Archive for the 'Capitalism Against Capitalism' Category

Chevy saves the planet for $4 per car?

December 2, 2010

by Steve Milloy
December 2, 2010, DailyCaller.com

General Motors has apparently had an epiphany. GM now “realizes” that it “shares the planet with everyone” and wants “to do more to help keep it clean.” So GM has pledged to buy carbon offsets representing one year’s worth of greenhouse gas emissions from the 1.9 million Chevys projected to be sold during 2011.

Under the Chevy Carbon Reduction program, GM will spend up to $40 million over five years offsetting about 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

There is much less here than meets the eye.

First, while GM describes the program’s cost as “substantial,” it’s really not. GM expects to sell about 10 million Chevys over the next five years — so the actual expenditure works out to about $4 per car. That triviality will be matched by the program’s environmental impact.

Human activities emit about 40 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually. So if all goes as planned, GM’s program will reduce global human greenhouse gas emissions by about 0.004 percent over the next five years. GM calls this “a start” and denies that the program is “greenwashing.”

In fact, GM states on its web site that, “This is really about making a positive statement to our customers. And letting them know that we are committed to doing the right thing.” But merely claiming green-ness while accomplishing nothing tangible for the environment fits the definition of greenwashing perfectly — “the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products are environmentally friendly,” according to Wikipedia’s definition of the term.

And it’s quite possible that the Chevy Carbon Reduction program will accomplish even less than the company believes since it involves the purchase of so-called “carbon offsets.” GM’s $4-per-Chevy expense will be directed to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, an Oregon-based non-profit that will “invest” the money in purportedly climate-friendly projects like planting trees, and solar and wind power.

But carbon offsets can be murky endeavors — so much so than when the Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported on them in 2008, concerns about their legitimacy overflowed into the report’s title, “Carbon Offsets: The U.S. Voluntary Market Is Growing, but Quality Assurance Poses Challenges for Market Participants.”

The basic problem with offsets is that buyers can be ripped-off fairly easily. Offset sellers claim the proceeds go toward efforts to prevent the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But as greenhouse gas emissions are invisible, challenging to estimate, and the accounting for these projects is typically not open to public scrutiny, buyers must rely on the credibility of the brokers and project operators. The GAO found that “the information provided to consumers by retailers offered limited assurance of credibility.” In other words, buyers beware.

Aside from any schemes and scams run by individual offset brokers and project operators, there is the overlay of the radical environmental agenda on the offset industry. GM’s offset broker, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), is run by a former employee of the radical Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). BEF’s offsets are “certified” by an organization called Green-e, the board of directors of which includes members of NRDC and the radical Union of Concerned Scientists — as well as BEF’s senior vice president. So, not only are BEF and Green-e not independent of one another at the management level, they are threaded together ideologically by ties to radical environmentalism, a movement whose members will say and do almost anything to advance their social and political agenda. And GM is going to rely on assurances from BEF and Green-e about offsetting invisible greenhouse gas emissions.

Should any of this matter to consumers? Who cares whether GM scams and gets scammed for a few dollars per car? Bailouts aside, taxpayers and consumers should already be angry with the “Big Three.” Chrysler, Ford and GM are all members of the NRDC-run U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a big business-radical environmentalist coalition that lobbied for cap and trade. If the Big Three and their green buddies had succeeded in foisting cap and trade upon us during the 111th Congress, millions of U.S. jobs and trillions of dollars in GDP would have vanished during the ensuing years.

What separates Chrysler and Ford from GM presently is that, cutting through all the nonsense, the Chevy Carbon Reduction program is little more than a $40 million wealth transfer from consumers via GM to anti-consumer radical environmentalists and their allies. The good news for GM is that when I get a new car in 2011, no one will need to worry about any emissions from a Chevy.

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).

If Al Gore’s Chicago Climate Exchange Suffers Total Failure, Does the MSM Make a Sound?

November 6, 2010

By Steve Milloy
November 6, 2010, PajamasMedia.com

Global warming-inspired cap and trade has been one of the most stridently debated public policy controversies of the past 15 years. But it is dying a quiet death. In a little reported move, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) announced on Oct. 21 that it will be ending carbon trading — the only purpose for which it was founded — this year.

Although the trading in carbon emissions credits was voluntary, the CCX was intended to be the hub of the mandatory carbon trading established by a cap-and-trade law, like the Waxman-Markey scheme passed by the House in June 2009.

At its founding in November 2000, it was estimated that the size of CCX’s carbon trading market could reach $500 billion. That estimate ballooned over the years to $10 trillion.

Al Capone tried to use Prohibition to muscle in on a piece of all the action in Chicago. The CCX’s backers wanted to use a new prohibition on carbon emissions to muscle in on a piece of, quite literally, all the action in the world.

The CCX was the brainchild of Northwestern University business professor Richard Sandor, who used $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based left-wing Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX. For his efforts, Time named Sandor as one of its Heroes of the Planet in 2002 and one of its Heroes of the Environment in 2007.

The CCX seemed to have a lock on success. Not only was a young Barack Obama a board member of the Joyce Foundation that funded the fledgling CCX, but over the years it attracted such big name climate investors as Goldman Sachs and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the CCX’s highly anticipated looting of taxpayers and consumers — cap-and-trade imploded following its high water mark of the House passage of the Waxman-Markey bill. With ongoing economic recession, Climategate, and the tea party movement, what once seemed like a certainty became anything but.

CCX’s panicked original investors bailed out this spring, unloading the dog and its across-the-pond cousin, the European Climate Exchange (ECX), for $600 million to the New York Stock Exchange-traded Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) — an electronic futures and derivatives platform based in Atlanta and London. (Luckier than the CCX, the ECX continues to exist thanks to the mandatory carbon caps of the Kyoto Protocol.)

The ECX may soon follow the CCX into oblivion, however — the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. No new international treaty is anywhere in sight.

While we don’t know how well Al Gore and Goldman Sachs fared on their investments in the CCX, we do know that there’s no reason to cry for Sandor. He received $98.5 million for his 16.5% stake in CCX when it was sold. Not bad for a failure that somebody else financed.

Incredibly (but not surprisingly), although thousands of news articles have been published about CCX by the lamestream media over the years, a Nexis search conducted a week after CCX’s announcement revealed no news articles published about its demise.

Outside of a report in Crain’s Chicago Business and a soft-pedaled article in a small trade publication, the media has entirely ignored the demise of the only U.S. effort at carbon trading. Even Glenn Beck, who has dedicated quite a bit of Fox News airtime to exposing the CCX, has yet to mention the news.

Despite ending carbon trading, the CCX isn’t vanishing altogether. It intends to transition into the murky world of dealing in carbon offsets. Once again, however, with the tide leaving on carbon regulation and increased concerns about fraudulent carbon offsets, the future of that market is quite uncertain.

With the demise of CCX carbon trading, only the still-pending Waxman-Markey bill is keeping cap and trade alive — technically, at least — in the U.S. According to JunkScience.com’s Cap-and-Trade Death Clock, however, Waxman-Markey only has about 60 days of life left before it, too, turns into a pumpkin.

Despite this good news, opponents of carbon regulation will need to remain vigilant. While radical greens and the rent-seeking “clean energy” industry are down, they are not out.

Though they will never again dare utter the term “cap and trade,” they will reformulate and rebrand carbon regulation in the form of a national “renewable electricity standard” (RES), a “carbon tax,” or perhaps something even more innocent and cuddly — like “free cotton candy for everyone (FCCE).”

The global warming mob will be back, with their old agenda and new deceit, in 2011. Given that Republican politicians have a long history of squishiness on environmental issues, the rest of us will need to be prepared to continue the battle against Marxist/socialist and economy-killing energy rationing and taxes.

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.

RIP: Carbon trading

October 26, 2010

In a little reported move, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is ending carbon trading this year — the very purpose for which it was founded. CCX will remain open for business, however, as it transitions into the murky world of dealing in carbon offsets.

Outside of a report in Crain’s Chicago Business and a soft-pedalled article in the certain-that-climate-control-regulation-is-coming trade publication Carbon Control News, the media has ignored the demise of the only voluntary U.S. effort at carbon trading.

CCX was sold earlier this year for $600 million to the New York Stock Exchange-listed IntercontinentalExchange (Symbol: ICE), an electronic futures and derivatives platform based in Atlanta and London. ICE also acquired the European Climate Exchange as part of the transaction. The ECX remains open to accomodate the Kyoto Protocol-required carbon trading among EU nations. The sale of CCX to ICE allowed climateers like Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs to cash out of investments in CCX.

At its founding in November 2000, some estimated that the size of CCX’s carbon trading market could reach $500 billion. The CCX was the brainchild of Richard Sandor who used $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX. Sandor received $98.5 million for his 16.5% stake in CCX when it was sold. Not bad for an idea that didn’t pan out.

Incredibly (but not surprisingly), although thousands of news articles have been published about CCX by the lamestream media over the years, a Nexis search revealed no news articles published about the demise of CCX in the five days since the CCX’s announcement.

With the demise of CCX carbon trading, only the still-pending Waxman-Markey bill is keeping cap-and-trade alive (technically, at least) in the U.S. According to JunkScience.com’s Cap-and-Trade Death Clock, however, Waxman-Markey only has about 68 days of life left before it, too, turns into a pumpkin.

Beware of ‘post-partisan’ energy policy

October 13, 2010

Just as tea party activism is about to snatch American energy policy from the jaws of cap-and-trade, some on the right are already moving into “bipartisan” mode. The (often) conservative American Enterprise Institute has teamed up with the (liberal) Brookings Institution and the (self-described, “founded in 2003 to modernize liberal-progressive-green politics”) Breakthrough Institute to offer a “post-partisan” energy policy.

Below is the introduction and summary of recommendations of the group’s report “Post-Partisan Power: How a Limited and Direct Approach to Energy Innovation Can Deliver Clean, Cheap Energy, Economic Productivity and National Prosperity.” Our comments are in bracketed bold.

INTRODUCTION

If ever there were a time to hit the reset button on energy policy, it is today. [Agreed, if this means getting rid of centrally-planned and dictated energy policy and politics. Somehow, though...] Congress is set to adjourn without taking substantive, long-term action on either climate or energy. [Great. The defeat of cap-and-tarde is a victory for America.] While conservatives may be celebrating the death of cap and trade, the truth is that the right’s longstanding hopes for the expansion of nuclear power and oil production have also run aground, foundering on the high cost of constructing new nuclear plants and the impacts of the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. [C'mon, if the greens had passed cap-and-trade, there would still not be any nuclear power or new oil/gas drilling. To argue to the contrary is either naive or disingenuous.] As a result, energy policy is at a standstill, despite overwhelming public support for accelerating the move to clean, affordable energy sources and tapping fast-growing clean energy industries to create jobs and wealth in the United States. [American-produced energy already is clean — it's the Chinese that could use the Clean Air Act.]

Today, few issues in American political life are as polarized as energy policy, with both left and right entrenched in old worldviews that no longer make sense. [Global warming skepticism is based on sound science. If that's an "old worldview," then call us dinosaurs.] For the better part of two decades, much of the right has speculated darkly about global warming as a United Nations-inspired conspiracy to destroy American sovereignty, all while passing off chants of “drill, baby, drill” as real energy policy. [Speculated? Did you miss Climategate? Glacier-gate? Pachauri-gate? Al Gore's admission that climate regulation is about global governance?] During the same period much of the left has oscillated incoherently between exhortations that avoiding the end of the world demands shared sacrifice, and contradictory assertions that today’s renewable energy and efficiency technologies can eliminate fossil fuels at no significant cost. [The left isn' oscillating at all. They are focused on establishing a one-world socialist paradise. Whatever path gets the comrades there, they'll follow. Global warming has just been their most successful gambit to date.] All the while, America’s dependence on fossil fuels continues unabated and political gridlock deepens, preventing real progress towards a safer, cleaner, more secure energy system. [We have plenty of fossil fuels, and they are cheap and safe. We'd be even more energy independent, if we relied more on our own resources including coal, natural gas and nuclear power. Three cheers for gridlock — it's better than the Obama alternative.]

The extremes have so dominated mainstream thinking on energy that it is easy to forget how much reasonable liberals and conservatives can actually agree on. [Watch out conservatives, here's where the post-partisans get us to walk into the chopper blades.] Fossil fuels have undeniably been critical to American prosperity and development, but we can gradually move toward cleaner, healthier, and safer energy sources. [There is no objective or empirical evidence indicating that alternative forms of energy are cleaner, healthier and safer than fossil fuels.] Indeed, throughout history, as we have become a more prosperous nation, we have steadily moved to cleaner energy sources, from wood and dung to coal to oil to natural gas, hydropower, and nuclear energy. [Nonsense. There is no such transition going on. We use more coal than natural gas. The greens have essentially killed off more nuclear development. Hydropower is only used where possible. The greens want to go back to burning wood and weeds (biomass).] Our goal today should be to make new clean energy sources much cheaper so they can steadily displace fossil fuels, continuing this ongoing process. [Fossil fuels are not "dirty" as used in America.] If we structure this transition correctly, new energy industries could be an important driver of long-term economic growth. [How does more expensive energy without any accompanying benefits lead to long-term economic growth?]

Arriving at a new post-partisan consensus will require liberals and conservatives, alike, to take a renewed look at key facts, which challenge some long-standing assumptions about energy. [Translation: Now that conservatives have triumphed over cap-and-trade, it's time to surrender.]

For liberals this means acknowledging that today’s renewable energy technologies are, by and large, too expensive and difficult to scale to meet the energy needs of the nation, much less a rapidly growing global population. [Does this mean that: (1) liberals should wake up and smell reality; (2) Al Gore and his fellow green profiteers/rentseekers should try to make money the old-fashioned way, i.e., by earning it; and that (3) green Marxist/socialists and other reds should cease and desist?] New mandates, carbon pricing systems such as cap and trade, and today’s mess of subsidies are not going to deliver the kind of clean energy innovation required. And nuclear power, long reviled by many on the left, is far cleaner and safer than most liberals imagine, and holds enormous potential to displace low-cost but high-polluting coal power. [The left doesn't care about how safe nuclear power is. Nuclear power is energy non grata as far as the left is concerned.]

For conservatives this means acknowledging that fossil fuels have serious health, safety, and security consequences aside from any risks global warming might pose. [Sorry, not buying the junk science. This sentence is footnoted to materials from groups like Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Clean Air Task Force.] The biggest obstacle facing nuclear
power is not environmental policy but rather public opposition, high construction costs, and associated financial risks. [All green activist inspired problems.] And while many faults can be found with ethanol and synfuels investments, the bulk of historic federal investments in energy technology — from hydro and nuclear to solar, wind, and electric vehicles — have been an overwhelming success. [Hydro has worked. Nukes can work. but solar, wind and EVs are taxpayer rip-offs.]

This white paper is the product of a more than yearlong dialogue between scholars at three think tanks situated at divergent points on the political compass. Drawing on America’s bipartisan history of successful federal investment to catalyze technology innovation by the U.S. military, universities, private corporations, and entrepreneurs, the heart of this proposal is a $25 billion per year investment channeled through a reformed energy innovation system. [Because central planning (as the 20th century proved) works so well...]

This new system is built on a four-part energy framework:

1. Invest in Energy Science and Education
2. Overhaul the Energy Innovation System
3. Reform Energy Subsidies and Use Military Procurement and Competitive Deployment to Drive Innovation and Price Declines
4. Internalize the Cost of Energy Modernization and Ensure Investments Do Not Add to the National Debt

To accelerate energy innovation and modernization, we propose a role for government that is both limited and direct. It is limited because it is focused, not on reorganizing our entire highly complex energy economy, but rather on specific strategies to drive down the real cost of clean energy technologies. Instead of subsidizing existing technologies hoping that as they scale up, costs will decline, or providing tax credits to indirectly incentivize research at private firms, this framework is direct because the federal government would directly drive innovation and adoption through basic research, development, and procurement in the same way it did with computers, pharmaceutical drugs, radios, microchips, and many other technologies.

Time and again, when confronted with compelling national innovation priorities, the United States has summoned the resources necessary to secure American technological leadership by investing in breakthrough science and world-class education. The United States responded vigorously to the Soviet launch of Sputnik by investing the resources necessary to ensure American innovators, entrepreneurs, and firms would lead the world in aerospace, IT, and computing technologies, igniting prosperous new industries in the process. [The successes of the Manhattan Project and race to the moon should not swell the heads of would-be central planners. Both were exceedingly limited-in-scope projects. Not easy, but limited.] Today, we invest $30 billion annually in pursuit of new cures to deadly diseases and new biomedical innovations that can extend the lives and welfare of Americans. [Investment? We have accomplished precious little with that annual $30 billion. That expenditure has become more akin to workfare for the overeducated.] We similarly devote more than $80 billion annually to military innovations that can help secure our borders. [Another rousing government success!] We propose a similar national commitment to energy sciences and education, which have languished without the funding deserving of a national innovation priority. [We already spend a fortune on education — more than any other nation. What do we get for it? 25th in worldwide math and science?] At the same, this proposal is based on what we know about successful public-private partnerships to build and strengthen regional hubs of innovation, such as the one that evolved into Silicon Valley. Therefore, we propose investment in a national network of regional clusters of universities, entrepreneurs, private investors, and technology companies. [Apparently, we can't make progress until we have the proper bureaucracy set up. Taxpayers need to hold on to their wallets any time the term "public private partnership is used.]

While the left wants to cut fossil fuel and nuclear subsidies and the right wants to cut renewable energy subsidies, we propose across-the-board energy subsidy reform, disciplining all incentives for technology deployment and adoption to a new framework that rewards innovation — as measured through real declines in the cost of generating energy — not simply producing more of the same. [Why not get rid of all subsidies and reform the tax code? Make technologies compete on their own economic merits. Technology is its own incentive; if it needs to be subsidized then it has no real value.] Today’s federal investments — whether for solar and wind or ethanol and nuclear — are structured around scale and quantity, not innovation. The innovation system we propose builds on the successes of military procurement to purchase and prove advanced energy systems while providing competitive markets for emerging energy technologies, which can facilitate mass manufacture, demand progressive innovation, and bring down the real, unsubsidized cost of clean and secure energy alternatives. [Military procurement as a model? Which cost-overrun should we point to? What is this fascination with command-and-control style government?]

These productive investments have the potential to raise America’s economic growth over the long term and thus help reduce the budget deficit. America’s $1.3 trillion budget deficit is largely a consequence of low growth and the increasing cost of structural entitlement programs, but it can be overcome by a combination of higher growth, responsible entitlement reform, and targeted spending cuts. Achieving higher growth will require continued federal investments in productive enterprises, including health, information technology, and energy. [Believe it or not, fire, electric current, the automobile, airplane, telegraph, telephone and many other technologies were all developed and commcialized without government involvement. AEI and Brookings have been in Washington, DC too long.] Furthermore, fear of technology failure should not paralyze strategic investments in innovation, since some amount of failure is inevitable and essential to such a disruptive and non-linear process. [We have nothing to fear, but the government itself.]

To ensure that these limited, targeted new investments do not add to the federal deficit, we propose a suite of options that Congress and the President can use to finance energy innovation. [Because the government can/should be picking winners and losers? President Obama was a community organizer, not Thomas Edison, in his past life (and even Edison was wrong when it came to electricity for the masses).] These include cutting existing energy subsidies, charging new royalties for oil drilling, small surcharges on oil imports or electricity sales, and a very low carbon price. While each of these mechanisms may bother some on both the left and right, all should agree that exacerbating the national debt is unwise. Revenues must be found in order to make these productive investments, which have long-term potential to revitalize the economy. [A growing economy will float all boats — including our bloated government. Growing government will do just the opposite.]

Increasing investment in energy technology and innovation, as we advocate, remains exceedingly popular with Americans of all political stripes. Of all energy policy proposals, from carbon pricing and cap and trade to new oil and gas drilling, expanding production and lowering the price of clean, innovative energy technologies is the most popular approach, regularly receiving support from 65 to 90 percent of Americans in independent news polls, Gallup surveys, and other opinion research. [Unicorns for everyone and free cotton candy would also be popular.]This public support is consistent over time, and reflects the historical willingness of publics to pay slightly more for cleaner and safer energy sources. [Let's poll the public and whether it likes being lied to and ripped off by the government.]

In the pages that follow, we aim to present a practical and bipartisan [Bipartisan = supposed conservatives who want to be invited to tony Washington DC cocktail parties.] approach to American energy policy. The time has come for a fresh start that can bring our nation into the future through a pragmatic drive to make clean energy cheap and abundant. [Fresh start = July 4, 1776]

POST-PARTISAN POWER
AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE!BROOKINGS INSTITUTION!BREAKTHROUGH INSTITUTE
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS”

Invest in Energy Science and Education

Secure funding necessary to complete the doubling of Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science budgets. Direct a significant portion of new funds to programs related to energy sciences, including roughly $300 million in annual funding to scale up the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) program over the coming years. [The Department of Energy is a failure and should be abolished.]

Invest roughly $500 million annually to support K-12 curriculum and teacher training, energy education scholarships, post-doctoral fellowships, and graduate research grants. [We need to get the federal government out of education. Has anyone noticed that kids have gotten stupider as the government gets more involved?] Just as the United States rose to the Cold War challenge by enacting the National Defense Education Act and leveling critical investments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, a new national commitment is needed today to train, educate, and inspire a generation of energy innovators, engineers, and entrepreneurs. [Cold War defense challenges were solved by men and women who were educated in the days before taxpayer largesse flowed freely to a corrupted university system.]

Overhaul the Energy Innovation System

Help reform the U.S. energy innovation system by investing up to $5 billion annually to establish a robust national network of regional energy innovation institutes bringing together private sector, university, and government researchers alongside investors and private sector customers. Funded at $50-300 million annually, each institute will foster competitive centers of clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship while accelerating the translation of research insights into commercial products. [Because in Washington DC: Bureaucracy=Success]

Bring the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) to scale by providing $1.5 billion annually, while dedicating a significant portion of new funding to dual-use energy technology innovations with the potential to enhance energy security and strengthen the U.S. military. The Department of Defense (DOD) should work actively with ARPA-E to determine and select dual-use breakthrough energy innovations for funding through the ARPA-E program and potential adoption and procurement by the DOD. [Hopefully, DOD's success with pioneering the Internet will translate into a perpetual motion machine.]

Reform Energy Subsidies and Use Military Procurement and Competitive Deployment Incentives to Drive Price Declines

Reform the nation’s morass of energy subsidies. Instead of open-ended subsidies that reward firms for producing more of the same product, employ a new strategy of competitive deployment incentives, disciplined by cost reductions and optimized to drive steady improvements in the price and performance of a suite of emerging energy technologies. Create incentives for various classes of energy technologies to ensure that each has a chance to mature. Decrease incentive levels until emerging technologies become competitive with mature, entrenched competitors to avoid creating permanently subsidized industries or picking winners and losers, a priori. Meet the new morass; same as the old morass.]

Expand DOD efforts to procure, demonstrate, test, validate, and improve a suite of cutting-edge energy technologies. New, innovative energy alternatives are necessary to secure the national defense, enhance energy security, and improve the operational capabilities of the U.S. military. Provide up to $5 billion annually in new appropriations to ensure the Pentagon has the resources to pursue this critical effort without infringing on funds required for current military operations. [We should just surrender to the Chinese now. In return, maybe they'll let us keep using knives and forks.]

Recognize the potential for nuclear power — particularly innovative, smaller reactor designs — to enhance American energy security, reduce pollution, and supply affordable power. [We can "recognize" anything we want, but as long as the greens have the ability to choke of nuclear power through regulation and litigation, they will.] America cannot afford to bank on one technology alone, however, and must pursue all paths to clean, affordable energy, supporting all innovative, emerging clean energy sources, from advanced wind, geothermal, and solar to electric vehicles and advanced batteries, allowing winners to emerge over time. [At what point does the taxpayer get to pull the plug on failed technologies?]

Internalize the Cost of Energy Modernization and Ensure Investments Do Not Add to the Deficit

Secure revenues to ensure these productive new investments do not exacerbate the national debt, through one or a combination of the following means: phase out unproductive energy subsidies, which have not sufficiently driven innovation; direct revenues from oil and gas leasing to energy innovation; implement a small fee on imported oil to drive energy innovation and enhance American energy security; establish a small surcharge on electricity sales to fund energy modernization, similar to the Highway Trust Fund; and/or dedicate revenues from a very small carbon price to finance necessary investments in clean energy technology. [Translation: Make consumers pay more for energy.]

So there you have it —  “post-partisan energy policy.” It’ll build on what’s failed and then charge people more for it.

Sorry, but we’re for gridlock until the American left packs up and moves to Totalitarian Fantasy Island.

Sony, Kyocera bail out of violent climate video outfit

October 4, 2010

Sony and Kyocera Mita are no longer listed as sponsors of the violence-advocating 10:10 climate group. (h/t Paul Chesser)

Click here to see the letter we sent the companies last Friday.

In addition to Sony and Kyocera leaving 10:10, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, Deere & Co., Xerox and Marsh & McClennan have abandoned the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP).

Is corporate support for the green agenda melting faster than the Arctic ice cap?

Best Buy, Worst Thinking

July 30, 2010

By Steve Milloy
July 30, 2010, Worthington Daily Globe (Minnesota)

When it comes to energy policy, no one can accuse Best Buy’s management of best thinking.

As Sen. Harry Reid scrambles to pull together some sort of energy bill before time runs out in this Congress, the cap-and-trade advocacy group Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) is lobbying Reid to include in the bill an “energy efficiency resource standard” (EERS) that would reduce electricity use by one percent in 2012 and more by 2020.

Although EERS is a dubious proposition for all BICEP’s members — including the Aspen Skiing Company, eBay, Levi Strauss, Nike and Target — Best Buy’s support makes one wonder what’s in the air at corporate headquarters.

As a retailer of electronics and appliances, every Best Buy product depends on the use of electricity. While electronics and appliances are continually becoming more energy efficient, that doesn’t mean they (or those who use them) use less electricity.

When television sets were upgraded from old tube technology to larger LCD and plasma models, for example, TV energy use increased by anywhere from 100 to 500 percent. Even if newer LCD and plasma models meet government Energy Star standards of using 30 percent less energy than standard units, they still will use substantially more electricity than the older technology.

Similarly, a new refrigerator may be more efficient than an older model, but if it’s larger and has more bells and whistles, then it’s more probably using more energy. Moreover, the American lifestyle is becoming more, not less, dependent on electricity. Past the proliferation and increased use of all sorts of devices from cell phones to personal computers to electronic games, Americans are now turning to electronic book readers like the Kindle and iPad.

Add into the mix the push for electric vehicles, and the notion that there’ll be less need for electricity becomes even more absurd. The only way to use less electricity is to buy and use fewer and smaller gadgets, appliances and other consumer goods. It’s hard to see how these trends will bring any benefits to Best Buy’s bottom line.

Additionally, the question must be asked: Why should Americans want to use less electricity? What would be the economic impact of reduced electricity use?

As the National Academy of Sciences pointed out in its landmark report, “Electricity in Economic Growth (1986), “Electricity use and gross national product have been, and will probably continue to be, strongly correlated.” This truth of this relationship continues to exist — the economy is struggling and electricity use is down. More generally, there probably never has been a time in human history when social and economic advancement has occurred without increased use of energy.

In other words — and for the benefit of Best Buy’s management — if the goal is to have consumers that can continually afford to indulge in the latest electronic gadgetry, two things must happen — increased economic growth and available and affordable electricity.

Best Buy and the BICEP coalition, however, seem to be in favor of neither scenario — not so surprising given BICEP’s provenance. BICEP is the brainchild of Ceres, a environmental activist organization dedicated to co-opting business to the political left’s fight against capitalism and free enterprise. BICEP’s mission is to provide Congress and the public with the impression that U.S. business is demanding cap-and-trade and its corollary, renewable energy welfare programs.

For a company like Best Buy, BICEP is the old morally superior public relations ploy. Unlike, in their estimation, those they preach to, the BICEP companies care about the planet. In the end, BICEP’s precepts are simply bone-headed. Poor people can’t afford plasmas or (pay attention NIKE) $140 LeBron VIIs.

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).

Should Steve Jobs make Al Gore take a leave of absence?

July 3, 2010

Now that the Portland, OR police department has re-opened its sex attack investigation against Al “You-big-lummox-of-a-sex-poodle” Gore, should Apple Chariman Steve Jobs make Al Gore take a leave of absence from the company pending resolution of the investigation?

Apple’s sexual harassment policy defines harassment as…

<blockquote… unwelcome or unsolicited speech or conduct based on factors such as race, color, age, sex, or sexual orientation. It may include activities such as viewing sexually explicit sites or displaying an inappropriate calendar. It may include unwelcome touching or advances, jokes, slurs, and other offensive behavior. [Emphasis added]

While the policy also says that it only applies to,

… interactions with employees, customers, suppliers, and applicants for employment and any other interactions where you represent Apple…

… surely the policy doesn’t mean that it’s open season for board members when it comes to the rest of the public. Or does it?

If Gore is cleared, he can always be reinstated.

Former GE CEO opposes climate-energy bill

June 16, 2010

Former GE CEO Jack Welch said today on CNBC that:

1. Obama should be focusing on the gulf oil spill “not new energy plans”; and

2. Our “pretty good economy” should not be “damaged” with “carbon taxes.”

“Let’s get [the economy] going,” he said.

Ironically, GE CEO Jeff Immelt and other USCAP CEOs will be pushing the climate bill on Capitol Hill tomorrow at a luncheon prior to the Democratic caucus meeting.

Welch built GE into the largest and most valuable company in the world. Immelt, in contrast, brought GE to the verge of bankruptcy, requiring a $140 billion federal bailout.

Click to watch the three-minute CNBC clip.

Sen. Boxer condemns JunkScience’s ‘Carbon Criminal’ posters

December 22, 2009

Watch Sen. Barbara Boxer condemn JunkScience.com’s Carbon Criminal posters in her Dec. 14, 2009 press conference for her remarks on the COP-15 meeting in Copenhagen.

Global cooling hurts Duke Energy

November 5, 2009

It seems as if Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers should be lobbying for increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Rogers is convinced — because his grandchildren told him so — that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the planet. So Rogers helped form the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of a few big businesses and environmental groups that lobbies for carbon caps.

Ironically, the very global cooling that Rogers seems to be for is actually hurting his company’s earnings.

According to Duke’s the third quarter earnings report, earnings-before-interest-and-tax (EBIT) for Duke’s electric and gas division decreased:

  • $46 million because of unfavorable weather (i.e, a cooler summer);
  • $22 million because of reduced industrial demand (i.e., weak economy); and
  • $27 million because of the expiration of a temporary rate raise (i.e., government granted windfall).

All very interesting since Rogers wants to:

But for the three factors mentioned above, USFE&G’s Q3 EBIT would have increased by 11%.

Finally, Duke has spent about $10 million since 2008 lobbying for carbon caps. That’s a lot of lost earnings itself spent working against the interests of Duke shareholders and customers.

Hey Jim, there’s a reason children aren’t allowed to run the world.

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