Wednesday, May 23, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Britain Can’t Afford To Delay The Shale Revolution Any Longer








'Let The Paris Climate Deal Die. It Was Never Good For Anything, Anyway'

In this newsletter:

1) WSJ: ‘Britain Can’t Afford To Delay The Shale Revolution Any Longer’
Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2018
 
2) Britain’s Fracking Revolution Set To Take Off As Ministers Vow To Force Local Areas To Accept New Gas Projects
The Sun, 17 May 2018 


 
3) Don't Turn Off The UK's Gas Supplies, Embrace Shale
City A.M., 21 May 2018 
 
4) Harry Wilkinson: Energy Poverty And The Home Truths MPs Would Rather Ignore
The Conservative Woman, 18 May 2018
 
5) Prof Richard Lindzen To Deliver 2018 Annual GWPF Lecture
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 21 May 2018
 
6) Marine Science Rebel Peter Ridd Sacked By James Cook University
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 18 May 2018
 
7) Bruce Pardy: Let The Paris Climate Deal Die. It Was Never Good For Anything, Anyway
Financial Post, 18 May 2018


Full details:

1) WSJ: ‘Britain Can’t Afford To Delay The Shale Revolution Any Longer’
Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2018

Britain’s Tory government announced last week that “shale gas development is of national importance” and could “deliver substantial economic benefits,” which counts as intellectual and political progress. Perhaps there’s hope that Britain will finally tap this would-be economic windfall.


Handout file photo issued by Cuadrilla of the drilling rig at Preston New Road shale gas exploration site in the U.K. PHOTO: DAVE THOMPSON/ZUMA PRESS

Two ministers, Greg Clark and James Brokenshire, submitted plans to Parliament to speed approvals for hydraulic fracturing, and none too soon. Britain was a net exporter of natural gas as recently as 2003, but its North Sea reserves are running out. The country now imports 53% of its gas, and the government estimates that on current trends Britain will import 72% of its gas by 2030.

Mr. Clark wants to reverse this by reducing the regulatory burden on drilling exploratory wells, fulfilling a Tory campaign promise. British shale gas developer Cuadrilla noted Thursday it was allowed to drill and test only four exploratory wells in Lancashire over a three-year period due to regulatory delays. At this rate Britain will depend on Vladimir Putin for gas before the country taps its vast energy supplies.

Local governing councils also delay fracking projects amid lobbying by anti-fossil fuels groups, which freaked out at Mr. Clark’s anodyne statement Thursday. The government proposes to bribe these local politicians with a £1.6 million “shale support fund” over the next two years, but the Tories will also have to win the political debate against Greenpeace and other antidevelopment groups.

They could point to Germany’s growing reliance on coal after putting too much faith and money in wind and solar power. Natural gas reduces carbon emissions as an alternative to coal, as the U.S. has shown.

The Tory government will create a new regulator to oversee the three existing regulators that currently oversee fracking (the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority), because there’s nothing like more government to solve the problem of too much government. In an economy growing at the speed of stall, racking up a 0.1% expansion in the first quarter, Britain can’t afford to delay the shale revolution any longer.

GWPF: New UK Government Support For Shale Gas Exploration Is Welcome But More Speed Is Required

2) Britain’s Fracking Revolution Set To Take Off As Ministers Vow To Force Local Areas To Accept New Gas Projects
The Sun, 17 May 2018 
By Steve Hawkes, Deputy Political Editor

BRITAIN'S long-delayed fracking revolution was given a huge boost last night as Ministers vowed to take on “scaremongering” protestors by turbo-charging the planning process.



Energy Minister Claire Perry said the North Sea had been a “Great British success story” but the country needed to find new supplies of gas.
 
 
The Government said it wants shale gas exploration to be treated as a “permitted development” by councils to speed-up the search for new reserves.
 
And Ministers want to add fracking to a list of “nationally significant infrastructure projects” to force town halls to stand up to campaigners and approve drilling in their patch.
 
Furious green campaigners said it would make it as easy to explore for shale gas as “building a conservatory”.
 
But officials said it was critical to kick-start the expansion of fracking to reduce the UK’s reliance on gas from countries such as Russia.
 
Business Secretary Greg Clark wants to encourage more frackingSo far just a handful of shale gas exploration projects have been given the thumbs up despite ex-PM David Cameron’s call for a fracking revolution four years ago.
 
Ms Perry told The Sun: “There are those that argue strongly against shale gas using the most colourful and scaremongering language they can find and intimidating local communities and decision makers with lots of protestors from out of town.
 
“In my experience most of these arguments are made by people who actually just don’t want us to use gas at all - now or ever.
 
“Shale gas extraction could provide a big economic boost for local communities sitting atop the shale fields – bringing thousands of high quality jobs, local investment and financial benefits to many parts of the country.”
 
3) Don't Turn Off The UK's Gas Supplies, Embrace ShaleCity A.M., 21 May 2018 
Ken Cronin 
 
For far too long we have debated what our energy mix should look like, all the while crucially missing the most important point: the UK has become a nation that imports its energy, reducing its energy security, shunning UK job opportunities and missing out on tax revenue, as other countries reap those rewards. 
 
We have also started to offshore our climate change commitments by allowing energy to be transported over vast distances, often produced from countries with very different environmental standards and regulations to our own. To some it’s better to import gas than to produce it here, as the carbon “costs” of producing and transporting the gas are borne by others. It must be a bitter irony to those who campaign against onshore oil and gas that UK shale gas wells drilled over the next 20 years could save 117m tonnes of CO2 rather than being reliant on LNG imports.
 
Last Friday another Russian tanker started pumping LNG into UK storage tanks. There can be no better illustration of what our future could look like. This is exacerbated as our European neighbours have similar issues to us. By 2030 Norwegian gas production is forecast to decline by 25 per cent. This means that around 75 per cent of EU gas supplies will have to come from either long-distance pipelines or LNG-exporting nations, like Russia and Qatar. This will have a big impact on the UK with a large neighbour also competing for gas. It is inevitable that the result will be higher prices for the UK consumer.
 
We can reverse this trend. But we need to stop arguing about the relative benefits of nuclear, gas and renewables and recognise – we need all three for power, heat and feedstocks.
 
The announcement of further government support for onshore oil and gas was met by howls of indignation from some quarters. The idea that you can drill an oil or gas well as easily as putting up a conservatory on your house is laughable. The government will be launching a consultation to see whether temporary conventional oil and gas test wells, that are not hydraulically fractured, that are drilled to ascertain if there is any oil and gas present should be treated as permissible development.
 
These wells will have to satisfy up to four other regulators outside of the planning authorities that they are safe and will have no harmful environmental impact. These are simple, straightforward structures just like bore holes and sewers that already have permitted development status.
 
The facts can’t be disputed, we need gas today and for many decades to come to power and heat our nation – it is not a case of whether we use gas, but what gas we use.
 
The GMB union also welcomed the government’s announcements as did the Chemical Industries Association. Half a million jobs depend on gas as a feedstock.
 
4) Harry Wilkinson: Energy Poverty And The Home Truths MPs Would Rather Ignore
The Conservative Woman, 18 May 2018

Why has the Government still not formally responded to the independent review that it commissioned into the cost of energy? Perhaps its findings are too damning. Staggeringly, the review found that the government has wasted the best part of £100billion on the decarbonisation of the power sector.

That this is not more widely known is thanks to the cosy consensus that exists in the British media around the need for renewables, which means that their effectiveness, or value for money, is ignored. The real victims of this wastefulness are those struggling in energy poverty, who have paid far too much for their electricity as a result.

Their money went straight on to the profit margins of renewable energy companies who had claimed that only vast subsidies would make them viable. Now they say that those subsidies actually resulted in falling prices. What the review reveals is that they took the civil servants and politicians for a ride, ordinary people paid the price, and they will continue to do so if nothing is done.

It should be obvious to anyone with a basic grasp of economics that if you let civil servants set the subsidies for renewable energy generation, they will end up much higher than if you invite competitive bids through auctions.

Since auctions have been introduced there have been significant reductions in prices, but this is sadly too little, too late, because high prices have been guaranteed far into the future. Ninety per cent of the bill for renewables up to 2030 has already been determined. This is an important fact to remember when you next hear someone banging on about how fast the cost of renewables is falling.

Professor Dieter Helm, who was commissioned to produce the Cost of Energy Review, is one of Britain’s most respected energy economists and supports the Government’s objective substantially to reduce its emissions. By no means a climate sceptic, then. His report takes it as given that the Climate Change Act must be met. Even more could be saved if this damaging and ineffective piece of legislation were removed, but this isn’t even considered.

Nonetheless, he has many sensible recommendations for the Government. […]

Full post

5) Prof Richard Lindzen To Deliver 2018 Annual GWPF Lecture
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 21 May 2018
 
The Global Warming Policy Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2018 Annual GWPF Lecture will be delivered by

Professor Richard S. Lindzen



'Global Warming for the Two Cultures'

When: Monday 8 October 2018 — 7:00pm

Where: Institution of Mechanical Engineers, One Birdcage Walk, London SW1H 9JJ

Attendance is by invitation only

6) Marine Science Rebel Peter Ridd Sacked By James Cook University
Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 18 May 2018

Peter Ridd has been sacked by James Cook University for speaking to The Australian and breaking a gag order to expose disciplinary action being taken against him after he criticised the quality of Great Barrier Reef science.


Former James Cook University professor Peter Ridd. Picture: Cameron Laird.

He  was also found to have broken an order that he “not directly or indirectly trivialise, satirise or parody the university” after he sent an email to a former student with the subject line “for your amusement”.

Suspending him from duty last month, JCU deputy vice-chancellor Tricia Brand said Professor Ridd had engaged in serious misconduct, including denigrating the university and its employees.

Terminating his employment, Vice-Chancellor Sandra Harding said he had “engaged in a pattern of conduct that misrepresents the nature and conduct of the disciplinary process through publi­cations online and in the media”.

“You have repeatedly and knowingly breached your obli­gations to maintain the confidentiality of disciplinary processes,” Professor Harding wrote in a letter to Professor Ridd. “You have repeatedly and wilfully denigrated the university and your colleagues, and in doing so damaged the reputation of the university.”

In taking the decision to sack him, Professor Harding said she had not been influenced by Federal Court proceedings taken by Professor Ridd against JCU.

Professor Ridd responded by lodging new legal documents with the Federal Court. He said he would fight the sacking alongside 25 charges behind JCU’s “final censure” of him last year.

After already raising $100,000 from international donors in one day, Professor Ridd has turned again to the public for support.

“JCU appears to be willing to spend their near unlimited legal resources fighting me,” he said.

Professor Ridd claims he had been censured because he had “questioned the reliability of science coming from some of our most prestigious organisations who are claiming that the GBR is badly damaged”.

“All I am saying is we need to check this ‘science’,” he said.

JCU told Professor Ridd the allegations against him did not relate to academic freedom or free speech. “The university has made it clear to you that it is not concerned that you have expressed a scientific view that is different to the view of the university or its stakeholders.

“The allegations relate to your alleged conduct which appears to demonstrate disregard and disrespect for the university, for its employees, your co-workers and appears to be contrary to lawful and reasonable directions provided to you by the university.”

Full story & comments

For details of Ridd’s firing and his legal defense funding campaign see his website

7) Bruce Pardy: Let The Paris Climate Deal Die. It Was Never Good For Anything, Anyway
Financial Post, 18 May 2018

Paris is a climate fairy tale. It has always been more about money and politics than the environment

Two weeks of climate talks in Bonn ended last week without agreement on a draft negotiating text, the Washington Post reports. Developing countries demanded to know when the US$100-billion package promised to them as part of the Paris climate agreement would be forthcoming. Hopefully, the answer will be “never” and that will lead to the end of the deal.

Paris is a climate fairy tale. It has always been more about money and politics than the environment. Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump wisely announced that America would withdraw. For developed nations who still believe Paris is a viable plan, the prospect of a massive transfer of wealth under the guise of carbon reductions must seem less attractive without the U.S. to help foot the bill. Still, other world leaders seem irrationally committed to pursuing the real objectives of Paris: wealth redistribution, virtue signalling and globalist governance.

At the core of Paris, signed in 2015, and its 1992 umbrella document, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.” The term means that developed countries are expected to go first, do more, and pay more. “To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities,” as Marx wrote in a similar vein.

The objective is to rebalance resources. How much more must developed countries do and how many more dollars should they transfer? In the Paris negotiations, the parties confirmed a breathtaking minimum transfer of US$100 billion per year starting in 2020, with the expectation that higher amounts would be forthcoming as time progressed. In exchange, developing countries with high and accelerating carbon emissions, such as China and India, talked of reducing emissions, eventually, probably.

At the time the UNFCCC was adopted in 1992, the greater share of global emissions did indeed come from wealthier countries. However, that has not been the case since approximately 2007 and annual emissions from developing countries now dwarf those from the developed world. China became the world’s largest carbon emitter in 2006 and by some estimates emits twice what the U.S. does annually. Yet under Paris, China has said its annual emissions will keep growing until 2030.

As a matter of arithmetic, the lifestyles of people in Western countries do not pose nearly as acute a risk to greenhouse gas concentrations as even a small rise in per capita emissions from countries with “emerging” economies and enormous populations. The Paris consensus blames the West for the world’s problems while privileging countries that pose the most serious threats. If the danger is carbon emissions, it is developing countries that are now the biggest problem.

Paris is more a movement than a legal framework. It imagines the world as a global community working in solidarity on a common problem, making sacrifices in the common good, reducing inequality and transcending the negative effects of market forces. In this fable, climate change is a catalyst for revolution. It is the monster created by capitalism that will turn on its creator and bring the market system to the end of its natural life. A new social order will emerge in which market value no longer determines economic decisions. Governments will exercise influence over economic behaviour by imposing “market-based mechanisms” such as carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems.
 
Enlightened leaders will direct energy use based upon social justice values and community needs. An international culture will unite peoples in a cause that transcends their national interests, giving way to the next stage of human society. Between the lines of the formal text, the Paris agreement reads like a socialist nightmare.

Full post

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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