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Thursday, October 16, 2014
Trouble Ahead…Administration has Its Head in the Sand

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM
Hudson Litchfield News

In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that his cap-and-trade proposal to control greenhouse gas emissions would mean higher energy prices for Americans.

“Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama said.

As president, Obama never got his cap-and-trade proposal through Congress. Instead, Obama has been using the Environmental Protection Agency to achieve his energy policy goals. And this winter, New Englanders will bear the brunt of Obama’s skyrocketing electricity rates.

Residents of the northeast spent as much last winter as they did in all of 2012. Most residents of Massachusetts and much of New Hampshire can expect to pay 30-50 percent more for electricity this winter.

Dan Dolan of the New England Power Generators Association said the rising winter prices are a side effect of New England wanting more electricity from gas, and less from other sources, without moving ahead to build more pipeline capacity into the region.

“We had a nuclear plant in Vermont, Vermont Yankee, that’s retiring, a coal plant in Massachusetts, Salem Harbor, that’s retiring, and with that, it’s basic economics: Fewer plants, less supply to meet demand, and there’s a price response” in the form of higher rates, Dolan said.

National Grid, Massachusetts’s biggest utility, said it needs to seek a 37 percent rate hike for the six months beginning November 1. In New Hampshire, the Public Utilities Commission already has granted an average 47-percent rate increase to Liberty Utilities.

The reason for the sharp increases: tight supplies of natural gas in New England, despite booming production of the fuel nationwide.

New England’s dependence on natural gas for electricity production has increased dramatically in recent years as ever more stringent environmental regulations have forced coal and oil-fueled power plants to shut down. Coal now produces just 1 percent of New England’s electricity and oil has fallen off the grid altogether.

Fortunately, Public Service of New Hampshire their rates will remain relatively. PSNH, the largest utility in the state, has a large scale clean coal fired power plant that saved its customers over $100 million last year and may well do that again this year. Coal is what is keeping the lights on at an affordable level.

The legacy of last year’s brutal winter has natural gas inventories starting 10.7% less than last year at this time and 11.4% below the five-year (2009-13) average.

John Kerry and Obama believe they have the answer ‘green energy’. “The solution is staring us in the face. It’s very simple: clean energy,” Kerry said, noting the prospects for creating millions of jobs worldwide in the sector. Total malarkey. The data shows that those investments have brought few benefits, and produce much harm.

European studies have found that expensive, unreliable wind and solar power kills two to four jobs for each “renewable” energy job this heavily subsidized industry creates, and only 10% of renewable jobs were permanent.  In Spain, unemployment soared to 27.5% after heavy subsidization caused energy prices to skyrocket driving industry to China and India.

EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger recently said European energy policies must change, from being climate driven to being driven by the needs of industry, and job preservation. He could have included families, because millions of European households can no longer afford to heat their homes properly, due to soaring energy prices.

Cold with high energy cost is deadly. Increased winter deaths were associated with respiratory and circulatory diseases and influenza, and affects mainly the poor and elderly. Many have to choose between heating and eating. In the UK alone over 35,000 excess winter deaths have been recorded in each winter since 1998 as the climate cooled. Many residents of Europe are in energy poverty.

Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered ministers to ditch the ‘green crap’ blamed for driving up energy bills, hurting the poor and making business uncompetitive.

The US instead of learning from the EU’s mistakes is intending to follow their example. The poor and middle class are the ones that will be hurt the most. 

In Europe, including Spain, the governments stopped the subsidies.  Germany is building 24 coal plants and reinstating nuclear power as brownouts and blackouts cause electricity prices to skyrocket and industry to move. 600,000 Germans had their power turned off because they could not afford to pay their bills.

We were told by the Director of Pennsylvania Power and Light that their reliability study forecasts even gas producer Pennsylvania will have rolling blackouts this winter if it is cold. NY and New England will be much worse off.

We forecast in July 2013 an historic winter last year even as NOAA predicted widespread warmth. NOAA forecasts warmth again this year, but there is strong evidence an even colder winter will follow in the east and south. The US winters have cooled for 25 years at an accelerating rate according to NOAA’s own data.

This bleak probability will expose an egregious error in government climate and energy policy that will cost much pain and many lives.

The environmental movement and our politicians, which have promoted this “green energy” debacle, should be held primarily responsible for this unfolding tragedy.

See rebuttal on the scientific method and consensus here.

Britain Announces Emergency Measures To Prevent Winter Blackouts
Anthony Watts / 6 hours ago October 28, 2014

MODIS_UK_SnowFrom the GWPF: Cold Winter Could Cause Britain’s Lights To Go Out

Emergency measures to prevent blackouts ths winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent. Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming except the people in charge. Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

National Grid has warned that there has been a significant increase in the risk of electricity shortages and brownouts this winter after fires and faults knocked out a large chunk of Britain’s shrinking power station coverage. The grid operator admitted that in the event of Britain experiencing the coldest snap in 20 years, a 5 per cent chance, then electricity supplies would not be able to meet demand during two weeks in January. Tim Webb, The Times, 27 October 2014

The UK government will set out Second World War-style measures to keep the lights on and avert power cuts as a “last resort”. The price to Britons will be high. Factories will be asked to “voluntarily” shut down to save energy at peak times for homes, while others will be paid to provide their own backup power should they have a spare generator or two lying around.  Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

Posted on 10/16 at 01:19 PM
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