On Tuesday, the utility Delmarva announced a 25-year contract with Bluewater Wind Delaware, a subsidiary of the Babcock & Brown, to purchase 200 megawatts of power from a wind farm that would be constructed 11.5 miles in the Atlantic off Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach. First power is expected in 2012. The contract locks in the price Delmarva will pay per kilowatt-hour. Bluewater has previously built offshore energy near Denmark.
Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) unveiled the marketing slogan for his incoherent energy policy — the “Lexington Project.” Seven months ago, he promised he would unveil an energy strategy that “won’t be another grab bag of handouts to this or that industry and a full employment act for lobbyists.” With a campaign run by lobbyists, McCain now has broken that promise.
On November 5, 2007, on the campaign trail in Iowa before the presidential primaries, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) had to come up with an explanation to justify his vigorous opposition to federal subsidies for corn ethanol. He presented himself as ideologically opposed to government spending, saying that he was “proud of the conservative tradition that the government can sometimes best serve the interests of the American people by knowing when to stay out of their way.”
Praising himself for “straight talk” and “being honest,” McCain said he would eventually unveil an “energy strategy” that would break “our reliance on petro-dictators”:
– “I oppose subsidies.”
– “That strategy won’t be another grab bag of handouts to this or that industry and a full employment act for lobbyists.”
– “But it also means no rifle-shot tax breaks for big oil.”
– “It means no line items for hydrogen, no mandates for other renewable fuels, and no big-government debacles like the Dakotas Synfuels plant.”
– “I know that you have heard before that subsidies to oil will be eliminated, only to experience another disappointment.”
Seven months later, the Republican nomination sewn up, McCain has maintained his uncompromising opposition to corn ethanol — but nothing else. In the past few weeks, McCain has unveiled proposals that belie his “straight talk” about energy subsidies, mandates, big-government debacles, tax breaks, and industry handouts.
McCain’s energy plan now calls for a complex array of federal subsidies for nuclear power, coal, offshore oil drilling, low-emission vehicles, wind, hydro and solar power — a sorry parody of progressive policies. The plan calls for government-subsidized experimental coal plants, fuel mandates, and special tax breaks. The plan calls for massive new federal spending initiatives and new commissions to allocate emissions permits worth billions of dollars. In short, it’s exactly the kind of plan he told the voters of Ames, Iowa he would never, ever propose — and exactly the kind of plan he has no record of ever having worked to craft in his twenty-six years in Congress.
Someone sent me the link (here)
Part 1 presented the synopsis of the remarkable new U.S. Climate Change Science Program (aka the Bush Administration) report, Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate. One central point in the synopsis is
Droughts are becoming more severe in some regions, though there are no clear trends for North America as a whole…. Substantial areas of North America are likely to have more frequent droughts of greater severity.
Seems pretty clear, no? Dry areas will see more evaporation, hence less soil moisture (defined as precipitation minus evaporation), hence more drought. Further, many dry areas will see less precipitation under climate change (due to the expansion of the Hadley Cell and subtropics, see “Australia faces the “permanent dry” — as do we“).
Simply put, dry areas will get drier. The Bush report even summarizes a study I have written a lot about (see “The Century of Drought“):
For example, extreme drought increases from 1% of present day land area (by definition) to 30% by the end of the century in the Hadley Centre AOGCM’s A2 scenario.
[Note: The A2 scenario leads to atmospheric concentrations of CO2 of about 850 ppm by century's end. On our current path, we are headed beyond 1000 ppm (see here).]
On the other hand, climate change science projects also more overall precipitation because the atmosphere will contain more water vapor [see "Global warming causes deluges and flooding, just like the Midwest is seeing (again)"]. Simply put, wet areas will get wetter.
Obviously, a country like the United States will see some areas getting wetter and some areas getting drier, so we would expect to see no clear drought trend for the country as a whole, but much worse weather extremes in different places. Bad news. At least, to some.
But suppose you are a climate change
delayer enabler like, oh, I don’t know, Roger Pielke, Jr. How would you summarize the report? Well, you would list a bunch of “remarkable conclusions” that “somehow did not seem to make it into the official press release,” including (remarkably):
Joint Hearing Between House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and House Intelligence Community Management (ICM) Subcommittee
This hearing will be WEBCAST Live -please CLICK HERE to watch.
On Wednesday, June 25, the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Intelligence Community Management (ICM) Subcommittee, will hold a joint hearing on “National Security Implications of Global Climate Change.” Members will hear and discuss the results of the first-ever U.S. Government analysis of the security threats posed by global warming.
WHAT: Joint Hearing on the National Security Implications of Global Warming
WHERE: 210 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 9:30 AM
Part 1 discussed the pointless and hopelessly impractical $300 million battery prize proposed by the presumptive the GOP nominee. McCain also offered another hot gimmick this week:
My administration will issue a Clean Car Challenge to the automakers of America, in the form of a single and substantial tax credit based on the reduction of carbon emissions. For every automaker who can sell a zero-emissions car, we will commit a 5,000 dollar tax credit for each and every customer who buys that car. For other vehicles, whatever type they may be, the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit. And these large tax credits will be available to everyone — not just to those who have an accountant to explain it to them.
Now that is both silly and unmanageable. First off, a zero-emissions car would either be a pure electric vehicle or a hydrogen fuel cell car. Neither of those are the kind of near-term or even medium-term solution that we need, that we should encourage, or that we are likely to get (and whether they were actually zero-emissions would depend on how the hydrogen or electricity is made, as discussed below). The serious players are all pursuing plug-in hybrids, as they should be (see “This just in: Hydrogen fuel cell cars are still dead“). Those are not zero-emissions.
Second, “the lower the carbon emissions, the higher the tax credit” is absurd. Once again, Senator McCain and his energy advisers betray how little they understand the issues involved. Let’s look at the two most plausible reduced-emissions fuels: biofuels and electricity. Each of them would be both a bureaucrat’s and an accountant’s nightmare.