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Leftists sloganeering fails real economics 101 test.

Color me unimpressed. See, I knew that whenever we heard the left yell “No war for oil” or telling us that we should be stopping our dependency on foreign oil from terror enabling or dictator supporting countries, that what they really mean was “No fossil fuel, period”. And I am not surprised to find out that the academic class is stupid enough to make that obvious and undisputable, without thinking of the consequences.

Yesterday afternoon, while you were at the job you are ever more thankful to have, Liz Warren’s political allies were marching around Sen. Scott Brown’s office, protesting the Keystone pipeline project. Keystone would bring millions of barrels of oil from our friend and ally Canada, oil we would no longer have to buy from Arab sheiks or South American thugs.

Keystone would also create “20,000 direct high-wage jobs,” according to Thomas Pyle of the Institute for Energy Research, and “an additional $5.2 billion in property tax revenue and thousands of indirect jobs relating to the project.”

So why do Liz’s kids oppose it? Because, they claim, getting our oil from Canada means “Massachusetts can expect higher rates of climate disasters.”

Really? As opposed to getting the same amount of oil from Venezuela or the UAE? Not to be mean-spirited, but how dumb is that?

These “smart” people are dumber than hell. Heck I could rant & rave and rehash the whole thing, pointing out how idiotic these leftists are, but the author of this piece does a better job of pointing the obvious out, so let me just quote that:

By the way, why aren’t we shouting “No war for oil!” anymore? If you really believed that, you’d support domestic drilling and the Canadian pipeline, right?

Instead, the Liz Warren left starts with “No war for oil,” then “No oil from Canada,” “No nukes,” “No coal” and then the inevitable, “Hey — wait! My iPad just died and there’s no electricity to charge it. Where’s my oil?!”

Remember: They’re the smart ones.

Exactly. When government makes it their job to pick winners and losers, “We The People” always come out the big losers. If the track record of the last 3 years has not cemented that fact into people’s minds, they will never get it. Of course, the injustice here is that the idiocy of these collectivist nanny-staters is not limited to causing pain for just the idiots that support this nonsense. But that’s what “social justice” and all these other nonsense is all about: spreading the misery.

88 comments

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  1. salinger says:

    20,000 jobs – Factcheck.org states:

    That jobs estimate — widely cited by proponents of the pipeline — comes from a report commissioned by the company pushing the pipeline, and it is based on “person-year” jobs, the equivalent of one full-time job for one year. If the same person works the same job for two years, it is counted as two person-year jobs. The State Department in August estimated the number of direct jobs created by the Keystone pipeline at a much more modest 5,000 to 6,000.

    Now any new decent paying job is great – let’s just be honest about the numbers.

    As for the oil – it’s going to find its way to the market one way or another and will have basically no effect on prices whether it goes through the US or not since it will just be added to the world market no matter how it gets there. Subsequently – the idea that this oil will save us from buying from the Middle East is a bit more than a stretch.

    So the real question is – is it worth the 5-6 thousand jobs and ancillary taxes etc.? I’d also be interested in the list of folks who just happen to own the land through which this pipeline is slated to run.

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  2. Thrill says:

    Of course it’s worth it. People are hurting and want to get back to work.

    That aside, Factcheck’s lowball figures are probably correct. Bachmann’s imagi-rithmetic is as bad as Obama’s.

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  3. CM says:

    It also won’t make any difference in terms of foreign imports.
    And it won’t reduce price.

    That’s according to the company’s own research.
    http://iatp.org/files/451_2_106233.pdf

    Yesterday, AP reported that the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to Texas won’t decrease gas prices (I broke that story last month, but who’s counting). In fact, a report commissioned by pipeline sponsor TransCanada now shows that connecting tar sands producers with Gulf Coast refiners actually pushes gas prices up for everybody.

    That same report contains another unreported secret: Keystone XL won’t decrease so-called “unfriendly” oil imports either. According to the same 2008 report, if Keystone XL were completed in 2013, Gulf Coast “imports are forecast to decline initially before 2010… and then to increase by over 600,000 [barrels per day] by 2020.” Why? Because Gulf Coast “Crude runs… are projected to grow by over 500,000 [barrels per day] by 2020.” (See chart from the report, below).

    So while TransCanada’s radio commercials claim that the “Transcanada Keystone Pipeline can reduce America’s dependence on oil from unfriendly places, like Venezuela and the Middle East, by up to 20 percent,” the company’s own research shows otherwise.

    The chart below sums it up nicely. If we build XL, we’ll continue importing just as much oil from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and other “unfriendly sources,” while dirty Canadian crudes will top off the tanks of expanding Gulf Coast refineries. Put another way, Keystone doesn’t make us less dependent on dangerous sources of foreign oil, it only digs America deeper into a crushing dependence on an ever-dirtier, ever more expensive addiction to oil.

    http://understory.ran.org/2011/01/26/keystone-xl-wont-decrease-unfriendly-oil-imports-either/#

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  4. Thrill says:

    I understand the hatred of fossil fuels that environmentalists have but I notice that this project isn’t going to cost taxpayers anything to build, is going to put some Americans back to work, and isn’t based on unproven technology.

    Even if it’s less positive than what proponents are saying, isn’t it still going to create more positives than we’ll get from the Administration blocking it? Forgive me for being simplistic, but I’m a simple guy.

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  5. AlexInCT says:

    I understand the hatred of fossil fuels that environmentalists have but I notice that this project isn’t going to cost taxpayers anything to build, is going to put some Americans back to work, and isn’t based on unproven technology.

    So what? It’s not the nonsense green shit that does cost an arm and a leg but goes nowhere!!!!11!!

    /moonbat off.

    BTW, it doesn’t end with just oil. They don’t want gas, they don’t want nuclear. They want unicorn farts! That’s what solar and wind are: marginal, inefficient, and costly. And most of them don’t even want that in their back yards. In short. what they want is again something for nothing. Free shit. Morons the lot of them.

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  6. CM says:

    Even if it’s less positive than what proponents are saying, isn’t it still going to create more positives than we’ll get from the Administration blocking it? Forgive me for being simplistic, but I’m a simple guy.

    Have you looked into the reasons why there is opposition (I mean rather than just assuming it’s because fossil-fuel-related)?
    E.g. doubts over the veracity of the environmental impact assessments considering the portions of the pipeline will cross an active seismic zone that had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake as recently as 2002, and:

    …the pipeline could pollute air and water supplies and harm migratory birds and other wildlife.[22] It will cross the Sandhills in Nebraska, the large wetland ecosystem, and the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest reserves of fresh water in the world.[45] The Ogallala Aquifer spans eight states, provides drinking water for two million people, and supports $20 billion in agriculture.[46] Critics are concerned that a major leak could ruin drinking water and devastate the mid-western U.S. economy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Pipeline#Impacts

    That’s a start.

    That’s what solar and wind are: marginal, inefficient, and costly.

    I’ve provided plenty which demonstrates that the opposite is true. In response you …..do what you usually do….which is provide nothing.

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  7. Thrill says:

    The risks are manageable. And with methods and technology that already exist.

    Now, let the president explain in one of next year’s debates why he killed a jobs bill based on the hysterical protests of environmental groups while he was perfectly willing to blow hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on Solyndra. It will be fun to see, wouldn’t you agree?

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  8. Seattle Outcast says:

    Here’s a thought CM. Since this particular energy/construction project is on the other side of the planet from you, and affects you in absolutely no way at all, why don’t you take your half-baked environmental concerns and shove them up your ass? I’m sure that there’s something in your part of the planet that you can be a douchebag over without bothering us while trying to get needed infrastructure built.

    I’m personally rather familiar with the areas that the pipeline will cross, and quite obviously you’ve just read about them. Your “objections” are flat-out nothing more than boilerplate ecotard dogma.

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  9. hist_ed says:

    And it won’t reduce price.

    Ummmm, that flunks econ 101. The pipeline with either increase the supply of oil or will make it cheaper to deliver the same amount of oil. Either case means that it will reduce the price. It might not reduce it much, but an increase of supply always lowers prices.

    Canada is going to export this oil. If we don’t build the pipeline then they will find another outlet (my understanding is that the Chinese want a pipeline across Canada to the Pacific so they can buy the oil).

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  10. salinger says:

    Ummmm, that flunks econ 101. The pipeline with either increase the supply of oil or will make it cheaper to deliver the same amount of oil.

    I thought prices needed to be above a certain point to make oil sands extraction economically feasible. So, couldn’t the higher cost of production keep prices up even though more oil is added to the global supply since this added oil comes with added expense?

    Plus – if this is correct doesn’t the whole project require prices to remain high – or be shut down leaving an empty tube across the country?

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  11. Thrill says:

    According to the study from Keystone that CM linked, the pipeline won’t lower prices and isn’t intended to. The reason to favor this though is J-O-B-S.

    Unfortunately, Obama would rather keep the ol’ boot on the neck. The whole 2012 campaign ought to be about the crippling regulations that make it impossible to create jobs. Keystone could potentially be THE case to really highlight how this President’s policies kill economic growth, if the GOP nominee uses it.

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  12. Seattle Outcast says:

    Continuing to impede energy infrastructure on the grounds that it “won’t lower prices” is a fucking red herring if there ever was one. The continued lack of oil domestic production keeps the existing supply at levels controlled by others and it just keeps the existing supply down in general. If all the blocked projects were allowed to continue, the overall net production would increase. Combine oil sands with off-shore drilling with other energy projects and suddenly you have a substantial increase in energy. Killing them all in the name of “oh, this one over here is too small to make a difference” is a plan to make sure NONE of them ever come to fruition.

    No single project EVER “lowers prices”.

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  13. AlexInCT says:

    I thought prices needed to be above a certain point to make oil sands extraction economically feasible. So, couldn’t the higher cost of production keep prices up even though more oil is added to the global supply since this added oil comes with added expense?

    Not really. Sure, a decade ago the argument was that the cost of regular oil was too low to make it profitable. But the cost of extracting oil from sand has come down drastically, as technology and processes to do this have advanced & developed, and this has happened in a very short amount of time. It will do even more of the same as people who want to make money figure out a way to extract it quicker, cheaper AND safer.

    Remember that much of the oil that we today consider extractable, at a huge profit, was considered impossible to get at 3 or so decades ago, and too expensive to get to, because the technology didn’t exist, even as much as a decade or so ago. Now that is all liquid gold. Oil in sand is going to get there sooner than later as well, because technology will make it possible. I think this is exactly why the left is so hell bent on blocking this deal. When this type of extraction starts producing even more oil for people to use, basically making it obvious that we have enough oil at an increased rate of consumption to last us another 200 years, and none of the catastrophic world ending predictions they use to try and scare people off with come true, they lose the fight. That’s why they count on government to block things like this – choosing who wins and who loses, with the people that need oil products, us the citizens always losing big – because otherwise stupid like what went on with Solyndra would never even be contemplated.

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  14. salinger says:

    Worth reading re: this thread.

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  15. ryansparx says:

    BTW, it doesn’t end with just oil. They don’t want gas, they don’t want nuclear. They want unicorn farts!

    I tried to go full Unicorn Fart in my car, and it was great for downhill coasting, but not so much for uphill or level ground. So I went to a 60% Unleaded 40% Unicorn Fart mix and I’ve been having more success in going back and forth from school that way. Now, I get roughly half the gas mileage that way, but I’m pretty sure I can get about 3-5 subsidies and tax credits to bring me back into the black.

    Feels good to be Green.

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  16. Mississippi Yankee says:

    There are several reasons the US is open to a pipeline from Alberta Canada to the gulf coast of Texas. They are all political and none of them are about the price of gas. Many of these issues will become common knowledge now that the WH is being forced to make it’s decision on Keystone within (60) days of signing the new Budget Bill. Something Obama tried to put off until 2013.

    For the past (2) years we have been drilling for oil in North Dakota. Everywhere in North Dakota BTW. Unemployment there is around 4%. And that’s a real 4% too. Still plenty of “Texas Tea” left also, just watch what billionaire Boone Pickens does. He owns much of it.

    Huge deposits of crude are being discovered in New York state right now. And although we do not have the infrastructure in place we also have enormous amounts of ‘oil sands and oil shale’ in our own mid-west.

    There’s gonna be a big show-down with the envirotards over these issues and your congress-critter needs to know how you feel.

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  17. CM says:

    Since this particular energy/construction project is on the other side of the planet from you, and affects you in absolutely no way at all, why don’t you take your half-baked environmental concerns and shove them up your ass?

    Sure, no problem. Since you’re a giant cock, why don’t you go fuck yourself?

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  18. CM says:

    According to the study from Keystone that CM linked, the pipeline won’t lower prices and isn’t intended to. The reason to favor this though is J-O-B-S.

    In the whole scheme of things the jobs aspect also seem to be pretty much negligible. If the materials come from elsewhere, it apparently comes down to a few thousand temporary construction jobs. The partisan brinksmanship hardly sounds worthwhil . I guess that’s why the lies are so juicy (e.g. Alex’s 200K+ jobs) and the whole “envirotard” offense-as-defence smokescreen is in full effect.

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  19. Section8 says:

    Oil via ocean has many more risks than land pipeline. Land pipelines would be easier to access, shut off, and clean up if needed. Rather than a leaky boat or another BP in the gulf.

    As far as wind, we see opposition here in this country from the California Mojave to Massachusetts Cape Cod from the very same people who demand alternatives. If it’s in someone’s back yard they don’t want it. If it’s not in their back yard, then it’s likely in a conservation area.As far a bio reusable, 15 years ago ethanol was the rage until it became “big ethanol” then it was a stupid idea, which it was but some of us already knew that before it was discovered people were making lots of money through subsidies. Find me an article on opposition to any fuel, and I’ll find you a statement where the person opposing it couldn’t help themselves from by adding in the fact that someone will profit from it. While the environmental reasons shift back and forth, profit seems to be the common element of any opposition.

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  20. Xetrov says:

    I thought prices needed to be above a certain point to make oil sands extraction economically feasible.

    According to a number of studies, that point is $40/bbl. I’m pretty sure we’re past that.

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  21. blameme says:

    In the whole scheme of things the jobs aspect also seem to be pretty much negligible.

    Unless you’re the one who gets the job. How compassionate of our liberals to not worry about those who would love to have those 4k temporary jobs. Full of heart, those liberals are. Was it Reagan that said, “It is a recession when you’re out of work. It is a depression when I am out of work.”

    Funny, we are willing to say that the “stimulus” may have not really had any impact, but hey, what little impact there was, was positive right? But apply oil to that little equation then it must be gigantic gains or the small positives become not worth it. If only the left could be consistent as to whether small positive gains are “worth it” or not.

    I guess that’s why the lies are so juicy (e.g. Alex’s 200K+ jobs) and the whole “envirotard” offense-as-defence smokescreen is in full effect.

    I notice you only point out the right side’s “lies.” What about the non-existent left side’s lies? Is it more risky to pipe oil over land or pump it from deep in the ocean floor? Ship by boat?

    I get ticked when the left brings up how risky deep sea oil drilling is while they block every damn attempt to do less risky drilling and shipment like this pipeline, Alaska etc.

    You know why we do deep sea oil drilling that is risky? Because it has become too political and the hurdles are too damn high to drill in much easier to access areas due to the ENVIRONMENTAL regulations. Therefore, due to the environmental idiots, they have forced the industry to use much higher risk methods to get oil. Then complain about the very results of those high risk activities.

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  22. salinger says:

    If it’s in someone’s back yard they don’t want it.

    hence the republican governor and senator from Nebraska in opposition according to the Economist article I reference above. What do they know that the proponents do not?

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  23. Section8 says:

    hence the republican governor and senator from Nebraska in opposition according to the Economist article I reference above. What do they know that the proponents do not?

    Don’t feed me bullshit. You tell me where a good place would be to put wind towers. You tell me where a good place would be to put any alternative energy source, wind, tidal, solar, etc. If you can’t, then shut the fuck up about it.

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  24. salinger says:

    You tell me where a good place would be to put any alternative energy source, wind, tidal, solar, etc. If you can’t, then shut the fuck up about it.

    Wow, rage much? What was bullshit about my statement – do you have info that the article is incorrect in stating that these two are in opposition to the project?

    I was simply pointing out that the “not in my back yard” syndrome crosses party lines. As for a good place for wind power – we have recently had a giant turbine installed by the Lincoln Electric company near us and I have heard virtually no complaints – in fact I have only heard how much people like to see it as they drive by.

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  25. Section8 says:

    Wow, rage much?

    Oh absolutely when I’m fed bullshit. I don’t care for the taste. I don’t give one shit cent about GOP not in my back yard syndrome in this discussion.

    I’m talking expansion of turbines that has been opposed by the Democrats in CA, and in no way do the snobs on the coast of Mass want their precious Cape to have wind towers even though it always makes since to put wind towers where the wind is. Just put that shit in the hood where it belongs, and then leftist whitey can just feel good about himself regardless of any benefit of doing so.

    Fact is for new technology sacrifices will have to be made, and that includes the fact that the uppity white segment will have to sacrifice too, and that means more than just driving a Prius. It won’t happen though, because it’s all talk and feel good bullshit, and even worse, as soon as a profit is made, it will be a danger to the environment too. You know it, I know it.

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  26. salinger says:

    Oh absolutely when I’m fed bullshit

    So why are you swearing and calling bullshit at me? I stated a fact.

    Personally I’d love to see a massive wind-farm stationed out in Lake Erie – it’d be good for the fishing too. Part of the excitement over the big turbine that went up down the street is the hope that it leads to something like this. Our area of the country has suffered a lot more than most and I think the jobs and energy would be welcomed.

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  27. CM says:

    If only people could actually read what is posted and not infer a whole lot more, and resort to being fucking morons off the bat. Every. Single. Fucking. Time.

    Dismissing concerns (environmental or otherwise) because someone once mentioned profit is just intellectually lazy, and pointless.

    I personally have no idea if the concerns raised over this pipeline (environmental and otherwise) are valid or not. I was responding specifically to what was posted. I.e:

    I understand the hatred of fossil fuels that environmentalists have but I notice that this project isn’t going to cost taxpayers anything to build, is going to put some Americans back to work, and isn’t based on unproven technology.

    Even if it’s less positive than what proponents are saying, isn’t it still going to create more positives than we’ll get from the Administration blocking it? Forgive me for being simplistic, but I’m a simple guy.

    Pretending the opposition is JUST about “hatred of fossil fuels” essentially means that you’ve decided to sit this one out and let the grown ups sort it.

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  28. Section8 says:

    Dismissing concerns (environmental or otherwise) because someone once mentioned profit is just intellectually lazy, and pointless.

    Was it once mentioned here? Interesting. I had even made a statement earlier this in this thread that would relate to your comment.

    While the environmental reasons shift back and forth, profit seems to be the common element of any opposition.

    Not sure why profit, especially that of corporations, would need to even be mentioned at any time let alone nearly every time there is an environmental argument or statement from the left do you? Seems pointless, intellectually lazy, and a blatant attempt to continue with the corporations are killing us all narrative using the environment as a means of attack rather than simply a concern for the environment.

    Personally I’d love to see a massive wind-farm stationed out in Lake Erie – it’d be good for the fishing too.

    Well then I certainly appreciate the fact you are willing to support the new technology in your back yard. Unfortunately you’re more of the minority on that one.

    As for me, I have no issue with new technologies. If they are cleaner, and at the same cost or cheaper, or even a short term slightly more cost in a transition to be mass produced, I’m all for it personally. There are issues with all technologies though. Wind farms kill birds, Tidal can have an impact on marine life. Solar has its issues. There is no grand cure right now. We also need to be realistic that every technology will have its drawbacks and not wait until it becomes a profit center for some companies before we decide the new technology is now killing the environment too,

    As for Keystone, whether it will prevent use of foreign oil is irrelevant. If our outside supply is cut off I want as many in house or friendly supplies as possible to keep the country from complete shutdown, and given new technologies have a long way to go before they are a viable replacement, we need to be realistic.

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  29. CM says:

    Not sure why profit, especially that of corporations, would need to even be mentioned at any time let alone nearly every time there is an environmental argument or statement from the left do you? Seems pointless, intellectually lazy, and a blatant attempt to continue with the corporations are killing us all narrative using the environment as a means of attack rather than simply a concern for the environment.

    Sure, it’s as stupid as dismissing concerns over a project because “they really just hate the fact that someone might make a profit” (I was even accused of holding a boilerplate ecotard dogma opinion even though I’d expressed on opinion on the merits of the pipeline or argument at all). They’re both just narratives. And yet apparently it’s fine to use one to dismiss the other.

    If this is a specific case of environmentalists being crazy and having a disproportionate effect on the decision, then what are the details?

    It’s pretty obvious to me that this is a political decision that needs to me made, based on a number of relevant factors. The foremost being environmental and other concerns over the effects of the proposal, and the jobs aspect. Those who want to ignore the issues that are inconvenient to them are just being transparently disingenuous.

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  30. bgeek says:

    It’s funny that the dissenters invoke environment impacts of a contained (relatively) pipeline, but have no problems with fertilizers and pesticides being used to grow corn in the same areas, not to mention pumping the Ogallala aquifer dry. This is all about money. Whether or not this will lower pump prices is still debatable, however, overall commodity prices will be affected, at least in the US. The gravy covering the subsidies must continue to flow.

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  31. Section8 says:

    Sure, it’s as stupid as dismissing concerns over a project because “they really just hate the fact that someone might make a profit”

    Again why the need to even bring up profit? You seem to have an issue with anyone responding to a common leftist narrative. If this narrative of profit wasn’t brought up so much by the left, it wouldn’t be used as a counter point by the right. See counter point: Counter point occurs after the initial narrative. Do you wish it to stop? Tell your friends on the left to not be so eager to bring profit into the argument to the point were it goes hand and hand with any environmental discussion. Don’t blame the right for calling bullshit, or blame them for getting the rightfully so impression that environmentalism is tied in with anti market.

    As far as environmental concerns, they are addressed here from the same source fact check suggests should be used concerning jobs. Risks are there, but minimal. Risk to endangered species minimal. Is there a risk? Sure, just as wind farms could be argued that they are bird butchers. There’s a risk to anything. This one by all accounts is minimal, and in the real world that’s about as good as it gets.

    Link to report

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  32. CM says:

    It’s funny that the dissenters invoke environment impacts of a contained (relatively) pipeline, but have no problems with fertilizers and pesticides being used to grow corn in the same areas, not to mention pumping the Ogallala aquifer dry.

    You know for a fact that the specific people asking questions about the effects of this proposal don’t care about fertilizers and pesticides, or the pumping the aquifer dry? Or are you just assuming?

    This is all about money.

    To whom?

    Whether or not this will lower pump prices is still debatable, however, overall commodity prices will be affected, at least in the US. The gravy covering the subsidies must continue to flow.

    Do you not realise that the subsidies to non-renweables are far far greater than those for renewables?

    A 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute[5] assessed the size and structure of U.S. energy subsidies over the 2002-2008 period. The study estimated that subsidies to fossil-fuel based sources amounted to approximately $72 billion over this period and subsidies to renewable fuel sources totaled $29 billion.

    In the US, the federal government has paid US$74 billion for energy subsidies to support R&D for nuclear power ($50 billion) and fossil fuels ($24 billion) from 1973 to 2003. During this same timeframe, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency received a total of US$26 billion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_subsidies#Allocation_of_subsidies

    Fossil Fuel Subsidies Six Times More Than Renewable Energy

    Not even close. Those complaining about ‘picking winners and losers’ really need to have have another look at the reality.

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  33. CM says:

    Again why the need to even bring up profit?

    I agree that the issues are issues, irrespective of what the motives behind a proposal are. However the profit motive is about doing as much as possible at least cost. Corners will be cut wherever possible to ensure profits are achieved. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it just means that some people are naturally even more concerned that the proper assessments are carried out prior to approval being given, that the process is robust and comprehensive, and that a consent is issued with the relevant conditions (safeguards) in place.

    You seem to have an issue with anyone responding to a common leftist narrative.

    I have an issue with people pretending to discuss an issue but really just repeating slogans. Can you not see the irony?

    If this narrative of profit wasn’t brought up so much by the left, it wouldn’t be used as a counter point by the right.

    I don’t see that it’s much of a counter-point. The people on the right that complain about those on the left complaining about the proponents wanting to make a profit mostly just seem to want to ignore the substantive issues. So yeah I’d agree that those on the left that bring it up shouldn’t bring it up other than to point out that it’s important to ensure the consenting process is robst and comprehensive.

    See counter point: Counter point occurs after the initial narrative. Do you wish it to stop? Tell your friends on the left to not be so eager to bring profit into the argument to the point were it goes hand and hand with any environmental discussion.

    There is nobody on the left here bringing up profits. Only people on the right.

    Don’t blame the right for calling bullshit, or blame them for getting the rightfully so impression that environmentalism is tied in with anti market.

    I’m not blaming an entire group of people for anything. That would be stupid. I’m reacting to the pathetic rubbish that came back at me in this thread. And I’m suggesting that those on the right who have the impression that environmentalism is tied in with being anti-market are perhaps just coming up with a way of making it fit into their own existing political philosophies. They seem to want to dismiss or limit any or all substantive arguments or points on the basis that the people bringing them up are communists (or whatever the ad hominemde jour is). It’s so ridiculous that it’s funny. They’re no better than extremists on the other side that also have ideological blinkers on.

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  34. Section8 says:

    So yeah I’d agree that those on the left that bring it up shouldn’t bring it up other than to point out that it’s important to ensure the consenting process is robst and comprehensive.

    Pointing out legitimate sloppiness is fine.

    And I’m suggesting that those on the right who have the impression that environmentalism is tied in with being anti-market are perhaps just coming up with a way of making it fit into their own existing political philosophies.

    Riiiight…

    http://www.desmogblog.com/koch-brothers-dishonest-about-keystone-xl-tar-sands-interest

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/10/05-6

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-greenwald/hidden-koch-brother-sin-e_b_992849.html

    Even though the Koch brothers have to keep setting the record straight.

    http://www.kochfacts.com/kf/setting-the-record-straight-on-keystone/

    This time the left decided they wanted to bring the “evil” Koch brothers into this, but it’s all about the environment..

    What was your point again?

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  35. CM says:

    Section8 you seem to have me confused for someone who speaks on behalf of the world’s left. Or defends every single little thing individual lefties do. No idea why, neither of them would be rational or logical. I don’t expect you to defend everything on the right. All I would expect is for you support what you’ve already said.

    It’s funny, some of you guys are at pains to differentiate yourself from each other (what flavour of conservative or liberatarian you are) but at the same time you’ll go out of your way to paint those on the left as one mob (to the point where apparently anyone even remotely on the left is able, and should, defend whatever comes out of any part of the left).

    It’s very weird.

    What was your point again?

    My point was:

    And I’m suggesting that those on the right who have the impression that environmentalism is tied in with being anti-market are perhaps just coming up with a way of making it fit into their own existing political philosophies.

    You seem to be confirming what I said.
    To you “environmentalism” is about bitching about profits. Apparently a media investigation into whether the Koch Brothers are benefiting or involved is:
    (a) from the entire left,
    (b) proof that the left as a whole don’t care about the environment.

    Um, WTF?

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  36. CM says:

    Looking at your links above, it seems to come down to the fact that the Koch Brothers claimed that Keystone has “nothing to do with any of our businesses” whereas in fact their subsidiary applied for and won “intervenor status” status for the Keystone hearings on the basis that they have a “direct and substantial interest in the application” because they are “among Canada’s largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters”. The subsidiary already has an oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, the starting point of the Keystone XL. It sends about 250,000 barrels of diluted bitumen a day to a heavy oil refinery it owns near St. Paul, Minn., making that refinery ‘among the top processors of Canadian crude in the United States,’

    Apparently to be granted “intervenor status” a company/group/person must first show they have some degree of business interest.

    Do you disagree with that summary? If so, which part?
    Clearly it was wrong of them to say that Keystone has “nothing to do with any of our businesses”. If it had nothing to do with their subsidiary, why was it given ‘intervenor status’?

    Anyway, that appears to be a game of ‘gotcha’. It’s not ‘environmentalism’. As I see it anyway.

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  37. Section8 says:

    Do you disagree with that summary? If so, which part?

    Did you see the Koch response of what their status was? Same as anyone else who had an interest in the hearings like the Sierra Club for instance. Does the Sierra Club stand to make millions too as the Koch brothers asked in their response? The Koch brother’s claim is they are not party to making a profit from this, but that didn’t hold back the narrative from the left. This story originally broke from the self claimed non partisan Inside Climate News which says,

    “Our mission is to produce clear, objective stories that give the public and decision-makers the information they need to navigate the heat and emotion of climate and energy debates.”

    so the “proof” by the left and their hysteria is weak, based on not actually understanding what intervenor status was, nor did this “news” organization bother to figure out what that meant apparently. That didn’t stop the left wing blogs and news organizations with their cartoons of them with bags of money though, and making this an “evil” Koch brothers stand to make billions narrative. All I’m saying is this is the shit that comes up every time. Maybe head on over to the left wing sites and let them know these types of shenanigans are distracting from the environmental debate. Honestly it’s not my fault or anyone else here for pointing out the obvious.

    Anyhow, back the the environmental impact. The Department of State shows minor impact and risk. That’s from the link posted on Fact Check’s site which was also used to reference job potential earlier in this thread as a counter argument to Alex’s claim of 20K jobs. Of course if you look at it from the left wing sites, outside of jobs it’s not accurate because of course the department is in bed with the Canadian oil industry and the “evil” Koch brothers, but I’m sure that’s ok to believe, and every other word in that report is meaningless (not directed to you, just the left in general), Fact Check or not.

    And again, if you look at some of those articles, or just Google to find more of the “environmentalism” from the left, it touts the same things over and over. Big Oil, profits, Koch brothers. Why should any of that matter? What difference is there in the environmental impact if the Koch brothers have an interest (which they don’t) in the pipeline, and stand to make billions (which they don’t) as opposed to the Smother’s brothers having an interest?

    Now if you don’t subscribe to the obvious connection the left have made with environmentalism and anti-market, that’s great, but to pretend it’s minor or doesn’t matter is a little silly in my opinion.

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  38. CM says:

    This is rather a pointless and irrelevant argument, and it seems to centre around whether the Koch’s representatives were being entirely honest when they said that the Keystone XL pipeline has “nothing to do with any of our businesses” and that Koch had “no financial interest” in the pipeline. Clearly they have interests that will be affected by the pipeline. That is different to having a direct financial interest in the pipeline itself, but it’s certainly not consistent with saying that Keystone will have nothing to do with any of their businesses. The fact that one of their businesses sought and obtained a special status based on their (admitted) “direct and substantial interest in the application” is obviously of relevance. That they have an interest or not probably isn’t nearly as big an issue as their apparent attempts to deny it.

    Did you see the Koch response of what their status was?

    Yes, they now claim “Koch Industries has no financial stake in the Keystone pipeline and we are not party to its design or construction. We are not a proposed shipper or customer of oil delivered by this pipeline”. That’s quite different to what their representative told the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

    Does the Sierra Club stand to make millions too as the Koch brothers asked in their response?

    They didn’t claim the Club would make millions (who is claiming the Koch’s stand to make millions from Keystone?). They said:

    We challenge InsideClimateNews and other advocacy media to ask Sierra Club Canada and other interveners in this case if they have a financial interest in the pipeline.

    Why? Would would the point be? We know what the interests of the Sierra Club are, they’re not on record trying to suggest otherwise are they? Are the Sierra Club or other interveners on record as saying to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee that the Keystone XL pipeline has “nothing to do with any of our businesses” and that they had “no financial interest” in the pipeline, only to then be found to have quite an interest in what happens? Or some equivalent?

    The Koch brother’s claim is they are not party to making a profit from this, but that didn’t hold back the narrative from the left.

    That’s not what the representative actually said. Maybe it’s a matter of semantics, but in their explanation they are using quite different wording than was used by their rep to the Committee. Clearly the outcome matters to them. Flint Hills is deeply involved in the Canada-Alberta oil sands trade, is already responsible for close to 25 percent of the oil sands crude that is imported into the United States, and is well positioned to benefit if more heavy crude is exported to the United States.

    This all seems to come down to the difference between direct interests and indirect interests. And who meant what and when.

    so the “proof” by the left and their hysteria is weak, based on not actually understanding what intervenor status was, nor did this “news” organization bother to figure out what that meant apparently.

    So are you saying Inside Climate News’s assessment was inaccurate, or the reporting on their assessment was (you seem to be setting it up to suggest the former, but then ask a question about the latter)?

    I don’t think the ‘intervenor’ status is crucial issue. Whether they applied for it or not, their position and the benefits to their company would be the same.

    That didn’t stop the left wing blogs and news organizations with their cartoons of them with bags of money though, and making this an “evil” Koch brothers stand to make billions narrative. All I’m saying is this is the shit that comes up every time. Maybe head on over to the left wing sites and let them know these types of shenanigans are distracting from the environmental debate. Honestly it’s not my fault or anyone else here for pointing out the obvious.

    Is it distracting from the actual debate though? Seems like a sideshow. The Kochs are an easy target, and they make themselve an easy target by their actions ($50 million expenditure to finance climate change skepticism apparently).

    I don’t belong to a big liberal club, and nor to I have the power or desire to stop people making cartoons that might not be accurate. Just ignore it, or don’t ignore it but don’t pretend to be considering the substantive issues. It’s not my fault there are stupid people of every stripe who distract from their central argument by being inaccurate.

    The Department of State shows minor impact and risk. That’s from the link posted on Fact Check’s site which was also used to reference job potential earlier in this thread as a counter argument to Alex’s claim of 20K jobs. Of course if you look at it from the left wing sites, outside of jobs it’s not accurate because of course the department is in bed with the Canadian oil industry and the “evil” Koch brothers, but I’m sure that’s ok to believe, and every other word in that report is meaningless (not directed to you, just the left in general), Fact Check or not.

    I understand they’re looking at it again though and working with the applicant on a number of issues, after a further round of submissions.

    The State Department is currently in the process of obtaining additional information regarding alternate routes that avoid the Sand Hills in Nebraska.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/178624.htm

    However apparently the Republicans have basically ensured the proposal is refused, by requiring a decision within 60 days, which doesn’t allow sufficient time for the current process to be completed. I guess a refusal is going to be fantastic amunition (as people will ignore the process issues).

    Should Congress impose an arbitrary deadline for the permit decision, its actions would not only compromise the process, it would prohibit the Department from acting consistently with National Environmental Policy Act requirements by not allowing sufficient time for the development of this information. In the absence of properly completing the process, the Department would be unable to make a determination to issue a permit for this project.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/178624.htm

    So the process has been corrupted.

    And again, if you look at some of those articles, or just Google to find more of the “environmentalism” from the left, it touts the same things over and over. Big Oil, profits, Koch brothers. Why should any of that matter?

    What difference is there in the environmental impact if the Koch brothers have an interest (which they don’t) in the pipeline, and stand to make billions (which they don’t) as opposed to the Smother’s brothers having an interest?

    In assessing this proposal, precisely zero. When I assess proposals I look at effects and who the applicant is doesn’t make one lick of difference. One of my largest jobs was trying to get consent for an oil business to move into a rural town. I was literally chased out of town by an angry mob. We lost, even though we had all the facts and the evidence. They had fear and ignorance. It was pretty disgraceful. Although it didn’t help that I only had a week to prepare, and wasn’t able to convince the decision-maker.

    Now if you don’t subscribe to the obvious connection the left have made with environmentalism and anti-market, that’s great, but to pretend it’s minor or doesn’t matter is a little silly in my opinion.

    I’d prefer to say some on the left. It also depends on how you define environmentalist. IMHO I’m not so much an environmentalist as someone who believes strongly in sustainability within a market-based system. I certainly don’t see my position as anti-market. I consider that my position enables the market to continue to operate, because if decisions are determined on the basis of sustainability then the market will continue, rather than kill itself. Koch’s massive campaign to deny climate change science is the opposite of sustainability. IMHO their whole approach is short-term gain, even at the obvious expense of the long-term. As the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies says:

    “Exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts”

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  39. hist_ed says:

    Hey CM liked your quote:

    A 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute[5] assessed the size and structure of U.S. energy subsidies over the 2002-2008 period. The study estimated that subsidies to fossil-fuel based sources amounted to approximately $72 billion over this period and subsidies to renewable fuel sources totaled $29 billion.

    There is a little problem here though. Your number are for total subsidies (I’m not going to get into defining what is a subsidy and what isn’t; there are some arguments about how places like the “Environmental Law Institute” define subsidies.). How much energy does each source provide us?

    From the ever quotable Wikipedia http://tinyurl.com/cljd2z one finds that 83% of US energy comes from fossil fuel. 8% comes from “renewable” source. Turns out that the vast majority of that 8% is hydroelectric. Digging a little deeper I discovered that the various types of hippy power plus wood burning supply us with about 3% of our energy. I’m not going to do the math to calculate out the exact dollar per percent of energy each sector gets, but obviously we get a lot more bang for the buck when we subsidize fossil fuel that we do for windmills and such.

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  40. AlexInCT says:

    WTF history_ed? You think logic will work? My bet is that wewill just get a bunch of other links telling us about the evils you fossil feuls. Cost be damned. Point out hat even Obama admits the cost of energy is drastically going up because supply is being shorted, and you will be accused of being a conspiracist or lying.

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  41. Section8 says:

    Fair enough CM, as far as you not subscribing to some (I believe many) on the the left who link environmentalism with their brand of political leanings, but like I said it is prevalent. It is here in America at least. So much so that it’s difficult to separate the two.

    As far as the rhetoric of the Koch brothers financing an anti climate change campaign, Hal posted about it here. The findings might surprise you. Just don’t let the word out to the (many) on the left. It might screw up their narratives.

    http://right-thinking.com/2011/10/21/berkeley-results/

    Although since you posted on this thread you might remember it.

    They didn’t claim the Club would make millions (who is claiming the Koch’s stand to make millions from Keystone?). They said:

    We challenge InsideClimateNews and other advocacy media to ask Sierra Club Canada and other interveners in this case if they have a financial interest in the pipeline

    Ok, that was their response to the claim the Koch brothers have a financial interest in making money, which like I said you can read the claims that the Koch brothers are to make big money. It’s there in the links I provided. So they didn’t actually retort with ask the Sierra Club if they were going to make millions, but rather have a financial interest (making money from it) since they were apparently privy to the hearings using the same means as the Koch brothers used. Seriously we’re nit picking here on exact wording. The point is unaffected.

    As far as Koch interest in the pipeline, of course they are going to have an interest if it’s related to their industry. If you look at the articles or blog entries I linked to they were twisted to make it look like they stood to profit. Two entirely different things. Even you point out the difference. To spin this as they lied is a joke. If they are in the same industry, yes they would likely feel the effects as a competitor. So what? Any monkey could figure that out right off the bat. So obvious in fact that they already likely assumed everyone would discount that part of it when they said they have no interest, and just assume a profit interest is what they were referring to. Some things have to simply be assumed at face value in this world rather than spelling it out to the precise meaning. If we didn’t, emails would be 15 pages long just to ask someone if they wanted to go to lunch. Nothing would get done and communication would break down. Sometimes I think that’s a deliberate tactic by some. What’s the point?

    As far as who is claiming the Koch brothers will make millions, read any one of those articles (I know at least 2 out of 3 of them imply or flat out state it), or just Google to find even more.

    “Koch brothers Keystone”

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  42. hist_ed says:

    Hey I forgot to mention something else from that neato Wikipedia page. I apologize ’cause this is a little off topic (but still enviro/energy stuff). It seems that between 2004 and 2009 US carbon emissions declined by 10.4% while energy use increased by 4.6%. No need for any top down government rationing energy scheme.

    Interestingly, in Europe, home of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, carbon emissions between 2005 and 2007 increased by 1.9%. Can’t find any 2004 numbers, alas and I’m not willing to dig, but I guess free markets are just generally more awesome, huh?

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  43. hist_ed says:

    Oh and I almost forgot. Regarding the “It won’t lower costs” thingy. Yes it will. Again, this an econ at its most basic. This doesn’t mean that other things won’t also increase the price, just that ceteris paribus, increased supply will lower the price (might not be by much either-or it might be by a shitload).

    Now, of course, if the cost of production is more than the market price, rational actors will stop producing (duh). Then the decrease in supply will create upward pressure on prices.

    Of course, the overall cost of production includes sunk costs. In cost per barrel calculations, those are amortized over the entire production run. Once those have been paid, though, even if average costs per barrel are below overall production costs, they may be under current production costs. In that case, the producer will keep producing.

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  44. CM says:

    There is a little problem here though. Your number are for total subsidies (I’m not going to get into defining what is a subsidy and what isn’t; there are some arguments about how places like the “Environmental Law Institute” define subsidies.). How much energy does each source provide us?

    What is the point of a subsidy though?
    To me it seems that the fossil fuel industry has such a massive entrenched dominance that they shouldn’t need subsidies. Their subsidies are feeding some of the most profitable companies on the planet. Why?
    It makes much more sense to me for governments to be nudging along emerging technologies that move us away from non-renewable and damaging sources or fuel and towards sustainable and domestic sources. Isn’t that the whole point of subsidies?

    The the Union of Concerned Scientists tallied up the costs of government support for nuclear power from uranium mining to waste disposal concluded:

    …subsidies to the nuclear fuel cycle have often exceeded the value of the power produced. This means that buying power on the open market and giving it away for free would have been less costly than subsidizing the construction and opera­tion of nuclear power plants.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-subsidies-report.html

    If true, that’s horrific.

    But as Adam Smith once wrote:

    The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

    http://www.adamsmith.org/adam-smith-quotes/

    The above is from here. The author also looks into the amount of subsidy per unit of energy generation and finds:

    For every per billion KWH of generation, coal gets $30 million in subsidies, wind gets $23 million, solar gets $14 million and nuclear gets $1.5 million.

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  45. CM says:

    Fair enough CM, as far as you not subscribing to some (I believe many) on the the left who link environmentalism with their brand of political leanings, but like I said it is prevalent. It is here in America at least. So much so that it’s difficult to separate the two.

    Wow, thanks. I think that’s the first time that’s happened in the time I’ve been here.

    I don’t doubt you at all. As I’m trying to navigate myself through the same issues, I find it important to try and separate the two. Much in the same way as when I discussed the Iraq invasion with those that supported it. I tried as much as possible to separate their rationale from (what I saw as) the surreal tidal wave of utter bullshit that washed over everything.

    As far as the rhetoric of the Koch brothers financing an anti climate change campaign, Hal posted about it here. The findings might surprise you. Just don’t let the word out to the (many) on the left. It might screw up their narratives.

    Yes I’m well aware of the study and who funded it (in part) and who ran it and what the results were. I tend to follow climate science related happenings as much as I can. I’m not sure it tells us much. They were likely not expecting those results at all. They didn’t fund it after knowing the results.

    In a brief email statement, the Koch Foundation noted that Muller’s team didn’t examine ocean temperature or the cause of warming and said it will continue to fund such research. “The project is ongoing and entering peer review, and we’re proud to support this strong, transparent research,” said foundation spokeswoman Tonya Mullins.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Prominent-sceptic-now-agrees-global-warming-real/tabid/1160/articleID/231200/Default.aspx#ixzz1gxeZ39fH

    They can still say, like lots of people here did, that it doesn’t mean the burning of fossil fuels has played a part in the increasing temperature. Of course that’s ridiculous because we know it does, but the results were (as noted in the quote) about temperature, not cause. And didn’t include ocean temps.

    I’m not sure you’re going to fool anyone by suggesting the Koch brothers financing an anti-climate change campaign is just ‘rhetoric’. It’s about as transparent as it gets.

    http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/03/koch-brothers-funding-climate-change-denial-machine/

    And it makes perfect sense, from their point of view. Their wealth is at stake. If that’s what they care about ahead of anything else, of course that’s what they’re going to do. it would be irrational for them not to.

    the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=all

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  46. CM says:

    Ok, that was their response to the claim the Koch brothers have a financial interest in making money, which like I said you can read the claims that the Koch brothers are to make big money. It’s there in the links I provided. So they didn’t actually retort with ask the Sierra Club if they were going to make millions, but rather have a financial interest (making money from it) since they were apparently privy to the hearings using the same means as the Koch brothers used. Seriously we’re nit picking here on exact wording. The point is unaffected.

    A financial interest in making money? I assume you’ve just worded that badly.
    Seems like the Koch’s have a position where they ARE likely to benefit considerably from the project. We didn’t know that before when they claimed no direct involvement. As a result of the investigations we now know that they will benefit indirectly. It’s only ‘indirectly’ as they don’t have any direct investment in the project.

    As far as Koch interest in the pipeline, of course they are going to have an interest if it’s related to their industry.

    Clearly it’s a little more than just a case of the pipeline being “related to their industry”! That’s just a little bit disingenous.
    But again, that’s a stand-alone issue. George Soros has significant ties to oil-sands operations as well (Suncor).

    If you look at the articles or blog entries I linked to they were twisted to make it look like they stood to profit. Two entirely different things. Even you point out the difference. To spin this as they lied is a joke.

    It also works the other way, as I pointed out. And they changed the wording of how they described it, as I pointed out. If they’d been straight-up at the start, I doubt this would have turned into anything but a footnote in an article.

    If they are in the same industry, yes they would likely feel the effects as a competitor.

    From I read it appears that they’ll benefit. It’s explained within the Inside Climate News piece, although there don’t appear to be any details beyond the fact that they control so much of the Canadian oil industry, and are already responsible for close to 25 percent of the oil sands crude that is imported into the United States. We need more information.

    So obvious in fact that they already likely assumed everyone would discount that part of it when they said they have no interest, and just assume a profit interest is what they were referring to.

    They said it “had nothing to do with any of our businesses”. That’s quite different to what you are suggesting.

    Some things have to simply be assumed at face value in this world rather than spelling it out to the precise meaning. If we didn’t, emails would be 15 pages long just to ask someone if they wanted to go to lunch. Nothing would get done and communication would break down. Sometimes I think that’s a deliberate tactic by some. What’s the point?

    Again, given what we know now about their business dealings (geographically, and the type) do you honestly believe that saying the Keystone pipeline “has nothing to do with any of our businesses” is completely truthful? I can’t think of how it is.

    Anyway, the Koch’s are defending their interests, as they have every right to.

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  47. hist_ed says:

    As I said CM, I didn’t really want to spend too much time with it so I used your numbers. Now you have a different set of numbers. Which set of numbers do you think is correct? If your second new shiny set, why do you think the Environmental Law Institute is lying? Why are they less credible than Marc Gunther (and why doesn’t Gunther have the letter K in his first name-that alone makes me suspicious)?

    As far as subsidies go, we should not subsidize anything, ever. Not energy, not food, not education (shit, there goes my job-wait, is it a subsidy if I get paid to provide a service?). We should especially should not subsidize emerging technologies. We’ve poured billions down the bio-fuel rat hole. If someone can make it work at a reasonable price, then go for it. Just don’t spend my money doing it.

    Bio fuels subsidies and mandates are especially evil because we are using food to power our cars. Food prices have gone up a lot. Now, I can weather that-I’m not in any danger of starvation. But there are a lot a poor people around the world who are suffering because we fucking burn a third of our corn crop. Double the price of corn and people at the margins starve to death.

    PS It’s kinda funny to actually go to your linked article. Your two quotes from other sources are the same as quotes Gunther put in his piece. You even reproduced his link to the Adam Smith Institute without clicking on it (both your link and his go to the magic “page not found”). Next time you should really do what Salinger did above and just link to the article instead of cut and pasting to make us think that you were writing your own thoughts.

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  48. CM says:

    Hey I forgot to mention something else from that neato Wikipedia page. I apologize ’cause this is a little off topic (but still enviro/energy stuff). It seems that between 2004 and 2009 US carbon emissions declined by 10.4% while energy use increased by 4.6%. No need for any top down government rationing energy scheme.

    How do you conclude that? You’d have to assume a lot to come to that conclusion just from that information.
    Anyway, if your figures are from the table at the top, I think the 4.6% increase is population (294 million to 307.5 million). It seems that you are producing 7% less primary energy, which may have something to do with the C02 reduction.

    While total U.S. emissions have increased by 7.3 percent from 1990 to 2009, emissions decreased from 2008 to 2009 by 6.1 percent (427.9 Tg CO2 Eq.). This decrease was primarily due to (1) a decrease in economic output resulting in a decrease in energy consumption across all sectors; and (2) a decrease in the carbon intensity of fuels used to generate electricity due to fuel switching as the price of coal increased, and the price of natural gas decreased significantly. Since 1990, U.S. emissions have increased at an average annual rate of 0.4 percent.

    Page 4

    Interestingly, in Europe, home of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, carbon emissions between 2005 and 2007 increased by 1.9%. Can’t find any 2004 numbers, alas and I’m not willing to dig, but I guess free markets are just generally more awesome, huh?

    If you believe the US energy sector has something to do with ‘free markets’ you need to read some recent comments in this thread. Better still, do your own research into the billions of subsidies that have gone to coal. It’s pretty much the opposite of a ‘free market’.

    Anyway, for the EU:

    Ellerman and Buchner (2008) (referenced by Grubb et al., 2009, p. 11) suggested that during its first two years in operation, the EU ETS turned an expected increase in emissions of 1-2 percent per year into a small absolute decline.[19] Grubb et al. (2009, p. 11) suggested that a reasonable estimate for the emissions cut achieved during its first two years of operation was 50-100 MtCO2 per year, or 2.5-5%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme#Overall_emission_reductions

    There is no denying the initial design flaws as described.

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  49. CM says:

    Oh and I almost forgot. Regarding the “It won’t lower costs” thingy. Yes it will. Again, this an econ at its most basic….

    The opponents point to these factors:

    Gas prices: Keystone XL will increase gas prices for Americans—Especially Farmers
    •By draining Midwestern refineries of cheap Canadian crude into export-oriented refineries in the Gulf Coast, Keystone XL will increase the cost of gas for Americans.
    •TransCanada’s 2008 Permit Application states “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian heavy crude oil. Access to the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] via the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in [the Midwest] by removing this oversupply. This is expected to increase the price of heavy crude to the equivalent cost of imported crude. The resultant increase in the price of heavy crude is estimated to provide an increase in annual revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of US $2 billion to US $3.9 billion.”
    •Independent analysis of these figures found this would increase per-gallon prices by 20 cents/gallon in the Midwest.
    •According to an independent analysis U.S. farmers, who spent $12.4 billion on fuel in 2009 could see expenses rise to $15 billion or higher in 2012 or 2013 if the pipeline goes through. At least $500 million of the added expense would come from the Canadian market manipulation

    http://www.tarsandsaction.org/spread-the-word/key-facts-keystone-xl/

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  50. CM says:

    As I said CM, I didn’t really want to spend too much time with it so I used your numbers. Now you have a different set of numbers. Which set of numbers do you think is correct? If your second new shiny set, why do you think the Environmental Law Institute is lying? Why are they less credible than Marc Gunther (and why doesn’t Gunther have the letter K in his first name-that alone makes me suspicious)?

    ;-) I hear ya! Trendy hippy spelling.

    The first set of numbers (Environmental Law Institute) are raw subsidy numbers. Gunther’s numbers are from here, an attempt to look at energy’s full costs. Gunther’s numbers are the amount of subsidy per unit of energy generation.

    As far as subsidies go, we should not subsidize anything, ever. Not energy, not food, not education (shit, there goes my job-wait, is it a subsidy if I get paid to provide a service?). We should especially should not subsidize emerging technologies. We’ve poured billions down the bio-fuel rat hole. If someone can make it work at a reasonable price, then go for it. Just don’t spend my money doing it.

    I’m not a fan of subsidies in general. The world’s argicultural subsidies are appalling and I think contribute a significant amount of harm in the developing world. I think subsidies should be used very sparingly, and for specific purposes. Especially if we’re going to claim that we’re into free markets etc etc. But I do think they’re useful for spurring on new technologies, especially when there is highly likely to be a huge public benefit (e.g. medical/health breakthroughs, preserving a liveable planet). But I would only support them if they are carefully managed and targeted. But I see no sense whatsoever in a subsidy for an excessively wealthy entrenched industry like the fossil fuel industry. That’s just insanity. It’s adding insult to injury.

    Bio fuels subsidies and mandates are especially evil because we are using food to power our cars. Food prices have gone up a lot. Now, I can weather that-I’m not in any danger of starvation. But there are a lot a poor people around the world who are suffering because we fucking burn a third of our corn crop. Double the price of corn and people at the margins starve to death.

    Yep, that was a failure, no doubt about it. Bio fuels don’t have to come land that can grow food though. It can come from cooking oil, algae etc. We had a discussion about this just the other day here….

    PS It’s kinda funny to actually go to your linked article. Your two quotes from other sources are the same as quotes Gunther put in his piece. You even reproduced his link to the Adam Smith Institute without clicking on it (both your link and his go to the magic “page not found”). Next time you should really do what Salinger did above and just link to the article instead of cut and pasting to make us think that you were writing your own thoughts.

    Um, that’s why I specifically said “The above is from here”. I gave direct links but also the link to where I got the Adam Smith quote and also the Union of Concerned Scientists conclusion.
    Anyway, there was no attempt to trick anyone. Where did I try and make you think I was writing my own thoughts? The only other part of the post (other than the attributed parts mentioned above) was the first paragraph, which I wrote myself.

    The Smith quote is also here:
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Adam_Smith

    I know you don’t like me but there’s really no need to be making stuff up like that.

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  51. balthazar says:

    CM, your being a moron again, yes conventional energy sources get more subsidies, too bad that the so called “renewable” get many factors more per kilowatt hour. Look at the levalized cost and then please stfu.

    Heres one from WIKI, since you love Wiki so much.

    Ruh roh!!

    Example for the lazy: These costs do not take into account any subsidies, tax credits etc.

    Coal: 94.8/megawatt hour
    Solar: 210.7/megawatt hour

    Now, the subsidies for solar are such that they Federal government makes up the difference between the prices to make solar compete.

    The only renewable sources that even come close are Geothermal, regular wind(which noone wants in thier back yard), and hydroelectric.

    Heres another for you,

    Please educate yourself

    For instance, a 2008 report by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) looked at the subsidy per megawatt hour for electricity generation and the subsidy per million British thermal units (BTUs) for nonelectrical use. Total subsidies for electricity generation amounted to $6.7 billion in 2007. While the average subsidy per megawatt hour for all sources was $1.65, the subsidy for wind and solar was about $24 per megawatt hour. On the non-electricity generating side, ethanol received a subsidy of $5.72 per million BTUs.

    The fact is that renewables cannot compete in the marketplace with more efficient sources of energy like petroleum unless the producers of renewables get money from the government to artificially lower the price of their product. Despite these subsidies, renewables still account for just a small fraction of total energy use.

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  52. balthazar says:

    Oh and subsidies actually perform a national security function in some cases as well. You dont want the vast majority of your food coming from overseas, if it does you run the risk of having it cut off.

    Energy subsidies are kind of the same thing, you want to issue enough that a lot of the production is in house, but not too much to skew the market. Skewing the market is the level at which most of the “green” energy subsidies are right now though.

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  53. Thrill says:

    Pretending the opposition is JUST about “hatred of fossil fuels” essentially means that you’ve decided to sit this one out and let the grown ups sort it.

    I’m just not one to argue just for the hell of it with someone who is (a) firmly entrenched in his position and (b) willing to lie about what his position really is.

    Go back to your own first link. The article by Brant Olson and note what he threw in there at the very end of the article:

    Put another way, Keystone doesn’t make us less dependent on dangerous sources of foreign oil, it only digs America deeper into a crushing dependence on an ever-dirtier, ever more expensive addiction to oil.

    “Dirtier.” “Addiction.”

    The choice of adjectives betrays his own opinion. Why won’t you just admit that no amount of benefit from this project is going to convince you that it should be done because you think that fossil fuels themselves are the problem? The honesty would be refreshing and it would be much more useful than your constant link-spamming.

    Your committed opposition to the use of fossil fuels is driving this argument. There is no other logical reason why you or your hero Barack Obama should willingly choose to sacrifice American jobs (however temporary) in this economic environment. Quibbling about the benefits while hiding your real beliefs isn’t “adult”, CM.

    Here’s the only argument worth having on this issue: The American economy depends on affordable oil, coal, and natural gas. We have not found any substitutes that can run with their cost, reliability, and efficiency. We either have to build and maintain our infrastructure that supports fossil fuels until something is discovered that can outperform it or else eventually crash our economy.

    Obama gets to make that choice when the bill gets on his desk. We’ll see what he really thinks, at least.

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  54. AlexInCT says:

    The choice of adjectives betrays his own opinion. Why won’t you just admit that no amount of benefit from this project is going to convince you that it should be done because you think that fossil fuels themselves are the problem?

    It looks like I am not the only one that got this…..

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  55. davidst says:

    When looking at oil there are three things to consider.

    1) What future damage are greenhouse gas emissions causing. If we wait until things become an obvious problem, it may well be too late to do anything about it. So what is the overall risk? The answer is that we don’t know. If you’re in a dark room, do you run blindly through it at top speed or feel your way around carefully?

    2) How much of our fossil fuels have been used up (nationally and/or world wide)? We know the supply is not unlimited. We know that the easy to get stuff is used up first. Is it wise to burn through the stuff as fast as we can when future technologies may be much more efficient.

    3) Do the people who get richer from exploiting fossil-fuel reserves as fast as possible have any incentives to pay attention to 1 or 2? I don’t think they do.

    Consequently, I’m starting to sympathize with the leftist position of fighting oil exploration and usage whenever and wherever possible. It’s not like they’re completely successful and should hence consider laying off a bit.

    EDIT:

    Even from the right wing perspective, there is good reason not to use our oil. It supports the long term viability of the country as a global powerhouse. Since oil is a limited resource, we’re ultimately very fortunate that we’re able to burn so much oil from other countries instead of our own. We may desperately need our own oil in the future.

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  56. Thrill says:

    Your questions are fair, david. My concern is that certain people want fossil fuel use to end immediately and are willing to create a premature, artificial crisis by refusing to allow our infrastructure to meet the demand. Damn the economic consequences.

    In my opinion, CM is such a guy. He just won’t admit it.

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  57. hist_ed says:

    David, we have a couple of major shifts in energy sources. For thousands of years, energy came from what is now called bio mass, ie: burning wood. There were other sources of energy (eg: windmills, water mills, whale oil), but burning wood and its derivative charcoal, were the primary sources of energy. A couple of centuries ago, advanced nations shifted rather rapidly to coal. This was not because they had run out of wood. Coal worked better. Then, a century ago or so, we began to switch to oil for many uses. Again, this was not because we had run out of coal, but because oil worked better for certain applications. The Oil Age will not end because we have run out of oil. It will end when we invent something better (note that neither of the two previous shifts occurred because of massive government subsidies to develop coal and oil technology). I don’t think this is going to happen any time soon.

    People have been predicting the end of oil since at least 1914 (US Bureau of Mines at the behest of the Navy). Funny how it never happens. When Carter was president he talked about having to deal with the end of oil in the next 7-10 years (its always that time frame-soon enough to be scary, but far enough out that most people won’t remember if it doesn’t happen). In 1970 world oil reserves were about 600 billion barrels. They are now well over a trillion (and we pumped out hundreds of billions in the interim). We are not in any immediate danger of running out of oil nor will we likely ever run out in the sense of having no more to use.

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  58. hist_ed says:

    I’m not a fan of subsidies in general. The world’s argicultural subsidies are appalling and I think contribute a significant amount of harm in the developing world

    Yippee. We agree on subsidies!! I think we agreed about something else once (maybe 4 or 5 months ago?). We should mark this day down and celebrate it annually as CM/Hist_ed agreement day. Maybe we can find something else soon (perhaps see below*).

    Alas, it will not be US energy subsidies. I glanced at the report you linked. Looks to me like these guys are trying to pin down total costs to society, not government subsidies (as I mentioned briefly somewhere above, different groups tend to classify different things as subsidies). They keep nattering on about “social costs” which are arguable, but which are not synonymous with subsidies. I’ll admit I did not read all 35 pages. One thing jumped out at me though. They are lying (or misinformed) about global temperatures. They have a chart that shows temps increasing steadily during the 20th century. In fact global temps declined from about 1940 to about 1970 (there are lots of debates about how much they declined, I’ll admit).

    I know you don’t like me but there’s really no need to be making stuff up like that.

    Didn’t make anything up. I just pointed out what you had done. My apologies, though. I should deal only with ideas and not attack people. I’ll blame the double dose of Nyquil combined with half a bottle-well, maybe three quarters-of very nice Merlot. In my drug addled state, I thought the double dead link thing was hilarious (Mrs Hist_ed had, as often is the case, fallen asleep on the couch whilst we were watching House. After the episode ended, I checked in here. My laughter woke her up a bit. I should have taken my cue from her when she said sleepily “I don’t see why that’s so funny.” She is far far wiser than I, far less likely to combine cold medicine and wine and then rant on the internet. It still befuddles me, almost 20 years in, how such an amazing divine person puts up with me).

    Anyhoots, I don’t dislike you CM. ‘Twould be a boring place around here if it were just an echo chamber. I absolutely recognize that there are intelligent, well meaning, educated people that disagree with me about almost anything and generally I assume I am dealing with such when I have political arguments (unless they start throwing around poo like the late, not so great, Murgetroid). So perhaps, you and I can agree about this one little things as well. That will make two agreements. If you do, tonight I will celebrate and lift a small plastic cup of greenish over the counter medicine in your honor. And maybe some more of that nice Merlot (on sale at the local grocery store cheaper than I have ever seen it-might invest in a couple of cases).

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  59. davidst says:

    Thrill: That is the crux of the matter: balancing crisis in the short term with crisis in the long term. I’m starting to think that the potential for long term crisis is far, far greater than any short term inconveniences.

    hist_ed wrote: “The Oil Age will not end because we have run out of oil. It will end when we invent something better”

    That is a dangerous assumption. You’re ignoring many important factors. First is that the switch from wood to fossil fuels was a switch from a renewable resource to a non-renewable one. It took millions of years of sunlight to create the fossil fuels we’ve come to rely on. We don’t know the true limits of the reserves, but they are limited and yet we’ve used this limited supply of excellent fuel to vastly grow the world population and rate of consumption. So we’ve got a vastly inflated population of humans that relies on a limited resource to survive. The energy return on investment for oil has decreased (roughly) from 100:1 to 20:1 since we started using it. That is proof positive that we are going to run out of it.

    The secondary issue is that we have no guarantee that it is physically possible to create any renewable energy source that competes with fossil fuels (even given unlimited time and ingenuity). When you start thinking this way, comparative dollar amounts are not that relevant. What matters is consumption, because (again) the fundamental resources are limited. Hence non-renewable fuels should be considered precious above all else and the free-market value of oil, coal, gas and even nuclear energy is vastly underestimated (and this doesn’t even consider environmental hazards).

    Even our best renewables have their limits and environmental risks. When you stick more and more wind turbines in the air and dam up waterways, you are interfering with the environment and the weather. These are complex systems and the cost of interference is unpredictable. Complete reliance on solar panels would also require some kind of batteries as well. So an excellent solar panel design may ultimately fail if it requires unobtainium to build the panels or the batteries.

    What all of this tells me is that energy efficiency should be paramount, and artificially raising the cost of energy (in other words, preventing markets from ignoring externalities) may not be such a bad thing no matter how much I like unregulated markets. Which risk would you rather take? That we may not be growing, consuming and enjoying life as much as we could be, or that we’re engineering a future apocalypse?

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  60. Thrill says:

    Well stated. I’m not willing to buy in on increased energy prices given the state of the economy, but you summed up the situation brilliantly.

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  61. CM says:

    I’m just not one to argue just for the hell of it with someone who is (a) firmly entrenched in his position and (b) willing to lie about what his position really is.

    I’d bet a large amount of money that I’m less entrenched than you. Remember, my comment you’re replying to was in response to you inferring that the opposition to Keystone was about “hatred of fossil fuels”. I don’t have even remotely the same equivalent position. I certainly don’t believe this is a ‘simple’ issue as you portrayed it.

    I’ve also lied about nothing. My position is that I don’t believe the pipeline is the sort of development that’s going to assist efforts to curb climate change, it’s going to to the opposite. But I’m not sure that’s sufficient (process-wise) to stop it. I’m also in agreement that we should be continuing a transition phase, which isn’t easy or cheap. So I can see arguments on both sides. I don’t think it’s an easy decision.

    But thanks for just assuming I’m lying. That’s really awesome.

    “Dirtier.” “Addiction.”

    The choice of adjectives betrays his own opinion.

    From what I’ve read, it IS dirtier. And I don’t think it’s even remotely controversial to suggest that the West has an addiction to oil.

    Why won’t you just admit that no amount of benefit from this project is going to convince you that it should be done because you think that fossil fuels themselves are the problem? The honesty would be refreshing and it would be much more useful than your constant link-spamming.

    As above, probably not that useful to attack on assumptions.

    Your committed opposition to the use of fossil fuels is driving this argument. There is no other logical reason why you or your hero Barack Obama should willingly choose to sacrifice American jobs (however temporary) in this economic environment. Quibbling about the benefits while hiding your real beliefs isn’t “adult”, CM.

    My hero? Your language betrays you. Obama is irrelevant to this.
    It is absolutely reasonable to consider the many aspects to the proposal. You’ve got no further than your original lame accusation that anything other than form support is based on a hatred for fossil fuels. That’s seriously lame.

    Here’s the only argument worth having on this issue: The American economy depends on affordable oil, coal, and natural gas. We have not found any substitutes that can run with their cost, reliability, and efficiency. We either have to build and maintain our infrastructure that supports fossil fuels until something is discovered that can outperform it or else eventually crash our economy.

    Nothing needs to be discovered. We have the energy sources. The issue is mostly around cost at the moment, but costs of those other sources are falling rapidly.

    Obama gets to make that choice when the bill gets on his desk. We’ll see what he really thinks, at least.

    Not really. The process has been corrupted.

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  62. CM says:

    CM, your being a moron again

    I love it when you do that!

    yes conventional energy sources get more subsidies, too bad that the so called “renewable” get many factors more per kilowatt hour. Look at the levalized cost and then please stfu.

    Yes yes stfu stfu, etc etc, very nice, well done.
    As I said what is THE POINT of subsidies? What do you think the point is? You’ve stated they have a national security function and I would agree with that, but surely the justification would need to be demonstrated? What would actually happen in the subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and the agricultural industry were halved, or even eliminated?

    Now, the subsidies for solar are such that they Federal government makes up the difference between the prices to make solar compete.

    Right, but it won’t be too long until the subsidies won’t be needed because they did what they were intended to do.

    The cost of solar, in the average location in the U.S., will cross the current average retail electricity price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour in around 2020, or 9 years from now. In fact, given that retail electricity prices are currently rising by a few percent per year, prices will probably cross earlier, around 2018 for the country as a whole, and as early as 2015 for the sunniest parts of America.

    10 years later, in 2030, solar electricity is likely to cost half what coal electricity does today. Solar capacity is being built out at an exponential pace already. When the prices become so much more favorable than those of alternate energy sources, that pace will only accelerate.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/03/16/smaller-cheaper-faster-does-moores-law-apply-to-solar-cells/

    Even your own wiki source notes:

    Solar PV panels have decreased in cost per watt by about 6% per year for many years, but the annual cost reduction has recently accelerated, with panels from China now available at prices as low as 60 cents US per watt of electrical energy released from the panel (as at 15-Dec-2011). This competes well with retail electricity from coal-fired power stations and Solar PV panel systems appear to be rapidly reaching a dramatic market tipping point.

    Skewing the market is the level at which most of the “green” energy subsidies are right now though.

    What is the evidence which demonstrates that the market is being skewed to the extent you suggest?

    Your questions are fair, david. My concern is that certain people want fossil fuel use to end immediately and are willing to create a premature, artificial crisis by refusing to allow our infrastructure to meet the demand. Damn the economic consequences.

    In my opinion, CM is such a guy. He just won’t admit it.

    Well your opinion is just wrong. I’ve never advocated taking any sort of action that would result in a crisis. I don’t see why I’m required to hold an extremist position.

    I agree that davidst has summed it up well: it’s about balancing crisis in the short term with crisis in the long term. The potential for long term crisis is far, far greater than any short term inconveniences. But that should be very obvious to anyone paying attention.

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  63. CM says:

    Yippee. We agree on subsidies!! I think we agreed about something else once (maybe 4 or 5 months ago?). We should mark this day down and celebrate it annually as CM/Hist_ed agreement day. Maybe we can find something else soon (perhaps see below*).

    I’m willing to bet we agree on a whole lot of things. This venue just not conducive to finding them.

    Looks to me like these guys are trying to pin down total costs to society, not government subsidies (as I mentioned briefly somewhere above, different groups tend to classify different things as subsidies). They keep nattering on about “social costs” which are arguable, but which are not synonymous with subsidies.

    The report states:

    This system masks the social costs arising from those energy choices, including shorter lives, higher health care expenses, a changing climate, and weakened national security.

    They seem like reasonable consideration (to me anyway) in assessing ‘a strategy for America’s energy future’ no matter how you want to classify them.

    Unfortunately, the sources of energy we have grown to rely on are more expensive than we once thought. The true cost of energy includes not just the price we pay at the gas pump or what shows up on the electric bill, but also the less obviou impact of energy use on health, the environment, and nationa security. Economists refer to this more holistic accounting a the “social costs” of energy consumption. Recent events like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the death of twenty-nine West Virginia coal miners in the worst mining disaster in twenty-five years, and the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are particularly salient examples of the health and environmental costs, and economic risks, of our current energy sources.

    One thing jumped out at me though. They are lying (or misinformed) about global temperatures. They have a chart that shows temps increasing steadily during the 20th century. In fact global temps declined from about 1940 to about 1970 (there are lots of debates about how much they declined, I’ll admit).

    Looks like some smoothing over a century. The overall trend over that period is not in question, and neither is the CO2 trend.

    Didn’t make anything up. I just pointed out what you had done. My apologies, though. I should deal only with ideas and not attack people.

    Ok, if you still think I’ve ‘done’ something then I obviously don’t understand what it is. It’s never my intention to try and be deceptive. It’s not my style and I don’t see any point to it.
    Nyquil + Merlot = Yikes.

    She is far far wiser than I, far less likely to combine cold medicine and wine and then rant on the internet. It still befuddles me, almost 20 years in, how such an amazing divine person puts up with me).

    Mine is far far wiser than me too. I’ve been wondering it for 17 years.

    …absolutely recognize that there are intelligent, well meaning, educated people that disagree with me about almost anything and generally I assume I am dealing with such when I have political arguments

    I totally agree. Utterly. I know for a fact that there are many many many people out there that are much more intelligent than me and have the opposite opinion to me on a whole lot of stuff. It would be exceedingly arrogant to believe anything else. Unless you’re on Nyquil + Merlot permanently. ;-)

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  64. CM says:

    What all of this tells me is that energy efficiency should be paramount, and artificially raising the cost of energy (in other words, preventing markets from ignoring externalities) may not be such a bad thing no matter how much I like unregulated markets.

    This is EXACTLY what I have been saying for years now. The price of carbon-based energy doesn’t accurately reflect the true costs (the negative externalities). It’s a chronic market failure that so-called free-market supporters seem to fight tooth-and-nail to defend. How do they justify it?

    April 2009:

    We’ve already had 100 years of a pricing system whereby people go around pretending negative externalities like carbon impacts were factored in, when they weren’t.

    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3751/P400/#86027

    I would argue control will be over the negative externalities (carbon emissions) that the businesses have been imposing on the earth since they began. They’ve had a free ride. The market system has failed miserably at accounting for pollutants such as carbon. The businesses have failed to factor it in themselves (because they wouldn’t), so it should be factored in for them.

    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3751/P600/#86903

    May 2009:

    I’m interested in libertarian/conservative opinions about something I’ve mentioned a few times – the negative externalities of carbon emissions. That is, why isn’t it fair that companies pay for their share of pollution? Why shouldn’t the price of products and services not reflect the amount of pollution (and more specifically in this case, carbon) that is produced in their production or delivery? Priced according to how much pollution they produce and much it costs (time & money) to offset that carbon? Producers have lower marginal costs than they would otherwise have. Surely without factoring and pricing that in, society is subsidising those companies? Why should they be subsidised for producing something that is provably damaging to everyone?

    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3751/P675/#87392

    The ‘end’ should that those who engage in the production or goods or services should bear the cost of negative externalities as much as possible, otherwise they get a ‘free ride’. I explicitly said I’d be interested in how conservatives/libertarians reconcile a strong belief (and reliance) on a market system, when there are obvious negative externalities of such significance (i.e carbon).

    etc etc

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  65. balthazar says:

    Can you not READ, CM?

    The unsubsidized cost of solar per megawatt hour is 210.7/megawatt hour.

    The unsubsidized cost of coal (including transportation and mining costs) is 94.8/megawatt hour.

    The math is so simple that even a fucking eco-tard like you can do it. What this means is that the solar industry is being subsidized to an extent that makes ANY bitching about fossil fuel subsidies laughable.

    You are so disingenuous is fucking impossible to take anything you say seriously.

    You still have not addressed the fact that we switched to coal without subsidies because it was more efficient, the same will happen, and probably faster, if you and your eco-tard friends wouldnt insist that the free market cannot come up with the alternatives, so therefor the government must get involved.

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  66. davidst says:

    Solar PV panels have decreased in cost per watt by about 6% per year for many years, but the annual cost reduction has recently accelerated, with panels from China now available at prices as low as 60 cents US per watt of electrical energy released from the panel (as at 15-Dec-2011)

    The problem with this is that when the dollar is devalued further (when it’s no longer the world’s reserve currency) the price of stuff from China is going way up. Of course, the price of oil and energy in general is going to go right up with it, so it may still be economical, we’ll just be building the things ourselves.

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  67. CM says:

    Can you not READ, CM?

    Yes, I can read.

    The unsubsidized cost of solar per megawatt hour is 210.7/megawatt hour.

    The unsubsidized cost of coal (including transportation and mining costs) is 94.8/megawatt hour.

    The math is so simple that even a fucking eco-tard like you can do it. What this means is that the solar industry is being subsidized to an extent that makes ANY bitching about fossil fuel subsidies laughable.

    Bitching about fossil fuel subsidies isn’t simply the result of math, simple or otherwise. But then you keep ignoring that. Again (can’t you read etc etc?) what is the point of subsidies?

    The cheapest solar power now costs $120-140 per megawatt hour. That compares with around $70 for the latest American onshore wind and $70-90 for gas-fired power. Yet in a growing number of scenarios, solar is becoming competitive with little or no subsidy.

    In many sunny places, including several American states and southern European countries, it is cheaper than the peak-time retail price of electricity.

    http://www.economist.com/node/21532279

    The price of solar power may fall to about $100 per megawatt-hour by 2030, the International Energy Agency said today.

    The decline in price may make solar a “key contributor” to the global electricity supply after 2060, IEA solar analyst Cedric Philibert said in a presentation in Kassel, Germany.

    The price compares with current costs of about $172 per megawatt-hour for the most efficient photovoltaic generators and $267 per megawatt-hour for solar-thermal plants using parabolic troughs and storage technology, according to estimates by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

    Philibert set out the findings from a study that aims to explore the potential limits of solar power and does not constitute a forecast. The full report will be published later this year.

    Direct forms of power such a solar-thermal generators and photovoltaic panels would supply more than half the world’s electricity and a third of all energy under the scenario, Philibert said by e-mail.

    Adding in less-developed technologies such as heat pumps, solar power could cover half of all energy needs. The pumps indirectly capture solar energy by using warmth from the atmosphere to heat homes, Philibert said.

    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-01/iea-says-solar-power-converging-towards-10-per-megawatt-hour

    If public investment can speed this up then it makes sense to invest via subsidies.

    You are so disingenuous is fucking impossible to take anything you say seriously.

    Don’t bother then. Much of what you ‘add’ is just pointless abuse.

    You still have not addressed the fact that we switched to coal without subsidies because it was more efficient, the same will happen, and probably faster, if you and your eco-tard friends wouldnt insist that the free market cannot come up with the alternatives, so therefor the government must get involved.

    There is no free-market when it comes to energy. There are subsidies across the board, and the actual costs of energy isn’t properly captured by the price. You haven’t addressed that.
    And the alternatives already exist, it’s just a matter of continuing to improve the efficiency of the systems and for their cost to keep falling. Public investment will speed it up.

    But your real stumbling block is this whole ‘eco-tard’ fixation. You’ll never be able to consider these issues properly while you’ve got that mindset.

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  68. CM says:

    The problem with this is that when the dollar is devalued further (when it’s no longer the world’s reserve currency) the price of stuff from China is going way up. Of course, the price of oil and energy in general is going to go right up with it, so it may still be economical, we’ll just be building the things ourselves.

    So more jobs then.

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  69. hist_ed says:

    what is the point of subsidies?

    To take money from all taxpayers and give it to a few politically powerful people.

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  70. CM says:

    My question was really to Balt as you’ve already answered it really (and I think it’s fairly obvious that I’m asking how subsidies SHOULD be used rather than how they ARE used).

    Balt seems to think it’s ok to spend billions on fossil fuel subsidies, but not on spurring on technological advancements and take-up of renweable energy. Fossil fuel subsidies means the renewable energy subsidies have to be even greater than they would otherwise in order for them to get market share.

    It makes no economic sense on its face, let alone when considering what’s at stake. (Central estimates of the annual costs of achieving stabilisation between 500 and 550ppm CO2 are around 1% of global GDP, if we start to take strong action now. If we do nothing, and with 5-6°C warming – which is a real possibility for the next century – existing models that include the risk of abrupt and large-scale climate change estimate an average 5-10% loss in global GDP, with poor countries suffering costs in excess of 10% of GDP)

    However I suspect the response will be “your a moron”, or some variation.

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  71. davidst says:

    More jobs yes, but lower standard of living at the same time.

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  72. CM says:

    More jobs yes, but lower standard of living at the same time.

    How so? Spending 5-10% of GDP later will dramatically reduce standards of living compared to just 1% now.

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  73. balthazar says:

    I specifically said the reason why many subsidies exist, that you choose to ignore it is YOUR failing CM.

    Public investment leads to massive fraud, as evidenced by the multiple incidents just recently that wasted over a billion dollars.

    My abuse isnt pointless, it’s to specifically scold and belittle you, since you act like a stupid fucking spoiled child, I treat you like one.

    If you had bothered to read one of the links I put up, it specifically includes other factors, like fuel costs for the coal plant etc. You are wrong yet again.

    I do agree with some subsidies, for the EXACT fucking reason I stated earlier that you Ignored,

    CM, GFY.

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  74. CM says:

    I specifically said the reason why many subsidies exist, that you choose to ignore it is YOUR failing CM.

    Yes, for national security, I read that. You said:

    Oh and subsidies actually perform a national security function in some cases as well.

    As well as what?

    Public investment leads to massive fraud, as evidenced by the multiple incidents just recently that wasted over a billion dollars.

    Where was there ‘fraud’ in those examples? What is it about ‘public investment’ that inherently leads to fraud? The fossil fuel subsidies are also public investments, and you support those, but presumably there is fraud involved there too. So why is it ok to have fraud there, but not fraud elsewhere?

    My abuse isnt pointless, it’s to specifically scold and belittle you, since you act like a stupid fucking spoiled child, I treat you like one.

    Well it comes across as an alternative to reasonable discussion. You can’t do one so you do the other.

    If you had bothered to read one of the links I put up, it specifically includes other factors, like fuel costs for the coal plant etc. You are wrong yet again.

    What is this in response to, and what link are you talking about?
    If you’re following on from the ‘social costs’ aspect, they are issues such as shorter lives, higher health care expenses, a changing climate, and weakened national security.

    I do agree with some subsidies, for the EXACT fucking reason I stated earlier that you Ignored,

    You seem to have forgotten that you said “also”. What is (or are) the other reason(s)?

    CM, GFY.

    You’re mama.

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  75. balthazar says:

    You are an idiot, the link I posted about the unsubsidized costs of energy, explains that there’s a cost associated with producing energy with coal, oil, other consumables, it is accounted for in the link I put in one of my above posts. If your too fucking lazy to read the whole thing, Please STFU.

    Subsidies exist to help national security, as well as paying off their cronies, I thought the paying off of the cronies point was made multiple times. Please keep up.

    “Social” costs, well fine, as long as we include the cost of how butt fucking ugly solar panels are, all the fish that are killed every year by hydroelectric plants, birds that die from wind turbines, houses that spring leaks in thier roofs from the solar panels that are drilled thru them. We also need to take how inefficient some of the renewables are into account. Also how noone wants them “in their back yard”

    All stuff you dont give a shit about since it doesn’t fit you enviro-tard screed.

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  76. CM says:

    You are an idiot, the link I posted about the unsubsidized costs of energy, explains that there’s a cost associated with producing energy with coal, oil, other consumables, it is accounted for in the link I put in one of my above posts. If your too fucking lazy to read the whole thing, Please STFU.

    Those appear to be only direct costs, or “internal cost factors” as the Wiki entry desribes them. There are also indirect (or external) costs which are substantial, and which also need to be considered, otherwise you’re ignoring much of the story. This was identified and discussed in later links and posts. Which is why I was confused. You seem to be picking up from a former post and ignoring all that, for some reason.

    Subsidies exist to help national security, as well as paying off their cronies, I thought the paying off of the cronies point was made multiple times. Please keep up.

    Did you not understand what I meant when I said “I’m asking how subsidies SHOULD be used rather than how they ARE used”? I’m interested in your answer. Yes, in addition to national security.

    “Social” costs, well fine, as long as we include the cost of how butt fucking ugly solar panels are, all the fish that are killed every year by hydroelectric plants, birds that die from wind turbines, houses that spring leaks in thier roofs from the solar panels that are drilled thru them. We also need to take how inefficient some of the renewables are into account. Also how noone wants them “in their back yard”

    Yes, equivalent sorts of costs for each type of energy need to be included, otherwise it’s not a fair comparison.
    And clearly lots of people don’t mind them on their roof or in their backyard, as the take-up increases strongly each year.

    All stuff you dont give a shit about since it doesn’t fit you enviro-tard screed.

    This is the key problem with your limited mindset. You can’t help but assume that someone who doesn’t agree with you must be either an idiot, or dishonest, or both. You don’t even bother to find out. It’s exceptionally arrogant.
    Of course a comparison is pointless unless the actual costs of each source are taken into account. External and internal. Obviously.

    Public investment leads to massive fraud, as evidenced by the multiple incidents just recently that wasted over a billion dollars.

    With respect to Solyndra:

    The Republicans hoped to prove that the Solyndra loan was a political favor to wealthy investors with Democratic ties, chiefly George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire. They have not made this case. There were plenty of other private investors, some of them Republicans.

    Nor have the Republicans succeeded in showing President Obama’s green energy strategy to be a flop. About 40 projects have received loans under a clean energy program authorized by Congress in 2005 and incorporated in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package. Only two have failed, Solyndra and Beacon Power, a battery company in upstate New York that borrowed $39 million. These defaults represent just 1.3 percent of the $37.6 billion loan portfolio.

    The Republican inquiry has raised valid questions, but it has also unfairly tried to exploit one bad bet to discredit public investments in renewable technologies.

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  77. balthazar says:

    IMO the only valid use for DIRECT subsidies to for profit companies, is in national security. Grants to universities non profits, etc are different.

    See now here’s one of the biggest problems with having any discussion with you,I already know where this isgoing, so its not even WORTH mentioning it. You will insist that the “external” costs of coal etc etc etc, are so ASTRONOMICALLY high, even though no one knows how much they are, that they should not be allowed. And were back to an AGW debate again. Just as you planned.

    Where did I say it was just democrats that pay of thier cronies?

    I said:

    Subsidies exist to help national security, as well as paying off their cronies, I thought the paying off of the cronies point was made multiple times. Please keep up.

    NO mention of anything other that subsidies used to pay off their cronies. Politicians AS A WHOLE do it. YOU are the one that only see’s what you want to see and assumed I only meant Dem’s, your inability to see past your perceptions color everything you do/say. Dont put me in that leaky, sinking boat with you.

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  78. AlexInCT says:

    How so? Spending 5-10% of GDP later will dramatically reduce standards of living compared to just 1% now.

    I call bullshit. These numbers are pulled striaght out of your ass, right? Have fun trying to talk to this fucking green drone Balthazar. Just don’t expect him to do anything in good faith. He is arguing religious faith with you, and his conviction is strong.

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  79. CM says:

    I call bullshit. These numbers are pulled striaght out of your ass, right?

    No, I already linked to the source in this thread, where I first mentioned it. Perhaps read the thread.

    Have fun trying to talk to this fucking green drone Balthazar. Just don’t expect him to do anything in good faith. He is arguing religious faith with you, and his conviction is strong.

    Unfortunately for this narrative of yours, I don’t require faith. Whereas you rely on it exclusively. Try putting down that mirror, even just for a minute.

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  80. CM says:

    IMO the only valid use for DIRECT subsidies to for profit companies, is in national security. Grants to universities non profits, etc are different.

    Ok so where you said ‘also’, that was a mistake.
    Thanks for clearing that up. I wasn’t being ridiculous assuming there was more.

    See now here’s one of the biggest problems with having any discussion with you,I already know where this isgoing, so its not even WORTH mentioning it. You will insist that the “external” costs of coal etc etc etc, are so ASTRONOMICALLY high, even though no one knows how much they are, that they should not be allowed. And were back to an AGW debate again. Just as you planned.

    Sorry but I didn’t ‘plan’ anything, it’s one of many external costs I’ve quoted (from elsewhere). But if the discussion is about actual costs of energy, the costs of carbon in terms of climate change is obviously very relevant. Only someone dishonest would run away screaming.

    Where did I say it was just democrats that pay of thier cronies?

    Not sure what you’re talking about with all this. Where did I suggest that’s what you said?

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  81. balthazar says:

    CM, is it really that hard to put together?

    My statement was that Subsidies are used for the purposes of national security also. This was in reference to the pay off of cronies with the subsidies that was mentioned before. The ALSO was NOT a mistake, national security WAS the ALSO.

    WTF, Are you schizophrenic? Its like people are discussing things with a separate poster EVERY FUCKING TIME we respond to something you post. Are you dumb? Or just pretending to be dumb? Why does everything constantly have to be broken down barney style for you?

    In response to my referencing of over a billion dollars in wasted money given to political cronies, you cite an OPINION piece from the New York Slimes no less, that tries to disassociate the Dems from it. Seems like you are trying to cover for something. Jesus fucking christ man you are impossible to even discuss anything with.

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  82. balthazar says:

    Still waiting CM.

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  83. Poosh says:

    Example 4920 of why some liberals just don’t really give a shit about what they do and advocate, when it comes down to it – this project is “not a big deal” ’cause it creates minimal jobs (i.e temporary not permanent jobs) yet they support the most irrelevant stimulus packages which create temporary – shovel ready – jobs…

    Idiots.

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  84. CM says:

    Still waiting CM.

    That’s fucking nice for you. I hope you fucking enjoyed it. I’ve been on fucking holiday. It’s fucking summer here. And with Xmas and NY it’s a 2 week fuckingbreak, WTF, Are you schizophrenic? Did you not realise that? FUCKING hell man. Etc etc.

    My statement was that Subsidies are used for the purposes of national security also. This was in reference to the pay off of cronies with the subsidies that was mentioned before. The ALSO was NOT a mistake, national security WAS the ALSO.

    That’s all I was fucking asking. Thanks for fucking clarifying.

    WTF, Are you schizophrenic? Its like people are discussing things with a separate poster EVERY FUCKING TIME we respond to something you post. Are you dumb? Or just pretending to be dumb? Why does everything constantly have to be broken down barney style for you?

    What have you fucking broken down ‘barney style’? What is another fucking example?

    In response to my referencing of over a billion dollars in wasted money given to political cronies, you cite an OPINION piece from the New York Slimes no less, that tries to disassociate the Dems from it. Seems like you are trying to cover for something. Jesus fucking christ man you are impossible to even discuss anything with.

    What or who am I trying to cover for? You said:

    Public investment leads to massive fraud, as evidenced by the multiple incidents just recently that wasted over a billion dollars.

    Was Solyndra not one of these? If not, which incidents are you referring to?

    These were the quotes from the NYT:

    The Republicans hoped to prove that the Solyndra loan was a political favor to wealthy investors with Democratic ties, chiefly George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire. They have not made this case. There were plenty of other private investors, some of them Republicans.

    Nor have the Republicans succeeded in showing President Obama’s green energy strategy to be a flop. About 40 projects have received loans under a clean energy program authorized by Congress in 2005 and incorporated in the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package. Only two have failed, Solyndra and Beacon Power, a battery company in upstate New York that borrowed $39 million. These defaults represent just 1.3 percent of the $37.6 billion loan portfolio.

    The Republican inquiry has raised valid questions, but it has also unfairly tried to exploit one bad bet to discredit public investments in renewable technologies.

    Jesus Christ man.

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  85. CM says:

    Example 4920 of why some liberals just don’t really give a shit about what they do and advocate, when it comes down to it – this project is “not a big deal” ’cause it creates minimal jobs (i.e temporary not permanent jobs) yet they support the most irrelevant stimulus packages which create temporary – shovel ready – jobs…

    Idiots.

    Chalk and cheese comparison though. Have people been claiming the stimulus is about permanent jobs? The whole point of the stimulus is to stimulate, and get people through tough times (however much those on the right attempt to claim it’s about something else, in order to discredit it). Whereas with Keystone, there was little (or no) mention of the fact that these ‘jobs’ were actually pretty much all temporary construction jobs. The oil industry PR machine had Alex claiming there would be over 200,000 jobs.

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  86. Poosh says:

    Shovel ready job not temporary construction job? Building infrastructure not temporary job?

    Temporary job building a pipeline won’t stimulate anything?

    Well golly….

    “jobs” construction workers and all builders do not do real jobs because they are “temporary”.

    Since when is a construction … hang on… C.O.N.S.T.R.U.C.T.I.O.N job not a temporary job?

    CM say point of stimulus is to get people through tough times.. i.e now. A temporary job will do what exactly then? Make someone’s situation worse? Did I miss something… does a temporary job require the employed person to pay the employee?

    If one is going through hard times, be sure to take note of CM’s wise words and not take that temporary job as it will not help you get through hard times.

    Sorry if we thought people were smart enough to realise that building a pipeline means contract construction work.

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  87. CM says:

    Were you attempting to write the most disingenous post you possibly could?

    Shovel ready job not temporary construction job?

    Of course it is.

    Building infrastructure not temporary job?

    Of course it is.

    Temporary job building a pipeline won’t stimulate anything?

    Who claimed it wouldn’t? The argument has been about the number and type of jobs, not whether temporary jobs (or any description, anywhere) can be considered ‘stimulus’.

    “jobs” construction workers and all builders do not do real jobs because they are “temporary”.

    Straw man. I never made that argument.

    CM say point of stimulus is to get people through tough times.. i.e now. A temporary job will do what exactly then? Make someone’s situation worse? Did I miss something… does a temporary job require the employed person to pay the employee?

    If one is going through hard times, be sure to take note of CM’s wise words and not take that temporary job as it will not help you get through hard times.

    Sorry if we thought people were smart enough to realise that building a pipeline means contract construction work.

    Perhaps you should try and actually read what I said, in the context of the rest of the thread.

    E.g. earlier I said:

    It’s pretty obvious to me that this is a political decision that needs to me made, based on a number of relevant factors. The foremost being environmental and other concerns over the effects of the proposal, and the jobs aspect.

    But I think you already knew that.

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  88. hohokiss says:

    Gee, what are subsidies good for again? Nigerians seem to have some hangup with them, oil-wise

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/09/world/africa/nigeria-strike/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) — Police and protesters clashed across Nigeria on Monday amid a nationwide strike and widespread protests over a government decision that more than doubled fuel prices in the largely impoverished country.

    Two dead, more to come?

    “Though we know that in the long run, removal of subsidy will help the economy, for now it is a high-profile lifestyle that is unbearable for most Nigerians, and soon the poorer ones will die out,” said protester Diane Awunah, who lives in Abuja.

    Money saved by removing the subsidy will help improve public amenities and build much-needed infrastructure, said Reuben Abati, a spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan.

    But there is a widespread lack of trust in the government to provide the infrastructure — Nigeria is regularly voted among the most corrupt countries in the world.

    The nation produces around 2.4 million barrels of crude oil a day, but it imports roughly 70% of its gasoline from countries as far afield as the United Kingdom and Venezuela, because most of its own refineries are inoperative after years of corruption-fueled neglect.

    It had infrastructure out the ass, thanks to European companies building it in the 80s.

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