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OpenMarket: Energy and Environment

  • EU Honesty

    December 28, 2006
    Some remarkable statements about the EU's greenhouse gas emissions performance in an official EU document by Eija-Riitta Korhola, Vice-Chair of Kokoomus (Finnish National Coalition Party), and EPP (EU center-right party grouping) Rapporteur on Energy Policy and Member of the European Parliament:
    "[T]he EU's political decisions and rhetoric are sound but their implementation is becoming problematic."
    "The truth is that unless something radical is devised the EU will soon have to admit that it cannot achieve its Kyoto goals."
    "Now that the internal emissions trading regime in Europe has been in effect for more than a year and a half, most of the European stakeholders in energy intensive industries are remarkably unanimous about the whole system being a mistake....
  • Horsepower to the People

    December 28, 2006
    The great boon that is automobility is set to spread to India, with the introduction of a family car that will cost only $2000.  Naturally, the rajahs of the environmental lobby is apoplectic at this keenly-anticipated extension of people power:
    "It will be a total disaster," said Anumita Roychoudhury, an associate director at the Centre for Science and the Environment in New Delhi. "One person dies every hour in Delhi from air pollution-related diseases and most Indian cities have pollution levels that are twice the permissible limits." Sudhir Bisht, a Delhi resident, said: "India doesn't need more cars. It needs better public transport."
    The people of India seem satisfied that the benefits of automobility outweigh the possibility of increased emissions:
    India...
  • Subsidies don't work

    December 22, 2006
    A good story in the New York Times about how subsidies to domestic oil and gas producers are a waste of taxpayer dollars:
    Analysts said the meager impact of royalty incentives was not surprising: for oil and gas companies deciding whether to drill in deep water, the potential money involved in royalty incentives is small compared with the money at stake in changes of market prices. Eliminating royalties on oil or gas will save a company 12 to 16 percent on some of its production. But those savings are minuscule compared with the nearly fourfold increase in oil prices from $15 a barrel in 1999 to more than $70 this summer.
    CEI has long opposed federal subsidies to oil and gas companies. As it's Christmas...
  • Lost in translation? Mais non!

    December 21, 2006
    Today the French newspaper L'Express attacked CEI and other skeptics of catastrophic global warming as “les négationnistes” or “deniers” -- following the low ground captured by Senators Snowe and Rockefeller (see earlier posts on this). It's interesting too that the article needed some serious fact-checking — not only about the science of global warming, but about CEI. L'Express said that CEI is “une organisation de lobbying créée par ExxonMobil.” (Translation: “a lobbying organization created by ExxonMobil”) Mais non! CEI was créée, founded, established -- whatever he did -- by Fred L. Smith, Jr. in 1984 — with no money or involvement by ExxonMobil (having a working spouse was helpful). For its first year, CEI operated from our apartment, with one underpaid...
  • Carbon Trading Enriches the Few (for no global benefit)

    December 21, 2006
    Wonder where all the money the developed world is investing in the developing world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is going? To the privileged few, of course:
    Among their targets is a large rusting chemical factory here in southeastern China. Its emissions of just one waste gas contribute as much to global warming each year as the emissions from a million American cars, each driven 12,000 miles. Cleaning up this factory will require an incinerator that costs $5 million — far less than the cost of cleaning up so many cars, or other sources of pollution in Europe and Japan. Yet the foreign companies will pay roughly $500 million for the incinerator — 100 times what it cost. The high price is set in a European-based market in carbon dioxide emissions. Because the waste gas has a...
  • Yet more Stern criticism

    December 21, 2006
    David Maddison of the University of Birmingham in the UK adds his voice (PDF link) to the criticisms of the Stern Review, concluding:
    There is much in the Stern report with which one can wholeheartedly agree. Climate change is a problem. Climate policy can be informed by cost benefit analysis. The treatment of uncertainty is of paramount importance and economic instruments have a role to play in cutting carbon emissions. Permitting tropical deforestation is madness. Some of the background material commissioned by Stern is top quality.
    But the review also contains errors, questionable judgement and inconsistencies. Stern moreover misses the opportunity to say some things which needed to be said. There is often insufficient information to discover what Stern and his team have...
  • Green for the Holidays?

    December 20, 2006
    The New York Times reports today that Boston has announced a plan to comply with “green building” codes for city projects. And, no, we are not talking about holiday decorations. The city, like many other cities that have made this commitment, is supposed design construction projects in ways that save water, energy, and other resources. You would think such standards would always be good for the environment and city budgets. But think again. It appears that much of the time, green building standards are more political than practical. All too often, they are counterproductive and raise costs for taxpayers. CEI details such problems in a paper on the topic Todd Meyers.
  • What do economists really think about global warming

    December 20, 2006
    Robert Whaples of Wake Forest University has the answer. He polled American economists and found:
    The results show that most economists are not alarmed by the likelihood of continued carbon dioxide emissions. The Great Depression of 1929 to 1933 caused inflation-adjusted GDP to fall a numbing 27%. Few economists think that rising GHGs will have anywhere near this impact - only one in eight predict that GDP will fall by more than 10 percent. Almost twice as many believe that rising greenhouse gas levels will cause the economy to grow. The most popular response is that rising greenhouse gas levels will have virtually no impact on income per person (less than 1 percent lower or higher). The vast majority (73.2%) predict that the impact will be less than 5 percent one way or the other. (Here are the...
  • A Bold Prediction

    December 20, 2006
    Myron wrote earlier about how the Senate Democrats are showing no urgency to tackle global warming, otherwise known as The Greatest Threat Facing the Planet (TM - Al Gore). I challenged them to show their commitment to Saving the Planet by bringing Kyoto to the floor for ratification, even if that meant (gasp!) changing procedural rules. No dice. Now, Stuart Eizenstat, who negotiated Kyoto for the Clinton-Gore team, admits that the Democrats won't do anything to faced down The Greatest Threat Facing the Planet:...
  • #2 Onion Post of 2006

    December 19, 2006
    Al Gore exposed!

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