Senate Votes to Let the EPA Ration Energy, Ah, Carbon

By a vote of 53 to 47, the Senate defeated a resolution proposed by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from beginning to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Now that the resolution has failed, beginning in July 2011 the EPA will start requiring some 15,000 carbon emitters, including coal-fired electricity generation plants, oil refineries, cement manufacturers, and solid waste landfills to have permits for their emissions. This requirement would affect entities that emit about 70 percent of the country's greenhouse gases. The new rules require emitters to use the "best available technology" to control their emissions.

Top-down centralized pollution control regulations are notoriously expensive and cumbersome. The Obama administration and the Democratic leadership will now use the EPA "stick" to beat Congress into voting for slightly less onerous cap-and-trade carbon rationing.

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  • Jordan||

    If ever there was a time to send the price of energy through the roof, this is it! Hello lost decade(s)!

  • Suki||

    Is this what Carter wanted to do and my lawn jockey (who is not Black! look at mom!) wants to finish?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, at he same time we're bitching to the Chinese about THEIR "policies that disadvantage American companies" and then we pile on yet another huge cost of doing business in the US. Whose policies are disadvantaging American companies? The Chinese must be LTFAO at us.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....amp;f=1004

  • ||

    porch-monkey-what?

    Oh, sry, lawn jockey. But, are you 'taking it back', that's the real question?

  • Chad||

    "Through the roof" my ass.

    I have been buying 100% renewable energy from my local provider for years, for a 15% premium. I don't think something that costs as much as a good cup of coffee even remotely reach anyone's roof.

    Btw, Japan and Germany, two of the world's leading exporters, have faced for decades higher energy prices than anything that would happen under C&T. If they figured it out, so can we.

  • Jordan||

    Yes, I'm sure that will scale up to the entire country. And Japan has had two decades with no nominal economic growth.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Chad,

    I have been buying 100% renewable energy from my local provider for years, for a 15% premium.

    But, under his plan, energy prices will necessarily skyrocket! The Messiah said so!

  • ||

    I pay off my credit card bill every month.

  • ||

    I have been buying 100% renewable energy from my local provider for years, for a 15% premium.

    The low hanging fruit is so tasty, so tasty. And it only costs 15% more than fruit delivered to you at the grocery store.

    But, oh, the sweet and tasty fruit higher in the tree. It must be truly delicious! And only 20% or 30% or 50% more than fruit in the store. It's organic too!

  • Chad||

    Most of it comes from wind, and we have many times the wind resources around here than we are currently using.

  • ||

    You certainly do. I'm wondering if the grid can handle windmills that run off the hot air you're bleating out.

  • ||

    It's still not as effective as harnessing the rotational energy of Grave-Spinning-Founding-Fathers.

  • Suki||

    As demonstrated by tornadoes. Go harness one of those, Pecos Chony.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Wind. Brilliant. Why don't you become a hanging Chad?

  • CatoTheElder||

    Electrons are fungible. But the art of American marketing is so sophisticated and a particular segment of "environmentally conscious" consumers is so dimwitted that the ultimate commodity -- electrons -- can be branded and sold for a premium.

    Electricity is sold on a common electric grid and there's absolutely no way to know whether your electrons were generated via combustion, wind, or solar. The big money is in the subsidies for generation and the retail premium is icing on the cake.

    It is somewhat ironic that "environmentally conscious" leftists who are obnoxiously critical of American marketing, advertising, and consumer society are the chief suckers in this business.

  • ||

    Let's see here. According to wikipedia's list of countries by PPP adjusted per capita income, the US ranks high above germany and japan whose per capita income is $34,212 and $32,608 respectively. Seeing as the US per capita income is about $46,000, I don't see what we have to gain by jacking up our energy prices.

  • ||

    I have been buying 100% renewable energy from my local provider for years, for a 15% premium.

    I have been using 0 renewable energy all my life and been paying the lowest electrical rates in the country. You sure are an idiot Chad.

  • ||

    been using 100% renewable energy all my life and been paying the lowest

    fixed

  • ||

    Plausable if you live in an area with the right topography and rainfall for hydroelectric power. The problem is there are significant areas of the country that are too flat or too dry to depend on electricity from falling water. Many of those areas have coal instead. The decision to tax carbon results in a transfer of wealth from the South and Midwest to the coasts until people living in the coal rich elevation poor areas throw off the burden one way or another. Present trends can't continue.

  • ||

    "I have been buying 100% renewable energy from my local provider for years, for a 15% premium."

    I'm so sure that your local provider uses nothing but renewable energy. I know of several companies in my area that say that they provide 100% renewable energy at the exact same cost. However, according to the fine print, they actually use traditional energy sources when demand exceeds supply (aka always) while purchasing "offsets." Also, such companies already receive subsidies making the actual cost appear smaller.

  • Chad||

    Many major electric providers have a green energy program. They charge people like a premium, and they use the money to install wind, biogas, etc, on top of that required by state mandates. The state's largest wind farm was built with money from this program and money from a similar program by the state's other major power company.

    Electricity is obviously fungible. I am not responsible for the electricity I take out of the grid, but rather what I pay to have put into the grid.

  • ||

    I will believe you are serious, Chad, when you can tell me your electricity is shut off when there is not enough wind for all of you paying the extra 15%. But, you clearly will not stand for that.

    You are one of those guys who is spending a little extra to feel good, but, in the end, not making a dime's worth of difference.

  • Suki||

    Hey MNG/Tony, you pay out the ass for whatever you want and leave my ass out of it!

  • ||

    But if you don't chip-in too, then how will the GreenPower Companies afford sausages or toboggans?

  • ||

    Chad,
    Don't you feel like a sap paying 15% more for a concept that has not benefited anything or anyone but Gore and his ilk?

  • Chad||

    It has benefited you with cleaner air. Why don't you thank me for once?

  • ||

    Not to mention lots of chopped up birds. Or are bird guts in the air clean?

  • Tony||

    Yeah oil's been great for birds.

  • tarran||

    No it hasn't.

    Every killowatt of wind also requires a kilowatt of a controllable source, such as a natural gas fired generator or load stabilization.

    In effect, you get chopped up birds and with nearly the same amount of CO2.

    People have blown money on huge, pointless, religious structures throughout history. The wind turbines are the modern era's giant statue of Buddha.

  • William B Swift||

    It is only 15% more because energy supplies are completely fungible. It is actually just a voluntary premium to help fund the "green" power plants. In reality, the energy comes from all the plants in proportion to their production. Or do you really think the power company runs separate lines for you and the other green nitwits out there?

  • Lowdog||

    Why is it that the government gets to keep all the money it gets from taxing and regulating? Wouldn't it encourage people to be better informed if fines collected were somehow distributed to the people, as individuals, not the government?

    I mean, other than the obvious power and control-grabbing nature of government.

  • ||

    Because then people would commit fine-able offenses just to get paid? Something like that.

  • ||

    Chad:
    U.S. per capita GDP - $46,400
    Germany per capita GDP - $34,100
    Japan per capita GDP - $32,600

    Source: CIA Factbook

  • Anticipated Response||

    Cheap Chinese crap! McMansions!

  • Chad||

    You forgot SUVs.

  • Anticipated Addendum||

    And externalities.

  • ||

    OH SNAP! Chad forgot 'the externalities'

    *headswivel*

  • Chad||

    No, unfortunately, you did.

    This is a typical response by libertarians. It has to be, because this one word alone guts your ideology.

  • Chad||

    Ron, if we want to play anecdotes about GDP, let's add a few countries and sources. Note all the high-tax, high-energy price states that are kickin' our butt. Most of those ahead of us are weathering the great recession a lot better than us as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....es_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita

    In any case, I was speaking about exports, not GDP. I think we focus too much on the latter, as it fails to account for too many things, and counts far too much that is actually nothing more than replacing broken windows.

    Since energy is about 6-8% of GDP, a 15-20% price increase would imply 1-2% of GPD. In other words, we have to slow down by about one year over the course of the next fifty or so, in order to do things the right way. Big frickin' deal.

  • ||

    We have by a huge margin the largest GDP in the world. Even on a per capita basis, the only countries ahead of us are small, wealthy nations (like Qatar and Luxembourg).

  • ||

    Nominal GDP per capita is sort of irrelevant. It is what your money will purchase that counts. Also, you ignore the fact that higher energy prices will hit every industry in plenty of unforseen ways. It's not just a simple matter of calculating a direct impact on GDP.

    Having somewhat high export levels due to lower income levels is hardly impressive or meaningful.

  • Chad||

    Do you prefer PPP-adjusted values instead? I have never had much faith in them. They are based on what seem like apples-to-apples comparisons of equivalent baskets of goods to economists, but don't necessarily reflect reality on the ground.

    For example, owning my car here in the US is expensive, probably $500/month averaged over ten years. Owning the same car in Japan would be even more expensive, likely hitting $750/month, due to the higher gasoline, parking, and inspection costs. But...and this is a big but....if I were in Japan, I wouldn't need the car in the first place, and instead would spend $250/month on public transit. Then I could use my $250/month in savings to pay for their more expensive (and better quality) food.

    How does PPP handle this? Not well at all.

    No matter which way you look at it, there are plenty of rich nations with energy prices far higher than ours, as well as higher taxes. Neither killed them, nor will it kill us.

  • ||

    They haven't been "killed," but that is not the argument. I don't think that living in Japan "sucks" but by any metric, they pay more for a lot of the same goods and services. I assume that you are talking about major cities such as tokyo in your example. There are parts of japan where public transit is not as widely available. Also, there are cities in the USA where I could live and ride buses to and from work, too.

    Plus, that's just one example of one aspect of a person's life. Hardly a comprehensive picture of life. Sure, tokyo apartments are much cheaper than NYC apartments, but they are also, much much smaller. Driving a car is also much more enjoyable than sitting on a bus or on a subway, too. Japanese commutes are some of the longest in the world. PPP is a far better metric than nominal income by any measure. It's hard to debate that. I'm not saying that it is perfect.

  • Chad||

    tkwelge|6.10.10 @ 7:25PM|#

    I don't think that living in Japan "sucks" but by any metric, they pay more for a lot of the same goods and services.

    I disagree. Sometimes they pay far less for similar or better service (say, health care or cell phones). Most of the time, they pay somewhat more for higher quality goods and infinitely better service. While a direct apples-to-apples comparison of the exact same goods (when they exist) would show things are "cheaper" in the US, this ignores the better service in Japan. Even more importantly, it ignores the fact that you just don't "need" the same amount of stuff there, because of the better public places and transportation. You don't need a car, just a $50 bicycle. You don't need a big apartment, let alone a house, because you are either at work or out with friends and/or clients.

    I assume that you are talking about major cities such as tokyo in your example.

    You'd be surprised at how good the public transit is in the "not major" cities, and even out in the boonies. Most working-age Japanese live in the cities anyway, and the rural population tends to be elderly and not in need of a way to commute daily.

    There are parts of japan where public transit is not as widely available. Also, there are cities in the USA where I could live and ride buses to and from work, too.

    There are only a few places in the US where it is really feasible not to own a car.

    Driving a car is also much more enjoyable than sitting on a bus or on a subway, too.

    What? Perhaps zig-zagging up highway 1 while on vacation, or cruising cross-country with the top down on a fine summer's day...but you are utterly wrong when it comes to a daily commute, which studies have shown is one of the most stressful elements of most peoples' lives. I'll take the 10 minute walk, five minute train ride and ten minute bus ride I had in Japan over my 15-minute drive here in a heartbeat.

    Japanese commutes are some of the longest in the world.

    Most of which is spent sleeping, reading, studying, chatting with your friends, playing with your phone, and/or walking (and people watching, I admit it). As opposed to driving, where not only is it difficult to do anything useful or pleasurable, but it is actually both dangerous and stressful.

    PPP is a far better metric than nominal income by any measure. It's hard to debate that. I'm not saying that it is perfect.

    It is a necessary evil when trying to compare a rich nation to a poor one, as obviously the "costs of living" are quite different. However, when comparing rich nations, there is not much signal and too much noise for it to be a very meaningful adjustment.

  • ||

    We can talk about anecdotes all day, and I disagree with the idea that Japanese commutes are as short as you say they are when plenty of statistics show the opposite. The fact of the matter is that the PPP is the only true index being discussed. Using nominal numbers is a terrible way to compare two countries. Sorry. You're also ignoring the fact that all of those public services come at a tremendous cost as shown by Japan's ballooning debt of 192% of GDP.

    There are plenty of places in the USA where people can get around by bike or bus. Most people in the USA CHOOSE not to, however. And just because people in Japan choose to go without some luxuries, that doesn't mean that those things don't count towards quality of life.

    Like I said, we can discuss anecdotes all day, but you'll have to point to something concrete, such as PPP, for anybody to listen to you.

  • Chad||

    tkwlege, I fully admit that the average Japanese has a longer commute than the average American. My point is that 45 minutes of walking, reading, and napping is not necessarily worse than 30 minutes of swearing at the idiot who just cut you off. I enjoyed my commute in Japan, whether I rode my bike (~35 minutes) or took the walk/train/bus combo (~45 minutes). Note that the exercise built into the commute allowed me to cut back on my "formal" exercise from six times a week to four, essentially paying back any extra time spent commuting. It was also substantially cheaper, being either free, or costing me $7/day.

    You're also ignoring the fact that all of those public services come at a tremendous cost as shown by Japan's ballooning debt of 192% of GDP.

    Japan's train systems are generally privately owned and profitable...exactly the opposite of our road system. Which, btw, is about as heavily subsidized as "public" transportation, both of which capture about half of their funding at the fare box, gas pump, and/or DMV. The other half in both cases comes from general tax revenues.

    The only decent public transportation we have in the US is in NYC and DC. Go figure, people there actually use it, and property values near the stations go through the roofs.

    And just because people in Japan choose to go without some luxuries, that doesn't mean that those things don't count towards quality of life

    On the contrary. The Japanese are all about luxuries. They tend to forego the piles of cheap crap from China instead.

  • ||

    things are "cheaper" in the US, this ignores the better service in Japan

    Got it. We need to up the prices on everything so that we get better service. Damn Chad, you're fucking brilliant!

  • Tony||

    And exactly what entitles us to current energy prices? It's obvious that they're only artificially low, and more obvious that they're not going to last forever.

  • ||

    I never said that energy prices would last forever. I also don't think that we are entitled to low energy prices as a right either. I personally don't believe that energy prices are "artificially low." I know, I know, blah blah blah externalities. However, there aren't just negative externalities. I think that positive externalities at least partly outweigh many negative externalities, and in many cases negative externalities do present themselves somewhere in the economy in a way that involves personal choice on the part of people involved and not necessarily a forced relationship.

  • Chad||

    http://www.grist.org/article/2.....lion-year/

    $550 billion in subsidies per year, and that isn't even counting externalities, which are probably even higher.

    Yeah. Not "artificially low" at all.

    Keep dreaming, man.

  • ||

    OKay, remove the subsidies, but wind and solar still receive much more subsidy on a per kilowatt basis. I do believe in removing those government subsidies, but I disagree that the externalities are really these huge shadow costs that you say they are.

  • ||

    But they're externalities! The very word MEANS "huge and shadowy".

    Dictionary? Never heard of it.

  • Chad||

    You can disagree with facts all you want. Just don't enforce your fantasies on the rest of us.

    http://www8.nationalacademies......rdID=12794

    $120 billion per year in health costs due to air pollution, about half of which is coal. That's $.03/kwh, btw.

    Damages to the environment (including CO2) are around the same amount.

  • No Name Guy||

    Tony - justify that statement "artificially low".

    If by that you mean as a matter of policy, this country doesn't tax the shit out of energy, they yes, they're "artificially" low.

    Chad - Japan is a small country with very limited ariable and livable land. Population densities in the therefore limited urban areas are then dense enough to support mass transit. Now, if you like to live like that, go the fuck ahead and move to NYC or Chicago. I, and many others, would rather choose to live in a single family detached housing unit with a patch of grass. You go live your way in your apartment in "The City", I'll actually live where it's green and the air is fresh, m'kay? (mumbles under breath - fucking retard who wants to coerce everyone into easily controled dense urban area.....)

  • Chad||

    That patch of grass wastes enormous amounts of water and energy, creating even more carbon. Meanwhile, people in the poorer parts of the world will suffer just so you can live in your little McMansion. But go ahead and enjoy your little patch of grass, and I'll enjoy my art collection, knowing I don't have blood on my hands.

  • ||

    If this ia spoof, A+.

    If not, Chad, you could sell that valuable art and send the proceeds to those poorer people you lament so. Or you could even find some poorer people here to help directly.

    Why do you hate America, Chad?

  • ||

    Why do you hate America, Chad?

    Not enough taxes and too much freedom. Duh.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    That patch of grass wastes enormous amounts of water and energy, creating even more carbon.


    You are not the one paying for that patch of grass, so why the fuck do you care?

    Meanwhile, people in the poorer parts of the world will suffer just so you can live in your little McMansion.


    No, they do not.

  • ||

    You are not the one paying for that patch of grass, so why the fuck do you care?

    He has to pay for the 'externalities' associated with that patch. Do try to keep up ;)

  • ||

    Many of the world's poor live on subsistence farms that are far bigger than my patch of grass. You can't say that I'm evil just because I live my life, Chad. That's just ignorant. I'm not violently taking anything from anybody, so saying that I have blood on my hands is utter nonsense.

  • ||

    What a nitwit, watering my lawn produces more carbon? Fuck u douchebag, we use a lot of energy in this country, because we've been protecting the rest of the world for the last 60 years or so. Go ahead and admire your art collection. Probably oil based paints with no use or function other than to make you feel good about yourself. When I water my palnts and lawn, little organisms have something to eat, and then bigger organisms eat them, so on and so on. You sanctimonious faggot, go back to the rock you crawled out from and bother us no more.

  • EmbarrassedByProfanity||

    Go fuck yourself, Chad.

  • Chad||

    Tony - justify that statement "artificially low".

    See above. Game, set, and match.

    Yes, I am quite aware of the geography of Japan. It's fairly similar to our east cost, actually. No, we can't replicate Japan's successes in Kansas, but we can do it in the DC-Boston corridor.

    Unfortunately, as a chemist, it is pretty hard to find a job inside a major city. We don't build many chemical plants in such places. I have no problem with you living in your detached house with a bit of wasteful grass, as long as you are willing to do it subsidy free. Apparently, you have no idea how deep those subsidies run...or worse yet, you do have an idea, and just turn a blind eye to it. Again, see above.

  • ||

    "See above. Game, set, and match."

    Sigh.....

    Wind, solar, etc all require much bigger subsidies per kilowatt. Scale those technologies up and you'll see those costs balloon. I'm all for cutting the subsidies that you mention, btw.

  • Chad||

    Citation, please.

    Ignoring externalities, per kwh subsidies in the US are about the same.

    Of course, ignoring externalities is a major problem, because in the case of coal, we are talking about something on the order of 5-7 cents per kwh.

  • Chad||

    Tony - justify that statement "artificially low".

    See above. Game, set, and match.

    Yes, I am quite aware of the geography of Japan. It's fairly similar to our east cost, actually. No, we can't replicate Japan's successes in Kansas, but we can do it in the DC-Boston corridor.

    Unfortunately, as a chemist, it is pretty hard to find a job inside a major city. We don't build many chemical plants in such places. I have no problem with you living in your detached house with a bit of wasteful grass, as long as you are willing to do it subsidy free. Apparently, you have no idea how deep those subsidies run...or worse yet, you do have an idea, and just turn a blind eye to it. Again, see above.

  • Suki||

    Look! MNG changed her handle from Chad to Tony!

  • ||

    HAHA

    More proof Chad is an idiot.

  • Suki||

    But you repeat yourself ;)

  • ||

    If the reason cruise will include a night where everyone competes to do the best Tony/Chad impersonation, then I'm going to have to start saving up.

  • ||

    Fuck.

  • Almanian||

    ...that's what I was gonna say

  • Old Mexican||

    The new rules require emitters to use the "best available technology" to control their emissions.

    Which means many friends of the current regime will get rich... Those that manufacture the "best technology", of course. That's how the racket works.

  • ||

    I don't follow. I thought rackets worked by swinging them as hard as you can, so that TonyChad gets the string marks permanently embossed in his face?

  • ||

    Invest in me, the Sun! I'm a happy-face logo! The epitome of "sensible, sustainable energy production." What's not to love?

  • Astrid||

    The fact that one day your core is going to run out of Hydrogen to convert into Helium and things are going to go very badly for us.

  • ||

    Poppycock! There is nothing more assuring than my daily ascension in the eastern horizon. Just ask Hallmark. Or the Mayans!

  • Suki||

    Tell that to the corpses of Moon and Rainbow.

  • ||

    Yet another reason to hope that the Repubs pick up enough this fall to actually reverse what is being done now.

    Yes, yes, I know, Repubs bad, Repubs not libertartian.

    But if you had to choose between leaving Dems in place to lock this stuff in and do more of it, and replacing them with Repubs who will reverse it, which would you rather have?

  • ||

    It's hard to not hope for a veto-overriding majority, with the cojones to overturn this crap. And other crap.

    On the flip side, I'd like that majority to weaken in 2012 and for Obama to get ousted. Preferably by Kurt Russell, but that's unlikely.

  • ||

    Preferably by Kurt Russell, but that's unlikely.

    He WAS in that movie that was kinda like this.

  • ||

    He's supposedly a libertarian, but I'll only vote for him if he wears the eyepatch.

  • ||

    which would you rather have?

    Me, The Sun™. I'm like a big apple pie.
    Everybody loves apple pie!
    Not to mention baseball and Chevrolet.

  • Neu Mejican||

    The choice this article highlights.

    Pay the cost of pollution control.
    Or
    Pay the cost of pollution.

    One is a near-term cost, the other a long-term cost.

    Pay me now or pay me later.

    I am not sure how pay me later is more libertarian than pay me now.

  • ||

    Are there only two options?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Pro-lib...

    I guess we can go with the carbon tax...

    i.e.

    Pay as you go.

  • ||

    In the future, if we don't retard economic development, we will have far more money to pay any costs. If we attempt to pay those costs now, we have to draw funds from a much smaller pool, and we'll shrink our future pool as well.

  • Neu Mejican||

    There are some important concepts in your reply tk welge...but you need to also think of the size of the pool (i.e. the environment) that is absorbing the harm. Limiting the cost to that system now is likely to make that overall cost lower as the more robust system is able to absorb small harms with relatively little effort, whereas the weakened system my require major interventions...or be beyond saving at that later date.

  • ||

    That's the argument, but most of the negative effects of "global warming" have solutions cheaper than carbon mitigation schemes. In many cases, adaptation will be cheaper than mitigation. The countries most likely to suffer damages from global warming are also the countries that are developing the fastest right now (low income nations). Carbon rationing schemes could be devastating to that fast growth, thus possibly outweighing future gains from mitigation. That's the catch 22. The poorest nations are the ones most likely to be effected by global warming and global warming mitigation. I have yet to see a mathematical analysis that isn't horribly biased.

  • ||

    I've heard clamoring about environmental catastrophe since the day I was born, meanwhile quality of life the world over has increased for everybody by any metric any ethical person could possibly care about. Plus wealthier nations produce using much cleaner methods than poor nations, and according to the world bank, the natural resource wealth of richer nations is higher too. Wealth production is an environmental help in and of itself.

  • Tony||

    tkwelge, I think you're doing a lot of rationalizing to oppose something sensible for ideological reasons. Fossil fuel energy cannot possibly last forever, even if it didn't cause global warming, so I don't see how delaying the inevitable at great environmental cost for the sake of squeezing every last dime from oil and coal is the more rational option.

    And both the resource and the environmental problems are multiplied by the fact of the growth in developing countries. There is no rational reason we have to chain ourselves to the energy status quo, which includes being on the leash of Middle Eastern theocracies, and our coastlines being destroyed. If more of you guys would believe that heat-trapping gases actually trapped heat then the energy policy debate would be the clearest and most obvious explanation of exactly what a public is and why it can have a collective interest outside of the markets.

  • ||

    Fossil fuel energy cannot possibly last forever, even if it didn't cause global warming, so I don't see how delaying the inevitable at great environmental cost for the sake of squeezing every last dime from oil and coal is the more rational option.

    Illogical Tony. If this were true, you would WANT fossil fuels depleted at a faster rate to force cockamamie "renewable" schemes and subsidies. I expect the BP disaster to hurry this along.

    which includes being on the leash of Middle Eastern theocracies

    We import most of our oil from the the Americas: Mexico, Canada and Venezuela.

  • ||

    By the time we get anywhere near a point where fossil fuels are depleted, energy costs will climb quickly, and alternatives will make themselves known. I don't see the doomsday scenario occurring there.

    As far as I've seen, economic growth the world over has led to a steadily increasing efficiency of production as well as a steadily increasing quality of life for everyone involved. I'm not saying that cap and trade will be the end of humanity or that we should do absolutely nothing, but we shouldn't always trust the "collective solutions" people either. I know that there are at least a hundred ways the government will screw things up for everybody. Cap and trade is largely a scheme that will make a minority rich while taking years to accomplish anything. Doing nothing might be a hell of a lot better compared to that.

  • ||

    And both the resource and the environmental problems are multiplied by the fact of the growth in developing countries.

    You of course realize that "growth in developing countries" means fewer children dying and fewer people having to live short impoverished lives. Against actual human beings, you are weighing resource and environmental problems.

    There is no rational reason we have to chain ourselves to the energy status quo...

    Except for the rational reason that it is the cheapest way to lift the next billion out of poverty so they too can enjoy rich resources and clean environments like those in developed countries do.

  • Tony||

    You of course realize that "growth in developing countries" means fewer children dying and fewer people having to live short impoverished lives. Against actual human beings, you are weighing resource and environmental problems.

    No. I don't buy the argument that shifting national and global priorities toward sustainable energy is economically destructive compared to sticking with fossil fuels. And global warming will affect those poor countries disproportionately, too.

    Except for the rational reason that it is the cheapest way to lift the next billion out of poverty so they too can enjoy rich resources and clean environments like those in developed countries do.

    Hardly. What exactly is cheap about billions in real subsidies, trillion dollar oil wars, and massive environmental disasters?

    Eradicating poverty the world over is a great thing, but there's no way it can be done sustainably with the energy status quo. The planet is finite, and we are fully capable of consuming it until it can no longer sustain us. So let's try not doing that.

  • .||

    Except for the rational reason that it is the cheapest way to lift the next billion out of poverty so they too can enjoy rich resources and clean environments like those in developed countries do.

    But you don't understand, Mike. Tony and Chad don't want people lifted out of poverty - they don't want even the developed countries to be out of poverty. According to Chad and Tony the living standards of the developed world, especially the US, are much too high. According to them we should only get what we need, not what we might want. And of course, what we need must be determined by hateful control freaks like themselves.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Fossil fuel energy cannot possibly last forever, even if it didn't cause global warming, so I don't see how delaying the inevitable at great environmental cost for the sake of squeezing every last dime from oil and coal is the more rational option.


    Then the price will rise until it is about equal with alternatives, or usage of fossil fuels equals the natural replenishment rate.

    There is no rational reason we have to chain ourselves to the energy status quo, which includes being on the leash of Middle Eastern theocracies, and our coastlines being destroyed


    Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela are run by Middel Eastern theocracies?

    Honestly, I do not understand this crusade against oil. So many otherwise intelligent people have this religious mindset against the use of fossil fuels, as if they were Orthodox Jewish rabbis reacting to people eating a ham sandwich after having had premarital sex.

  • Tony||

    And in the future, there will be libertarians arguing against paying those costs.

  • ||

    If there are better uses for that money and/or that is the choice that people are making, why the hell not?

  • No Name Guy||

    And an essential trace gas is polution how again?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I am not sure how pay me later is more libertarian than pay me now.


    Pay me later is cheaper in this particular instance.

  • ||

    Your error is in calling Carbon Dioxide "pollution". The reason the vote was taken in the Senate was over this same error.
    EPA decided they wanted to regulate carbon emissions, based on evidence which has been shown to be somewhat suspect. (We can argue over whether the underlying data shows anything, but it is clear that the data was massaged and cherry-picked at times). Calling CO2 pollution, by statute, requires EPA to impose all sorts of controls. EPA blanched at the massive work (and massive political fallout) and reinterpreted the law to suit their particular situation. (See the cutoff points for who has to comply,and how it violates the statute).
    If you like massive central government agencies ignoring statutory law and issuing game-changing regulations based on shoddy science, then the Greenhouse regulations are right up your alley.

  • ||

    The Obama administration and the Democratic leadership will now use the EPA "stick" to beat Congress into voting for slightly less onerous cap-and-trade carbon rationing.

    There will be no democrat leadership of congress in 2011.

  • Tony||

    If Republicans keep nominating whackjobs there will still be a Dem leadership and it will still include Harry Reid.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If Republicans keep nominating whackjobs there will still be a Dem leadership and it will still include Harry Reid.


    And the Democrats never nominate whackjobs?

  • ||

    The Democrats always nominate whackjobs!

  • ||

    I think all of can probably agree that the EPA regulating carbon is probably the worst way to do it. But there's only one to realistly stop them

    Some type of congress mandated carbon control.

    Nothing else will work. The courts have already mandated the EPA do this, and you are not going to see the senate or president pass a bill that stops it without some type of carbon tax.

    Note that I think the cap and trade systems are almost as bad (at least they way they will be implemented) as the EPA.

    SOOOOO

    We are back to a net zero carbon tax.

    If conservatives/libertarians had ANY brains, they would ALL push for a net zero carbon tax right now. Otherwise, we will be stuck with the EPA for sure.

  • ||

    I somewhat agree.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The courts have already mandated the EPA do this, and you are not going to see the senate or president pass a bill that stops it without some type of carbon tax.


    And Congress can simply take away the EPA's power.

    Here is another thing. The EPA is under the control of the President. So President Obama owns whatever the EPA does. The backlash for the EPA regulating carbon emissions will thus be borne solely by Obama.

  • .||

    Yeah, but he'll be out of office by then.

  • ||

    If Obama and them weren't worried about the backlash from healthcare reform, they won't be worried about any backlash from EPA regulations.

    And there is no way congress will take that authority from the EPA without some type of cap and trade or carbon tax agreement.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    And there is no way congress will take that authority from the EPA without some type of cap and trade or carbon tax agreement.


    Why?

  • ||

    Because the Dems are in control, and will most likely stay in control (at least in the senate). And Obama will stay in the whitehouse for at least 2 years, and quite possibly 4.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Because the Dems are in control, and will most likely stay in control (at least in the senate). And Obama will stay in the whitehouse for at least 2 years, and quite possibly 4.


    Why do the Dems have such a hard-on for cap and trade or carbon taxes?

  • ||

    Hey why didn't my name post

  • BakedPenguin||

    Put options for Dec 2011 are looking mighty tempting right now. I'm just trying to decide between the DJA, the S&P 500, or QQQ (Nasdaq Index).

  • .||

    Did anyone see the Frontline/World story about Brazilian forests being grown for carbon credits. I thought it was very misleading and seemed to be designed to make you think that growing trees is what carbon offsets is all about. In actuality this is not about "putting a price on carbon" as it is on putting a price on the absence of carbon. This is an outright scam.

  • Maverick||

    The fucking stupid. It hurts my head so.

  • ||

    Wind power. Spain just found out what wind power cost, lots of information out, is it because we are having a perfect storm of stupidly or can't our 'public servants' read. Hundreds of thousands of bird have been killed by wind turbines, why no outcry on this? Its a scam, it kills raptors and in Spain it was found to be a boondoggle and very, very expensive. Anyone who voted yea on this have to be retired, these people are criminals.

  • ||

    First we ration 'Health Care' aka ObamaCare and now we ration energy. Is this the only thing the Democrats are good for, ruining our economy and turning the United States into a "Banana Republic." I lived through Carter but this inept bunch just might get us into a depression or get us killed. I can't believe how stupid these people are, they have to be retired, they are dangerous in the extreme to our liberties.

  • ||

    All of this assumes the government will still be standing a year from now. They have no money and soon the pipelines that keep enabling them (China et al) will simply stop showing up for t-auctions.

  • .||

    They have no money

    Doesn't matter. The government will still be around and in control even if it doesn't have money to pay its thugs. It will simply pay them with increased powers and privileges, as is done in other banana republics.

  • ||

    For his next trick, Barack Obama will take up "King Canute's Challenge" and prove that he, the Light Worker, really can command the tides to recede.

    This "carbone bus-i-ness" isn't going to end well....for Obama.

  • Pastafarian||

    If wind and solar are of comparable efficiency and economic viability to coal, as commenters Chad and Tony claim above (who claim, absurdly, that coal receives as much subsidy as wind), then why don't companies that sell electric power voluntarily build wind farms to produce their electricity?

    Is this all the result of a vast conspiracy of aliens who seek to transform our atmosphere by filling it with as much CO2 as possible?

    Or is it driven by the Hillbilly Mafia, who own vast tracts of land in West Virginia, and won't rest til every nugget of anthracite has been dug out and burned?

    All this trouble and expense, because of the already-discredited modern-day Piltdown Man theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (oops, I mean climate change).

  • Timberati||

    Anybody want to comment on the NRDC blog? "Study finds American Power Act creates jobs while decreasing household energy expenditures."

    http://switchboard.nrdc.org/bl.....r_act.html

    Everything that I've read shows that the APA will stifle growth to the tune of 2+ jobs lost for every new one created.

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