Like many who live in this pastoral valley near Livermore, Calif., Chris O’Brien is a believer in renewable energy. The 61-year old logistics business owner outfitted his barn with solar panels that power his 50-acre ranch where he grows oat hay, raises horses and grazes cattle.
“Everyone here is in favor of green energy,” O’Brien said.
But that support has its limits. When he learned of plans to build a giant solar farm next door to his property—the kind of project that would help meet the state’s clean energy goals—O’Brien decided he had to fight it. It was exactly the sort of thing that would spoil the rural landscape that he says should be protected by a local anti-development measure.
“It would be a sea of glass,” said O’Brien. “It disturbs the environment.”
O’Brien is part of a cadre of ranchers, farmers and ‘environmentalists’ opposing what would be the largest solar plant in the Bay Area – a clash which Bloomberg notes ‘offers a preview of potential disputes that could slow the ambitious push by California and the Biden Administration to develop clean energy to combat climate change.’
The NorCal NIMBYs have banded together to oppose the Aramis Renewable Energy Project – which would cover around 350 acres of private pastureland with over 300 eight-foot-high solar panels which can generate 100 megawatts of carbon-free electricity. The installation, developed by Intersect Power, would be enough to power 25,000 homes every year. The proposed site – located around 50 miles east of San Francisco, also includes battery energy storage.
Germany calls the shots in Europe and its awesome industrial plant needs reasonably priced energy, which is why the Germans weren’t going to let the US stop the Nordstream 2 natural gas line. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
For more than six years everyone who is anyone in a politically sensitive position in Europe and the U.S. has wrung their hands over the Nordstream 2 pipeline. From the moment it was announced the howls of pain could be heard all around the world.
Those screams were the screams of people who had grown fat and rich on the status quo realizing their gravy train was over.
Now the project is all but complete and the saga coming to an end we have a weak deal between all the major parties to keep some of that gravy train running. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Joe Biden finally buried the hatchet over Nordstream 2.
But the reality was that Nordstream 2 was always going to get completed. I’ve never wavered in my assessment of this.
The reasons were myriad.
The Germans need the gas.
The Germans wanted another political cudgel to use over the recalcitrant Poland and the Baltics.
The Germans need the gas.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is a board member of the Nordstream 2 consortium who put the deal together.
Nord Stream 2 is a victory for American foreign policy in the same way as the Afghanistan War has been. From the Strategic Culture Editorial Board at strategic-culture.org:
All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!
After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington’s geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.
In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia’s prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.
Russia’s vast energy resources will ensure Europe’s economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany’s export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.
It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.
The climate change activists shun the most efficient and one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy: nuclear. From Geoffrey Pohanka at realclearenergy.org:
Many of the world’s political leaders and people of influence have made it very clear that they view climate change as an existential crisis. President Joe Biden in his first days in office declared climate change the “number one issue facing humanity.” The UN warns that we have but twelve years to avoid a climate catastrophe, that searing, unrelenting heat could lay waste to large swaths of the planet, killing millions who have no means to escape a massive climate event. Unabated carbon pollution will spawn heatwaves exceeding the absolute limit of human endurance. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), net-zero CO2 requires “transformative systemic change.” The International Energy Agency calls decarbonizing the energy sector “perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has faced.”
Many of the world’s leading climate scientists state that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even a half degree will significantly worsen the risk of droughts, floods, extreme heat, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. Vice-President Kamala Harris has determined that climate change is “driving migrants to the U.S. Border.” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says the world needs a ‘wartime mentality’ to combat climate change. Even Hollywood is engaged with Angelina Jolie saying climate change will force hundreds of millions into refugee status and Rosanna Arquette warning that fossil fuels ‘will be the end of mankind.” Rising CO2 levels are also being named as a potential cause of the condominium collapse in Surfside Florida.
You can’t throw out oil if you don’t have something that can replace it, and we don’t. From Jude Clemente at realclearpolitics.com:
Let’s start with the obvious: Oil is the world’s most important fuel, supplying 35% of all energy and over 95% of transportation needs. More than 6,000 everyday products contain oil as their core ingredient. Simply put, oil has no significant substitute, and it won’t for a long time. Massive amounts of wind and solar won’t displace “black gold” because these sources compete only in the power-generating sector, where oil effectively plays no role.
Most Americans probably don’t realize that electricity already lost the transportation race to oil and its powerful derivative – gasoline – 120 years ago. In 1900, nearly 40% of U.S. cars were electric. Today, less than 1% of cars run on electric power (1.8 million out of 270 million). Despite the huge subsidies thrown at the industry over the past 10 years, electric vehicles largely remain “toys for the rich.”
As the world’s economies rebound from COVID-19 and travel inevitably picks up, the need for more oil is becoming even more pressing. After the oil industry set a global-demand record in 2019 at 101 million barrels per day, the pandemic plunged demand to 92 million b/d in 2020. The Department of Energy, however, has just forecast that consumption will rise to 98 million b/d this year and above 101 million b/d in 2022.
Not even a price surge has slowed the need for a fuel embedded in just about everything we do: Oil prices just saw their best first half since 2009 (see below). In recent months, oil companies have had the best run of any sector in the S&P 500. Investors that bet against, or pulled out of, U.S. oil fund USO (NYSEARCA:USO) have been burned. The popular oil Exchange Traded Fund nearly doubled in value since October last year, and others such as DBO, BNO, and USL are once again making for sound investments.
Has anybody pushing the idea of electric airplanes really thought about them? From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Electric cars have trouble maintaining momentum for very long but at least when they run out of range, you just stop.
In an electric airplane, you drop.
It seems like a really bad idea, yet it’s one United Airlines reportedly just bought into – probably for many millions of dollars (the actual sum hasn’t been disclosed). It will “invest” in the development – italics to emphasize the nonexistence at present – of the ES-19, an electric aircraft that exists on the drawing board only. This hypothetical aircraft is being developed by a Swedish company with the cloying name, Heart Aerospace – which summons images of kumba-ya’ing around the campfire in a collective hug.
But will it fly?
If electric cars are any indication, this will prove to be an airborne belly flop even more epic than the Lordstown Motors fail – in which GM got gypped into supporting the development of electric trucks that never materialized but which the supposed manufacturer thereof is alleged to have received numerous “pre-orders” for, sight unseen.
Ah yes, my little chickadee!
GM “invested” $75 million and gave a sweetheart deal on the old not-electric car factory at Lordstown, Ohio – where GM used to actually make cars. When the hilariously named susser-out of corporate shenanigans, Hindenburg Research, published a report earlier this year accusing Lordstown Motors of pretending to have orders for electric trucks it hadn’t built, confidence in the company cratered and GM pulled the .. .plug, leaving Lordstown a burnt-down cinder, kind of like an auto-immolating Chevy Bolt (also hilariously named).
In an interview with The Hill prior to her tweet, Smith, who is crafting the clean electricity standard legislation with Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), said she had expected the standard to be part of the legislation.
The senator also told The Hill that while the details of the standard will have to be worked out in negotiations, she’s hoping to see a requirement for 80 percent clean electricity by 2030.
“My goal is to get to 100 percent clean electricity as soon as possible. President Biden’s goal is to be doing it by 2035,” she said, referencing Senate rules that allow reconciliation bills to raise the deficit for no more than 10 years.
White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy has said that the clean electricity standard is among her priorities for the legislation.
Smith said she’d include power coming from wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric or nuclear — and fossil fuels only when they use carbon capture technology to prevent their emissions from going into the atmosphere.
Smith also stressed the importance of the clean energy standard, calling it the “centerpiece of our strategy for addressing climate change.”
She said she opposes partial credit for unabated natural gas, which is less carbon-intensive than coal and oil, but still emits planet-warming gases.
President Biden implores us that climate change is an “existential threat” to humanity. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry preaches to us that “[t]he climate crisis as a whole is a national security threat because it is disruptive to the daily lives of human beings all over the world.” Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warns us that in 2030, “the world is going to end … if we don’t address climate change.”
Hold on to your wallet. The Left’s global warming Chicken Littles insist that the sky is falling but don’t want you to know six key facts.
First, in his new book “Unsettled,” Obama Administration Department of Energy chief scientist Steven Koonin shows that the models relied upon by the Left to predict future global warming are so poor that they cannot even reproduce the temperature changes in the 20th century.
If these models cannot reproduce past temperatures already known when the models were developed, how can they possibly reliably predict temperatures decades into the future?
Second, Koonin’s book also documents that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s own analysis indicates that any negative economic impact that global warming eventually may have will be so modest that it warrants no action.
When the government and all its acolyte hype something, be it electric cars or Covid-19 vaccinations, check under the hood extensively before you buy. From Robert Bryce at realclearenergy.org:
For more than a century, the promise of electric vehicles (EVs) has been parked just beyond the nearest traffic light. In 1901, the Los Angeles Times declared “The electric automobile will quickly and easily take precedence over all other” types of motor vehicles. “If the claims which Mr. Edison makes for his new battery be not overstated, there is not much doubt that it will make a fortune for somebody.”
In 1911, TheNew York Times declared that the EV “has long been recognized as the ideal solution” because it “is cleaner and quieter” and “much more economical.” And yet today, 110 years after EVs were dubbed the Next Big Thing, they account for just 2% of new car sales in the U.S.
Yes, EVs are cool. And yes, sales of Teslas and other all-electric cars are rising at a fast clip. But despite lots of government push, there still isn’t enough consumer pull. Indeed, the history of the electric car is a century of failure tailgating failure.
Believe or not, Iran is proving to be another one of those weird countries that prefers cash and trade to bullets, bombs, and sanctions, and once again the US finds itself losing out to China. From Martin Jay at strategic-culture.org:
A new world in the East is amalgamating as a direct result of American’s delusional views about where it thinks it is in the world, Martin Jay writes.
China has just announced that it will invest 400 bn dollars in Iran over a period of 25 years in exchange for a great deal on Iran’s oil – in the latest move of absolute defiance against the U.S. and its secondary sanctions. Where’s this all heading?
400 bn dollars is a considerable amount of money to invest in Iran, which, since Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA (otherwise called the ‘Iran Deal’) we can certainly say is a poor country. In exchange, China gets rock bottom prices on oil, while both sides enjoy the double-whammy of sending a vociferous message to Washington: your days are up as a super power who can bully countries with sanctions.
The deal was really the last thing that Joe Biden needed in barely his six month in office, where he has been weak on Russia and China and arguably pathetic in the Middle East when it comes to delivering on the ‘America is back’ rhetoric. ‘America is back’ to what, we might all wonder, given that Iran is commissioning drone strikes against U.S. forces, Afghanistan is rapidly heading towards a Taliban takeover and the Iran talks in Vienna have more or less ended with a draft of what the Guardian euphemistically calls a ‘roadmap’.
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