Friday, May 22, 2015

Coal is King! Get Over It!

Benny Peiser's
  • Jeb Bush: ‘Hard-Core Left’ Trying To Force Their Way On Climate Issue. (Well, it appears it' true - even a blind monkey can find a coconut! RK)
  • Chinese Privatization Plans May Kick-Start Another Shale Revolution
  • UK Energy Minister Announces Law Against Wind Farms EU 
U.S. Republican Jeb Bush said on Wednesday that the Earth’s climate is changing but that scientific research does not clearly show how much of the change is due to humans and how much is from natural causes. While President Barack Obama and many scientists believe humans are largely to blame for climate change, Bush said the degree of human responsibility is uncertain. The former Florida governor challenged Obama’s determination earlier in the day that climate change is now a threat to U.S. national security. --Reuters, 21 May 2015
The problem is climate change has been co-opted by the hard-core left and if you don’t march to their beat perfectly then you’re a denier. --Jeb Bush, The Daily Signal, 21 May 2015
In his frantic search for something positive for us to remember him by, President Obama has lately turned to “climate change,” casting it in recent weeks as a matter of health, of environmental protection, of international obligation, even as a matter of his daughter’s health. She suffered an asthma attack as a child, and he thinks the changing weather had something to do with it. Nothing has worked so far to persuade the public that everyone is doomed unless the government steps in to change the weather. President Obama is likely to find that manufactured climate hysteria won’t work. --Editorial, The Washington Times, 20 May 2015
With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that ‘the future of the world depends’ on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal. --Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 21 May 2015
Spiegel journalist Axel Bojanowski calls it the “big climate show”. Although big declarations are being made, behind the scenes “creative steps” and “tricks” are the real order of the day. One example of trickery comes from Russia, Bojanowski writes: Although Russia has announced it wants to reduce emissions 25% by 2030 compared to 1990 – this is in fact trickery. Because of the collapse of its industry during the 1990s, the country is emitting only half as much CO2 as it did in 1990. That means with respect to climate targets, Russia intends to emit more CO2 in the future.” And not less! In Paris do expect the signing of a “binding international treaty”, but one that will be chock-full of non-binding requirements. The circus (which no one takes seriously anymore) thus will continue. --Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, 20 May 2015
Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings, published in The Lancet, also reveal that deaths due to moderately hot or cold weather substantially exceed those resulting from extreme heat waves or cold spells. According to Dr Gasparrini, “Current public-health policies focus almost exclusively on minimizing the health consequences of heat waves. Our findings suggest that these measures need to be refocused and extended to take account of a whole range of effects associated with temperature.” --Science Daily, 20 May 2015
Balkan countries and Ukraine are making “substantial investments” in polluting coal power stations to sell cheap electricity to the European Union, as the bloc searches for new suppliers to reduce its dependence on Russian gas. EU officials appear reluctant to use energy negotiations next month, or trade law, to force higher air pollution and environmental standards, despite the risks the rush poses to EU climate change and enlargement policies, and to finances and public health in the Balkans. --EurActiv, 19 May 2015
Germany is planning to soften the 2020 reduction targets for CO2 emissions by coal power plants, after opposition to the plan. As per the previous plan, the coal-based power plants need to cut down their emissions by 22 million tonnes by 2020, but the revised plan could bring it down to 16 million tonne, Reuters reported. The country’s plans to impose a levy on the ancient and polluting energy generating facilities didn’t go well with the industry. German power developer RWE has warned that enforcement of the levy would lead to immediate shut down of their lignite-fired power units. --Power Technology News, 19 May 2015
Germany's largest power producer RWE has rejected a softened proposal by Germany's economy ministry under which coal-fired power plants would have to lower their CO2 emissions by less than previously planned. Thousands of coal workers marched in Berlin last month to protest plans to impose a levy on the oldest and most polluting power plants, which unions say could put 100,000 jobs at risk. RWE warned the measure would lead to the immediate closure of its lignite-fired power plants. --Reuters, 19 May 2015
A future German power market without nuclear power and significantly reduced coal-fired power capacity – both according to government plans – and topped with the shutdown of modern gas-fired power plants – an unintended consequence of increased renewable energy integration – may eventually lead to something resembling the ‘Morgenthau Plan.’ Except in this scenario Germany’s destruction would be implemented by the German government itself via German energy sector. --Roman Kilisek, Breaking Energy, 11 May 2015
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande staked out their countries’ claim to global green leadership today with a joint statement pledging to phase out fossil fuels and “decarbonise” the global economy by the end of the century. By choosing to shutter its nuclear reactors as part of its Energiewende, Germany rid itself of a fleet of zero-carbon baseload power sources. And so, enter coal. Germany hoped to teach the rest of the world something about energy policy. It should be seen as a cautionary tale for policymakers about the dangers of letting politically expedient and nice-sounding green rhetoric cloud sound judgment, because this “green” strategy has somehow managed to increase the country’s reliance on coal while raising electricity costs. --Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, 19 May 2015
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande jointly pledged Tuesday to do their utmost to ensure an “ambitious” UN deal to combat climate change is reached this year. In a joint statement at informal international talks in Berlin, the European Union’s two biggest economies also urged other countries to do their part in helping achieve a global push to cut emissions. France and Germany have “firmly decided to take all efforts to reach an ambitious, comprehensive and binding UN climate agreement by the end of this year,” Merkel and Hollande said. --AFP, 19 May 2015
China is aiming to take private investment freedom one step further and allow foreign firms to secure oil and natural gas blocks in some areas and operate them themselves. Beijing is considering the establishment of a shale demonstration zone in an area roughly the size of Germany where it will auction off rights to private companies in land currently administered by state-owned companies Sinopec and CNPC. --Stratfor Global Intelligence, 18 May 2015
The U.S. is about to change the global LNG market forever. When the first tanker carrying liquefied natural gas from shale fields leaves the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana in December, it will turn consumers into traders with more bargaining power. That will transform a market dominated by long-term contracts into one where spot trading gains prominence, similar to crude oil... because gas from the Bakken and other fields will transform the U.S. into the third-biggest exporter by 2020. --Anna Shiryaevskaya and Isis Almeida, Bloomberg, 19 May 2015
Europe’s oil capital is a victim of the sharp drop in oil prices since last year. More than 1,000 oil workers have been laid off since the downturn began. “It’s like waiting for a tsunami: You can see the wave coming and prepare somewhat, but it’s ultimately going to hit you,” said Colin Welsh, chief executive of Simmons & Co. International Ltd., an energy-focused investment bank based in Aberdeen. But Aberdeen has something else to worry about: Oil in the North Sea is running out. Production has been declining since 1999, and while experts estimate that it still has billions of barrels of oil, sucking them out of the seabed is getting costlier. --Georgi Kantchev, The Wall Street Journal, 15 May 2015
The election of a Conservative government has led to a big change in personnel at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – one of the few Liberal Democrat run departments in the previous Parliament. Now, this fresh team has an opportunity to get a grip on the many challenges facing the UK’s energy policy – most of all, restoring a policy that champions the consumer, rather than the interests of energy lobbies. The first and most urgent priority is to speed up the exploration of shale gas, which offers huge economic potential. Shale gas development could create tens of thousands of jobs in the North and boost industries – not least those in the energy-intensive sector, helping the government to achieve its northern powerhouse strategy. --Benny Peiser & Daniel Mahoney, City A.M. 19 May 2015
Local residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.” In an interview with The Sunday Times Amber Rudd also said the Tory government would kick-start a shale gas revolution and loosen rules so it could be extracted from under national parks. --Tim Shipman, The Sunday Times, 17 May 2015

The European Union is increasing pressure on Washington to include an energy chapter in a planned trans-Atlantic trade deal that would allow U.S. exports of natural gas and oil and reduce the bloc’s dependency on Russia. The U.S. has so far resisted an energy chapter in TTIP, but the shale-gas boom in the U.S. and the EU’s trouble with Russia have pushed the issue into focus. --Gabriele Steinhauser, The Wall Street Journal, 18 May 2015
The Indian Government today said investments worth $ 250 billion are planned over the next five years in coal, power and renewable energy and it is looking at opening 40-50 new coal mines in 18 months. “The Power, Coal and Renewable energy sectors have plans to invest nearly USD 250 billion in the next five years…. In the coal sector we are looking at opening nearly 40-50 new mines in the next one and half year,” Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said at a seminar here. --Press Trust of India, 13 May 2015
China and India have issued a rare joint statement, demanding to know when the $100 billion green money they were promised [by President Obama] is going to be delivered. --Eric Worrall, Watts Up With That, 16 May 2015
Of course, divestment represents an admission that fossil fuels are not going to run out, as was commonly believed until the shale bonanza began. The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, seems sympathetic to the argument that climate change policies will soon make fossil fuels unburnable and that oil reserves may become “stranded assets”. So sell your BP shares before the company’s raison d’etre vanishes in a puff of non-smoke. It’s all mad. Divestment won’t work, is unethical, hypocritical, aimed at the wrong target and based on flawed premises. --Matt Ridley, The Times, 18 May 2015

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