Another Unsung Accomplishment By President Trump

Hot Air is reporting today that America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

The article reports:

Increased natural gas consumption helped bring down U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Chances are you haven’t heard. That’s because the mainstream media and environmentalists insist on condemning the Trump administration for championing fossil fuels even though the United States is doing a better job at reducing emissions than many other countries that signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The public can credit much of this success to the fracking boom, which has made natural gas much more plentiful. Cheap, abundant natural gas has gradually been displacing coal, which emits about twice as much carbon dioxide. A recent Rhodium Group study found that coal-fired power generation dropped by 18% last year, the lowest level since 1975.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, thanks to a huge abundance of cheap natural gas (generated via fracking), America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2019 after previously cutting them by the same amount the prior year. In fact, U.S. emissions went down by 12% between 2005 and 2017. By next year, American emissions are projected to be the lowest they have been since 1991, a time when the population was much lower than it is now.

By comparison, how are the “good” countries who signed on to the Paris accord doing? As it turns out, France Germany and the United Kingdom all missed their emissions reduction goals last year. Germany’s emissions actually increased after they started gutting their nuclear power program and were forced to restart some coal-fired plants to keep the lights turned on.

The only countries that are given high marks for meeting the climate agreement’s objectives are very small nations with low populations and not very much economic or industrial activity. So who are the real bad guys in this story? Before any global consortium starts trying to dictate to us how to handle our greenhouse gas emissions, perhaps they should get their own houses in order and follow our example. Rather than just talking about reducing emissions, we’re actually doing it. And we didn’t need a treaty with anyone else to get the job done.

The reason the success of America in reducing greenhouse gases is not heralded is that the success goes against the purpose of the climate change agenda–it doesn’t allow tyrannical countries to shake down democracies and republics.The goal of the climate change rhetoric is to redistribute the world’s wealth–to take money from countries that have prospered under the free market and give it to countries where the government controls the economy. America’s success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions simply does not fit the desired template.

This Is Truly Sad

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent comment by former Vice-President Joe Biden.

The article reports:

2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said miners need to find “jobs of the future” when talking about transitioning the economy away from fossil fuels.

“Anybody who can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well,” Biden said Monday during a campaign event in New Hampshire. “Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for god’s sake!”

On Sunday, Biden also said he wanted to throw fossil fuel executives in prison for damaging the environment.

“Put them in jail,” he said. “I’m not joking about this.”

The comment came after the former vice president said that there would not be a single new coal plant made in the U.S. earlier this month. During the December Democratic debate, Biden said he was willing to end hundreds of thousands of jobs in the fossil fuel industry.

I can’t believe that anyone who listens to what he says would vote for this man.

How Does Economic Growth Influence Your Vote?

During the Democrat debate last night, former Vice-President Joe Biden made a very interesting statement.

Townhall reported the following:

Former Vice President Joe Biden stated he is more than willing to “sacrifice” the ongoing economic growth, resulting in the displacement of thousands of blue collar workers, in order to shift towards a more green economy. 

“The answer is yes, because the opportunity, the opportunity for those workers to transition to high paying jobs, as Tom said, is real,” Biden said during the sixth Democratic presidential debate on Thursday.

“We’re the only country that’s taken great, great crises and turned them into enormous opportunities. I’ve met with the union leaders. For example, we should in fact be making sure right now that every new building built is energy contained, that it doesn’t leak energy, that in fact we should be providing tax credits for people to be able to make their homes turn to solar power,” he continued.

Instead of fossil fuel jobs, Biden said there is an opportunity to install 550,000 charging stations across the United States so that the country can own the electric vehicle market. 

“There are so many things we can do. We have to make sure we explain it to those people who are displaced, that their skills are going to be needed for the new opportunities,” Biden added.

I wonder if the former Vice-President understands what it will be like for those workers as he ‘transitions’ the economy. I wonder if he is planning to make their house payments and their car payments. I wonder if he remembers the hardships the Obama administration caused to the coal industry workers in West Virginia. We really cannot afford to elect a President who plans on taking jobs away for the good of the people.

Some Presidential Candidates Don’t Understand Economics

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a recent tweet by Elizabeth Warren.

This is the tweet:

The article includes the following quote from an article posted at The Heartland Institute website on September 19, 2018:

A 2015 Harvard Business School/Boston Consulting Group study estimates fracking supported 2.7 million jobs in 2014, with the potential to grow to 3.8 million jobs by 2030. Similarly, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) prepared a report for the American Petroleum Institute that estimates the oil and natural gas industries supported 10.3 million jobs in 2015, an increase of about 500,00 compared to 2011.  The RAND Corporation projects the industries will support an additional 1.9 million jobs by 2035.  By the same year, a 2012 IHS Markit study estimates fracking will have created 3.5 million jobs. 

A 2016 Chamber of Commerce study projects that if the fracking revolution of the previous decade had not occurred, 4.3 million jobs would not have been created, the U.S. economy would be $500 billion smaller and residential natural gas prices would be 28 percent higher. 

There is also the matter of national security. America now has the freedom to choose its friends without worrying whether or not our oil supply will be cut off. Some of us remember the 1970’s gas lines and high price of gasoline.

The world economy (that includes America) is currently based on fossil fuels. Countries who can supply reasonable priced energy attract manufacturing and businesses which create jobs. The end the production of fossil fuel and fracking in America is to reduce America to the status of a third-world (or lower) country.

Following The Money On Renewable Energy

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about the cost of the a green energy proposal in Minnesota. The article illustrates what will happen if this sort of program is attempted on a national scale.

The article reports:

Today Center of the American Experiment released a groundbreaking paper that addresses a relatively mild “green” proposal: legislation that would raise the renewable energy standard in Minnesota from 25% to 50%. Two of my staffers have been working on the paper for months, drawing on publicly available (but rarely consulted) sources to understand what would be necessary to achieve that 50% goal, what it would cost, how it would impact the state’s economy, and what effect it would have on global temperatures.

The paper is titled “Doubling Down on Failure: How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.” With appendices, it runs to 75 pages. I am not aware of a similarly comprehensive analysis that has been done of any “green” proposal at either the state or the federal level. The paper is fully transparent: all assumptions, data and calculations are clearly set forth. The appendices are largely spread sheets. If anyone disagrees with the report’s conclusions, it should be easy to identify where and why those disagreements arise. You can read the paper here.

The article cites a few highlights from the report:

* Building and maintaining “green” wind and solar facilities, along with transmission lines and necessary natural gas complementary plants (to provide electricity when the wind isn’t blowing, i.e. 60% of the time), would cost $80.2 billion through 2050. For a state like Minnesota, that number is out of the question.

* Every household in Minnesota would pay an average of $1,200 per year, in 2016 dollars, through higher electricity rates and otherwise.

* Electricity prices would rise by 40.2%.

* Electricity-intensive industries like mining, agriculture, manufacturing and health care would be hurt the most. Once again, urban greenies are hammering rural, and physically productive, America. [That last is my commentary, not found in the executive summary.]

* Higher electricity prices are a dead loss that will reduce spending in other areas as household budgets are squeezed. Therefore, according to economist John Phelan, using the generally accepted IMPLAN software, achieving the 50% renewable goal would cost Minnesota 21,000 permanent jobs, and reduce the state’s GDP by $3.1 billion annually. It is one small step on the road to Venezuela.

This really does not sound like a good idea. The push for green energy has always been about government power–whether at the state or federal level. It is interesting that the political left has chosen to attack fossil fuels just at the time when America has achieved energy independence because of fossil fuels and fossil fuels are driving our economic success. Economic success is the enemy of those who espouse socialism–if people are become prosperous, why would they want something different?

No, The Oceans Did Not Begin To Rise With The Advent Of Fossil Fuel

Yesterday The Washington Post posted an article about some new information on climate change and rising oceans. The facts simply do not support the idea of the catastrophic sea-level rise that those who practice the religion of global warming have predicted.

The article reports:

In her latest paper, Ms. Curry  (Climatologist Judith Curry) found that the current rising sea levels are not abnormal, nor can they be pinned on human-caused climate change, arguing that the oceans have been on a “slow creep” for the last 150 years — before the post-1950 climb in carbon-dioxide emissions.

“There are numerous reasons to think that projections of 21st-century sea level rise from human-caused global warming are too high, and some of the worst-case scenarios strain credulity,” the 80-page report found.

Her Nov. 25 report, “Sea Level and Climate Change,” which has been submitted for publication, also found that sea levels were actually higher in some regions during the Holocene Climate Optimum — about 5,000 to 7,000 years ago.

“After several centuries of sea level decline following the Medieval Warm Period, sea levels began to rise in the mid-19th century,” the report concluded. “Rates of global mean sea level rise between 1920 and 1950 were comparable to recent rates. It is concluded that recent change is within the range of natural sea-level variability over the past several thousand years.”

Such conclusions are unlikely to find favor with the global-warming movement, or within the academic climate “consensus,” where some experts have predicted that mean sea level could rise by five to 10 feet by the end of the 21st century.

The article concludes:

She said she doesn’t believe her findings on sea-level rise are particularly controversial, saying that they jibe with those of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“It’s pretty well-documented in the literature,” said Ms. Curry. “I frame the problem a little different, and my conclusions are a little different than some people, but this has been pretty well-documented and supported.”

Ms. Curry left academia in January 2017 for a host of reasons, one of which was the “craziness” associated with the politics of the climate-change debate. She moved to Reno and has since devoted her energies to her company, Climate Forecast Applications Network.

Her clients include the federal agencies and companies in the energy and insurance business seeking answers on the risks associated with climate change. After a lifetime spent in the ivory tower, she said she finds the real-world work rewarding.

“When there’s something that really depends on the outcome and the understanding of this information, rather than just using it as a political tool to drive policy, it’s really a different ballgame,” she said. “People making real decisions, people spending real money — their companies could be hurt by getting things really wrong in either direction. So that’s what I’m trying to help with.”

Given that nobody wants to be labeled a “denier,” what does she prefer to be called? That’s an easy one.

“I’m a scientist. And I regard it as my job to continually reevaluate the evidence and reconsider my conclusions. That’s my job,” Ms. Curry said. “And some people don’t really want scientists. They want political activists. But if you want a scientist, give me a call.”

Maybe at some point we can end the hysteria and get back to science.

He’s Back

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that former Vice-President Al Gore wants to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s energy system.

The article reports:

Al Gore wants to reverse modernity and save the world from itself through an elimination of its fossil-fuel-based energy system. During the final week of April, his newly created Energy Transitions Commission released a document setting forth a fool’s-errand pathway to “decarbonize” the world’s energy system.

…But, don’t worry! The all-in estimated cost to re-engineer humanity is only a mere $15 trillion—enough money to give every man, woman, and child in the United States more than $46,000.

Al Gore has been demonizing fossil fuels and attempting to marginalize all those involved in the traditional energy sector since 1988, the year the climate-change movement was rolled out in Washington, D.C., which happened to correspond with a nationwide heatwave and with Yellowstone in flames. Ever since, Gore’s pathway to political power and personal riches has been a successful one, to be sure, but his multi-trillion-dollar effort today is his most sophisticated effort to date. Unfortunately for him, it will also fail, because what he’s selling in his “new” proposal is bad for the people being asked to embrace it.

The plan suggested by the former Vice-President would tax carbon use at $50 per ton and gradually increase to $100 a ton. This would essentially destroy the market for the continuing development of fossil fuel. Since the world’s economy runs on fossil fuel, this tax would be devastating to the world’s economy.

I need to explain that I am concerned about keeping planet earth as clean as possible and providing the best living conditions for everyone living on the planet, but I don’t believe taxing carbon is the answer. I am also not impressed by those complaining about the carbon footprints of most Americans while they live in mansions and travel in private jets to climate conferences??!!

In August 2014, The Daily Caller posted an article which stated:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed global warming regulations aren’t just about stemming global temperature rises — according to agency’s chief, they are also about “justice” for “communities of color.”

“Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a teleconference call with environmental activists. “If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change.”

If you truly want to protect communities of color, you need to reform the welfare culture in those communities, and help the residents of those communities obtain the education and tools they need to be successful. You need to restore the two-parent family in all communities and bring back the values that made America great–hard work, equal opportunity (not equal results), honesty, respect for the law, and the concept of working together to help everyone reach their potential. We need to teach all Americans that nothing is free and that you can choose not to be a victim.

Meanwhile, hopefully Al Gore’s carbon tax will be dead on arrive in Congress and at the EPA.

 

The Unintended Consequences Of Green Energy

Wind energy has its positive traits. However, the wind does not always blow twenty-four hours a day, and a back-up source of energy is required. There are also other consequences.

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the impact of a wind farm off the coast of Block Island.

The article reports:

The fishing industry is worried the first offshore wind farm to come online in the U.S. will ruin their way of life and kill jobs.

An offshore wind turbine three miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, will kill large numbers of fish and potentially drive hundreds of small coastal enterprises out of business, according to a fishing industry representative. Fishermen fear offshore wind turbines will continue to pop up along Atlantic Coast, eventually make it impossible to be a commercial fisherman.

“This will absolutely cost jobs in the U.S.,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “If New York Governor [Andrew] Cuomo’s administration gets what it wants from offshore wind that’s thousands of fishing jobs. It’ll rip the coastal communities apart.”

The article further reports:

“Block Island has messed up gill netters and trawlers,” Brady said. “They’re not going to certain areas because its a risk to the boat. The five turbines they put in place there are ruining one of the most productive bottoms around.”

Estimates from the liberal Brookings Institution suggest the U.S. fishing industry supports 1.5 million jobs and generated $90 billion annually.

“These are great jobs,” Brady told TheDCNF. “You can make a really good living working on a fishery. It is a solidly middle class life and a really good trades-job. We have more growth potential for fishing jobs in the U.S. than anywhere else, but we’re being removed from our fishing grounds because of offshore wind.”

There may come a time when ocean-based wind power makes sense, but that time is not now. In addition to the unreliability of the electricity produced by wind and the damage to the fishing industry, the cost of wind-powered electricity is about for to six times the cost of conventionally generated electricity. It may also turn out that in our rush to save the environment with green energy, we have damaged areas of the environment we chose to overlook because of political fads.

 

 

 

The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

One of the problems with the idea of ridding ourselves from fossil fuels is that we really haven’t perfected the alternatives. Our economy runs on fossil fuels, and until we develop a safe, clean, inexpensive, efficient, and reliable alternative, our economy will continue to depend on fossil fuel. In 2014, I posted a story explaining what happened when Spain attempted to switch over to green energy. As far as I know, the only country in the world that has successfully made the switch to green energy is Iceland. They have been able to generate large amounts of electricity because of the volcanoes the island sits on. Recently scientists have discovered that there is a serious down side to solar energy (other than the birds that have been fried while flying over solar panels).

On March 1st, The Daily Caller reported that the construction of solar panels generates Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

The article reports:

Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is a key chemical agent used to manufacture photovoltaic cells for solar panels, suggesting government subsidies and tax credits for solar panels may be a driving factor behind the 1,057 percent in NF3 over the last 25 years. In comparison, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions only rose by about 5 percent during the same time period.

NF3 emissions have rapidly increased in Asia as well due to its rapidly growing solar panel market, and researchers think that many nations are under-reporting their NF3 emissions by roughly a factor of 4.5.

NF3 emissions are 17,200 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas over a 100 year time period.

NF3 is also used in the production of semiconductors and LCD flat screens.

The article also points out:

The 1,057 percent increase in US annual emissions of NF3 from 1990 to 2015 compares to an increase of 5.6 percent in carbon dioxide emissions, according to EPA data in a recently-published draft of a new report

There is, however, some good news. The study concluded that the more modern solar panels will emit less NF3 and will have a positive impact on the environment. This conclusion was reached by considering the amount of CO2 that would not be released when the solar panels were used. After some adjusting of the numbers, solar panels could be shown to have a positive impact on the environment. It might be a good idea to keep in mind at this point that a good statistician can make any group of numbers say anything he wants them to say.

If It Won’t Work, Why Is The Government Funding It?

One of the biggest problems in the American economy right now is crony capitalism. Rather than a free market system where innovation is rewarded, we have devolved into a system where the federal government picks which companies will receive money from the government to become successful and which companies will simply have to rely on their own abilities to become successful. One of the places where this has been the most obvious has been the ‘green energy‘ industry. On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article stating some basic facts about green energy.

The article reports:

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have confirmed what many in the energy world already knew: Without government support or high taxes, green energy will never be able to compete with conventional, more reliable power plants.

…The MIT study also noted that solar and wind power are more than twice as expensive as natural gas, and tax on carbon dioxide emissions could increase electricity prices enough for green sources to compete. Even environmental groups such as The Sierra Club worry increasingly cheap energy will make the case for green power weaker.

The article goes on to explain that fossil fuel is cheap and reliable. As of yet, green energy is neither. We would probably have a better chance of developing green energy if the government would get out of the way and let the inventors take over and be rewarded for their efforts. Until change becomes extremely profitable (outside government subsidies), it is unlikely to happen.

The Use Of Coal Has A Positive Impact On The Environment???

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about the increase in the use of coal to generate electricity. The article includes the following chart:

It seems that the environmentalists are caught between a rock and a hard place–they don’t approve of coal and they don’t approve of fracking, which results in cheap natural gas that generates electricity in a more environmentally friendly way than coal.

The article points out that India regards the use of coal to generate electricity as its path to prosperity. Even worse, coal-generated electricity has cut pollution in India because it reduces the use of small wood-fueled cookstoves.  According to a recent global health study, small wood-fueled cookstoves are the largest environmental health threat in developing nations.

So where are we? Environmentalists are doing their best to shut down coal plants in America, despite the fact that the global warming scare is pretty much over. Developing countries are using coal because it creates less of an environmental problem than small wood-fueled cookstoves. Natural gas, the clean alternative to coal in electricity production is out of favor with environmentalists because it is obtained by fracking. So what are we supposed to do?

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