Sign up | Login with →

Comments by J Elliott Subscribe

On Can Obama's Proposal to Reduce Total GHG Emissions by 26% be Achieved?

 

Yes, the technology exists, but the time to install lower carbon and renewable energy technologies over the next 10 years in order to achieve President Obama’s 26% carbon reduction target is definitely not practical.  The President appears to lack any well defined plan or solutions to achieve his proposed U.S. carbon reduction commitment at the upcoming Paris COP21.  This leads one to possibly believe that this is just another ‘legacy’ action that will achieve nothing significant in reality, but put him in the history books for taking this action to prevent future climate change.

The real solution may involve some form of significant carbon taxes.  Not the ‘feebate’ programs that are just income redistribution plans in disguise, but a real tax for everyone that will discourage their consumption of fossil fuels and provide economic incentives for more aggressively developing renewables.   Since your analysis indicates that GDP and per capita energy efficiencies are not likely to offset the growth in the total U.S. GDP and population in the future, a carbon tax may be the only feasible solution.  The ten year schedule timeframe will still be a problem since implementing a carbon tax too aggressively could plunge the U.S. economy back into another great recession.

 

June 3, 2015    View Comment    

On Carbon Prices Around the World are Consistently Too Low

 

The reason why carbon prices have been and continue to be low is that they are not related to the actual ‘social costs of carbon’ or at sufficient levels to discourage fossil fuels consumption.  They are established primarily by fairly dysfunctional markets and political influences.  We could debate the actual social costs of carbon endlessly since the variables and probabilities of most estimates or assumed environmental and social negative impacts are extremely complex, and the accuracy is very uncertain.

The EU is a prime example of how or why $10 per MT range carbon prices are generally ineffective in actually increasing consumer incentives to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels or switch to non-fossil fuels.  For example, due to various existing fuel/energy taxes the cost of petroleum motor fuels and electric power in the EU averages over double U.S. market prices.  Even with this equivalent level of carbon taxes (approximately $300 per MT), the impact on EU petroleum gasoline & diesel consumption has been relatively insignificant in recent years; adjusted for the recent and current recessions.

 

June 3, 2015    View Comment    

On Why (Some) People Don't Believe in Climate Science

 

The question is not why people don’t believe in climate science, it’s why don’t they blindly believe in selective and less than absolutely accurate climate science.  Believable and sound science use to be based on the ‘scientific method’ , where a theory or hypothesis was developed, critically analyzed, peer reviewed (by true experts) and continuously updated and improved with time based on the most accurate and recent data available.  The recently and politically develop concepts of ‘scientific consensus’, the ‘debate is over’ and ‘all the projections are absolutely correct’ has nothing to do with the scientific method or reasonably sound and accurate science.  Those who apparently are either ignorant of the scientific method or choose to ignore real science development, most often have no idea of the extreme complexities and variability’s’ involved with the current climate models, or the accuracy of short, medium and long term projections.  It is primarily due to these political details why ‘global warming’ has transitioned since the 1980’s-90’s to ‘climate change’ today, and that political media/special interests (those who often benefit financially) have claimed all changes of weather patterns (real or not; statistically) are solely due to anthropological causes.  What is almost always missing in reasonably intelligent, scientific debate is: “What is the probability of constraining most, if not all, anthropological greenhouse gases on significantly changing future climate patterns?”.  In other words, after the world expends all its discretionary resources, what are the actual-most probable benefits?  I’ll give you a hint, it could be insignificant compared to dedicating those same resources towards actions that have successfully enable mankind to evolve from the Stone Age: ‘adaptation’.

 

February 14, 2015    View Comment    

On Pentagon Sees Climate Change as Immediate Security Risk

 

What is the greatest threat to the U.S. and World security?  Putin’s ambitions to reestablish the USSR?  ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other growing terrorist groups around the world?  Iran’s ambitions to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles?  China’s ambitions to expand into other Pacific Countries’ territorial waters/islands?  Or, the Administration’s Defense Secretary who is often clueless to these and other potential and real risks to the security of U.S. Citizens?  If Climate Change presents the greatest risks to U.S. security, should not the Military begin preparing to stop the largest source of carbon emissions, China followed, by you-know-who?

In all seriousness, the Military’s purely political ideology motivated focus on Climate Change is a huge waste of U.S. resources and does not address the real and most threatening risks to U.S. security.  It’s time for the Military to stop paying $150 per gallon for wasteful/unsustainable biofuels and focus on the real threats that could impact U.S. Citizens far more than the worst Climate Change predictions.  What most Politicians forget is that our resources are finite and limited.  Rather than wasting our limited resources on Military programs that will accomplish nothing significant, we need to focus on expanding existing low carbon technologies and other improvement strategies in the Public Sectors.

 

October 20, 2014    View Comment    

On EPA Carbon Standard Compliance Strategies, Part 2: Industrial Proven Technology Solutions and Estimated Costs

 

The EPA has obviously predicted much lower future electric power consumption than the EIA.  This looks like the primary reason why the EPA estimates that future consumers will experienced cost savings vs. your increased estimated costs based on EIA data and projections.  What if the EPA’s prediction of lower power consumption were more accurate than the EIA prediction?  Based on your analysis of higher costs, would not future consumer power costs increase similar to a carbon tax, which would then discourage future consumer consumption?  This situation could than support the EPA’s prediction of lower future power consumption and costs.

September 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Exporting US Oil to Mexico

 

Trading North & Central America crude oil between the U.S. and Mexico has its merits as long as it can be done without creating loopholes that allow Upstream Companies to also begin exporting oil outside the region.  Another alternative would be to keep the LTO within the U.S. and encourage Downstream Companies to make the refining modifications necessary to more economically process LTO within the U.S.  These alternatives will still likely be debated by Upstream vs. Downstream Oil Companies and Special Interests.

 

September 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Despite Decline in Some Regions, World Oil Consumption Still Seen Rising

 

The growth in emerging countries’ oil consumption is not surprising.  Due to the higher costs of alternative energy sources, lower cost oil will continue to be very attractive to all 3rd world countries.  Despite the ongoing predictions of peaking oil, the combination of new tight oil technologies and access to new reserves both within emerging countries and the untapped reserves in the arctic region will continue to invalidate past, current and near future peaking oil claims.  The unfortunate consequence of OECD countries spending trillions of dollars on displacing their oil consumption today and in the future to help reduce their carbon foot prints is that non-OECD 3rd world countries future increased fossil fuels consumption will continue to grow the world’s total carbon foot print through at least the mid century.

 

September 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Energy Quote of the Day: '... Then we Just go Away as a Business'

 

In California the shutdown of Oyster Farms is also due to anthropogenic causes.  The impacts of (political) climate change continues to develop everywhere.

 

August 9, 2014    View Comment    

On New EPA Carbon Regulation: What will the Impacts be on Consumer Power Costs?

 

So the EPA has grossly under estimated the costs of reduced power carbon emissions and questionably estimated the benefits substantially based primarily on the health impacts of eliminating coal non-carbon emissions.  What else is new?  The greatest risk appears to be prematurely forcing the shutdown coal power capacity and not allowing sufficient time to build new lower carbon power generation capacity.  It sound like this is a hidden policy strategy of limiting available power generation, risking power outages and forcing reduced demand.  Couldn’t this strategy force reducing total power consumption or rationing power demand by claimed 8% in the future?   

 

July 14, 2014    View Comment    

On Oil Companies Gambling Billions of Dollars Ignoring Realities of a Carbon Constrained World

 

About 90% of total world energy required to support the world’s 7 trillion populous is supplied by fossil fuels today.  Oil currently makes up about one third of total world energy supply.  Most experts’ projections indicate that about 80% of total world energy will continue to be supplied by fossil fuels mid-century; to support a growing population up to about 9 trillion by 2050.  Since oil is projected to continue to supply about one third of total world fossil fuels in 2050, the risk of such an investment does not appear to be very significant.  If one assumes that most fossil fuels or oil will be eliminated by mid-century, what do you believe would be the impact on trillions of the total world population?  And, what are the odds of developing countries such as China and India of reducing, let alone substantially eliminating, the consumption of fossil fuels in the foreseeable future?

Investing against oil may have considerably greater risk.

 

July 14, 2014    View Comment    

On Energy Quote of the Day: Exxon's Climate Response 'Consummate Arrogance'

 

Exxon’s apparent response to climate change questions/recent publications is somewhat surprising since most major oil companies have PR divisions that would normally talk around or in support of corrective actions.  Since Exxon is in the oil and natural gas business you would think they would discuss their programs to switch towards lower carbon, more efficient and cleaner fossil fuels.  Sounds like they messed-up this time.  Good luck persuading investors to divest from XOM stock.  Their financial performance and returns are still too good compared to green energy alternatives.

April 5, 2014    View Comment    

On Mounting Evidence of Health Concerns Near Tar Sands Development

 

Man has used crude oil for over 100 years.  You seem to believe that all forms of oil cause cancer at all stages of production, transportation, refining and consumption.  What are the carcinogens that the heavy tar sands oil are supposed to contain?  Have similar studies in the U.S. found cancer to be an upstream and downstream health issue?  California has historically been the largest producer of heavy SJV crude oil within the U.S.  Since California is the most environmentally conscious State in the U.S. you would think they would have addressed this heavy oil cancer risk issue.  Has California experienced similar health issues?  How about in the La Brea Tar Pit neighborhood or along the south coast beaches where tar sands type oil has seeped from the ground since before man occupied North America and today?

 

 

April 5, 2014    View Comment