Archive for the ‘cap and trade – carbon taxes – carbon regulation’ Category

EPA madness rolls on

07/15/2011

“What happens if the government mandates the consumption of a product that doesn’t exist? Naturally, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to punish the gasoline refiners because they can’t buy a type of alternative fuel that no one is making. Consumers will be punished too.

The 2007 energy bill vastly increased the volume of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline, though it also included mandates for cellulosic ethanol.  …

The EPA set the 2011 standard at six million gallons. Reality hasn’t cooperated. Zero gallons have been produced in the last six months and the corner isn’t visible over the next six months either. The EPA has only approved a single plant to sell the stuff, … but it shut down its cellulosic operations earlier this year to work through technical snafus.

In its wisdom, Congress decided that some companies should be penalized if the targets aren’t met.  …  U.S. oil refiners that make gasoline … will end up buying six million cellulosic waivers by year’s end at $1.13 a pop. That’s $6.78 million in higher costs at the pump, in return for nothing.

That might not be much in the scheme of things, though late last month the EPA proposed a 2012 mandate that will fall somewhere between 3.55 million and 15.7 million gallons. Barring a miracle, cellulosic producers won’t hit even the lower end, refiners and the driving public will continue to pay for the mistake, and the mandate will continue to ratchet up annually. Perhaps the EPA can also find someone to tax for the lack of unicorns.”  “Cellulosic Ethanol and Unicorns

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Trade war begins

06/24/2011

“China’s anger with the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme for airlines has delayed the revealing of a major Airbus deal and could undermine upcoming deals, according to people familiar with the situation.

Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., had expected to announce at the Paris Air Show this week that Hong Kong Airlines Ltd. ordered 10 of its A380 superjumbo jetliners, with a catalog value of almost $4 billion. The deal’s unveiling was put on ice by officials in Beijing, who must give final approval, these people said.

The Chinese government held off because it disapproves of the EU’s intention to regulate greenhouse emissions of foreign airlines operating to and from the 27-country bloc, according to the people close to the talks.  …

“The Chinese have told us directly that their airlines are not allowed to get into deals with Europe,” said a person close to the European side of the discussions.  …

China’s move appears to be the first retaliation against the EU program. China, the U.S., Russia and other countries have strongly objected to the plan.  …

EU officials have repeatedly said they won’t retreat on their program.”  “China Delays Unveiling Airbus Deal

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

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

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

Businesses folding, leaving California

03/09/2011

“More than one in five (21%) of California small-business owners do not expect to be in business in California in three years, according to a recent survey by Small Business California, an advocacy group in San Francisco.

It’s a number Small Business California President Scott Hague calls “scary.”

 

Source: Small Business California 

Yes, if California lost a fifth of its small businesses it would be scary. About 83% of California’s businesses (78% of Orange County’s) have fewer than 10 employees.”  “Are Calif. businesses closing or leaving?

New Hampshire wises up

02/24/2011

“The New Hampshire House of Representatives today voted overwhelmingly — 246 to 104 — for New Hampshire to become the first state to repeal an up-and-running global warming cap-and-trade energy tax system. The state senate is expected to follow suit with a similarly veto-proof repeal. The move has major implications both in the region and nationally.

Since 2008, New Hampshire has been one of the 10 members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a power plant-only cap-and-trade system that holds quarterly auctions requiring electric utilities to buy carbon dioxide permits.  …

RGGI was supposed to segue directly into a national cap-and-trade system …  Now that a federal bill is dead, RGGI is a lose-lose for everyone except the politicians who get to spend the money and the special interests receiving subsidies.

The overwhelming veto-proof, bipartisan vote today means that New Hampshire is now on a path to doing something that looked impossible just a couple years ago — repeal a cap-and-trade program. In the process, it could deal the death blow to cap and trade both regionally and nationally.”  “New Hampshire smacks down cap and trade

Imperious unelected EPA bureaucrat: you'll take it and you'll like it

02/22/2011

“As Congress considers legislation to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy struck a tone of defiance rather than conciliation at the 14th Annual Energy, Utility, and Environment Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

McCarthy vowed to push forward with carbon dioxide restrictions proposed by EPA and ratchet up the pressure with additional restrictions in the near future.

The end goal, according to McCarthy at the late-January conference, is not a mere tweaking of current energy use and energy sources, but rather a fundamental overhaul of the nation’s production and use of energy . EPA is ready, willing, and able to drive this overhaul, McCarthy emphasized.

“We must transform the power sector in a way that meets the needs of the 21st century,” argued McCarthy, who repeatedly used the word “transform” to describe EPA’s goal for the nation’s energy use.  …

Responding to concerns about the economic damage often caused by EPA regulations, McCarthy struck an equally defiant tone.

“Concerns about cost and reliability always arise when we seek to overhaul industry,” said McCarthy, dismissing cost concerns.

“Industry always overestimates the costs” associated with new regulations, … McCarthy asserted.  …

These additional costs, McCarthy asserted, are not a serious concern because electricity is currently inexpensive.  …

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), however, the average retail price of electricity has risen 50 percent since 1999.”  “EPA’s McCarthy Strikes Defiant Tone About Global Warming Regulations

Politics, not science

02/10/2011

“The Minority Staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works responded to the release of a letter by former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on the legal implications of the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. The letter was released by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Johnson’s letter came six months before EPA released the “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR): Regulating Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act,” which explored the multitude of scientific, technical, legal and economic problems associated with making an endangerment finding for GHGs under the CAA.  As former Administrator Johnson wrote in the ANPR:

“One point is clear: the potential regulation of greenhouse gases under any portion of  the Clean Air Act could result in an unprecedented expansion of EPA authority that would have a profound effect on virtually every sector of the economy and touch every household in the land.

“I believe the ANPR demonstrates the Clean Air Act, an outdated law originally enacted  to control regional pollutants that cause direct health effects, is ill-suited for the task of regulating global greenhouse gases. Based on the analysis to date, pursuing this course of action would inevitably result in a very complicated, time-consuming and, likely, convoluted set of regulations.”

Notably, given these and other considerations, [the Bush] EPA ultimately decided not to issue an endangerment finding.

The Obama EPA, however, ignored these concerns and issued a positive endangerment finding in December 2009.  It is now dealing with the consequences: a regulatory morass that is stalling economic growth and keeping people unemployed — all for no meaningful impact on climate change.”  “EPW MINORITY STAFF RELEASES BUSH ADMINISTRATION VIEWS ON ENDANGERMENT