The war on coal is real and so is the war on our free market-based way of life
“Science has become the new stepchild of politics.”—Michael Savage
It’s the first day of spring and we are having snow again. Not much, a couple of inches, just enough to prove that March always goes out like a lion. Undeterred, global progressives, intent on sending us into the stone age of technology, are forcing their agenda of redistributive taxation of man-made global warming/climate change on everyone.
But that’s not all. According toDr. Klaus Kaiser, Central Europe experienced a Mother Nature event—a total solar eclipse around 9 a.m., March 20, 2015, the spring equinox, and a super-moon. It will be interesting to see how electric power plants dependent heavily on solar power fared in a shut-down during the day when energy demand is at its peak. And the most vulnerable was Germany which derives a larger percent of its electricity needs from solar power.
Dr. Kaiser said, “With well over 10,000 wind turbines in operation, the European electric grid has already experienced instability close to collapse. The (far) offshore system Bard-1 in the German Bight, built for approximately $5 billion two years ago is slowly rusting in the sea. It is a real money maker—for the legal profession.”
Dominion Virginia Power has offered customers in their monthly billing the whimsical “Green Power,” to reduce the family’s carbon footprint in 2015, a “voluntary option that enables customers to match their electricity use with clean, renewable energy from wind (78%), solar (1%), and biomass (21%).” Dominion offers two choices:
EPA regulatory malpractice
- 100% Option, matching 100 percent of a customer’s electricity use with Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), at a cost of 1.3 cents per kWh.
- Block Option, purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in fixed monthly increments; each $2 supports 154 kWh of renewable energy.
Such voluntary options are nothing more than customers subsidizing unnecessarily expensive energy generation that is not really clean, it is the industry’s “dirty little secret,” as someone called it years ago.
Having researched the wind and solar power generation extensively, and having written a bestseller and numerous articles on the topic, I know that renewable energy is neither cheap, nor clean, nor victimless. There are millions of animal casualties, chopped birds by wind turbines and fried birds by solar panels’ heat flux; animals experience bizarre behavior, fertility issues, and spontaneous abortion of fetuses when living in close proximity to wind farms; humans experience serious health effects as well when in close proximity to wind turbines and from their home smart meters attached to the smart grid.
One of the more interesting presentations I heard at CPAC 2015 was the panel on “Climate: What Tom Steyer Won’t Tell You.”
Representative Bill Flores (TX-17) addressed the global warming alarmism, pointing out that this administration has done everything in its power to stop domestic energy production in this country, spending billions of dollars for bankrupt solar energy producers like Solyndra. He enumerated the six “inconvenient truths” of those promoting the climate agenda:
- It kills U.S. jobs.
- It costs trillions of dollars.
- It’s based on junk science.
- It uses fantasy technology that is yet to be developed.
- It manipulates cost/benefit analysis by using junk economics.
- It fails the smell test.
Rep. Flores stated that Obama’s energy agenda, via EPA’s tightening regulations such as ozone levels and Waters of the U.S., kills 3 million American jobs, exporting them to China and India, and importing their pollution back to the United States. “By 2020, the EPA’s ozone regulations will eliminate $3.5 trillion of economic output.” There is no credible evidence that ozone levels cause increased health issues for Americans but poverty does, Rep. Flores added. Because the EPA knows that California cannot meet its stringent ozone standards, then California is excluded from the equation.
It is EPA regulatory malpractice, said Rep. Flores, as evidenced by the attempt to change the definition of water in the Waters of the U.S. from “navigable waters” to any puddle of rain that falls in a farmer’s field.
Tom Steyer, a “green” energy devotee, has pledged $100 million in 2014 to Democrats who oppose the Keystone pipeline and favor the disuse of fossil fuels over renewables. Steyer opposes coal in an attempt to boost the value of his solar projects. According to John Hinderaker, “Steyer owes his fortune in large part to the fact that he has been one of the world’s largest financiers of coal projects.”
Myron Ebell, Director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, jocularly introduced as the “enemy number one to the climate change agenda,” talked about the environmental noose that was put around the world’s global economy in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro and the decades since then that tightened that noose. Obama took control of the economy through ever more stringent environmental regulations even though there has been no global warming in the last 18 years.
Pointing out that the entire global warming fiasco is based on faulty IPCC computer modeling, Ebell said, “Do you trust the models or the actual data?” Ninety-seven percent of climate change scientists say, trust us, we have the models. “If the models and the data don’t agree, change the data.” The deception was exacerbated by the infamous hockey stick graph, Ebell added. Every agency of the federal government views global warming as the greatest national security threat. John Kerry, our Secretary of State, said in a speech that climate change is his number one priority.
Gary Broadband, representing Murray Energy Corporation, the largest privately held coal mine in the U.S., highlighted Obama’s “war on coal” via regulations passed by EPA alone in the last five years totaling 25,000 pages. Quoting Robert E. Murray, Chairman of Murray Energy Corporation, Broadband said, “Prior to the election of President Obama, coal provided 52% of the electricity generation in our country. Today it is 37%. In our judgment, it will further decline to about 30%, at a maximum.”
Enumerating the 411 power plants designated for closure through 2016, “101,000 megawatts of the lowest cost electricity in America,” CEO Murray wrote that electricity, generated by coal at the plant cost of 4 cents per kWh, will be replaced by “Mr. Obama and his appointees” with 15 cent per kWh electricity from natural gas and 22 cent per kWh electricity from wind and solar power, not to mention the huge subsidies to solar power from American taxpayers.
In CEO Murray’s opinion, the Obama Administration has illegally bypassed Congress, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the States and their Public Utility Commissions, which are “empowered to regulate the availability and cost of electricity.”
According to Chairman Murray, while we came within 700 megawatts of reducing loads to 61 million Americans in 13 states during the Polar Vortex of 2014, “China has been building a new 500 megawatt coal-fired plant every week for years, [and] burned about 4.0 billion tons of coal last year.”
CEO Robert E. Murray offered multiple examples that “the global ‘climate change’ scare is purely political and not based on any science:
- According to NASA satellites and ground-based temperature measurements, the earth has not warmed for the last eighteen years and five months. But CO2 levels have risen almost ten percent since 1997.
- Seventy percent of the years since the Ice Age were warmer than today.
- There has been a decline in the world land area under drought in the past thirty years.
- Rates of sea-level rise remain infinitesimal, averaging only about one millimeter per year as measured by tide gauges.
- Satellites show that a greater area of Antarctic sea ice exists now than any time since space-based measurements began in 1979.
- 2012 and 2013 IPCC reports concluded that there has been no significant increase in either the frequency or intensity of extreme weather events in the modern era.
- The past year was not the warmest on record, as Mr. Obama claimed during his State of the Union address, which I attended, on January 20.”
On this sunless first day of spring, with cold temperatures, rain, sleet, and snow in the northeast, we should be thankful to the coal industry for producing enough energy to keep us warm and our large economy running smoothly. There is no secret that the environmental NGOs such the Sierra Club, Natural Resource Defense Council, and rich individuals promoting “Beyond Coal,” are influencing EPA’s overregulation of the manufacturing sector under the guise of saving the planet, to the detriment of our economy, and destroying wealth and the middle class in the process. The war on coal is real and so is the war on our free market-based way of life.