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  • Claim Check Needs to Do Fact Checks

    Claim Check, which supposedly fact checks public statements, employs the different-must-be-wrong-theory in dismissing a Heritage analysis because it is an “outlier.”

    It seems that many forecasters in Washington are more afraid of being alone than they are of being wrong. That is, they would rather be wrong with everybody else than right by themselves. One such case is the set of assumptions underlying estimates of economic impacts of the Waxman–Markey cap-and-trade legislation.

    Most of the analyses of Waxman–Markey based their cost projections on the following assumptions:

    • A virtual doubling of nuclear power output over the next 25 years,
    • Full commercialization of carbon capture and storage by 2025.

    The United States has not licensed a single nuclear power plant for the past 30 years. Doubling nuclear power production would require roughly 100 new nuclear power plants by 2035.

    The Heritage Foundation analysis assumed there would be a dozen new nuclear power plants in the next two decades. Given the history of the past three decades, even this assumption is heroic. Assuming Waxman–Markey would lead to 100 new plants is not more realistic, no matter how many analysts make that assumption.

    That there is the potential for a nuclear renaissance is not enough. The Waxman–Markey bill would have to implement the significant regulatory changes needed to bring a renaissance about. Instead, the bill spent more time addressing hot tubs than it did nuclear power.

    Carbon capture and storage is another area where a bad assumption made by many seems to trump the more reasonable assumption made by few. There is not one commercial-scale coal-fired power plant that captures and stores its carbon emissions. There are small-scale pilot plants in the works. However, even if the technology is worked out, there would still be a 30 percent energy penalty and the need to dispose of 15–20 super tankers of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) each day. The ability to dispose of the CO2 is key. Here’s what the Congressional Budget Office said about carbon-capture technology:

    Generators would be unlikely to adopt technologies for the capture of CO2 and its sequestration in the ground unless an extensive regulatory structure was put in place to address issues involving property rights, rights-of-way for pipelines, and liability for emissions that escape from the ground.

    Waxman–Markey did not provide solutions for these serious problems facing carbon capture. Here again, the Heritage analysis recognized the obvious in its assumptions. That so many other analyses jointly make unrealistic assumptions doesn’t make those assumptions realistic.

    Perhaps the silliest part of the critique in Claim Check is to look at the cost impact of cap and trade just for the first year of implementation. In 2012, Waxman–Markey would hardly be up and running. All analysts agree that the major impacts come further down the road—the bill cuts CO2 year after year for nearly 40 years. To claim that a minor impact in the first year is indicative of the legislation’s impact is grossly misleading.

    Heritage stands by its analysis that Connecticut ratepayers would see large increases in their electric bills under a cap-and-trade regime like Waxman–Markey.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Claim Check Needs to Do Fact Checks

    1. Chris (occupied Nort says:

      B-b-b-but….. it could happen! We could have more nuclear reactors that wouldn't displace the little furry woodland creatures we know and love.

      We'll build those nasty "reactive" reactors safely on the moon where they won't in any way impact the fragile Mother Gaia's ecosystem and beam the power to geosynchronous satellites and from them to Earth groundstations.

      And all of that will be launched into space via….um…. by means of…. er, uh…. Don't rush me, now. Let me think. Hmm….

      Oh yeah! I know!

      We'll use heavy-lift, space-capable Persian flying carpets that the newly esteem-enhanced Muslim nations will build and graciously provide for our energy needs.

      Yup, that's the ticket!

    2. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    3. Paul Taylor Examiner says:

      "Calif. Prop. 23 model for U.S. enviro policy"

      October 1st, 2010 10:25 am PT

      ECOPOLITICS

      PAUL TAYLOR

      California has been a leader in American trends of entertainment, outdoor sports, cars, alternative lifestyles, environmentalism, and unfortunately of late, dysfunctional state government. Today, the once “Golden State” is deeply tarnished by massive annual budget deficits and political corruption where the partisan special interests of militant labor union, divisive immigrant and radical environmental lobbies reign supreme.

      Californians are suffering an unprecedented 12.5% unemployment rate as economic recession deepens. Californians, without any federal orders or proof of climate benefits, naively approved the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32). AB 32 would impose costly 2012 reductions in state greenhouse gases for global warming benefits. All new environmental regulations increase the unit production costs and corresponding consumer prices of all goods, services, energies and activities. AB 32 would further punish California businesses and families with more taxes, energy expenses and unemployment as we enter the third year of an historic national economic recession.

      Proof of the punishing impacts of environmental regulations can be observed in records of U.S. unemployment rates. The massive and ubiquitous tangle of U.S. environmental regulations began to expand from the federal government level in the 1970s. Today, environmental regulations and their attendant mob of bureaucrats at local, state and federal governments cost us about 5% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Environmental regulations have also become a free-for-all of eco-group propaganda and gratuitous litigation. Rules are issued by green-obsessed government do-gooders without mention of long term costs, unemployment or proof of actual environmental benefits.

      Using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records of U.S. unemployment data, the impact of U.S. environmental regulations upon unemployment can be seen in the 30 years before, and after, the 1970 enviro-policy explosions:

      • The average U.S. unemployment rate from 1940 (excluding WWII) to 1970 was 4.5%;

      • The average U.S. unemployment rate from 1970 to 2000 was 6%;

      • As environmental regulations expanded after 1970, 30-year average unemployment increased by 33.3%.

      California voters can delay the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) by voting for Prop. 23 on November 2nd. Prop. 23 would suspend implementation of AB 32 greenhouse gas controls until the state’s unemployment rate is reduced to below an unemployment rate benchmark of 5.5%.

      California’s Prop. 23 benchmarking of future environmental regulations to economic performance (recovery) should be a model for U.S. Government environmental regulations. The “new” U.S. Congress should pass legislation to suspend all pending and future environmental regulations until U.S. unemployment recovers to the post-1970 average of 6.5%. The U.S., and each state, must reset the reckless pace of environmental regulation to an economic benchmark. The so-called ”new green economy” is a green fantasy that should not be a national (or state) priority.

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