Destructive Carbon Emission Mandates

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

The Marxist Left is out to destroy our country. Period. Anyone who does not recognize this is either blind or part of the problem. Karl Marx in his book, The Communist Manifesto, stresses the importance of finding an issue that allows the government to control the people. Well, the Democrat Marxists have found that issue: the manmade CO2 climate change hoax. Regrettably, we have some Republican legislators who have been going along with this non-scientific, unproven belief that threatens to destroy our country and our standard of living.

Recent declarations by respected climate scientists are increasingly showing that there is no evidence that CO2 emissions have any impact on climate conditions. In fact, they have argued that increasing CO2 levels enhance plant growth essential to man’s survival. The climate has changed dramatically over millions of years as a result of natural causes such as solar flares, earth orbit, tilt of the earth, ocean currents, and other changes having nothing to do with man’s actions. Climate change, whatever the causes, is not an existential threat to mankind. What is a threat are the extreme actions being taken to combat a non-existing problem. No modern civilization can exist without adequate, inexpensive energy from fossil fuels. We are committing social suicide by going along with the elimination of fossil fuels.

Let’s look at some things occurring in North Carolina that are heading us down the road to economic catastrophe. First, in 2021 the General Assembly passed and Governor Cooper signed HB 951 which established the requirement to cut carbon emissions from electric power plants 70% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This will require massive expenditures on solar and wind farms and the construction of massive battery centers to store electricity, since wind and solar are intermittent sources. Who makes the solar panels, the wind mills, and the battery components? You guessed it; our global enemy China. It is estimated that the average consumer’s electric bill will quadruple and there will be massive electricity shortages. Germany, which tried to rely on solar and wind, had to reactivate their coal fired plants to handle the demand for electricity this winter. The cost of electricity in Germany is three times higher than in the United States. Meanwhile, we have the technology to have the cleanest coal fired plants in the world and have a 200 year supply of coal; which we are now sending to China.

Second, the Cooper regime is proceeding with the construction of offshore wind farms. One off Kitty Hawk and the other of the southern coast near Bald Head Island. Again, these will be built by foreign countries and use Chinese components. Just think how vulnerable these wind mills will be to attack in the event of war.

I hope I have made my case that these actions are a real threat to the citizens of North Carolina; and all for no legitimate reason. Manmade Climate Change is a Marxist hoax! We need to pressure the General Assembly to (1) repeal HB 951 establishing CO2 emission mandates; (2) block the construction of wind farms off the coast; (3) remove all state tax incentives for solar and wind energy projects. Before you cast your vote this year, find our where each candidate stands on this issue. It is a looming crisis that must be stopped.

The Consequences Of Going Green

The following post appeared on Twitter on Sunday:

Green energy is a great theory. However, in extreme conditions, it may not be useful and may even result in death. Let’s balance windmills and solar panels with reliable backup energy sources so that people can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

A Major Green Energy ‘Whoops’

On July 3, a website called environmental progress posted the following:

Last August, in an amalgamation of ‘The Green New Deal’ meets ‘Build Back Better’, President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act gifted the renewables industry with billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded subsidies. What few backing the bill realized was that the largest beneficiary would likely be China due to its expansive grip on the global solar photovoltaic (PV) industry.

Worse than that, it might end up misdirecting the world’s clean energy efforts into dirtier than appreciated energy technologies because of the country’s ongoing dependence on coal-fired energy.

Information unearthed by Environmental Progress points to a gaping oversight in how the figures influencing government net zero policy and investments in solar worldwide are compiled and collated due to the difficulty of collecting accurate information out of China, especially for the purification processes used to create silicon wafers.

Key to this blind spot is that the source material for most of the assessments is provided by a small number of data compilers, many if not all of them working in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA). The data is voluntarily submitted by the industry in response to academic surveys. The nature and profile of the respondents is never publicy revealed, so that there is the potential for conflicts of interest to develop.

A further puzzle is how that data feeds into an organization called Ecoinvent, a Swiss-based non-profit founded in 1998 that dubs itself “the world’s most consistent and transparent life cycle inventory database”. This data is relied on by institutions worldwide, including the IPCC and IEA itself, to calculate their carbon footprint projections, including the sixth assessment report published as recently as March 2023.

Based on such data, the IPCC claims solar PV is 48 gCO2/kWh. But, as we’ll see below, a new investigation started by Italian researcher, Enrico Mariutti, suggests that the number is closer to between 170 and 250 gCO2/kWh, depending on the energy mix used to power PV production. If this estimate is accurate, solar would not compare favorably with natural gas, which is around 50 gCO2/kWh with carbon capture, and 400 to 500 without.

On July 24, in a similar article, Hot Air noted:

I think we all know how the Chinese came to be at the forefront of solar panel manufacturing – the same way they’ve done everything else. They don’t have an innovative bone in their collective billion bodies, but what they do have is conniving. Plus cheap labor, no environmental strictures, and enterprise once they steal what they need to make something. And that’s exactly what happened with the solar industry. There were once German leaders in solar technology who are long out of business because of the Chinese filching their designs.

I think it’s time to rethink this ‘green energy’ thing.

 

Where Do The Parts For Green Energy Come From?

On Sunday, Breitbart reported that Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives want to reverse President Biden’s tariff waivers for suspected Chinese companies that are reportedly funneling their solar panels through other countries to evade United States trade rules.

The article notes:

In June 2022, Biden announced a 24-month tariff moratorium on solar panel imports from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Commerce Department officials suspect that the solar panels are actually made in China or by Chinese companies but have been routed through the four southeast Asian nations to evade tariffs.

The tariff moratorium came even as Biden’s Commerce Department found that BYD Hong Kong rerouted its production through Cambodia, Canadian Solar and Trina through Thailand, and Vina Solar through Vietnam to specifically evade U.S. tariffs on China-made solar panels.

Already, about 80 percent of solar panels installed in the U.S. are made in China or by Chinese companies.

The article concludes:

Those massive job losses have coincided with a booming U.S.-China trade deficit. In 1985, before China entered the WTO, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled $6 billion. In 2019, the U.S. trade deficit with China totaled more than $345 billion.

While skyrocketing U.S. trade deficits have led to devastation across America’s working and middle-class communities over the last two decades, tariffs would be a boon for reshoring jobs and boosting wages, studies show.

A recent study from economists at the Coalition for a Prosperous America, for instance, finds that tariffs on nearly all foreign imports would create about 10 million American jobs while boosting domestic output.

I have very mixed emotions on tariffs. I will concede that tariffs are probably needed on the large amount of Chinese goods that make their way into America. However, looking at history, we can’t ignore the impact of The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, which raised the United States’s already high tariff rates. That tariff contributed to the early loss of confidence on Wall Street and signaled U.S. isolationism. By raising the average tariff by some 20 percent, it also prompted retaliation from foreign governments, and many overseas banks began to fail. It planted the seeds for the Great Depression. The world’s economy is not in a really good place right now, and we need to consider carefully the impact of any tariff we pass.

The Dangers Of Moving To Green Energy Before The Technology Is Perfected

On February 10th, The John Locke Foundation posted an article about the proposed energy policies of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

The article reports:

  • Last summer California suffered two days of rolling blackouts
  • California’s Utility Commission recently published their findings of what happened to cause the massive loss in power
  • Years of misguided policies led to a shortage of dispatchable energy — the same policies Gov. Roy Cooper is advocating for North Carolina

Last summer California suffered two days of rolling blackouts because the customers’ needs for electricity exceeded the California power system’s ability to generate electricity. Such a thing should never happen. The California Utilities Commission recently published a report explaining what happened and why.

North Carolinians should know that many of the energy policies Gov. Roy Cooper has advocated for here in North Carolina follow the mistakes identified as the cause of California’s blackouts. As in California, these missteps will leave North Carolina unprepared for our energy future and will ultimately lead to blackouts here. North Carolina should not repeat California’s mistakes.

The job of providing stable electricity to the consumer can be complicated, but this much is pretty simple: enough electricity must always be generated to meet the demand. The United States has developed one of the world’s finest electricity systems. Its costs are among the lowest, and its reliability is among the highest. What happened to California? What bad energy decisions were made over the years in California resulting in rolling blackouts?

According to the “Root Cause Analysis” published by California Independent System Operator, the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Energy Commission, here are the factors that led to the outages:

  1. Climate change–induced extreme weather caused the demand to exceed the generating capability of the California system.
  2. In transitioning to “clean” energy, the State’s dispatchable generating capacity had “not kept pace” with the state’s needs.
  3. The State’s “Resource Adequacy” program failed to predict the needs of the heat wave.

The article concludes:

Cooper is steering North Carolina in the same direction. He opposes building new natural gas pipelines while pushing for more solar plants, which need natural gas backup. Is this where we want North Carolina to go? Do we want more poverty? Do we want the poorest having to pay more of their monthly income for electricity? Do we want rolling blackouts?

Shouldn’t we learn from California’s mistakes instead and keep natural gas plants supplied with gas while we build more nuclear power?

There are a few things those promoting green energy (including electric cars) fail to mention when promoting their agenda. The disposal of the blades on windmills and the disposal of solar panels are creating an environmental hazard. The mining of lithium for electric car batteries involves the use of slave labor in Africa. (articles here, here, here, and here). Rolling blackouts are not acceptable in a country as prosperous as America. We have cut our carbon footprint significantly with the use of natural gas. It is folly to believe we can run a successful economy without the careful use of fossil fuel to keep the economy going. Spain learned that lesson in the early 2000’s (article here).

Hopefully the legislature can put Governor Cooper on the right track.