2011-05-27 08:50:47New Jersey to pull out of RGGI (cap and trade)
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

You might recall my post on the success of the RGGI carbon cap and trade system for some NE USA states.  Well, New Jersey elected a dick of a Republican governor (the Tea Party desperately wants him to run for president - 'nuff said), and he's pulling the state out of RGGI for no reason.  He called it a failure even though it's successfully reduced power plant emissions by 10%.  He called it a tax with no discernible environmental impact (Tragedy of the Commons), but it only raised average monthly electric bills by 73 cents.  $8.76/year - now that's a bank breaker!

Republicans piss me off.

2011-05-27 09:09:54New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie...
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
99.95.221.238

is a dork!

2011-05-27 10:45:35
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.25.98

Repugnantcans?

2011-05-28 02:57:28
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

CP has a good post on this.  I'm considering doing a post too, just as a reminder of this real world example of cap and trade success, with a little jab at Republicans for opposing and trying to kill this sort of system despite benefits outweighing costs.

2011-05-28 09:11:53GOP’s Chris Christie: Climate change real; man contributes
John Hartz
John Hartz
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http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/05/27/gops-chris-christie-climate-change-real-man-contributes/?cxntfid=blogs_jay_bookman_blog

After reading this article, I have concluded that Gov Christie is not as big of a dork as I thought he was.

 

2011-05-28 12:42:49
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Well, on the one hand he's accepting the consensus, admitting there's a problem, and claiming he's going to try and address it (no new coal plants).  On the other hand, he's pulling out of a perfectly good cap and trade system, instead of just trying to make it more effective (by pushing for a higher carbon price).  I don't see any reason why he couldn't both keep NJ in the RGGI and prevent new coal plants from being built.

2011-05-28 18:43:19
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.53.155

On the one hand, it seems a shame to withdraw NJ from a working cap & trade scheme.

However, it is possible that he has a point: There was a European cap & trade scheme that turned out to be under-priced as well, and I believe the judgment was that it has caused (at least in the short term) a problem for the CO2-emissions limitation goal. I am not too familiar with the details; but hasn't it always been a known problem with cap & trade that the initial pricing scheme is a bit fiddly?

That was why most economists who opine on these matters have favored a more straight-forward Carbon tax: The pricing still matters, but you're not left with the baggage of previous-year's pricing policies. So the control mechanism is simpler.

2011-05-29 02:20:46The Big Greens take on "Cap & Trade"
John Hartz
John Hartz
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The major US environemtal organizations in the US were split on the merits of "Cap & Trade" when the House was debating the Waxman-Markey. Friends of the Earth was one of harshest critics of "Cap & Trade." 

2011-05-29 03:46:02
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

True neal, I don't know the details of the European scheme either, but I also heard that it's been ineffective due to a too-low initial carbon price, which they're having a hard time ramping up sufficiently rapidly now.

2011-06-01 00:03:22NY Times Editorial
John Hartz
John Hartz
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NY Times, May 30, 2011

Gov. Christie Abandons a Good Idea

Running for governor in 2009, Chris Christie vowed to become “New Jersey’s No. 1 clean-energy advocate.” That was a hollow promise. As governor, Mr. Christie proceeded to cut all the money for the Office of Climate and Energy. He raided $158 million from the clean energy fund, meant for alternative energy investments, and spent it on general programs. He withdrew the state from an important lawsuit against electric utilities to reduce emissions.

On Thursday, he took the worst step of all: He abandoned the 10-state initiative in the Northeast that uses a cap-and-trade system to lower carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. The program has been remarkably successful, a model of vision and fortitude. Lacking that, Mr. Christie has given in to the corporate and Tea Party interests that revile all forms of cap and trade, letting down the other nine states trying to fight climate change.

The system works by requiring utilities to either lower their emissions or buy allowances to pollute. Money from the allowances goes to states for clean-energy programs. Since it began in 2008, the system has created more than $700 million for these programs; New Jersey has spent some of its share on helping cities become more energy-efficient. Greenhouse emissions from power plants in the region went down about 12 percent from 2008 to 2010 for many reasons, including lower natural gas prices. Programs like the regional initiative are estimated to have produced more than 10 percent of that decline.

Mr. Christie has already demonstrated his disdain for the program’s goals by spending $65 million of the state’s $100 million share from the allowances to pay down New Jersey’s deficit. He claimed this week that the program was not working, a notion that was quickly refuted by five other governors. “Governor Christie is simply wrong when he claims that these efforts are a failure,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland. He said they had an equivalent effect of taking 3,500 cars off the road in his state.

For now, at least, the far right has killed cap and trade nationally, but the idea is far from dead. Several Western states are gearing up for a cap-and-trade program; California has been particularly aggressive. The Northeast state compact will survive Mr. Christie’s exit. It is New Jersey that will be the poorer, with less to invest in smarter energy programs, more carbon dioxide and a leadership vacancy at its helm.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/opinion/31tue2.html?tntemail1=y&_r=1&emc=tnt&pagewanted=print

2011-06-01 01:54:04 On global warming, Christie needs to visit the doctor -- NJ Star Ledger Op-ed
John Hartz
John Hartz
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Wrong doctor!

On global warming, Christie needs to visit the doctor

Published: Monday, May 30, 2011, 10:55 AM     Updated: Monday, May 30, 2011, 4:38 PM

It was great that Chris Christie pulled us out of Reggie last week. But he's not getting the full bounce he might have expected from conservatives because of his efforts to please both sides.

Note in the above clip how our governor states that after consulting with scientists, including some at Rutggers, he endorses the view that human activity affects the climate.

Of course  human activity affects the climate, but that statement is essentially meaningless. How much? And is the effect good or bad?

The guy Christie should have consulted is not at Rutgers but at Princeton. Physics professor William Happer could have given him the best assessment of the situation and how it has been distorted for political purposes.

That's all in this statement that Dr. Happer gave to a Congressional panel studying climate change.

 Here is Happer summing up the issue succinctly:

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased from about 280 to 385 parts per million over past 100 years. The combustion of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, has contributed to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. And finally, increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will add a warming trend to the natural warmings and coolings of the earth’s surface. The key question is: how much warming will there be, and will the warming, and any other effects of the CO2, be good or bad for humanity? 

Happer, who supervised the Department of Energy's climate-change work from 1990 to 1993,  goes on to note that the direct effect of CO-2 on warming is minimal. The nightmare scenarios come from assumptions that CO2 will affect water vapor and cloud formation:

To get the frightening global warming scenarios that are bandied about, the added CO2 must substantially increase water's contribution warming. The jargon is "positive feedback" from water vapor and clouds. With each passing year, experimental observations further undermine the claim of a large positive feedback from water. In fact, observations suggest that the feedback is close to zero and may even be negative. That is, water vapor and clouds may actually diminish the relatively small direct warming expected from CO2, not amplify it.

Or maybe not. In either case, however, it's impossible to come up with a cost-benefit analysis for taking action to curb CO2 emissions.

Here's where this stops being a scientific question and becomes a political question. And Christie is ducking that question.

A good example of this pandering is his announcement that he's going to keep coal out of New Jersey. So what? We'll burn natural gas instead, and natural gas emits CO2 as well, though at slightly reduced levels.

So why not ban natural gas? Why not gasoline? Diesel? Ethanol? And so on.

And if that coal is burned in Pennsylvania instead - or in China or India - the effect on atmospheric CO2 levels is exactly the same.

As Happer notes, there are many concrete threats that need to be addressed before we worry about theoretical threats:

We should focus on real issues like damage to the land and waterways by strip mining, inadequate remediation, hazards to miners, the release of real pollutants and poisons like mercury, other heavy metals, organic carcinogens, etc. Life is about making decisions and decisions are about trade-offs.

Indeed it is. But like so many politicians, Christie takes the easy way out by endorsing the view that this is a scientific question, not a political question.

The debate over the role of CO-2 in climate change is indeed a scientific question. What to do about it, though,  is entirely a political question.

If you doubt that, watch the clip below showing the biggest whore in Washington and Nancy Pelosi making a pitch for action on global warming. If you're really, really naive you no doubt believe Newt Gingrich is acting out of concern for the environment. The rest of us realize he's acting out of concern for agribusiness and easy votes in the Iowa caucuses.

That goes for everyone else in the global-warming business, including the nuclear industry. The nuke advocates love cap-and-trade because it could make nuclear power competitive with coal and natural gas.

Whenevef you hear a politician utter the words "climate change,"  look for the angle.  As for Christie, he's muddling his message by playing both sides.

All I can say is: Princeton is just a few miles up Route 1 from the Statehouse. A visit to the good doctor would be in order.

http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2011/05/post_114.html

 

 

 

2011-06-01 03:02:35
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.105.160

Happer is a luke-warmer at best. His general stance is, "What, me worry?"

2011-06-01 08:41:19Call for NJ Governor to Repay $65 Million to Carbon Fund
John Hartz
John Hartz
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99.95.221.238

Call for NJ Governor to Repay $65 Million to Carbon Fund

Gov. Chris Christie diverted about $65 million from carbon credit sales to help balance the 2010 state budget

By Maria Gallucci, SolveClimate News

May 31, 2011

http://solveclimatenews.com/news/20110531/call-nj-governor-repay-65-million-carbon-fund?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+solveclimate%2Fblog+%28SOLVECLIMATE+NEWS%3A+Daily+Climate+News+and+Analysis%29

 

2011-06-01 08:46:24
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Yeah it's a good point, he spends 60% of the funds to balance the state budget instead of on efficiency and renewable energy programs, then he says it's ineffective and pulls out.  No way is he going to pay the money back.  It's just irritating that he basically sabotaged the program and then pulled out of it by claiming it wasn't effective.

2011-06-09 02:27:23
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Christie just slashed New Jersey's renewable energy targets.  So much for looking for climate solutions.  He's big on natural gas, but it's iffy how much GHG emissions reductions that actually achieves.  Certainly nowhere near as much as renewables.