Tag: Energy

Deep (Freeze) in the Heart of Texas

 

The recent dramatic events in Texas are an early warning sign of the disasters that are likely to occur if the Biden administration continues its relentless effort to demonize the use of fossil fuels in the effort to combat climate change.

Assessing whether the climate is really changing requires looking at two numbers. The first is mean global temperatures across time. While that figure is increasing overall, it shows a complex up-down pattern that cannot be explained solely by the steady increase in carbon dioxide emissions. The higher the mean temperatures, the worse the supposed problem.

The second measure, though often neglected, is every bit as important: the variance in temperatures, whether measured in days, seasons, or years. A lower variance over a relevant time period means less stress on the power grid and other systems, even when the mean temperature increases. The general trend is that the variance in the temperature has gone down over time. Even today, for example, a large fraction of the record high temperatures in the United States took place in the 1930s—when carbon dioxide levels were far lower than they are today—with only three record highs after 2000.

On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Founder and Executive Director of Power The Future Daniel Turner joins Senior Editor Chris Bedford to discuss how failures in the government-induced wind sector of the Texas energy grid contributed to the state’s unfurling power crisis.

Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for speaking the truth that schools should be open and there’s only one reason why they aren’t. They also shake their heads as a brutal cold snap causes power system failures and rotating blackouts through Texas – and the lessons that should be learned. And they take a bite out of Bill Gates for wanting all “wealthy nations” to switch to synthetic beef.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome New York officials getting closer to the truth about nursing home deaths from COVID and how much Gov. Cuomo tried to cover up the numbers. They also hammer John Kerry and the Biden administration for smugly insisting that lots of energy industry workers will lose jobs but the green energy jobs will be even better. And while admitting limited knowledge of Wall Street, they discuss the GameStop trading chaos and the interesting political reaction to it.

Biden Goes Deep Green

 

It is amazing the difference that four years can make in environmental policy. On January 24, 2017, at the outset of his presidency, Donald Trump issued an executive order that salvaged the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) from the Obama administration’s planned obstructionism. Obama had sought to upset the string of administrative approvals that the project obtained at both the federal and state levels. DAPL runs about 1,100 miles from the Bakken and Three Forks oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where it is able to carry, far below ground, about 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Trump’s action allowed Congress to vote on whether to grant the last federal easement needed for the pipeline to proceed.

DAPL is now in service, even as litigation to shut it down continues. Environmental groups continue to allege attenuated theories of adverse effects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Their efforts are consistent with the common practice among environmentalists of paying inordinate attention to highly remote contingencies while completely ignoring the large and immediate safety and efficiency advantages of getting crude oil to both domestic and foreign markets via DAPL. More concretely, the chances that any crude oil shipped by DAPL will escape in sufficient quantities to damage the fishing or water rights of the Standing Rock Sioux have always been infinitesimal, which is why the pipeline operations have caused no such harm for the past three years. The overall soundness of the pipeline grid will become truly dire if DAPL is shut down while Keystone is left incomplete.

For the moment, however, the immediate threat is to the Keystone pipeline. On January 20, President Biden issued an executive order aimed at “Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.” One component of his major order was to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline started some twelve years ago, but since that time it has been beset with legal challenges, including one in May 2020 in which a Montana judge yanked the pipeline’s permit on the grounds that the Army Corps of Engineers had not consulted sufficiently with the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the alleged risks that the pipeline posed to endangered species and their habitat. Such orders overlook the benefits from that pipeline, which include its ability to ship up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Alberta sands to American refineries along the Gulf Coast.

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2020 was a bad year for California, and worse if you were a resident of the state. California initiated a lockdown due to Covid-19 on March 20, 2020. At the time, Field Marshall Gavin said “…We project that roughly 56% of our state’s population — 25.5 million people will be infected with the virus over […]

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Arizona’s Secret Green New Deal

 

The Solana Arizona thermal collection plant, near Gila Bend, AZ.
On October 29, almost out of the public eye, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) gave final approval to a dreadful regulation, mandating all energy in the state be produced with zero carbon emissions by 2050. Arizona has its own mini-Green New Deal!

The consequences will be devastating to Arizona’s economic competitiveness. A mere 15% mandate imposed in 2007 had a $1 billion impact on ratepayers and that was low-hanging fruit. Voters in 2018 soundly defeated a proposal similar to the Commission’s.

Join Jim and Greg as they see plenty of votes lined up to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. They also dig further into Joe Biden’s energy plan and see just how quickly he wants to wipe out fossil fuels. And they wince as Biden literally forgets who he’s running against.

Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D., Senior Fellow of Business and Economics for the Pacific Research Institute joins Carol Roth to discuss a free market approach to energy. He talks about why electric car subsidies help the rich, why overregulation hurts the poor and how Californians could save more than $2,000 a year if lawmakers enacted free market policies. Wayne and Carol talk about California’s rolling blackout problems and why big government is to blame, the big problem with solar energy that nobody is talking about, nuclear power and more.

Plus, a Now You Know segment on the Canary Islands. 

On today’s episode of American Wonk, Avik Roy talks to FREOPP Visiting Fellow Robert Bryce about juice. No, not apple juice, but the juice that powers our smartphones, our homes, and our cars. Can we keep energy affordable for all Americans while reducing carbon emissions? Listen to find out.

Watch Bryce’s new documentary, “Juice: How Electricity Explains The World,” here. Read Bryce’s new book, “A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations 1st Edition, Kindle Edition,” here.

A Measured Look at Climate Alarmism: Apocalypse Never

 

Michael Shellenberger is a dedicated environmentalist. He was a progressive political activist for years. He wants a cleaner, greener world. That is why he opposes the Green New Deal. Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, by Michael Shellenberger explains his position.

Shellenberger opens the book by picking apart and demolishing the arguments of those who claim apocalyptic climate change, leading to the death of billions, lies in our near future. He shows predictions of billions of deaths cannot be supported from IPCC report results. He shows how alarmists deliberately distorted facts – sometimes even making false claims about the reports – to justify their predictions.

Shellenberger also shows following the recommendations of the alarmists will likely have results opposite those claimed. More deaths, especially among the world’s poor, and greater adverse environmental impacts will result.

Fossil Fuel Strangulation by Judicial Decree

 

Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia District Court issued a short opinion last week in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In it, he instructed Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline builder, to temporarily cease using its 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which ships up to 570,000 barrels a day of crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks fields of North Dakota to terminals and refineries in Patoka, IL.

The dispute was about a short-stretch of pipeline (1,094 feet) that ran approximately 100-feet below a lake, about one-half mile from tribal lands. From the moment that DAPL was announced, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe mounted a full-scale attack on the venture. The pipeline was seen as yet another affront to its tribal way of life—the latest in a long string of historical injustices undertaken by, or with the blessing of, the United States government. At a more concrete level, the Tribe argued that the pipeline would run through its sacred lands and damage its water supply.

In fact, the pipeline does not cross into the Tribe’s land. Nonetheless, the Tribe sought to exercise its statutory rights to be consulted about the pipeline under both the National Historic Protection Act (NHPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In 2015, the Tribe sued the Corps to reroute DAPL away from its lands, and raised multiple objections about the design and site of the pipeline. The objections to the pipeline continued even after it was put into operation in June 2017 without serious incident.

Join Jim and Greg as they slam AOC’s economic lunacy and callously partisan response to Monday’s plummeting oil futures. They also shake their heads as CNN says Kim Jong Un is in grave condition and NBC has him brain dead, while Reuters has him fine just hours later. And they gag as Gayle King of CBS gushes that “everyone know” Stacey Abrams is “extremely qualified” to be Joe Biden’s running mate.

The physical bars and restaurants and being ordered to close in many places but the Three Martini Lunch remains open. Come in and join us! Today, Jim and Greg react to the CDC urging Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks and mayor and governors forcing bars and restaurants to close. They also discuss the awkwardness of the Biden-Sanders debate in the midst of the coronavirus crisis and highlight how Bernie Sanders and other Democrats have pushed Biden into extreme liberal positions on energy, immigration, guns, abortion and more. And they discuss the stunning political fall of Andrew Gillum, who came less than a percentage point from becoming Florida’s governor in 2018.

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Work is not just a paycheck retrieval system or hippie repellent. There is actually a specific definition of work in physics, but we need to start before that. Force is not female, it is the push or pull on an object. Gravity pulls you into your chair, toward the Earth, while the chair presses your […]

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The main topic? What else? The Coronavirus, which is roiling everything from the markets to the political arena and beyond. The Vice President is the new point man.

Then we get down to the nitty gritty of the race for the Democratic nomination with Luke Thompson and talk to a sensible Democrat about the environment as we’re joined by the President of Environmental Progress, Michael Shellenberger, on why nuclear power is the way to go and his new book, Apocalypse Never.

Mark Mills joins Brian Anderson to discuss the enormous energy demands of the world’s modern information infrastructure—“the Cloud”—the subject of his new book, Digital Cathedrals.

“Tech companies confront an inconvenient fact,” writes Mills. “The global cloud uses more energy than is produced by all the planet’s wind and solar farms combined.” In fact, digital traffic has become the fastest-growing source of energy use. While nearly every tech company has pledged to transition to renewable energy sources, most data centers are physically connected to the conventional power grid, fueled by hydrocarbons. The modern economy won’t be exclusively powered by renewables any time soon.

Abundant, Limited Resources

 

This article by Spencer Jakab at the Wall Street Journal leaves me unsure of whether to laugh or rant. I agree with Jakab that the regular burning of unprofitable natural gas at some oil wells is a problem, but for different reasons. First, an introduction:

Even as more and more gas gets supercooled and shipped around the world in expensive, liquefied form, an estimated 5.1 trillion cubic feet of gas was flared world-wide in 2018, according to The World Bank—equivalent to the combined consumption of France, Germany and Belgium.

Oh man, it’s media day in our year-end Three Martini Lunch awards and Jim and Greg are holding nothing back. Specifically, they look at the stories the mainstream media covered far too much, the ones they conveniently ignored because they didn’t fit their narrative, and what they saw as the best stories of 2019.

It’s finally Friday of a very busy week! Jim and Greg have plenty to say about a member of the House Democratic leadership admitting to CNN that the Democrats may never send the articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate unless Mitch McConnell agrees to the demands of Democrats for how the trial of President Trump ought to be structured. They also hammer Joe Biden, who admitted that he’s willing to kill thousands – possibly hundreds of thousands of jobs in the energy sector – because he’s supremely confident the green economy will offer just as many opportunities for great jobs. And they are the glad the holidays are right around the corner as Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate descends into discussions of wine caves and selfies.

Starting Monday, Jim and Greg will begin their six-episode Three Martini Lunch Awards for 2019. They each hand out 18 awards in categories ranging from overrated and underrated political figures to rising and fading political figures to the best and worst political ideas of the year, eventually working up to their choices for person of the year. Enjoy these special episodes and let us know what you think of our choices and share who you would choose!