Archive for March 12th, 2009

Green gridlock: No new transmission lines?

March 12, 2009

Twenty-six environmental groups have written White House energy czar and former Socialist International official Carol Browner informing her that, if the electricity transmission grid must be expanded — they prefer rationing — the grid should be dedicated exclusively to renewable sources. New lines should not facilitate the expansion of coal power, say the greens.

Prince Charles: Change your behavior while I jet around the world

March 12, 2009

Prince Charles told business leaders in Brazil today that,

“The best projections tell us that we have less than 100 months to alter our behaviour before we risk catastrophic climate change.”

But how did Prince Charles get to Brazil? By jet. And he’s off to the Galapagos Islands next. When will he (and other green elites) change their behavior?

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them spotlights the green double standard — the one for the elites and the one for you.

Al Gore comes for your dryer?

March 12, 2009

The web site for Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth recommends that you:

Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible

You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

But University of Montreal researcher Emanuela Cardia points out in a new study entitled “Household Technology: Was it the Engine of Liberation?” that,

… ownership of washing machines, dryers and freezers increased the presence of married women in the labor market.

Green doesn’t sound very liberating, does it?

Solar pays off — for monk-ish couple

March 12, 2009

The Washington Post reported today that,

While people around him fret about their escalating utility bills and vent at their politicians, Al Schnoebelen looks out his triple-paned living room window and feels pretty lucky.

Last month’s energy charges from Delmarva Power? A mere $3.35. With taxes and surcharges more than doubling the bill, Schnoebelen wrote a check this week for a whopping $10.65.

And that was relatively high. Before a failing propane freezer was replaced with an electric one last year, Schnoebelen and his wife, Nancy, paid about 35 cents a month before taxes.

The couple’s 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom Eastern Shore bungalow has been powered by the sun for 19 years.

What did their system cost? According to the Post,

The solar system cost $4,200. It was shipped in a box from a California company: three batteries and transformers to convert the sun’s low-voltage power to AC current. The company went out of business when the solar fad of the 1970s and 1980s faded.

But things have changed over the last 20 years:

Today, there’s new technology for those who follow the Schnoebelens’ path. But the start-up costs are significant, at $8,000 to $40,000, depending on how much power the system produces, officials with the Maryland Energy Administration said.

Moreover, do you really want to live like the Schnoebelens? According to the Post article,

The Schnoebelens live simply — no Internet, no cellphone, no answering machine, no cable on the TV.

Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, spotlights how the greens want to permanently rollback your standard of living.

$23,000 for personal windmill hypocrisy

March 12, 2009

The Washington Post reported this morning,

As smoke rose from the power plant just across Cuckold Creek, one of the first residential windmills in Maryland began providing the Elliott-Robinson home with a greener source of electricity yesterday.

The couple spent $23,000 to put up a personal windmill in their back yard, which will decrease their dependence on the traditional power grid and the power plant whose smokestacks loom over their home in Charles County.

Of course, when the hot summer days arrive and the wind doesn’t blow, the Elliott-Robinsons will likely be sitting in the comfort of the air conditioning provided courtesy of those looming smokestacks — adding to the Washington, D.C.-area demand problem.

AT&T falls for green vehicle scam

March 12, 2009

AT&T announced that it will spend $565 million over 10 years buying 8,000 natural gas-powered vehicles and repairing/replacing 7,100 hybrids.

The company said it would pay, on average, $29,000 more per vehicle, costs which it “hopes” will be offset by lower fuel costs in six-to-10 years, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

No doubt the purchase of natural gas vehicles will make T. Boone Pickens happy as he owns the largest supplier of natural gas for vehicles.

The CEOs of FedEx, ExxonMobil and the American Trucking Association, however, have a different view on natural gas vehicles.

As to the value of a hybrid corporate fleet, FedEx CEO Fred Smith told his shareholders at the 2006 annual meeting that hybrids did not make economic sense. Smith blamed politics and the the “cult” of environmentalism for making people do things they otherwise wouldn’t.

Michigan jobs: Wind no substitute for cars

March 12, 2009

The Financial Times reported today that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm wants to,

transform Michigan from one of the Rust Belt’s bleakest corners to a mecca for green industries as the state loses tens of thousands of jobs in the car industry.

But Granholm acknowledges that alternative industries will only create about 109,000 jobs, compared to the 400,000 jobs lost in carmaking.

Wayne State University professor Jack Lessenberry observed,

“Windpower… will never employ people in the numbers needed.”

Maybe Granholm should lobby for expanding the supply of cheap gasoline so that people go back to buying Michigan’s most profitable product: the SUV.

‘Heroic’ hybrid drivers

March 12, 2009

Honda is introducing the first under-$20,000 hybrid, according to the Financial Times.

Honda is trying to drawer buyers away from the Toyota Prius. It hopes to accomplish this with the Insight — a less expensive, but smaller and less efficient car than the Prius.

The Financial Times noted that,

Even at the peak price of more than $4 a gallon, a Prius buyer would have to have driven a heroic 200,000 miles to earn back the price difference with the Insight through better mileage alone.

Take action:

Buy an SUV.

Green land grab narrowly fails in House

March 12, 2009

A green-supported bill to put another 2 million acres in nine states off limits to energy production failed in the House yesterday by two votes. House Republicans, noting that the move would cost up to $10 billion and block oil and gas development on millions of acres of federal property, prevented Democrats from getting the necessary two-thirds vote.

The lands are located in Oregon, Virginia, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah and West Virginia.

The Washington Post reported today that House Democrats pan to bring the bill up again, but the timing is unclear.

The Senate passed the bill (S. 22) in January.

From the Majority Tracker blog:

Rep. S. 22 is being considered under a special suspension process that suspends all House rules. This process is reserved for noncontroversial bills, limits debate to only 40 minutes and does not allow any amendments. So essentially, members were forced to vote yay or nay without the bill undergoing the scrutiny of the normal legislative process.

Take action:

Here’s who-voted-how in the House.

Tell your congressman to oppose the S.22 land-grab because we need to “Drill here, Drill now.”