February 20, 2020
A recent Rhodium Group report purports to show by the numbers that the fuel economy “rollbacks” effected by the Trump administration’s forthcoming Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicle rule are “significant” both in terms of “greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement and costs to drivers.” In fact, the numbers reveal the insignificance of the SAFE rule’s GHG impacts. Furthermore, the report’s analysis of consumer costs is one-sided and, thus, potentially misleading.
February 15, 2020
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and several senior Republicans announced they were going to introduce four bills to address climate change. On the bright side, none of the bills includes a tax on carbon dioxide emissions or mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On the dark side, the four bills propose to waste a lot of taxpayer dollars and extend subsidies for commercially uncompetitive technologies.
February 14, 2020
As part of its “Climate in Crisis” series, NBC News on February 11 reported the results of a new study on “the undersea conveyor belts that help regulate Earth’s climate and influence weather systems around the world.” To quote the headline: “Climate change models predicted ocean currents would speed up—but not this soon.” Yet, in the mid-2000s, many inferred planetary peril from an apparent slowdown in the North Atlantic conveyor belt.
February 13, 2020
Federal energy efficiency standards have a long history of unintended adverse consequences, from more expensive light bulbs with questionable light quality to dishwashers that take hours to finish a load. Putting the federal government in charge of residential building codes would give us more of the same.
February 7, 2020
On February 6, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change held a hearing on the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, which seeks to incentivize research, development, demonstration, and deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects. Although the bill is bipartisan and relies on incentives, it is not a genuine compromise between Republicans’ emphasis on innovation and Democrats’ emphasis on regulation.
February 5, 2020
Automakers wanted easier rules and got more than they had the courage to ask for in the Trump administration’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Motor Vehicle rule: repeal of California’s unlawful power to threaten their bottom lines.
February 3, 2020
Senior Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a discussion draft of their omnibus climate bill on January 28. The draft bill begins by declaring that “it is the national goal for the United States to achieve a 100% clean economy by not later than 2050.” A 100% clean economy is later defined as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, or negative greenhouse gas emissions.”
February 1, 2020
BBC News last week rang down the curtain on the climate science fraternity’s long running malpractice of projecting climate change impacts using a worst-case emissions scenario as if it were a business-as-usual scenario.
January 31, 2020
The Trump administration is doing a good job reducing red tape and streamlining the permitting process for energy production and energy infrastructure projects, but on minerals mining, the record is mixed, with some measures helping undo decades of anti-mining policy but others maintaining existing roadblocks.
January 29, 2020
A recent story in the Guardian alleges that almond growers are somehow uniquely responsible for substantial losses of honeybee hives, and that may eventually lead to their extinction. The article gets a large number of facts wrong, but the story really isn’t about almond farms or even honeybees. It’s about the author’s wrongheaded belief that high-yield farming is bad for the environment. Ironically, the author’s implied “solution” would actually wreak havoc on the environment.