Archive for the 'Energy Chaos' Category

Study: Greens’ red tape costs GDP, jobs

March 10, 2011

A first-of-its kind study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that stalled energy projects are costing the New York economy $36.2 Billion and More Than 60,000 Jobs. (Progress Denied: A Study on the Potential Economic Impact of Permitting Challenges Facing Proposed Energy Projects).

EPA GHG regs put biomass plant at risk

March 9, 2011

Thanks to EPA’s new greenhouse gas permitting authority, a proposed Wisconsin biomass plant has come under fire from green activists. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report:

It doesn’t make sense to issue a permit for the project because it would add emissions of carbon dioxide at a rate much higher than a natural gas-fueled power plant, said Mary Booth, an ecologist who is researching biomass projects for a national coalition called the Partnership for Policy Integrity.

“We looked at the permit numbers, and the emissions of greenhouse gases are six times higher from biomass than in the natural gas boiler,” she said. “It’s right there in the numbers, and yet they say we’re not going to consider any further use of natural gas as a way to make this facility cleaner because this is a biomass project.”

EPA has apparently not yet granted the biomass industry an exemption from its rules, and the enviros are making hay in the meantime.

NYT: Solar Energy Faces Tests On Greenness

February 25, 2011

“Just weeks after regulators approved the last of nine multibillion-dollar solar thermal power plants to be built in the Southern California desert, a storm of lawsuits and the resurgence of an older solar technology are clouding the future of the nascent industry.” (New York Times)

Ever thought the greenies are just plain anti-energy?

Solomon: Green power menaces Ontario mining

February 24, 2011

Politically correct green power projects could kill multi-billion dollar mining development. Northern Ontario’s gain may come at Southern Ontario’s pain.

Greens threaten wind, solar permitting

February 23, 2011

Check out this Politico report about environmentalists threatening the permitting process for wind and solar projects: Read the rest of this entry »

China takes big lead in CO2 emissions race

February 1, 2011

The Department of Energy released yesterday its estimates for global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use: Read the rest of this entry »

Electric cars and cold weather don’t mix

January 28, 2011

From Washington Post editorial writer Charles Lane:

Count me among the many thousands of Washington area residents who spent Wednesday night stuck in traffic as a snowstorm sowed chaos all around us. Being car-bound in sub-freezing weather for six hours can make a guy think. I counted my blessings. The situation could have been worse, I realized: My fellow commuters and I could have been trying to make it home in electric cars, like the ones President Obama is constantly promoting, most recently in his State of the Union address.

It is a basic fact of physical science that batteries run down more quickly in cold weather than they do in warm weather, and the batteries employed by vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt are no exception.

The exact loss of power these cars would suffer is a matter of debate, partly because no one has much real-world experience to draw on. But there would be some loss. Running the heater to stay warm, or the car radio to stay informed, would drain the battery further.

Here’s how thecarelectric.com, a pro-electric Web site, candidly summarized the matter:

“All batteries deliver their power via a chemical reaction inside the battery that releases electrons. When the temperature drops the chemical reactions happen more slowly and the battery cannot produce the same current that it can at room temperature. A change of ten degrees can sap 50% of a battery’s output. In some situations the chemical reactions will happen so slowly and give so little power that the battery will appear to be dead when in fact if it is warmed up it will go right back to normal output. . . .

“In a car where all power is supplied by a battery pack you can see where this would be a problem. The batteries don’t produce as much power so the car has less power. The batteries also have to work harder so the effective range of the car is also significantly reduced. Charge time will also be longer. Cold has a negative impact on all aspects of battery operation.”

“Alongside the negative impact on the batteries cold also has a negative impact on the driver as well. Drivers need to be warm to operate the vehicle effectively so on top of the reduced range and power of the batteries just from the temperature they also must operate the car heater to keep you warm. This will further reduce the range of the car.

“If you live in an area where the winters get extremely cold an all-electric vehicle will have to be garaged and equipped with some kind of plug-in battery warmer for it to be effective in the coldest months of the year. Keep these thoughts in mind if you’re planning an electric car purchase; we don’t want you finding out the range of your car has been halved when it’s five below zero and you’re fifteen miles from home.”…

CFLs burn out in California?

January 19, 2011

California utility PG&E Corp. has just learned something about CFLs — they don’t work as well as touted. According to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal, PG&E’s $92 million rebate program for CFL usage during 2006-2008 saved 73% less energy than originally projected by PG&E:

One hitch was the compact-fluorescent burnout rate. When PG&E began its 2006-2008 program, it figured the useful life of each bulb would be 9.4 years. Now, with experience, it has cut the estimate to 6.3 years, which limits the energy savings. Field tests show higher burnout rates in certain locations, such as bathrooms and in recessed lighting. Turning them on and off a lot also appears to impair longevity. [Emphasis added]

Combined with their inherent mercurial hypocrisy, this new information should add urgency to the House effort to repeal the ban on incandescents.

Courts blocks EPA from Texas takeover

December 31, 2010

From Bloomberg:

A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from taking control of Texas’s carbon-emission rules while it considers the state’s bid to fend off federal intervention.

Texas filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington yesterday, saying the EPA didn’t give adequate notice or allow for comments on a proposed federal takeover of the state’s air permitting program on Jan. 2. Last night, the court ordered the agency to hold off on its plan while the court considers whether to delay the move until the case is resolved.

The appeals court ordered the EPA to respond to Texas’s motion by Jan. 6. Challenges to federal rules are brought directly to appeals courts.

Because Texas had not adopted a plan for implementing the EPA’s climate rules, the EPA was all set to take charge of greenhouse gas permitting in Texas starting Jan 2. This takeover has been blocked at least temporarily. So for the time being, emissions will not be regulated in Texas. The rest of the country, however, is screwed.

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.

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