Archive for April 1st, 2009

Dems introduce cap-and-dividend scam

April 1, 2009

Maryland Rep. Christopher Van Hollen has introduced a “cap-and-dividend” bill that would:

  • Set emissions reductions targets at 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 85 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 for covered emissions.
  • Place an upstream compliance obligation on the first seller of fossil fuels into the U.S. market.
  • Auction 100 percent of carbon permits.
  • Establish tariffs to protect U.S. manufacturers of carbon-intensive goods from imports of carbon-intensive goods originating in countries.
  • Return 100% of auction proceeds in the form of a monthly Consumer Dividend to every lawful resident of the United States with a valid Social Security number.

A few thoughts:

  1. At best, Van Hollen’s “dividend” would be just a return of your own money that you had to spend on higher energy costs that were caused by the bill. This hardly a true “dividend,” which is a return on investment.
  2. Van Hollen’s dividend is unlikley to cover your higher energy costs. Click here for some back-of-the-envelope calculations.
  3. A carbon tariff would likely do little more than bring on a trade war with China.

The only upside to Van Hollen’s bill is that a 100% auction of carbon credits is likely to light a fire under businesses to kill any such bill.

Click here for a copy of the bill.

US sues ‘Beyond Petroleum’ for oil spill

April 1, 2009

Though BP went green with its “Beyond Petroleum” campaign and helped push America to the precipice of global warming regulation, it’s getting no credit from the Obama Justice Department.

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Seeking maximum penalties, the U.S. government filed a civil lawsuit against a BP PLC (BP) unit in Alaska for breaking federal laws during two major 2006 oil spills in Prudhoe Bay, the largest oilfield in the country.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska, said that BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. discharged 200,000 gallons of oil onto the North Slope during two different oil spills, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The complaint accuses BP of failing “to prepare and implement spill prevention” and take other measures mandated by the Clean Water Act.

The complaint also alleges that the company “improperly” removed asbestos-containing materials from its pipelines, violating the Clean Air Act, and didn’t comply in a timely manner with a federal order requiring tests, inspection and repairs.

The government asked the court for civil penalties “up to the maximum amount authorized by law,” and to order BP to “take all appropriate action to prevent spills in the future,” the statement said.

No corporate green turn goes unpunished.

Green Job-less: BP Solar axes 620 workers

April 1, 2009

From today’s Guardian (UK):

BP is to axe 620 jobs from its solar power business – more than a quarter of that workforce – in a move it said was part of the long-term strategy to “reduce the cost of solar power to that of conventional electricity.”

Two cell manufacture and module assembly plants near Madrid, will be shut with the loss of 480 posts while module assembly will also be phased out at its Frederick facility in Maryland, US, with a further 140 redundancies.

BP blamed the cutbacks on the credit crunch and lower-cost competition saying its global manufacturing capacity would still increase during this year and next via a series of strategic alliances with other companies.

“We deeply regret the impact of this business decision on our employees and the local communities,” said Reyad Fezzani, chief executive of BP Solar. “We have a long history at both the Madrid and Frederick sites. Competitive hi-tech manufacturing of ingots, wafers and cells will continue at Frederick. Engineering, technology product development, sales and marketing and other business support functions will also remain at both Frederick and Madrid.”

He said solar markets had been “unsettled by the impact of the global economic environment”, adding that the market had been over-supplied as competition increased and prices had fallen.

Fezzani said the cuts would lead to lower prices for solar power: “The decision is part of the long term strategy to reduce the cost of solar power to that of conventional electricity.”

Perhaps the green job-less in Maryland can find work with President Obama’s stimulus bill program to caulk and weather-strip American homes.

Waxman-Markey Bill: Full Text & Summary

April 1, 2009

From today’s New York Times:

Democratic leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee today unveiled a 648-page draft global warming and energy bill (pdf) that is being praised by environmental groups but presents significant political challenges.

The bill by Reps. Henry Waxman of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts would establish a cap-and-trade program curbing U.S. emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, with a midcentury target of 83 percent reductions of the heat-trapping gases. It also creates a nationwide renewable electricity standard that reaches 25 percent by 2025, new energy efficiency programs and limits on the carbon content of motor fuels, and requires greenhouse gas standards for new heavy duty vehicles and engines…

Click here for the Commerce Committee summary of the bill.

Click here for the full text of the bill.