Cuomo’s Natural Gas Blockade

New York’s Governor is raising energy costs for millions of Americans.

By The Editorial Board

Aug. 23, 2017 7:00 p.m. ET

The U.S. shale boom has lowered energy prices and created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. But those living in upstate New York and New England have been left in the cold by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose shale gas blockade could instigate an energy crisis in the Northeast.

Progressives once hailed natural gas as a “transition fuel” to renewables like solar and wind, but now they are waging a campaign to “keep it in the ground.” New York is ground zero. First, Mr. Cuomo banned hydraulic fracturing (i.e., fracking), and now he’s blocking natural gas pumped in other states from reaching Northeast markets.

The Empire State’s southern tier overlays the rich Marcellus and Utica Shale formations, among the most productive drilling regions in the country. Shale fracking has been an economic boon for Appalachia—and could have lifted upstate New York. Since 2010 natural gas production has surged 520% in West Virginia, 920% in Pennsylvania and 1880% in Ohio. (See chart nearby).

Mr. Cuomo’s predecessor David Paterson imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2010. After winning re-election in 2014, Mr. Cuomo started laying the ground for a White House bid and made the ban permanent. Between 2010 and 2015, New York’s natural gas production plunged by half—which has translated into fewer jobs as well as less royalties for landowners and revenue for local governments.

Last year the Governor compounded the economic damage by blocking the 120-mile Constitution pipeline transporting natural gas from Pennsylvania to upstate New York and New England. Although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the pipeline in 2014, Mr. Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation conducted a separate review and denied a water-quality permit putatively because the developers hadn’t provided sufficient information.

Constitution’s developers challenged the denial in federal court. While the Clean Water Act lets states perform their own environmental reviews, New York appears to have abused its discretion. Last week the Second Circuit Court of Appeals deferred to state regulators while leaving a door open for the pipeline companies to challenge the timeliness of the state review in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

While Constitution isn’t dead, environmentalists say the appellate-court decision will give New York and other states more latitude to block pipelines, which is no idle threat. Two major pipelines in the Northeast under development will need state approvals, and developers pulled two others in the past two years amid regulatory obstacles in New England.

All of this is ominous since the region desperately needs more natural gas to make up for lost power from the impending shutdown of nuclear and coal plants. New England’s Independent System Operator projects that 14% of the region’s electric generation capacity will be retired within three years and says more pipelines are needed for grid stability.

Mr. Cuomo is also forcing the premature retirement of the Indian Point nuclear plant, which provides a quarter of New York City and Westchester County’s electricity. He hasn’t offered a back-up plan, but natural gas will have to play a role. Renewables (excluding hydropower) make up only 5% of New York’s electric generation, and we doubt the local liberal gentry will abide wind farms off Long Island.

Energy costs in the Northeast are already the highest in the nation outside of Alaska and Hawaii in part due to the shortage of natural gas. Northeast residents pay 29% more for natural gas and 44% more for electricity than the U.S. average, according to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Industrial users in the Northeast pay twice as much for natural gas and 62% more for electricity.

Electricity and natural gas constitute many manufacturers’ biggest costs, which in part explains why so many are fleeing the Northeast. Since 2010 manufacturing economic output has increased by 1.5% in the Great Lakes region while shrinking 0.7% in New England and 2.4% in New York.

Inclement weather can cause energy costs to skyrocket. During the 2014 polar vortex, natural gas prices in New York City spiked to $120 per million Btu—about 25 times the Henry Hub spot price at the time. Natural-gas power plants in New York are required to burn oil during supply shortages. Due to pipeline constraints and the Jones Act—which requires that cargo transported between U.S. ports be carried by ships built in the U.S.—Boston imports liquefied natural gas during the winter from Trinidad. This is expensive and emits boatloads of carbon.

Speaking of which, about a quarter of households in New York, 45% in Vermont and 65% in Maine still burn heating oil—which is a third more expensive than natural gas and produces about 30% more carbon emissions per million Btu. Yet many can’t switch due to insufficient natural gas and pipeline infrastructure.

Mr. Cuomo’s natural gas blockade is harming residents and businesses throughout the Northeast while raising carbon emissions that he claims are imperiling the planet. The likely Democratic presidential aspirant may hope to ride this record to the White House, but millions of Americans are already paying a high price for his policies

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Bamboozled Billionaires

Many prominent persons have adopted a cause, using their prominence and money to support their chosen cause. For example, Bill Gates created a foundation that works to improve the lives of the world’s poorest persons. Sometimes prominent persons adopt false causes, wasting their time and money in pursuit of a dubious goal. The billionaire trio of Henry Paulson, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer have been bamboozled by global warming profiteers.
The 3 billionaires have commissioned a study to promote the global warming scare. It is very clear that the billionaires have embarked on a fool’s quest. Even if one believes in the dubious computer projections of global warming doom, it is clear that the billionaires’ approach does not make sense. They imply that CO2 reduction policies should be adopted in the U.S. and they give the impression that this will result in prevention of a global warming catastrophe. But the CO2 emissions mainly come from Asia and that is where the rapid growth of emissions is. Emissions in the U.S. have been declining. Reducing emissions from the United States is basically a waste of time because even if U.S. emissions were reduced to zero, according to global warming theory it wouldn’t make much difference in the face of massive and rapidly growing emissions in Asia.
A cynic might suspect that the billionaires are promoting global warming hysteria as part of a plan to make money. In this article I assume their activities are motivated by sincere good intentions, however confused those intentions may be. When confronted by the choice that someone is either confused, or is pretending to be confused as part of a clever scheme, the correct answer is usually the obvious one.

Global warming advocacy has become a multi-billion dollar industry. The money goes to scientific research and to subsidies for green energy. The money is comes from government appropriations as well as government mandates that force consumers to pay inflated prices for green energy. The global warming establishment is one of the basic constituent groups supporting the Democratic Party.

Global warming is a political movement disguised as a scientific movement. The global warming movement provides money to political supporters and burnishes its image with junk science. Critics are treated as political enemies rather than as honest questioners. So, anyone who effectively raises questions about global warming doctrine is denounced as anti-science, ignorant or a tool of the fossil fuel industry. Sincere scientists who point out the flaws in global warming science are ignored or denounced. The science has been thoroughly corrupted by the need to protect the flow of money. Only a naive person would think that the advocates of global warming catastrophe, bathing in a sea of money created by government policies, are objective about their claims. Like any special interest, their reports and studies are as one sided as they can get away with.

The billionaires have produced a 50-page report: Risky Business. The report is incredibly biased. It never mentions the severe problems of global warming theory, for example the problem that global warming of both the ocean and atmosphere stopped more than a decade ago, or the fact that the various climate models used to make forecasts disagree strongly, one with another. The report presents regional climate forecasts stretching 90 years into the future and presents these forecasts as if they are scientifically sound. It is well known that regional forecasts from climate models are very dubious and even true believers in global warming don’t take regional forecasts seriously. Regional forecasts are generated because global warming propagandists are discouraged by the fact that a large segment of the public hasn’t believed global warming propaganda in the past. They think that regional forecasts for the U.S. will make a stronger impression on the skeptical public. In other words science takes a back seat to propaganda.

Henry Paulson was secretary of the treasury under President George W. Bush and before that the head of Goldman-Sachs. As a Republican Paulson is more credible than the other two billionaires. In an opinion piece, published in the New York Times, Paulson repeats crude global warming propaganda and says nothing that would indicate that he has any real understanding of the subject. Paulson repeats the popular claim that global warming is progressing faster than expected. That claim is exactly opposite reality. Atmospheric warming stopped 17 years ago and surface layer ocean warming stopped 10 years ago.

The gurus of global warming try to cover up the failure to warm by concentrating their propaganda on secondary indicators of global warming, like arctic sea ice or mountain glaciers. These secondary indicators are influenced by complicated forces besides warming. If you want to show evidence for global warming in the face of the opposite trend, you can always find something that is changing in the “right” direction. The global warming advocates scream loudly about downward trends in arctic sea ice but keep quiet about a strong upward trend in Antarctic sea ice. The best indicator of global warming is the temperature, of the atmosphere and ocean, and, according to those indicators, global warming is absent.

There was a 30-year warming of the climate, from about 1970 to about 2000. That warming was correlated with a rapid increase in CO2. But, correlation does not prove causation.  From about 1910 to 1940 there was a nearly identical warming of the climate that cannot be blamed on CO2, because CO2 was not a significant factor in that less industrially developed era.

Science has never established the cause of that 1910 to 1940 warming. If the early century warming happened without CO2, how do we know that the late century warming was caused by CO2? Various attempts have been made to explain the early century warming, for example by a change in the sun’s output, but the embarrassing truth is that the early century warming remains unexplained. As long as the cause of the early century warming is unexplained it is not reasonable to try to blame the late century warming exclusively or mostly on CO2.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is the former mayor of New York. He gave the Sierra Club $50 million to help their campaign to destroy the coal industry on the grounds that burning coal contributes to global warming. In the junk science hands of the Sierra Club, burning coal is represented as an activity that lowers your kids’ I.Q. and gives them cancer.

The third billionaire, Tom Steyer, has been called Harry Reid’s lapdog. He is a big contributor to Democrat politicians. He plans to spend $50 million to promote climate change in upcoming elections. Steyer, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, went to the best schools and is obviously well connected in financial circles. He lives in an exclusive district of San Francisco and has an 1800-acre ranch on the California coast where he practices fashionable ranching. None of his writings or YouTube interviews suggest that he has even a superficial understanding of the science behind the global warming scare.

My opinion is that we would all be better off if these billionaires were doing what they are really good at – making money – rather then trying to scare us with extreme speculation presented as if it is a sober assessment.

It is difficult to explain just how corrupt and deceptive the billionaire’s Risky Business report is. Start with the cover of the report. The picture of a roller coaster flooded by hurricane Sandy is used to give the impression that the hurricane was a consequence of global warming or that global warming will create more and worse hurricanes in the future. However there is no scientific basis for the idea that hurricane Sandy was caused by global warming. A worse hurricane took place in the same area in 1938 when global warming was not in the picture. The idea that global warming will result in worse hurricane damage is wildly speculative. In the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) it was reported that according to climate models global warming would result in less hurricane activity.

The Risky Business report repeatedly invokes a rise in sea level of 2-4 feet by the end of the century. This is implausible in the extreme. The current trend in sea level is a rise at the rate of about 7 inches per century. A dramatic increase can only come from significant melting of the Greenland ice cap. Significant warming of Greenland during the next 90 years is speculative as is warming of the globe in general. The climate of Greenland is volatile and significant warming occurred in the 1920’s without the influence of human caused greenhouse gases. Further it is not even clear if warming will result in a reduction of the ice cap, because warming is likely to increase snowfall that expands the ice cap.

The Risky Business report makes the elementary and no doubt conscious error of suggesting that the current value of seaside property is at risk by a rise in sea level to be completed 90 years in the future. They don’t bother to discount the future value of the supposed flooded property. If it became apparent that property would have to be abandoned due to a slow rise in sea level, the owners would write off the property rather than refreshing it and the loss would be far less than its current value. Put another way, it is not difficult economically to adapt to a loss of land that takes place slowly over a long period of time, and 90 years is a very long time for real estate.

Norman Rogers is a retired entrepreneur who writes about global warming and renewable energy. He is a volunteer Senior Policy Advisor with the Heartland Institute, a Chicago think tank. He maintains a website.

Proposal for a Most Inconvenient Movie on Climate

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Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., left, and former Vice President Al Gore arrive at the Premiere (in California) of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” at the Arclight Hollywood on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Willy Sanjuan/AP)
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The scene opens in 1988 on a steamy day in Washington D.C. at hearings hosted by former senator-turned-eco-evangelist Al Gore. The day was selected and carefully staged on the basis of hottest summer records in the city.

As Gore’s Senate colleague character Timothy Wirth later tells a PBS interviewer, “We called the weather bureau and found out what historically was the hottest day of the summer. . . . so we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo, it was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it  . . . we went in the night before and opened all the windows so that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room.”

There could be no doubt that the recent summer heat was exceptional. Only about a decade earlier, three decades of cooling had led leading scientists and news agencies to trumpet an opposite concern. (Movie screen pans to the 1975 March cover of Science News depicted Manhattan being swallowed by an approaching glacier with a bold headline announcing “The Ice Age Cometh.”)

The hearing’s foregone conclusion regarding the cause for this sudden and dramatic climate change reversal launches its star witness to instant fame. James Hansen, who then heads NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testifies, “Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe a high degree of confidence of cause and effect relationship between the [human] greenhouse effect and the observed warming.”

(Screen pans again to a June 30, 1989 Associated Press article headlined: “U.N. Official Predicts Disaster: Says Greenhouse Effect Could Wipe Some Nations Off Map.”)

But now, only about a decade later, the world and its polar bears face a new, even greater, crisis . . . a looming overheated Armageddon which the U.N. wastes no time blaming upon capitalistic excesses.

Their solution is to institute an international carbon “cap-and-trade” agreement — a Kyoto Protocol — which penalizes developed countries by forcing them to purchase CO2 emission credits from less developed countries. China and India, which emit huge and growing amounts of CO2, are given get-out-of-jail-free passes due to their developing country status.

Kyoto timing provides a dream opportunity for one particularly influential company.

During the early 1990s, Enron is diversifying its energy business to emphasize natural gas, a fuel that is facing difficult market competition with coal, a larger CO2 emitter. The company, already heavily leveraged, owns the largest natural gas pipeline that exists outside Russia . . . a colossal interstate network.

U.S. participation in Kyoto will create carbon-capping advantages which will dramatically tip the energy market playing field in Enron’s favor.

Pursuing enthusiastic help in Washington, Enron’s boss Ken Lay begins collaborating with now-Vice President Gore and his former Senate operative Timothy Wirth who is now undersecretary of state for global affairs in the Clinton-Gore administration. Together, they prepare a White House strategy to lobby Congress for Kyoto ratification.

Enron’s Kyoto lobbying efforts don’t end there. Between 1994 and 1996, the Enron Foundation finances an aggressive and successful global warming fear campaign which includes hostile attacks on scientific dissenters.

As an internal Enron memorandum states, Kyoto will “do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside the restructuring [of] the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.”

Flashing forward, after leaving the White House, now green hedge fund entrepreneur Gore and his partner David Blood, the former chief of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, take big stakes in the Chicago Climate Exchange. CCX is poised to make windfall profits selling CO2 trading offsets if the U.S. adopts cap-and-trade legislation.

Speaking before a 2007 Joint House Hearing of the Energy Science Committee, lobbiest Gore tells members, “As soon as carbon has a price, you’re going to see a wave [of investment] in it . . . There will be unchained investment.”

As a surprise ending to my movie finally reveals, this turns out to be the same snake oil tycoon who rakes in hundreds of $millions cashing in on man-made climate fright . . . the same greenhouse gasser who sells his Current TV cable network to Al Jazeera owned by the emir of oil-rich Qatar . . . the same hypocrite whose Nashville home annually consumes more than 20 times more electricity than the average American Household . . . and even the same sanctimonious jerk who has just released a “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” thriller to his earlier conveniently alarmist film.

Al’s buddy Timothy Wirth then goes on to serve as U.N. Foundation president, and later on its board. James Hansen finally retires from NASA after being arrested four times for noncompliance with police orders during green activist demonstrations. Ken Lay dies in his Aspen vacation home while facing prison following Enron’s titanic bankruptcy.

And meanwhile, satellites show no statistical global warming over nearly the past two decades.

Yeah, you’re probably right. Few would likely take such a fantastically implausible script seriously.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of “Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom” (2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2012).

Series and Research Reports Challenge ‘Consensus Science’

 

By Joseph D’Aleo

Peter Lanzillo, host of Pete’s Corner on Hudson NH cable offered me and a team of scientists an opportunity to present an alternative view on the so called ‘consensus science’ that has driven policies that have devastated Europe’s economies and started our region and country on the same path.

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Michael Crichton (pictured), Biology degree then MD from Harvard, taught at MIT, Cambridge (UK), did research at the Salk Institute before becoming a writer, playwright, lecturer wrote about consensus:

“Historically the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming the matter is already settled.”

“Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. (Galileo, Newton, Einstein, etc)”

Science has been politicized. The politicization of science is the manipulation of science for political gain. It occurs when government, business, or advocacy groups use legal or economic pressure to influence the findings of scientific research or the way it is disseminated, reported or interpreted. The global warming hoax may be the biggest example of the politicization of science in the history of man. It continues in the universities, the media and the next few weeks unfortunately in the theatres.

What you may never have heard it, the UK courts required all schools that showed the first Al Gore movie, had to distribute a list of the 9 most major egregious errors. A judge ruled that the “apocalyptic vision” presented in the film was politically partisan and thus not an impartial scientific analysis of climate change. It is, he ruled, a “political film”. In the next story and cable show we will outline all the exaggerations and falsehoods in the sequel. Gore predicted in the 2007 movie, that we had 10 years to save the planet, that sea levels would rise and flood places like New York City. Sea levels have risen less than 1 inch at the Battery since 2007.

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But Al uses Sandy’s storm surge in the sequel to say he was right. Much stronger hurricanes in the past have come ashore in NYC – like the category 3 storm in 1821 with similar storm surges, but back then there were no subways or tunnels to flood and the city had a population of just 155,000 compared to over 8.2 million today.

Also, the number of polar bears, a movie icon, have increased to record highest population levels.

THE WINDS OF CHANGE

Peter, I and the very capable production team at Hudson Cable have produced so far 7 shows. They can be viewed here 

Part 1: CO2 the ‘Demon Gas’ showed how the demonized CO2 is a trace gas, just 0.04% of our atmosphere. We showed evidence how it has little effect on temperatures but instead is a highly beneficial gas. It is a plant fertilizer that has greatly greened the planet and increase crop yields 3 to 5 fold. CO2 combines with water, nutrients and sunlight to grow plants through photosynthesis. We pump CO2 into greenhouses. As for it being a harmful pollutant, every breath you take emits 100 times more CO2 than the air you took in.

Part II: Taking the Earths Temperatures showed the many issues in attempting to assess what is happening globally. 75% of the global stations were dropped after 1990, up to 90% of the remaining stations have missing months each year, a large percentage of the stations are now not properly sited. Oceans cover 71% of the globe and full accurate global coverage was not achieved until 2004. Dodgy models are used to adjust temperatures. Yet we claim we can assess global temperatures to hundredths of degrees.

Part III: In Weather Extremes, we (guest Michael Sununu and I) showed though after Hurricane Katrina in 2004, scientists (and Al Gore) predicted devastating storms would be a yearly certainty. Yet since 2005, we have this week surpassed a record 4300 days without a major hurricane making landfall in the U.S..

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The annual number of strong tornadoes are decreasing. There is no change in flood or drought frequency. Sea level rise globally has slowed to a 4 inch/century rate while models and the movie suggested changes in meters. Polar ice is just going through normal cyclical changes.

Part IV: In the Natural and Man-made Causes of Climate Change, we show how El Nino and La Nina cause warming and cooling and how decadal ocean basin cycles lead to a tendency for one or the other to dominate and lead to decadal temperature trends. We looked at the sun, which the climate models ignore and show how solar cycles and the different solar outputs affect the climate and likely drive land and ocean temperature cycles. Volcanoes have a very strong affect but it tends to be shorter term. Man’s primary influence is through land use changes most specifically urbanization.

Part V: We looked at the energy story. Return guest Michael Sununu and I joined Peter to discuss the energy story. We showed how we here in New Hampshire and the northeast pay, along with California, the highest electricity prices in the nation because of bad policies and how the Paris Accord would devastate our nation’s economy and hurt the poor and middle class and those on fixed incomes the most.

Part VI: We had a NASA Expert on sea level, Tom Wysmuller who confirmed the slowing of sea level rise and the beneficial nature of CO2 and Part VII a college professor Dr. Larry Gould who talked about how the schools and the media are indoctrinating our young and the public to support harmful and unnecessary policies.

Since April, I worked with a team of expert co-authors and highly competent reviewers to produce two research reports here and here.  Like the shows, the papers were done pro bono.

Although, alarmists could not attack the solid science or our rigorous statistical analyses, they argued for all to dismiss the works because they did not pass through their controlled peer review process. But our review was more rigorous and our reviewers even shared their names as well as their endorsement.

See how we followed the scientific method properly unlike most well paid researchers in science and medicine and how their peer review is failing with serious consequences here.