Category: Daily News

All Eyes on SCOTUS: Supreme Court to Issue Climate Endangerment Finding Ruling – To Decide if EPA, or Congress, has authority to regulate CO2

From Climate Depot

The case before the U.S. Supreme Court is West Virginia vs. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).The primary plaintiff of the case is West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey; he is joined by attorney generals from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Morrissey’s office is also representing the interests of two coal companies in the case. The EPA, backed by the administration of President Joe Biden, is being represented by the U.S. Solicitor General. … In a 2007 Supreme Court case, the Justices ruled 5-4 in Massachusetts vs. EPA that the agency has to limit greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if they’re a threat to public health. In a 2009  endangerment finding, the EPA determined carbon dioxide was indeed a threat to public health.  Based on that Supreme Court ruling, the Trump administration couldn’t simply kill the CPP; it needed to have a plausible replacement to it.

The plaintiffs argue that decisions around emissions should be at the hands of elected officials and not the EPA. … What the court decides will have huge implications for the scope of federal administrative power and climate change policy.

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Flashback 2007: Inhofe Spokesman Morano: ‘CO2 is not an air pollutant and should not be treated as one’…

Flashback: The Vindication of EPA’s Alan Carlin: ‘In 2009, when EPA announced its ‘endangerment’ finding…Carlin, a 35-year veteran EPA employee…produced a 98-page critique’

Flashback: EPA whistleblower Alan Carlin is ‘a national hero’ — ‘Future generations will owe him an extraordinary debt of gratitude for saying what needed to be said’

By: Admin – Climate DepotJune 29, 2022 8:48 AM

BY WEATHERBOY TEAM METEOROLOGIST

On the very last day of court opinions being issued in their current session, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a new climate change related ruling, bringing an end to a string of high-profile cases announced in recent days. The case before the U.S. Supreme Court is West Virginia vs. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The case was last heard by the Court in February and it is expected to be among the last rulings announced on Wednesday morning as the court wraps up work prior to summer recess.

The primary plaintiff of the case is West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey; he is joined by attorney generals from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Morrissey’s office is also representing the interests of two coal companies in the case.

The EPA, backed by the administration of President Joe Biden, is being represented by the U.S. Solicitor General.

Ultimately, the plaintiffs are arguing that the EPA doesn’t have the authority to regulate power plant emissions and that Congress should be granted that authority. The plaintiffs argue that decisions around emissions should be at the hands of elected officials and not the EPA.

The EPA responds to the argument by saying that the Court should not read into the text an artificial restriction because any qualification would be directed at the states, not the federal agency.

What the court decides will have huge implications for the scope of federal administrative power and climate change policy.

The U.S. Supreme Court is made up of these 9 justices: from left to right: Justice Samuel A. Alito, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice John Roberts, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Amy Coney, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Image: SCOTUS/Pool PhotographyThe U.S. Supreme Court is made up of these 9 justices: from left to right: Justice Samuel A. Alito, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice John Roberts, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Amy Coney, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Image: SCOTUS/Pool PhotographyThe U.S. Supreme Court is made up of these 9 justices: from left to right: Justice Samuel A. Alito, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice John Roberts, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Amy Coney, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Image: SCOTUS/Pool Photography
The U.S. Supreme Court is made up of these 9 justices: from left to right: Justice Samuel A. Alito, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice John Roberts, Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Amy Coney, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Image: SCOTUS/Press Pool Photography

The Clean Air Act of 1963 was the first federal legislation regarding air pollution control. It established a federal program within the U.S. Public Health Service and authorized research into techniques for monitoring and controlling air pollution. Four years later, in 1967, the Air Quality Act was enacted to expand federal government activities. Specifically, the 1967 updated permitted the government to pursue enforcement proceedings as it related to interstate air pollution transport. As part of the process, the federal government for the first time conducted significant, widespread ambient monitoring studies and stationary source inspections to understand the release and movement of pollutants into the air.

However, the move to further regulate clean air was pushed by Republican President Richard Nixon. On December 31, 1970, Nixon signed the Clean Air Act, a landmark piece of legislation that led to significant public health and environmental benefits around the country.

“I think that 1970 will be known as the year of the beginning, in which we really began to move on the problems of clean air and clean water and open spaces for the future generations of America,” said President Nixon at the signing.

President Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, with a focus on clean air and eventually clean water. In his 1970 State of the Union Address, President Nixon said, “The great question of the seventies is, shall we surrender to our surroundings, or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, to our land, and to our water?”

Since becoming law, the Clean Air Act has seen significant amendments added over time, with 1977 and 1990 increasing the authority and responsibility of the federal government.

After the Clean Air Act’s first 20 years, in 1990, according to the EPA, it prevented more than 200,000 premature deaths and almost 700,000 cases of chronic bronchitis were avoided. From 1990 to 2010, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants decreased by more than 41 percent, while the Gross Domestic Product increased by more than 64 percent.

In recent years, some have wanted to expand the scope of the Clean Air Act to tackle climate change. While the science remains inconclusive, many scientists believe there is a link between air pollution and an evolving global climate, with some expressing the theory that carbon dioxide, the primary byproduct of gas and diesel engines and fossil-fueled power plants, is impacting global temperatures around Earth.

In the 1970 law, the EPA was required to issue new “standards of performance” for every newly constructed “stationary sources” of pollution, which include power plants. All regulations of power plants must undergo this process and the federal government partners with state governments to ensure EPA standards are met through coordinated enforcement measures.

In 2015, President Barack Obama’s administration set the Clean Power Plan within the Clean Air Act. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) set the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants. The intent of President Obama’s plan was to rein-in power plant pollution and speed transition away from fossil fuels, citing climate change as the primary reason for the the updated rule.

In 2019, President Donald Trump’s administration killed the Clean Power Plan.  Then-EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler criticized the Obama policy, saying, “The CPP would have asked low- and middle-income Americans to bear the costs of the previous administration’s climate plan.” Wheeler added,  “One analysis predicted double-digit electricity price increases in 40 states under the CPP.”

In a 2007 Supreme Court case, the Justices ruled 5-4 in Massachusetts vs. EPA that the agency has to limit greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if they’re a threat to public health. In a 2009  endangerment finding, the EPA determined carbon dioxide was indeed a threat to public health.  Based on that Supreme Court ruling, the Trump administration couldn’t simply kill the CPP; it needed to have a plausible replacement to it.

With the CPP repealed, the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule was put in its place.  The ACE rule establishes emission guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit carbon dioxide at their coal-fired electric generating units.

The ACE rule was short lived, however. On January 19, 2021, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the Affordable Clean Energy rule and remanded to the EPA for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

At this time, President Biden and the EPA hasn’t revived President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, saying they want to formulate their own regulations for power plants.

Before a new rule could be created though, West Virginia and other Plaintiffs brought the matter before the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court could agree with West Virginia, putting climate change policy out of the EPA’s hands and into that of Congress and/or individual states to do what they feel is best for their voters interests.  Such a decision would kill President Biden’s ambitious plans to make the U.S. power sector completely free of carbon pollution by 2035. With Congress unable to move along any bipartisan policy dealing with air pollution, any decision by the Supreme Court to restrict the President’s administration and EPA from regulating greenhouses would lead to action for now.

The Supreme Court could decide to look narrowly at the Clean Air Act’s language about the EPA’s authority of power plants. In this case, it may provide an avenue for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas pollution through something other than the Clean Air Act.

Either way, the Supreme Court’s ruling will be watched carefully by everyone tracking the future of carbon dioxide emissions in America.

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June 30, 2022 at 04:30AM

Biden’s inflationary climate policies

The climate industrial complex is crippling America.

The post Biden’s inflationary climate policies appeared first on CFACT.

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June 30, 2022 at 03:39AM

Storage Stories: Why Giant Batteries Can’t Solve Wind & Solar Power’s Natural Intermittency

It only takes a moment’s reckoning to appreciate that the grid-scale storage electricity generated by wind or solar is a perfect nonsense. It hasn’t occurred anywhere in the world; nor will it.

The combined capacity of all of the batteries on Earth would store a trivial 10 minute’s worth of the World’s electricity needs.

The ‘batteries will save us’ line goes that giant banks of lithium ion cells can store ‘free and abundant’ wind and solar power, whenever the sun is up and the wind is blowing (just right). Then, at absolutely zero cost to power consumers, these monster grid-scale batteries can lovingly release groovy ‘green’ power at any time that businesses and households need it.

Back in 2017, South Australia, Australia’s wind power capital, squandered $150 million on one of Elon Musk’s creations, that would power the state for all of 4 minutes when the wind stops blowing and/or the sun goes down.

Giant lithium-ion batteries are touted as the antidote to the inherent chaos that comes with attempting to rely upon sunshine and breezes; bringing stability and security to a grid on the brink of collapse.

But there’s nothing ‘stable and secure’ about lithium batteries.

Back in August last year, we reported on one such ‘green’ conflagration – where a Tesla mega-battery exploded in a toxic fireball in southwest Victoria, Australia, and burnt for days (see pic below).

Putting aside their self-destructive capabilities for the moment, let’s turn to the question of whether they will ever offer any solution to the hopeless intermittency of wind and solar.

Batteries Can Store 10 Minutes Of Electricity Needs
Not a Lot of People Know That
Paul Homewood
24 May 2022

This came up on Octopus Energy when I entered my meter readings today:

I think we can safely rule out relying on battery storage then!
Not a Lot of People Know That

MIT Weighs In On Energy Storage
Manhattan Contrarian
Francis Menton
26 May 2022

As I’ve been pointing out now for a couple of years, the obvious gap in the plans of our betters for a carbon-free “net zero” energy future is the problem of massive-scale energy storage. How exactly is New York City (for example) going to provide its citizens with power for a long and dark full-week period in the winter, with calm winds, long nights, and overcast days, after everyone has been required to change over to electric heat and electric cars — and all the electricity is supposed to come from the wind and sun, which are neither blowing nor shining for these extended periods? Can someone please calculate how much energy storage will be needed to cover a worst-case solar/wind drought, what it will consist of, how long it has to last, how much it will cost, and whether it is economically feasible? Nearly all descriptions by advocates of the supposed path to “net zero” — including the ambitious plans of the states of New York and California — completely gloss over this issue and/or deal with it in a way demonstrating total incompetence and failure to comprehend the problem.

And then suddenly appeared in my inbox a couple of weeks ago a large Report with the title “The Future of Energy Storage: An Interdisciplinary MIT Study.” MIT — that’s America’s premier university for matters of science and technology. The Report is 378 pages long, full of lots of detail, charts and graphs, mathematical equations, and technical jargon. It lists as authors some 18 members of the MIT faculty. Surely, if anyone can address this “net zero” energy storage problem competently, these will be the people.

Sorry. This is a product of modern American academia. MIT is as extreme left as any of them.

Having now spent about a week trying to wade through this morass, I am not impressed. The Report is an exercise by genius would-be central planners concocting enormously complex models that just happen to come to the results that the authors are hoping for, while at the same time they avoid ever directly addressing the critical question, namely what is the plan to get through that worst case sun/wind drought. Implicit in every page of the Report is that it is an advocacy document for the proposition that the U.S. should embark full speed ahead on crash “net zero” plans for our multi-tens-of-trillions-of-dollars economy without ever doing any kind of demonstration project to show it can work on any scale no matter how small.

You start to get an idea where this is going at the very beginning, when you come on page romanette v to a list of members of an “Advisory Committee” that appears to have given direction to the project. Members include John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, someone from the Environmental Defense Fund, an “Alternative Energy Research” guy from the Bank of America, an ex-World Bank guy (the World Bank being an organization dedicated to keeping poor countries from having access to energy that works), an environmental bureaucrat from the Massachusetts state government, several people from other alternative energy investors and environmental advocacy groups, and so forth. Clearly, this Report had to come to a pre-determined conclusion that energy storage issues do not pose any major impediment to net zero ambitions.

This being a product of left-wing academia, you can expect the usual touching faith in the ability of the federal government to solve all problems, no matter how intractable, by the magic of spending money out of the infinite federal pile. Thus, early in the Executive Summary, we find a recognition that the only battery storage technology currently being deployed in large amounts in commercial applications — namely Lithium Ion — cannot provide backup for periods longer than about 12 hours:

Li-ion batteries will continue to be a leading technology for EVs and for short-duration storage, but their storage capacity costs are unlikely to fall low enough to enable widespread adoption for long-duration (> 12 hours) electricity system applications.

OK then, what is the technology that will step up for the periods of a week or two that may need to be covered in a world without fossil fuels. From page xv:

To enable economical long-duration energy storage (> 12 hours), the DOE should support research, development, and demonstration to advance alternative electrochemical storage technologies that rely on earth-abundant materials. Cost, lifetime, and manufacturing scale requirements for long-duration energy storage favor the exploration of novel electro-chemical technologies, such as redox-flow and metal-air batteries that use inexpensive charge-storage materials and battery designs that are better suited for long-duration applications.

(Emphasis in original.). The feds will “support research” into “novel technologies,” of course using the infinite money pile, and the technology will magically appear. And what exactly is the technology that will then emerge to rescue us? They have no idea:

While several novel electrochemical technologies have shown promise, remaining knowledge gaps with respect to key scientific, engineering, and manufacturing challenges suggest high value for concerted government support. Innovation in these technologies is being actively pursued in other countries, notably China.

You’ve got to hate those “knowledge gaps,” but clearly all that is needed to fill them is enough federal funding. And you can’t let those Chinese beat us!

Well, how about just using that ubiquitous element hydrogen, easily available through the electrolysis of water? They discuss that too:

[H]ydrogen produced via electrolysis can serve as a low-carbon fuel for industry as well as for electricity generation during periods when VRE [variable renewable energy] generation is low. . . . We support the effort that the DOE is leading to create a national strategy that addresses hydrogen production, transportation, and storage. In particular, the ability of existing natural gas transmission pipelines to carry hydrogen without suffering embrittlement, either at reduced pressures or if hydrogen is blended with natural gas or other compounds, remains an open question that deserves government-supported study by the DOE and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Funny that private investors aren’t putting any real money into this “hydrogen economy” thing. That’s because to get hydrogen out of water is extremely costly, and once you have it, it is inferior to natural gas in every way as a source of energy for the people. It’s less dense, more dangerous, and more difficult to transport and store. But again, throw in some of the infinite pile of federal money and it will all magically work.

Many of the charts and graphs are very complicated and technical, but if you spend some time with them, you start to realize that they are an insult to your intelligence. I’ll give you just one of my favorites, this one from page 191. Here we are considering what the electricity generation system will look like for two regions, the Northeast (New York and New England) and Texas, in various low and no-carbon scenarios. The cutoffs of 0g, 5g, 10g and No Limit at the left refer to how much carbon emissions are allowed per kWh of electricity generated.

Thus at the top right we see what a zero-carbon scenario will look like for Texas. Supposedly, with about a 3 to 4 times overbuild of a system having only wind and solar generation, then we will only need battery storage for about 50% of capacity and about 11 hours duration. Really? Does anybody remember February 2021? Texas’s wind and solar generators produced at less than 10% capacity for days on end. Can a three times overbuild of wind capacity and 12 hours of battery storage solve that? The answer is no. Not even close. And you could get a wind/solar drought of a full week. If you have no fossil fuel backup, you had better have enough storage to cover that.

And if you take some time to study this chart (not saying that I would recommend that) you can find multiple other equally implausible assertions.

Bottom line: I’m not trusting anybody’s so-called “model” to prove that this gigantic energy transformation is going to work. Show me the demonstration project that actually works.

They won’t. Indeed, there is not even an attempt to put such a thing together, even as we hurtle down the road to “net zero” without any idea how it is going to work.
Manhattan Contrarian

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June 30, 2022 at 02:30AM

June 29, 2022 – Greenland Surface Continues To Gain Ice

Surface Conditions: Polar Portal Temperatures at the North Pole have been below the 1958-2002 average every day for the past two months. Ocean and Ice Services | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut Earth is 0.1C above the 1979-2000 average. Climate Reanalyzer

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June 30, 2022 at 02:04AM