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European Polluters Finance U.S. Tea Party Candidates

COMMENT:The pre­tens­es of the Tea Par­ty move­ment con­tin­ue to melt away. Rep­re­sent­ing itself as “pop­ulist” and opposed to “spe­cial inter­ests,” the move­ment does not endorse poli­cies that ben­e­fit the aver­age Amer­i­can. On the con­trary, the move­ment con­tin­ues to man­i­fest the cor­po­ratist agen­da con­cep­tu­al­ized by Mus­soli­ni and real­ized by the Koch broth­ers.

It devel­ops that key Euro­pean pol­luters, includ­ing (not sur­pris­ing­ly) many com­pa­nies from the old I.G. Far­ben com­plex, are financ­ing the cam­paigns of Tea Par­ty favorites who don’t believe in glob­al warm­ing.

“Euro­pean Pol­luters Back Tea Par­ty Can­di­dates” by Eric W. Dolan; The Raw Sto­ry; 10/25/2010.

EXCERPT: Some of Europe’s top pol­luters are fund­ing the polit­i­cal cam­paigns of Tea Par­ty can­di­dates and oth­ers in the Unit­ed States who deny glob­al warm­ing, accord­ing to a report by Cli­mate Action Net­work Europe.The twelve page report (.pdf) is based on infor­ma­tion recent­ly pub­lished by the Open Secrets data­base.

The Euro­pean com­pa­nies sin­gled out as major pol­luters in the report are Lafarge, GDF-SUEZ, EON[German ener­gy giant, Ger­man core cor­po­ra­tion], BP [close to Bush fam­i­ly allies the Gam­mell fam­i­ly], BASF [I.G. Far­ben mem­ber], BAYER [I.G. Far­ben mem­ber], Solvay [I.G. Far­ben car­tel asso­ciate] and Arcelor Mit­tal.

Com­bined, these com­pa­nies donat­ed $107,200 to cli­mate change deniers run­ning for Sen­ate seats. In addi­tion, “their total sup­port for sen­a­tors block­ing cli­mate change leg­is­la­tion in the US amounts to $240,200, which is almost 80% of their total spend­ings in 2010 Sen­ate race,” the report says.

By com­par­i­son, Koch Indus­tries, a com­pa­ny that has helped fund the Tea Par­ty move­ment and open­ly oppos­es Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s eco­nom­ic poli­cies, has donat­ed $217,000. . . .


9 comments for “European Polluters Finance U.S. Tea Party Candidates”

  1. Well, Dave, it looks like peo­ple are final­ly begin­ning to wake up to the com­pro­mi­sa­tion of the Tea Par­ty, and every oth­er thing the glob­al­ists have done as well...........and of course, we have peo­ple like you to thank for telling the truth AS IT IS. =)

    Posted by Steven | December 27, 2010, 6:57 pm
  2. It’s kind of scary how often the ques­tion can be asked of our elites “Are you active­ly try­ing to destroy the plan­et, or do you just not care?”:

    Case closed: “Cli­mate­gate” was man­u­fac­tured

    It’s not often you can actu­al­ly say “case closed”, but in this case it’s lit­er­al­ly true: cli­ma­tol­o­gist Michael Mann has been cleared of all wrong­do­ing by the Inspec­tor Gen­er­al of the Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion.

    Did I say “has been cleared”? I meant has been cleared once again, since there have been sev­er­al inves­ti­ga­tions into his research and Dr. Mann has been cleared of all charges every sin­gle time (like here and here). All of this stemmed from the “Cli­mate­Gate” non­sense of the past cou­ple of years, where leaked emails were tak­en huge­ly out of con­text by the press and cli­mate change deniers, and used to smear sci­en­tists. Dr. Mann was at the cen­ter of the whole man­u­fac­tured con­tro­ver­sy, being the biggest tar­get of the peo­ple who want to deny the Earth is warm­ing up.

    Of course, try­ing to destroy the bios­phere is nev­er quite as scary as actu­al­ly doing it:

    Euro­pean Com­mis­sion apol­o­gis­es for dis­as­trous fish­ing pol­i­cy

    The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has apol­o­gised for decades of an EU fish­ing pol­i­cy so dis­as­trous that the next gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren may nev­er see fish on their din­ner plate.

    By Bruno Water­field, Brus­sels

    9:30PM BST 13 Jul 2011

    Maria Damana­ki, the EU’s mar­itime com­mis­sion­er, admit­ted that Europe’s Com­mon Fish­ing Pol­i­cy (CFP) had failed and cre­at­ed a “vicious cir­cle” where over­fish­ing was endan­ger­ing fish species.

    Pledg­ing to scrap an EU quo­tas sys­tem that forces fish­er­men to throw away or “dis­card” up to 80 per cent of their catch, Mrs Damana­ki apol­o­gised for a pol­i­cy that has pushed Europe’s fish stocks to the brink of extinc­tion.

    “I have no prob­lem to apol­o­gise if some­thing is wrong,” she said.

    “We can­not afford busi­ness as usu­al. Maybe 10 years ago, the past, it was eas­i­er for us, in the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, in gov­ern­ments, in the sec­tor, to close our eyes. We can­not do that any­more because if we do our chil­dren will see fish, not on their plates, but only in pic­tures.

    “If it’s busi­ness as usu­al, in 10 years only eight out of 136 stocks will be healthy.”


    Well, at least once the ice caps melt and the sea lev­els rise the fish­ing indus­try will have a few more square miles of open water to over­fish the remain­ing species. That should help the econ­o­my.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 23, 2011, 12:41 pm
  3. Med­ical reports are indi­cat­ing that grow­ing num­bers of Amer­i­cans are suf­fer­ing from Ran­di­tis as the eco­nom­ic trou­bles con­tin­ue. Symp­toms include an array of cog­ni­tive impair­ments affect­ing mem­o­ry and rea­son­ing. It’s a trou­bling report.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 11, 2012, 7:53 pm
  4. I’m sure our lead­ers would like us to know that this is noth­ing to wor­ry about, but its worth not­ing that researchers are find­ing changes in ocean acid­i­ty asso­ci­at­ed with past mass extinc­tion events:

    ars tech­ni­ca
    Ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion on track to be among the worst of the last 300 mil­lion years
    By Scott K. John­son

    Some like to point to cycles when dis­miss­ing cli­mate change, brush­ing off warm­ing as sim­ply being the thing that hap­pens right before cool­ing. In this view, con­cern about cli­mate change is akin to the naïve wor­ry that half of schools are per­form­ing below aver­age. This is why we need con­text. We need to know whether an observed change is more like a world pre­miere or a famil­iar re-run.

    A new paper in Sci­ence exam­ines the geo­log­ic record for con­text relat­ing to ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion, a low­er­ing of the pH dri­ven by the increased con­cen­tra­tion of car­bon diox­ide in the atmos­phere. The research group (twen­ty-one sci­en­tists from near­ly as many dif­fer­ent uni­ver­si­ties) reviewed the evi­dence from past known or sus­pect­ed inter­vals of ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion. The work pro­vides per­spec­tive on the cur­rent trend as well as the poten­tial con­se­quences. They find that the cur­rent rate of ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion puts us on a track that, if con­tin­ued, would like­ly be unprece­dent­ed in last 300 mil­lion years.

    There are sev­er­al ways acid­i­fi­ca­tion events leave their sig­na­ture in the rock record. The iso­topic com­po­si­tion of car­bon changes with shifts in the car­bon cycle, such as the move­ment of green­house gas­es like methane and car­bon diox­ide in the atmos­phere. Iso­topes of boron present in marine shells track ocean water pH. The ratios of oth­er trace ele­ments in marine shells (such as ura­ni­um or zinc) to cal­ci­um indi­cate the avail­abil­i­ty of car­bon­ate ions. (Ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion is not just about pH, but the reduc­tion of car­bon­ate min­er­al sat­u­ra­tion that makes it more dif­fi­cult for cal­ci­fiers to build their shells.) In addi­tion to all this, the fos­sil record records the extinc­tions and mor­pho­log­i­cal changes in marine species that occur around cat­a­stroph­ic events in Earth his­to­ry.
    Recon­struct­ing the past

    The paper cov­ers the last 300 mil­lion years. That’s not just a round number—it’s about as far back as we can con­fi­dent­ly go. Because plate tec­ton­ics dri­ves ocean­ic plates back down into the man­tle at sub­duc­tion zones, there is no ocean­ic crust or sed­i­ment old­er than 180 mil­lion years for us to exam­ine.


    The first peri­od the researchers looked at was the end of the last ice age, start­ing around 18,000 years ago. Over a peri­od of about 6,000 years, atmos­pher­ic CO2 lev­els increased by 30 per­cent, a change of rough­ly 75 ppm. (For ref­er­ence, atmos­pher­ic CO2 has gone up by about the same amount over the past 50 years.) Over that 6,000 year time peri­od, sur­face ocean pH dropped by approx­i­mate­ly 0.15 units. That comes out to about 0.002 units per cen­tu­ry. Our cur­rent rate is over 0.1 units per century—two orders of mag­ni­tude greater, which lines up well with a mod­el esti­mate we cov­ered recent­ly.

    The last deglacia­tion did not trig­ger a mass extinc­tion, but it did cause changes in some species. The shells of plank­tic foram­in­fera decreased by 40–50 per­cent, while those of coc­col­ithophores went down 25 per­cent.

    Dur­ing the Pliocene warm peri­od, about 3 mil­lion years ago, atmos­pher­ic CO2 was about the same as today, but pH was only 0.06 to 0.11 units low­er than prein­dus­tri­al con­di­tions. This is because the event played out over 320,000 years or so. We see species migra­tion in the fos­sil record in response to the warm­ing plan­et, but not ill effects on cal­ci­fiers. This is because ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion depends pri­mar­i­ly on the rate of atmos­pher­ic CO2 increas­es, not the absolute con­cen­tra­tion.

    Next, the researchers turned their focus to the Pale­ocene-Eocene Ther­mal Max­i­mum (or PETM), which occurred 56 mil­lion years ago. Glob­al tem­per­a­ture increased about 6°C over 20,000 years due to an abrupt release of car­bon to the atmos­phere (though this was not as abrupt as cur­rent emis­sions). The PETM saw the largest extinc­tion of deep-sea foraminifera of the last 75 mil­lion years, and was one of the four biggest coral reef dis­as­ters of the last 300 mil­lion years.


    Final­ly, we come the big one—The Great Dying. The Per­mi­an-Tri­as­sic mass extinc­tion (about 252 mil­lion years ago) wiped out around 96 per­cent of marine species. Still, the rate of CO2 released to the atmos­phere that drove the dan­ger­ous cli­mate change was 10–100 times slow­er than cur­rent emis­sions.

    Match­ing the mod­ern to his­to­ry


    The authors con­clude, “[T]he cur­rent rate of (main­ly fos­sil fuel) CO2 release stands out as capa­ble of dri­ving a com­bi­na­tion and mag­ni­tude of ocean geo­chem­i­cal changes poten­tial­ly unpar­al­leled in at least the last ~300 [mil­lion years] of Earth his­to­ry, rais­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that we are enter­ing an unknown ter­ri­to­ry of marine ecosys­tem change.”

    But but but I was told that CO2 is Life!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 1, 2012, 2:26 pm
  5. Ignor­ing cli­mate-change: what could pos­si­bly go wrong?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 16, 2012, 10:07 pm
  6. Well this is interesting...if human­i­ty’s appar­ent inabil­i­ty to address cli­mate change might leave you with a gen­er­al sense that “the sky is falling”, it’s worth not­ing that new research sug­gests has some news for you: increas­ing atmos­pher­ic CO2 lev­els are thin­ning out and shrink­ing the upper atmos­phere. So yes, the sky is actu­al­ly falling. But it’s not all bad...since the atmos­phere is now shrink­ing there’s less drag on orbit­ing satel­lites so few­er of them will fall to the earth and burn up in the atmos­phere. Ok, that actu­al­ly is bad, but still kind of cool because it means that we’ve man­aged to cre­ate the kind of calami­ty that will cause the sky to fall while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly caus­ing less stuff to fall into it. That’s almost impres­sive.

    Yep, our goose may be cooked, but at least we’re cook­ing with gus­to. Go Team Human­i­ty!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 13, 2012, 9:08 am
  7. Awww, see, cli­mate change can be beau­ti­ful:

    Nation­al Geo­graph­ic
    Ear­li­est Blooms Record­ed in U.S. Due to Glob­al Warm­ing
    Plants still able to cope with ris­ing tem­per­a­tures, study finds.

    Chris­tine Del­l’Amore

    Pub­lished Jan­u­ary 16, 2013

    You could call them ear­ly bloomers: In 2010 and 2012, plants in the east­ern U.S. pro­duced flow­ers ear­li­er than at any point in record­ed his­to­ry, a new study says.

    This result, accord­ing to the research team, has a bit of a lit­er­ary twist: It comes from data col­lect­ed by U.S. envi­ron­men­tal writ­ers Hen­ry David Thore­au and Aldo Leopold. Thore­au began observ­ing bloom times in Mass­a­chu­setts in 1852, and Leopold began in Wis­con­sin in 1935.


    Many stud­ies have already shown that flow­er­ing times have come ear­li­er as a result of recent glob­al warm­ing, but what’s unknown is how long the plants will be able to “keep up” by bud­ding ear­li­er and ear­li­er. (Get more facts about spring.)

    So far, plants—at least in the east­ern U.S.—are cop­ing.


    More soot please! Actu­al­ly, maybe that’s a bad idea.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 18, 2013, 2:43 pm
  8. Out with the new...:

    Koch broth­ers’ lob­by­ist linked to green ener­gy foe

    By Asso­ci­at­ed Press

    May 9, 2014

    TOPEKA — A lob­by­ist says he did a per­son­al favor to aid the for­ma­tion of a new group oppos­ing a Kansas green-ener­gy require­ment for util­i­ties, fuel­ing crit­i­cism that a recent post­card cam­paign against the rule on behalf of seniors was actu­al­ly orches­trat­ed by the con­ser­v­a­tive bil­lion­aire Koch broth­ers’ main polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion and the pow­er­ful Kansas Cham­ber of Com­merce.

    State Direc­tor Jeff Glen­den­ing said Wednes­day that Amer­i­cans for Pros­per­i­ty, the anti-tax, small-gov­ern­ment group backed by Charles and David Koch, had noth­ing to do with post­cards sent out oppos­ing the stan­dards. But on Thurs­day, Glen­den­ing told The Wichi­ta Eagle he for­got to men­tion that he helped link attor­ney W. Robert Alder­son with Vir­ginia Cross­land-Macha, the founder of the Kansas Senior Con­sumer Alliance which sent the post­cards.

    Glen­den­ing said he was not act­ing in his offi­cial capac­i­ty as AFP’s state leader.

    “There’s no for­mal con­nec­tion between AFP and this group. There real­ly isn’t, oth­er than yes, we agreed on the RPS (ener­gy stan­dards) issue. I don’t know what oth­er issues they’re going to take up,” Glen­den­ing said. “I’ve known Vir­ginia for years and she sim­ply asked about form­ing a group and I con­nect­ed the two and that was it.”

    There’s been no alle­ga­tion that the group’s for­ma­tion vio­lat­ed lob­by­ing or cam­paign finance rules, but ques­tions have been raised about its ori­gin and who was behind the post­card cam­paign.

    A west­ern Kansas leg­is­la­tor who sup­ports the renew­able stan­dard accused the Kansas Senior Con­sumer Alliance of using scare tac­tics to influ­ence old­er res­i­dents. Rep. Don Hine­man, a Dighton Repub­li­can, also ques­tioned the new group’s inde­pen­dence.

    “If it’s tru­ly a grass­roots orga­ni­za­tion of senior cit­i­zens, where’s the mon­ey com­ing from?” Hine­man said. “It’s not a cheap deal to pro­duce all of those post­cards and mail them through­out the state. That’s a sub­stan­tial under­tak­ing.”

    The Kansas Cham­ber of Com­merce and AFP deny col­lab­o­rat­ing with the post­cards, though they share the same pol­i­cy view as Cross­land-Macha’s orga­ni­za­tion.

    The alliance sent mail­ers to res­i­dents in sev­er­al House mem­bers’ dis­tricts last week sup­port­ing repeal of the state’s stan­dards, which require util­i­ty com­pa­nies to get 20 per­cent of their pow­er from renew­able sources by 2020. AFP and oth­er groups tried unsuc­cess­ful­ly to con­vince leg­is­la­tors to repeal the stan­dards before the 2014 ses­sion end­ed ear­ly on May 3.

    Wind ener­gy pro­po­nents say the RPS has helped pro­duce jobs and invest­ment in Kansas and that state stud­ies show the require­ment has had a min­i­mal impact on elec­tric rates.

    Groups includ­ing the Kansas Cham­ber of Com­merce, AFP and Amer­i­can Leg­isla­tive Exchange Coun­cil, are push­ing for repeal, say­ing the RPS pro­duces an unfair advan­tage for wind ener­gy com­pa­nies and increas­es elec­tric rates.

    Renew­able ener­gy man­dates have caused prices of ener­gy to increase by .21 of a pen­ny per kil­lowatt-hour, accord­ing to 2014 Kansas Cor­po­ra­tion Com­mis­sion report, mean­ing the aver­age Kansas house­hold paid about $1.90 more a month because of the renew­able port­fo­lio stan­dards.


    And in with the old...

    Kansas con­sid­ers revised per­mit for $2.8 bil­lion Sun­flower coal plant
    May 11
    The Asso­ci­at­ed Press

    TOPEKA — The state’s top envi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tor is con­sid­er­ing whether to clear the way again for a new coal-fired pow­er plant in south­west Kansas, but envi­ron­men­tal­ists con­tend that Gov. Sam Brownback’s admin­is­tra­tion is tak­ing short cuts to ensure that the $2.8 bil­lion project is built.

    Sun­flower Elec­tric Pow­er Corp. needs a pol­lu­tion-con­trol per­mit from the state Depart­ment of Health and Envi­ron­ment for its pro­posed 895-megawatt plant out­side Hol­comb in Finney Coun­ty, where the Hays-based util­i­ty already has anoth­er coal-fired plant. It obtained a per­mit in Decem­ber 2010, but eight months ago, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered the depart­ment to revise it to impose tougher air-qual­i­ty stan­dards.

    Sec­re­tary Robert Moser is review­ing a pro­posed amend­ment draft­ed by the department’s staff, and his approval would allow Sun­flower to go for­ward with the project.

    But the Sier­ra Club and Earth­jus­tice, nation­al envi­ron­men­tal groups involved in the law­suit prompt­ing the court deci­sion, argue the depart­ment should have start­ed over, rather than amend­ing the old per­mit. Both groups also want the state to scrap the project and focus on aggres­sive devel­op­ment of renew­able ener­gy.

    “They are once again try­ing to take short cuts,” said Aman­da Good­in, an attor­ney for Earth­jus­tice, which rep­re­sent­ed the Sier­ra Club in the law­suit over the 2010 per­mit. “It real­ly has been what­ev­er they can do to ram this through as quick­ly as pos­si­ble.”

    Depart­ment offi­cials declined to dis­cuss the pro­posed amend­ment to the Sun­flower per­mit because Moser is still review­ing it. The agency also isn’t say­ing when Moser will decide.

    In a “sum­ma­ry sheet” for the per­mit amend­ment pre­pared ear­li­er this year, the department’s staff said envi­ron­men­tal mod­el­ing done for Sun­flower in 2010 showed its new coal plant would meet even the more rig­or­ous stan­dards demand­ed by the Supreme Court.

    The court told the depart­ment to impose a set of hourly lim­its on nitro­gen diox­ide and sul­fur diox­ide emis­sions, rather than the less strin­gent three-hour lim­its set by the per­mit. It also ordered anoth­er set of tougher stan­dards for oth­er pol­lu­tants, includ­ing mer­cury. In both cas­es, the Kansas agency wasn’t incor­po­rat­ing rules the EPA had set while the per­mit was pend­ing.

    But the Kansas court declined to inval­i­date the entire 2010 per­mit, as the Sier­ra Club had request­ed.

    “The adden­dum address­es two aspects of the orig­i­nal per­mit,” Sun­flower spokes­woman Cindy Her­tel said in an email. “It is not a new per­mit.”

    Earth­jus­tice and the Sier­ra Club dis­pute the department’s assess­ment that the project would meet the more rig­or­ous envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards. The depart­ment also received writ­ten com­ments from more than two dozen peo­ple across the state, protest­ing the project.

    “This project doesn’t make sense for any­one in Kansas,” Good­in said.

    The non­prof­it Sun­flower sup­plies whole­sale pow­er for about 400,000 homes in south­west Kansas through six elec­tric coop­er­a­tives. The new plant would gen­er­ate enough elec­tric­i­ty to sup­ply 537,000 homes, accord­ing to one state esti­mate, but Sun­flower would reserve 78 per­cent of it for Tri-State Gen­er­a­tion and Trans­mis­sion Asso­ci­a­tion Inc., a whole­saler sup­ply­ing 44 coop­er­a­tives in its home state of Col­orado and Nebras­ka, New Mex­i­co and Wyoming.

    Yep, in addi­tion to try­ing to kill the state’s wind indus­try, the Kochs might see Kansas final­ly approve a coal plant that will be sell­ing 78% of its elec­tric­i­ty out­side of the state. Coal exports: it’s what a world on the precipice of catostroph­ic cli­mate change gets to look for­ward to:

    Old-school coal is mak­ing a come­back
    April 17
    By Sean Cock­er­ham
    McClatchy Wash­ing­ton Bureau

    WASHINGTON — Coal, the for­mer king of Amer­i­can ener­gy, is mak­ing a come­back after being left for dead in favor of clean­er-burn­ing nat­ur­al gas.

    For years coal has been los­ing mar­ket share as the Amer­i­can frack­ing boom cre­at­ed a flood of cheap and abun­dant nat­ur­al gas. But nat­ur­al gas prices have edged upward, and the frigid win­ter cre­at­ed unprece­dent­ed ener­gy demands. Pow­er plants have increas­ing­ly been turn­ing to coal as the solu­tion.

    There’s seri­ous doubt whether the resur­gence in coal can last in Amer­i­ca with stricter envi­ron­men­tal rules com­ing. But the glob­al out­look for coal is bright, and U.S. coal pro­duc­ers hope to take advan­tage by increas­ing exports to oth­er coun­tries hun­gry for cheap ener­gy. The Inter­na­tion­al Ener­gy Agency believes coal will be the No. 1 fuel for meet­ing the world­wide increase in ener­gy demand.

    “Like it or not, coal is here to stay for a long time to come,” IEA Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Maria van der Hoeven said in the agency’s most recent coal mar­ket report. “Coal is abun­dant and geopo­lit­i­cal­ly secure, and coal-fired plants are eas­i­ly inte­grat­ed into exist­ing pow­er sys­tems.”

    Van der Hoeven added, though, that she want­ed to empha­size that coal burn­ing in its cur­rent form is “sim­ply unsus­tain­able” for the world’s cli­mate.

    In a blow to Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s pledge to be a leader in the fight against glob­al warm­ing, Amer­i­can car­bon diox­ide emis­sions rose an esti­mat­ed 2 per­cent last year _ after falling by 12 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous sev­en years. The fed­er­al Ener­gy Infor­ma­tion Admin­is­tra­tion attrib­ut­es the rise in U.S. car­bon diox­ide emis­sions large­ly to the coun­try using more coal than it used to.

    Coal burn­ing increased in the Unit­ed States near­ly 4 per­cent last year, and this year should see an even big­ger spike, accord­ing to the Ener­gy Infor­ma­tion Admin­is­tra­tion.

    “There is a resur­gence, and it is quite a strong one,” said James Steven­son, the direc­tor of North Amer­i­can coal analy­sis for the glob­al ener­gy con­sult­ing firm IHS.

    Coal’s renewed pop­u­lar­i­ty is a result of nat­ur­al gas prices more than dou­bling over the past two years in response to a tighter mar­ket.

    Those prices allow cheap coal to com­pete. The use of nat­ur­al gas for pow­er gen­er­a­tion dropped in 2013 for the first time in five years as a result.

    The Arc­tic blasts of this year’s win­ter also pushed pow­er plants to turn to coal in order to meet the nation’s record-set­ting heat­ing require­ments.

    “The main bene­fac­tor of this extreme cold and extreme low in nat­ur­al gas inven­to­ry is coal,” said Bob Yu, an ana­lyst for Ben­tek Ener­gy.

    Coal is set for more growth this year because of the price of nat­ur­al gas and the ramp-up of coal gen­er­a­tion, accord­ing to Yu and oth­er ana­lysts.

    Coal from west­ern Ken­tucky, Illi­nois and Indi­ana is on the rise, with 50 per­cent more pro­duc­tion than a decade ago, accord­ing to the ener­gy pric­ing and infor­ma­tion ser­vice Platts. Coal from Mon­tana and Wyoming is also man­ag­ing to make more inroads in the mar­ket.


    IHS ana­lyst Steven­son is skep­ti­cal that coal’s come­back in Amer­i­ca can last, and he expects a slow decline in U.S. con­sump­tion to take hold.

    Oth­er nations will hunger for Amer­i­can coal, though. Coal use has been grow­ing in Europe, where nat­ur­al gas prices are far high­er than in the Unit­ed States.

    The Unit­ed States is export­ing near­ly twice as much coal as it did four years ago, with big cos­tumers in the Unit­ed King­dom, the Nether­lands and Ger­many.

    Steven­son said there is also poten­tial for a growth in U.S. coal in South Korea, with its fast-grow­ing econ­o­my, and in Japan, which wants to move away from nuclear pow­er in the wake of the 2011 leak of radioac­tive mate­r­i­al from Fukushi­ma. He expects coal ter­mi­nals to be built in the Pacif­ic North­west to ship coal mined from the Pow­der Riv­er Basin of Mon­tana and Wyoming to Asia.

    That’s right: the Inter­na­tion­al Ener­gy Agency expects coal use to the con­tin­ue ris­ing glob­al­ly while also acknowl­edg­ing that coal burn­ing is sim­ply unsus­tain­able for the world’s cli­mate. When life seems like a poor­ly cho­sen Smith­son­ian Exhib­it, it’s prob­a­bly just a mat­ter of time before you’re his­to­ry.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 12, 2014, 11:21 am
  9. Nev­er let a good cri­sis go to waste:

    The Huff­in­g­ton Post
    Read The Secret Trade Memo Call­ing For More Frack­ing and Off­shore Drilling
    Post­ed: 05/19/2014 6:00 am EDT Updat­ed: 2 hours ago

    Zach Carter zach.carter@huffingtonpost.com

    Kate Shep­pard kate.sheppard@huffingtonpost.com

    WASHINGTON — The Euro­pean Union is press­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion to expand U.S. frack­ing, off­shore oil drilling and nat­ur­al gas explo­ration under the terms of a secret nego­ti­a­tion text obtained by The Huff­in­g­ton Post.

    The con­tro­ver­sial doc­u­ment is an ear­ly draft of ener­gy poli­cies that EU nego­tia­tors hope to see adopt­ed under the Transat­lantic Trade and Invest­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP) trade deal, which is cur­rent­ly being nego­ti­at­ed. The text was shared with Amer­i­can offi­cials in Sep­tem­ber. The Office of the U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive declined to com­ment on the doc­u­ment.

    Envi­ron­men­tal groups fear the broad lan­guage pro­posed for the deal would elim­i­nate key restric­tions on the export of crude oil and nat­ur­al gas, fos­sil fuels that con­tribute to cli­mate change. The doc­u­ment marks the first major bone of con­tention in the EU deal, amid an out­cry from envi­ron­men­tal­ists over leaked terms of the Trans-Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship, a sep­a­rate pact that the U.S. and 11 Pacif­ic nations are also nego­ti­at­ing.

    “Exports of ener­gy goods to the oth­er Par­ty shall be deemed auto­mat­i­cal­ly to com­ply with any con­di­tions and tests fore­seen in the Par­ties’ respec­tive leg­is­la­tion for the grant­i­ng of export licens­es,” the memo reads, defin­ing “ener­gy goods” as “coal, crude oil, oil prod­ucts, nat­ur­al gas, whether liq­ue­fied or not, and elec­tri­cal ener­gy.”

    The U.S. gov­ern­ment treats trade nego­ti­a­tion texts as clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion. Pre­vi­ous leaks con­cern­ing the EU deal have focused on lighter top­ics, includ­ing whether Amer­i­can cheese­mak­ers can call their prod­ucts “feta” or “parme­san.”

    By encour­ag­ing more crude oil and nat­ur­al gas exports to the EU — a mas­sive eco­nom­ic force that uses a tremen­dous amount of glob­al ener­gy — the pro­pos­al could spur more domes­tic oil and gas drilling and dis­cour­age the devel­op­ment of green ener­gy in the EU, deal­ing a sig­nif­i­cant blow to efforts to avert cli­mate change. Some envi­ron­men­tal and cit­i­zens groups also object to the frack­ing process itself — in which a high-pres­sure mix­ture of chem­i­cals, water, and sand is inject­ed into rock for­ma­tions to release nat­ur­al gas — because of con­cerns that it might affect ground­wa­ter sup­plies.

    “Encour­ag­ing trade in dirty fos­sil fuels would mean more dan­ger­ous frack­ing here in the U.S. and would push more cli­mate-dis­rupt­ing fuels into the Euro­pean Union,” Ilana Solomon, direc­tor of the Respon­si­ble Trade Pro­gram at Sier­ra Club, told Huff­Post. “The oil and gas indus­try is the only win­ner in this sit­u­a­tion.”

    The U.S. banned crude oil exports in 1975, and impos­es a host of restric­tions on the export of nat­ur­al gas for both eco­nom­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty rea­sons. But the pres­i­dent can issue spe­cial licens­es to exempt some crude oil exports from the ban, and Ener­gy Sec­re­tary Ernest Moniz said this month that he wants to con­sid­er relax­ing it.

    There has also been an increas­ing push to loosen con­straints on nat­ur­al gas exports from the U.S. to Europe, par­tic­u­lar­ly as the con­flict between Rus­sia and the Ukraine has grown, high­light­ing Europe’s depen­den­cy on Russ­ian ener­gy. Although burn­ing nat­ur­al gas pro­duces low­er emis­sions than oil or coal, the ener­gy-inten­sive stor­age and ship­ping process — liq­ue­fy­ing the gas and then send­ing it in fuel-burn­ing ves­sels — elim­i­nates many of its advan­tages. And crit­ics of gas say that increas­ing exports would only increase reliance on fos­sil fuels, rather than speed­ing the tran­si­tion to renew­ables. It would also like­ly increase ener­gy prices in the U.S., although the effects of the deal would not come to fruition for sev­er­al years.

    Free trade agree­ments fre­quent­ly bind all of their par­tic­i­pants to a spe­cif­ic reg­u­la­to­ry regime, hin­der­ing the deploy­ment of future reg­u­la­tions in response to new prob­lems. Trade pacts are enforced by inter­na­tion­al courts, which can issue eco­nom­ic sanc­tions against coun­tries that vio­late the deals. The pro­posed EU lan­guage would run counter to exist­ing envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards that lim­it the devel­op­ment of the fos­sil fuel indus­try.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 19, 2014, 8:46 am

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