Week in review – Energy and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Fossil fuels

Big Oil Companies Want a Price on Carbon. Here’s Why. [link]

EPA study: Fracking hasn’t widely harmed our drinking water — but it does pose risks [link]  …

Thanks to data analytics the U.S. is fracking smarter, not harder. [link]:

Methane emissions raise doubts about gas industry’s #climate credentials: [link]

Adapt or die – how US #shale #oil producers are getting more efficient since the last big #OPEC meeting: [link]

Alternative energy

Subsidy for the environmentally-devastating Drax biomass power plant will soon reach about £0.5 billion a year: Drax is increasing GHG emissions and electricity bills [link]   …

How Europe’s climate policies have led to more trees being cut down in the U.S. [link]

After more than a year of delays the EPA just released biofuel quotas…for 2014. This policy is hopelessly broken [link]   …

Corn #ethanol causes more carbon emissions than Keystone XL would. [link]

Weekly news from the World Nuclear Association [link]

Daimler Enters the Market for Stationary Energy Storage [link]

New research aims to turbo-charge lithium-ion battery technology [link]

Energy analysis and policy

Energy efficiency’s problem with tracking savings [link]

Why China’s Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising [link]

Next on Obama’s #climate change agenda: regulating Mack trucks. [link]

Obama expands his regulatory reach on climate change to the skies: new regulations coming on airplane emissions. [link]  …

Climate policy analysis

Carbon Prices Around the World are Consistently Too Low [link]

Private sector must pay more into $100bn global climate fund, says report |link]

Adapting to #climate change is going to be a lot messier than we think – not only in the U.S. [link]  …

WorldBank Report: Investing in resilience yields a triple dividend. [link]

Paging Paul Ehrlich: “Will Western Civilization Survive The Coming Population Crash?” [link]  …

A really good piece on providing energy to the world’s poor [link]

Defining Climate Change Goal Could Be Headed To Its Grave [link]

The Population Bomb, revisited:[link]



104 responses to “Week in review – Energy and policy edition

  1. The idea of the EPA regulating aircraft emissions gives me heartburn.

  2. Here is a story that is causing a lot of angst among share and bond holders of American coal producers.

    So what happens when coal miners fall below state and federal requirements to provide funds to restore/reclaim old mining sites?
    Answer: Declare bankruptcy! Since it appears they never planned to clean up their mess no money was set a side to safely close their mines in the first place. I predict most American coal companies will take the cowards way out and declare bankruptcy and dump the clean up cost on the taxpayer. Peabody Coal just did it with one of their subsidiaries when they transferred their pension and healthcare liabilities to the now bankrupt Patriot Coal. This is the type of creative destruction that has made American capitalism the leader in economic innovation. http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/peabody-shares-drop-on-patriot-coal-exposure/article_686ca964-e09d-5fb1-868b-5d81c08d0ec8.html

    Natural gas is killing coal faster than the EPA ever dreamed of. (Nat gas @ $2.59 today and despite the cold winter in the north east last winter it never got above $4.)

  3. The Economist link on LiIon battery progress is an interesting survey, but far too hopeful. In each of the various R&D programs noted there are serious hurdles not yet overcome. Things like cycle life and safety. And cost. Batteries are a tough slog.

  4. WTI is still around $60. The contango is a couple bucks. It’s getting pretty boring.

    • From the article:

      Production rose despite the drop in rig count due to increased productivity. New technologies and processes have made it possible to produce much more oil per rig than in the past. Efficiency in the past 6 months alone has increased by another 5%.


      • It’s a partial artifact, and part the result of high grading which results from shutting down the less competitive rigs and laying off a large number of people. I’ve been through that several times, and the Darwinian effect works very efficiently. But most of those seeking alpha and financial guru sites miss the way the machine works.

        The key “shale” areas are the Eagle Ford in Texas, and the Bakken/Three Forks in North Dakota. Both of them had significant backlogs of wells already drilled but waiting to be fracked. Over the last few months we see more wells going on production coming from the backlog pool. We also see some companies waiting to frack wells because they think oil prices will rebound. However, at current prices drilling shale wells isn’t economic.

        At the same time, OPEC nations can’t sustain the pace either, in the sense that cash flow isn’t enough to satisfy their needs. This tells me we have entered a period in which most supply sources (old conventional, tight rock, heavy oil, deep water, OPEC, whatever class one chooses) need at least $80 to barely survive, and $100 per barrel to stay afloat for the medium term. Long term the oil price has to increase relentlessly to allow production to satisfy demand.

        The implication is that as the real price per barrel climbs, renewables may become more competitive. They may not need mandates or taxation. Right now they can’t compete very well. But they may do so to some extent in the future. When they start picking up market share because they can compete with oil we will have reached peak oil for all oil sources or classes, and it’s downhill from there. By 2100 we will be using less than half of what we use today, global warming or not.

      • We will definitely run out of oil cheap enough to burn some day.

      • And, Fernando, I agree we should be preparing for the day oil gets too expensive.

        But IMO, we should be preparing nuclear. It is a proven 24/7 base load. And there are new technologies that can make it cheaper and even safer than the current crop of reactors.

        IMO, “green energy” is nothing more than hopium. It depends critically on some sort of energy storage technology that may or may not materialize on the massive scale required. And I predict even if some future something works on that scale, it will be more expensive than nuclear. For we need an entire system, not just a cheap solar panel.

        We are betting our future right now. We need to bet on a 7, not snake eyes.

      • Jim2, I don’t know enough about nuclear power, but I’m very concerned if the idea is to build nuclear power stations all over countries like Saudi Arabia, Congo, or Venezuela. They sure look very unstable.

      • Fernando, that’s why we need to do some work on nuclear power now, especially molten salt. Those are much more difficult to divert for nuclear weapons.

        I agree that nuclear power in the Middle East, or other unstable regions, is problematic. But given the total lack of backbone of the Dimowits, and the fact that they are trying to leverage immigration law to tighten their grip on power in the West, I’m not sure we will have the will to control nuclear power in the Middle East. We certainly can’t count on the Idyot-In-Chief to do it. Look at what the more-on is doing with Iran.

  5. David L. Hagen

    Remember 300% to 600% gas price increases
    While politicians and Wall Street gaze ecstatically over current low prices of natural gas, remember that historically gas prices have jumped 300% to 600% within a few years.
    e.g., from $2/mmBTU to $6/MMBTU between 1976 and 1983. Then from $2.5/mmBTU to $12/MMBTU between 1998 and 2006.
    Natural gas it he premium fuel for home use. It is difficult to use coal at home! Power plants can clean up coal to use it economically.

    Converting to natural gas and shutting down coal will set the US up for massive price increases with consequent increases in unemployment and severe recession. Shifting to natural gas and then burying trillions of dollars of our resources for no benefit (aka “control climate”) will be the ultimate folly and harm to our children and grand children.

    • That price spike from 1998 to 2006 was the reason Energy Future Holdings LLC (formally TXU) went bankrupt last year. They were so smart they loaded up on long term nat gas future contracts back when nat gas was over $7 and then used them as collateral to leverage their 47 billion takeover of TXU. It was a classic case of models misleading decision makers but instead of climate models it was nat gas production models.

    • I worry a bit about that too. Coal prices move very slowly, and coal is trivial to stockpile, whereas natural gas prices are historically volatile and spikey because supply and demand are directly connected with pipes. Some of the same price pressures on frackers (that Judith linked above) regarding oil also apply to natural gas, so if demand catches up to supply then electricity could get really expensive really quickly.

    • Yep, it’s critical to stay with coal, of which there are centuries of supply. This frees up other energy sources for other uses or for overlapping uses if they can stand up in the game. (‘Sustainable’ and ‘renewable’ are fetish words which shut down rational thought. They’re like pictures of kittens wrapped in bacon and published on the internet: everybody sighs, nobody thinks. Coal will probably never give out but it will eventually be out-competed, like the old champion it is. In the mean time, we have coal.)

      Instead of treating coal like a hobo but depending on it like a work-horse we need to modernise its extraction, transport and consumption so it is used with less mess and more thrift. Coal is for cheap, but not for dirt-cheap. You don’t abolish the motor car because there are too many old clunkers. You replace old clunkers with efficient, safe machines.

      The means for modernising coal will be there if we get serious about what we really are and stop playing at beggary and primitivism. (‘What we really are’ is easily determined by observing what people do immediately AFTER Earth Hour is over.)

      • Very well said!!

      • There is a site called Bonzai Kitten that gets that kind of reaction too.

        5.2 GT of carbon per year is absorbed by the environment, and this absorption is increasing about 3.5% per year.

        Only 3.8 GT/Y of carbon is from coal emissions – far less than even the current environmental absorption.

        This means that we can burn coal basically forever with the major impact being more plant growth by preventing a disastrous decline in the CO2 level.

      • Right on the money again mosomoso. The longterm well being of our civilization depends on the modernization of our production and use of coal as well as increasing our use of modern nuclear facilities. This is coming from a 30 yr. Oil and Gas guy.

      • No, I think it makes far more sense to convert coal plants to renewable wood burning plants so that we can provide more jobs in the US to cut down our forests. You can’t make this stuff up. A drax on all your houses!

      • Woodchips-to-Drax convinced me that the European Union will just get more and more grotesque till it is finally disbanded. After which we will only have to worry about Eurovision.

    • @DavidHagen
      Excellent point. I agree wholeheartedly
      If one considers transportation fuel our most challenging application as opposed to stationary power generation, as conventional refined fuel avails becomes challenging:

      “We will need sustained and substantial (oil) investment to support economic growth,” Mr van Beurden told shareholders gathered in The Hague, Netherlands.
      He warned that if there was no further investment in oil production then the world could face a catastrophic 70 million barrel per day (bpd) shortfall in crude by 2040 because of the decline in existing production coupled with rising energy demand

      It would be easier and more efficient/cost effective to use NG, whether as CNG,LNG(being considered for Marine fuels) or GTL for transport fuel, rather than CTL
      Adopting NG for electrical generation on broad basis(displacing coal) is very shortsighted in this regard just because current NG price is low.

      best regards

      Where Are Natural-Gas Vehicles Most Popular And Most Numerous?

      Natural Gas Vehicle Adoption: Who’s Leading the Charge? (The answer might surprise you!)

      • Brent, there isn’t enough natural gas. Let me round off: we consume 80 million barrels per day. Say you want to replace 20 million barrels per day with gas. 20 million times 5 million btu = 100 trillion (I’m being extremely generous with conversion factors). That’s 100 billion cubic feet per day. Gas reserves won’t last very long if there’s a need to satisfy that market on top of the extra demand caused by the global warming scare.

      • @Fernando
        I’m very wary of wasting NG generating baseload electricity(displacing coal), when a better use might be supplementing transport fuel later on.
        In other words I’m not saying do this in addition to the misdirection wrt CAGW. CAGW should be completely ignored.
        Coal and Nuclear are well suited to baseload gen. Why displace coal with NG which has more flexible usage options.
        all the best

        Now, industry austerity may be setting the stage for an upward spike in prices in three or four years, as new projects remain on the shelf, even as demand grows by 1 per cent a year and production from existing wells declines by 4 per cent annually. Even with no demand growth, the industry would have to develop about 50 million barrels a day of new production over the next 10 years, just to offset the decline rate.
        “If we don’t have the right level of returns, we cannot do it,” Mr. Pouyanné said.

    • @ “It’s difficult to use coal”

      I’m old enough to remember seeing a truck pull up to my grandfather’s house and dump a ton or two of coal through a window in the basement. They had a coal-fired furnace, and it kept the house quite comfortable. Clinkers were raked into a bin next the the coal, and when there was enough saved up another truck came and hauled this away. It didn’t seem all that difficult, but it was certainly harder than operating a natural gas furnace. One had to know how to build and bank a fire… a valuable survival skill.

  6. Pingback: Week in review – Energy and policy edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  7. While we fuss and fight about Renewable Energy & Nuclear here at CE, this week I saw a slide by the Engineering Giant ABB that puts things in a “big picture” perspective — The importance of Energy Efficiency. Rarely, if ever do we ever talk about this:


    • David Wojick

      Efficiency has increased more or less steadily for centuries but it has never decreased total energy usage, nor will it. As Jevons pointed out a century ago, efficiency increases consumption. That slide is ridiculous.

      • Peter Lang

        Dead right. Those who keep arguing that governments should intervene to increase efficiency improvements never seem to recognise this point.

      • Like Banquo’s ghost I appear to utter the cryptic words ‘saturation effect.’ Jevon never had to consider it. You cannot leave the lights on for 25 hours a day.

      • I think that amount of efficiency refers to reducing the world population in a very efficient way.

    • I have a balanced view on this.

      The western nations have basically frozen consumption – and energy efficiency may be why.

      Even if efficiency increases consumption the new consumption seems to be less than the energy saved.

      Energy efficiency that pays for itself makes sense. Mandated efficiency changes aren’t as easy to justify.

      • David Wojick

        US juice consumption only leveled off because of the huge recession, second only to the great depression. It will pick up again. The growth of electricity consumption in the US over the last 60 years or more is basically a straight line sloping upward. Juice is good for you.

    • I’m sitting on the fence with energy efficiency. The energy efficiency story of the 90s was a sorry tale of excess optimism, poorer execution and results looking nothing like promises. I would point to Jevon’s Paradox (basically efficiency lowers cost and then in step with a supply demand curve usage goes up-usually to overcompensate. It worked well. I’ve been a hardcore believer in Jevon but MAY have to admit I was wrong there.

      The last decade really has seen some strong decreases in consumption due to energy efficiency. In some regions getting the older AC units off the system with the improved SEER values and the newer (actually worthwhile) efficient bulbs. The synergy is powerful in the summer as the bulbs don’t heat the house as much so the AC does not have to fight them. It’s hard to weather normalize and tell for sure in the short run. But looking longer term its hard to argued that consumption has not taken a real hit.

      So the question now is will technology challenge the underlying fundamentals of Jevon long term, or was it just a perfect storm blip that slowed for a while but can’t hold up. We’ve cycled out and improved the low, middle and maybe high hanging fruit and there is not as much room for efficiency improvements in the future. But I can’t argue that we have seen efficiency offer “NET” consumption benefits. I’ve been a hardcore believer in Jevon but MAY have to admit I was wrong there. The efficiency article suggest their will be noise and clutter as we try to figure out for sure what is happening in the next decade.

      • The one big place that potentially avoids the Jevons paradox is hybrid vehicles. Some are priced/ designed crazy. But properly designed, a full hybrid can up fuel economy by about 55%. Properly priced, can have Payback with gas at $3/gal of 3-4 years. I own one.

    • David L. Hagen

      Efficiency in housing could be strongly increased. Typical construction insulation is typically half the optimum. The problem of focusing on the lowest initial cost instead of financing life cycle lowest costs.

  8. VOX (offshoot from the Washington Post) has an article on American attitudes on AGW Policies. We don’t like things like a Carbon Tax, but we love Renewable Energy.


    • David Wojick

      Everyone loves the concept of free juice.

      • California proves people even love free juice when they’re paying twice as much for it. ^¿^

      • schitz

        Californians, in the main, haven’t crunched the numbers – they support “renewables”, budget busting solar, carbon taxes, and other foolishness because positions on those issues function as boundary markers.

        It’s madness, and frustrating. We will have to watch the whole thing play out before there is any change.

    • There are more signals in a marketplace than price…

  9. Why the Anti-Renewable Energy folks are gonna lose:

    They are just angry all the time.

    Pro Renewable Energy folks post pictures of baby penguins with their message.


    • Yes, but anti-renewable folks know that sweaters aren’t good swim wear, and penguins need to swim to catch fish. :)

    • Well, the picture is from Phillip Island Nature Park. There was an oil spill and the call went out for sweaters and this is what you get.

      These are apparently the smart penguins because they live it where it is warm & they have people fawning over them, giving them a nature preserve, and dressing them up in sweaters.

      The stupid penguins live in Antarctica where it is cold and dangerous and where they have to work for a living.

      • If Windmills killing birds was as rare as people claim it is we wouldn’t have video of windmills killing birds in flight.

        Altamont Pass windmills kill about 1300 birds a year and about 1 in 37 California golden eagles every year.

        Federal law has a $250,000 fine and felony jail time for killing eagles.

        That would be many lifetime sentences and $10s of millions (if not $100s of millions) in fines if a private citizen did it.

      • ‘Over four million direct kill bird deaths per annum by 2030
        are projected in some scenarios of wind turbine installation.
        The sheer volume of bird kill does not begin to depict the
        magnitude of ecological damage since the most susceptible
        species tend to be those which are keystone species or
        species already threatened by other human pressures.’

        To which I’ll add the loss of landscape from renewable
        energy systems that require land – lottsa’ – land.


      • Power lines kill even more. What are you going to do about that?

      • Curious George

        Jim D – buried power lines are especially dangerous to birds.

      • Especially ostriches.

      • Bird diverters, shielding devices on power-lines, but what
        to do with fields of giant-long-armed wind turbines.Bring on
        Don Quixote.

      • The point is that more are killed by power lines and they are not extinct yet. What is the fuss about? Why the silence on power lines by those who attack turbines? I think this makes these people look insincere.

      • Peter Lang

        Hi Beth and Jim2,

        Did you see my submission to the Senate Select Committee on Wind turbines? It’s Submission no 259 here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Wind_Turbines/Wind_Turbines/Submissions

        I was also called to testify before the Senate Select Committee. Then I had to reply to Questions on Notice and now have to reply to Supplementary Questions on Notice. These will all be published in Hansard eventually.

        Hopefully my key recommendations will be adopted and included in the final report.

      • Good point jimmy dee. Birds die anyway so wtf should we care or try to do anything about it. See how far this line of reasoning gets you with Audubon and the rest of your green compatriots.

      • Peter,
        Congrats on yr wind turbine submission. I tried to read
        it but the connection doesn’t come up. Can you repost?
        Regards, bts.

      • Peter Lang

        Beth, The site is slow. Give it time. It’s powered by hot air. :)

        When you get it up, it shows only the first 20 submissions. Click on the symbol for last page. Scroll to the bottom and select show 500 submissions on a page. Then you can see the links to all the submissions. Select Nos 259 and 348 (and any others you want to download).

      • JimD, instead of justifying the killing of birds by windmills by means of complaining that other human structures also kill birds, why not address the blatant lies of Greenpeace, who keep shouting that windmills do not kill any birds..

        How many more lies does Greenpeace have to tell before people wake up?

        “Migratory birds are hardly affected by wind farms. They fly around it, or over it. It hardly ever happens that birds are affected by the blades. Cormorants benefit from wind farms because for them it is an ideal place to dry their feathers.”


        The half-truths, untruths and lies from those people are staggering…

      • Yes, JimD and many, many birds fly into windows and are killed by cats. But, most people who care about the environment (in a rational way) are not concerned with sparrows, and pigeons and birds that are not endangered (in the generic sense). But golden eagles, condors, other raptors not endangered but much lower in number than sparrows, are the species that one should worry about as windmills increase. The net effect of windmills on temperature, energy prices, etc. should all be in the mix of things that one take into account when evaluating whether it is a good idea.

  10. Increasing energy efficiency, or energy conservation, is not a sustainable practice.

    I have some experience in energy efficiency, quite a bit actually, having been in the industrial side of the world during the energy price shocks of 1973, 1979 and their aftermath.

    And what I found, as did many others who actually lived through this period, is that energy conservation is a one-time problem. We evaluated the various processes, including homes, apartments, skyscrapers, industrial buildings, shopping malls, and of course industry, and made the appropriate energy-conserving investments. By doing so, over approximately five years, the refining and chemical industries reduced energy consumption per unit of production by more than 30 percent. That was a laudable achievement, and I am proud to have been a part of that.

    But what we also found was that, even if more money were spent, there would not be another 30 percent reduction over the next five year period, then another 30 percent in the following five years, and so on. Energy consumption, and energy efficiency, does not work that way. It seems obvious to me, as an engineer, but this seems to escape the notice of the many misguided folks who see sustainability and conservation as a jobs-creating industry that we should have been doing all along.

    More at:


    • Well, this gets into the concept of low hanging fruit and diminishing returns.

      Much like with pollution the first 90% is 10% of the cost. And that is probably good enough and we should quit while we are ahead.

      In the energy field if we have gotten the easy 90% improvement in efficiency – it is time to generate more energy.

    • Curious George

      Roger, I usually say to enthusiasts that to reduce the energy consumption of a process by 30% is difficult, by 60% much more difficult, and over 100% the real difficulties start.

  11. Manitoba about to become Minnesota’s back up battery for non windy days at the expense of the ordinary Manitoba rate payer. http://blackrod.blogspot.ca

  12. NYT review of “The Population Bomb” is apt.

    Erlich words to the effect: I exaggerated to get things done.

    Sounds familiar to Schneider, Hansen, and the rest of the climate change “cause”.

    And of course, the population bust is another reason why we’re trending at forcing rates lower than the SRES scenarios and now also lower than the RCP scenarios.

  13. Big Oil Companies Want a Price on Carbon. Here’s Why.

    They see the huge profits that most likely might come from this madness.

    This did not work so very well in Europe.

  14. Peter Lang

    “Big Oil Companies Want a Price on Carbon. Here’s Why.” http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/climate-change-fracking-paris-bp-shell-20150601 (i.e. companies that stand to gain by from a carbon price that favour natural gas over coal – it;s self interest).

    No policy that increases the cost of energy will be acceptable to the vast majority of the world’s nation states over the long term. Therefore such policies cannot succeed. These two posts explain why:

    Why carbon pricing will not succeed – Part I http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/

    Why The World Will Not Agree to Pricing Carbon – Part II http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/


    Clearly, the costs of carbon pricing would exceed the benefits for all this century and beyond. Therefore they would damage the world’s economy. Therefore they will not be adopted globally. Therefore they cannot succeed.

    • Peter Lang | June 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm |
      Hi Beth and Jim2,

      Hi Peter, I read a good bit of your analysis. I wonder if this will be news to them? Good work.

      • Jim2,

        Thank you. Which analysis are you referring to, the chart shown above with my replot of the Nordhaus results or my submission to the Senate Select Committee on Wind turbines. If the replot of the Nordhaus chart I sent it to Nordhaus for comment and he responded. If you are asking about my submissions to the Senate Select Committee and my testimony, the answer is that all but one of the senators were very interested and strongly wanted my Submission, and wanted to know more especially about Dr Wheatley’s: analysis http://joewheatley.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/sub348_Wheatley.pdf

        I think you would find Dr Wheatley’s analysis interesting and well worth reading.

      • Jim2,

        Thank you. Which analysis are you referring to, the chart shown above with my replot of the Nordhaus results or my submission to the Senate Select Committee on Wind turbines. If the replot of the Nordhaus chart I sent it to Nordhaus for comment and he responded. If you are asking about my submissions to the Senate Select Committee and my testimony, the answer is that all but one of the senators were very interested and strongly wanted my Submission, and wanted to know more especially about Dr Wheatley’s: analysis

      • Senate Select Committee on Wind turbines. Had a busy weekend, but want to take a look at the Nordhaus one also.

  15. “Thanks to data analytics the U.S. is fracking smarter, not harder. [link]:”

    I read an article recently that postulates the Saudi’s are not happy with Obumble’s efforts to make peace with Iran. The low oil price hurts the Saudi’s by cutting their revenue by 50%, but they have a nice sized nest egg. Not so for Iran. Iran is truly hurting at these prices.

  16. Peter Lang

    Here’s an example of the sorts of policies that have raised the cost of nuclear by perhaps a factor 8 over what it would be if regulatory ratcheting had not raised the costs so much over the past 50 years or so.

    And here’s another example for Sweden (from Dr Staffan Qvist from Uppsala University):

    “To their credit, the greens of the current government have come up with a quite clever way to phase out nuclear. The law allowing new-build still stands but has been rendered moot due to the implementation and subsequent increases in a nuclear-specific tax called the “effect tax” (separate from the tax paid to finance the repository). It’s a tax of about $25000/MW-thermal of installed power per year, to be paid monthly, even if the plant is not in operation. It is thus completely disconnected from electricity production, and is only levied on nuclear. The extra tax of $100m/year per large reactor, on top of all other taxes, plus the heavy subsidy of construction of large amounts of un-needed wind and solar and the dumping of cheap coal on the European market means that at current electricity prices some of the nuclear plants are “economically uncompetitive”. The government then claims that nuclear “can’t compete in the market”, nuclear proceeds to decommission itself, without any law imposed for this and any settlement payments.”


  17. From the link on lithium batteries –

    “But lithium batteries, if they could be made cheaply enough, could compete as a lighter and more compact alternative to batteries made from . . .”

    If my auntie had testicles, she would be my uncle.

    If – with if, anything becomes possible. Endless free power, if somebody invents it. World peace, if everybody cooperates.

    Individuals invent stuff. Not research. Some things they invent are even useful. We live in hope – and that’s such a bad thing, is it? If only.

  18. “Big Oil Companies Want a Price on Carbon. Here’s Why.”

    Just like insurance companies in the US pushed for socialized medicine through Obamacare. They their choice is pure socialism or crony capitalist fascism. So they opt for the latter. It never occurring them that the corrupt politicians they are climbing in bed with have no intention of stopping with their current, interim policy proposals.

    You can run a Fortune 500 company and still be really stupid politically.

  19. Things in the news as raised by Democrat candidates this week. American exceptionalism in practice.
    1. Only the US and Papua New Guinea don’t mandate a minimum maternity leave (Clinton).
    2. Only the US, Liberia and Myanmar don’t have the metric system (Chafee).
    So conservative. These aren’t even progressive things. They are just normal for the rest of the world.

    • What is the family and medical leave act of 1993 then?

      Please explain to me the units called millimeters that appear on the tape measure I purchased in the United States? Also explain the tools I have that are market ‘mm’ that are manufactured and purchased in the US?

      • That was for unpaid leave. It’s not quite what the rest of the world is doing. Good to make that more clear, however.
        Also we still see pounds, miles, gallons, square footage, etc. on official measurements.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Another Korean historical figure, who is equally as loved as Admiral Yi, is King Sejong the Great. He was the fourth monarch of the Joseon Dynasty, reigning from 1418-1450. At that time, the country was at the peak of prosperity economically, politically, socially and culturally. Of the thousands of years of Korean history, it can be called the Renaissance Era. Political affairs were stable, the economy grew quickly, and it had great military influence over other countries.

      King Sejong the Great is revered by Koreans for his outstanding policies reflecting his devotion to the nation. His welfare policies compare favorably with those in the 21st century. He gave slaves and even spouses 100 days off for maternity leave and even promoted Jang Yeong-sil, a slave, to a high-ranking position because he was an extremely talented inventor-scientist. At that time, such a thing was totally unprecedented.

      His greatest achievement is the creation of the Korean alphabet, Hangeul, which is still being used today. At the time, there were great differences between spoken and written Korean. Korean was written using classical Chinese characters, which were cumbersome and took long years to learn, so that only the upper class could read and write.

      Commoners, therefore, could not express themselves in writing and could not defend themselves. Furthermore, the upper classes were against educating commoners because knowledge is power. However, King Sejong stood on the side of the people and listened to them. He researched many alphabets in order to invent one that would be easy for commoners to use and eventually created Hangeul. It is not an exaggeration to say that the reason why Korea has the most advanced information and communications technology today is due to the creation of the Korean alphabet.”

  20. Big oil wants to benefit from the eco-catastrophists’ handouts.

    Sleepwalking into a loss of national sovereignty

    It’s on such weak evidence that the World Bank and the United Nations expect “more developed” countries to abandon fossil fuels and spend a staggering $89 trillion over 15 years combating climate change. (World GWP is $74 trillion). Does anyone doubt such a massive wealth transfer and the power to redistribute it would change the existing world order? No wonder “big oil” is urgently seeking a place at the UN table.

    The climate change movement has become the rallying point for millions of environmental activists who push their alarmist predictions into every home and parliament on the planet. They teach in schools and universities the consequences of inaction. They promote the serious ethical, moral and governance obligations imposed by our membership of the global community.

    All this, according to executive secretary to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres, falls into what she calls a “centralised transformation”. She openly declares the shortcomings of democracy and the benefits of communism in fighting global warming. She likes regimented societies and central intervention, not free-market capitalism.</blockquote.

    Read the full article here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/cartoons/sleepwalking-into-a-loss-of-national-sovereignty/story-e6frg6zx-1227387305726

    • $89 trillion over 15 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      WHO are these UNelected I D J I T S ????????

      Guess we didn’t win the Cold War after all !!!!!!!!!

      • You can’t cure collectivism. It comes back in a new form every time, and this latest emergence was bound to be green. Intellectuals and celebs back in the 1930s were spoiled for choice between red and black, but the old creepiness won’t be in old uniform. Our present intellectuals and celebs want something new, with a sexiness factor for these times.

        Of course, it’s not the earnest, thinky types who start the attack on freedom who finish the job on freedom. There’s another type for that.

        Fight Big Green now, not later. To do that we need to make Big Oil just another shop on the drag, competing with nukes, coal and whatever else turns a turbine or runs a motor. Collectivism is the number one threat, but monopoly and cartels have proven to be a plague on civilisation as well. We would have to be off our rockers to start buying into all that again.

        We don’t need a global energy structure. We need a global energy bazaar.

      • From the earnest menshevik to
        the fascist bolshevik is but a step.

      • Peter Lang


        “Fight Big Green now, not later. ”

        Dead right. Don’t forget Agenda 21. It’s grass roots Green communism. Have you checked if you town council has signed on to Agenda 21? Many councils in Australia have. The ACT Government is one of them.

        You can check here: http://oceania.iclei.org/our-members/iclei-members.html?memberlistCountry=Australia

        We need to be very watchful of this and tell others.




      • Peter, just a glance at those sites make me nauseous. I try, but I’m so allergic to the collective that I can’t even stand walking into a Nespresso or Apple shop where the options all take me back to the one source. I need a messy world full of choices, traps and chances…and where ideas are only clever AFTER they work. A world hated by intellectuals, in other words. That doesn’t mean I’m a libertarian or opposed to regulation – far from it. I just don’t want anyone owning the game.

        What’s needed is a frontal attack on the mindless cant which enables this sinister swarming urge. And the mindless cant, wherever you look, is now green. You can waste and wreck whatever you like in the name of “sustainability”. Like, we know what’s going to happen to those $89 trillion, right? May as well send the whole world to the pub for a week and get it over with quick.

        No more “sustainability”. We need to be thundering, like Sam Johnson: “Sir, you must clear your mind of cant!”

    • Instead of brown shirts
      Will we now all wear green?
      Will the UN flag
      Be the only flag seen?
      Will we march in columns,
      Have book burning fires,
      Destroying the records
      Treasured by the deniers?

      Will the letter “D”
      Be used to signify
      That you’ve dangerous free opinions,
      That you still won’t comply?
      A “D” daubed on your house,
      A “D” badge on your coat,
      No employment available,
      Not allowed to vote.
      From : http://rhymeafterrhyme.net/environmental-nazis/

  21. You missed the biggest news in energy.

    The IPO for China National Nuclear went way beyond ‘fantastic’.

    There will be no shortage of investment capital available to Chinese Nuclear power companies for the foreseeable future.

  22. Question for PA

    5.2 GT of carbon per year is absorbed by the environment, and this absorption is increasing about 3.5% per year.

    I don’t disbelieve you but am researching this topic and would like to follow up. Have you got references?

  23. The article about “big data” and fracking is vaporware. It seems to be written by techno wonks who know very little about the oil and gas industry.

    Methane emissions from a liquid tank are associated with liquid production coming from a well an oil well, or the liquid from a gas well producing condensate). The emissions are easy to remediate, the state should regulate this problem. If they do happen this implies a wasteful approach (such emissions include very valuable hydrocarbons including up to gasoline components, they should be captured even if the operator lacks environmental consciousness, simply because it’s profitable to do so). I must conclude the author has an agenda, doesn’t know much about the industry either.

  24. I can’t help but think that the leaders of China are sitting back and laughing as Western Civilization implodes by allowing over-zealous environmentalists to dictate strategic energy policy, and thereby make our energy less accessible and more costly. In the mean time China is spending as much as they can to get cheap energy to dominate industrialized production of goods. On our current trajectory, China will dominate the world by 2040.

  25. UAH May update … looks like an uptick alright.


  26. From the article:

    “There’s plenty more crude oil being found all around the world. I think it’s going to be very difficult to push WTI much beyond $65 maybe $66,” Gartman said Thursday on CNBC.com’s “Futures Now.”

    “I think it’s going to be relatively easier to get the WTI down into the high $40s or low $50s.”

    However, Gartman expects oil prices will stay relatively range-bound for the time being.

    “The whole world is happy with $60 WTI [and] with $65 Brent,” he said. “Producers are happy with that number—or at least reasonably happy with that number. Consumers are happy with that number. The users of crude oil are happy with that number. It wouldn’t surprise me if we actually did go sideways for a protracted period of time.”


  27. From the article:

    Evidence that serious and widespread breaches of hospital- and healthcare networks is likely to be hiding on compromised and infect medical devices in clinical settings, including medical imaging machines, blood gas analyzers and more, according to a report by the firm TrapX. In the report, which will be released this week, the company details incidents of medical devices and management stations infected with malicious software at three, separate customer engagements. According to the report, medical devices – in particular so-called picture archive and communications systems (PACS) radiologic imaging systems – are all but invisible to security monitoring systems and provide a ready platform for malware infections to lurk on hospital networks, and for malicious actors to launch attacks on other, high value IT assets.


  28. Headline of the week: “IPCC is to science what FIFA is to soccer” – savage but fair article by Nick Cater in The Australian.



  29. Contrary to what the PV advocates commonly claim, there has been negative exponential growth of PV in Europe since 2011: See Figure 7 here:


    Perhaps the Europeans are starting to think rationally, at long last.

  30. For you numbers and charts types, here is a great site. It even has a section on solar and other renewables.



  31. Lamar Smith gave an excellent talk at the Heartland’s conference today:


    Starts around 16:30 in.

  32. “That idea is a carbon tax, supported not only by Inglis but libertarian Jerry Taylor — whose recently launched Niskanen Center seeks to advance pragmatic libertarian ideas in Washington. One of the first of those ideas is not just a carbon tax, but a carbon tax in exchange for getting rid of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.”

    “British Columbia is thriving under its own revenue neutral carbon tax (originally instituted by a center-right government in the Canadian province).”

    “This is also an idea, I’ve argued, that stands a psychological chance of breaking the climate impasse. EPA rules to curb climate change through enforced carbon cuts are pretty much the best way to insult conservatives’ individualist value system, which prizes the free market. Whereas a carbon tax can, at least theoretically, be reconciled with free market economic thinking, and has many Republican economist supporters, including luminaries like Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw.”

    These types of ideas are usually just dismissed. In the first paragraph, that might be a good approach for a politician. With the consensus versus the skeptics, do the Democrats just say don’t listen to the Republicans? Usually the Democrats have to make deals with the Republicans even if they think they’re wrong. The Democrats can operate effectively while engaging the Republicans. If the consensus does get the better of the skeptics, they’ll do that by consigning them to a third party status such as the Libertarians have. Even if the skeptics become similar to a third party, the lukewarmers are likely to then have the power and size as the current Republicans. Beating the skeptics isn’t going to be the last fight.

  33. Danny Thomas

    Late addition, but thought others might find this of interest: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/earth/putting-a-price-on-nature/