The recent summit held by Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) in Houston, titled At the Crossroads Energy and Climate Policy Summit, has proven to be a very timely event given recent headlines. The event was well attended and everyone came away with an arsenal of new information and factual arguments against the onset of the liberal climate change agenda. Those promoting more and more regulations and public policy to curtail the effects of carbon production are true believers that the science has long been settled. Most of the presenters at this event were of a different mindset.
There was even a strong presentation on the moral argument for fossil fuels. The most effective way to lift the poor out of dire circumstances and into stable, productive lives is with the production of electricity. Electricity, of course, most reliably comes from fossil fuels.
From a press release concerning the intrusion of EPA regulations on Texas electricity market:
Texas Public Policy Foundation Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment Director Kathleen Hartnett White testified Tuesday before the Environmental Regulation Committee of the Texas House of Representatives on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP).
“EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule would usurp long-upheld state authority over electric utilities and impose federally centralized low-carbon operation of the nation’s electric power system,” said White. “Yet, EPA admits that the intended reduction of carbon dioxide from electric power plants would not have any meaningful impact on assumed global warming.
“The CPP would have a disproportionately large impact on Texas – more than any other state. The regulatory mandate imposed on Texas is almost two times that of the next two states combined. Full state implementation would involve violation of Texas law to comply with EPA regulation that violates federal law.
“The U.S. Congress alone can restrain EPA’s ever expanding regulatory regime. The time is nigh for Congress to establish clear limits on EPA’s authority so that federal courts can meaningfully restrain an agency which now knows no bounds.”
And this article Tuesday from Institute for Energy Research on the consequences experienced in Germany from arbitrary renewable energy mandates:
Germany now has the second highest residential rates for electricity in Europe, second only to Denmark; just a decade ago, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy had higher rates than Germany. Between 2005 and 2010, the annual increase in residential electricity rates in Germany was 4.3 percent. Since the tsunami hit Japan in 2011, the annual increase was 7 percent because Germany increased its solar and wind subsidies to spur their development so it could close down eight of its nuclear reactors. Germany’s 40 million households and other taxed consumers paid 106 billion Euros between 2000 and 2013 to renewable energy producers. The government estimates it could cost as much as 1 trillion Euros by 2040. Due to the higher prices, household electricity consumption has declined by about 1 percent per year since 2005. The economic toll on the country and its residents has made the government recently cut renewable subsidies by 29 percent on average to 120 Euros a megawatt-hour.Germany is also taking an economic toll for the energy transition when job-creating investment leaves Germany for countries with lower power costs. For example, earlier this year chemical company BASF said it would reduce its investments in Germany from one-third to one-quarter of its global total.[iii]
Government mandates are jobs killers.
Last week at the U.N. climate summit, California Governor Jerry Brown pleaded for cap and trade legislation and regulations. Maybe he doesn't realize what a poor state of affairs California is for the ordinary resident. Already overtaxed and watching jobs leave the state for more business friendly states - like Texas - Californians must have been shaking their heads. As noted in a Wall Street Journal piece this week:
The truth is that the glut of oil being produced from U.S. shale—in part via fracking—has helped reduce gas prices. Luckily for Mr. Brown and his environmentalist friends, the oil boom will also mitigate a gas price spike in California next year. Although Californians may ultimately pay more for gas because of the carbon regulations, they might not feel it.Consider the state's divestment from coal and renewable mandate. The average retail price of electricity in California has increased by 2.37 cents per kWh in the last three years—or about 15%—compared to about 1.42 cents nationwide. Yet electricity prices would be a lot higher in California (and nationwide) were it not for the natural-gas surfeit from fracking. The price of natural gas, which provides about 50% of California's electricity, has fallen by more than half since 2008.Mr. Brown is smart enough to appreciates how the fossil fuels are in effect subsidizing his expensive anti-carbon agenda, even if it's an inconvenient truth that the Al Gore crowd would rather ignore.And, who else is jumping on the bandwagon? Your doctor. Thanks, Obamacare!
Among the more than 310,000 demonstrators marching through Manhattan in last week’s People’s Climate March were contingents of physicians. And now the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the voice of the nation’s powerful medical establishment, has issued a call-to-arms to doctors,urging those in health and health-related fields to throw their weight behind climate change prevention efforts.“Is climate change similar to poverty and war, best left to other scientists and politicians, or is it of such fundamental importance—like clean water, clean air, and adequate sanitation—that physicians should strive to further clarify the effects of climate change on health, educate themselves and the public, and mount a campaign to ensure that climate change does not lead to an epidemic of eroding health?” wrote Howard Bauchner, JAMA editor-in-chief, and executive editor Phil Fontanarosa.Yes, they concluded.“Understanding and characterizing this threat and educating the medical community, public, and policy makers are crucial if the health of the world’s population is to continue to improve during the latter half of the 21st century,” according to Bauchner and Fontanarosa.Those are three articles from just the first of this week that crossed my path with no effort at all. Imagine what awaits us as this administration remains in office for two more years. We should all be alarmed by those thoughts.
If you are interested in the presentations delivered by some excellent speakers at the TPPF summit, keep an eye on their website. We were told that the panels would be up on the website soon.