Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Death by government diktat

Posted: June 30, 2015 by tchannon in Accountability, Big Brother, Energy, government

Hatfield Colliery closure speeds up UK exit from deep coal mining

Britain’s Hatfield Colliery will stop producing coal with immediate effect after being unable to sell its coal following the sharp rise in the UK’s carbon tax, Prospect union said on Tuesday.

The closure of the employee-owned mine in South Yorkshire is 14 months earlier than expected. Around 500 employees work at the mine.

In April, Britain’s carbon tax, which charges power producers for each tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit, almost doubled to 18.08 pounds per tonne to encourage utilities to switch fuels, as coal-fired power generation produces almost double the amount of CO2 as gas-fired plants.

“Hatfield has been unable to sell its coal because of the government’s refusal to sponsor coal contracts with generators and the doubling of the UK’s carbon tax,” Prospect negotiator Mike Macdonald said.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/06/30/uk-coal-closure-idUKKCN0PA1FU20150630

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US coal train [credit: Wikipedia]

US coal train [credit: Wikipedia]

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to degrade the country’s coal industry into oblivion with ruinous regulations has run into a legal roadblock, reports the SPPI Blog:

The EPA proposal to impose a de facto ban on new coal-fired power plants received more than two million comments from the public – but it looks like it was just one five-page comment from the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) that sent EPA scrambling back to the drawing board. The draft rule mandated the use of so-called carbon capture and storage, a technology that would inject carbon dioxide underground but which has so far proved to be little more than a white elephant experiment.

To mandate this technology, the law required the EPA to prove it was “adequately demonstrated” and “commercially available.” Thanks to E&E Legal, they failed.

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A dying breed?

A dying breed?


A drastic energy policy change by the new UK government as GWPF reports:

Local residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. “It will mean no more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support.”

Amber Rudd revealed she had “put a rocket” under her officials to “put the local community back in charge” of their own neighbourhoods.

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amber-ruddWho is Amber Rudd? I hear you ask. Wikipedia tells us about her (lack of) expertise in energy policy and climate science:

After graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in history, she joined J.P. Morgan & Co., working in both London and New York. She then worked in venture capital in London, raising funds for small businesses. After working as a financial journalist, she founded specialist Executive Search and Human Resources consultancy Lawnstone Ltd,[2]with clients in Financial services and in Business media.[3] She also recruited the extras for the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Great. What  else?

Rudd has been an active campaigner whilst in Parliament, standing up for women’s issues. She is Vice Chair of the APPG on Female Genital Mutilation, which has been campaigning against FGM and calling for tougher penalties and confidence to begin prosecutions in the UK. She has championed the cause of sex equality as Chairman of the APPG for Sex Equality,[5] which recently published a report on women in work. Rudd Chaired a cross party inquiry into “Unplanned Pregnancies” which called for statutory sex and relationships education in all secondary schools[6] She has called for a higher proportion of women in the Cabinet[7]

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roosevelt-quote It’s hard to be objective about the outcome of the elections, having been in the thick of the battle. This post is more about my personal experiences of the campaign and reflections on the aftermath. I joined UKIP because it is the only party with a sane energy policy, and as an engineer with a degree in the history and philosophy of science, I’m only too aware of the danger to our country’s economic and social well being of the insane energy policy pursued by successive Labour and Conservative governments. Although the main parties avoided the energy question during the election campaign, I believe it to be the most important issue underlying UK politics. (more…)

online-pollsThe polls open at 7am tomorrow for voters to cast their ballot in the 2015 general election. The insurgent UK Independence Party (UKIP) has turned this election into the most unpredictable contest in decades. Their standing in the polls is uncertain and methodologies are disputed, with ratings ranging from 10 to 18% among the trad pollsters, and as much as 53% in high volume online polls.

Clearly, UKIP supporters are very active online, the party’s Facebook page has more likes than all but the Conservatives, who spend big bucks to buy bucketloads of approval monthly. Leader Nigel Farage has 224,000 twitter followers. This online activity is partly due to the attacks on, and exclusion of UKIP from the mainstream media. Kippers have found their natural medium, where news and views can be formulated by anyone and exchanged in quickfire fashion. It’s what Douglas Carswell refers to as iDemocracy.

This has had a beneficial effect on UKIP, not solely in terms of visibility, but also in terms of shaping policy direction. Memes rapidly emerge, and good ideas are noted by the party’s leadership for inclusion into policy discussion. This makes the party internally meritocratic; ordinary party members can be heard by senior party officials.

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oldbrew:

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Are the Austrians going to press ahead with this as a favour to anti-nuclear Germany, expecting some reward?

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/04/countdown-begins-for-hinkley-nuclear-power-challenge-as-decision-published.html

PEI report:

The European Commission’s decision on Hinkley Point was published in the Official Journal on Tuesday, and there now commences a two month period whereby potential objections from Austria, Luxembourg and other entities can be recorded. If the decision is contested it may prove a fatal blow to the UK’s nuclear power ambitions due to the lengthy delays that would entail.
Dr Dorte Fouquet, Partner, BBH Brussels who has been advising Vienna on the matter of their objection to Britain’s flagship nuclear power project on the basis of State Aid contravention, told an audience at Platts Power Summit in central
London today that if Vienna presses on with its challenge it could set back construction of the Hinkley Point C project for around eight years based on average case statistics.
She added that were it to go unchallenged “this decision would be practically the end…

View original 179 more words

Texas House votes to ban fracking bans

Posted: April 25, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, government, Politics
Tags:

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer / Wikipedia]

Texas State Capitol building, Austin [credit: Daniel Mayer/Wikipedia]


From the US State synonymous with oil: legislation to limit the power of ‘nimbyism’ in developing – or not – natural energy resources.

Texas has moved a step closer to pre-empting cities and counties from banning fracking. On April 17, by a vote of 122-18, the Texas House passed House Bill 40 recognizing the Texas Railroad Commission’s long-held authority to regulate oil and gas exploration and production, including hydraulic fracking, in the state.

The bill was a reaction to the Denton, Texas’ fracking ban. Denton’s ban, approved by city voters in November, was the first ever attempt by a Texas city to assert local power to ban oil and gas production. If HB 40 ultimately becomes law, the bill would ban any ordinance that prohibits an oil and gas operation. A companion bill awaits action in the Texas Senate.

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21st century seascape

21st century seascape


The New York Times reports the difficulties likely to face US power generation companies due to the pace of change demanded by the latest government rules and the ever-increasing reliance on part-time power sources scattered all over the place. Does this sound familiar at all?

WASHINGTON — As President Obama prepares to unveil his climate change regulations on coal-fired power plants, the nation’s electric utilities are preparing to transform the system that keeps the lights on in America. But some companies fear that in the process, the lights may go out.

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Dutch Parliament buildings [credit: Wikipedia]

Dutch Parliament buildings [credit: Wikipedia]


Any guesses how this one’s likely to go? The idea that humans can control temperature changes is about as absurd as the idea that they are the main cause of them, as large fluctuations in long-term climate records clearly show. The prospect of maximum temperatures being set by law is risible – but in theory it could happen.

Phys.org reports: Around 900 Dutch citizens on Tuesday took their government to court in a bid to force a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and take action against climate change.

“We want the Dutch government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels,” said Majan Missema, head of rights group Urgenda which is coordinating the legal action.

The group says the case is the first in Europe in which citizens attempt to hold a state responsible for its potentially devastating inaction and the first in the world in which human rights are used as a legal basis to protect citizens against climate change.

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hu-obama-pokerGuest Post from Ed Hoskins:

In November 2014, to much fanfare, President Obama concluded an agreement with China on Climate. This was as a precursor to the major Paris climate conference in December 2015, where it is anticipated that a definitive and binding Climate agreement should be reached.  These notes follow through that 2014 agreement as far as it concerns future likely CO2 emissions up until the year 2030.

Essentially the agreement said that whilst Western Nations would be expected to reduce CO2 emissions substantially, China, India and the rest of the developing world would continue its CO2 emissions growth until at least 2030 to ensure that continuing enhancement of the living standards of their populations, and that only then China would limit further growth of its CO2 emissions.

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Image Copyright Roger Kidd under CC

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, 12 March 2015

The Government has managed to “keep the lights on”, but buying in extra ‘safety net’ capacity at short notice has brought costs for the taxpayer and the environment, concludes a Lords report out today.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee declares that the Government should not be congratulated on keeping the lights on. Its report, entitled ‘The Resilience of the Electricity System’, says it is not acceptable for an advanced economy, hugely dependent on electricity, to sail so close to the wind. It found that we have been forced to generate extra capacity in the system, using expensive measures with heavy reliance on fossil fuel generation. The report urges the Government to improve its long-term planning to avoid squeezing the capacity margin like this.

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The BBC is trumpeting a joint statement by David Cameron, Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg which spells economic doom for the UK. If ever there was a good reason to vote on May 7th for the only party committed to scrapping wind farm subsidy and nonsense ‘climate targets’, this is it.

blob-leaders

The three stooges write Britains economic suicide note.

The battle lines are drawn for me now. Energy policy is an important element in my campaign platform. Let’s take apart the statement’s key bullet points and assertions below the break.

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Image: Sparkle Motion under CC

“We have not seen such levels of gas in Iceland in recent times, not since the Laki eruption in 1783,” said Evgenia Ilyinskaya, a volcanologist with the British Geological Survey studying the Holuhraun emissions.

Wonder what instruments were used 200 years ago?

AlJazeera article, raises fears.. volcanos, it’s what they do.

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Nigel_Farage_MEP-sIf we want to go from Little England back to being Great Britain, we must leave the EU. But it’s people like John Major and other fake Europhiles who keep us tied to a weak and crippling Union.

Every time I’m in the chamber of the European Parliament, I have to listen to people stand up and talk about what a great success the EU has been.

But I’m not sure anybody saying it really believes it anymore.

It’s the same when I listen to John Major saying Britain is better off inside the EU than out. He is an intelligent man, so does he really believe it?

Okay, Sir John has to carry the shame of being the British prime minister who signed the Maastricht Treaty – and, you know, he signed it and then had to ask his civil servants to tell him what he’d agreed to – so of course he has to go on believing.

Otherwise he’d have to admit that when he signed that treaty he allowed the creation of the single currency, the ghastly euro monstrosity that has destroyed the economies of the EU’s Mediterranean members and left Germany – again – with huge political sway over the Continent.

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The level of ignorance is astonishing. These people aren’t fit to wield power. Vote them out in May.

eac-release
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rogThe most important general election in my lifetime is just a few months away. At stake are weighty issues of national sovereignty, which is being rapidly eroded by EU legislation and an expanding EU membership. Issues around principles at the heart of our British culture, of tolerance, the rights of individuals to express themselves freely, the right to trial by jury and freedom from arbitrary arrest under EU warrants from overseas. Issues around our economic future, having home produced energy which can improve our national balance of trade, and improve our exporting industries’ competitiveness as well as the living conditions of people struggling to pay high gas and electricity bills.

I have been adopted as a parliamentary candidate by the only party with a sound energy policy. It’s also the only party which takes our sovereignty seriously. We will fight for everyone’s rights of equal treatment before our common-law, a time tested and developed system of case law and charter suited to our British temperament, with its innate sense of justice and fair play. A system which presumes innocence and places the burden of proof on accusers, unlike the continental system our leaders are stealthily trying to introduce..

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Third in a trilogy of guest posts from Ed Hoskins. This one looks at how much temperature would be reduced if we committed economic suicide.

Temperature reduction outcomes from de-carbonisation
Ed Hoskins MAarch (Cantab)  BDS (Lond).

To quantify what might be achieved by any political action for de-carbonization by Western economies, the comparative tables below show the remaining effectiveness of each 100ppmv tranche up to 1000ppmv, with the total global warming in each of the five diminution assessments.  These estimates depend on the calculations set out in the following associated essay:

https://edmhdotme.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/the-diminishing-influence-of-increasing-carbon-dioxide-co2-on-temperature/

The table below shows the likely range of warming arising from these divergent (sceptical and IPCC) views, (without feedbacks, which are questionably either negative or positive: but probably not massively positive as assumed by CAGW alarmists), that would be averted with an increase of CO2 for the full increase from 400 ppmv  up to 1000 ppmv.Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.33.54The results above for countries and country groups show a range for whichever scenario of only a matter of a few thousandths to a few hundredths of a degree Centigrade.

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Guest post from Ed Hoskins
A comparison of both the Capital Cost and Energy Production Effectiveness of the Renewable Energy in Europe.

The diagrams and table below collate the cost and capacity factors of Renewable Energy power sources, Onshore and Off-shore Wind Farms and Large scale Photovoltaic Solar generation, compared to the cost and output capacity of conventional Gas Fired Electricity generation.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 08.16.07

The associated base data is shown below:

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From the Yorkshire Post, UKIP MP Doug Carswell on the reasons behind big fuel bike price hikes:

energybillGOVERNMENT energy policy, put in place by Ministers of all three established parties, is pricing people out of being able to heat their own homes.

The cosy consensus over energy policy here in Westminster is squeezing living standards across the country. According to the index of domestic fuel and light prices, helpfully reproduced by the House of Commons Library, prices have changed fairly dramatically over the past 40 years.

From the early 1980s through to the early noughties, there was a slow, gradual fall in prices; it was a 20-year period of customers getting what they tend to get in a free market, capitalist economy – more for less.

Suddenly and dramatically, that picture changed in the early noughties. Since then we have seen a rapid rise in prices – sharper, indeed, than that experienced during either of the two oil shocks of the 1970s.

Dual-fuel household energy bills in 2014 for the average home are forecast to be almost £1,400. That represents a real-terms price increase of over 50 per cent in a decade during which average household incomes stagnated.

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