Skip to content

Assessing Energy Policy

January 2, 2013

As the year ends and we look forward to 2013, it’s time to assess the extent to which fear of CO2 induced global warming is affecting energy policy. It’s probably also worthwhile looking at the latest thoughts concerning CO2 emissions.

Generation of electricity

Every method for evaluating the cost of electricity, have established that electricity from wind and solar is more expensive than electricity generated from coal, natural gas, hydro, nuclear or geothermal power plants. The cost of electricity from wind and solar is substantially higher than from these other methods.

The only reason for adopting wind and solar is to cut CO2 emissions. They have no other benefits, except possibly not emitting NOx, SOx, etc., but, in fact, have some negative environmental consequences, such as killing bats and birds, and noise pollution.

They also result in additional “other” costs, primarily the cost of building transmission lines whose only purpose is to transport electricity from remote areas, where wind and solar plants are installed, to where the electricity can be used. These unnecessary costs are very large, as much as $90 billion. This money could be put to better use upgrading and strengthening existing transmission lines.

The reliability and resiliency of transmission lines are impaired by the unreliable and inconsistent generation of electricity from wind and solar.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)

RPS has been adopted by over twenty states to force the use of electricity generated by renewables. Since “renewables” refers primarily to wind and solar, RPS is forcing the adoption of wind and solar, whose only justification is to cut CO2 emissions.

Fossil Fuels for Generating Electricity

The primary reason for eliminating the use of fossil fuels is to cut CO2 emissions.

EPA regulations have made it virtually impossible to build new coal-fired power plants, even though they are substantially, i.e., 40% more efficient than those built in the past, and have emissions that are nearly as low as those from natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants.

These regulations have damaged an entire industry and are depriving the United States of using a low-cost fuel for generating electricity.

Oil is rarely used for generating electricity, with only 1% of all electricity being generated from oil in the United States. Wind and solar, therefore, do not eliminate the use of oil.

Transportation fuels

Two reasons have been put forth for eliminating oil in transportation … cutting CO2 emissions and eliminating the United States’ dependency on foreign oil.

Ethanol and other substitutes have been introduced as alternatives to oil. These so-called biofuels, e.g., ethanol, algae and biodiesel, are all more expensive than gasoline or diesel fuel, but their use has been forced upon the country through regulation. It’s also impossible to produce enough of these biofuels to eliminate more than a small fraction of the oil we use.

Electric vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) are far more expensive than traditional vehicles because of the $10,000 battery cost. Even if there were large numbers of these vehicles on the road, they wouldn’t cut CO2 emissions by very much, perhaps 15%. Their effect on oil imports is not known, since many of these vehicles would still be using gasoline for an unknown number of miles driven.

Natural gas is a viable alternative to oil, but it emits CO2, which has incited the wrath of the Sierra Club.

Building the Keystone pipeline has been delayed, possibly prevented, because it transports oil produced from Canadian tar sands, which emit CO2 during the production of oil.

Fracking, which has created a surplus of low-cost natural gas, is under attack for several reasons, one of which is the emission of methane, a green-house-gas (GHG). Regulations eliminating the surplus of low-cost natural gas would prevent using natural gas as an alternative to oil in transportation.

If CO2 is not a threat, the only possible reason for developing alternatives to oil is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Yet, because of fracking, we have the potential for producing all the oil we need from North America, thereby largely eliminating the importing of oil from Venezuela and the Mideast.

Restrictions placed on fracking, would be where the fear of global warming from GHG emissions could actually prevent our becoming independent from these foreign countries.

CO2 Emissions and Global Warming

There is now strong, if not nearly overwhelming evidence that CO2 emissions are not causing global warming or climate change.

Temperature rise, if it continues, will be the same as it has been over the past hundred years, around 1.50 F, over the century.

Temperatures have not risen at all for the past fifteen years, which should make it clear there is little linkage between CO2 atmospheric concentrations and temperatures.

The December 18 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change, by Matt Ridley, who has written on climate issues for a quarter century, establishes there should be little fear of global warming due to CO2 emissions.

There have been seven international conferences on climate change, held by the Heartland Institute, where dozens of scientists have presented papers demonstrating that CO2 is not a threat. Many of these papers have been published in Climate Change Reconsidered.

Conclusion

It’s clear that the fear of global warming from CO2 is seriously distorting energy policies. These distortions are hurting Americans with higher costs and misapplication of investments.

The EPA is poised to place even greater curbs in 2013 on the use of coal to generate electricity. David Doniger, of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has threatened to sue the EPA if it doesn’t force the reduction of CO2 emissions.

If CO2 is not a threat, there is no reason to distort energy policies and hurt Americans.

*  *  *  *  *  *

If you find these articles on energy issues interesting and informative, you can have them delivered directly to your mailbox by going to the Email Subscription heading below the photo.

Please forward this message to those who might be interested in these articles on energy issues.

*  *  *  *  *  *

[To find earlier articles, click on the name of the preceding month below the calendar to display a list of articles published in that month. Continue clicking on the name of the preceding month to display articles published in prior months.]

© Power For USA, 2010 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Donn Dears, LLC, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Power For USA with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About these ads
9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2013 1:37 pm

    Reblogged this on SMIPP Ltd. and commented:
    Add your thoughts here.Don says:
    “EPA regulations have made it virtually impossible to build new coal-fired power plants, even though they are substantially, i.e., 40% more efficient than those built in the past, and have emissions that are nearly as low as those from natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants.”
    And
    “Building the Keystone pipeline has been delayed, possibly prevented, because it transports oil produced from Canadian tar sands, which emit CO2 during the production of oil.”
    And
    “There have been seven international conferences on climate change, held by the Heartland Institute, where dozens of scientists have presented papers demonstrating that CO2 is not a threat. Many of these papers have been published in Climate Change Reconsidered.”
    And
    “If CO2 is not a threat, there is no reason to distort energy policies and hurt Americans.”
    And
    many more…
    ——————–
    You are talking about consensus on CO2 Not A Real Threat. This consensus never has happened.
    Plus
    Why coal industry stopped growing despite the modifications and becoming cleaner than ever if CO2 was not an issue?
    Plus
    That CO2 is a green house gas, there is no doubt, it has been proven of decades.
    I don’t know who is/are blocking carbon emission. You are talking about issues that do not comply with reality. Renewable sources are still young, and obviously they cannot be good alternatives for fossil fuels. Stone age never ended because there were no more stones on the planet. Ditto, we will pass the fossil fuel age before the resources come to the end. It is not because of carbon emission only, political national regional peak oil can be other, maybe, the major reasons.
    Regards,
    SMIPP
    Don says:
    “EPA regulations have made it virtually impossible to build new coal-fired power plants, even though they are substantially, i.e., 40% more efficient than those built in the past, and have emissions that are nearly as low as those from natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants.”
    And
    “Building the Keystone pipeline has been delayed, possibly prevented, because it transports oil produced from Canadian tar sands, which emit CO2 during the production of oil.”
    And
    “There have been seven international conferences on climate change, held by the Heartland Institute, where dozens of scientists have presented papers demonstrating that CO2 is not a threat. Many of these papers have been published in Climate Change Reconsidered.”
    And
    “If CO2 is not a threat, there is no reason to distort energy policies and hurt Americans.”
    And
    many more…
    ——————–
    You are talking about consensus on CO2 Not A Real Threat. This consensus never has happened.
    Plus
    Why coal industry stopped growing despite the modifications and becoming cleaner than ever if CO2 was not an issue?
    Plus
    That CO2 is a green house gas, there is no doubt, it has been proven of decades.
    I don’t know who is/are blocking carbon emission. You are talking about issues that do not comply with reality. Renewable sources are still young, and obviously they cannot be good alternatives for fossil fuels. Stone age never ended because there were no more stones on the planet. Ditto, we will pass the fossil fuel age before the resources come to the end. It is not because of carbon emission only, political national regional peak oil can be other, maybe, the major reasons.
    Regards,
    SMIPP

  2. January 2, 2013 3:08 pm

    Thanks for the comments.
    No question that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but water vapor is the largest greenhouse gas. Also note that there is little proof that CO2 is causing global warming, in fact, as I mentioned, there is almost overwhelming evidence that it is not. I did not say that there was a consensus in that regard.
    Your comment isn’t clear about reality, but here’s a response to what I believe you meant. First, if I interpret your comment correctly, it’s the EPA that is blocking CO2 emissions through its regulations. Second, in the near term, i.e., the next 100 years, there will be ample fossil fuels and no peak oil or peak natural gas. What happens in the future is indeterminable, but wind and solar will remain more expensive than other methods for generating electricity. Perhaps fusion will emerge as a practical alternative, but wind and solar are not the future.
    In the foreseeable future, there is no reason, other than to cut CO2 emissions, to stop using coal, natural gas, hydro etc.
    We are saddling our economy with unnecessary costs by forcing the use of wind and solar on Americans, merely to keep from emitting CO2.

    • January 3, 2013 2:48 am

      Thank you Donn,
      As you know Lord Monckton is not scientist. I agree with you, he is just a dynamic speaker. I don’t understand it why he presented himself to the committee? As a Lord ? The congressman from Washington said that the Deniers were absent in that meeting, 4 prominent scientists from pro CO2 society against 1 Lord Monckton who was not really a scientist. He had to prove his British identity as a Lord. Did you see that moment? I was completely disappointed, and I was really ashamed for the situation on that video.
      The regulations against coal industry demonstrates one important issue; general judgement and the balance of ideas is not to the beneficiary of the Deniers. That’s the main reason for the anti coal industry regulations and many more rules on the way.
      Gore story is the weak point for pro AGW front. He is not scientist. I can just say I am sorry. And I am sorry for Lord Monckton.
      You know Dr. Muller. He is a prominent scientist. He recently rejected his ideas. He says AGW is real.
      I am afraid the Deniers don’t have enough well named scientists in hand to defend their hypothesis at the committee, and or, nobody accepts to present himself/herself for the testimonies, except people like Lord Monckton. What I have seen by now is 4 pro AGW Vs 1 Denier in testimonies. Pro AGW presentations are more powerful and convincing.
      You may name Dr Happer, Dr. Christy, Hartland Institute…It’s not convincing.
      Sorry for coal industry.

      Regards,
      SMIPP.

      • January 3, 2013 10:53 am

        Again, thanks for your comment. Apparently it makes no difference how many scientists I name, they won’t impress you. Here’s a few you might think about: Lindzen, Gray, Schmitt, Carter, Armstrong, Pielke, Ball, Balling, Christy, Izrael, Itoh, Kininmoth, Legates. I could name a few dozen more, but it may not impress you. There are also the thousands of engineers, who may not be climatologists or meteorologists, but who have the background to read and understand the literature on AGW.
        I hope you will look further into the literature. While you may not think highly of the Heartland Institute, it could be a good place to start as they have papers and videos that might be of interest. The Heritage Foundation also has information on the subject.
        You are sorry for the coal industry. Personally, I’m sorry for America, and that we have to deal with the rules and regulations being promulgated because of the fear of CO2.

      • January 3, 2013 4:18 pm

        I would like to thank you for this communication. To reach to a point, I have some explanations to make:
        1- I hope that miserable presentation we watched on the video would never happen again. It was a big mistake made by The Deniers. My understanding; the Deniers got one thing, it was just humiliation.
        2- The scientists that you named here are great people. I am familiar with their works. My problem is why this team has lost the battle easily to the rival. Where are they at the right time? That gentleman The Lord and poeple like him are not the solution. You said about Gore…whatever. Pro AGW lost many oportunities because of him. GW unexpectly is a political issue in a political arena, but prior to this, it is a matter of science. So the key issue is the scientists.
        3- No problem how many scientists are working together with the Deniers team. The result is what we see. It is terrible.
        What is impressing me, it is only good result.
        4- GW and or Fear of GW as you said is a global issue it is neither local nor regional. Coal is part of the world economy.
        We both were sorry for coal and the country. This is what we have now.
        5- It takes time to change infrastructures. China, India and many other countries need more energy. May God help us.

        Regards,
        SMIPP

  3. January 2, 2013 4:15 pm

    Apology for repeating my previous comment, I don’t know why it happened,
    First of all, I agree with you that Fusion is a good chance for the future.
    You said:
    “It’s clear that the fear of global warming from CO2 is seriously distorting energy policies”. This is somehow another meaning of a sort of consensus. It’ clear to whom? “Fear” or “Reality”, so, it isn’t clear. Every molecule of CO2 remains in the atmosphere from at least 2 to max.100 years(according to the records). Scientists do agree about the issue but with different periods, so, long term effects of CO2 is a reality. Trapped heat is the problem. I am not happy for sure when I read about coal industry. I believe fossil fuels are not just an industry, I know it is an infrastructure. That’s why we cannot get rid of that even if CO2 rise is 100% harmful. CO2 is not pollutant for sure.
    And secondly, soot is another serious factor. The effects of soot is real and you know why.
    What I cannot understand is that why the so called deniers don’t present their ideas to the decision makers/policy makers? We see the blocking regulation are gradually issued by the policy makers for everything. It means they (the deniers) are not working properly, and or, there is enough evidence for AGW.
    Please watch this video. Lord Monckton and the congressman:
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=CM4K1z2gKzA&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DCM4K1z2gKzA

    We can go on later.

    Regards,
    SMIPP

  4. January 2, 2013 4:43 pm

    Thanks.
    I have heard Lord Monckton several times and he is a knowledgeable, dynamic speaker.
    There are policy makers, such as Senators Johnson and Inhofe, who are not believers in the CO2 global warming hypothesis. Many attempts have been made to engage policy makers who do support the CO2 global warming hypothesis, but virtually all attempts have been rebuffed. Former Voice President Gore, for example, refuses to debate.

  5. January 3, 2013 4:43 pm

    Again, thanks for your interest and comments.

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 235 other followers