Archive for July, 2009

USCAP cos. spend 67 million lobbying: Exelon looks for 30,000,000%+ return

July 28, 2009

The rent-seeking companies that belong to the U.S. Climate Action Partnership lobbying coalition have spent $67.4 million lobbying Congress this year.

Carbon Control News reports:

Since the beginning of the year, members of USCAP have spent roughly $67.4 million on lobbyists, according to a Carbon Control News analysis of lobbying disclosures, though with many of its members lobbying on issues such as health care it is not possible to determine how much was spent lobbying specifically on climate legislation. Still, indicative of their overall influence, figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics suggest the amount spent by USCAP members on lobbyists is on par—and may actually exceed—the total amount spent on lobbying by defense contractors this year. General Electric and ConocoPhillips alone spent more than $20 million on lobbying between them. BP America, another USCAP member, has spent $7.6 million so far on lobbyists, while utilities Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light, and Exelon have each spent around $2.5 million.

What will they get out of the bill?

According to the report,

[Exelon] CEO John Rowe believes the House-passed climate legislation “will add $700 [million] to $750 million to Exelon’s annual revenues for every $10 per metric ton (Mt) increase in the price of CO2 [carbon dioxide] allowances.”

Not a bad annual return on a one-time lobbying investment of $2.5 million.

Greens: Pay more for less water

July 28, 2009

In response to the Pacific Institute’s new report calling for California farmers to pay more for less water, the farmers are saying that the water crisis is green-made and that the solution is more water.

According to ClimateWire:

Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, called the current drought “man-made” and the Pacific Institute’s recommendations “nonsensical.”

The group’s recommendation to raise water rates, Wade said, “isn’t based on water being more expensive, or it costing more to get it to consumer, or some use for this added cost. It’s simply raising the cost so that fewer people can afford it, and therefore less water is going to be used and it will be reallocated to some other use. We think that’s gaming the California water market to the disadvantage of people who grow fresh fruit and vegetables and nut products and things we’ve grown accustomed to.”

Pumping restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are also not needed, Wade said. “We are facing a man-made drought, a regulatory drought and a situation where water is reprioritized away from its historic use to a point where tens of thousands of acres have been fallowed in the Central Valley and 40,000 people are out of work.”

Another farm group, the California Farm Bureau Federation, said increasing the water supply through recycling and desalination would obviate the need to cut usage or raise prices. “Certainly, improved water efficiency will be one of the ways that California solves its water crisis, but that water crisis is too severe to be solved in a one-dimensional way,” said group spokesman Dave Kranz.

“To sustain food production here in California and accommodate the growing population we have and environmental values we’re trying to maintain, we have to develop a package of water solutions that includes new storage, recycling, desalination — all of those strategies have to be part of the mix.”

$4,000 solar trash cans to save Philadelphia…

July 27, 2009

… $875,000 per year amid a a $1.4 billion five year deficit, reports USA Today.

I wonder what the settlement will be on the first injury caused by the new trash can/compactors? $875,00? More?

Why not just ban trash altogether? That would save even more money!

Greens: No escape from Clean Air Act on CO2

July 27, 2009

Carbon Control News reports:

A key Sierra Club attorney says the group’s support for final passage of a climate bill is conditioned on the preservation of EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act [CAA] to require reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from existing facilities, an assertion that appears to be a reversal from the group’s prior support for a House-passed cap-and-trade bill that would strip the agency of most of its air act authorities in dealing with GHG emissions.

One reason many industries have been willing to go along with cap-and-trade is to escape tortuous and unpredictable EPA regulation of CO2 under the CAA. In addition to the many onerous provisions of the CAA, the law has aggressive “citizen suit” provisions that enable the greens to enforce the law by legal action.

So the greens are either:

  • Using the threat of EPA regulation as a way to coerce any industry hold-outs into signing a climate deal now; or they are
  • Maneuvering to pull the rug out from industry at the last moment and have EPA regulation somehow inserted into any final bill.

Any CEO who signs on to a climate bill in order to create so-called “regulatory certainty” is too stupid to live has reached his level of incompetence. 🙂

Schwarzenegger surrenders on Cal. drilling

July 27, 2009

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legislative proposal to revive offshore oil drilling went down to ignominious defeat as the California Assembly stripped the provision from a budget bill drafted to close the state’s $26 billion budget, reports Greenwire.

And to think that last year at this time, some were crowing about how an agreement with the greens had been reached to revive California drilling.

Offset industry opposes Cal. fraud crackdown

July 27, 2009

California bill S.B. 722 would require that carbon offset vendors provide consumers with information about the environmental bona fides of their products. But offset providers oppose the bill as it would outlaw about 90 percent of existing voluntary offsets in California, according to ClimateWire.

Surprisingly, green groups — including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Lung Association and the League of Conservation Voters — support the bill.

Apparently, the greens feel that the offset industry is a fraud too far. Maybe they’ll hold that mirror up to themselves next.

New Western Front: Germany accuses France of eco-imperialism

July 27, 2009

From Reuters:

Germany called a French idea to slap “carbon tariffs” on products from countries that are not trying to cut greenhouse gases a form of “eco-imperialism” and a direct violation of WTO rules.

August 2014, anyone?

No campaign funding for Republican turncoats

July 27, 2009

Two Republican congressmen who voted for the Waxman-Markey bill have announced their candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Steve Milloy wrote to National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn asking that NRSC-funding be denied to the congressmen and any other Republican who votes for a climate bill.

July 27, 2009

The Hon. John Cornyn
National Republican Senatorial Committee
Ronald Reagan Republican Center
425 2nd Street NE
Washington, DC 20002

Dear Sen. Cornyn,

I am writing to request your commitment that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) will not support any candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010 who supported the Waxman-Markey bill or who votes for a similar climate bill in the Senate.

The Waxman-Markey bill is nothing more than a steep and stealthy energy tax and left-wing political power grab that will undermine the American standard of living and subvert our political system. That the bill will accomplish absolutely nothing in terms of energy security and environmental protection is the least of its many flaws and shortcomings.

I am concerned, for example, that Reps. Mike Castle (R-DE) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) will seek NRSC support in 2010 to run for the Senate seats that will be vacated by Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE) and Roland Burris (D-IL), respectively. Reps. Castle and Kirk voted for the Waxman-Markey bill and, in our view, against the interests of their constituents and the rest of America’s consumers and taxpayers.

The NRSC should not support Reps. Castle and Kirk or anyone else who lacks the common sense and/or fortitude to stand against the I-hate-America nature of Waxman-Markey and its supporters.


Steven Milloy

Bloomberg idles so you don’t get to?

July 27, 2009

From the New York Daily News:

Mayor Bloomberg, who casts himself as a green movement leader, has been caught red-handed letting his official SUVs idle – sometimes for more than an hour.

In just the past week, the city-owned SUVS that hustle hizzoner around the city were timed idling from 10 minutes to more than an hour eight times, The Associated Press reported.

Bloomberg strengthened the city’s anti-idling law earlier this year, allowing just three minutes of idling…

More windmills-as-eyesores…

July 27, 2009

North Carolina legislators are split over a bill banning wind turbines that ruin the beauty of the mountains, reports the Winston-Salem Journal.

Maryland’s bright green Gov. Martin O’Malley banned wind turbines from state park lands for aesthetic reasons in 2008.

Does this mean that the planetary emergency is over?