EPA Shuts Down Drilling in Alaska

by Brian McGraw on April 25, 2011

Shell announced today, for now, it must end a project to drill for oil off the coast of Northern Alaska, because of a decision made by an EPA appeals board to deny permits to acknowledge that Shell will meet air quality requirements. This is not part of ANWR.

Companies that drill for oil must go through extensive permitting processes and invest billions of dollars as payments for leasing the land, exploring for possible oil fields, equipment, etc. This is all done with the understanding that assuming they follow the letter of the law, there is a chance that this investment won’t be flushed down the toilet at the end of the tunnel. It appears that in this case Shell has followed procedure and that emissions will be below any standards required by the EPA:

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

“What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case. Earthjustice was joined by Center for Biological Diversity and the Alaska Wilderness League in challenging the air permits.

Talk about moving the goalposts. They must have been really desperate to cancel this project given that this was the best straight-faced excuse they could muster. Not only do you have to be below the legally required emission limits but you must also not even be “close” to the limits, as defined by unelected officials, one of whom is a former attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.

Events like this are a prime example of why many in Congress want to strip authority from the EPA. Shell had reportedly invested over $4 billion in this project. When companies make investment decisions, consideration is given to whether or not bureaucrats can make arbitrary decisions to shut the project down halfway through a multi-year process. There are many other countries with natural resource reserves who do not subject economic activity to such unpredictable insanity, and in the eye of a corporation, after an event like this these locations begin to look more preferable to dealing with the United States.

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Obama Clears the Way to Shut Down Oil Production in the Permian Basin of West Texas

by Tom Hawks

From the moment Richard Nixon created the EPA in 1970, and signed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) into law, they have been the primary engines of social change used by leftists environmental elitists to destroy America. They have done so by infiltrating the EPA, and the US Fish & Wildlife (USF&W) the agency which decides what animals will be listed as endangered. Now, 28 years later, these renegade environmentalist wackos are prepared to use the ESA to shut down oil and gas operations in portions of Southeast New Mexico and in West Texas, including the state’s top two oil producing counties. All because of a tiny lizard they claim to be endangered, and Obama who has the power to put it on a waiting list has cleared the way for it to be listed.

Through the years the EPA & the ESA have been used to shut down vast areas of America that we as Americans need to survive in a modern world. Areas that contain, rich farmland needed to grow food that both America and foreign countries need to feed billions of people. Forest areas so rich in timber that the price of building homes could be reduced dramatically if only we were allowed to harvest them. Instead, year after year we spend billions fighting fires that reduce the timber to ashes. When it comes to energy, these government paid earth worshipers have used their power to keep us from drilling for oil, and stand in the way of building needed power plants all across America. According to a recent Congressional report America has the largest oil, coal, and natural gas reserves in the world, if tapped we could be completely energy independent. Truth is, America has enough natural energy reserves, timberland, sustainable farm land, freshwater lakes and underground reservoirs that we could reduce the cost of living for each and every American by more than 50%, if only the governments chains of restrictions were removed.

The earth worshiping environmentalists running the USF&W have used an owl to shut down logging in the Northwest, a mouse to shut down wheat farming in Colorado, a minnow and rat to end vegetable growing in California, a frog has closed fish hatcheries in the deep South, while the reintroduction of wolves are endangering the lives of ranchers, farmers, and hunters all across America from the Rockies to Maine. Now they are planning to use a lizard to shut shut down oil production in America’s richest source of domestic energy, the Permian Basin of West Texas. We already have one of the largest oil reserves put off limits by the EPA in Anwar Alaska, while Obama is ignoring a Federal judges order to allow drilling to continue in the Gulf. This while almost every communist country in the world has oil wells operating in our backyard, the Gulf of Mexico.

In a logical universe, we would have politicians that would do all they can to make sure Americans had a cost of living so low that no one in America would be struggling to make ends meet. Instead these traitors would rather see Americans struggle to survive while they act as if their various government programs are saving the day. Never before in the history of the world has a countries leaders tried so hard to force its citizens to become so dependent and subservient to other countries. Many of which are our sworn enemies. Can anyone imagine Alexander, Caesar, or even George Washington forcing their citizens to humble themselves before an enemy of lesser power like Persia, Carthage, or England? No, only a modern day Judas, Ephialtes, or Benedict Arnold, would cause their own people to suffer the indignities our leaders so consistently force us to.

The current threat to America’s freedom comes from a 3 inch lizard called the Sceloporus Arenicolus, or better known as the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard or the Sand Dune Lizard. It was originally classified as a subspecies of the Sceloporus Graciosus, or Common Sagebrush Lizard. Before they designated the Dune Lizards as a separate species, there were so many of them you could feed them to the Chinese as a delicacy and never run out. It was in 2002 that the Center for Biological Diversity first petitioned to have the lizard listed as endangered. The Bush administration stood in the way of the lizard being listed for 6 years, but last year Obama cleared the way by ordering his administration to back off from delaying the listing. This in spite of the news that Obama has repeatedly refused to grant species the protection for which they are known to qualify adding them instead to the waiting list. So why did he allow this lizard to be listed? There can be only one reason, and that is because Obama wants to destroy America’s ability to be energy free. So his relentless attack on America’s energy capabilities continues. Go figure.

There was a rally in Roswell NM last week on April 20th that had hundreds protesting the listing and there will be another one on Tuesday April 26th, in Midland Tx at the Midland Center that begins at 5 p.m. with Congressman Mike Conaway will speaking to the concerned citizens. Then on Wednesday April 27th, there will be a public hearing held at 6:30 p.m at the Midland Center. If you want to be heard then be there to support those at the front line in the battle to stop a lizard from shutting down Americas 2 largest working oil wells.

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate,
tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
— Samuel Adams —
Leader in our Fight for Independence

The following is from the Federal register PDF file. In it the USF&W explains what they are attempting to accomplish through the Endangered Species Act (here is the link to the official PDF file)

We, the USF&W, propose to list the dunes sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus Arenicolus), a lizard known from southeastern New Mexico and adjacent west Texas, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. If we finalize the rule as proposed, it would extend the Act’s protections to this species. We have determined that critical habitat for the dunes sagebrush lizard is prudent but not determinable at this time.

Proposed Listing Determination We have carefully assessed the best scientific and commercial information available regarding the past, present, and future threats to the dunes sagebrush lizard. The dunes sagebrush lizard faces immediate and significant threats due to oil and gas activities, and herbicide treatments. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to oil and gas development is a measureable factor impacting the species due to the removal of shinnery oak and creation of roads and pads, pipelines, and power lines that create habitat patches and increase the proportion of habitat edge to habitat interior. In addition, impacts that are not easily quantified such as climate change, competition, and pollution may exacerbate adverse effects caused by habitat loss. Cumulative threats to the dunes sagebrush lizard are not being adequately addressed through existing regulatory mechanisms. Oil and gas pollutants are a current and ongoing threat to the species throughout its range.

We believe the following actions may jeopardize this species, and therefore we would seek to conference with BLM and NRCS on these actions:

The lease of land for oil and gas drilling,
Applications to drill,
Applications for infrastructure through dunes (including, but not limited to pipelines and power lines),
OHV activities,
Seismic exploration,
Continued oil and gas operations (release of pollution and routine maintenance),
Grazing leases,
Renewable resource activities, and
Chemical and mechanical removal of shinnery oak habitat.
Do not place power lines and fences through shinnery oak dune complexes;
Develop transmission corridors for pipelines and power lines;
Limit pollution by inspecting pipelines and equipment;
Develop and implement plans for cleaning oil spills;
Limit hydrogen sulfide emissions;
Maintain wells; and
Limit any further infrastructure that would remove the shinnery oak dunes.

Possible measures that could be implemented to conserve the dunes sagebrush lizard and its habitat are:

Maintain 500-m (1640-ft) wide dispersal corridors in shinnery oak dunes for the dunes sagebrush lizards to disperse between habitat patches;
Discontinue chemical spraying within occupied or suitable habitat;
Place well pads outside of shinnery oak dunes and corridors between dune complexes;
Manage well density to limit development in habitat;
Minimize well pad size and carry out site reclamation;
Develop techniques to recreate shinnery oak dunes;
Limit OHV use in occupied habitat;
Minimize impacts of seismic exploration by thumper trucks;
Develop a public awareness program

Nature Climate Change: a new useless journal hyping a collapsing movement

By Lubos Motl

Nature readers such as Gordon were told that Nature has just started to publish a new “excellent” sub-journal, Nature Climate Change (click).

It is such a pathetic pile of lies, old propagandistic clichés, and misunderstandings that, given the collapsing interest in this irrational way of thinking about Nature, life, and science, you have to ask who is funding this defective and separately unprofitable enterprise.

If you look at the table of contents, you will quickly see what this stuff is all about.

At the beginning, they promote the idea of natural disasters that make people more gullible when it comes to accepting the AGW lies. “Experience alters perception,” they say. Note that they’re not far from the eco-terrorists depicted in Michael Crichton’s State of Fear.

From a rational viewpoint, it is very obvious that one can’t give far-reaching general interpretations of individual weather events. However, this is exactly the strategy that the new journal is promoting. Deception, hysteria,and lies sit at the very core of the new journal’s genetic code.

Several additional paragraphs are dedicated to their desire to cripple aviation and vehicle industries and spread hysteria about corn, Antarctica, and everything else.

Their first editorial is called Whole-System Science. It claims that the AGW pseudoscience offers great opportunities for discoveries but when you read the text, starting from their worshiping of the shameful IPCC at the very beginning, you will see that the editors are simpletons who have no idea about science.

The very concept of a “Whole-System Science” is an oxymoron. Science may study complicated systems but whenever it works, it always decomposes them into pieces that are studied separately. If a scientific disciplines remains a “whole-system science”, it’s just junk science. A “whole-system science” and “bad science” are pretty much synonymous.

There are two commentaries. In “Overstretching Attribution”, some locally brave authors say that individual events shouldn’t be attributed to greenhouse gases, directly contradicting the commandments in “In this issue” where this demagogic strategy is explicitly recommended.

The other commentary, “Time to Try Carbon Labeling”, the authors recommend a global symbol analogous to the Star of David that would make it mandatory for products to identify themselves if they contain carbon or produce CO2. Their inspiration from Germany of the 1930s is hard to hide.

In “Opening the Future”, the author claims that the future of the world is all about the IPCC. In “Data on Demand”, the author complains that someone wants the climate data to be available. Oh those nasty skeptics. They steal time from “scientists” such as Gavin Schmidt who could make much more important work than a requested work that has something to do with the data – for example, writing megabytes of cheap propagandistic lies on RealClimate.ORG.

The third feature is called “It Isn’t Easy Being Green”. At least, we explicitly learn what is the color of all the editors’ mouldy bodies. It is being claimed that Toyota Prius is a symbol of “social status”. It’s unfortunately way too easy being green. In a better world, it should be about as easy as sitting on an electrical chair.

Some books and new ways of wasting money that are related to AGW are promoted in subsequent portions of the new journal.

There is one more article promoting floods as an excellent method to make people behave more irrationally. For those extremists, it’s great to break humans, make them desperate, and ready to adopt a new savior. These beasts want to harm billions of people in the world.

OK, sorry, I am going to stop now because my adrenaline level is an order of magnitude above the average of the last – peaceful – week. 😉 At any rate, I am disgusted and I think that the people (?) connected with this new journal should be publicly spat upon and pissed on. I find it kind of amazing that a rather prestigious journal such as Nature is ready to lend its name to such a continuous stream of feces – and nothing else than feces.

Of course that I wish that the natural mechanisms would continue to work, Nature would go out of business, and the people behind the project would starve to death. But there are so many outrageously stupid and dishonest people in the current world that I don’t actually think that this is what will happen to Nature, despite its grave mistake.

Bonus: quote of the week: candles and TV

Ms Ľubica Trubíniová, a former boss of Greenpeace Slovakia, said according to the “New Profit” magazine:

I don’t need any electric power for my life because I can burn candles instead of turning on the light bulbs while watching TV.

Greenpeace is working hard to deny the quote. I don’t have any independent evidence that the quote above was accurate but I am convinced that it is at least a nice quote optimized for a joke that shows how the green people actually think -or fail to think, to be more precise.

Global-warming zealots to ban ice makers

Washington Times

Ice makers are the latest target in the left’s ongoing war against the conveniences of modern life. Earlier this month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued a report that may condemn this essential household item to the contraband list that already includes functional light bulbs, toilets, washing machines and showerheads.

Those looking for an easy way to cool down their drinks with ice cubes are guilty of increasing their refrigerator’s energy consumption by about 12 to 20 percent. That’s unacceptable to global-warming alarmists at the Department of Energy (DOE) who are hard at work finalizing regulatory standards for the fridge. The proposed changes will increase prices by an estimated $2 billion per year, but DOE justifies this added expense by claiming consumers would save $37 in electricity costs over the lifetime of a typical side-by-side.

Paying more up front to obtain paltry energy savings might appeal to some consumers. Others struggling to make ends meet might not see it as such a bargain. Liberals, however, have no interest in letting the public decide what types of products suit their particular needs. Dishonest bureaucrats impose their one-size-fits-all choice on Americans while simultaneously denying they regulate consumer behavior or ban items like light bulbs, showerheads and refrigerators. “I’m pro-choice on bulbs,” claimed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan in congressional testimony last month. “I really do not believe that the appliance standards end up restricting personal choice.”

Yet the likes of Ms. Hogan pull popular products off store shelves and replace them with inferior – but government-sanctioned – products. They do so by forcing appliance manufacturers to file statements confirming that their products meet every aspect of the regulations, that the products have been tested according to government rules and that the manufacturer “is aware of the penalties” involved. Distributing a product that fails to meet with Ms. Hogan’s approval carries a typical fine of $7,300 per item. That adds up quickly. Last year, DOE accused a company of producing a showerhead that worked a little bit too well. For this “crime,” DOE demanded payment of $1.9 million and destruction of this highly effective product.

That’s the left’s idea of “choice.” Uncle Sam is an unwelcome guest in the home. It’s time for Congress to repeal the nanny-state efficiency standards and allow consumers to select the products that they want to use.

What Greens Really Believe

By Alan Caruba

Earth Day was established in 1970 and millions of Americans and others around the world have been steadily brainwashed to embrace the impression that environmentalism is about protecting the Earth, but when Greens talk among themselves, it is a very different story and a frightening one at that.

The massive propaganda program that supports the Green agenda is impressive in its scope. Its locus is the United Nations whose Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was revealed in 2009 to be a complete hoax based on the manipulation of computer models to predict a warming due to excess carbon dioxide. There never was any threat from CO2. It is a gas that is vital to the growth of all vegetation on Earth. It represents a very minor, even miniscule, part of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Nothing, however, deters the Green agenda and, since the first Earth Day, it has penetrated the nation’s schools and, of course, its politics, deliberately deterring and thwarting access to the nation’s vast reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas; the greatest such reserves in the world! It is a drag on business development. It is the ultimate nanny state seeking to alter people’s lifestyles through coercion, legislation, and persuasion.

What most people are unaware of is the fascistic hatred of mankind that underlies the philosophic basis of environmentalism.

Kenneth Boulding, originator of the “Spaceship Earth” concept, was quoted by William Tuck in “Progress and Privilege”, 1982, as saying “The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals, but absolutely limited by the state.” Lamont Cole, an ecologist, has said, “To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem.”

Stewart Brand, writing in the Whole Earth Catalog, wrote, “We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into the Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion—guilt-free at last!”

I doubt most people are wishing for a disaster and, when they occur such as the earthquakes in Haiti and in Japan, the first instinct of decent people worldwide is to mobilize to help those affected. This is a very human reaction, but it is not a Green one.

Helen Caldicott of the Union of Concerned Scientists characterized capitalism, saying “Free enterprise really means rich people get richer. They have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process…Capitalism is destroying the earth.”

It is no coincidence that Earth Day is also the birthday of Vladimir Illich Lenin, the founder of the former Soviet Union and devotee of Karl Marx, the creator of Communism. The Communist revolution worldwide led to the murder of an estimated one hundred million throughout the last century.

At the heart of environmentalism, aside from its wish for far fewer humans, is a hatred of capitalism. The failures of communism and socialism everywhere attest to the way state control of all aspects of life is ignored by Greens.

David Foreman, founder of Earth First!, said, “We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects…We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, hold dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wildness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settle land.”

Thus, agriculture, the key to civilization, is decried as harming the Earth and all manner of business and industrial enterprises, dependent on the provision of energy, is regarded as evil.

Major environmental organizations, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club to name just two, oppose the use of coal, oil, and natural gas to provide energy.

So much of what environmentalism preaches and claims in its propaganda is utterly false, but telling lies is part and parcel of the Green message.

Timothy Wirth, a former U.S. Senator (D-CO) said, “What we’ve got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

Virtually everything being advocated by the Obama administration represents this willingness to take action and tell lies about the nation’s need for energy, with the exception of the worst ways of producing it, wind, solar, and biofuels. Even before gasoline prices climbed to new highs, negatively affecting all aspects of life in America, Dr. Steven Chu, the Secretary of Energy, was advocating higher prices.

The few quotes cited here do not begin to illuminate the horrors that environmentalism would visit on mankind or the nihilistic view it holds, but they represent a far greater body of Green writings and statements over the years that indicate the extent of the threat it poses to humanity.

A deluge of environmental propaganda will precede Earth Day, April 22, 2011. It should be seen as a warning to all who believe in the Creator and all who wish to advance a world at peace, one in which humanity benefits from trade, prosperity, and modern technology worldwide.

The CFL Fraud

By Edmund Contoski, The American Thinker

A compact fluorescent light (CFL) on the ceiling burst and started a fire in a home in Hornell, N.Y. December 23, 2010. “Those are the lights everybody’s been telling us to use,” said Joe Gerych, Steuben County Fire Inspector. “It blew up like a bomb. It spattered all over.” Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage. The Arkport Village Fire Department as well as the North Hornell Fire Department required about 15 minutes to put out the fire.

“Bulb explodes without warning,” reported NBCactionnews.com, May 21, 2010.
“Tom and Nancy Heim were watching TV recently, when Tom decided to turn on the floor lamp next to his recliner chair. ‘I heard this loud pop…I saw what I thought was smoke, coming out of the top of the floor lamp,’ says Tom. Nancy suddenly found glass in her lap. She says, ‘I did not see it. I just heard it, and I noticed I had glass on me.'”

On February 23, 2011, TV NewsChannel 5 in Tennessee covered “a newly-released investigators’ report that blames a February 12 fatal fire in Gallatin on one of those CFL bulbs.” Ben Rose, an attorney for the rehabilitative facility in which Douglas Johnson, 45, perished, said, “This result is consistent with our own private investigation. …We have heard reports of similar fires being initiated by CFLs across the country.”

Here are some examples from across the country:

“GE Helical 13 Watt light bulb. After only 6 months of use. This bulb started making funny noises and flickering… Finally, exploded on my kitchen table.” — Charles of South Webster, OH January 30, 2010.

“My GE 20W Helical bulb in my 1/2 bathroom caught on fire on 5/3/10. The bulb snapped and glowed very brightly then caught on fire….The bulb was suppose to last 5 years but it was only about a year or so old. I tried replacing it with a GE 26W bulb and the same thing happened immediately.” — Chantelle of Danville, PA May 15, 2010

“My 80 year old mother turned on her reading lamp and the bulb exploded and the lamp shade caught fire. She unpluged the lamp from the wall and the fire went out thank God.” — M. of Lahaina, HI March 30, 2010

“I turned on an overhead bathroom light bulb and heard a pop and it exploded falling into the bathroom sink. Nearly all of he flying glass went straight down so little damage was done; however, I was very thankful it did not get in my eyes.” — Patricia of Sammamish, WA October 20, 2010

“We purchased a 3-way light bulb this past year. [Special 3-way CFLs are made but cost more.] Last night the bulb started a fire in the lamp….Had we not been there our house might have burned down.” — Tina of Redding, CT July 10, 2010

“I had a desk lamp CFL burn up right in front of me. Switched it on and tiny sparks were emanating like a Van de Graaff generator. Quickly switched it off; the plastic around the ballast was cracked and smoking” — Nisshin, November 30, 2008

October 5, 2010 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported: “Trisonic Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Recalled Due to Fire Hazard” because of four incidents. It’s official notice states: “Hazard: light bulb can overheat and catch fire.”

Concerns about the toxic mercury in CFLs are downplayed by the bulbs’ advocates, but they shouldn’t be. According to EPA and other sources, the safe limit is 300 nanograms per cubic meter. When a broken CFL was reported in Maine, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection did the most extensive testing in the nation to evaluate the health risk. Its 160-page report is shocking:

Mercury concentration in the study room air often exceeds the…300 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3) for some period of time, with short excursions over 25,000 ng/m3, sometimes over 50,000 ng/m3.

The Maine report states that although following its recommended procedure for home cleanup produces visibly clean flooring surfaces for both wood and carpets, all types of flooring surfaces tested can retain mercury sources even when visibly clean. Flooring surfaces, once visibly clean, can emit mercury immediately at the source that can be greater than 50,000 ng/m3[.]

The recommended cleanup procedures are onerous, inconvenient, time consuming and must be followed exactly to avoid exacerbating the health risk and incurring financial expense. For example, EPA Link recommends:

Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury… The vacuum will put mercury into the air and increase exposure.” You will also be looking at the cost of a new vacuum cleaner, because the Maine DEP research found it “difficult to impossible” to decontaminate a vacuum even with the advantage of sophisticated instruments the homeowner doesn’t have.

Never use a broom to clean up mercury. It will break the mercury into smaller droplets and spread them.

Never pour mercury down a drain. It may lodge in the plumbing and cause future problems during plumbing repairs…or cause pollution of the septic tank or sewage treatment plant.

Never wash clothing or other items that have come in direct contact with mercury in a washing machine, because mercury may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.

On December 2, 2010, Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) reported mercury levels from broken CFLs twenty times higher than regulations allow in the surrounding air for up to five hours after breakage. Link Based on a new method to measure mercury from broken CFLs, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reports that only one-third of the mercury release occurs during the first 8 hours after breakage. During the following two-week period, 17% to 40 percent of the mercury is released into the air.

According to the Maine study, dangerous levels of mercury can remain in the air for days, weeks, or in at least one case, months.

Utility companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize consumer purchases of CFLs, but the benefits are “less than expected,” according to the Wall Street Journal. One reason is that the bulbs are burning out faster than expected. When Pacific Gas & Electric began the program, “it figured the useful life of each bulb would be 9.4 years. Now, with experience, it has cut its estimate to 6.3 years, which limits the energy savings.” PG&E had overstated bulb life by 49 percent! As a result of this and other factors, the energy savings were a whopping 73 percent less than the 1.7 billion kilowatt hours projected by PG&E.

Cost comparisons between CFLs and incandescents are misleading for reasons beside CFL’s falling far short of their advertised bulb life and energy savings. In California, for example, the average cost of CFLs subsidized by the utility companies is $1.30 compared to $4 for unsubsidized bulbs. But that cost comparison doesn’t include the fact the utility companies use ratepayer funds to subsidize the bulbs. The state also subsidizes the bulbs with rewards and incentives to the utilities. PG&E collected $104 million of this money. So the taxpayers as well as the ratepayers are paying in ways that aren’t included in the claims about how much money is saved with CFLs.

CFLs often don’t fit existing light fixtures, such as small-base lamps, candelabras, and chandeliers, which will have to be replaced. But the costs of replacements are not included in the calculations that CFLs will save money. Say goodbye to those candelabras — even the expensive ones — as well as the aesthetic satisfaction they may give. That counts for zero in the government’s calculations.

When a CFL is switched on, it provides as little as half of its rated output and can take up to three minutes to reach efficient operation, though the observer will not notice the difference. So all those short on-and-off periods include operating the bulbs at far less than the efficiency claimed for them, and they shorten bulb life, too. A study by H. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and co-author Amanda Berg concludes:

Applications in which lighting is used only briefly (such as closets, bathrooms, motion detectors and so forth) will cause CFL bulbs to burn out as quickly as regular incandescent bulbs.

The U.S. Department of Energy found that CFLs often grow dimmer over time. It found that after only 40 percent of their rated service life, one-fourth of CFLs no longer produced the full amount of light. In tests conducted by the London Times, 11-watt CFLs produced only 58% of the light of an equivalent 60-watt incandescent — even after a 10-minute warm-up to allow the CFLs to reach maximum output. Link So the consumer gets less light than he expected, and the energy efficiency drops, too. And the cost estimates of the savings from CFLs are overstated because the customer is shortchanged on the amount of illumination he is paying for.

CFLs also will not operate at low temperatures, making them unsuitable for outdoor applications. Most say so right on the packaging. Safety experts say outdoor lighting is one of the most effective steps a person can take for home or business security, and motion detector lights have grown increasingly popular. So legislating incandescents out of existence will decrease safety. The same will be true of the disappearance of timers, which many people use to turn lights on and off when they are away, giving the appearance of someone being home and thereby discouraging break-ins. And the cost of throwing out timers and dimmers is not included in the costs of CFLs, nor is the cost of buying the more expensive CFLs specially made for those purposes, when they are available. The same is true for ceiling fans and garage door openers, where ordinary CFLs cannot be used because of vibration, and special CFLs for this purpose are far more expensive.

On May 15, 2007 Michael Scott, a Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter, wrote that General Electric announced “by 2010 it will offer incandescent bulbs twice as efficient as those sold today and four times as efficient by 2012.”

The first part has already proven true since 2,000-hour rated bulbs appeared on the market in 2010. As a result, the claims that CFL bulbs last “x” number of times longer than incandescents should have reduced the “x” by half. Instead, we continue to hear repetition of the comparisons made years ago of CFLs to 1,000-hour incandescents (or even 750-hour ones of a few years earlier) rather than the 2,000 hour ones that are now readily available. Nor have the claims about CFLs been adjusted for the fact it has been demonstrated over and over and over again that CFLs fall far short of their predicted bulb life. And if the efficiency of incandescents doubles again by 2012 — when the legislation intended to eliminate them from stores takes effect — any cost-over-lifetime advantage for CFLs will be wiped out. Kevin Nolan, Vice President of Technology for GE Consumer & Industrial, has stated: “In addition to offering significant energy savings comparable to CFLs,” the new bulbs will provide “all the desirable benefits including light quality and instant-on convenience as incandescent lamps currently provide at a price that will be less than CFLs.”

The advocates of CFLs complain that 90 percent of the energy from incandescents is wasted because it is given off as heat while only 10 percent gives illumination. It seems to have eluded these people that the heat can be a resource to be utilized, rather than wasted. A study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy Link states: “The heat of incandescent lights — more than 341 Btu per bulb per hour — can help to warm a room. Therefore, if the cost of electricity is low relative to the cost of home heating fuel, there may be an economic case for changing to incandescent bulbs in colder seasons.” The extent to which the heat from incandescents reduces home heating bills in the winter — and CFLs cause higher heating bills — is not included in cost comparisons. (Nor from my own experience in Minnesota do air conditioning costs resulting from summer use of incandescents come anywhere close to the winter savings on heating.)

Reducing the use of fossil fuels and lowering carbon dioxide emissions are given as reasons, besides cost, for switching to CFLs. But at least 85 percent of the CFLs are produced in China, with India in second place by a wide margin over any other country. Why is it that those who champion CFLs as a “green” solution for saving energy never consider the fossil fuel energy required to ship them 8,000 miles from China or India across the ocean to the U.S.?

CFLs emit a high percentage of ultraviolet rays. UV can damage oil paintings, acrylic paintings, photographs, upholstery fabrics, furniture, and flooring finishes. (Link Link Link Link) It can not only fade the colors in upholstery fabrics but actually weaken the fibers.

Vu1, a high tech lighting company, states: “Many light fixtures and lamp shades are made of — or incorporate — plastics. UV has a tendency to attack plastic.”

Its website shows a picture of a premium lampshade whose plastic liner was discolored, brittle, and shattered in several places from the UV of a CFL. Shouldn’t UV damage be factored into all those claims that CFLs will save you money?

Lisa Brosseau, an associate professor in environmental science, says many people store used CFLs in the packages in which they were sold and later transport them that way to recycling centers. She states, “The recent University of Minnesota study I conducted with my team of researchers found that these packages do not contain mercury vapor below permissible workplace exposure levels, as defined by state and federal authorities…and represent a real health and safety concern to those involved in [CFL] storage, transport and disposal, as well as a legal hazard for any businesses that do not adhere to these stipulations.”

Since an estimated 400 to 620 million CFLs are discarded annually, certainly a significant number of burned-out ones will accidentally be broken when handling and transporting them for disposal.

The Brosseau study found: “The only package that kept mercury vapor emissions below permissible exposure levels, as defined by state and federal authorities, was a double box with a zip closure foil-plastic laminate bag between the cardboard layers.”

Who is going to pay for these, and shouldn’t the cost be included in all those comparisons of how cheap CFLs are compared to incandescent bulbs? Incandescents don’t need them. Dr. Brosseau says the “law requires” this special protection if CFLs “are transported by the Unites States Postal Service or a common carrier or collected via curbside programs and mail-back businesses.” A situation has now been created where huge numbers of Americans are violating the law every day, and compliance would be very expensive for curbside recycling programs and further downgrade CFL cost effectiveness.

And shouldn’t the consumers’ cost — not to mention the inconvenience — of transporting burned-out bulbs to recycling collection points be included in the cost of CFLs? Incandescent bulbs don’t require such trips; they can simply be tossed into regular trash, a procedure widely prohibited for CFLs by state and local ordinances to prevent contamination of landfills with mercury.

What about the industrial cost of recycling, which amounts to about 50 cents per CFL bulb? That’s another cost that isn’t included in cost comparisons with incandescents, but it should be because it’s a cost that incandescents don’t have.

Only about 2 percent of CFLs are recycled. The rest are disposed of improperly and end up in landfills, thus creating future environmental problems. It is ironic that advocates of Big Government typically argue that free market solutions sacrifice long-term environmental interests for short term financial gains while government is farsighted. But the CFLs the government is telling people to buy now for financial savings will result in mercury pollution turning up in landfills in future decades. The cost of preventive measures now, or landfill clean-up measures later, are not included in tally of all the money and energy people are told will be saved by buying CFLs.

The law intent on eliminating incandescents flies in the face of the Maine DEP safety recommendation that “homeowners consider not utilizing fluorescent lamps in situations where they could easily be broken, in bedrooms used by infants, small children, or pregnant women, or over carpets in rooms frequented by infants, small children and pregnant women.”

On February 15, 2010 a TV station reported a fire in Hinsdale, Illinois from a CFL plugged into a dimmer. Channel 2 CBS reporter Anne State said the producer of the news program tried to find a CFL that could be used with dimmers but discovered they were “very hard to find and cost more.”

On April 30, 2008 the Cumberland Times-News reported the Rick Jenkins family lost everything in a fire caused by a CFL connected to a dimmer switch. Many types of CFLs include package warnings not to connect them to dimmer switches. “I don’t read light bulbs,” said Jenkins. “I wouldn’t think I’d ever have to.”

Many CFL advocates will no doubt say, “Serves those people right for not reading the package.” What kind of society are we creating when if you commit the “crime” of not reading a regulation you can lose your house? Far more serious crimes — actual felonies — are committed every day with far less punishment, very often nothing more than probation. And what about the people who can’t read the regulations even if they wanted to? The U.S. Dept. of Education reported January 2009 that 32 million U.S. adults lack the basic literary skill to read a newspaper or the instructions on a bottle of pills. Link Is it realistic to depend on them reading the warnings on CFLs? And if they don’t, they might lose their homes? Wouldn’t it just be better to remove the threat of this danger by simply letting people buy incandescent bulbs?

Once again, a government claiming that it knows what is best for people — and that takes away their right to choose for themselves in the matter — is a dismal failure. In light of the facts just presented, the federal law effectively banning incandescent light bulbs should be switched off.

See the original with all the links here.

How Many Politicians Are Needed To Screw Up A Light Bulb?

By Larry Bell, Forbes

The lights have been permanently shut off at the last major U.S. incandescent light bulb plant, General Electric’s Winchester, Va., facility. But don’t worry. GE’s Chinese plants will replace them with a different kind that is supposed to be better.

Anyway, we really won’t have any choice. Thanks to pressure from environmental activist groups, a 2007 law passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress and signed by Republican President George W. Bush will make the sale of standard incandescent 100-watt bulbs illegal effective January 1, 2012, 75-watt bulbs on Jan. 1, 2013, and 60- and 40-watt bulbs as of Jan. 1, 2014. This was because they can’t meet new government-imposed “efficiency standards.” Chief sponsors were Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Fred Upton (R-MI). Rep. Upton, now Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has since offered to hold a new hearing to consider removing the ban. He hasn’t promised to repeal it, but maybe he’ll finally see the light.

So that currently leaves us with two alternatives. It’s to either use expensive compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) that contain toxic mercury, or even much pricier light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs that don’t, but which produce even poorer illumination color quality.

Proponents argue that CFL lamps contain only very small amounts of mercury. Great! But then why are special clean-up instructions, room ventilating precautions and disposal requirements needed in case we happen to break a bulb? And what prevents soil and surface water contamination from countless units that ultimately wind up in landfills?

John Skinner, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, expressed serious concerns regarding CFL dangers to workers who handle trash and recycling. In a National Public Radio interview he explained “The problem with the bulbs is that they’ll break before they get to the landfill. They’ll break in containers, or they’ll break in the trucks. Workers may be exposed to very high levels of mercury when that happens.”

Although some states and counties have outlawed putting CFL bulbs in the trash, it remains questionable how many people will comply with that prohibition. Pete Keller, a spokesman for Eco Lights Northwest, a Washington state company that recycles fluorescent lamps, believes that “… most people do want to recycle, but if it’s not made easy, it doesn’t happen. And they’re [CFLs] small enough to fit in a trash can. So by nature, I think most people are not recyclers. So if it’s small enough to fit in a trash can, that’s where it ends up.”

Here’s where the whole matter get’s particularly confusing. On one hand, politicians who legislated the incandescent bulb ban virtually mandating use of CFL don’t appear to regard mercury to be a big deal. At the same time, the EPA now plans to regulate mercury emissions from coal plants that provide the electricity to power half of those lights.

They seem to believe we can replace those dirty coal plants with solar and wind power. But there’s a small issue here also. This might be quite inconvenient for people who mostly use lights at night…or who are just too impatient to wait for friendly breezes to blow.

Then again, they say that those CFLs are more efficient…that they’re supposed to use less electricity and last longer. That sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? But will CFL really reduce power use? In 1987 the town of Traer, Iowa distributed 18,000 free bulbs to its residents in a demonstration project to get the answer. The results showed that residential electricity use actually rose by 8% because people tended to use more lights and keep them on longer believing that the lighting was cheaper.

Do those CFL lamps truly last longer? Well, apparently that depends on how long you leave them on. If you turn them on and off frequently they reportedly burn out quite fast. (Actually, wasn’t that “turning off when not in use” concept originally thought to be a good power conservation idea?) They also don’t last long in a “hot” environment where there isn’t much airflow around a lamp, such as in a recessed fixture or downlight can.

Michael Siminovitch, who directs the California Lighting Center at the University of California, Davis, likes CFLs. Yet he admitted to the New York Times that “In pursuit of the holy grail, we stepped on the consumers.” He confessed that they are “not lasting quite as long as consumers have been led to believe.”

And what about lighting quality? Well, take color, for example. Imagine that you care about distinguishing between brown and purple so that you don’t pick a bad necktie and your socks match? Well that might be a small problem with CFL. On the other hand, no one will be likely to notice unless you go outside during daylight…and their mismatched outfits will probably look just as dumb. A guide produced by lightbulb researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute declares that CFL bulbs fall so short of the needed color rendering index (CRI) of 85 to 90 that most manufacturers don’t even list this poor rating information on their packages.

CFL packaging information often overstates the amount of light the lamps put out compared with supposedly equivalent incandescent bulbs. They typically require one-third of the wattage to replace them, rather than only the one-fourth advertised. And unlike those old obsolete relics, you will need to wait for a couple of minutes or so for your modern, improved CFL to reach full brightness. Consider also that some types don’t work with dimmer switches, just in case you might wish for some silly reason to adjust an illumination level to read or doze. But since they tend to automatically become dimmer over time, you can patiently wait for that to happen, and rest later.

Does any of this maybe cause you to wonder why, if CFLs are that good, government needs to pass a law that requires us to buy them… and to prohibit future sales of a safer type that lots of us continue to prefer? We have to assume that those smart legislators that came up with this law have some really good reasons, right? After all, we voted for the majority of them…or at least some people must have.

Could it be a clever strategy intended to have us purchase and stockpile the old bulbs as a way to boost the economy? Probably not. The problem with that theory is that if our government doesn’t let American companies sell the kind of products we want it, that won’t help our economy or create jobs. Not even “green” jobs.

Take GE’s Winchester plant closing for example. Rather than changing over to CFL production, which is much more labor-intensive, 200 U.S. job positions went to China where employees are paid much less. Pat Doyle, who had worked at the plant for 26 years, told the Washington Post, “We’ve been sold out. First sold out by the government. Then sold out by GE.”

GE has been increasingly shipping jobs overseas. At the end of 2000 more than half of its employee workforce (54%) was located in the U.S. By 2010 U.S. workers comprised 44% of the total, with foreign business providing $9 billion of their total $14.2 billion profits. Yet last year they not only avoided paying any U.S. taxes, but actually received a $3.2 billion tax benefit…this after receiving $16 billion in 2008 Federal Reserve bailouts along with hundreds of millions more in green energy business subsidies. Given those remarkable financial achievements, there should be little wonder that GE’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, would be selected to chair a new Obama administration Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

And while it’s admittedly only a hunch, this leads to another theory. Maybe the CFL initiative is being launched as part of a broader “Jobs for Loans” exchange with China. Wouldn’t this be a logical follow-up to its previous clunker program?

EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the 16th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory. The final report shows overall emissions during 2009 decreased by 6.1 percent from the previous year. This downward trend was attributed to a decrease in fuel and electricity consumption across all U.S. economic sectors.

Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2009 were equivalent to 6,633 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. The report indicates that overall emissions have grown by more than 7.3 percent from 1990 to 2009. Emissions in 2009 represent the lowest total U.S. annual GHG emissions since 1995. These numbers reflect the most up to date data at the time of publication.

The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009 tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2009. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation and soils.

This inventory, prepared in collaboration with federal agencies, is the latest submitted by the United States to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC sets an overall global framework for nations to address climate change. The final report takes into consideration comments received from stakeholders across the country.

More information on the greenhouse gas inventory report: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html

A rational choice of energy sources

The Scientific Alliance Newsletter

Despite the intense debates which occur about the merits of different sources of electricity, the fact is that governments have an obligation to keep the lights on for their citizens. Modern societies need a constant supply of energy so that businesses can operate efficiently and individuals can be safe and comfortable. Even short power cuts can be very disruptive: computers stop working, broadband connections are lost, modern phones will not work, central heating pumps and boilers cut out and candles and torches are the only sources of light. Imagine if this was a regular occurrence.

This power, of course, does not always have to be generated in the same way. Many countries have moved from an almost total reliance on coal towards greater use of gas. Nuclear is part of the mix for many and France has chosen to make it its primary source of energy. For countries with the right geography, such as Norway, hydroelectricity is the obvious answer and in a few cases (eg Iceland) geothermal power is viable. But in all cases, a mix has been arrived at which can – barring occasional problems – provide energy security at a reasonable price.

This could change over the next few years. The current drive to reduce the carbon intensity of power generation ahead of whatever changes free market forces might bring risks placing undue reliance on intermittent sources of power, particularly wind generation, which is the most mature and generally the least expensive of the non-nuclear alternative options. Even enthusiasts agree that the intrinsically intermittent nature of the wind means that turbines on average only generate a fraction of their nominal capacity. What is still a very controversial issue is the extent to which this can be accommodated within an overall generating mix.

The John Muir Trust, which describes itself as the ‘leading wild land conservation charity in the UK’ has therefore done a valuable service by commissioning a report on the topic from Stuart Young, called (accurately but somewhat prosaically) Analysis of UK Wind Power Generation; November 2008 to December 2010. Using publicly-available information, this analyses the data to give a rather less positive assessment than we get from organisations such as Renewable UK (until recently the British Wind Energy Association, but now also covering wave and tidal power) or the Renewable Energy Association. It will not have pleased Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, who spoke at a recent conference of ‘putting Scotland at the forefront of the global energy revolution’.

Critics may say that the John Muir Trust has an axe to grind, because it does not want to see wind turbines erected in what is currently wilderness. This is a fair point, but very few reports are published for purely altruistic reasons and it is for the reader to judge for themselves the objectivity of the author. In the case of the JMT report, the facts are allowed to speak for themselves. The National Grid, via its Balancing Mechanism Reporting System, provides very detailed data, publishing information every five minutes since November 2008. This data can be accessed by anyone, including those who may be sceptical of Stuart Young’s conclusions.

The author set out to test a series of statements often made in support of wind power and, in so doing, came to some important conclusions about its ability to make a useful contribution to the mix. For example, based on these data, he concludes that a figure of 30% of rated capacity for the average outputs of on-shore wind farms is a significant over-estimate. For November and December 2008, the figure was 31.7%, but in 2009 it fell to 27.2% and in 2010 was only 21.1%. Over the whole period covered, the average was just 24.1%. It should be said that the NG figures include only metered wind farms, but these are all in Scotland, which we can safely assume to be windier than the UK average. Including on-shore wind turbines in England would only make the picture worse.

This is one aspect; in terms of planning investment, it would be safe to assume that on-shore wind farms would have an average output of only about a quarter of their rated capacity. But even more important is the variability of the output. It has already been argued many times that wind farms can do little to reduce carbon dioxide emissions because conventional generating capacity has to be kept running inefficiently on standby to make up the shortfall when the wind is too weak (or too strong). The ability of the grid to cope with large, rapid changes in supply has also been questioned.

The analysis in the report gives a good illustration of this. To summarise, the metered wind farms operate:

At below 20% of capacity more than half the time

Below 10% of capacity more than one-third of the time

The equivalent of one day in twelve below 2.5% capacity

The equivalent of just under one day a month below 1.25% capacity

To compound this, the total output from the wind farms (about 1600MW metered capacity) was less than 20MW on average more than once a week, and this low output typically lasted for nearly five hours on each occasion. To compound this “Movements in excess of 100MW over a five minute period are relatively common even at the low levels of metered capacity during the study period. As more wind power is connected the magnitude of rapid changes will increase.”

Some people will see this report and its conclusions as an attack on wind power. I prefer to see it as a recognition of the reality and an aid to rational decision making. If the objective is to reduce the carbon intensity of electricity generation, it makes no sense to wilfully ignore the negative aspects of particular technologies. To do so would be to saddle the country with a power grid which is not fit for purpose.

Even enthusiasts for renewables should take proper note of these issues. Professor David MacKay, Cambridge academic and currently Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change is both a committed environmentalist and an excellent and rational scientist. For those who want to look at the broader issues of energy generation and use in more detail, the first point of call should be his extremely useful (and free in pdf form) book Sustainable energy – without the hot air. Rather than make the sort of unwarranted assumptions some are prone to do, he estimates capacities and outputs from first principles. Both he and Stuart Young have made invaluable contributions to the debate and we can only hope that they are the voices which are listened to.

WOULD you buy a used tax from Greg Combet and his mates Bob Brown and Julia Gillard?

Terry McCrann, Herald Sun

WOULD you buy a used tax from Greg Combet and his mates Bob Brown and Julia Gillard?

It’s only been slightly used, only been driven so to speak on Sundays, by its former owner named Kevin – before his best mates Julia and Wayne persuaded him to garage it. And then, promptly ‘locked’ him in, or out, with it.

Because if you do, I’ve got a certain bridge in a city on the harbour to sell you. Newly painted and all.

Just how stupid does the prime minister and her climate minister think you are? Pretty damn stupid has to be the answer. There they both were yesterday, saying we want to hit you with a $10 billion tax, to pretty quickly grow to a $20 billion or $30 billion one. And we promise to give you back half of it.

They actually think this is the trump card! Climate Change Minister Combet: “I can assure you … that more than 50 per cent of the carbon price revenue will be used to assist households.”

While earlier in the day, the prime minister herself even more emphatically: “I can guarantee that more than 50 per cent … of the revenue raised will go to assisting households.” She then managed to say with a straight face: “That means millions of Australian households will be better off under a carbon price.”

How persuasive can you get? We hand over $10 billion, they give us $5 billion back. And it just gets “better” as the tax rises. We hand over $20 billion, they give us back $10 billion. We hand over $40 billion, they give us back $20 billion.

So this is what Ms Gillard means when she claims that people will be “better off”. Just focus on the $5 billion or $10 billion or more that you are “getting back”. You don’t need to worry about the $10 billion or $20 billion or more flowing to Canberra, because as Gillard and Combet keep claiming, you won’t be paying it.

No, only the big so-called polluters will be paying the tax. Believe that and I have an opera house to throw in with the bridge I’ve got to sell you.

Further, the promise only appears to apply specifically to half of what’s raised with the initial level at which the tax starts. When the tax is up to $30 billion a year, how much of that will be given back? The give-back only flows to some taxpayers. Perhaps half of personal taxpayers will get zero, zip, nada from the get-go, and so also all business taxpayers. They’re going to have to raise their prices or go broke or both.

Just to really make you feel enthusiastic, Gillard and Combet promise to hand the other half that is raised to climate change spivs and mainchancers – by splashing the money on useless wind farms and solar power(less) plants.

Combet seems well suited to this. I don’t think I’ve seen any previous minister who has managed to so seamlessly combine the most basic stupidity and the most shameless dishonesty. While at the same time demonstrating he actually doesn’t have a clue that’s what he is doing!

In his speech yesterday he used the word ‘pollution’ or a variant a total of 48 times, either directly or indirectly linked to the word carbon.

In every case he was of course talking about carbon dioxide – not simply harmless but utterly necessary plant food. You’d have to conclude that he does know just how dishonest he was being to so repeatedly talk about carbon pollution – deliberately promoting an image of dirty bits of grit.

But you’d also have to conclude that at some level he actually doesn’t. The stupidity and dishonesty is also captured and projected in the claim that on the one hand “only” the so-called big polluters will pay. But about half of you will be “compensated”, indeed over-compensated.

Compensated for what? If only the polluters are paying?

Further Combet – and Gillard – continue to tell lies about China. They must know they are lying. But again incredibly, they also appear to believe what they say – having a bizarre ability to “not see” all the new coal-fired power stations that China is opening.

There is a very clear bottom line. This is a huge tax. It will grow to be at least half the size of the GST, perhaps even more. You all got fully compensated for the GST with the personal tax cuts. The Gillard-Brown government isn’t even promising that with this tax.

Just think about that. Imagine a prime minister standing up and promising to raise the GST from 10 to 15 per cent – and not providing any offset by way of tax cuts or other rebates to half of all taxpayers and all, repeat all, of business.

Indeed, that it is entirely possible it could end up being the equivalent of doubling the GST to 20 per cent. A tax that’s exactly opposite to the reform of the GST and the price-cutting impact of tariff reductions, will very seriously damage the economy.

That a government could be so inept in both political and policy terms is almost beyond belief. Except it is happening, right out there before your eyes in plain view, personified and projected by Gillard and Combet.They are starting to make Bob Brown look like the voice of reason and sanity.