Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Energy Realities

The narrative of energy scarcity is a fiction: North America is not only energy-wealthy, it is energy-wealthy beyond most people’s comprehension.   For decades now, the energy-narrative of North America, particularly the United States has been one of energy scarcity. We’ve been told, repeatedly, that the U.S. has surpassed “peak oil,” and 6 years ago, people were so worried about natural gas supplies that we were talking about importing liquified natural gas from abroad (More on that here).  But the narrative of energy scarcity in North America is a fiction: We are not only energy-wealthy, we are energy-wealthy beyond most people’s comprehension. Energy policy analyst Mark Mills spells out the energy potential of North America in a new report published by the Manhattan Institute.


Editor's note:  So why this?  RK

Sixteen House GOP Freshmen Forget Principles in Support of Wind Subsidies
By Myron Ebell

Eighteen freshmen Members of the House of Representatives sent a letter last week to House Republican leaders urging them to “take up an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy as soon as possible.” Sixteen of the eighteen signers are Republicans. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also recently announced his support for extending the wind PTC, which is set to expire at the end of the year.
The signers of the letter were: Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD), Rick Berg (R-ND), Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), David Rivera (R-Fla.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Steve Womack (R-Ark.), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Robert Dold (R- Ill.), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Penna.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Charles Bass (R-NH), Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), John Carney (D-Del.), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), David Ciciline (D-RI), and Mark Amodei (R-Nev.).




In mid-June, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) led the opposition against S. J. Res. 37, legislation that would have blocked EPA’s all pain, no gain Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulation. On the floor of the Senate, he explained that the Utility MACT would prevent out-of-state pollution from hurting business in Tennessee, but this claim is false. According to EPA data, Tennessee’s compliance with Clean Air Act regulations is not adversely affected by air pollution from neighboring States. In light of the evident falsity of his avowed rationale for protecting the Utility MACT, Sen. Alexander’s true motivations for opposing S. J. Res. 37 were inexplicable.  Last week, however, the mystery of Sen. Alexander’s support for the Utility MACT appears to have been solved. The Environmental Defense Action Fund announced on Tuesday that it will spend $200,000 on television advertisements in Tennessee thanking Senator Lamar Alexander for “protecting the children.”


The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Renewable Identification Numbers, RINs, are causing the refining industry a lot of grief and the American public a lot of money.  If nothing changes, the grief and the money wasted could grow rapidly, damaging the economy and family budgets. RINs are a byproduct of the Renewable Fuels Standard that mandates a certain amount of biofuels (e.g. ethanol) to be produced and used by refiners each year. The purpose of RINs is to track biofuel sales. But, fake RINs have become a problem and refiners are caught in the middle. Refiners pay for the purchase of mandated biofuels via a RIN only to have it turn out fake and then be fined by EPA for not using the required amount of biofuels.


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