Archive for August, 2009

Bill Clinton: Raise property taxes to pay for green

August 11, 2009

From ClimateWire:

…And a Center for American Progress report released yesterday that pushes for retrofitting 40 percent of the country’s buildings — 50 million structures — by 2020 isn’t ambitious enough, [former President Bill] Clinton said. “Let’s do them all over the next 5 years and put millions of people to work,” he said.

He pointed to financing options on the local level, as well, citing Berkeley, Calif.’s model that allows homeowners to pay for retrofits through their property taxes. “I believe our success in proving there’s a new economy out there requires us to do much more, much more quickly, on the easy ideas,” he said. “Nobody is thinking of this on a scale. It is so simple.”

But Bill, no one ever said that ripping off consumers and taxpayers was complicated.

Update BG&E vs. AARP

August 11, 2009

The Maryland Public Service Commission has sided with AARP in denying Baltimore Gas & Electric’s request for an expedited processing of the utility’s smart meter program, reports SmartGridToday.

As we reported on August 3, the Maryland chapter of the AARP had filed a letter in opposition to BG&E’s request stating that not enough was known about the plan to justify rushing into it.

TVA smart meters: When the homeowner’s away, we will play

August 11, 2009

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) plans to control your home appliances when you’re not there.

According to SmartGridToday, the TVA is planning a $400 million smart meter pilot program, including $200 million of Obama stimulus money, that would allow the TVA to turn off appliances when people are away from their homes and businesses.

And just how will the TVA know when you are away? What if you don’t want your appliances turned off?

FERC: Wind means renewable blackouts

August 11, 2009

From Bloomberg:

President Barack Obama’s push for wind and solar energy to wean the U.S. from foreign oil carries a hidden cost: overburdening the nation’s electrical grid and increasing the threat of blackouts… “As we add more and more wind power, the grid will get more stressed, and there’s going to be a point where the grid can’t handle any more,” [said Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jon Wellinghoff].

There’s nothing quite like central planning.

Non-surprise of the day: GE’s PCB clean-up makes Hudson River worse

August 11, 2009

The green-forced “clean-up” by General Electric of PCBs in Hudson River sediments has — to no one’s surprise — backfired.

As predicted by everyone with an ounce of common sense, GE’s dredging stirred up the formerly entombed PCBs. EPA water-test results revealed that PCB levels in the river exceed safety limits.

Chalk up another green disaster, courtesy of:

  • RFK Jr, Planetary Zero. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his activist group Riverkeeper pressured GE to undertake the clean-up. Ironically, Time magazine had declared Kennedy one of its “Heroes of the Planet” for his Hudson River activism.
  • Corporate Neville Chamberlain-ism. GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt who, in hopes of appeasing the greens, reversed former CEO Jack Welch’s policy against dredging.
  • Your gooberment at work. The EPA, which in forcing GE to dredge sediments that should have been left alone, failed its eponymous mission — environmental protection.

And now, we’re on the verge of turning over energy policy — via the Waxman-Markey climate bill — to these very same people?

Click here for New York Times coverage.

New green ‘technology’: Turning off your AC

August 11, 2009

In an article titled “Calif. looks to storage technologies and people to balance its grid” (Aug. 11), ClimateWire reports that,

Another technology [seen as key] is demand management, a process by which consumers adjust how much electricity their homes or offices are using based on real-time information from the grid on prices and other indicators of how much supply is available at the moment. Such communication… would be based on a smart grid, which will automatically receive information from the grid operator and adjust electricity use — for example, by turning off a house’s air conditioner for five minutes during times of peak demand.

Only in the bizarre world of green-think would your local utility’s ability to turn off your air conditioning when you need it the most be considered “technology.”

Obama: Post-partisan or Most-partisan?

August 10, 2009

If you listen to President Obama these days, you are likely to hear him attack and deride people who oppose or raise questions about his policies.

Just today, for example, he blasted critics of his healthcare reform policies:

“I don’t find Canadians particularly scary, but I guess some of the opponents of reform think that they make a good bogeyman.”

Also today, he blasted critics of his policy on Honduras:

“The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can’t have it both ways.”

The Detroit News recently editorialized that:

President Barack Obama is chiding critics of his carbon cap-and-trade proposal to combat global warming for being afraid of a future shaped by new energy technologies and thriving with so-called green jobs.

So is he really the post-partisan politician that was pitched to America in 2008? You decide in the poll below:

President Obama: Post-partisan or...

President Obama: Post-partisan or...

... just most-partisan?

... just most-partisan?

NAS: International CO2 limits unenforceable

August 10, 2009

This July 28 letter from the National Academy of Sciences says that there is no existing way to monitor CO2 emissions around the world — meaning that there would be no way to verify that countries around the world are complying with emissions limits that may be set by international treaty.

Of course, monitoring and verification are just the first steps of enforcement. How would anyone actually compel China, India, Mexico, Russia and the rest of the developing world to comply with limits on emitting greenhouse gases?

Would the UN invade? Would Wal-Mart be forced to stop buying Chinese? What about the sort of international sanctions that have worked so well with Iran and North Korea? A beer summit? What?

Northeasterners forced to give up oil heat?

August 10, 2009

Northeastern governors may ban home furnaces that burn oil in order to meet greenhouse gas emission limits.

The governors are expected to approve “a blueprint for slashing carbon dioxide from cars — and perhaps home furnaces — by January,” reports ClimateWire.

About half of Massachusetts 2 millions homes, for example, rely on oil heat. “Thousands of homes might have to replace oil furnaces with wood-burning heaters” or with heat from renewable electricity or natural gas, or upgrade furnaces to burning biofuels, ClimateWire reports.

New home furnaces cost between $3,000 to $5,000.

There would also be international trade implications from such a policy since about half of the region’s heating oil comes from Canadian tar sands.

Can’t wait for these… cloud ships

August 7, 2009

From the Daily Telegraph: