It sounds like a news report out of yet another dystopian novel: Mexico is halting grid connection for new solar and wind power projects. In a world rushing to produce clean energy, Mexico has suddenly stood out like a sore thumb. But, as usual, there’s more to the story.
Washington — US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Bernard McNamee will not seek another term after his expires at the end of June, potentially adding pressure on the White House to advance more nominees to maintain a quorum and a Republican majority at the commission. Read more here.
By Greg Walcher
“Governments should temporarily provide funding for new energy technologies so that they can become market competitive with traditional energy resources.” So the Global Energy Network Institute and other renewable energy advocates have been saying for decades. Taxpayers have been assured such subsidies would be “temporary,” just to “level the playing field” until the renewable industry is big enough to compete. When might that be?
The solar energy association says the U.S. industry has grown by more than 10,000 percent since solar tax credits began fifteen years ago, with an average annual growth of 52% over the last decade. Installations doubled in one year, with the industry now in all 50 states and a record 25 billion watts of new solar installations on order.
Congress and the industry agreed that this would be the result of “temporary” subsidies. Thus, the Solar Investment Tax Credit was created in 2005, to jump-start the emerging industry, with an agreement to wind it down in ten years when the industry was competitive. Predictably, in 2015 the industry said it needed just a little more time, so Congress agreed to a “temporary” extension. The agreement was for a 30 percent credit for residential and commercial solar systems installed before 2020. That amount would then ratchet down each year, phasing out by 2022. That was the deal, but sure enough, solar lobbyists are back before the first click of the ratchet, pressing Congress for another “temporary” renewal.
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Greg Walcher is the Founder and President of the Natural Resources Group and previously led the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. He is the author of Smoking Them Out: The Theft of the Environment and How to Take it Back.
The ACC’s Tomorrow’s Leadership Council (TLC) is designed to advance and vest executive talent in the coal industry. TLC is an annual program designed to provide a meaningful opportunity for up-and-coming executives to enhance their industry knowledge and networks through projects and activities that advance industry-wide objectives as well as professional development goals.
The TLC program, which launched in 2009, has had participation by 150 executives from more than 50 companies throughout the coal supply chain.
We welcome member and non-member companies to register their entry-level staff, mid-level executives, and those newer to coal for this one-of-a-kind professional development program. They will have the opportunity to meet and engage with others in the coal supply, consumption, transportation and trading sectors, as well as those working in companies that partner with and support these business sectors.
Participants benefit from professional development seminars, ACC conference attendance, special networking dinners and the opportunity to work on a collaborative group project with others in the program.
Additional program and registration information is available on the ACC website. Please also call or email Betsy Monseu, ACC CEO, at (202) 756-4540 or firstname.lastname@example.org Terry L. Headley, ACC communications director at (202) 756-4540 or email@example.com with any questions or for more information.
Climate alarmists are still promoting junk science, fossil fuel bans and wealth redistribution
Dr. Kelvin Kemm
This month marks the tenth anniversary of “Climategate” – the release of thousands of emails to and from climate scientists who had been (and still are) collaborating and colluding to create a manmade climate crisis that exists in their minds and computer models, but not in the real world. The scandal should have ended climate catastrophism. Instead, it was studiously buried by politicians, scientists, activists and crony capitalists, who will rake in trillions of dollars from the exaggerations and fakery, while exempting themselves from the damage they are inflicting on everyday families.
Few people know the Inconvenient Facts about the supposed manmade climate and extreme weather “crisis.” For example, since 1998, average global temperatures have risen by a mere few hundredths of a degree. (For a time, they even declined slightly.) Yet all we hear is baseless rhetoric about manmade carbon dioxide causing global warming and climate changes that pose existential threats to humanity, wildlife and planet. Based on this, we are told we must stop using fossil fuels to power economic growth and better living standards. This is bad news for Africa and the world.
We keep hearing that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels cause rising global temperatures. But satellite data show no such thing. In fact, computer model predictions for 2019 are almost a half degree Celsius (0.9 degrees F) above actual satellite measurements. Even worse, anytime a scientist raises questions about the alleged crisis, he or she is denounced as a “climate change denier.”
A major source of data supporting the human CO2- induced warming proposition came from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.
Then on the morning of 17 November 2009 a Pandora’s box of embarrassing CRU information exploded onto the world scene. A computer hacker penetrated the university’s computer system and took 61 Megs of material that showed the CRU had been manipulating scientific information to make global warming appear to be the fault of mankind and industrial CO2. Among many other scandals, the shocking leaked emails showed then-CRU-director Prof. Phil Jones boasting of using statistical “tricks” to remove evidence of observed declines in global temperatures.
In another email, he advocated deleting data rather than providing it to scientists who did not share his view and might criticize his analyses. Non-alarmist scientists had to invoke British freedom of information laws to get the information. Jones was later suspended, and former British Chancellor Lord Lawson called for a Government enquiry into the embarrassing exposé.
The affair became known as “Climategate,” and a group of American University students even posted a YouTube song, “Hide the Decline,” mocking the CRU and climate modeler Dr. Michael Mann, whose use of the phrase “hide the decline” in temperatures had been found in the hacked emails.
So what is the truth? If one considers the composition of the atmosphere and equates it to the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the extra plant-fertilizing CO2 added to the atmosphere since California became the 31st state of the United States in 1850 is less than the thickness of tiles under the Tower.
Can this tiny increase really explain any observed global warming since the Little Ice Age ended, and the modern industrial era began? Since California became a state, the measured global rise in atmospheric temperature has been less than 10C. But most of this increase occurred prior to 1940, and average planetary temperatures fell from around 1943 until about 1978, leading to a global cooling scare. Temperatures rose slightly until 1998, then mostly remained stable, even as carbon dioxide levels continued to rise. Rising CO2 levels and temperature variations do not correlate very well at all.
Moreover, during the well-documented Medieval Warm Period from about 950 to 1350, warmer global temperatures allowed Viking farmers to raise crops and tend cattle in Greenland. The equally well documented 500-year Little Ice Age starved and froze the Vikings out of Greenland, before reaching its coldest point, the Maunder Minimum, 1645-1715. That’s when England’s River Thames regularly froze over, Norwegian farmers demanded compensation for lands buried by advancing glaciers, and priests performed exorcism rituals to keep alpine glaciers away from villages. Paintings from the era show crowds of people ice skating and driving horse-drawn carriages on the Thames.
Industry and automobile emissions obviously played no role in either the MWP or the LIA.
These dramatic events should ring warning bells for any competent, honest scientist. If the Medieval Warm Period occurred without industrial CO2 driving it, why should industrial CO2 be causing any observed warming today? Europe’s great plague wiped out nearly a quarter of its population during the Little Ice Age. The warm period brought prosperity and record crops, while cold years brought misery, famine and death.
Ten years before Climategate, Dr. Mann released a computer-generated graph purporting to show global temperatures over the previous 1500 years. His graph mysteriously made the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and Maunder extreme cold years disappear – and planetary temperatures spike suddenly the last couple decades of twentieth century. The graph had the shape of a hockey stick, was published worldwide and became a centerpiece for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Many scientists were highly suspicious of the hockey stick claims. Two of them, Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, completely discredited Mann’s computer program and revisionist history. Of course, that did not stop former US vice president Al Gore from using the discredited graph in his doom and gloom climate change movie, An Inconvenient Truth.
The hacked CRU emails also showed exchanges between Mann and Jones, in which they discussed how to intimidate editors who wanted to publish scientific views contrary to theirs, to suppress any contradictory studies. In one email, Jones expressed his desire to get rid of the “troublesome editor” of the Climate Research journal for daring to publish differing views. The editor got sacked.
When University of Colorado climate skeptic Professor Roger Pielke, Jr. asked the CRU for its original temperature readings, he was told the data had been (conveniently) lost. Lost!?! Do professionals lose something as valuable as original data? Many suspected they just didn’t want anyone to expose their clever manipulations and fabrications.
But if industrial carbon dioxide did not cause recent global warming, what did? A Danish research group, led by Prof. Henrik Svensmark, has found a very credible match between levels of sunspot activity (giant magnetic storms) on our Sun and global temperatures over the last fifteen hundred years. This all-natural mechanism actually fits the evidence! How terribly inconvenient for alarmists.
Cosmic rays from deep space constantly impinge on the Earth’s upper atmosphere and produce clouds, much like high-flying jets leave white contrails behind their engines. More clouds can trap heat, but they also cause global cooling because not as much sunlight strikes the Earth. More sunspots mean a stronger magnetic shield, therefore fewer cosmic rays reaching Earth, thus less cloud cover and more global warming. The Sun is currently in a near-record period of low sunspot activity.
All sorts of interest groups are suppressing this information. Maybe worse, when Climategate broke, “climate justice” campaigner for Friends of the Earth Emma Brindal said bluntly: “A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources.” Not protecting Earth from manmade CO2 emissions or natural and manmade climate change – but redistributing wealth and resources, according to formulas that self-appointed ruling elites decide is “socially just.”
Climate campaigners also oppose “excessive” air travel for business or pleasure, 4×4 vehicles as “unnecessary luxuries,” and modern homes for Africans. Some even say Africans must continue living in mud huts and avoid the use of electricity and modern farming technologies. Minor US actor Ed Begley has said “Africans should have solar power where they need it most: on their huts.” They, Al Gore, Phil Jones and Mike Mann are exempted from these restrictions, of course.
Real social justice and human rights mean everyone has access to abundant, reliable, affordable energy, especially universally important electricity. Not from expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent wind turbines and solar panels. From fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.
We in the developing world will no longer let climate truth be suppressed. We will not allow loud, radical activists to put the brakes on African economic development, jobs, and improved health and living standards, in the name of advancing their anti-human, wealth redistribution agendas.
Dr. Kelvin Kemm is a nuclear physicist and CEO of Nuclear Africa (Pty) Ltd, a project management company based in Pretoria, South Africa. He does consultancy work in strategic development.
Is it Climate Socialism – or Eco-Fascism? Green New Deal climate alarm socialism is really intolerant, totalitarian eco-fascism
By Paul Driessen
Green New Dealers have convinced themselves that our planet faces an imminent, existential, manmade climate cataclysm – that can be prevented solely and simply by government edicts replacing fossil fuels with biofuel, wind, solar and battery energy. They achieve this state of absolute certainty largely by propagating constant scare stories, while ignoring and suppressing contradictory evidence and viewpoints.
They deliberately and deceptively talk about “carbon pollution.” Carbon is soot – what our cars, factories and power plants now emit in very small quantities. The honest, accurate term is carbon dioxide: the colorless, odorless, invisible gas that we exhale and plants need to grow, by using the tiny but growing 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere that is CO2 to grow faster, better and with greater resistance to droughts.
They are climate change deniers, who say Earth’s climate is stable and can be kept stable by controlling minor factors (human carbon dioxide and methane emissions) and ignoring water vapor (the dominant greenhouse gas) and fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, clouds, oceanic circulation, volcanoes, planetary orbits and other powerful natural forces that have brought climate changes throughout history.
They insist that even another half-degree increase in planetary temperatures since Earth emerged from the Little Ice Age (1350-1850) would be cataclysmic. That’s absurd. They also rely on computer models that project rapidly soaring temperatures – but already claim average global temperatures should be 0.9 degrees F higher than they actually are, according to satellite and weather balloon measurements.
Climate Crisis True Believers say tornadoes and hurricanes are becoming more frequent and intense. In reality, from 1950-1984, the US averaged 55 violent (F4 to F5) tornadoes every year; but over the next 33 years (1985-2018) only 35 per year. And in 2018, for the first time in recorded history, not one F4-F5 tornado touched down anywhere in the United States. (Is this due to rising atmospheric CO2 levels?)
Similarly, from 1920 through 2005, fifty-two Category 3 to 5 hurricanes made US landfall (1.6/year on average). And then, from October 2005 until August 2017 – a record twelve years – not one Category 3 to 5 ’cane struck the US mainland. Harvey and Irma ended that hurricane drought in 2017, but were hardly unprecedented in their intensity or rainfall. (Was that drought due to rising atmospheric CO2 levels?)
The Washington Post reported that “the Arctic Ocean is warming up … and in some places seals are finding the water too hot.” That was in 1922, and explorers wrote about Arctic ice cycles long before that. “We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait,” Sir Francis McClintock wrote in 1860, whereas at this time in 1854 it was “still frozen up.” As to continental USA weather, a commentator said “Snows are less frequent and less deep, and the rivers scarcely ever [freeze over] now.” That was Thomas Jefferson, in 1799. The 1970s manmade global cooling scare was replaced by today’s warming crisis.
After rising some 400 feet since the last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago, oceans are rising at 7 to 10 inches per century. That’s a minimal threat to coastal communities, some of which are more seriously threatened by land subsidence – including Chesapeake Bay lands (Maryland), Hampton Roads (Virginia), Houston and Miami. There has been no increase in the rate of sea level rise in more than a century.
Seawaters cannot become “more acidic.” They are slightly alkaline. They may be getting slightly less alkaline, depending on where and when pH levels are measured. But they are not becoming acidic.
Coral bleaching can result from pollution but is mostly natural, caused by coral animals ejecting their symbiotic zooxanthellae single-celled dinoflagellates, when seawaters become warmer or colder. Corals replace them with new species better adapted to the new temperatures – and then recover their former color and glory, as they have in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii’s reefs and elsewhere. Corals also grow as seas rise, just as they have since the last Pleistocene Ice Age, creating today’s splendid reefs.
We face no climate crisis, no unprecedented warming, climate or extreme weather threat – manmade or natural. Equally important, proposals to replace fossil fuels with biofuel, wind, solar and battery power would be far more ecologically destructive than their climate crisis – and would severely harm food supplies, nutrition, jobs, living standards, health and life spans, in rich and poor countries alike.
For the United States alone, replacing 100% of US gasoline and petrochemical feed stocks with ethanol would require some 700 million acres of biotech corn. That’s four times the land area of Texas turned into biofuel corn plantations – or soy/canola farms for biodiesel – leaving little land for food and wildlife.
Let’s suppose we’re going to use wind power to replace: the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours of electricity that Americans consumed in 2018, coal and gas-fired backup power plants, natural gas for home heating, coal and gas for factories, and gasoline-powered vehicles. We’ll also use wind turbines to generate enough extra electricity, every windy day, to charge batteries for just seven straight windless days.
We’ll also account for electricity loss along lengthy transmission lines, and every time we charge and discharge batteries. As we erect turbines in steadily lower quality wind locations, instead of generating full nameplate power maybe 33% of the year, on average, they will do so only 16% of the year.
Instead of the 58,000 we have now, the United States would need some 14 million 400-foot-tall turbines, each one capable of generating 1.8 megawatts at full capacity, when the wind is blowing at the proper speed. Each turbine would need about 120 acres of open space and access roads, as at BP’s 50,000-acre Fowler Ridge wind energy factory in Indiana. That would total 1.7 billion acres – ten times the area of Texas … or most of the Lower 48 United States! Plus thousands of miles of new transmission lines!
Their bird-butchering blades would wipe out raptors, other birds and bats across much of America. Would Extinction Rebellion go apoplectic? or not give a spotted owl hoot, since wind turbines are “eco-friendly”?
Manufacturing those wind turbines would require something on the order of 15 billion tons of steel, copper, rare earth metals, concrete, petroleum-based composites, gravel and other raw materials. Extracting them would require a hundredfold increase in global mining: removing hundreds of billions of tons of earth and rock overburden, and crushing and processing tens of billions of tons of ore.
Imagine the cumulative land use, eminent domain, property rights, environmental and wildlife impacts.
Using batteries to replace coal and gas-fired backup power plants for intermittent, weather-dependent wind facilities would require some one billion 100-kilowatt-hour, 1,000-pound lithium and cobalt-based Tesla battery packs – and still more mining and raw materials. And that doesn’t include extra battery storage for the cars, trucks and buses that Green New Dealers want to replace with electric vehicles.
Climate Crisis True Believers proudly proclaim themselves environmental socialists, while obstinately ignoring and suppressing these climate and energy realities. They certainly promote a political-economic system under which central government controls the means of production, while limiting private property rights or replacing them with communal ownership. That’s classic socialism.
But what they really want is eco-fascism: an even more extreme and intolerant system under which an authoritarian national or international government does not own businesses and industries outright, but dictates what they can make, do, sell and say – while redistributing wealth and property, employing laws, intimidation, and Antifa-style violence to control people’s thinking, speech and access to information.
Along with Google, Face Book, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, universities and the “mainstream” media – they try to censor, marginalize, ostracize, disinvite, shadow-ban, electronic book burn, and algorithm-eradicate differing, alternative, contrarian evidence, analyses and viewpoints on energy and climate.
They got Dr. Peter Ridd fired for exposing fabrications about the Great Barrier Reef’s demise – and Dr. Susan Crockford cashiered for daring to challenge bogus claims about polar bears. Robert Kennedy Jr., Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and others even want climate and energy dissenters prosecuted and jailed.
We must keep speaking truth to power – to ensure that our future is not compromised by climate lies.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of many books, reports and articles on energy, climate and environmental issues.
It is too often assumed that making maximum use of renewables is the answer to addressing environmental goals. So easy is it to buy into this assumption that intermittent wind power is pulling ahead of coal in Texas.
Energy analysts forecast that wind turbines in Texas will generate about 87,000 megawatt-hours of electricity next year, eclipsing the anticipated output from coal. Coal power is falling in Texas and nationally, while wind power is on a rapid upward climb. Wind power already supplies 20% of the Lone Star state’s power and it’s expected to reach 24% in 2020, second only to natural gas, while coal plants continue to close.
If you think those trends don’t come with a downside, think again. The economy in Texas and nationally demands full-time electricity. Wind only generates part-time electricity. In West Texas this summer, on some hot and humid days it was so still there wasn’t enough of a breeze to stir a leaf. Hundreds of wind turbines stopped spinning. When the Texas grid needed wind power the most, it was nowhere to be found. The Texas electric power grid came perilously close to collapsing.
Electricity prices spiked from their normal range of $20 to $30 per megawatt-hour to $9,000 not once but twice. The state teetered on the edge of rolling blackouts and no air conditioning for millions of families during triple digit temperatures. Operators of the Texas grid issued alert after alert asking consumers to turn off devices and conserve power.
Texas is unlikely to be the only state that comes perilously close to electricity shortages. Federal and state subsidies have made wind and solar power so cheap that they are displacing essential baseload sources of power that are capable of running when needed. Nationally, electricity production from coal continues to decline, falling by 15% in 2019 and another 9% projected in 2020. The very power plants that have long underpinned grid reliability are being pushed aside for sources of power that jeopardize it.
All of this is ominous not only for Texas but also other parts of the country. The rapid shift toward wind power is an opportunity for a reality check in the debate over the deployment of renewables, which benefit from federal tax credits and generous state mandates.
According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation, wind and solar power will have received $36.5 billion in federal tax credits between 2016 and 2020. It’s an imposing number but it doesn’t even touch the subsidies provided for solar and wind at the state level.State renewable portfolio standards that mandate ever-increasing amounts of wind and solar power have been just as disruptive to electricity markets and perhaps even more costly.
It brings into sharp focus the most urgent challenge: How will the United States scale back the use of fossil fuels, yet maintain an adequate energy supply? Are renewables ready to fill the gap alone? Can wind and solar power be advanced fast enough and of sufficient scale, given that energy consumption is expected to grow over the next 30 years. For all the investment in wind and solar, despite all of the billions in subsidies, their limitations remain immense. The United States and the rest of the world will continue to rely on traditional sources of power for decades as populations grow, economies expand and living standards rise.
The current path forward that ignores the need for a balanced mix of energy sources is a road to nowhere.
Instead of indifference, we need to regain our balance and encourage investment in advanced energy technology of all kinds – coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables, along with improvements in energy efficiency – if we hope to avoid future havoc in electricity markets and ensure the availability of reliable and affordable power.
Matthew Kandrach is President of CASE, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, a free-market oriented consumer advocacy organization.
By Sonal Patel
PITTSBURGH, PA (Oct. 3, 2019) – Chemical looping combustion (CLC), an advanced coal power technology that could markedly simplify carbon capture at power plants, has moved significantly closer to commercialization, owing to a breakthrough in oxygen carrier durability, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) said.
The national laboratory, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), revealed on Sept. 26 that a NETL-developed oxygen carrier based on “low cost” minerals demonstrated “a ten-fold increase in durability compared to previous iterations.”
The accomplishment, it noted, is a “significant step toward the commercialization” of CLC, a technology it said is “capable of delivering affordable and dependable power to the nation while reducing environmental impacts due to CLC’s more streamlined carbon dioxide (CO2) capture capability.”
While it can also be applied to natural gas, CLC is generally viewed as a promising technology that could boost coal’s environmental profile as the industry puts more emphasis on decarbonization. But though several concepts are being researched around the world at bench and small-pilot scale, experts note the technology is still at a “theoretical stage.” However, a July 2018 roadmap issued by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Carbon Utilization Research Council (CURC, an industry coalition focused on technology solutions to keep fossil fuels in a “balanced” U.S. power portfolio) envisions a first-of-a-kind commercial project using metal oxide and limestone-based CLC technologies starting in 2027.