1) Europe’s Green Madness: Dieselgate Was A Political Disaster
The Wall Street Journal, 15 February 2017 Starting after the Kyoto treaty in the late 1990s … Europe’s entire auto industry was led down the primrose lane of adopting a technology that now appears to be a commercial and regulatory dead-end. More than 70% of BMW and Daimler cars made for the European market last year were diesel. When honestly tested, one study shows the latest “Euro 6 Standard” vehicles miss their pollution targets by a whopping 400%. Virtually everyone agrees Europe’s “dash for diesel” was a monstrous policy error, not to mention the proximate cause of the emissions-cheating scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen and other auto makers. –Holman W Jenkins Jr.
2) Britain’s Energy Policy Thrown Into Disarray As Toshiba Faces Bankruptcy
Daily Mail, 15 February 2017 Britain’s nuclear power plans were thrown into chaos last night as problems escalated at Japanese company Toshiba. The crisis has cast doubt over its plans for the £10billion plant in Moorside near Sellafield which is supposed to provide up to 8 per cent of the country’s energy. It marks the latest setback to the Government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions and keep the lights on. –Rachel Millard
3) U.S. Congress Probes Allegations Of Politicization Of NOAA Study
House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, 14 February 2017 U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Acting Administrator Benjamin Friedman requesting information on the Karl study following reports the study ignored NOAA standards, was rushed to publication, and was not free from political bias. “Allegations of politicization of government funded scientific research cannot be ignored. The Committee has a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight in instances of alleged fraud, abuse, and misconduct especially where the government’s scientific integrity is called into question. Dr. Bates’ revelations raise additional questions as to whether the science at NOAA is objective and free from political interference. In light of this new information, the Committee requests the below information to better understand the depth and scope of internal debate at NOAA related to the Karl study,” the letter states.
4) Meet The Renewable Energy That Is Deadlier Than Nuclear and Gas Power
Business Insider, 13 February 2017 As this week’s Oroville, California dam crisis illustrates, hydroelectric energy technology comes with a major yet infrequent risk: Catastrophic collapse and flooding. According to a March 2011 data analysis by reporter Phil McKenna at New Scientist, dams may be among the riskier power sources in the world. The analysis calculated the immediate and later deaths that occurred for every 10 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of power generated globally – as a point of contrast, the world makes about 20,000 TWh of electrical power a year. The data give a range of deaths for each type of power, but the ranking consistently places hydroelectric power as more deadly than nuclear energy and natural gas. –David Mosher
5) Australian Blackouts Due To Unreliable Renewables Were Predicted In Royal Society Paper
Sunday Mail (South Australia), 12 February 2017 South Australia was warned of the electricity-shortage crisis – and consequent blackouts – yet ignored the warnings, according to Business SA executive Anthony Penney. “The most frustrating aspect of this most recent event is that it was anticipated by many businesses and other energy industry experts well in advance but, like the frog in boiling water, nothing happened in time,” he says. This week the SA frog boiled. About 100,000 customers were blacked out because of the reliance on unreliable wind and solar power in our network – more than a third of SA’s generation capacity. Ben Heard says the SA blackouts caused by unreliable solar and wind were predicted two years ago in the journal Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, and every MP in the Parliament was told. –Miles Kemp
6) Rupert Darwall: The Baker-Shultz Carbon-Tax Plan Is A Bad Deal For Americans
National Review Online, 13 February 2017 Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way,” Barack Obama declared after Democrats’ disastrous losses in the 2010 midterm elections. That shellacking finally killed off the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. From it was born the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the Obama administration’s war on coal, in turn a contributory factor to Donald Trump’s election and Republicans’ retaining control of the Senate. Now the grandees of the Old Republican Establishment, led by former secretaries of state George Shultz and James Baker, are calling for President Trump to put the new Republican majority at risk by enacting an escalating $40-per-ton carbon tax. The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends produced by the Climate Leadership Council is disingenuous and dishonest. An American receiving as much in carbon dividends as he pays in carbon taxes would end up worse off because the economy would be smaller and his consumer preferences suppressed. So a carbon tax would not contribute to economic growth but detract from it. –Rupert Darwall