16 Responses to Energy and Global Warming News for May 28th: Exxon Mobil says transition from fossil fuel is century away, China plans tougher fuel standards than U.S.
Climate change and peak oil mean nothing to the blinkered, bloated oil behemoth.
Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest refiner, said the transition away from oil-derived fuels is probably 100 years away.
Petroleum-based fuels including gasoline and diesel, as well as hydrocarbons such as coal and natural gas, will remain the dominant sources of energy for factories, offices, homes and cars for decades because there are no viable alternatives, Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson told reporters today after Exxon Mobil’s annual shareholders meeting in Dallas.
No surprise that the oil giant spends bupkis on renewable energy — and that, as a different article reports, “Shareholders of Exxon Mobil rejected proposals on Wednesday to prohibit its chief executive from serving as chairman and to increase spending on renewable fuel.”
And here’s another non-shocker. Tillerson says:
“If we’re going to place a price on carbon, let’s do that in the most efficient way. A carbon tax is more efficient than a tax that’s applied by way of a cap-and-trade mechanism.”
Carbon politics makes strange bedfellows! see Nobelist Krugman strongly endorses Waxman-Markey: “The claim that carbon taxes are better than cap and trade is, in my view, just wrong.”
And here’s yet another non-shocker from the leading funder of climate denial advocacy over the past decade:
Tillerson, 57, said lawmakers are hurrying to restrict greenhouse gases when many scientific questions surrounding the global warming issue remain unresolved.
“The point of conflict that I find more often than not are the projections that some make regarding how serious the problem may become and at what pace of acceleration it may occur,” Tillerson told investors at the shareholders meeting. “All of those models have deficiencies in the way they’re constructed and the assumptions that go into the models and the limitations of the data.”
Tillerson, a University of Texas-trained engineer, said climate change is a “serious risk-management issue” for Exxon Mobil. The company will continue to fund scientific research into climate science and the impact of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere, he said.
“We’re going to be very forthright in not accepting something that is not completely scientifically proven,” Tillerson said. “We’re not skeptics. We’re just approaching this the way we would approach any scientific challenge, and it’s a serious challenge.”
Yes, I fully agree that many scientific questions surrounding the global warming issue remain unsolved. For instance, we don’t know whether unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions would be an unmitigated catastrophe for the next 50 generations to walk the earth or the end of human civilization as we know it. Let’s fund more “research” into that crucial question before acting too hastily.
Worried about heavy reliance on imported oil, Chinese officials have drafted automotive fuel economy standards that are even more stringent than those outlined by President Obama last week, Chinese experts with a detailed knowledge of the plans said on Wednesday.
The new plan would require automakers in China to improve fuel economy by an additional 18 percent by 2015, said An Feng, a leading architect of China’s existing fuel economy regulations who is now the president of the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, a nonprofit group in Beijing….
Cars with small fuel-sipping engines are now subject to a 1 percent sales tax, while sports cars and sport utility vehicles with the largest engines are subject to a 40 percent sales tax. Stricter fuel economy standards have won support from four interest groups within the Chinese government….
Mr. An estimated that the average new car, minivan or sport utility vehicle in China already gets the equivalent of 35.8 miles a gallon this year based on the American measurement system of corporate averages and will be required to get 42.2 miles a gallon in 2015. By comparison, President Obama announced last week that each automaker will be required to reach a corporate average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.
Secretary Steven Chu said earlier this week there has been too much emphasis on setting exact target numbers for carbon emissions.
“There was a great deal of discussion on the Kyoto targets, and I’m not really sure which fraction of the countries that took part in that actually met their targets,” Chu said at a London conference. “In terms of the targets, whether it’s 17 percent or 20 or 25 percent, I think there’s perhaps an over-obsession on these percentages.”
In a speech on Tuesday in Beijing, Ms. Pelosi, a California Democrat, called the climate change issue “a game changer in the U.S.-China relationship” and “an opportunity we cannot miss.”
“We are the biggest greenhouse gas emitters in the world,” she said, at a meeting of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum, an alliance of Chinese economic officials and American leaders from business and government. “We have a responsibility to ourselves, to each other and to the world. We must work together.”
Chrysler LLC is asking for $224 million from the Energy Department to help develop plug-in electric vehicles, including a hybrid version of its Dodge Ram pickup truck, the battered automaker said yesterday.
The federal cash would come from two DOE initiatives — the Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative and the Transportation Electrification Initiative — both of which are aimed at speeding development, demonstration and manufacturing of hybrid-electric and all-electric vehicles.
The funds would come in the form of grants from the two programs, which are separate from the $25 billion DOE loan program created in Section 136 of the 2007 energy law.
TAC Americas Inc., a unit of the French energy services company Schneider Electric SA, has begun measuring and reducing the energy use of seven municipal buildings as part of a $9.6 million contract with the city of Houston.
The building retrofit work, which began this month, comes as part of a global program spearheaded by the William J. Clinton Foundation. The former president’s Clinton Climate Initiative is using more than $5 billion from banks and other sources to reduce building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in 39 cities around the world.
Faced with a large stock of deteriorating public school buildings, school districts across the country are experimenting with new construction and renovations that save energy as well as improve educational facilities.
Even though Congress cut the $16 billion originally proposed for school construction from the stimulus bill, the U.S. Department of Education will award states $48.6 billion under the bill’s fiscal stabilization fund to fill budget gaps in public schools and universities. School construction, renovation and repair projects can qualify for the money if it’s applied to “green” buildings.
A study of car safety released on Wednesday shows that four of the top-scoring automobiles in tests of five new models were small cars or so-called super-minis “” including the Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20, Kia Soul and Peugeot 3008.
The study, conducted by Euro N.C.A.P., a group that campaigns for automobile safety, was backed by European governments and motoring and consumer organizations. The results, the study’s authors said, show that in “these economically challenging times, consumers who wish to downsize their cars can still place safety at the top of their wish list.”
Overfishing and disease have decimated shellfish populations in many of the world’s temperate estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Smithsonian scientists, led by Whitman Miller, ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md., have discovered another serious threat to these valuable filter feeders””rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide that contribute to the acidification of open ocean, coastal and estuarine waters.
Their findings are being published in PLoS One.
Extreme temperatures are expected to become more common in the western United States by 2040 if greenhouse gases continue to rise, researchers say.
Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and his colleagues simulated climate change for the United States in decade-long periods from 2000 to 2039 using a climate model that divided the land into areas just 25 kilometres square. It is the first time that the region’s temperature extremes have been modelled at such high resolution. The new projections were reported on 26 May at the joint assembly of the American Geophysical Union in Toronto, Canada.
Global emissions of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide will jump more than 39 percent by 2030 without new policies and binding pacts to cut global warming pollution, the top U.S. energy forecast agency said on Wednesday.
Tree-munching beetles, malaria-carrying mosquitoes and deer ticks that spread Lyme disease are three living signs that climate change is likely to exact a heavy toll on human health.
These pests and others are expanding their ranges in a warming world, which means people who never had to worry about them will have to start. And they are hardly the only health threats from global warming.
Compiled by Max Luken and Carlin Rosengarten