. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) previously indicated he could consider an RES that included so-called “clean coal” as a form of renewable energy.

Whatever RES deal Sens. Brownback and Voinovich might try to cut with Harry Reid, rest assured that the only part of it that would be kept and enforced would be the “cap.” Energy efficiency gains are uncertain and difficult to ascertain. Clean coal, insofar as it implies so-called “carbon capture and storage” (CCS), is far closer to fantasy than reality given its multi-trillion dollar costs, and physical and political challenges.

America has rejected cap-and-trade. As adorable and palatable as advocates will try to make it sound, RES is just a different flavor of an idea that has already been euthanized.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery 2009).

Another Grist commenter rejects nonviolence

September 8, 2010

Following up on yesterday’s post about greens urging violence now that they’re are losing politically on cap-and-trade, here’s another Grist.org commenter’s suggestion:

I think Karl Marx might be more relevant than Gandhi or MLK. This is essentially a PROPERTY issue. GCC isn’t really about oppression and prejudice; its ultimately about wealth and material things.

We don’t want to hurt people, or be hurt ourselves. But there are ways to target property that could make a statement.

Here’s an example: What if we start by throwing green paint on parked Hummers and similarly offensive vehicles? These vehicles are, in and of themselves, a statement. And the public roadway is a public forum vis-a-vis the 1st Amendment.

Why not make the potential buyer of a high-end SUV consider the fact that their vehicle might be targeted for this kind of political expression?

We could make it a liability to own these vehicles. It already IS a liability for all of us, and our society.

All it would take is 1000 people and one night to begin the campaign.

Are you scared of what this might lead to? Me, too. But at this point, I’m even more scared we’re going to waste our time on feel-good bulb replacement drives and peaceful marches that merely confirm what most people laready [sic] know: GCC is a major, immediate threat to our planet.

I think we’re past that point, friends.

Grist commenter incites violence against CEOs, corporations

September 7, 2010

The leaders of Greenpeace, 350.org and the Rainforest Action Network published an article today on Grist.org entitled, “A call for direct action in the climate movement: we need your ideas” — and boy did they get one.

Less than one week after Discovery Channel gunman James J. Lee went down in a blaze of violent ignominy, one commenter wrote,

… When someone is proud of taking advantage of another human being shoot the bastard. John Brown would have killed everybody who thought slavery was boss, or groovy, well we feel the same way, pollute and die, its that easy especially for Corporations and their laziest of all people CEOs. We declare war on CEOs and corporations that kill our brothers and sisters. Don’t need courts or judges, we got ropes. Scare the crap out of those who pollute, hang a few and our air will improve. Bill is that what you had in mind, the Crystalline Matrix has formed like a giant spider’s web, who will understand the “burning bright.” This is the year of the Tigeress.
the Director [Emphasis added]

The radical green management can call for non-violence all it wants — the zombies it has created seem poised to achieve their ends by other means.

BTW Grist, incitement to violence is NOT protected by the First Amendment.

Beware of Greens Bearing Gifts

September 6, 2010

By Steve Milloy
September 3, 2010, Charleston Daily Mail

Energy Secretary Steven Chu visits the University of Charleston on Sept. 8 to resurrect cap-and-trade via the Trojan Horse of carbon capture and sequestration.

President Obama’s radical agenda to destroy the coal industry is on the ropes in Congress.

Since the House passed the Waxman-Markey bill in June 2009, it’s been all downhill for cap-and-trade – done in by the Climategate exposure of global warming’s fraudulent science, and the anticipated job losses and higher energy costs associated with cap-and-trade, all amid the worst economic downturn in 70 years.

The Obama administration’s gambit for getting West Virginians on the cap-and-trade bandwagon is to buy the state off with carbon capture and storage.

Why shouldn’t West Virginia just make the cap-and-trade deal and take the CCS money and run?

Because the exchange means the end of the West Virginia’s golden goose – the coal industry.

The administration is holding out the promise of perhaps billions of dollars for utilities to develop practical technologies for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants, injecting the emissions underground, and hoping they stay there safely.

It’s a win-win, according to the Obama administration. The coal industry remains alive as the state gets extra money and jobs to bury coal-related emissions.

This may sound like a good, if not great, deal, but it’s really the classic sucker’s bet.

The reality is that carbon capture and storage is physically, financially and politically impractical, not to mention futile in terms of avoiding global warming.

University of Houston petroleum engineer Michael Economides estimates that it would take a land mass the size of the state of Maryland to store the CO2 emissions from a single 500-megawatt power plant – and there are more than 200 plants of that size in the U.S.

The costs of carbon capture and storage are budget-busting, especially for a cash-strapped federal government.

It would cost billions of dollars per power plant to install the equipment to capture CO2 emissions, and billions more to drill the numerous injection wells needed to get it underground.

Untold billions of dollars will be needed to purchase rights of way for pipelines.

Still billions more would be required to build and maintain the pipelines from power plants to geographically suitable areas for storing CO2.

Carbon capture and storage requires about 30 percent more energy to capture CO2. Even more energy will be required to pump the CO2 hundreds of miles through pipelines.

Beyond the physical and financial hurdles, there are the local politics, including the debate surrounding the risks of underground CO2 storage. Stored CO2 may leak and acidify groundwater.

Underground CO2 exploded in Cameroon in 1986, asphyxiating people and cattle.

Keep in mind, too, that environmental activists have blocked the storage of spent nuclear fuel one mile underground in an isolated section of the Nevada desert at Yucca Mountain.

Does anyone really believe people will allow pressurized CO2 to be stored under wide swaths of populated areas?

Carbon capture and storage has already given rise to its own slang – NUMBY-ism or “not-under my backyard.”

The futility of carbon capture and storage is best considered in light of the fact that capturing all the CO2 emissions emitted by every coal-burning power plant in the U.S. would make precious little difference to atmospheric CO2 levels.

Over the course of 100 years, it would reduce atmospheric CO2 levels by less than 3 percent. Compare that with the fact that mankind has added about 10 percent to CO2 levels just in the past 15 years with no discernible impact on global climate.

Cap-and-trade’s anti-coal carbon caps will be a certainty, while capture and storage is anything but.

In the end, West Virginia will likely be stuck with coal-killing policies even as carbon capture and storage goes the way of the Jimmy Carter-era synfuels boondoggle.

Coal provides West Virginia with 90,000 direct and indirect jobs and $6 billion in annual economic value. Carbon capture and storage will never come close to approaching the value of coal to West Virginia.

A word to the West Virginia-wise: Beware of Greens bearing gifts.

Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.”

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