Entire state of South Australia has power black out because of flawed climate change energy policy

September 28, 2016

Another glorious success for Green “science!”

Watts Up With That?

Governor Brown has California on same “dark ages” renewable energy path as South Australia

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

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The entire state of South Australia suffered a complete power black out on Wednesday September 28  plugging it’s nearly 1.7 million residents, communities and businesses into darkness.

Loss of available power from transmissions lines feeding the region from other states coupled with South Australia’s ill-considered climate change energy policy of forced shutdown of the states operating coal plants to promote heavy use of renewable energy created this latest power debacle.

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Last July the state barely averted energy black outs when reduced outside electrical energy supplies forced huge and costly purchases of needed power to restore electrical system reliability.(http://theconversation.com/south-australias-electricity-price-woes-are-more-due-to-gas-than-wind-62824)

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The forced shutdown of operating coal plants and mandated increased use of renewables had significantly increased energy costs to consumers by eliminating production from low cost power plants while increasing…

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(Video) Fossil Fuels, the Greenest fuels

May 15, 2016

In the Environmentalist Left’s rush to condemn the use fossil fuels and bring us all to a renewable, sustainable Paradise, they forget the good that fossil fuels have done in making possible a modern world that is far cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous than ever before. For Praeger University, Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress is here with a reminder:

Of course, many of us remember terrible smog problems in major cities, such as my own Los Angeles as recently as the late 80s. Heck, here’s what it looked like in the 1950s:

*cough* *hack*

*cough* *hack*

So, yeah, fossil fuels used with poor technology were a problem. But the tech has gotten better and the air (and water and land) has cleaned up, thanks in part to reasonable regulation.

But Green and other environmental radicals (and the companies that benefit from government-subsidized “Green” tech sales) aren’t satisfied with “reasonable.” They want to eliminate fossil fuels for a number of reasons: economic self-interest, political ideology, and even a near-religious utopianism.

What they fail to see (or see but won’t admit) is that their “solutions” are uneconomical (wind and solar just can’t make it in the market place without government’s thumb on the scale, for example), corrupt (remember Solyndra?), or keep people in less developed countries from achieving a better life for themselves in the form that they want. (Insufferably paternalistic, when you think about it.)

Sure, eventually we’ll want to transition away from fossil fuels, but that will happen only when genuinely economically sustainable (remember that word?) alternatives come along that provide us with the same benefits at at least the same cost.

Until then, we need fossil fuels. So let’s keep some perspective.


Indian Energy Experts Baffled by Green Hostility to Nuclear Power

January 7, 2016

Someone should explain to the Indians that “Green opposition” is a matter of faith, not reason, and so doesn’t have to make sense.

Watts Up With That?

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Hindu reports on a fascinating top level debate occurring at a conference in India, between politicians and energy experts. The energy experts are struggling to understand why nuclear power is not the favoured Western option for reducing CO2 emissions.

… Pointing out that countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria were either committed to closing down nuclear plants or opposing nuclear renaissance, he [Governor P. Sathasivam] stressed the need to formulate a new approach between nuclear enthusiasts and opponents. A former Ambassador and governor for India at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Mr. Sreenivasan said India, China, and Russia were the only countries enthusiastic about nuclear power today.

Striking a different stand, Ashok Chauhan, Director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India, said the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions posed a greater threat to the world…

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Revenge of #KeystoneXL: labor union starts donating to Republicans

November 9, 2015
Feeling rejected.

Hates union jobs

Last Friday at the White House, President Obama finally did what he’s wanted to do for many years: kill the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would have safely carried Canadian crude to ports along the Gulf of Mexico.

In the process, he also killed prospects for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs on the pipeline itself and in supporting industries. Naturally, the relevant union is not happy. How unhappy are they?

They’re giving money to Republicans:

One of the nation’s largest unions accused President Obama of betraying workers and the labor movement by blocking the Keystone Pipeline and is backing up its rhetoric with campaign donations to Republicans.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America said that Obama’s bow to environmentalists meant that he was more concerned with “elitists” and “his legacy” than with helping workers provide for their families.

“President Obama today demonstrated that he cares more about kowtowing to green-collar elitists than he does about creating desperately needed, family-supporting, blue-collar jobs,”said Terry O’Sullivan, the union’s president, in a release following Obama’s Friday announcement.

(…)

LIUNA represents about 500,000 workers in the construction industry, one of the sectors hardest hit by the 2008 economic collapse. Keystone, which was expected to create 42,000 construction jobs, has been awaiting approval for about seven years. O’Sullivan said that Obama’s attempt to minimize job gains demonstrated his “utter disdain” for blue-collar workers.

Dear LIUNA members, and, indeed, private sector union members across the nation: the President and the Democrats have just sent you a message loud and clear — they prefer the money given by Green billionaires such as Tom Steyer and the Hollywood glitterati to your donations. They are willing to sacrifice your jobs to keep those people happy.

We on the Right do care, however. I’m not saying we’re likely to ever be best friends –we disagree over things like free trade and closed-shop collective bargaining, after all– but, here’s the thing: We want you to have jobs. Good ones.

We want the nation to prosper, and when you prosper, so does America. If the Canadians are still willing to do Keystone when a Republican comes to office in 2017, it will take us about 20 seconds to approve it — and other measures that get the government out of the way of job creation in the energy field and other industries.

When election day comes next November, pause for a moment and remember just who threw you under that oh-so-crowded bus.

And then vote your interests.

via Moe Lane


Well my, my, my. Jerry Brown using state resources to explore for oil on his land?

November 5, 2015
x

Oil Tycoon

No wonder you don’t oppose fracking, Governor:

Gov. Jerry Brown last year directed state oil and gas regulators to research, map and report back on any mining and oil drilling history and “potential for future oil and gas activity” at the Brown family’s private land in Northern California, state records show.

After a phone call from the governor and follow-up requests from his aides, senior staffers in the state’s oil and gas regulatory agency over at least two days produced a 51-page historical report and geological assessment, plus a personalized satellite-imaged geological and oil and gas drilling map for the area around Brown’s family ranchland near the town of Williams.

State regulators labeled the map they did for Brown “Oil and Gas Potential In West Colusa County,” and “JB-Ranch,” referring to the Brown family land in Colusa County.

Ultimately, the regulators told the governor, prospects were “very low” for any commercial drilling or mining at the 2,700-acre property, which has been in Brown’s family for more than a century.

Through the state’s open records law, The Associated Press obtained the research that state regulators carried out for Brown, and the emails among senior oil and gas regulators scrambling to fulfill the governor’s request.

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup declined to discuss the work for the governor, referring the AP to California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. That agency said the work was a legal and proper use of public resources – and no more than the general public would get. But oil industry experts said they could not recall a similar example of anyone getting that kind of state work done for private property.

Brown’s request to state regulators amounted to the governor using state workers as “his own private oil prospecting team,” said Hollin Kretzmann, a staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

In fact, as I’m sure is true in most, if not all, states, it is illegal for state officials to use state resources and personnel for private projects. Usually, that means you’re not allowed to have office staff help your reelection campaign on state time, or pick up your groceries.

But, in this case, our beloved governor (Really, he is the sanest Democrat in Sacramento, which is scary) used public resources and funds to explore for “black gold” on his private land. And, if the site had been found promising, I’m sure Jerry would have been cool with extracting it via fracking. Not that I oppose fracking (I don’t), but this perhaps explains why the famously liberal, environmentally conscious Governor Moonbeam has gone against the Green lobby on this.

This reminds me of something I think Peter Schweizer wrote in his book, “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy “, paraphrasing:

“When conservatives violate their principles, they harm themselves. When liberals violate theirs, they prosper.”

Naughty, naughty, Governor!

via Flash Report


OOPS! Solar power causes climate change. Green cultists, rent-seekers hardest hit

November 4, 2015
Climate changer

Climate changer

Hat tip to Pirate’s Cove, this little item in The Washington Post should have the climate alarmists, well, alarmed:

Large solar arrays could have some surprising side effects, according to a new study, including causing changes in the local climate.

On a global scale, these changes will be minor compared to what would happen if humans continue to burn fossil fuel for energy instead, but are still worth watching, scientists say.

Figuring out how renewable energy sources will affect their local landscapes is an increasingly relevant challenge for scientists, as more and more nations are vowing to slash their carbon outputs and switch to alternatives, such as solar and wind energy. Previous studies have shown that both solar arrays and wind farms have the potential to cause regional changes in temperature and precipitation by altering the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth or disrupting local airflow patterns.

With this in mind, Aixue Hu, a climate change research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, conducted a study, published Monday in Nature Climate Change, that attempted to predict the climatic effects of solar arrays.

Part of the magical thinking of the Climastrologists is that their alternative energy sources are so clean and pure that it’s worth any inefficiencies and higher consumer costs to save the Earth. Rent-seeking captains of Green industries claim the subsidies they receive (read: taxpayer money) are for a good cause.

Which, of course, is so much horse manure. At a minimum, solar plants and wind farms need back up power plants spinning on standby 24-by-7, ready to take up the slack for those times when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow (or blows too hard). They have to be ready at a moment’s notice, which means they have to be reliable, which in turn means they run on… fossil fuels. Fuels that spew evil, demonic, Gaea-hating CO2 into the atmosphere.

And that’s just from the back-up plants. As the article suggests, the heat generated by solar plants and the changes to wind patterns (as wind farms take energy from the wind to convert to electricity) have to have some local and regional effects.

But, don’t worry. Per the article, this is nothing compared to GLOBAL DESTRUCTION!!! that’s coming from anthropogenic global warming.

On a planet that hasn’t warmed for 18 years.

But don’t ever let the facts get in the way of a good racket.

 

 


(Video) Why we can’t rely on wind and solar power

October 19, 2015
"Epic fail"

Not reliable

At first glance, wind and solar power seem like attractive alternatives to fossil fuels: clean, abundant, and cheap. What’s not to like?

Other than that they’re both frauds, as Alex Epstein explains for Prager University:

The diluteness and intermittency problems Alex mentions are worth repeating. Solar power can’t be generated at night, nor can wind power be produced when the wind stops blowing or blows too strongly. Because both are intermittent, backup coal and gas-fired plants need to be kept spinning 24-by-7 on standby to make sure the power we need still flows into the grid. Kind of defeats the whole environmentalist point, doesn’t it?

“Diluteness” –the fact that energy from wind and solar is not concentrated, unlike energy from fossil fuels– requires that wind and solar “farms” take up a much larger area than fossil-fueled or nuclear plants in order to generate a given amount of usable power, thus blighting the landscape. Oh, and killing lots of birds. There’s that quandary for Environmental Justice Warriors, again.

And don’t get me started on how uneconomical both are, requiring massive taxpayer-funded subsidies to operate at all.

It’s not that I’m a great fan of coal and oil. Eventually, we will find a way to at least minimize our need for them. But, for foreseeable future, they’re the cheapest, most efficient means for powering this amazing civilization we’ve built. (1)

RELATED: A good book on the problems with wind power is “The Wind Farm Scam” by John Etherington.

Footnote:
(1) Though Bill Gates is on the right track.


How biofuel-mania kills

October 12, 2015

satire Good Intentions

This is excerpted from a longer post at Power Line discussing a report pointing out the benefits of CO2 (hint: it’s plant food) and the nonsensical hysteria climate cultists try to spread about it. Proving the point about roads paved with good intentions, the insane pursuit of biofuels has lead to nearly 200,000 premature deaths:

Between 1990–92 and 2011–13, although global population increased by 31% to 7.1 billion, available food supplies increased by 44%. Consequently, the population suffering from chronic hunger declined by 173 million despite a population increase of 1.7 billion. This occurred despite the diversion of land and crops from production of food to the production of biofuels. According to one estimate, in 2008 such activities helped push 130–155 million people into absolute poverty, exacerbating hunger in this most marginal of populations. This may in turn have led to 190,000 premature deaths worldwide in 2010 alone. Thus, ironically, a policy purporting to reduce [global warming] in order to reduce future poverty and hunger only magnified these problems in the present day.

In the United States we’ve seen increases in the prices of food due in part to cropland being diverted to biofuels, instead of producing feed for cattle or vegetables for the produce sections of our local markets. But, we’re lucky: thanks to a marvelous transportation system, food can still be brought in by land and sea. For the subsistence farmers described above, it’s not an inconvenience: it’s a matter of life and death.

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: Heaven help us against those trying to “save” us.

PS: The whole report is available at Watt’s Up With That.


Asia’s coal power climate joke

September 26, 2015

Obama wants to destroy the coal industry here, while California thinks it can heal the world on its own by forsaking the Demon Carbon. Meanwhile in Asia, they merely pay lip service to global warming while pressing on with building coal plants — and laughing at us behind our backs. And sometimes in front of them.

Watts Up With That?

energy-plugged-in-coal

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Mother Jones is celebrating that China has just committed $3.1 billion to help poor countries fight climate change. Mother Jones cautiously states they don’t know what China means by this statement. My guess is they know very well what China probably means – but they don’t want to detract from their climate story.

According to Mother Jones;

China followed up its promise Friday to create the world’s largest cap-and-trade program with yet another significant climate policy announcement: It will commit to spending $3.1 billion to help developing countries slash their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. China’s financial commitment, along with its new carbon market, are part of a comprehensive package of climate measures to be announced at a joint press conference featuring US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday in Washington, DC.

The new pledge, emerging from high-profile…

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Green Fail: windfarms contaminate the water supply?

July 18, 2015
"Epic fail"

What could go wrong?

I don’t see what the problem is; since Human activity causes global warming, shouldn’t this be condign punishment for our sins against Gaea?

Campaigners in Scotland are calling for a full, independent investigation into allegations that wind farms are contaminating water supplies across large areas of Scotland.

They have written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd calling for an immediate halt on all wind farm development north of the border until the government can guarantee safe drinking water for everyone.

The problem first came to light when residents living near Europe’s largest wind farm, the 215 turbine Whitelee farm in Ayrshire, began to suffer from diarrhoea and severe vomiting. Tipped off by an NHS report which mentioned that difficulties in treating the water supply may pose health risks, local resident Dr Rachel Connor, a retired clinical radiologist, started digging into the council’s water testing results.

She found that, between May 2010 and April 2013, high readings of E.coli and other coliform bacteria had been recorded. In addition, readings of the chemical trihalomethane (THM), linked to various cancers, still births and miscarriages, were way beyond safe limits.

Scottish Power, who run the wind farm, denied causing the pollution but admitted that they hadn’t warned residents that their water supplies may be contaminated.

In other words, “we couldn’t have caused this problem, but maybe we should have warned you.” Right. So we’ve gone from wind farms chopping up birds to poisoning the water supply. They’re not economically viable without public subsidy, they never meet their promised power generation or reliability, but, hey, they do give you diarrhea. And maybe kill your unborn child. All to fight catastrophic man-caused global warming, a problem that does not exist.

What on Earth are you complaining about?

Now, of course, nothing is proven yet, but I’ll wager dollars to donuts there’s more to this than the hysteria over fracking and earthquakes.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! Thanks, Glenn!


This Earth Day, celebrate the good done by fossil fuels

April 20, 2015

Prager University has put out a new video for Earth Day to remind us of how much the discovery and exploitation of fossil fuels has improved our world:

Though I think the host should have made a more obvious connection between all the wonderful developments of the last 300 years and the use of fossil fuels, the point made is still true: without gasoline, coal, and oil, we’d be living much poorer, more brutish lives. And he should have spent more time on how advances in technology –themselves made possible by fossil fuels– have helped us deal with the environmental problems created earlier in the industrial age.

But these are quibbles; his main argument is a valid one — the Green hostility toward fossil fuels goes beyond a reasonable concern for the environment and becomes a hostility to the very things that have made our lives so much better.


Test at Tonopah solar project ignites hundreds of birds in mid-air

March 2, 2015

Well done, Green Movement, well done.

Watts Up With That?

Uh, oh. From NatureWorldNews

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“It’s no secret that solar power is hot right now, with innovators and big name companies alike putting a great deal of time, money, and effort into improving these amazing sources of renewable energy. Still, the last thing you’d likely expect is for a new experimental array to literally light nearly 130 birds in mid-flight on fire.

And yet, that’s exactly what happened near Tonopah, Nevada last month during tests of the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.”

“According to Rudy Evenson, Deputy Chief of Communications for Nevada Bureau of Land Management (NBLM) in Reno, as reported by Re Wire, a third of the newly constructed plant was put into action on the morning of Jan. 14, redirecting concentrated solar energy to a point 1,200 feet above the ground.”

“Unfortunately, about two hours into the test, engineers and biologists on site started…

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Is Russia behind the European anti-fracking demonstrations?

December 2, 2014
Drill, baby, drill!

Drill, baby, drill!

Plunging oil prices are hurting Russia natural-resources-dependent economy, threatening to throw it into recession along with a collapsing ruble. That’s not a good thing to have happen, but especially not when Moscow’s aggressive behavior has brought them into conflict with the West and earned them economic sanctions.

Part of the problem (from the Kremlin’s point of view) is that the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technological revolution has lead to a renaissance in US oil production — we’re now one of the largest oil producers in the world, with vast reserves. We even export more than we import. And this revolution has just begun. Other nations are very interested in using fracking to bring down drilling costs, promising a larger supply on the market and concomitantly bringing crude prices down, to almost everyone’s benefit.

Well, everyone except Vladimir Putin, that is. A deep fall in Russian revenues thanks to fracking would threaten his glorious plans, the Russian economy, and maybe the stability of his rule. Consequently, we shouldn’t be surprised when people start to wonder if those anti-fracking demonstrations in Europe aren’t being ginned up in Moscow:

PUNGESTI, Romania — Vlasa Mircia, the mayor of this destitute village in eastern Romania, thought he had struck it rich when the American energy giant Chevron showed up here last year and leased a plot of land he owned for exploratory shale gas drilling.

But the encounter between big business and rural Romania quickly turned into a nightmare. The village became a magnet for activists from across the country opposed to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Violent clashes broke out between the police and protesters. The mayor, one of the few locals who sided openly with Chevron, was run out of town, reviled as a corrupt sellout in what activists presented as a David versus Goliath struggle between impoverished farmers and corporate America.

“I was really shocked,” recalled the mayor, who is now back at his office on Pungesti’s main, in fact only, street. “We never had protesters here and suddenly they were everywhere.”

Pointing to a mysteriously well-financed and well-organized campaign of protest, Romanian officials including the prime minister say that the struggle over fracking in Europe does feature a Goliath, but it is the Russian company Gazprom, not the American Chevron.

Gazprom, a state-controlled energy giant, has a clear interest in preventing countries dependent on Russian natural gas from developing their own alternative supplies of energy, they say, preserving a lucrative market for itself — and a potent foreign policy tool for the Kremlin.

“Everything that has gone wrong is from Gazprom,” Mr. Mircia said.

This belief that Russia is fueling the protests, shared by officials in Lithuania, where Chevron also ran into a wave of unusually fervent protests and then decided to pull out, has not yet been backed up by any clear proof. And Gazprom has denied accusations that it has bankrolled anti-fracking protests. But circumstantial evidence, plus large dollops of Cold War-style suspicion, have added to mounting alarm over covert Russian meddling to block threats to its energy stranglehold on Europe.

Via Power Line, where you can read a healthy reminder that this wouldn’t be new behavior for the Russians, as anyone who remembers the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s knows.  (Hint: All those innocent no-war types were being played for suckers by the KGB.)

If we had an administration interested in the intelligent development of America’s resources and also undercutting Putin where’s he’s most vulnerable –and hopefully we will in a couple of years– we could do a lot to jump-start our own economy and “encourage” Vlad to settle down by shutting off his money at the tap.

Still, that the Russians feel a need to break out the old KGB playbook shows how worried they are. And that sound you hear is me weeping in sympathy.

No, wait. It’s not. Not at all.

What you hear is me laughing.


Britain Announces Emergency Measures To Prevent Winter Blackouts

October 28, 2014

This is where the cult of “Green energy” leads — brownouts and blackouts. By heavily subsidizing inefficient, unreliable wind power and eschewing new coal and (until recently) nuclear facilities, Britain has to take draconian steps to avoid a climate-caused disaster: not warming, bit freezing to death in winter. And if the Enviro-radicals have their way in the US, we won’t be far behind.

Watts Up With That?

MODIS_UK_SnowFrom the GWPF: Cold Winter Could Cause Britain’s Lights To Go Out

Emergency measures to prevent blackouts this winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent.
–Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming – except the people in charge.
–Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

National Grid has warned that there has been a significant increase in the risk of electricity shortages and brownouts this winter after fires and faults knocked out a large chunk of Britain’s shrinking power station coverage. The grid operator admitted that in the event of Britain experiencing the coldest snap in 20 years – a 5 per cent chance – then electricity supplies would not be able to meet demand during two weeks in January.
–Tim…

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California drivers brace for costly new global warming gas tax

August 29, 2014

This state has gone mad. We’re doing everything to drive prosperity away in pursuit of “progressive” fantasies.

Watts Up With That?

Gasoline_taxNeal Kaye writes | Californians already pay the nation’s second highest gas tax at 68 cents a gallon — and now it will go up again in January to pay for a first-in-the-nation climate change law.

“I didn’t know that,” said Los Angeles motorist Tyler Rich. “It’s ridiculous.”

“I think it’s terrible,” added Lupe Sanchez, pumping $4.09-a-gallon gas at a Chevron near Santa Monica. “The economy, the way it is right now with jobs and everything, it’s just crazy.”

When gas prices go up, motorists typically blame oil companies, Arab sheiks and Wall Street speculators. This time they can blame Sacramento and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for passing a bill requiring California to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/27/california-hidden-gas-tax/

=====================================================

Some notes: gasoline in California will be subject to California’s Global Warming Solutions Act tax (Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 into law in 2006) which will boost the…

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Canada pulls the plug on the U.S. Keystone Pipeline – will send oil to Asia

June 29, 2014

This makes me so mad, I could chew nails. Tens of thousands of good jobs lost, a needed economic boost from cheap oil thrown away. Heckuva job, Greens.

Watts Up With That?

Approves Asia Supply Route, Ignores US Route

H/T Eric Worrall and Breitbart – Obama’s inability to make a decision on Keystone has finally yielded a result – Canada has made the decision for him.

Breitbart reports Canada has just approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project – a major pipeline to ship Canadian oil to Asia.

The Canadian oil will still be burnt – in Asia, instead of America.

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Obama fights against US coal exports

March 24, 2014
In Obama's crosshairs

In Obama’s crosshairs

I’m not sure what the people of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Colorado did to Barack Obama –after all, they gave him the electoral votes he needed to win reelection– but he sure has it in for their major exports and the jobs they create:

The leaders also announced that the Netherlands was joining the U.S. and other countries in an effort to stop the international funding of new coal-fired power plants by development banks.

“We’re pleased that the Netherlands has joined our initiative that will virtually end all public financing for coal-fired plants abroad,” Obama said. “It’s concrete action like this that can keep making progress on reducing emissions while we develop new global agreements on climate change.”

Per Bryan Preston, the US is the world’s second largest coal exporter, and each million tons exported creates over 1,300 jobs. Now, why on Earth would an American president work so hard against American economic interests, especially in difficult times with such large numbers of people unemployed and under-employed? It’s almost as if he sees American power as a problem, something to be solved by managed decline… Nah, couldn’t be.

I sorely wish more people in those coal-mining states had seen the danger Obama poses to their own livelihoods and the nation’s well-being; I’ve little doubt we’d be in a better situation right now, if they had. But that’s done, and now we have to work to convince voters that any Democrat nominee in 2016 is going to be beholden to the same radical environmentalist interests that Obama is placating with this initiative. Those factions are not interested in mitigating the problems with coal use until a genuine replacement comes along or with good conservation practices in its mining: they want to ban it outright, now, and the consequences be damned for communities reliant on its extraction and an economy dependent on the energy it produces.

And, right now, they have their guy in office.

Read the rest of Preston’s report for the international implications of this agreement.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Demon-fearing Los Angeles city council blames fracking for earthquake

March 20, 2014
Drill, baby, drill!

Drill, baby, drill!

Remember, kiddies, liberals are the party of science!

Los Angeles City Council members have discovered how to cause earthquakes. Three councilmen think fracking may be the cause of Monday’s earthquake in the Santa Monica Mountains, and they want the city, state, and feds to do an in-depth review.

Councilmen Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin, and Bernard Parks Tuesday introduced a motion calling for the city, the U.S. Geological Survey, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to report on whether hydraulic fracturing caused the moderate 4.4-magnitude earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It is crucial to the health and safety of the City’s residents to understand the seismic impacts of oil and gas extraction activities in the City,” the motion says. “All high-pressure fracking and injection creates ‘seismic events.’ . . .  Active oil extraction activities are reportedly taking place on the Veteran’s Administration grounds in West Los Angeles, nearby the epicenter of the March 17, 2014, 4.4 earthquake.”

Parks, who seconded the motion, tells National Review Online that while fracking is “reportedly” happening near the epicenter, those who signed the motion weren’t completely sure. However, he adds that “earthquakes are happening in areas that are not historically earthquake prone, but they are in places where fracking is going on.”

I’m sorry to say Mike Bonin is my city councilman.

Let’s be honest, here. If Koretz, Parks, and Bonin genuinely think fracking caused an earthquake, they know nothing about earthquakes and are just fearing demons in the night. Earthquakes happen when adjoining tectonic plates, which are constantly in motion against each other, suddenly break and move with a jolt. Sometimes a little bit, as in Monday’s quake, sometimes a lot, as in the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan. In seismically active areas, such as the western coast of North America, small quakes occur every day and have since long before anyone thought of the words “hydraulic fracturing.”

Here’s the technical information for Monday’s shaker. Note the depth: six miles. This is what a USGS geologist had to say when asked about fracking causing that quake:

However, opponents of the moratorium argue that fracking has not been proven to cause any health risks and that claims that it caused this earthquake are not realistic.

“My first impression is that sounds implausible,” seismologist Lucy Jones said. “The earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this.”

In other words, yes you might get hit by a bolt from the blue, but that’s no reason to ban walking outdoors.

This call for a study (borrowing from the neverending studies tactic of NY Governor Cuomo) is just another delaying tactic in furtherance of their earlier motion to ban fracking within city limits.  Hydraulic fracturing opponents are using what’s called the “preventative principle” (1) to stop a promising technology that could do wonders for the economy, because the idea of oil and gas exploration goes against their hardcore environmentalist agenda. And then they find lackwit politicians who know nothing about the subject matter, but who are ever so happy to take activists’ donations and campaign help, and get them to pass laws serving that agenda — to the public’s detriment. Their hope is that through delay after delay and more and more burdensome regulations, they can kill what they oppose altogether.

No matter how discredited their propaganda, no matter how safe fracking is shown to be, no matter that even the Energy Secretary of the most left-leaning administration in US history declares it safe, no matter how much this city, this state, and this nation need the economic boost intelligent exploitation of our vast oil and gas resources would provide, fracking opponents continue to throw anything against the wall in the hopes of finding something that will convince people to support a ban.

And sometimes they find the fools they need.

RELATED: Ten myths about natural gas drilling. The UK government thinks fracking is safe. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter even thinks the evil magic of fracking can cause earthquakes far out at sea.

Footnote:
(1) Watch for words like “may,” “might,” “possible,” “could” and other weak words that don’t require any evidence to back them up, just the doubt and fear they create in the (they hope) credulous listener.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Law of Unintended Consequences Number Eleventy-Zillion

August 6, 2013

Wait. Was there no one in Britain who stopped and said, “This is bloody stupid?”

Wait. Was there no one in Britain who stopped and said, “This is bloody stupid?”

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New York: the Enviro-Luddites’ Fracking Insanity

June 16, 2013
"Treasure map"

“Treasure map”

One of the things about the environmental Left that drives me most nuts is its resistance to reason and empirical fact. Global warming is a good example: what started as a theory many years ago, that the Earth is warming dangerously and the climate heading for disastrous changes because of the carbon dioxide Man has been adding to the air, has been shown time and again in recent years by empirical observation to be false. There has been no statistically significant warming since the mid-90s, the polar bears are not dying out, and prediction after prediction made by the warming alarmists has failed to pan out. But, in the face of overwhelming evidence that should at least cause strong skepticism, they cling bitterly to their computer models — which haven’t been right, yet.

Similarly with radical environmentalists who oppose any and all development of hydrocarbon resources (coal, oil, natural gas), no matter what the actual research shows of its safety, no matter the reasonable measures taken to protect the environment, and no matter –perhaps especially regardless of– the economic benefits to people.

Take hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for example. That’s the extraction of natural gas and oil by forcing water into cracks in underground rock formations and widening them to release the resources. New York State is one of the states sitting atop the Marcellus Shale formation, which has been estimated to hold immense reserves of natural gas. In an article in the June 17th print edition of National Review (1), Ian Tuttle talks about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) Hamlet-like coy reticence (2) to develop the shale, in spite of the evident economic benefits from fracking for counties that have been hit hard by the “recovery” from the Great Recession and in spite of his own Health Department’s certification that fracking is safe. The article overall is worth reading, but one fact jumps out and that I want to share:

“Twenty-eight New York counties sit atop the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas bearing subterranean rock formation that also stretches across part of Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Geologists estimate that the entire region contains 489 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Given that a third of the Shale’s 55,000 square miles is in New York, the Empire State has access to a sizeable portion of that — certainly enough to supply much of its own in-state natural gas demand: a mere 1.1 trillion cubic feet each year.”

Think about that for a moment and let the implications sink in. Assuming for a moment that the natural gas is evenly spread throughout the Shale (I’m sure it isn’t, but what is there is substantial), there are roughly 163 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under New York, enough to meet the state’s needs for 140-150 years. Natural gas is cheap, clean fuel that could replace coal and oil in homes and businesses. Even if New York’s consumption suddenly doubled, there’s enough for decades, at least. And let’s not forget the the jobs created: in counties where fracking is underway, guys driving water trucks make $60,000 per year. I imagine New Yorkers would like to enjoy the cheap, safe fuel and the good-paying jobs, but their governor and their legislature have more important things in mind, like keeping the Green lobby happy.

New York isn’t the only state where this environmentalist madness has taken hold: my beloved California is sitting atop its own fracking pot of gold, but the Cult of Gaea is spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (as well as campaign cash) to fight it here, too.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is: the United States and many of her 50 states are in an economic mess, and yet radical environmentalists fight tooth and nail against one very powerful tool that can help rebuild prosperity, and they do it in the face of all evidence that the process is safe.

How much do you have to hate humanity to do that?

Footnotes:
(1) Sorry, no direct link is available. The issue has a five-article section on resource development. I highly recommend buying it or hunting it up at your local library.
(2) Meaning he’s afraid to go against a legislature largely owned by the enviro-lobby, and he wants the lobby’s cash and campaign work for when he runs for president in 2016, what’s right for his state be damned.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)