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?

McClintock: The adult in the room

Russ Steele

I would like to draw your attention to an article by Katy Grimes at the CalWatchDog, which is based on interviews with Congressman Tom McClintock, focusing on governance in California.

Article in part that should be on interest to us all:

“A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged,” McClintock said. ”Prior to the 2006 passage of AB 32, the California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, the state’s unemployment rate began a steady upward convergence with the national unemployment rates.” After passage of AB 32, California’s unemployment shot up much more dramatically than the national unemployment rate, he said. ”California politicians can’t blame the national economy for that.”

Everything touched by AB 32 has been hurt. “Agriculture, cargo, passenger and transportation travel, construction, the wine industry, cement making — all are impacted negatively by AB 32,” said McClintock. “Entire sectors of the state’s economy have been hurt.”

As for the wind and solar scam, McClintock said there is nothing new. “In the 170 years since wind power was invented, technical advancements have not yet been able to figure out more a more expensive way to produce energy,” said McClintock. “Wind is more expensive than oil and gas.”

“The biggest problem with wind and solar is that we must have and maintain an equal amount of natural gas energy in order to back up the entire energy grid on a moment’s notice. We are paying not only for the most expensive forms of energy now; we are paying to back it up when it fails.”

Solar and wind also take up massive amounts of real estate, McClintock said. “Long transmission lines are needed from the power source to the energy grid. But because the solar output is so low, we can’t use the existing transmission lines — we need a whole new system to transmit solar power.”

California residents are paying three times as much for energy as is needed because of AB 32 and the Renewable Portfolio Standard that was passed in 2012. The standard requires that 33 percent of our electricity come from renewable energy sources.

The full article is HERE. It concludes:

Of California’s diminished ranking from the fifth largest economy in the world to the ninth and the state’s other problems, McClintock summed it up: “Those who blame the recession for California’s budget crisis profoundly misunderstand the nature of that crisis. Even before California’s revenue began to shrink, the state government was running a chronic $10 billion deficit and piling up unprecedented debt. The recession is merely the catalyst; the underlying cause is rampant mismanagement of the state’s resources.”

The question is what do we do about the mismanagement in Sacramento?  Your thoughts?

Prop 23 Update: Jobs Leaking Away – Flood to Follow

Russ Steele

Dave Roberts writing at CalWatchDog has the leakage details:

Leakage. It sounds like something dribbling from a broken beer stein. It’s also become a buzzword in the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as AB 32.

The California Air Resources Board defines leakage in bureaucratese as “a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases within the state that is offset by an increase in emissions of greenhouse gases outside the state.” In other words, some California businesses will be shutting down, downsizing or moving out of state in response to the legislation’s exorbitant costs and onerous regulations.

Leakage might be more accurately called “floodage.” California will have 262,000 fewer jobs in 2020 than if AB 32 had not been enacted, predicts a study by Andrew Chang & Company. The state could lose as many as 51,000 jobs due to refinery closures alone, warns a study by The Boston Consulting Group.

As a result, “AB 32 requires ARB to design measures to minimize leakage to the extent feasible,” according to CARB. So, at the same time that state government is bashing businesses with a bureaucratic sledgehammer, it’s offering carrots to entice them to stick around a while, if only to receive more cudgeling in the future.

You can read the whole article HERE.

Damn the leakage, CARB is moving full speed ahead with California’s quixotic effort to save the planet from global warming. [Emphasis added]

Here is that global warming CARB is saving us from:

Notice that scary decline which started about 2005.

Beware Prop. 31: a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Russ Steele

I wrote about the dangers of Prop 31 HERE. This posted was linked to an LA Times article on Proposition 32 HERE. Now many of my words of cautions have been echoed by Katy Grimes in her Sept 21, 2012 CalWatchDog column, Beware Prop. 31: a wolf in sheep’s clothing

With all of the focus on the November ballot initiatives to raise taxes, Proposition 31 seems to have quietly avoided heavy scrutiny in the main stream media thus far. But this initiative is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be much-needed reform.

There is growing confusion about ballot title and summaries on California’s ballot initiatives. It’s almost impossible to know how to vote on something. A “no” vote may mean “yes,” and visa versa, given the way the California Attorney General’s office plays fast and loose with writing the titles and summaries of ballot measures.

This is the case with Proposition 31 –what’s up is down, and what appears to be reform, is not. Equally disturbing is how so many of the state’s newspapers are jumping on board this phony “reform” measure. Even the California Republican Party officially endorsed Prop. 31.

However, most voters have grown suspicious  of anything claiming to offer “good government”  reforms.

You can read all of Katy’s column HERE. She points to the Agenda 21 connection which the lame stream press and some of our Supervisors are avoiding like a bad wine.

My CalWatchDog.com colleague Wayne Lusvardi warned of this in “Proposition 31 would regionalize state revenue sharing“: ”Despite regionalization failing miserably in the European Union, California is proposing to adopt it as a tax-sharing policy for distributing state funds to local governments if voters approve Proposition 31 on the November ballot.”

Others warn that Prop. 31 adopts parts of the United Nation’s Agenda 21.

“It calls for the institutionalization of the UN Agenda 21 ’3 E’s’:

* Economy: Private/Public Partnerships and Project Labor Agreements will replace free markets;

* Equity: Social and Environmental Justice and the redistribution of wealth will be mandatory instead of Equal Justice;

* Environment: Climate Change, Species, Habitat and false science will be used as an excuse to regulate and control the citizens of California,” explained the Halfway to Concord blog.

“The ‘Super’ Council will measure the ‘Performance and Accountability’ of every government entity against the UN Agenda 21 3 E’s. The Council will have the ultimate power to make or stop a local jurisdiction from doing anything based on this proposition.”

My question is are we going to become UN Sheeple or are we going to stand up for our freedom. Ask your Supervisors where they stand on Prop 31. If they are voting yes on Prop 31 it time for them to find an new job.

H/T to Todd Juvinall or the LA Times Link HERE.

Where do Unsubsidized Wind Turbines Go to Die?

Russ Steele

With wind turbine subsides on the chopping block, what happens to the abandoned wind turbines subsidies bubble bursts -  they stand where they were erected  in a mute testimony to a dying climate Religion. More details HERE.

The US experience with wind farms has left over 14,000 wind turbines abandoned and slowly decaying, in most instances the turbines are just left as symbols of a dying Climate Religion, nowhere have the Green Environmentalists appeared to clear up their mess or even complain about the abandoned wind farms.

The US has had wind farms since 1981:

“Some say that Ka Le is haunted—and it is. But it’s haunted not by Hawaii’s legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are “Na leo o Kamaoa”– the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm…

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles—but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California “big three” locations—Altamont Pass, Tehachapin (above), and San Gorgonio—considered among the world’s best wind sites…
California’s wind farms— comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity—ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills…”

I guess this explains many of  the mute wind turbines that we observe when traveling though out California.

Union Publisher Speaks – Our role is to inform, not to influence

Russ Steele

As readers know, over the years I have written columns for The Union, but stopped when the Publisher/Editor was unwilling to publish my views on climate changes as a Columnist for The Union. Thus, I stopped writing for The Union and focused more on blogging, which does not provide as many gates to jump before my words become public.

Now we have a new Publisher, Dave Schmall, who has published his views on the role of The Union in the community HERE.

I’ll cut to the chase: I truly believe the best service a local newspaper can provide its citizens is a balanced delivery of the issues and challenges facing our community and a stream of updates, opinions and proposed solutions, then to let the public decide. Our job is to inform, not to influence or persuade. As the dominant medium in town, we could probably sway lots of votes and that, in my mind, would be a crime. That’s not our role in the community. Ours is to foster positive change by providing accurate information so residents can make better, more informed decisions.

I will be watching to see how they address the climate change issues.  The US CO2 emissions are declining as the economy goes into the tank down to the 1992 levels, but the global CO2 levels continues to increase. However, the temperatures continue to slowly decline over the past 16 years. It is becoming harder and harder for intelligent people to make the mental connection between the rise in CO2 and the decline in global temperature. We will have to wait and see what “accurate information” will be provided to the Union’s readers on the climate change as we start tithing our Cap and Trade taxes to solve an non-existing problem.  Any guesses?

Prop 23 Update: AB32 Green Slush Fund Bills Pass

Russ Steele

It has been the position of this blog that AB-32 was nothing more than opportunity for the politicians in Sacramento to create a giant slush fund using our tax dollars. There was never any scientific justification for a Cap and Trade program to reduce human generated CO2. With no science behind AB-32 it had to be all politics. Now that the auction in November will be creating the slush in the fund, all the pigs are bellying up to the billion dollar trough.

The CalWatchDog has the details.  [My comments are in brackets.]

Naturally, everyone wants a piece of that billion-dollar green pie. The Chamber is most concerned about three bills passed on the last day of the legislative session – SB 535, AB 1186 and AB 1532 – that slice up the pie.

SB 535 dishes a quarter of it to “disadvantaged” communities. [Vote buying and stop the law suits]

AB 1532 allows the money to be thrown at a smorgasbord of projects, including biofuels, electric vehicles, land conservation, public transportation, sustainable housing and recycling. [ NGO funding and more vote buying.]

AB 1186 slates money for energy efficiency projects in public schools; but a late amendment removed the connection to Cap and Trade funds, according to the bill’s author. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. [ So if this is not connected to the Cap and Trade slush fund, where are the funds going to come from?]

As your will remember the original AB-32 bill designated the funds for CO2 reduction. So way are our political leaders using these funds to buy votes? Has the need for CO2 reduction passed? If so, why do we still need AB-32?

California has 6 of 10 Cities that cannot recover

Russ Steele

Wall Street 24/7 has listed Ten Towns that cannot turn around and 6 of the 10 are in California. Only Las Vegas- Paradise Nevada interrupts the California top five clean sweep.  The full list can be found HERE.

1. Merced, Calif.

  • > Decline in home prices (peak to Q1, 2012): -69.7%
  • > Unemployment rate: 17.8% (4th highest)
  • > Median home price: $110,000 (32nd lowest)
  • > Foreclosure rate: 1 in 90.3 housing units (8th highest)

2. Modesto, Calif.

  • > Decline in home prices (peak to Q1, 2012): -64%
  • > Unemployment rate: 15.7% (9th highest)
  • > Median home price: $139,000 (83rd lowest)
  • > Foreclosure rate: 1 in 68.7 housing units (3rd highest)

3. Stockton, Calif.

  • > Decline in home prices (peak to Q1, 2012): -62.8%
  • > Unemployment rate: 15.0% (12th highest)
  • > Median home price: $170,000 (76th highest)
  • > Foreclosure rate: 1 in 66.2 housing units (the highest)

4. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.

  • > Decline in home prices (peak to Q1, 2012): -61.6%
  • > Unemployment rate: 11.7% (32nd highest)
  • > Median home price: $137,000 (79th lowest)
  • > Foreclosure rate: 1 in 95.9 housing units (11th highest)

5. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.

  • > Decline in home prices (peak to Q1, 2012): -60.1%
  • > Unemployment rate: 10.2% (56th highest)
  • > Median home price: $200,000 (47th highest)
  • > Foreclosure rate: 1 in 71.4 housing units (4th highest)

6. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif.

  • > Decline in home prices (peak to Q1, 2012): -58.3%
  • > Unemployment rate: 13.9% (18th highest)
  • > Median home price: $121,000 (46th lowest)
  • > Foreclosure rate: 1 in 79.5 housing units (6th highest)

7. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

  • > Decline in home prices (peak to Q1, 2012): -56.3%
  • > Unemployment rate: 12.2% (27th highest)
  • > Median home price: $180,000 (65th highest)
  • > Foreclosure rate: 1 in 68.3 housing units (2nd highest)

California has led the nation out of past recessions. It does not appear the State’s economy  will be up to the task this time. The real question is what will happen to California, if the state is no longer a economic leader, what will  be California’s role in the future?   California’s economic world standing has dropped to 8th place, now behind Brazil,  and will most like continue to decline as self imposed tax polices and environmental regulator squeeze business and stifle innovation. We are on a downward spiral with no exit.

Hey Governor, Southwestern US temperatures ‘have been relatively stable over last 500 years’

Russ Steele

As you may recall, Governor Brown stablished a Climate Change web page, Just The Facts on anthropogenic global warming. Here are some facts that were published in Geophysical Research Letters demonstrating that “Temperature trends in Southwest US have been relatively stable over last 5 centuries” and that there has been “no sustained monotonic rise in temperature or a step-like increase since the late 19th century.”  This would imply that there has been no significant influence of man-made CO2 on temperatures of the Southwest US. More details HERE.

With no warming for 5 centuries, what are all those Planning and Research staff members doing for the Governor. Oh, playing politics your say.  They are not doing much real research!

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