Green gridlock: No new transmission lines?

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.

AT&T falls for green vehicle scam

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

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.

Green land grab narrowly fails in House

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.”

‘Greening the ghetto’ activist joins Obama admin

The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that,

Bay Area environmental activist and author Van Jones will join the Obama administration as adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation, the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced Tuesday.

Jones is touted as having “rock-star status with the green jobs movement” for advocating “greening the ghetto.”

Check out what Rich Sweeney had to say about “greening the ghetto” at the Common Tragedies blog.

Santa Barbara drillin’ was just California dreamin’

The California State Lands Commission denied the first new oil drilling lease in 40 years, ending a much-hoped for energy project off Santa Barbara.

No one should be surprised, but here’s a noteworthy back story.

Amid last summer’s $4/gallon gasoline crisis, Andrew Cline enthused in a July 12, 2008 Wall Street Journal op-ed about how an oil exploration company reached an agreement with Green activist groups to permit drilling off the coast of Santa Barbara, California — the first new wells since the January 1969 oil spill in that area.

Cline gushed,

“When an environmental group formed for the sole purpose of opposing offshore oil drilling warmly embraces a plan to drill off its own coast, you know something important has changed in our culture; Americans have recognized that offshore drilling is largely safe.”

But less than a week later, the greens wrote the Journal to correct the record. The greens’ attorney who negotiated the deal wrote,

“[T]o be accurate, the [op-ed’s] title should have read “Environmentalists Secure End to Oil Development… The agreement struck… is remarkable because it sets a fixed date for the termination of existing offshore and onshore oil production facilities in Santa Barbara County. Without the agreement, this oil development could continue indefinitely, for decades to come. With the agreement, significant oil production facilities will be shut down in the next several years… We see this agreement as a direct complement to our support for the federal oil moratorium. Just as we need to say “no” to new oil development, we must put an end to existing development if we are to protect our coast from the risks of offshore oil and gas development, and protect society from climate change… environmentalists support actions that move away from, not toward, dependence on fossil fuels…

Then on August 27, 2008, the Journal reported that,

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to support increased oil production off its coast, a move supporters hope will add to growing pressure to lift bans on offshore drilling.

But in the end, the greens — via the State Lands Commission — won.

Moral of the story: trusting the greens is shear folly.

Greens move to wreck ethanol industry

Green is a cutthroat business. Just ask the ethanol industry.

As part of its proposed low-carbon fuel standard, the California Air Resources Board has proposed that so-called “indirect land use change” impacts be included in the calculation of the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for biofuels, like corn-based ethanol. The proposal states,

Carbon intensities are calculated under the LCFS on a full lifecycle basis. This means that the carbon intensity value assigned to each fuel reflects the GHG emissions associated with that fuel’s production, transport, storage, and use. In addition to these direct GHG emissions, some fuels create emissions due to indirect land use change effects. An indirect land use change impact is initially triggered when an increase in the demand for a crop-based biofuel begins to drive up prices for the necessary feedstock crop. This price increase causes farmers to devote a larger proportion of their cultivated acreage to that feedstock crop. Supplies of the displaced food and feed commodities subsequently decline, leading to higher prices for those commodities. The lowest-cost way for many farmers to take advantage of these higher commodity prices is to bring non-agricultural lands into production. These land use conversions release the carbon sequestered in soils and vegetation. The resulting carbon emissions constitute the “indirect” land use change impact of increased biofuel production.

According a report in today’s Carbon Control News, environmentalists support this proposal, which would:

  • Make it more difficult for corn-based ethanol to be classified as a low-carbon fuel in California — and perhaps elsewhere as the green-bug that bites California often spreads to other states; and
  • Discourage increased agricultural production of food intended to make-up for crop acreage lost to ethanol production.

The point here is not to cry for the rather unsympathetic ethanol industry — a group that tried to ride the green wave to the detriment of our country’s energy and food supply.

The point is that when you (the biofuels industry and everyone else) lie down with dogs (greens) you get up with fleas. No disrespect to dogs intended.

Washington Post questions Obama’s sincerity on clean energy

In the wake of President Obama’s decision to kill the Yucca Mountain project for spent nuclear fuel, the Washington Post questioned the credibility of Obama’s plans for clean energy. In a March 8 editorial, the Post wrote,

By stripping the funding for the nuclear repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, President Obama has succeeded in killing the contentious project that remains unfinished 22 years after Congress selected the site. He compounds the error by not offering an alternative. If the president’s vision for a clean energy future is to be believed or is to come to fruition, nuclear energy must be a part of the mix, and the safe disposal of its radioactive waste must be given more serious consideration. [Emphasis added]

Perhaps it’s dawning on the Post that President Obama is not really a well-intentioned liberal so much as he is a hardcore green intent on causing energy chaos and establishing total government control over the energy supply. Obama owes his national political career to greens. He is one of them.

Regardless of the lip service he pays to domestic drilling, nuclear energy and “clean coal,” Obama’s actions — including canceling oil/gas drilling leases in Utah, ending Yucca Mountain and pursuing draconian anti-coal climate legislation — speak louder than words.

Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them describes how President Obama plans to green America, whether you like it or not.

Greens reject Pickens Plan

Massachusetts’ Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs pretty much ruled out the alternative energy plans of T. Boone Pickens in a March 7 a New York Times op-ed.

Ian Bowles recommended that,

… lawmakers should resist calls to add an extensive and costly new transmission system that would carry electricity from remote areas like Texas, the Great Plains and Eastern Canada to places with high energy demands like Boston, Chicago and New York…

Unlike our federal highway system, which is needed to transport goods across the country, or the “information superhighway” of the Internet, which is the fastest way to carry information around the world, long-distance transmission lines have no inherent value. On the contrary, the farther electricity is transported, the more of it is dissipated. “Line loss,” as this is called, gobbles up an estimated 2 percent to 3 percent of electricity nationally.

Long distance transmissions lines of course are what T. Boone Pickens is counting on to transmit electricity from his planned “world’s largest windfarm” in the Texas panhandle to the rest of us.

Perhaps Pickens — who apparently has abandoned every conservative principle he ever had in order to sell his wind farm nonsense — will now team up with Ted Kennedy, who has also been “wronged” by the Massachusetts bureaucrat.

Bowles, after all, supports the Kennedy-hated Cape Cod wind farm that would be within sight of the family’s Hyannis Port compound.

You can read about the green strategy to cause energy chaos in America in Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.”

Hillary: Exploit financial crisis for CO2 regulation

Reuters reports that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a group of young Europeans at the European Parliament that,

“Never waste a good crisis … Don’t waste it when it can have a very positive impact on climate change and energy security… “Certainly the United States has been negligent in living up to its responsibilities.”

In what can only be viewed as a comical lack of self-awareness, she also chastised Russia for using energy as a political weapon against Ukraine in recent years:

“We are … troubled by using energy as a tool of intimidation… We think that’s not in the interest of creating a better and better functioning energy system.”

Is anyone “troubled” about the greens using the financial crisis as a political weapon?

NY Gov. attacked for acting without greens’ OK

Green groups are attacking New York Gov. David Paterson for permitting electric utilities more flexibility with carbon dioxide emissions. Worse, according to the greens, he did it without first asking them for permission!

The New York Times reported this morning that,

At the urging of the energy industry, Gov. David A. Paterson has agreed to reconsider a key rule New York adopted as part of a 10-state pact aimed at reducing the threat of global warming by cutting power plant emissions.

Mr. Paterson appeared to overrule the State Department of Environmental Conservation in making the move, which would reopen state regulations to provide power plants leeway to release greater amounts of emissions at no additional cost. Administration officials said the governor was concerned the rule might unfairly burden the energy industry.

His decision infuriated environmental groups, which learned of Mr. Paterson’s decision just this week, though he met with energy executives privately last fall and assured them he would take the step.

Take Action:

The Times reported that

Several environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Advocates of New York, sent a letter on Wednesday to the governor’s top deputy, Larry S. Schwartz, protesting the move.

Fire off your own e-mail supporting Gov. Paterson’s move!

Steve Milloy’s new book, “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them,” focuses on how the greens are making energy more expensive and less available.

Three cheers for ExxonMobil!

Exxon Mobil announced yesterday that it would:

invest at record levels — between $25 billion and $30 billion annually over the next five years — to meet expected long-term growth in world energy demand.

DRILL, BABY, DRILL!

ExxonMobil’s 2008 highlights include:

  • Production started at eight major projects in 2008, which at their peak are expected to add the net equivalent of 260,000 barrels per day to the company’s production. A further nine major projects are expected to commence production in 2009, and at their peak are expected to add the net equivalent of an additional 485,000 barrels per day to production.
  • The company once again replaced more than 100 percent of production through proved reserves additions in 2008. It was the 15th consecutive year that the company’s proved reserves additions have more than replaced production. In addition, net exploration acreage has been increased by about 40 percent since 2003.
  • In the downstream, the company is progressing plans to invest more than $1 billion in lower-sulfur diesel projects at three refineries in the US and Europe. Once complete in 2010, these projects will allow an increase in lower-sulfur diesel production of 140,000 barrels per day.

Steve Milloy’s new book “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” discusses how there’s plenty of oil for our energy needs — if only the greens will let us at it.

Click here for ExxonMobil’s press release.