Archive for April, 2011

The absurdity of it all

04/29/2011

“Cuts in carbon [dioxide emissions] by developed countries since 1990 have been cancelled out many times over by increases in imported goods from developing countries such as China, according to the most comprehensive global figures ever compiled.  …

[T]he latest research, published on Monday, provides the first global view of how international trade altered national carbon footprints during the period of the Kyoto protocol.  …

According to standard data, developed countries can claim to have reduced their collective emissions by almost 2% between 1990 and 2008. But once the carbon cost of imports have been added to each country, and exports subtracted – the true change has been an increase of 7%. If Russia and Ukraine – which cut their CO2 emissions rapidly in the 1990s due to economic collapse – are excluded, the rise is 12%.”  “Carbon cuts by developed countries cancelled out by imported goods

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Hypocrite in Chief

04/27/2011

“President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged world oil producers to lift crude output, as he sought to deflect public anger over high gasoline prices that has hurt his popularity among voters.  …

“They need to increase supplies,” Obama told CBS affiliate WTKR in Hampton Roads, Virginia.”  “Obama Urges Oil Producers To Increase Output

 

“Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits.  …

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says … [h]e’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area.  …

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.  …

At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil[,] … two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history.”  “EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans

DOI issues new model-based alarmist report

04/26/2011

“Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a report that assesses climate change risks and how these risks could impact water operations, hydropower, flood control, and fish and wildlife in the western United States. The report to Congress, prepared by Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, represents the first consistent and coordinated assessment of risks to future water supplies across eight major Reclamation river basins, including the Colorado, Rio Grande and Missouri river basins.  …

The report, which responds to requirements under the SECURE Water Act of 2009, shows several increased risks to western United States water resources during the 21st century. Specific projections include:

  • a temperature increase of 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • a precipitation increase over the northwestern and north-central portions of the western United States and a decrease over the southwestern and south-central areas;
  • a decrease for almost all of the April 1st snowpack, a standard benchmark measurement used to project river basin runoff; and
  • an 8 to 20 percent decrease in average annual stream flow in several river basins, including the Colorado, the Rio Grande, and the San Joaquin.  …

To develop the report, Reclamation used original research and a literature synthesis of existing peer-reviewed studies. Projections of future temperature and precipitation are based on multiple climate models and various projections of future greenhouse gas emissions, technological advancements, and global population estimates.”  “Interior Releases Report Highlighting Impacts of Climate Change to Western Water Resources

Tortoise shuts down $2B solar project

04/20/2011

“Federal officials have told a solar developer to stop work on two-thirds of a construction site in northeast San Bernardino County because no more tortoises can be disturbed.

Until wildlife authorities reassess the tortoise population, work on the $2.1 billion project — hailed by the Obama administration — is limited to a 2-square-mile area cleared of the protected reptiles last fall. BrightSource Solar’s entire work site, on public land near Primm, Nev., is 5.6 square miles.

The suspension order, made official Friday, was triggered when biologists hired to remove tortoises from the property handled their 39th animal earlier this month, said Amy Fesnock of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

A federal permit allowed for the displacement of no more than 38 desert tortoises found within the project’s borders, said Fesnock, a wildlife biologist in the BLM’s California office. The species is listed as threatened with extinction.

The suspension forced crews from Bechtel, BrightSource’s contractor, to stop building fences and to fill in postholes and trenches so tortoises won’t fall in and get injured or trapped.”  “MOJAVE DESERT: Tortoise finds curtail solar-site construction

California corporate income tax receipts down 57%

04/19/2011

Table below from “State Tax Collections Tick Up“.

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Alabama
$979
13.9%
12.4%
10.3%
4.9%
X
X
X
Alaska
$0
0.0%
23.5%
-103.6%
4.0%
Arizona
$974
11.5%
N/A
85.4%
N/A
X
X
X
X
Arkansas
$0
0.0%
17.9%
2.9%
24.2%
X
California*
$25,400
29.3%
17.2%
-56.7%
-0.6%
X
X
X
X
Colorado
$988
13.8%
15.8%
-42.9%
-4.8%
X
X
X
X
Connecticut
$3,200
18.0%
9.8%
-181.4%
6.7%
X
X
X
X
Delaware
$208
6.3%
10.1%
85.0%
24.1%
X
X
District of Columbia
$322
5.2%
12.9%
166.7%
N/A
X
X
Florida
$3,600
14.9%
N/A
-26.9%
4.9%
X
X
X
X
Georgia
$1,300
7.9%
18.0%
30.5%
4.3%
X
X
X
X
Hawaii
$410
8.2%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
X
Idaho
$92
3.9%
36.4%
93.3%
-0.4%
X
X
X
X
Illinois
$4,900
14.6%
20.5%
-20.7%
10.8%
X
X
X
X
Indiana
$270
2.0%
15.5%
668.5%
6.6%
X
X
X
X
Iowa
$186
3.5%
12.4%
20.2%
5.8%
X
X
X
Kansas
$492
8.8%
3.1%
124.4%
21.1%
X
X
X
Kentucky**
$780
9.1%
10.7%
125.5%
1.9%
X
X
X
Louisiana
$1,600
20.7%
41.5%
127.3%
15.3%
X
X
X
Maine
$436
16.1%
19.3%
-8.5%
4.8%
X
X
X
X
Maryland
$1,400
10.7%
4.6%
-14.5%
4.0%
X
X
X
X
Massachusetts
$1,800
5.7%
8.0%
-2.5%
3.3%
X
X
X
X
Michigan
$1,300
5.9%
43.8%
13.9%
9.0%
X
X
X
X
Minnesota
$3,800
23.6%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
X
Mississippi
$634
14.1%
-1.5%
31.0%
2.6%
X
X
X
Missouri
$704
9.1%
2.0%
152.6%
5.7%
X
X
X
X
Montana
$0
0.0%
11.7%
178.0%
N/A
Nebraska
$314
9.2%
10.1%
-37.8%
5.2%
X
X
X
Nevada
$1,500
45.2%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
X
X
New Hampshire***
N/A
N/A
N/A
-50.0%
N/A
X
X
New Jersey
$10,500
37.4%
10.5%
39.3%
1.5%
X
X
X
X
New Mexico
$450
8.3%
N/A
N/A
N/A
X
X
New York
$10,000
18.7%
4.0%
82.3%
10.4%
X
X
X
X
North Carolina
$2,400
12.7%
11.8%
N/A
-2.7%
X
X
X
X
North Dakota
$0
0.0%
N/A
N/A
N/A
Ohio**
$3,000
11.0%
14.4%
16.8%
4.6%
X
X
X
X
Oklahoma
$500
9.4%
9.9%
73.3%
10.4%
X
X
X
Oregon**
$1,800
25.0%
11.6%
3.2%
N/A
X
X
X
Pennsylvania
$4,200
16.4%
7.5%
-5.4%
2.1%
X
X
X
Rhode Island
$331
11.3%
2.3%
88.5%
3.8%
X
X
X
X
South Carolina
$877
17.4%
44.9%
67.8%
0.9%
X
X
X
X
South Dakota
$127
10.9%
N/A
N/A
15.7%
X
X
Tennessee***
N/A
N/A
N/A
-21.7%
4.4%
X
X
X
Texas
$13,400
31.5%
N/A
N/A
9.3%
X
Utah
$390
8.2%
12.5%
183.1%
13.4%
X
X
X
X
Vermont
$176
16.3%
15.0%
48.7%
1.4%
X
X
Virginia**
$2,000
13.1%
11.3%
67.4%
7.0%
X
X
X
X
Washington
$2,500
16.2%
N/A
N/A
0.2%
X
X
X
X
West Virginia
$0
0.0%
12.1%
144.9%
3.8%
Wisconsin
$1,800
12.8%
33.7%
1.0%
5.7%
X
X
X
Wyoming
$0
0.0%
N/A
N/A
22.3%
X
X

California exodus

04/15/2011

“So far this year, 69 companies have moved all or part of their California work and jobs to other states or countries, reports Irvine relocation consultant Joe Vranich.

It’s the fastest rate of departures since Vranich started tracking the exodus in 2009, he says. There have been an average of 4.7 moves per week from Jan. 1 through April 12, compared to 3.9 moves in all of 2010.

The numbers are low, Vranich says, estimating that only one in five out-of-state moves is made public.

In what he calls “disinvestment events,” Vranich counts companies that move jobs, facilities or headquarters out of California.  He doesn’t count companies that invest outside the state for growth or marketing reasons.

Among the 69 are some big names:  CKE Restaurants, which started in Orange County and now is based in Carpinteria; Dunn-Edwards paints in Vernon; and eBay Inc. in San Jose which will add 1,000 high-paying jobs in Austin, Tex. after receiving government incentives to locate there.”  “69 more firms move jobs, facilities out of California