Mar
07
2014
1

“Hey, America! You want some good infrastructure jobs and more oil?” #keystone

What’s that, America?

Support for the Keystone XL pipeline reached a two-year high in the latest ABC News/ Washington Post poll, with the public overwhelmingly saying it would create jobs, while dividing on its potential environmental impact.

Two-thirds favor government approval of the 1,700-mile, $5.4 billion pipeline to move oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, up 6 points from 2012, vs. two in 10 opposed. Eighty-five percent think it would create jobs, with 62 percent feeling that way strongly – up 11 percentage points.

(more…)

Dec
31
2013
2

Let the Big Wind subsidies die.

It doesn’t look good for this particular set of Obama cronies, but you never know.

At issue right now is the production tax credit that awards wind developers 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour they produce. Last New Year’s Day, after a ferocious debate that occupied a portion of the 2012 presidential debate, Congress passed a one-year extension of the wind-energy credit as part of the fiscal-cliff legislation. Under the last-minute deal, wind developers who make good-faith efforts to begin wind projects this year and which continue into 2014 will qualify for 10 years of subsidies, even though the credit expires for new projects.

Democratic lawmakers in both the US Senate and House are calling for a renewal of the credit…

(more…)

Dec
26
2013
6

Mary Landrieu expected for Energy chair, #Keystone approval, defeat in re-election.

Some people might think that this news might disappoint me, given that I am of course a partisan hack.

Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana will probably become the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee early next year, giving the gavel to a lawmaker with deep ties to home-state oil producers and refiners. The shift stems from President Barack Obama’s nomination of Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana to be U.S. ambassador to China, and the likelihood that the current energy panel chairman, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, will replace Baucus at the head of the Senate Finance Committee.

[snip]

The energy committee’s top Republican, Lisa Murkowski, hails from another oil and gas producing state, Alaska. That may improve chances for bipartisan alliances around industry priorities such as expanded exports of natural gas sought by Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG:US) and Dominion Resources (D:US) Inc., as well as TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

(more…)

Nov
15
2013
--

House Energy/Commerce Committee: HHS knew all along #obamacare was failing.

Oh, this should provide hours of amusement.

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today unveiled a series of documents provided by the Department of Health and Human Services from July 2013 that reveal the administration internally voicing serious concerns about the progress of the HealthCare.gov website. Among the concerns raised by senior officials was the ability to meet the October 1 launch date and the impact the compressed timeframe would have on testing of the site. (more…)

Apr
24
2013
5

Genetic engineers creating diesel-excreting bacteria.

Engineering: just like magic, only it works.

John Love from the University of Exeter in the UK and colleagues took genes from the camphor tree, soil bacteria and blue-green algae and spliced them into DNA from Escherichia coli bacteria. When the modified E. coli were fed glucose, the enzymes they produced converted the sugar into fatty acids and then turned these into hydrocarbons that were chemically and structurally identical to those found in commercial fuel.

“We are biologically producing the fuel that the oil industry makes and sells,” says Love.

The team now needs to work out how to scale-up the project to mass-produce hydrocarbons.

(more…)

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Feb
01
2013
5

Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s resignation letter. …Thank *God*.

It’s official.  AND LET US NEVER PUT A SCIENTIST IN THAT PARTICULAR CABINET POSITION, EVER AGAIN.  I don’t actually want to criticize the administration too strongly on this one: on paper, it seemed like a smart idea.  In reality, we got Solyndra:

Nothing personal against Chu, but smart in one field does not equal being smart in all of them.

Aug
09
2012
8

#rsrh NYT, UN, Big Green discover that a carbon credit market is a MARKET.

And that if you attempt to set up a market without having the first [expletive deleted] clue about how capitalism works on a practical level, that market will be manipulated by people who do have a [expletive deleted] clue about how capitalism works on a practical level.

Executive summary: the UN/Europeans set up a system by which industries could earn “carbon credits” through various, presumably eco-friendly, activities.  These credits could then be sold to other companies, allowing them to “pollute” – scare quotes because the term can and does mean anything from actual pollution to the breaking of some highly bizarre, secularist-religious taboos – more themselves.  …OK, in the sense that this is what was done.  But the wrinkle is that industries could score extra carbon credits by destroying particularly noxious gasses.  As in, ‘orders of magnitude’ extra.  So a bunch of industries in India and China started to do just that; they ramped up production of one particular refrigeration coolant that produced an awful – and suddenly lucrative – gas byproduct.  The companies then destroyed the gas byproduct.  They then took the credits that they got from destroyed the gas byproduct, sold said credits for a healthy profit – and sold the refrigeration coolant dirt cheap to keep demand for it high. And, of course, with demand being so high, the companies involved can point out that they’re involved in legitimate business practices*.

End result: profit!

Secondary end result: various environmentalists and environmental bureaucrats making fish mouths and ga-ga sounds!  Especially when the industries involve cheerfully tell them that if the bureaucrats don’t keep paying up, the industries will go back to venting the gas! (more…)

Nov
17
2011
6

Energy Secretary Steven Chu to take the fall for Solyndra.

Secretary Chu will take “full responsibility” today for the government’s decision to throw a half-billion’s worth of taxpayer money into a failing energy company, despite its own watchdogs’ recommendations (and the government’s decision to pressure Solyndra into not reporting layoffs until after the ’10 midterms) – while at the same time insisting that nothing untoward occurred. In other words, Chu will not take any kind of responsibility at all.

But this is not about ‘responsibility.’ This is merely the next step in the resignation game. Chu will be grilled today on this topic:

In advance of Thursday’s hearing, investigators with the Republican led committee released the latest batch of internal emails it has reviewed. Among them were emails that suggested that Energy officials asked the company to delay layoffs at its California facility until after the Nov. 2 midterm elections.

The two congressmen leading the investigation, Reps. Fred Upton (Mich.) and Cliff Stearns (Fla.) released a statement saying they hope Chu’s testimony will “shed light on key questions about the decision-making inside the Department of Energy and the role of other agencies and officials, from the Office of Management and Budget to the west wing of the White House.”

Secretary Chu will then be expected to beat his breast a bit. Then the President will express his ‘full confidence’ in his ‘embattled’ Secretary, which will be the signal for Republicans to release still more damaging revelations on the subject. Shortly thereafter, Chu will announce his resignation, in order to ‘spend more time with his family.’ End result: one Energy Secretary gone and a ‘tarnished’ administration.

And probably a Republican establishment that might be just a little confused about why the base isn’t happier about this. I mean, Chu’s gone, right? It’s always great to force out a Cabinet member – and there’s limits to what can be done in this sort of thing, anyway. I mean, what does the base expect, jail time?

Well, increasingly… yes, that is what they’re expecting.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Oops! Via Hot Air Headlines.

Apr
21
2010
1

‘Health Law Implementation Timeline (H.R. 3590 as Revised by H.R. 4872)’

Oh, boy.

Fifty-three pages of fun, fun, fun.  If you ever wanted to know the precise timetable of the government doing to health care what they did to the US housing market and manufacturing sector – more likely, if you gloomily think that you need to know – well, here you go. I’ve been told that there may be some multimedia of the more… typically Democratic… parts of it later; I suspect that it’ll happen after the House staff involved stop twitching.

But You Have Been Warned:

DISCLAIMER: This document represents the best efforts of the Energy and Commerce Committee Republican staff to describe the substantive provisions and effective dates of the legislation. Because of the lack of clarity, internal inconsistencies, and ambiguity in the text, many provisions will inevitably be subject to dispute or alternative interpretations.

I know that pity for House staffers may sometimes be in short supply around here, but you should show some sympathy for the poor Republican folks on the House Energy/Commerce Committee that had to wade through the legislative swill and greywater that is Obamacare for almost a month in order to extract useful information for the rest of us. After all, it’s not like any of their bosses voted for the despicable thing.

Moe Lane

PS: Why did Energy/Commerce have to do this one?

Why, indeed.  It’s amazing that Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 doesn’t whimper every time somebody looks at it, the way that we work it so…

Crossposted to RedState.

Sep
22
2009
4

Why scientists are under-represented in politics.

Bluntly?  Because they say stupid things like this.

When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.

Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, Dr. Chu said he didn’t think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

“The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” Dr. Chu said. “The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.” (In that case, the Energy Department has a few renegade teens of its own.)

(more…)

Jul
06
2009
1

Missourians about to get charged for energy reduction programs.

Hey, these things cost money.

And, contrary to our current ruling party’s (Democrats) operating fiscal paradigm, there are no money trees out there.  If you want a thing, you have to find a way to pay for it.  The trouble is, of course, that if you don’t particularly want a thing you may have to pay for it anyway, particularly when the people who do want it (Democrats) happen to have one of their own as Governor of Missouri.

These three paragraphs come to the heart of the matter, I think.  Bear in mind that Governor Nixon’s (D) overall goal is that there be less power usage, which sounds marvelous until you contemplate the implications of a population that’s increasing faster than power production.  If you don’t want to increase power supply, and you can’t control the population, the only way to manage the situation is to set up conditions where individual expectations of fair-share power are lowered to a level that equals the supply.  We have an adjective to describe that condition.

It’s ‘poor.’

Usually, regulators allow utilities to recoup the cost of building power plants or buying more power to meet customer demand. Recently, the Missouri Public Service Commission began allowing some utilities to pass along to customers the cost of programs that reduce demand for electricity.

For example, the commission last week approved a program in which St. Louis-based AmerenUE can offer credits to businesses that voluntarily shut down or scale back their electricity use during peak demand. AmerenUE will be able to recoup the cost for the program that starts Thursday by increasing the rates it charges business customers.

[snip]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that energy-saving programs offered by utilities will add about 3 percent to the average electricity rates. But it says customers who participate in the programs could save 10 percent to 20 percent on their energy bills, and even those who don’t participate might save if utilities don’t have to buy more energy or build new power plants.

(Bolding mine) (more…)

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