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Some of you may be aware of Benny Peiser, one of the UK's leading global
warming denialists. Here is the latest from him for those interested in what
the other side has to say. He has shifted the goalposts somewhat over the
years I have been on his list, but never fails to return to outright
denialism whenever possible. No endorsement of his views from me is implied,
of course.

MB

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Benny Peiser <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 12:25 PM
Subject: CCNet: America's New Coal Boom
To: Michael <[log in to unmask]>


       [image: newsletter-head-2010] <http://www.thegwpf.org>

*CCNet - 18 August 2010*

* *

*The Climate Policy Network*



*America’s New Coal Boom*

* *

* *



Utilities across the USA are building dozens of old-style coal plants that
will cement the industry's standing as the largest industrial source of
climate-changing gases for years to come. The expansion, the industry's
largest in two decades, represents an acknowledgment that highly touted
"clean coal" technology is still a long ways from becoming a reality and
underscores a renewed confidence among utilities that proposals to regulate
carbon emissions will fail.  *--*Matthew Brown, Associated Press, 17 August
2010

* *



For all the talk of electricity produced by windmills and solar arrays, the
U.S. Department of Energy has seen the future of electric power generation
and it's coal. More than half of the U.S.'s electricity comes from coal and,
says the DOE, will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. That's
because of two reasons: There's a lot of it and it's relatively cheap. Nor
is the supply prone to interruption like oil, wind and solar. --Dale
McFeatters, Scripps Howard News Service, 17 August 2010



Electricity is the energy commodity that separates the developed countries
from the rest. Countries that can provide cheap and reliable electric power
to their citizens can grow their economies and create wealth. Those that
can’t, can’t. The essentiality of electricity takes us back to
coal. --Robert Bryce. Energy Tribune, 17 August 2010





Fueled by anti-Obama rhetoric and news articles purportedly showing
scientists manipulating their own data, Republicans running for the House,
Senate and governor’s mansions have gotten bolder in stating their doubts
over the well-established link between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and
global warming. * *--Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 18 August 2010

* *



UK Energy prices are set to surge by as much as 10% in the New Year –
bringing fresh pain to millions of families. Experts warned households to
brace themselves for a rise of up to £115 – taking the typical gas and
electricity bill to more than £1,300 a year. Meanwhile “green” levies, that
account for around half the average bill, are expected to increase to fund
Government energy efficiency schemes and a new wave of “clean” power
stations. --Graham Hiscott, Daily Mirror, 17 August 2010* *

* *



*1) America’s New Coal Boom - *Matthew Brown, Associated Press, 17 August
2010

*2) U.S. Elections: Republican Candidates Knock Global Warming - *Darren
Samuelsohn, Politico, 18 August 2010

*3) Opinion: Coal Is The Fuel Of Today -- And Tomorrow - *Dale McFeatters,
Scripps Howard News Service, 17 August 2010

*4) Wood to Coal to Oil to Natural Gas and Nuclear: The Slow Pace of Energy
Transitions -*Robert Bryce. Energy Tribune, 17 August 2010

*5**) Britain's Green Madness: UK Energy Prices To Surge - *Graham Hiscott,
Daily Mirror, 17 August 2010

*6) Climate Taxes May Treble By 2020, Costing Taxpayers More Than £16
Billion A Year -*Gary Peev, Daily Mail, 17 August 2010

*7) And Finally: More Than Half Of Britain's Wind Farms Have Been Built
Where There Is Not Enough Wind - *Fiona Macrae, Daily Mail, 17 August 2010

* *

* *

* *



*1) America’s New Coal Boom*

Matthew Brown, Associated Press, 17 August
2010<http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iCjlywOJyCu1MSGH7FUqj7jD1c1QD9HL5RUO2>

Utilities across the USA are building dozens of old-style coal plants that
will cement the industry's standing as the largest industrial source of
climate-changing gases for years to come. An Associated Press examination of
U.S. Department of Energy records and information provided by utilities and
trade groups shows that more than 30 traditional coal plants have been built
since 2008 or are under construction.

The construction wave stretches from Arizona to Illinois and South Carolina
to Washington, and comes despite growing public wariness over the high
environmental and social costs of fossil fuels, demonstrated by tragic mine
disasters in West Virginia, the Gulf oil spill and wars in the Middle East.

The expansion, the industry's largest in two decades, represents an
acknowledgment that highly touted "clean coal" technology is still a long
ways from becoming a reality and underscores a renewed confidence among
utilities that proposals to regulate carbon emissions will fail. The Senate
last month scrapped the leading bill to curb carbon emissions following
opposition from Republicans and coal-state Democrats.

"Building a coal-fired power plant today is betting that we are not going to
put a serious financial cost on emitting carbon dioxide," said Severin
Borenstein, director of the Energy Institute at the University of
California-Berkeley. "That may be true, but unless most of the scientists
are way off the mark, that's pretty bad public policy."

Federal officials have long struggled to balance coal's hidden costs against
its more conspicuous role in providing half the nation's electricity.

Hoping for a technological solution, the Obama administration devoted $3.4
billion in stimulus spending to foster "clean-coal" plants that can capture
and store greenhouse gases. Yet new investments in traditional coal plants
total at least 10 times that amount — more than $35 billion.

Utilities say they are clinging to coal because its abundance makes it
cheaper than natural gas or nuclear power and more reliable than
intermittent power sources such as wind and solar. Still, the price of coal
plants is rising and consumers in some areas served by the new facilities
will see their electricity bill rise by up to 30 percent.

Industry representatives say those increases would be even steeper if
utilities switched to more expensive fuels or were forced to adopt
emission-reduction measures.

Approval of the plants has come from state and federal agencies that do not
factor in emissions of carbon dioxide, considered the leading culprit behind
global warming. Scientists and environmentalists have tried to stop the coal
rush with some success, turning back dozens of plants through lawsuits and
other legal challenges.

As a result, current construction is far more modest than projected a few
years ago when 151 new plants were forecast by federal regulators. But
analysts say the projects that prevailed are more than enough to ensure
coal's continued dominance in the power industry for years to come.

Sixteen large plants have fired up since 2008 and 16 more are under
construction, according to records examined by the AP.

Combined, they will produce an estimated 17,900 megawatts of electricity,
sufficient to power up to 15.6 million homes — roughly the number of homes
in California and Arizona combined.

Full story<http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iCjlywOJyCu1MSGH7FUqj7jD1c1QD9HL5RUO2>



* *

*2) U.S. Elections: Republican Candidates Knock Global Warming*

Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, 18 August
2010<http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41192.html>

Fueled by anti-Obama rhetoric and news articles purportedly showing
scientists manipulating their own data, Republicans running for the House,
Senate and governor’s mansions have gotten bolder in stating their doubts
over the well-established link between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and
global warming.

GOP climate skeptics have held powerful positions on Capitol Hill in recent
years, including the chairmanship of the House Energy and Senate Environment
panels. But they’ve typically been among the minority. Now, they could form
a key voting bloc, adding insult to injury for climate advocates who failed
to pass an energy bill this year.

*Environmental groups*<http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/Environmentalists>fear
that adding more voices to the skeptic camp could further polarize the
debate and make it more difficult at all levels of government to pass
legislation curbing carbon dioxide emissions, especially if coupled with the
defeat of standard-bearers such as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

*Ron Johnson* <http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/RonJohnson>,
running against Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D), is the latest in a line of
Republicans to take a shot at the validity of global warming.

“I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,"
Johnson told the *Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel*<http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/100814454.html>on
Monday. "It's not proven by any stretch of the imagination."

Johnson told the newspaper that the climate change theory was “lunacy” and
blamed changes in the Earth’s temperature to “sunspot activity or just
something in the geologic eons of time."

Similar remarks have been heard from GOP candidates in all parts of the
country even as mainstream climate scientists defend their work from a
steady line of attack.

Four independent reviews have concluded that the so-called
“*Climategate*<http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/Climategate>”
e-mails stolen last fall from a United Kingdom research unit showed nothing
more than a frank discussion (sic) among scientists working through large
and complicated sets of data. And while the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change has admitted it erred in its 2007 report by citing a report
concluding Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, the Nobel
Prize-winning U.N. organization said the mistake didn’t undermine its larger
body of work.

Former Republican Rep. *Steve
Pearce*<http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/StevePearce>,
running for his old seat in southern New Mexico, told POLITICO that climate
scientists should be questioned more thoroughly because of the stolen
e-mails.

“I think we ought to take a look at whatever the group is that measures all
this, the IPCC, they don’t even believe the crap,” Pearce said in Artesia,
N.M. “They’re the ones who say in the e-mails we’ve got to worry about this,
keep these voices quiet. If they don’t believe it, why should the rest of be
penalized in our standard of living for something that can’t be validated?”

Sharron Angle, the GOP opponent for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in
Nevada, said on her website in June that she thought legislation to curb
greenhouse gases “is based on an unscientific hysteria over the man-caused
global warming hoax.”

Full story <http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/41192.html>



*3) Opinion: Coal Is The Fuel Of Today -- And Tomorrow*

Dale McFeatters, Scripps Howard News Service, 17 August
2010<http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/55913>

For all the talk of electricity produced by windmills and solar arrays, the
U.S. Department of Energy has seen the future of electric power generation
and it's coal.

More than half of the U.S.'s electricity comes from coal and, says the DOE,
will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. That's because of two
reasons: There's a lot of it and it's relatively cheap. Nor is the supply
prone to interruption like oil, wind and solar.

Despite the government's best efforts, coal produces 20 times the
electricity of renewable fuels other than hydropower. The power industry is
betting that will continue to be the case. According to the Associated
Press, since 2008 16 coal-fired plants have been completed and 16 more are
under construction.

And if, as DOE predicts, the efficiency of coal-fired plants nearly doubles
in the next 10 to 15 years those power sources will be even more attractive.
Unhappily, the goal of "clean coal" remains elusive. The ability of the
industry to remove pollutants like sulfur, nitrogen and mercury and to
capture greenhouse gases still lags behind the nation's demand for power.

The industry seems to doubt that capability will ever catch up. The Obama
administration directed $3.4 billion in stimulus money to spur construction
of clean-coal plants yet, as the AP points out, "new investments in
traditional coal plants total at least 10 times that amount -- more than $35
billion."

The size of that investment represents another calculation as well as
legislation to place serious limits on carbon emissions through extensive
regulation or by financial penalties like cap and trade or a carbon tax are
doomed to fail.

Barring technological breakthroughs or a thoroughly unexpected willingness
of the public to pay greatly higher rates for electricity, the nation has
little choice to go on generating power by the most convenient means --
coal.

The new generation of coal-fired plants will produce electricity equivalent
to that needed to power all the homes in California and Arizona. But it
comes at a cost. The AP says those plants opening are the environmental
equivalent putting 22 million additional cars on the road.

Scripps Howard News Service, 17 August
2010<http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/55913>



*4) Wood to Coal to Oil to Natural Gas and Nuclear: The Slow Pace of Energy
Transitions*

Robert Bryce. Energy Tribune, 17 August
2010<http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/4964/Wood-to-Coal-to-Oil-to-Natural-Gas-and-Nuclear--The-Slow-Pace-of-Energy-Transitions>

In the wake of the Macondo well blowout, we are hearing renewed claims that
we must quit using oil, that we must win “the oil end game.” In addition,
there are the continuing calls for drastic reductions in carbon-based fuel
consumption, and those calls are being amplified thanks to the drought and
record-setting heat that has affected parts of the globe in recent weeks.

Those calls may be heartening to some of the true believers that oil is bad,
coal is bad, and natural gas is only slightly less bad. But here’s the
reality: energy transitions are protracted affairs, occurring over decades,
or even centuries. [...]

The transition away from oil, coal, and natural gas will be a decades-long
process because the companies that produce those commodities are getting
ever-better at finding and exploiting them. The oil and gas industry
provides a clear example of this. For about a century, analysts have been
forecasting an end to the supply of petroleum. And they have consistently
been proven wrong. Why? Because the companies that produce oil and gas
continue innovating.

While environmental groups and energy analysts publicize the inventiveness
of entrepreneurs working to improve wind, solar, and other alternative
sources of energy, they seldom mention the ongoing innovations that are
occurring on the hydrocarbon side of the ledger. And in doing so, they
frequently forget the sheer size of the industry that is constantly
searching for techniques that can get oil and gas out of the ground and do
so faster and cheaper. [...]

While the oil and gas industry continues to improve the techniques that
allow companies to drill wells deeper, faster, with greater precision, at
ever-lower costs, the coal industry continues to show its resilience.
Although oil passed coal as the most important source of US energy back in
1950, coal hasn’t gone away. In fact over the past few years, thanks to
soaring global demand for electricity, coal has enjoyed a resurgence.
Although we now live in the Age of Oil, the Age of Coal hasn’t yet passed.
The reason for coal’s enduring popularity is that it provides huge
quantities of the essential commodity of modernity: electricity.

Over the past two decades, global electricity consumption has grown faster
than any other type of energy use. Since 1990, electricity use has increased
about three times as fast as oil consumption. In their thoughtful 2005
book, *The Bottomless Well*, Peter Huber and Mark Mills declare that
“Economic growth marches hand in hand with increased consumption of
electricity – always, everywhere, without significant exception in the
annals of modern industrial history.”(18)

Electricity is the energy commodity that separates the developed countries
from the rest. Countries that can provide cheap and reliable electric power
to their citizens can grow their economies and create wealth. Those that
can’t, can’t. The essentiality of electricity takes us back to coal. Love it
or hate it, coal provides the cheapest option for electricity generation in
dozens of countries around the world. In heavily populated developing
countries like China, India, and Indonesia – all of which have large coal
deposits – the need for increased electric generation capacity is acute. And
those countries (India and China in particular) will continue using coal
until they can ramp up their nuclear power sectors.

So, yes, the calls to move away from carbon-based fuels are loud and
frequent. But facts are better than dreams. And a look back at history shows
that coal, oil, and natural gas are going to be with us for a long time to
come.

<http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/4964/Wood-to-Coal-to-Oil-to-Natural-Gas-and-Nuclear--The-Slow-Pace-of-Energy-Transitions>Full
essay<http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/4964/Wood-to-Coal-to-Oil-to-Natural-Gas-and-Nuclear--The-Slow-Pace-of-Energy-Transitions>



*5) Britain's Green Madness: UK Energy Prices To Surge*

Graham Hiscott, Daily Mirror, 17 August
2010<http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/city-news/2010/08/17/energy-prices-set-to-surge-by-as-much-as-10-in-2011-115875-22492530/>

Energy prices are set to surge by as much as 10% in the New Year – bringing
fresh pain to millions of families.

Experts warned households to brace themselves for a rise of up to £115 –
taking the typical gas and electricity bill to more than £1,300 a year.

A sharp rise in wholesale energy costs – up 62% since last December – means
it’s almost certain that prices will go up, with the only question being
when.

Meanwhile “green” levies, that account for around half the average bill, are
expected to increase to fund Government energy efficiency schemes and a new
wave of “clean” power stations.

In what could be a danger sign, two of the country’s biggest energy firms
have quietly ditched their cheapest deals. EDF Energy replaced its Online
Saver 6 product with one that is almost 7% more, while Npower’s latest Go
Fix tariff is a whopping 18.5% more expensive than its predecessor. Mark
Todd, director of the website Energyhelpline.com, had a stark warning.

He said: “There seems to be an almost unstoppable upward trend in the market
with prices creeping up remorselessly.”

Derek Lickorish, chairman of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, warned it
could lead to a surge in “fuel poor” households – those spending at least
10% of their income on gas and electricity.

The number already stands at 4.6 million in England alone.

He said: “For every 1% increase in prices, another 40,000 households find
themselves in fuel poverty. The Government and suppliers must do more.”

Daily Mirror, 17 August
2010<http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/city-news/2010/08/17/energy-prices-set-to-surge-by-as-much-as-10-in-2011-115875-22492530/>



*6) Climate Taxes May Treble By 2020, Costing Taxpayers More Than £16
Billion A Year*

Gary Peev, Daily Mail, 17 August
2010<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1303694/Green-taxes-treble-2020-costing-taxpayers-16bn-year.html?ito=feeds-newsxml>

*Taxes to pay for contentious climate change policies are set to treble over
the next decade, soaring to more than £16billion a year.*

The hike is the equivalent of 4p on the current rate of income tax, a report
from think tank Policy Exchange claimed.

By 2020 the tax take from green levies will be roughly equivalent to total
public spending in England on both the police and fire services, the figures
show.

Householders will pay £4.3billion in taxes on their energy bills by 2015 –
more than double the £2billion they will pay this year. This will soar to
£6.4billion by 2020, or around £280 for every household.

Firms will also be hit hard, with energy prices rising from £3.7billion to
£9.9billion in the next decade.

The think tank warned that poorer households tended to spend more on energy
so would have more of their meagre income swallowed up by taxes levied on
household bills.

The policies which are driving up tax are intended to support either carbon
emissions reduction or the promotion of renewable energy.

But the report argues many of them do little to curb global warming because
they pay householders to produce power uneconomically through technologies
such as solar panels.

Full story<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1303694/Green-taxes-treble-2020-costing-taxpayers-16bn-year.html?ito=feeds-newsxml>



*7) And Finally: More Than Half Of Britain's Wind Farms Have Been Built
Where There Is Not Enough Wind*

Fiona Macrae, Daily Mail, 17 August
2010<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1303688/More-half-Britains-wind-farms-built-wind.html?ito=feeds-newsxml>

It's not exactly rocket science – when building a wind farm, look for a site
that is, well, quite windy. But more than half of Britain’s wind farms are
operating at less than 25 per cent capacity. In England, the figure rises to
70 per cent of onshore developments, research shows. Experts say that
over-generous subsidies mean hundreds of turbines are going up on sites that
are simply not breezy enough.

Britain’s most feeble wind farm is in Blyth Harbour in Northumberland, where
the nine turbines lining the East Pier reach a meagre 4.9 per cent of their
capacity.

Another at Chelker reservoir in North Yorkshire operates at only 5.3 per
cent of its potential, the analysis of 2009 figures provided by energy
regulator Ofgem found.

The ten turbines at Burton Wold in Northamptonshire have been running for
just three years, but achieved only 19 per cent capacity.

The revelation that so many wind farms are under-performing will be of
interest to those who argue that they are simply expensive eyesores.

Full story<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1303688/More-half-Britains-wind-farms-built-wind.html?ito=feeds-newsxml>
   The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 1 Carlton House, London SW1Y 5DB

Director: Dr Benny Peiser

http://www.thegwpf.org

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-- 
******************************************
Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]
Web:    michaelbalter.com
NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/balter.html
******************************************

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor
have no food, they call me a Communist." -- Hélder Pessoa Câmara