Frozen in Time
Nov 16, 2017
Green Energy Train to Energy Poverty

Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

As I noted in Joe’s blog we are making a major effort to work with the nation’s most respected scientists to prepare rebuttals to claims from environmental groups and government agencies and to formerly reply to the CAP, USCSSP NCA travesties. As is always the case though we get accused of being shills for big oil, all work that we do is pro bono. If you can help us defer the costs of our efforts, please use the donate button in the left column. Even small amounts are appreciated.

Update: As one of the rebuttals to common claims, we hear and read that Australia and Europe are great examples of how green is good. 

Here is our rebuttal:

Claim: Europe and Australia are benefiting from their green energy policies. We should follow their example.

Facts:

One commonly heard claim is that the green energy policies are working where they have been implemented and should be a model for our national energy policies. They claim a green miracle domestically in California and savings for ratepayers in the RGGI states and high profile countries like Germany, Denmark and Australia where governments have implemented aggressive plans to replace reliable fossil fuel energy with renewables.

Instead, these policies have brought skyrocketing energy prices, hurting most those who can afford it the least, while green energy suppliers and investors in renewables rake in windfall profits. With higher prices, many companies leave the countries (or states) eventually leading to higher unemployment. Some of the hardest hit early adapters are rethinking their compliance to the original plans. In the U.S., California and the RGGI states pay the highest electricity prices in the nation. The lower gasoline and heating fuel prices thanks to fracking is hiding this for now. Meanwhile, the enviro lobby has targeted fracking and pushing electric autos.

If one were to look at the real story in the model countries and states, they would run away from the radical green agenda.

Australia’s renewable energy program has been a disaster - raising electricity prices and leading to widespread blackouts and crises when electricity was unavailable for over a week at a time, because the wind was not blowing, demand was spiking, and the country did not have nearly enough backup power during heat waves in 2016 and 2017.

According to data from the Parliament of Australia, household electricity prices for five of the seven capital cities increased between 60 and 235 percent over the last nine years. These increases were driven by programs to force adoption of renewable energy.

Power prices in the Australian renewable energy paradise of South Australia have driven 102,000 South Australians to beg for help from food charities, according to a major South Australian newspaper. Those people have been forced to skip meals so that they can pay their soaring electricity bills.

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See Back to Bolted-Down industries story here.
In Europe, the rapid growth of generously subsidized renewable projects has left end users, taxpayers or energy companies with steeper bills while private investors have secured lucrative profits.

Germany’s first wind turbines will lose eligibility for surcharge subsidies paid by customers in 2021, after which only a few installations can be operated at a profit, according to the Energy Brainpool consultancy. At that point they will have to get more subsidies or will have to be shut down.

Because Germany has invested so much in expensive, unreliable wind and solar energy - and is shutting down its nuclear power plants - the country is actually building huge new coal-fired generating units that burn low-energy lignite and emit large amounts of carbon dioxide.

The result of these policies is that German businesses and families now pay the second highest electricity price in Europe, after Denmark: 45 cents per kilowatt-hour = five times what Americans pay for coal and gas-fueled electricity and nearly three times what they pay in California, Connecticut and New York.

In the Czech Republic, the government reacted to a “solar boom” by restricting feed-in tariffs and imposing a windfall tax that often hit investors that had just entered the market. The backlash affected all renewables, explaining why wind farms such as JRD’s Vaclavice project have been so rare in recent years. “Renewables were completely discredited,” declared Jan Mladek, former minister and the architect of the Czech government’s energy policy. At the end of 2010 the state said ‘we have made a mistake and you will pay for it’,” says Marek Lang, director of JRD’s energy division. Similar stories across the region have given renewable energy a bad name and triggered lawsuits and arbitration actions by foreign investors complaining of erratic and retroactive changes in subsidy regimes.

This has enabled politically powerful coal and nuclear lobbies to mount a rearguard action to persuade governments to support their interests. This has met little resistance, as environmental movements are often much weaker than in western Europe and energy pricing is even more sensitive due to lower incomes.

In Poland, the populist rightwing government has defended the country’s coal industry and is hostile to Brussels’ green agenda.

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The more the move the renewable, the greater the cost to ratepayers and the more unreliable the power supply because the wind does not always blow or sun shine.

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If Americans had to pay German or Denmark’s electricity rates, the results would be devastating. For example:

Virginia’s 665,000-square-foot Inova Fairfax Women’s and Children’s Hospital pays about $1,850,000 per year for electricity at 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. At 17 cents (the price in California, Connecticut and New York), the hospital would have to pay $3,500,000. That’s a $1.6-million difference. At the German rate of 45cents per kWh, Inova would have to pay $9,250,000 per year - a whopping, destructive, unsustainable $7.4-million increase in the cost of doing business and serving patients. 

How many dozens or hundreds of employees would Inova have to lay off, to make up for that difference? How many emergency and other services would it have to eliminate? What would that do to patients, especially to the poorest families?

How many workers would be laid off in America’s factories, refineries and other businesses if electricity prices double, triple or quintuple? How many families would be driven into severe energy poverty? How many businesses or entire industries would have to close? How many people would die every winter, because they could no longer afford to heat their homes properly, especially in frigid Mid-western states?

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How environmental activists and liberal politicians are ‘Grubering’ America on climate and energy

MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, who was an advisor to Obama on the Obamacare act mocked the “stupidity” of American voters and boasted of the Obama administration’s ability to take advantage of it. They did that for Obamacare but also, in partnership with the environmental left for their regulatory siege, the CPP and the Paris treaty. The latest act from the last administration was the NCA CSSR atrocity.

The global warming agenda has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics and ideology. Nearly 6 decades ago, President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address to the nation, in which the president famously warned of the danger to the nation of a growing armaments industry referred to as a “military-industrial complex,” he talked about the risks posed by a scientific-technological elite.

He noted that the technological revolution of previous decades had been fed by more costly and centralized research, increasingly sponsored by the federal government. Eisenhower warned.

“Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” While continuing to respect discovery and scientific research, he said, “We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

The Club of Rome was an organization formed in 1968 consisting of heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders from around the globe. It raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report The Limits to Growth.

The club’s mission was “to act as a global catalyst for change through the identification and analysis of the crucial problems facing humanity”. They decided that more centralized control was needed under one world government. In their book “The First Global Revolution” in 1991, they wrote:

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming...would fit the bill...It does not matter if this common enemy is “a real one or...one invented for the purpose.”

172 countries attended the Rio Summit in 1992 and agreed on the Climate Change Convention, which in turn led to the UN IPCC, the failed Kyoto Protocol and then the Paris Agreement.

The former head of NOAA Dr. Jane Lubchenco proved Eisenhower correct in his warning that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. In her 1999 address to the AAAS when she served as its president:

“Urgent and unprecedented environmental and social changes challenge scientists to define a new social contract. This contract represents a commitment on the part of all scientists to devote their energies and talents to the most pressing problems of the day, in proportion to their importance, in exchange for public funding.”

Former Washington State Democratic governor Dixy Lee Ray saw the second Treaty of Paris coming. “The future is to be [One] World Government with central planning by the United Nations,” she said. “Fear of environmental crises - whether real or not - is expected to lead to compliance.”

One World Government under the auspices of the UN is now called Agenda 2030.

It is favored by the democrats and some establishment republicans.  UN Sustainable Development Goals aim to reduce inequality worldwide by forcing individual governments and citizens alike to share their wealth. Western (US) taxpayers are targeted and their wealth would be redistributed internationally while their economies are cut down to size. Big government would control all aspects of life, where people can live, how many children couples could have, energy used, the food supply, even some have proposed how much money we could keep for the work we do, etc.

UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres stated bluntly, “Our aim is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to change the global economic system...” In simpler terms, she intends to replace free enterprise, entrepreneurial capitalism with UN-controlled centralized, One World government and economic control.

UN IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer presented an additional reason for UN climate policies. “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy, it is not”. It is actually about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

H.L Mencken also was prophetic in his statements “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed - and hence clamorous to be led to safety - by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary” and “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”

The scientific elite, housed in the professional societies, our government agencies and the universities teamed with politicians, educators and the media have created what may be the greatest hoax in the history of civilization.  The latest CSSR National Climate Assessment report is perhaps the most egregious example of advocacy science in history assembling a series of wild though easily refuted claims. More to come on that.

They even invented a new science of “attribution without detection” (when you can’t find the trends you expect in the data, you claim you can read between the lines and see them anyway). This should remind you of Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow who explained to the editorial board of the Detroit News her support for carbon dioxide restrictions designed to fight global warming. “Climate change is very real. Global warming creates volatility and I feel it when I’m flying. The storms are more volatile. We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes.”

As Detroit News contributor Henry Payne noted: “And there are sea monsters in Lake Michigan. I can feel them when I’m boating.”

Contradicting Stabenow’s claims, however, NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center reported that the number of F3 or stronger tornadoes has been declining since the early 1970s and 2013 had 142 fewer tornadoes reported than any year on record.  Before this top ten Atlantic hurricane season, we had a record near 12-year period without any major hurricane landfall, beating out the 1860s by almost 4 years.

Our biggest challenge is as Mark Twain observed “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

The saddest result of policies based on bad science to achieve environmental dreams of a fossil fuel free world, is the effects of high energy costs that inevitably follows on the poor and middle class families.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which the northeast democratic governors claim has been a great success has the region paying the highest electricity prices in the nation (along with green California). Lower gasoline prices and heating fuel prices thanks to the fracking boom has eased the pain for now. But the environmentalists and green politicians want to stop that. It is already forbidden in New York State despite the rich Marcellus shale field that Pennsylvania is tapping into.

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Wherever the environmental lobby wins, people lose. Power prices in the Australian renewable energy paradise of South Australia have driven 102,000 South Australians to beg for help from food charities, according to a major South Australian newspaper. Those people have been forced to skip meals so that they can pay their soaring electricity bills.

In Europe, the rapid growth of generously subsidized renewable projects has left end users, taxpayers or energy companies with steeper bills while private investors have secured lucrative profits. Over 25% of the UK households, especially pensioners are in what is called energy poverty, having to choose between heating and eating.

The result of these policies in Germany, businesses and families now pay the second highest electricity price in Europe, after Denmark: 45 cents per kilowatt-hour - five times what Americans pay for coal and gas-fueled electricity and nearly three times what they pay in California, Connecticut and New York. The more wind and solar, the higher the electricity prices.

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As pundits have asked: How many workers would be laid off in America’s factories, refineries and other businesses if electricity prices double, triple or quintuple? How many families would be driven into severe energy poverty? How many businesses or entire industries would have to close? How many people would die every winter, because they could no longer afford to heat their homes properly, especially in frigid northern states?

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See how Paul Dreissen shows how Virginia joins the other clueless states that think they can save the world by abiding by the Paris Accord here

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Why Are We Destroying Our Grid?
By Donn Dears

Or, asked differently:

Why are we destroying the most efficient, reliable and least costly system ever devised for generating and distributing electricity?

Here are some facts:

Electricity generated by wind and solar is more expensive than electricity generated using traditional methods, e.g., coal-fired, natural gas combined cycle, nuclear and hydro power plants.

Wind and solar are intermittent and unreliable methods for generating electricity that requires backup, usually with natural gas turbines, which increases costs.

Wind and solar require expensive storage to alleviate evening ramping-up by traditional methods of generation, and to permit larger amounts of renewables on the grid which increases costs.

Promoting and subsidizing PV rooftop solar, often with net-metering provisions, increases costs.

Attempting to increase the amount of wind and solar generated electricity to substantially replace traditional methods of generating electricity will require large amounts of prohibitively expensive storage.

In addition, it’s very likely that:

Adding large amounts of intermittent wind and solar will reduce the reliability of the grid. Microgrids that are being touted by environmental groups will increase costs and complexity, with few real benefits.

In the face of these facts, we are forcing wind and solar onto the grid by:

Enacting renewable portfolio standards (RPS) that require utilities to provide a steadily increasing amount of electricity from renewables, primarily wind and solar.

Subsidizing wind and solar to encourage investing in them.

Allowing RTO/ISOs to use a dispatch system that gives wind and solar preference over traditional methods of generating electricity, which is driving nuclear and coal-fired generation off the grid, and which will ultimately also drive natural gas generation from the grid.

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Photo by D. Dears

So: Why are we destroying the grid?

It’s not to make electricity less costly.

It’s not to improve reliability.

It’s to cut CO2 emissions.

Global warming and climate change hysteria is causing us to destroy the most efficient, reliable and least costly system ever devised for generating and distributing electricity.

Which is also a fact.

One would think that all Americans would be interested in determining whether there is a real threat from anthropogenic global warming (AGW) or climate change.

One would think Americans might be asking: Why are we destroying the grid?

Yet the media and proponents of AGW won’t allow any debate ... And in fact, try to discourage debate by calling those who don’t agree with them deniers, or some other demeaning characterization. Additionally, they propose taking legal action against “deniers”, with some legislators demanding that “deniers” be jailed.

The brochure, Nothing to Fear from CO2, is available free, at www.powerforusa.com. It provides the history of world temperatures for the past 10,000 years together with atmospheric CO2 levels and a look at natural causes for global warming.

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