Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf’s executive action to impose a Cap and Trade system on carbon dioxide emissions is easily his most harmful act in his two terms as chief executive of the state. As one of the most liberal governors in the nation, his progressive impulses have, until now, been constrained by a GOP-controlled House and Senate. His move to bring the Keystone State into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and impose a costly and economically crippling carbon trading system is an attempted end-run around the GOP to implement a tax without legislative approval.
On Oct. 3, Wolf signed an executive order that began the process of adding Pennsylvania to a group of northeastern states that constitute what has been called the “first mandatory market-based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” It is now up to the Department of Environmental Protection to draft the proposed regulation and then go through possibly two years of a legislative comment period. According to news reports, the legislature does not have veto power, although we expect to hear disagreement on that point.
In short, the program would establish a market through which electricity providers purchase “emission allowances” to offset their CO2 emissions. The current market rate for purchasing these carbon offsets is $5.20 per ton of CO2 emitted. According to the most recent statewide data (2016) from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) these energy providers emitted 82 million metric tons which would have generated about $400 million in revenues.
The overall goal of the plan is to make electricity derived from fossil fuels more expensive and, hence, renewable energy more competitive.
According to the RGGI, the state would “invest” the money generated into “energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other consumer-benefit programs.” That would likely include subsidies for wind and solar projects, home and office weatherizing and expansion of public transportation programs in the state’s largest urban areas to name a few beneficiaries.
That nearly half-billion dollars in costs would not be absorbed by the power generators but would be passed on to consumers in the form of increased energy costs. Not only would this make Pennsylvania a more expensive place to live, it would render the state less competitive for energy intensive businesses compared to neighboring Ohio and West Virginia and other locales that have no plans for artificially inflating electricity costs.
A review of the effects of the RGGI last year revealed that member states saw a 12 percent drop in goods production and a 34 percent drop in production of energy-intensive goods. This is likely attributable to a 64 percent increase in electricity prices in RGGI states between 2007-2015.
Additionally, according to the study, the cost of wind and solar power has averaged two to three times the megawatt-hour rate as compared to existing conventional fuel sources. Any increase of renewable energy supplies would necessarily further the price increases to consumers.
An important but overlooked factor in the decision-making process for the state is just how much or how little effect a reduction in the state’s CO2 emissions would have on future temperature changes. The overarching goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to lower the future temperature of the Earth, so how much temperature rise would be averted by eliminating all of Pennsylvania’s CO2 emissions from coal and natural gas-fired sources? Using the calculations for predicting warming from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, if 100 percent of the state’s electricity generation emissions were eliminated, only 0.001 degree Fahrenheit in warming would be averted by the year 2050. This difference is well below our ability to measure global temperature.
This extremely small — and immeasurable — effect should not be overlooked in discussions of whether to impose the significant burdens of Governor Wolf’s proposal on the state and its citizens. How many lost jobs is a reduction in temperature measured in thousandths of a degree worth?
In short, the governor would infringe on the freedoms of people and make them significantly poorer for virtually no advancement of his stated intention to avert global warming. The legislature, the business community and all right-thinking citizens should stand against his economically crippling proposal.
Mr. Wrightstone is the author of Inconvenient Facts: The science Al Gore doesn’t want you to know
Brian Fitzpatrick Carbon Tax Bill — Brian Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania’s 1st District Republican congressman, will be introducing a “carbon tax bill” today says the Washington Examiner. It will be similar to Market Choice Act introduced in 2018 by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FLA26) which died in committee.
The Curbelo bill imposed a tax of $24 per metric ton on industrial carbon-dioxide emissions, beginning in 2020 and rising annually at a rate of 2 percent above inflation.
In return, federal taxes on gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel would be repealed. The payers would mostly be operators of coal and natural gas power plants.
This means paying more for lighting, air-conditioning and heat, and maybe less for food and transportation.
And of course, coal plants (and mines and their jobs) would soon disappear as natural gas produces much less CO2.
Which would naturally mean less revenue which means someone is going to pound his fist and say we need to bring back the gasoline tax.
The claim that most of carbon tax money will be used to rebuild infrastructure also deserves a big LOL as that is what the gasoline and diesel tax is supposed to do now and obviously doesn’t.
We can’t jump on Fitzpatrick too much. Our wish is to replace all coal and NG plants with nuclear and hydro-electric ones so we give him credit for trying.
Hey Brian, if you really want to fix infrastructure repeal the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. Studies show it adds 20 percent to the cost of federal projects. Repealing it means 20 percent more work with same amount of money. Infrastructure problem are solved. It’s almost like magic.
And on the other hand there is Pat Toomey.
Pennsylvania’s “Republican” senator joined the Democrats in again futilely voting to repeal President Trump’s court-approved use of emergency funds to build the much-needed wall on the Mexican border.
This wall is not anti-immigration. The wall is anti-drug smuggling and anti-child trafficking. If border crossers are forced to use supervised ports of entry it becomes a whole lot harder to bring children here to be molested.
Michael Mann Must Pay Costs After Refusing To Release Data — Michael Mann, the Penn State prof who probably more than anyone gave global warming its science cred, has been ordered by a Canadian court to pay all court costs to Dr. Tim Ball, after he refused to surrender his data for court examination.
Mann was trying to use a lawsuit to quiet Ball — as he has with other critics — and had it backfire spectacularly. It is even being speculated that Mann even face criminal charges for using using public funds to commit climate data fraud.
Mann is the creator of the “hockey stick” graph that showed temperatures stable for centuries then rising dramatically about 1910.
Ball pointed out that the best data shows that the temperature was far from stable and was actually far higher in the Middle Ages when there was less people and no industrialization.
Many are global warming skeptics because the proponents’ behavior is anything but scientific. Rather than debate dissenters openly, they smeared them behind the scenes or in media campaigns. When they failed, they used the courts, an avenue that now seems to be closed.
Black Plague Looms For Los Angeles — Dr. Drew Pinsky on last night’s (May 30) Ingraham Angle reported that Los Angeles is experiencing medieval diseases such as typhus, typhoid fever, and, notably, the bubonic plague, which killed half of Europe in the 14th century.
“We have a complete breakdown of the basic needs of civilization in Los Angeles,” Pinsky said.
He said airborne disease like tuberculous is exploding.
He said that rat-borne disease is unchecked as L.A. is one of the country’s few major cities that doesn’t have a rodent control program.
There will be a typhus outbreak this summer, he said, and worse.
“I’m hearing from experts that bubonic plague is likely. It’s already here,” he said.
And of course, there is the disease spread by fecal filth in the street like typhoid fever.
“This is not Third World,” he said. “This is medieval. Third World countries would be insulted if they were accused of being like this,
Welcome to the Golden State. Guess that’s what happens in “sanctuary states” that consider unrestricted abortion to be the primary health objective.
Pinsky noted that L.A. is sub-optimally immunized.
“God forbid if measles gets in,” he said.
Questions for all the progressives sneering at the anti-vaxxers: Do unvaccinated illegal immigrants — who exponentially outnumber anti-vaxxers — cause any concern for you?
For laughs, the Los Angeles Times is blaming “climate change” for the looming plague outbreak. Do people really still believe the garbage the establishment media is feeding them?
On April 29, 2019, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf released the latest version of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Climate Action Plan, announcing that Pennsylvania would join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of 24 states committed to implementing policies that support the Paris Agreement — an international collaboration from which the U.S. has withdrawn.
According to the governor, “states like Pennsylvania must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our communities, economies, infrastructures, and environments from the risks of a warming climate.”
The plan’s primary objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 80% by 2050 in the Keystone State to reduce the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and keep future increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
Described in the 231-page plan are more than 100 actions intended to reduce GHG emissions, 15 of which are analyzed in detail. Each action involves increased taxation, increased regulation, increased spending or restrictions on citizens’ freedoms.
Some very relevant questions should be answered by the governor and the PA DEP concerning this far-reaching plan that will necessarily have significant negative impacts on the Commonwealth’s citizens and businesses:
Once implemented, what effect would this have on global temperature?
Are the justifications listed in the proposal supported by the science, facts and data?
What costs and negative effects are associated with this plan and are they offset by the alleged benefits?
The overarching goal of the proposal is to lower the Earth’s temperature by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania. However, nowhere does this hefty document estimate a reduction of temperature.
To obtain an estimate, we used the MAGICC simulator (Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change) that was developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research under funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The model estimates how much temperature rise would be averted globally by various reductions of CO2 for the United States.
Calculations using this (Figure 1) assume an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions, a climate sensitivity of 2.0 and the latest estimate of Pennsylvania’s share of U.S. emissions (4.2%) to reveal the following theoretical reductions:
0.0023oF by 2050
0.0061oF by 2100
This extremely small effect should be a very important component in the discussions on whether to impose the significant burdens of the Climate Action Plan on the state and its citizens.
Listed on page 14 of the plan is a section titled “Why Does Pennsylvania Need a Climate Action Plan?” It lays out justifications for why the plan is needed, listing 10 climate impacts that were “already occurring and put Pennsylvanians and local industries at risk.” Many of the impacts it described as occurring are, in fact, not happening and in some cases are improving the state’s ecosystems.
We will look at only a few of the most egregious examples of misinformation due to space restrictions, but these should serve to illustrate that this document is more of a political tool than science-based justification for action. More frequent extreme weather events including drought
Increased demand for energy, particularly during warmer summer months
There is no mention of the reduced energy demand during the winter months.
Most of what was listed as justification for implementation of this far-reaching plan were projections of what may or may not occur many decades in the future. These projections are based on climate models that over-predict warming by 2.5 to 3 times too much. It is important to separate speculation of what may occur in the future based on failed climate models from the actual events that can be empirically observed.
Recommended Strategies: The Plan identified 15 actions that were most impactful for reducing GHG emissions and would require increased taxation, spending and government control, some of which are listed below. In the Energy sector, the Plan would:
Invest in building-scale solar
Incentivize renewable energy
Maintain current nuclear generation levels (bailouts for Exelon)
Tighten regulations on methane emissions
Create a Cap & Trade program for electricity sector carbon emissions
Reduce personal vehicle mileage (no more trips to Home Depot)
Incentivize increased electric vehicle use
Increase use of public transportation
Please note the repeated use of the terms “invest” and “incentivize” as code for spending more taxpayer dollars. Additionally, the Cap & Trade program that is proposed will be a huge revenue generation scheme that would draw large sums of money into Harrisburg for redistribution to favored programs. Pennsylvania’s citizens would not only be burdened by new direct taxation, but additional costs of regulation and higher energy costs would be passed on to customers. While the plan offers no estimates of costs, they surely would run into the millions if not billions of dollars.
According to the Plan itself, the 15 action items would only reduce the state’s GHG emissions by 21%, far less than the 80% targeted. In order to reach the higher targeted goals, ever more onerous and economically crippling actions would be required.
Conclusion Pennsylvania’s Climate Action Plan will impose huge costs on the Commonwealth’s citizens and businesses while burdening them with additional levels of restrictions and regulations. Companies will pass these higher costs on to consumers or absorb the costs, which will deter hiring and new investment. A rise in prices means that consumers will buy less, and companies will drop employees, close entirely, or move to other states where the cost of doing business is lower. The consequence means fewer opportunities for Pennsylvania’s workers, less economic growth, lower incomes, and higher unemployment.
The justifications for imposing this plan are flawed, the costs and regulations are economically crippling, and the result is a temperature reduction so low that it is indistinguishable from zero.
In short, the plan would infringe on the freedoms of people and make them significantly poorer. This plan should be opposed vehemently by the GOP-led House and Senate.
Solar and wind are not serious solutions to the problems of global energy demand.
Nuclear power is a stable, profit-generating 24/7 carbon-free energy source that uses the existing power grid and fully proven technology.
Almost all the deaths involving nuclear power come from the 1986 Chernobyl accident. The Three Mile Island incident caused neither deaths nor an increase in cancer, and the 2011 Fukushima incident caused neither death or disease from exposure to radiation. (Side note: Chernobyl was designed by socialists.)
Most significantly, a nuclear plant produces as much toxic waste in a year that a coal plant produces in an hour.
Rie and Emery also describe how South Korean nuclear plants are extremely profitable as they have all been built from an identical design.
We despise global warming fanatics but minimizing carbon emissions is obviously a desirable thing.
And really, are global warming fanatics worse than no-nuke ones?
Here’s an irony: If the AGW-gonna-kill-us-all-in-12-years crowd is right, Jane Fonda will literally be responsible for destroying the world.
Ryan Costello Globally Warm And Comfy — Ryan Costello, who represented Pennsylvania’s once-Republican 6th Congressional District until his quitting in 2018, has found a comfy and warm landing spot.
He is now managing director of Americans for Carbon Dividends, which is pushing for something called the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan which will increase the cost of energy ostensibly to save the planet from burning up.
He had a column in the Jan. 7 Wall Street Journal which if you have a subscription can be read here.
Besides working class mechants using air conditioners, he also bemoans the existence of the Second Amendment and immigration laws.
Hey, who needs social justice warriors when you have Ryanos?
Anyway, Costello’s long-time friend and bosom-buddy enabler is Val DiGiorgio who chaired the Chester County GOP when Costello was a rising star.
His tenure as county chairman saw a once Republican stronghold turn Democrat. His tenure as state chairman has been similarly spectacular.
Of course, we can’t be too hard on him. Being party chairman is just his hobby. His day job is being the “contact” for Stradley Ronon’s Government and Political Affairs Division. Stadley Ronon can be fairly described as a full-service political fixing firm. Services Val’s division has boasted of providing include “creating and shepherding major tax legislation for the mutual fund industry”; “lobbying for proposed rules and regulations on behalf of the insurance industry;” and “lobbying for congressional appropriations for public safety, health care and bio-tech clients.”
Val still has his defenders in the GOP. We’d like to ask them — with Tucker Carlson sincerity — how exactly can DiGiorgio represent the Republican rank and file and Stradely Ronon? Whose side would DiGiorgio must likely take in a conflict, the Republican rank and file or a Stradely Ronon client?