Business Climate Lobby: Once ‘at the table’, now ‘on the menu’

Kim Strassel writes in today’s Wall Street Journal about how lobbying for climate change regulation is shaping up as a giant miscue for corporate America.

Strassel cites Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers’ original rationale for lobbying:

“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’ll wind up on the menu.”

Now, Strassel writes,

Duke sat, yet it and its compatriots are still shaping up to be Washington’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Obama plan will cost plenty, upfront, which will be borne by Mr. Rogers’s customers.

Stassel closes her terrific piece by recommending that:

Business leaders might do better to use this as an opportunity to kill the beast. They might get some credit for protecting their customers from what they are now, finally, admitting is a giant tax — in the middle of a recession.

The odd saga and miscues of corporate climateers like Duke Energy are spotlighted in Steve Milloy’s new book “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them.”

Take Action:

E-mail Strassel’s column to a USCAP CEO that you know.

Renewable Pipedream?

Robert Bryce points out in today’s Wall Street Journal that if you convert the amount of electricity produced on a daily basis by so-called “renewable” energy sources into barrel-of-oil-equivalents, you get about 76,000 barrels of oil per day. But the America’s total primary energy use is equivalent to about 47.4 million barrels of oil per day.

President Obama declared in his address to Congress last week that,

“We will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next there years.”

But even if the President was to achieve his ambitious goal, we’ll still depend on hydrocarbons. It’s no wonder that Bryce’s column was entitled, “Let’s Get Real About Renewable Energy.”

Bryce is the author of Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of ‘Energy Independence’which is available through the JunkScience.com store.

WSJ: ‘Warming to protectionism’

Editorializing about the EU’s new tariff on biodiesel imports from the U.S, the Wall Steet Journal noted that,

Just as more scientists acknowledge that we don’t know as much about the Earth’s climate as Al Gore says, it’s becoming clearer that environmental policies won’t lead to some green economic boom…

… Neither side is in the right here — which makes the case such a good illustration of the way green policies warp markets.

… If EU environmental policies were really about the environment, [U.S. biodiesel] arguably would be a good thing. More green fuel for everyone, and on the cheap to boot…

It turns out that Europe — which also isn’t known for restraint in supporting farmers — is more interested in protecting its own biodiesel industry than in seeing motorists fill their tanks with low-carbon fuel… And all of this despite evidence that fuels like biodiesel increase CO2 emissions compared with fossil fuels…

We keep hearing about the coming “green tech” bounty. But green-collar jobs will continue to cost more in subsidies and lost efficiency than the jobs themselves are worth. Not to mention the positions that are lost along the way in other firms or industries, or never created because energy costs more for everyone. A report last year by the economic research institute RWI Essen found that €205,000 in subsidies were spent for each solar-industry job created in Germany, and that the net effect on employment was negative…

California’s killer cars

As California seeks a waiver from the EPA to establish its own carbon dioxide emission standards for cars, General Motors notes in its annual 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that,

… Since CO2 emissions are directly proportional to the amount of fuel consumed by motor vehicles, CO2 emissions per mile are directly related to fuel consumption per mile. In this regard, California’s attempt to regulate CO2 emissions per mile is tantamount to establishing state level fuel economy standards…

This means that the only way to reduce automobile CO2 emissions is basically to make lighter — more deadly — cars.

Should you risk your life for the sake of CO2 emissions?

Take Action

Read this post for directions on how you can urge the EPA to not grant the California waiver.

Obama attack on oil & gas industry begins

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wants to take away tax breaks for oil and gas companies because they contribute to global warming.

Reuters reported that Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee on March 4 that,

“We don’t believe it makes sense to significantly subsidize the production and use of sources of energy (like oil and gas) that are dramatically going to add to our climate change (problem). We don’t think that’s good economic policy and we think changing those incentives is good for the country.”

I’m not for the government subsidizing anyone, but Geithner’s statement indicates that the Obama administration is starting its long-promised attack on the oil and gas industry. Their tax breaks apparently are first. Are profits next? Since last summer, Obama has been saying that he would impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies.

A recent study by CRA International commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute concluded that a windfall profits tax likely would:

  • Cause a net loss of up to 490,000 U.S. jobs by 2030.
  • Reduce U.S. gross domestic product by roughly 1 percent, or $240 billion by 2030.
  • Increase U.S. imports of crude oil by up to 18 percent in 2030 and reduce U.S. domestic production of crude oil by up to 26 percent in the same year.

Gunfight with Al Gore Zombies at the EPA Corral!

Al Gore’s Repower America activist group has asked its members to sign a petition urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grant the state of California a waiver to set carbon dioxide emissions limits for motor vehicles.

CEI’s Marlo Lewis explains here why granting the California waiver is a bad idea.

Now that you know enough to oppose the waiver, please take a moment to submit your comments to the EPA. Here’s how according to the EPA Federal Register notice:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0173, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions
    for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: (202) 566-9744.
  • Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West (Air
    Docket), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Room B108, Mail Code 6102T,
    Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0173. Please include a total of two copies.

Your thoughtful comments will surely be more impressive to the EPA than an empty-headed petition signed by Al Gore’s zombies.

Carbon Tax for California?

Carbon Control News reported this morning that,

A special California budget commission tasked with proposing new sources of revenue for the state is scheduled to discuss next week a broad new carbon tax that would likely be aimed at major energy and fuels providers, and which could potentially raise billions of dollars annually to help the state meet its growing budget shortfall.

Fortunately,

The proposal is already being attacked by major industry groups in the state, which argue are currently facing multiple carbon fees and taxes under the state’s sweeping climate change regulatory program currently being implemented under the 2006 state law, AB 32…

The coalition—the AB 32 Implementation Group—argues that the state is already implementing a number of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations and programs under AB 32 that will… add up to $50,000 to the cost of a new home, … cost between $1,000 and $3,000 per car, and [add] a new $500-million-a-year water charge.”

Click here for the AB 32 memo to the Commission.

Take Action:

Californians should direct their concerns to Mark Iberle, Staff Director for the Commission on the 21st Century Economy. You can phone the Commission at (916) 322-2263.

Greens dump on eBay greenwashing

The New York Times reported this morning that,

In a new program centered on Earth Day, eBay is becoming the latest company to promote its green credentials…

Yes, said Alan Marks, senior vice president for global communications at eBay. Its business model encourages reselling old items rather than throwing them out, and buying used merchandise rather than making new stuff reduces carbon emissions that go along with production.

But the real greens weren’t fooled. Michael Brune of the Rainforest Action Network told the Times:

“A lot of the things sold on eBay are new merchandise, and last time I checked the Postal Service still used fossil fuels for all of their planes and their trucks, so it’s not sustainable,” he said, referring to how eBay sellers ship items. “It’s fair to say that buying used goods on eBay is better for the environment, but let’s not get carried away and say this is the greenest thing since recycled paper.”

EBay’s new green website is ebaygreenteam.com. It reads,

By giving used toasters and toys a longer life and keeping sweaters and cellphones out of landfills, they’re making a big difference for the planet.

Way to go Meg Whitman. Who wouldn’t want to help to sell America down the green river to keep sweaters and a cell phones out of landfills?

Obama moves to end nuclear energy?

The Obama administration is driving a stake into the heart of the U.S. nuclear power industry by cutting-off funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage program in President Obama’s budget proposal.

The Washington Post reported this morning that,

Yucca Mountain is not an option.

Yucca Mountain opponent Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) called Obama’s action,

“… our most significant victory to date in our battle to protect Nevada from becoming the country’s toxic wasteland.”

Now, nuclear power plants will have to continue to store spent fuel on-site in hopes of someday being able to reprocess spent fuel like the French do.

But will the anti-nuclear greens permit that to happen? When will the nuclear power industry realize that the greens are not its friends?

If we can’t store nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain, can we at least dump the greens there? According to EPA standards for Yucca Mountain, humanity would be safe from the greens for at least one million years.

Green utility CEO says Obama plan is wrong

The Charlotte Observer reported today that,

Duke Energy says Carolinas electricity rates would rise by at least 13 percent under President Obama’s plan to address climate change by auctioning off carbon credits…

… Duke CEO Jim Rogers, who supports the carbon cap, says Obama is wrong to insist that those allowances be initially auctioned to carbon emitters. Rogers calls an auction a “carbon tax” that would be passed on to consumers, with most of the burden placed on coal-dependent states such as the Carolinas.

“He’s going to create a market that’s going to dramatically drive up the costs for allowances,” Rogers said Monday. “It’s going to be a feeding frenzy.”

Allowances auctioned for $15 each would raise Carolinas rates 13 percent in 2012, when the system could go into effect, Duke estimates. A $30 auction price would raise Carolinas rates 27 percent, it says.

Obama’s proposed budget assumes allowances would go for $20 each.

Apparently as comic relief, the Charlotte Observer offered a response from the greens:

“He’s doing what the utilities are going to try to do – scare people,” said Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

As you know, of course, only the greens are allowed to “scare people.”

Cap-and-trade a ‘permanent tax increase’

A new report from the George C. Marshall Institute says that cap-and-trade will operate as a permanent tax on American families.

Based on last year’s Lieberman-Warner bill that failed in the Senate, the study estimates that the average American household would pay as much as $1,437 more annually by 2015.

Check out my column “Obama’s Climate Rip-off” to see the implications of Obama’s budget proposal on just your electric bill.

Unions attack free trade through climate

Carbon Control News reported this morning that the United Steelworkers union is

is exploring a hybrid policy that would combine a cap-and-trade scheme for utilities and other domestic sectors, while narrowly applying an excise carbon tax on domestic and foreign manufacturers to avoid “leakage” of jobs and GHG emissions to countries with lax environmental policies…

The model envisioned by the USW would apply an excise tax on manufactured products, based on the GHGs emitted during production. In order to spur GHG reductions, the taxes would be levied on GHGs in excess of a predetermined cap that could be lowered periodically to meet the emissions-reduction targets President Obama has set forth; the taxes also could increase over time to provide further incentive for manufacturers to clean up their processes, according to sources. To ensure domestic and foreign manufacturers are treated the same, the tax would be levied on importers of foreign products and rebated on exported products, similar to the value added tax (VAT) applied to an array of products in many countries.

Democrat lawmakers supporting the idea, according to Carbon Control News, include Reps. John Larson (D-CT), Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Pete Stark (D-CA).

Just what we need during the most significant global economic calamity in 75 years — anti-trade policies.

Take action:

Contact your congressional representative as well as Reps. Larson, McDermott and Stark and tell them that global trade is the path to peace and prosperity while junk science-based tariffs can only lead to global economic stagnation and international ill-will.