Utility investors already hurt by Obama CO2 plans

Utility investors don’t need to wait for CO2 regulation to be implemented to be harmed — the specter of CO2 regulation by the Obama administration and Democrat-controlled Congress is already reducing dividend payments and harming stock prices.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the only sector performing worse in the stock market than the banking sector is the utilities sector. The WSJ reported,

Strategists point to concerns about the Obama administration’s efforts to limit carbon emissions through a cap-and-trade program that would tax offenders, including many utility companies, along with concerns about higher financing costs and reduced demand.

These concerns contributed to recent 30% and 50% dividend cuts by Ameren Corp and Great Plains Energy, respectively, and declines in the share prices of stocks like Duke Energy and Consolidated Edison.

The WSJ noted that,

Utilities were hardly standouts in 2008; the sector fell nearly 32%, but that was third best among the 10 industry sectors and short of the S&P’s 39% decline. The stocks weren’t particularly weak in the early part of the year, but as expectations for climate-control legislation have risen, so too has investor concern, because of the potential cost for utility companies.

In commentary last week, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Hugh Wynne noted that climate-control legislation is high on the list of priorities of Democrats in the House and Senate. He said a bill that was moving through Congress last year may be resuscitated, one that he said was “guided in large part by the need to establish support for climate change legislation among coal state Democrats and affected industries.”

Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, discusses how green policies will make it more difficult to invest for retirement, college and other long-term financial needs.

Anti-gasoline jihad makes key chemical scarce

The Financial Times reported this morning that,

The crisis in the car industry has led to a global shortage of a chemical solvent used for everything from checking the mould level in a chocolate bar to making sure a tablet of aspirin is safe.

The solvent, acetonitrile, is a by-product of the process used to make acrylic carpets and plastic parts for the car industry, and as demand for cars has plunged in the global financial crisis, so have supplies of acetonitrile.

That is alarming, say some observers, because the substance is used to break down products such as food or pharmaceuticals into their component parts to check their safety or efficacy, a process known as chromatography. “This is very serious,” said the head of procurement at a large European pharmaceuticals group. “If you cannot test products you cannot sell them.” And, “in many cases, you cannot even make them”.

What’s this got to do with the greens?

The looming-demise of the Big Three automakers can easily be traced back to the green choke-hold on our gasoline supply. The ongoing financial crisis has certainly intensified the Big Three’s problems, but rising gas prices was the root problem.

Steve Milloy discusses in his new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them how green policies pose a threat to your safety and standard of living.

California car futility

California’s bid to compel carmakers to make special “California cars” with lower CO2 emissions is shaping up to be an exercise in futility.

As U.S. car sales dipped in February to a rate of about 750,000 vehicles per month, Chinese car sales rose 24 percent last month to 607,300 and cars sales in India rose 22% to 115,386 vehicles.

None of the cars sold in China and India are “California” cars.

Along with a large existing auto fleet and slowing auto turnover slowing in the U.S., rapidly increasing automobile ownership in the developing world is sure to overwhelm whatever environmental impact California cars could possibly have.

Steve Milloy discusses in his new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them how the greens are trying to turn America into a car-less society.

Czech president champions freedom — and Green Hell!

Reuters reported today,

Massive government spending and tighter regulation would prolong recession, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Monday, as he urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to endanger the free market economy in his response to the financial crisis.

In a speech at Columbia University in New York, Klaus, a former Czech prime minister who championed the free market after the fall of Communism 20 years ago, said he never expected to see such extensive government intervention again in his lifetime as he now sees around the world.

I am therefore convinced that fighting for freedom and free markets, something we always appreciated here in this country (the United States), remains the task of the day,” Klaus said.

The latter comment, no doubt, is why Vaclav Klaus has also endorsed Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them now available at Amazon.com.

EPA proposes CO2 reporting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today a proposal to require large greenhouse gas emitters to report their emissions annually.

Covered emitters would include: “suppliers of fossil fuel and industrial chemicals, manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines, as well as large direct emitters of greenhouse gases with emissions equal to or greater than a threshold of 25,000 metric tons per year.”

EPA estimates that the cost of the program to the private sector would be $160 million in the first year and $127 million annually after that. Reporting would commence in 2011.

EPA claims it has authority under the Clean Air Act to require such reporting. Does it? Where? Will any covered industry will have the guts to challenge the proposal? Tune in to find out…

Meanwhile, you can read about our looming Big Green Brother in Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.

Swedes to raise fuel taxes to cut CO2

Earth Times reports,

Higher taxes on vehicles and fuel are in store for Swedish motorists, transport companies and industry as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the government said Tuesday. Finance Minister Anders Borg, Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren and Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson said in a joint statement that the measures would take the current financial slump into account.

As of 2011 taxes on diesel fuel were to be raised in two stages by 0.40 kronor (0.04 dollars), as would taxes on carbon-dioxide emissions while the forestry and agriculture sectors would be included in emissions trading schemes.

The measures that included taxes on heating were part of a pending bill on energy and environment, and the goal was to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a further 2 million tons by 2020.

Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, discusses how going green will raise your taxes and lower your standard of living.

Nike, Starbucks, Timberland lobby to enslave you

Next time you have a choice on athletic gear, coffee, shoes or casual clothing, think twice about purchasing goods from Nike, Starbucks, Timberland and Levi Strauss.

Each of these consumer products companies is a member of Ceres, a green group lobbying for “strong U.S. climate and energy legislation in 2009.”

Representatives from Nike, Starbucks, Timberland, and Levi Strauss — a.k.a “useful green idiots” — will appear at a breakfast event sponsored by Ceres on Thursday March 12, 2009 at the Willard Hotel In Washington, D.C. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson will open the event at 8am.

Aside from these companies aiding and abetting the anti-American green agenda, it’s difficult to fathom how premium consumer products companies plan to profit by harming the economy.

Take action:

Buy products from other companies.

If you own the stock of these companies, think about dumping it.

Steve Milloy discusses how the greens are using capitalism against capitalism in his upcoming book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.

Higher electric rates to subsidize renewables?

California state Sen. Fran Pavely has proposed that utilities be required to buy renewable energy at above-market costs for fixed periods, according to a report in Carbon Control News (March 9).

Major California utilities oppose the proposed subsidy/tariff noting, in part, that “it could significantly raise electricity rates on customers during a recession,” according to the report.

CCN notes that “the tariff may serve as a model for other states or the federal government.”

Take action:

E-mail Sen. Pavley and tell her that you don’t want to pay more for electricity in these tough times, especially since increased use of renewable energy will have no discernible positive impact on the environment.

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.

Feds aim to track where you drive

In an article discussing the possibility of the federal government taxing you by the mile driven rather than by the gallon of gas purchased, the New York Times reports on studies of the mileage tax where cars are

equipped with tracking devices to record where motorists have been.

Study author Jon Kuhl told the Times that,

“We’re looking at how you would bill people, at invasion of privacy issues, and, human nature being what it is, people will always be looking at ways to beat the system.”

The Times continued,

Privacy advocates and economists, though, wonder about the complexity — and the public’s reaction to tracking where and when people drive.

“You’d have to have a record where the car is at all times, and that certainly would frighten America,” said Mike Moffatt, an economist at the Ivy School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. “And it also seems like a much more expensive way to collect taxes.”

Steve Milloy’s new book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them describes how the greens are coming after your wheels.

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.