WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today expressed concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) soliciting public input on the effects of climate change and the potential ramifications of the Clean Air Act in relation to carbon dioxide emissions. The notice is in response to the April 2, 2007, Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA.
Senator Inhofe Encourages Committee to Hold Additional Hearings
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today welcomed the opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities in developing a reasonable Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The Environment and Public Works Committee has exclusive jurisdiction over transportation fuels, including renewable fuels. As Chairman of the EPW Committee, Senator Inhofe co-authored the Reliable Fuels Act, which was ultimately incorporated into the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Act created a comprehensive program to increase the use of renewable fuels in a measured and economic approach. Under Senator Inhofe’s leadership, the EPW Committee and Subcommittee held 14 hearings on the RFS program, examining issues from the future of transportation fuels to the implementation of the RFS program. Senator Inhofe voted against the 2007 Democrat Energy Bill because it significantly increased the renewable fuels mandate.
“Today as American families are feeling the financial strain of the food vs. fuel mandates resulting from corn-based ethanol, Congress must take a hard look at the recently enacted energy bill,” Senator Inhofe said. “Today’s EPW hearing provided the Committee our first opportunity to get the facts on the implementation of the 2007 Energy Bill. In my home state of Oklahoma, many cattlemen, pork producers, and poultry producers are struggling with record high corn prices. The Committee needs to hear from the livestock producers, the corn growers, the ethanol producers, the states, the oil refiners, the economists, and others to fully understand and appreciate the consequences of this program. Today’s hearing was a good first start, and I am hopeful that the Committee will respond to my request to schedule more hearings to further examine current RFS policies in the coming months.
“When the Senate passed the 2007 Democrat Energy Bill, I voted ‘no’ because it significantly increased the renewable fuels mandate in an irresponsible manner. It contained a nearly five-fold expansion in the bio-fuels mandate. The bill ignored a number of questions surrounding ethanol’s effect on food prices, its effect on feed prices and our agricultural community, its economic sustainability, its transportation and infrastructure needs, and its water usage. At the time, I argued it was just too early to significantly increase the mandate and that the fuels industry needed more time to adapt and catch-up with the many developing challenges facing corn-based ethanol. From everything we have witnessed over the past six months, I was right. “Despite the obvious drawbacks of today’s massive corn-based ethanol mandates, I do support a role for both ethanol and other biofuels. The idea that we can grow and produce biofuels all over the country – not just in the Midwest – is something worth pursuing and that’s why I support research into cellulosic and other biofuels. I am particularly pleased by the efforts taking place in Oklahoma by the Noble Foundation and its partners. By focusing on a broad range of biofuels, we can stimulate an industry that doesn’t compete with other domestic agriculture.
“I have long said that America’s energy supply should be stable, diverse, and affordable. I believe we must utilize all domestic energy resources. Through my leadership position on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I have worked to craft legislation and conduct hearings to meet these goals. Developing and expanding domestic energy resources, like biofuels, will translate into energy security and will ensure stable sources of supply and well-paying jobs for Oklahomans and Americans.”
Background: Through his leadership position on the EPW Committee, Senator Inhofe has worked to promote the research and development of cellulosic and other biofuels in Oklahoma. Senator Inhofe was awarded the “Pioneer Award in Agriculture and Plant Science” by the Oklahoma-based Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in December 2007.
The Oklahoman reported in an April 28, 2008, article: “As experts turn against corn ethanol, Oklahoma is continuing to elbow for a spot in the so-called second generation of the biofuels movement — a generation that won't use food for fuel. In recent months, turning corn into fuel has met criticism on two fronts: It's been blamed as a factor in sky-high food prices that have led to riots in Asia, Africa and Haiti; and it's been cast as an environmental villain, since studies say corn ethanol, on the whole, creates more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. But Oklahoma's biofuels industry is going down a different path. Since last year, the state has been investing tax money in switchgrass — a potential biofuel that's no good for food and is praised for its environmental benefits.”
On April 29, 2008, Senator Inhofe delivered a Senate floor speech [Video Clips of Speech Available on Inhofe YouTube Channel ]calling for "dramatic" action to address global food difficulties caused in part by current biofuel mandates. Specifically, Senator Inhofe called on Congress to revisit the recently enacted biofuels mandate, a nearly five-fold expansion over previous levels. The mandates were part of last year's Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. He also called on the Environmental Protection Agency to thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill biofuel mandates. Senator Inhofe explained, "Now when you have Lester Brown, Miles O'Brien, Dan Rather, Time Magazine, the New York Times, the United Nations, and James Inhofe all in agreement on changing an environmental policy, you can rest assured the policy is horribly misguided. All of these publications and individuals now realize the pure folly of the Federal government's biofuel mandates."
On May 2, 2008, Senator Inhofe joined two dozen Senators in sending a letter to Steve Johnson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking the EPA to exercise its waiver authority regarding the biofuel mandates. The letter states: "Congress gave the EPA authority to waive all or portions of these mandates, as well as rule-making authority to structure the mandates for the benefit of all Americans. We believe the EPA should begin the process of examining alternatives to ease severe economic and emerging environmental consequences that are developing in America as a result of the mandate...American families are feeling the financial strain of these food-to-fuel mandates in the grocery aisle and are growing more concerned about the emerging environmental concerns of growing corn-based ethanol. It is essential for the EPA to respond quickly to the consequences of these mandates. Congress made the mandates in the EISA different from existing mandates to provide flexibility and to encourage innovation in advanced and cellulosic fuels. We believe today's circumstances merit the use of this flexibility."
Calls For Congressional Action on Biofuel Mandate Growing - Momentum appears to be growing on Capitol Hill this week to revisit the increased ethanol mandate signed into law last December. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, delivered a floor speech on April 29, adding momentum to spur action on Capitol Hill to revisit the current corn ethanol mandates.
With Strong Support in the Senate, Inhofe Calls For Highway Fix To Be Considered ASAP by the Senate
Also See Senator Inhofe's June 18, 2008 Op/Ed in Oklahoma’s The Journal Record - See: A fix for the highway bill is a top priority
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, applauded the Senate Appropriations Committee for voting to restore the $8 billion to the Highway Trust Fund ("HTF") that was lost in 1998. The highway fix has been a top priority for Senator Inhofe who recently joined Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the EPW Committee, in authoring a June 20 bi-partisan letter signed by 68 other Senators urging Congress to come up with a quick resolution to the Highway Trust Fund shortfall. The letter was sent to the Finance Committee and Senate Leadership."Ensuring the Federal Highway Trust Fund has the necessary funds to keep State projects funded and on track is a top priority for me," Senator Inhofe said. "I applaud the Appropriations Committee vote today to restore the $8 billion to the Highway Trust Fund ("HTF") that was lost in 1998. This fix needs to be enacted into law as soon as possible, regardless of the vehicle, in order to avoid cutbacks by the States in their planned transportation improvement projects for 2009. In my state of Oklahoma, these cuts would translate into a cut in federal funding of more than $172 million. This cut would result in a loss of more than 6,000 jobs in Oklahoma, and 485,000 jobs nationally. It is absolutely critical that we fix this looming shortfall.
"With seventy Senators recently signing a letter in support of the highway fix that was approved today, I am hopeful that the Senate Majority leader will move this fix as soon as possible. We know that a robust transportation program not only creates high paying construction jobs, but is the backbone of our economic vitality. Existing concerns about the ability of the HTF to honor commitments made to States are causing many to hold back on planned projects. Fixing the HTF shortfall will allow States to continue projects as planned."
The Highway Trust Fund (HTF), established in 1956, funds the nation’s highway program. Since its inception, the HTF has been funded by fuel taxes (18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline, 24.4 cents gallon for diesel); truck tire taxes; and a tax on new vehicles over 55,000 Gross Vehicle Weight. Unlike other federal trust funds the HTF is unique in that the money paid into the fund, only goes towards transportation infrastructure. Thus far, the revenues going into the trust fund have adequately funded it. Unfortunately, a "perfect storm" of events has effectively depleted once historic trust fund balances. A combination of higher gas prices which, for the first time, have resulted in a significant reduction of vehicle miles traveled and more fuel efficient vehicles has caused sharp reductions in the amount of revenue coming into the HTF. Therefore, unless Congress steps in to replenish the fund, the HTF will be unable to honor its funding obligations to states through SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users.)
On June 25, Senator Inhofe led a bipartisan effort with 69 other Senators to urge a legislative fix to this funding shortfall. See: "Senators Urge Legislative Fix to Highway Funding Shortfall."
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"Support for Energy Exploration Rises" - America is "Ready for Nuclear" - "Taking Us Back To Mud Huts" - Round Up
Sampling of articles in past week:
Excerpt: The latest nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 18-29 among 2,004 adults, also finds that half of Americans now support drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, up from 42% in February. The public's changing energy priorities are most evident in the growing percentage that views increased energy exploration - including mining and drilling, as well as the construction of new power plants - as a more important priority for energy policy than increased conservation and regulation. Nearly half (47%) now rates energy exploration as the more important priority, up from 35% in February.
Excerpt: In the stages of grief, denial gives way to anger and then to bargaining. It may be an apt metaphor this week, as Democrats’ long-held opposition to expanded offshore oil drilling succumbs to the political realities of $4-per-gallon gasoline. [ . . . ] Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said he sensed there were enough votes from his Democratic colleagues to expand offshore drilling into new areas — and that the eastern Gulf of Mexico "should be one of the first places we should look."
Excerpt: David Crane is CEO of NRG Energy, Inc, based in New Jersey - Crane: That's what I call the "Gore Approach." It's based on self-denial: Let's all go back to living without air conditioning and to drying our clothes on the clothes line. There's another option, though: the "Schwarzenegger Approach." It's the American Dream, but it's the carbon-free American Dream. SPIEGEL ONLINE: What do you mean by that? Crane: He's like, I want to drive my Hummer and fly my Gulfstream 4, I just don't want them to produce any greenhouse gas. That's a Republican philosophy of a technology-driven approach. I think it's very difficult to get the American people to engage in self-denial. It's just not the American way. The American way is based on consumption. You don't want to change the American way of life, you just want to show them a better way to get there, and nuclear power is a key part of that. The first breakthrough for nuclear power was the connection with global warming. The second breakthrough is happening right now.
Excerpt: Perhaps the best example of the left's worst excesses is No Impact Man. He describes himself as a "guilty liberal" who has sworn off plastic, gone organic, become a bicycle nut, turned off his power and "composts his poop" while living in New York City. His goal: to try to save the planet from environmental catastrophe — one man at a time, we presume.No Impact Man's project would be fine if he were content to leave alone those who don't share his vision. But the self-described megalomaniac is not.
Excerpt: A majority of Americans disagree with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's statement that oil and coal are making this country sick, according to a poll released today by Rasmussen.
After attending the opening of the Ausra solar power manufacturing plant in Las Vegas on Monday, Reid gave an interview on the Fox Business channel about the urgency to move away from fossil fuels and toward sources of renewable energy. While explaining about the "unseen costs" of traditional power generation, Reid said: "Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It's global warming. It's ruining our country. It's ruining our world. We've got to stop using fossil fuels." According to the Rasmussen poll, 52 percent of Americans surveyed disagree with Reid's feelings on coal making people sick, with only 21 percent supporting his statement. Americans feel similarly about oil making people sick, with 50% disagreeing with Reid and 31% agreeing. A majority of Americans disagree with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's statement that oil and coal are making this country sick, according to a poll released today by Rasmussen.
Excerpt: An environmental group on Wednesday filed a lawsuit intended to stop the expansion of a BP oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana. A shortage of oil refining capacity is often mentioned as one reason for soaring gasoline prices. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is challenging air permits granted to the refinery by the State of Indiana. It’s part of the "ongoing fight against excessive pollution in northwest Indiana and Chicago," the NRDC said in a news release.
Excerpt: Public opinion polls have shown a shift towards support of expanded offshore drilling, putting Democrats in the tough spot of jettisoning their longstanding concerns about the damaging environmental effects of the practice.
Excerpt: The prospect of personal CO2 rations should debunk the idea that the cost of curbing carbon emissions would fall on the owners of dirty old factories. That notion was always a green herring: Like corporate taxes, the business costs of carbon reduction will be passed on to consumers. In that sense, we should be grateful to the Brits for showing us where this anticarbon crusade really ends up.
Excerpt: Please remember that the next time a politician vows to hit "Big Oil" with a windfall profits tax or some other idea. The tax won't be paid by the oil company; it will be paid by you, the consumer. In coming weeks, we'll try to look at some of the other myths surrounding America's energy. The problem is, there are so many that dispelling the falsehoods about energy can become a full-time occupation for a newspaper.
Excerpt: What do the Democratic-led Congress and OPEC have in common? Both sit on vast amounts of oil, and are content to leave it in the ground and let prices soar. Fortunately, Americans are catching on. New polls show that Americans, far from thinking that we can do nothing, want Congress to drill, and drill some more if necessary, to break the energy crisis.
Excerpt: Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian. The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.
Excerpt: The fresh onion market is highly seasonal. This leads to natural and sometimes large adjustments in prices as the harvest draws near and existing inventories are updated. Speculators became the fall guys for these market forces. But in reality, the Chicago futures exchange made it possible to mitigate the effects of the harvest surplus and other shifts in supply and demand. To this day, fresh onion prices still cycle through extreme peaks and troughs. According to the USDA, the hundredweight price stood at $10.40 in October 2006 and climbed to $55.20 by April, as bad weather reduced crop yields. Then it crashed due to overproduction, falling to $4.22 by October 2007. In April of this year, it rebounded to $13.30.
Excerpt: Turning the tables on daily calls by the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans to expand domestic oil and gas production, House Democrats today said they will soon schedule a vote on an energy bill that aims to expedite drilling on millions of acres of public land in Alaska. "Democrats support increasing the domestic production of petroleum and other energy resources," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said this morning in announcing the bill, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said may be brought up under suspension of the rules as early as next week. An aide later said the debate could slip to a later date but would be "soon."
Excerpt: Soaring oil prices combined with fears about energy security and climate change are softening Germans' hostility towards nuclear energy, a new survey showed on Wednesday.
Excerpt: A study on the impact of rising CO2 levels finds a future world of thriving agriculture and lush vegetation. Carbon dioxide, the gas some see as a threat, is indeed the key to life on Earth. Even as the G-8 Summit announced plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, researchers at the Johann Heinrich von Theunen Institute in Germany find the rise in carbon dioxide levels may in fact be a boon to plant life on Earth.
Excerpt: Democrats in Congress promised to make energy policy a high priority when they returned after the Independence Day break. Instead, they have quietly scrubbed the schedule of any votes on their energy bill, afraid Republicans will make them vote on increased domestic oil production and force them to choose between popular sentiment for drilling and their environmentalist allies. Their strategy? Well, the Hill chooses a good quote:"Right now, our strategy on gas prices is ‘Drive small cars and wait for the wind,’ " said a Democratic aide.
Excerpt: A Pew Research Center study found support for increased energy exploration had risen from 35 percent in February to 47 percent in June. Likewise, those citing increased energy conservation as a priority dropped 10 points, from 55 percent to 45 percent. The same study also shows 50 percent of respondents favor drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), including 36 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Independents.
Excerpt: Considering the average amount of gas used per household, the rise has cost us approximately $1,690. With the average 42-inch plasma screen going for $975, just the extra cash you've forked over for gas in the last year and a half could have bought you 1.733 plasma TVs. And that number just keeps rising.
Excerpt: The G-8 countries' interventions have distorted global agricultural markets to the paralysis point. Politicians legislate price supports to enrich farm voters. Lobbies extort tariffs to block cheap food imports and subsidies to underwrite food exports at prices that destroy competitors in poor countries. Conservationists have agitated to set aside productive land and pay farmers not to grow. And now green energy advocates push ethanol quotas and tax credits that divert food into fuel.
Excerpt: According to David Tilman, University of Minnesota ecologist and co-author of a study published earlier this year in the journal Science, converting the grasslands of the U.S. to corn for ethanol releases excess CO2 emissions of 134 metric tons per hectare (equal to 2.47 acres). "Any biofuel that causes land clearing is likely to increase global warming," says ecologist Joseph Fargione of the Nature Conservancy. Tim Searchinger, an agricultural expert at Princeton University, says, "There is a huge imbalance between the carbon (released) by plowing up a hectare of forest or grassland from the benefit you get from biofuels."
Excerpt: While it may have seemed like a no-brainer to Judge Moore to side with the local Green elites against the out-of-state power company that applied for the permit, she actually wound up siding against the working people and economy of her own state. For no good reason, Judge Moore denied Georgia the many well-paying jobs associated with the $2 billion plant construction and permanent plant operations. There’s also the not-so-small matter of the much-needed energy the plant would have produced.
Excerpt: The no-bid contracts are a stopgap until an oil law passes and more extensive contracts can be bid for Iraq’s undeveloped fields. Iraq’s oil ministry is hardly a model of efficiency. The contracts to which Schumer so objects are still hung up in negotiations. But Iraq is headed in the right direction. One could be forgiven for getting the sense sometimes that it is that progress that bothers Democrats most.
Excerpt: That means that the only option we have to negatively affect the price of gasoline immediately is to open up more of our own oil fields for exploration and drilling. I'm not referring to the Democrats plan' to force oil companies to drill dry holes in presently leased lands that revert back to the government in a few years, but allowing those companies to drill in new areas where there is oil - offshore, in the Midwest, and in ANWR.
Excerpt: The Green River formation underlying parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado could hold as many as two trillion barrels of oil, trapped in rocks relatively close to the surface. Production from those deposits could reach ten million barrels of oil per day — virtually tripling our current domestic production — according to a report by the Department of Energy. It takes a geologist to fully understand the potential of oil shale. In simple terms, oil shale is sedimentary rock saturated with a petrochemical substance called kerogen. It’s oil that didn’t quite make it to liquid status.
Excerpt: But mother nature has opinions of her own. NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world's oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that "80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters," according to a report by NPR's Richard Harris.
Excerpt: Anger at soaring gas prices has supplanted fear about global warming as the No. 1 issue Canadians say is facing their country. As the cost of filling the tank hits uncharted heights – and is predicted to go even higher – a wide-ranging survey conducted by the Strategic Counsel for The Globe and Mail and CTV suggests energy prices are on par with the sagging economy when it comes to Canadians' worries. The environment, last year's top issue, has been pushed to No. 3, with just 16 per cent of Canadians surveyed saying they now consider it their primary concern.
Excerpt: The Democrats’ tendency to ignore Republican support of renewable resources and reducing carbon footprints hedges with the GPRA, which purports significantly decreasing consumption as equally important as domestic oil production in the battle to lower gas prices in the long run. One component of the Act, according to a press summary, advocates for better batteries, increased R&D for advanced batteries, Direct Loans for advanced battery manufacturing facilities and a Sense of Senate that the Federal Government should increase its purchases of plug-in electric cars and trucks.
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India Vows Not To Reduce Emissions
The Washington Post reported on July 9 that India was “balking” at the U.S approach to addressing CO2 emissions. India joined four other nations to call for “much steeper reductions” for developed nations.
Fact: India issued its National Action Plan on Climate Change in June 2008 disputing man-made global warming fears and declared the country of one billion people had no intention of stopping its energy growth or cutting back its CO2 emissions.
An article in the Australian Herald on July 9 by Andrew Bolt, noted: “The plan's authors, the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change, said India would rather save its people from poverty than global warming, and would not cut growth to cut gases.” The report declared: “No firm link between the documented [climate] changes described below and warming due to anthropogenic climate change has yet been established.”
The report made clear that India has no plans to cut back energy usage. “It is obvious that India needs to substantially increase its per capita energy consumption to provide a minimally acceptable level of wellbeing to its people. […] India is determined that its per capita greenhouse gas emissions will at no point exceed that of developed countries."
The Australian Herald article noted that this declaration “means India won't stop its per capita emissions (now at 1.02 tonnes) from growing until they match those of countries such as the US (now 20 tonnes).”
The Australian Herald article continued: “What makes the Indian report so interesting is that unlike our (Australia’s) Ross Garnaut, who just accepted the word of those scientists wailing we faced doom, the Indian experts went to the trouble to check what the climate was actually doing and why. Their conclusion? They couldn't actually find anything bad in India that was caused by man-made warming. In fact, they couldn't find much change in the climate at all. Yes, India's surface temperature over a century had inched up by 0.4 degrees, but there had been no change in trends for large-scale droughts, floods, or rain: ‘The observed monsoon rainfall at the all-India level does not show any significant trend . . .’ It even dismissed the panic Al Gore helped to whip up about melting Himalayan glaciers: ‘While recession of some glaciers has occurred in some Himalayan regions in recent years, the trend is not consistent across the entire mountain chain. It is, accordingly, too early to establish long-term trends, or their causation, in respect of which there are several hypotheses.’
In addition, in January 2008, Indian engineer and economist Rajendra Pachauri, who is the UN IPCC Chairman, announced that he was going “to look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.” (LINK) [Note: Global temperatures have not risen since 1998, according to UN data. See: 'Global Warming Will Stop,' New Peer-Reviewed Study Says ]
Sampling of Indian Scientists Who Question Man-Made Global Warming Fears: ( See also: U.S. Senate Minority Report: “Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007” )
One of India's leading geologists, B.P. Radhakrishna, President of the Geological Society of India, expressed man-made global warming skepticism in 2007. "We appear to be overplaying this global warming issue as global warming is nothing new. It has happened in the past, not once but several times, giving rise to glacial-interglacial cycles. We appear to be now only in the middle of an interglacial cycle showing a trend toward warming as warming and cooling are global and have occurred on such a scale when humans had not appeared on the planet,” Radhakrishna wrote in an August 23, 2007 essay. Radhakrishna said that there is doubt about “whether the steps that are proposed to be taken to reduce carbon emission will really bring down the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere and whether such attempts, even carried out on a global scale, will produce the desired effect. Warming of the climate, melting of glaciers, rise in sea levels and other marked changes in climate - these do not pose immediate threats and there is besides, no way of controlling such changes even if we want to. Exercises at mitigation of these likely disasters are, however, possible and mankind, in all likelihood, will gradually adjust itself to the changed conditions. This has happened before; men and animals have moved to greener pastures and adapted themselves to the changed situations," he added. (LINK)
VK Raina, India's leading Glaciologist, questioned the assertion that global warming was melting glaciers in India. "Claims of global warming causing glacial melt in the Himalayas are based on wrong assumptions," Raina told the Hindustan Times on February 11, 2007. The paper continued, "Raina told the Hindustan Times that out of 9,575 glaciers in India, till date, research has been conducted only on about 50. Nearly 200 years data has shown that nothing abnormal has occurred in any of these glaciers. It is simple. The issue of glacial retreat is being sensationalized by a few individuals, the septuagenarian Raina claimed. Throwing a gauntlet to the alarmist, he said the issue should be debated threadbare before drawing a conclusion." (LINK)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) today praised T. Boone Pickens for bringing forward a common-sense energy plan for America’s energy future. Senator Inhofe met with T. Boone Pickens last week and discussed Pickens’ call for increasing natural gas and wind energy production. Through his leadership position on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Inhofe has a long record in supporting not only increasing natural gas and wind energy production, but a strong record of supporting a domestic, diverse, and affordable energy supply.
“I’ve also consistently supported the extension of the renewable electricity Production Tax Credit. This tax credit provides for a 1.9 cent per kilowatt-hour tax credit for the first ten years a turbine goes into service. It assists wind energy developers in overcoming today’s high up-front costs as the industry continues to mature. As recently as April 10, 2008, I not only voted to extend the production tax credit, but I voted against attempts to reduce the incentive for wind energy. I’ve also blocked Congressional efforts to derail major wind projects such as Cape Wind off the coast of Massachusetts. Further, I have joined with my Republican colleagues in cosponsoring legislation, the Alternative Minimum Tax and Extenders Tax Relief Act of 2008 (S. 3098), which extends the renewable production tax credit for another year.
“Today, as Oklahomans are looking for relief from soaring energy costs, they can rest assured that I will continue to stand up for Oklahoma and support policies that will make certain we have a stable, diverse, and affordable energy supply.”
Link to Jim’s Journal: www.inhofe.senate.gov/jimsjournal
The Journal Record
By U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe
July 8, 2008
Utilized in all 50 states, natural gas makes up nearly a quarter of our nation’s energy supply. It provides electricity in over 60 million homes, and 40 percent of U.S. industry relies on natural gas for energy or as a necessary feedstock to produce a variety of products from chemicals and fertilizer to glass. To maintain a vibrant and internationally competitive economy, America must produce enough affordable natural gas to meet a growing demand.
Oklahomans stand ready to help meet this challenge. Presently, Oklahoma produces oil and gas from over 120,000 wells and is one of the top natural gas producing states in the country. In fact, Oklahoma alone annually produces nearly one-tenth of total U.S. natural gas production. The expertise and experience of Oklahoma’s producers lead the world in many exploration and extraction technologies. Additionally, the industry provides billions in tax revenue and employs tens of thousands in some of the highest-paid jobs in the state.
Today there are exciting new opportunities in the field of natural gas-powered vehicles. The promise of natural gas as a mainstream transportation fuel is achievable today, not 15 or 20 years from now. Most importantly, many state and local governments, businesses, and consumers have been able to cut their fuel bills by more than half when utilizing natural gas as a transportation fuel. From compressed natural gas (CNG) powered cars, to semi-trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), no other commercially viable fuel burns cleaner. The federal transportation bill in 2005, which I authored, included a 50-cent-per-gallon excise tax credit for the sale of CNG or LNG for use as a motor vehicle fuel. In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce new legislation to further reduce regulatory barriers to CNG use and give states the flexibility to develop their own natural gas conversion programs.
Today’s chief obstacle results from the unbalanced implementation of the nation’s environmental laws. With the advent of horizontal drilling, unconventional sources of deep gas, tight gas, gas-containing shales, and coalbed methane are producing a progressively larger percent of U.S. supply. Yet despite the enormous potential of these unconventional sources, much of the time they are either off-limits to exploration, inaccessible, encumbered by federal policies, or subject to litigation by special interest groups. These interest groups – who only a few years ago praised natural gas as the bridge fuel to a clean environment – now oppose increasing supplies.
I have successfully worked in my leadership role on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to author several key provisions of our national energy policy to encourage and increase natural gas supply to reduce regulatory burdens and encourage successful exploration methods such as hydraulic fracturing. As those in the industry know, hydraulic fracturing is a widely utilized and understood practice currently regulated by states that significantly improves production by allowing gas to move more freely through rock pores. The National Petroleum Council estimates that 60 to 80 percent of all wells drilled in the next decade will require fracturing, and without it, gas production from most unconventional sources would not be possible. I also included provisions to clarify that uncontaminated storm water was not subject to additional regulation. The U.S. Department of Energy estimated that this EPA-initiated storm water process could have resulted in the loss – from now through 2025 – of between 1.3 and 3.9 billion barrels of domestic oil and between 15 and 45 trillion cubic feet of natural gas through regulations never intended for oil and gas production sites. Finally, I included language promoting the development of all U.S. strategic unconventional fuel resources directing the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Petroleum Reserves to take action to accelerate the commercial development of strategic unconventional fuels both domestically and within North America.
In the face of an increasingly hostile atmosphere on Capitol Hill to domestic exploration and production, I will continue my efforts to incentivize the expanded use of environmentally responsible and exacting technologies like 3-D seismic exploration and to emphasize the enormous importance of the nation’s oil and natural gas marginal well production. The United States holds promising reserves of natural gas that will yield a promising future for domestic energy security. Congress must encourage the production of this valuable domestic resource.
WALL STREET JOURNAL:
REVIEW & OUTLOOK
Your Carbon Ration Card
July 7, 2008
While American politicians mull a carbon cap-and-trade system for industry, our British cousins are already contemplating the next step: personal CO2 rations.A Parliamentary committee in May proposed giving all British adults "carbon allowances" that they would be required to spend – along with, you know, real money – when buying gasoline, airline tickets, electricity or natural gas. Britons who wanted more credits than they were issued could try to buy them – again, with real money – from those who hadn't spent their allotment. All of this is supposed to give people a financial incentive to reduce energy consumption and thus their carbon "footprint."The Labour government, already in a precarious political state, isn't dumb enough to support the rationing plan, which Environment Minister Hilary Benn calls "ahead of its time." Instead, it favors a climate-change bill that Parliament is on the verge of passing that would lay much of the necessary groundwork. But eco-eager Britons don't have to wait for Westminster. A private test program for personal cap-and-trade began recently with 1,000 volunteers keeping tabs of their gasoline use.It would cost a country like Britain billions of dollars a year to run a personal cap-and-trade system nationwide, but set that aside. War-time-like energy rations are a clear illustration of the extent to which environmentalists hope to control every aspect of modern life. Do you really want to blow much of your annual "ration" on that long carbon-spewing jet flight to Florida, or should you swap that summer AC for weekend drives in the country?The global warmists want you to sacrifice for their cause. And the duration of their war on carbon will make the decade-and-a-half of British rationing during and after World War II seem like a fleeting moment. The pending climate-change bill calls for a 60% cut in carbon emissions from their 1990 levels by 2050. Once 2050 rolls around, who exactly will declare the end of hostilities?
The prospect of personal CO2 rations should debunk the idea that the cost of curbing carbon emissions would fall on the owners of dirty old factories. That notion was always a green herring: Like corporate taxes, the business costs of carbon reduction will be passed on to consumers. In that sense, we should be grateful to the Brits for showing us where this anticarbon crusade really ends up.