Prop 23 Update: Current Gas Prices a Test Run for Cap and Trade – The Impact?

Russ Steele

If you think that gas prices are high now wait until AB-32 Cap and Trade kicks in, starting in January 2013.

Wayne Lusvardi writing at the CalWatchDog has some details:

Under Cap and Trade, gas prices are expected to increase from $0.26 to $1.61 per gallon. One study concluded that, if all the provisions of Cap and Trade were loaded into the price of gasoline, it would reflect about a $2.70 per gallon gasoline price increase above prices as they were before the current surge.  In other words, California’s current gas price bump may be a pimple of what is to come in three months when Cap and Trade kicks in on Jan. 1.

Average gasoline prices in California shot up 50 cents per gallon in the last two weeks from $4.11 to $4.61 per gallon, according Reuters.  The price difference between Jackson, Miss. at $3.43 per gallon and California at $4.61 was $1.18 higher. That’s about a 34 percent price spread.  Many independent gas stations were reportedly shutting down — not because of lack of supply of gas, but due to the jump in price that reduced profit margins to zero.

The question is what will be the long term impact on the local economy as fuel, gas and diesel, prices stay well above $4.00 a gallon? Potential tourist income will not be going up to compensate for higher fuel prices.  Their budget are being challenges by higher food prices due to increased transportation and agricultural costs.  All these cost increases will result in less disposable income. Income familes might invest in a day or vacation trip to Nevada County.  Some families will be making the choice between food or fuel.  Those decisions will impact our local economy.

Wind Power Will Blackout Millions in UK — CA Next?

Russ Steele

The UK Telegraph has the details:

Millions of British households face blackout, warns Ofgem [Britain’s energy system manager]

Millions of households are at risk of power black-outs within three years because coal stations are being replaced with wind farms, the energy watchdog has said.

If it will happen in the UK, and Obama’s EPA is shutting down the coal plant across the United States, will we soon be joining the million in the UK shivering in the dark on long winter nights?  California has sworn off the use of coal generated power and is switching to wind and solar power. We could be just a vulnerable if coal plants shut down and there are no backup power plants to provide power when the wind is not blowing and cold is seeping in the windows at night.

We currently do not have a effective method for storing solar energy, and increased cloudiness from volcanic eruptions or a burst of cosmic rays during a quiet sun could reduce the solar output.  Solar scientist are predicting the loss of sunspots sometime after 2015, resulting in the potential for more cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, generating more clouds.

The potential for black outs in California could increase over time. One of our best options is to get rid of Obama and his EPA which are forcing the closure of our coal mines and coal fired power plants.  Insurance against the whims of Mother Nature.

Prop 23 Update: Global Warming is Killing Electric Cars?

Russ Steele

We were suppose to be buying electric cars to save planet from global warming. But, it appears that global warming is damaging if not killing electric cars.  Details HERE.

Leaf owners in Phoenix noticed that upon full battery charge, their dashboard charge indicator showed a decreasing capacity. According to hybridCARS website range per battery charge has dropped from the advertised 100 miles to as low as 44 miles.

At first Nissan claimed it was a fault of the dashboard gauge, but that proved not to be the case. The lithium ion battery was actually losing charging capacity over time. (See here for a detailed discussion on the physical and chemical processes which cause battery capacity reduction.) Tests show that the battery “ages” more than twice as fast in hot climates compared to cool climates.

Why would anyone buy an electric car?  It seems to be a question that many buyers are asking them selves and not coming up with a buying answer.  US electric car battery plants are sitting idle, after Obama invested billions to create a battery industry in the US.  Why, auto customers are not interested in buying electric cars. Especially electric cars that can only go 44 miles, which will soon be cut in half again to 22 miles per charge as the UN IPCC/GISS global temperatures continue to increase.  Heh!

Glaciers: Going, going, gone? NOT!

Russ Steele

If you have not seen this press release from Sierra College, I am sure that you will soon see it mention in The Union or the radio at KVMR and KNCO.

Presented by: Sierra College Natural History Museum and Sierra College Press, October 26-27, 2012

Rocklin-During the past two centuries, mountain glaciers around the world have shrunk, thinned and, in some cases, disappeared – all at alarming rates.  The Sierra Nevada is among the western mountain systems that have experienced some of the most dramatic loss of glacial ice. Sierra College’s Natural History Museum and the Sierra College Press have collaborated to make two related lectures available that explain glacial systems in the Sierra Nevada, how they were formed, how they sculpted the state’s great granitic spine and how they are currently being affected by climate change.

“Glaciers: Going, going, gone?” is the title of the two-day lecture event scheduled for October 26 and 27 at the Rocklin campus of Sierra College.

It sounds like an interesting lecture series on our Sierra backyard, but I have a problem with this statement.

 California Glaciers is an elegantly rendered farewell that describes the raw power and beauty of luminous icescapes in the Sierra and the irreversible effects of climate change.

What does Tim Palmer mean by “the irreversible effects of climate change?”

Is it possible that Mr Palmer is not aware that the climate in the Sierra has been changing since the mountains rose out to the sea eons ago?  Sierra glaciers have grown and melted for millions of years.  The last time they increased in size was during the Little Ice Age from 1650 to 1850.  The Sierra glaciers stated melting at the end of LIA, and have continued to do so as the earth temperature rebounded from the extensive cold, during a period when the sun spots vanished.

I wrote about the Sierra glaciers on my old blog, NC Media Watch HERE, where I reported on a paper by Scott Stine, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, California State University, Hayward, California examines Sierra Nevada Climate, 1650–1850. Stine points out the Sierra glaciers did not exist prior to the Little Ice Age and they have been declining since about 1850.

Evidence from Sierra Nevada Glaciers
Following thousands of years of little or no glaciation, high elevation cirques of the Sierra Nevada experienced ice accumulation for several centuries prior to 1850 (Clark and Gillespie 1995; Curry 1969). This period of minor glacier advance (typically less than 2 km), first described in the Sierra by Matthes (1939), corresponds to the “Little Ice Age”—a period of cooling over much of the globe that began in the fourteenth or fifteenth century and continued through the middle of the nineteenth century (Grove 1988).

The Sierra glaciers have been in decline long before greenhouse gases became and issue. The Sierra’s have been warming since Little Ice Age, which created the glaciers.

 

So, the Sierra did not have glaciers prior to the LIA and now they are melting. We are on the cusp of the another cool period, following the modern warm period. This has been the cycle for centuries and the Sierra Glaciers will return, they are not lost to the irreversible effects of climate change.

Prop 23 Update: Renewables costing ME money, jobs – CA cannot escape

Russ Steele

Maine was ahead of California in implementing a Renewable Portfolio Standard, and now we can observe the results. How will CARB and environmental wacko politicians in Sacramento keep that from happening in CA? They can’t! AB-32 will suck us into the renewable black hole along with the residence of Maine.  [Maine/New Hampshire was second on our retirement location list.]

New Study Finds RPS Standards Hurting Maine’s Economy
Governor LePage advocates for reforms in Maine’s energy laws

AUGUSTA – Today, Governor Paul LePage released the following statement in regards to the study, The Economic Impact of Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, conducted by the Maine Heritage Policy Center and the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research:
“By 2017, this study predicts energy prices will increase by $145 million for consumers, costing the State of Maine about 1,000 jobs. We already pay a statewide total of approximately $220 million more per year for electricity than the national average. This study shows that special interests are hurting Maine’s economy and costing us jobs. We can no longer embrace the status quo.

“Unfortunately, low cost, reliable, and green renewables, such as hydro power, are discriminated against in Augusta. Instead, those with powerful political connections have forced higher cost renewables onto the backs of Maine ratepayers. Common sense dictates that cost must be a factor when evaluating all new energy sources.

“Reforming our laws to optimize our renewable energy production will put more money in the pockets of Mainers, bring more jobs to our state, and improve our quality of life. I encourage the people of Maine to tell their legislators that we need to lower the cost of energy.”

For the full study, please visit: http://www.mainepolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/Path-to-Prosperity-Maine-RPS-Standards-092712.pdf

H/T to WUWT for the tip and link to the study.

 

 

CARB’s Job Leakage Continues? – Campbell Soup Closes Sacramento Plant

Russ Steele

The Mercury News has the story:

Campbell Soup Co. is closing two U.S. plants and cutting more than 700 jobs as it looks to trim costs amid declining canned soup consumption.

The world’s largest soup maker said Thursday that it will close a plant in Sacramento, Calif., that has about 700 full-time workers. The plant was built in 1947 and is the company’s oldest in the country. It also has the highest production costs of Campbell’s four major U.S. soup plants.

Campbell also plans to shutter a spice plant in South Plainfield, N.J. that has 27 employees. Production will be shifted to the company’s only other U.S. plant, in Milwaukee.

One has to ask, why are Campbell’s production costs highest in the California plant?  It could be because the plant is older, or it could be because that California regulations are driving up cost. Looking down the road Campbell may see that AB-32 Cap and Trade will being driving cost into the unsustainable column.

The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look

Russ Steele

By Tom Gray & Robert Scardamalia writing at the Fox and Hounds have the details: 

Fox and Hounds Editor’s note: The Manhattan Institute issued a new study on why California has changed from a state people seek to live in to one that people move from and attempts to analyze the reasons for the change. Below is the Executive Summary of the report. The full study can be found here

For decades after World War II, California was a destination for Americans in search of a better life. In many people’s minds, it was the state with more jobs, more space, more sunlight, and more opportunity. They voted with their feet, and California grew spectacularly (its population increased by 137 percent between 1960 and 2010). However, this golden age of migration into the state is over. For the past two decades, California has been sending more people to other American states than it receives from them. Since 1990, the state has lost nearly 3.4 million residents through this migration.

You can read the rest of the report HERE. However, these are the money paragraphs:

The data have revealed several crucial drivers. One is chronic economic adversity (in most years, California unemployment is above the national average). Another is density: the Los Angeles and Orange County region now has a population density of 6,999.3 per square mile—well ahead of New York or Chicago. Dense coastal areas are a source of internal migration, as people seek more space in California’s interior, as well as migration to other states. A third factor is state and local governments’ constant fiscal instability, which sends at least two discouraging messages to businesses and individuals. One is that they cannot count on state and local governments to provide essential services—much less, tax breaks or other incentives. Second, chronically out-of-balance budgets can be seen as tax hikes waiting to happen.

The data also reveal the motives that drive individuals and businesses to leave California. One of these, of course, is work. States with low unemployment rates, such as Texas, are drawing people from California, whose rate is above the national average. Taxation also appears to be a factor, especially as it contributes to the business climate and, in turn, jobs. Most of the destination states favored by Californians have lower taxes. States that have gained the most at California’s expense are rated as having better business climates. The data suggest that many cost drivers—taxes, regulations, the high price of housing and commercial real estate, costly electricity, union power, and high labor costs—are prompting businesses to locate outside California, thus helping to drive the exodus.

In conclusion, my emphasis added:

Population change, along with the migration patterns that shape it, are important indicators of fiscal and political health. Migration choices reveal an important truth: some states understand how to get richer, while others seem to have lost the touch. California is a state in the latter group, but it can be put back on track. All it takes is the political will.

Where is the political will?

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