Thursday, July 27, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: UK Government’s Crazy Electric Car Policy Unravels








German States Take Trumpian Climate U-Turn

In this newsletter:

1) UK Government’s Crazy Electric Car Policy Unravels
The Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2017 
 
2) FOI Emails Reveal Obama’s Paris Climate Scheme
The Washington Times, 25 July 2017
 
3) Chris Horner Briefs House Of Lords On President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From The Paris Accord
E&E Legal, 20 July 2017 
 
4) Billionaires Elon Musk & Tom Steyer Push Reverse Robin Hood Bill So The Poor Pay For Electric Cars
Townhall, 22 July 2017 
 
5) German States Take Trumpian Climate U-Turn
Breaking News, 18 July 2017 
 
6) Reality Check: Coal To Remain King In India Until 2050, Report
Financial Express, 26 July 2017

Full details:

1) UK Government’s Crazy Electric Car Policy Unravels
The Daily Telegraph, 26 July 2017 
 
Plans to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040 in a bid to encourage people to buy electric vehicles are a “tall order” and will place unprecedented strain on the National Grid, motoring experts have warned.
 
Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has warned that Britain “can’t carry on” with petrol and diesel cars because of the damage that they are doing to people’s health and the planet. “There is no alternative to embracing new technology,” he said.
 
However the AA warned that the National Grid would be under pressure to “cope with a mass switch-on after the evening rush hour”, while Which? Car magazine warned that electric cars are currently more expensive and less practical.
 
According to a National Grid report, peak demand for electricity will add around 30 gigawatts to the current peak of 61GW – an increase of 50 per cent.
 
The extra electricity needed will be the equivalent of almost 10 times the total power output of the new Hinckley Point C nuclear power station being built in Somerset.
 
National Grid predicts Britain will become increasingly reliant on imported electricity, which will rise from around 10 per cent of total electricity to around one third, raising questions about energy security.
 
Just 4 per cent of new car sales are for electric vehicles, and concerns have also been raised about whether Britain will have enough charging points for the new generation of cars.
 
Full story
 
2) FOI Emails Reveal Obama’s Paris Climate Scheme
The Washington Times, 25 July 2017
Christopher C. Horner
 
Emails show ‘disturbing contempt’ for the Senate’s treaty role
 

Obama Plan to Usurp the Senate’s Legislative Power Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

 
The New York Times on Aug. 24, 2014, broke a major news story: “Obama pushing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty.” It’s a clumsy headline — no one dared claim the Kyoto Protocol was anything other than a treaty requiring Senate ratification, and even the Grey Lady calls it the “Kyoto Accord.” What the story revealed, however, was shocking news indeed, made more shocking by an email just revealed by the State Department in Freedom of Information Act litigation.
 
This email, obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, further calls into question the Senate’s failure to confront President Obama over his usurpation of the body’s constitutional treaty function through the Paris climate agreement.
It also stokes concerns whether the institution will reclaim its powers, as appears will be necessary in order to make good on President Trump’s announced plan to withdraw from Paris.
 
The Times story’s key passage:
 
“In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. The Obama administration’s international climate strategy is likely to infuriate Republican lawmakers who already say the president is abusing his executive authority by pushing through major policies without congressional approval.”
 
Mr. Obama jammed those EPA rules through by executive fiat, after a Democrat-led Congress killed legislation to grant the authority he then claimed to already possess; the Supreme Court put the rules on ice upon challenge by a majority of states. The Paris climate agreement, however, unilaterally imposed on Mr. Obama’s way out the door, would be “a treaty that was going to last until the end of the century.” 
 
That’s according to a senior Obama administration official.
 
Of course, under our Constitution’s Article II, Section 2, no president can commit the U.S. to treaties without Senate advice and consent.
 
On the morning the Times story broke outing Mr. Obama’s Paris end-run around our Constitution, State Department public affairs aide Alexandra Costello wrote to Andy Olson, a lawyer for the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, insisting the story contained “some inaccuracies/assumptions that we pushed back on”without success.
 
Mr. Olson wrote back, “I certainly hope it is inaccurate because some of the things alleged indicate a disturbing contempt for the Senate’s constitutional rights and responsibilities. We will need to be fully briefed when staff are back next week.” Strong stuff, and true.
 
These inaccuracies State then ironed out with the Senate are a mystery, given that the Times story accurately detailed what proved to be Mr. Obama’s plan. Yet the Senate rather shamefully made no move to arrest this “contemptuous” usurpation.
 
Paris is the successor to the Kyoto pact that died in the Senate. Such treaties are nonstarters under the United States’ democratic process; Paris even more so.
Kyoto committed to a five-year plan; the Paris treaty promises a new, tighter commitment every five years, forever. It is a treaty by its terms, custom and practice over two-plus centuries of shared assumptions.
 
Brazenly, Team Obama advanced a historic pretense of declaring what even they hailed as “the most ambitious climate change agreement in history” somehow “not a treaty,” betting the Senate would not speak up. They bet right.
 
Though Paris‘ reach into perpetuity was not known at the time this Times story broke, the seizure of power that it revealed made it big news, shocking Senate lawyers. The lack of Senate intervention to this day remains scandalous. As the disastrous Iran deal showed, the institution has so atrophied it can no longer muster the will to protect its constitutionally delegated prerogatives.
 
On June 1, President Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the Paris treaty, but through a process requiring him to wait more than two more years to send written notice. This would take effect one year after that, by chance the day after the 2020 re-election. As a purely executive move, Mr. Trump’s successor can restore Mr. Obama’s treaty with a pen and a phone. Unless the Senate weighs in.
 
Over the week following the Times’ story, this same heavily redacted email thread shows State officials exchanging emails over having been caught so far in advance of their intended coup. They were rightly worried, yet in the end, the Senate did nothing.
 
Full post
 
3) Chris Horner Briefs House Of Lords On President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw From The Paris Accord
E&E Legal, 20 July 2017 
 
London, England — On July 10, E&E Legal Senior Legal Fellow Chris Horner gave a talk in the UK House of Lords, hosted by Lord Lawson of Blaby and Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.


 
Attended by several members of the House and other interested parties, Horner’s talk and the discussion afterward centered on the Trump Administration’s announced intention in June 2017 to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty, how the Paris “Exit” camp prevailed (to date), and potential implications for the UK of the Administration’s deciding factor — increased legal risk, which was detailed by Horner and Marlo Lewis in a May 2017 paper.
 
Horner addressed the campaign to use courts to impose the Paris agenda, citing to the June 2015 opinion in The Hague District Court in Urgenda Foundation v. The Netherlands being promoted by the United Nations as a means of “holding governments to their legislative and policy commitments”. Relevant to this, Horner explained our own AGs’ ‘climate RICO’ scheming uncovered by E&E Legal freedom of information requests, an abusive campaign expressly organized to “ensur[e] that the promises made in Paris become reality.”
 
Full post
 
4) Billionaires Elon Musk & Tom Steyer Push Reverse Robin Hood Bill So The Poor Pay For Electric Cars
Townhall, 22 July 2017 
Paul Driessen
 
The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument.
 
Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told – even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide.

In recent months, Tesla sales plunged to nearly zero in Hong Kong and Denmark, as huge government subsidies were eliminated. Now Tesla’s U.S. subsidies face extinction. Once its cumulative sales since 2009 reach 200,000 vehicles in the next few months, federal tax rebates will plunge from $7,500 per car to zero over an 18-month period. The same thing will happen to other EV companies that reach 200,000.
 
Subsidies clearly drive sales for EVs, which are often double the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Free charging stations, and access to HOV lanes for plug-ins with only the driver, further sweeten the deal. For those who can afford the entry fee, the ride is smooth indeed. In fact, a 2015 study found, the richest 20% of Americans received 90% of hundreds of millions in taxpayer EV subsidies.
 
Where were all the government “offices of environmental justice” when this was happening? How much must we subsidize our wealthiest families, to save us from manmade planetary disasters that exist only in Al Gore movies and alarmist computer models?
 
Perhaps recognizing the reverse Robin Hood injustice – or how unsustainable free EV stations are for cash-strapped cities – Palo Alto (where Tesla Motors is headquartered) announced that it will charge 23 cents per kWh to charge plug-in vehicles in city parking garages. Others communities and states may also reduce their rebates, HOV access and free charging, further reducing incentives to purchase pricey EVs.
 
Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber are also decreasing the justification for shelling out $35,000 to $115,000 or even $980,000 for an electric car that gets very limited mileage per charge. Long excursions still need internal combustion engines or long layovers every few hundred miles to recharge EV batteries.
 
Intent on advancing its renewable energy and climate change agenda, the California legislature recently enacted a new cap-and-trade law that will generate revenues for Tesla and the “bullet train to nowhere,” by increasing hidden taxes on motor fuels, electricity and consumer products – with the state’s poor, minority and working class families again being hit hardest. State legislators are also close to passing a $3-billion EV subsidy program, primarily to replace the $7,500 federal rebate that Tesla could soon lose. Electric vehicle buyers could soon receive up to $40,000 for buying Tesla’s most expensive models! Coal-billionaire and California gubernatorial hopeful Tom Steyer vigorously supports the new subsidy.
 
We can also expect a battle royale over extending the federal EV subsidy beyond 200,000 vehicles – demonstrating once again that lobbyists are now far more important to bottom lines than engineers, especially when lobbyists can channel enormous contributions to politicians’ reelection campaigns.
 
As U.S. government agencies prepare to reassess climate change science, models and disaster predictions, it’s a good time to reexamine claims made about all the utopian electric vehicle and renewable energy forecasts, expanding on the land and raw material issues I raised in a previous article.
 
Full essay
 
5) German States Take Trumpian Climate U-Turn
Breaking News, 18 July 2017 
 
Germany is at risk of tacitly joining Donald Trump in turning its back on the Paris climate change deal. Two of the country’s regional governments have decided to put preserving jobs in coal mines and power plants ahead of cutting carbon emissions.
 
If Europe’s largest economy misses its targets, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s environmental credentials – and the global accord itself – would suffer a big setback.
 
Officially, Germany is fully committed to the Paris accord. At the G20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month, Merkel said she “deplored” Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the treaty. She led an alliance of world leaders who unsuccessfully tried to persuade the U.S. President to reconsider.
 
Yet two important German states are undermining Merkel’s position. North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Brandenburg are home to many mines which extract brown coal and power plants that burn the carbon-intensive fuel. Their governments have vowed to protect an industry that provides more than 70,000 jobs, many of them in economically deprived regions in the country’s east.
 
That’s bad news for Germany’s promise to reduce overall emissions by at least 55 percent, relative to 1990, by 2030. Per unit of electricity generated, brown coal produces twice as much carbon as gas-fired power plants. In 2016, the fuel accounted for 23 percent of Germany’s electricity but emitted 50 percent of the sector’s carbon dioxide. Brown coal reserves are expected to last for several decades, and utilities even have permission to open several new mines.
 
NRW’s new government, which is led by Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union, in late June decided to stick to the current mining plans in the region. In mid-June, Brandenburg’s government said it wanted to soften its 2030 reduction targets. A study commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund environmental group shows that NRW’s plans alone would bust Germany’s Paris targets.
 
Unless Merkel can rein in the brown coal enthusiasts at home, she risks sending a devastating message to the world. If a country as rich and ecologically conscious as Germany prioritises coal mining jobs over the fight against global warming, others will also find it easier to turn their back on the treaty.


 
Full post
 
6) Coal To Remain King In India Until 2050, Report
Financial Express, 26 July 2017 
 
Coal would remain at the centre stage in India with its share in energy mix not declining below 46% in 2047, claimed a report titled ‘Energising India’, jointly prepared by the NITI Aayog and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan.


Coal would remain at the centre stage in India with its share in energy mix not declining below 46% in 2047, claimed a report titled ‘Energising India’, jointly prepared by the NITI Aayog and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. (PTI)
 
The study found that coal and nuclear would continue to operate as base load units for power generation. The report said that the share of electricity generation through coal based power plants will almost be around 55% in 2032. In 2017, coal power plants generated more than 85% of the total electricity produced in the country. The share of gas based electricity can go up to 22%-26% (from present ~4%) in the low gas price and long term market driven scenario respectively due to lower prices. In order to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement, 50% of coal-based power generation capacity will have to be supercritical technology based by 2047, the report added. Share of clean coal technology was 11.35% in 2015.
 
It pointed that although public attention focuses heavily on green energy sources, almost 86 % of the reduction in emissions in low-carbon scenario comes from action on the demand side to improve energy efficiency and only 14% from the supply side. The projected peak demand is estimated to be 235 GW at the end of FY22. The total coal requirement in FY22 has been estimated as 727 metric tonne (MT), including imported coal of 50 MT. In 2047, per capita electricity consumption of India is envisaged to become 3581-3588 unit from 1,075 unit in FY16. This indicates that even in 2047, India’s per capita electricity consumption would be still lower than the US (12,000 unit), China (4,000 unit) and Germany (7,000 unit).
 
Full story 

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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