Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:
Posts Tagged ‘Energy Policy’
Enjoy your complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, and be sure to tip your waitress!
This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:
The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.
The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.
Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.
Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”
In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.
Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…
This is good news: “A consortium of utilities in the South won government approval Thursday to construct two new atomic energy reactors at an estimated cost of $14 billion, the strongest signal yet that the three-decade hiatus of nuclear plant construction is finally ending.” The new reactors are going in at reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia. Or its good news except for “massive federal loan guarantee and other incentives.” The only incentive they should get is shielding from the inevitable frivolous lawsuit from those segments of the green community who oppose the only practical zero-emission power generating technology available.
Though not in that story, the two reactors appear to be using Westinghouse AP1000 duel-loop pressurized water reactors, which is a significant improvement over current working American reactors (and the Fukishama reactors). Personally I would have liked to see a move to a more inherently safe reactor technology like pebble bed (it’s too early to expect commercialization of the molten salt design), but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
I had a maid service come clean my house in advance of a family event I’m hosting this weekend. It’s amazing the difference between “Bachelor Clean” and “Clean Clean.” It’s almost as big as the difference between “Obama Smart” and “Actually Smart”…
If we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas. Right now, the way things stand means that a company doing its manufacturing abroad, depriving the UK economy, gets a tax break. It’s an absolutely mad way for the Inland Revenue to be running things.
(Hat tip: Slashdot)
In all the pre-New Year’s Eve excitement, I missed Friday’s news that D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined the EPA from implementing its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) until the court completed its review of the legal challenges against the rule.
This is good news, especially if the rules is invalidated, since that would prevent Texans from dying, as might well happen should older power plants that can’t meet the new rules be unavailable to provide power during peak summer days. (And remember that a 2003 heatwave killed more than 14,000 people in France.
Thanks to the Texas Public Policy Foundation (which has been following the story closely) for the heads-up.
It appears that my celebration was premature. I previously reported that the Obama Administration’s shelving of new, economically-destructive smog regulations meant Texas was off the hook. It now appears that isn’t the case, and we can still expect rolling blackouts (and likely additional heat-related fatalities) thanks to the completely different “cross-state pollution rules:”
The controversial “cross-state pollution” rule, which aims at tightening emissions from power plants in Texas and 26 other states, remains scheduled for implementation in January. The cross-state rule targets nitrogen oxides, an ozone precursor, as well as sulfur dioxide, which is not an ozone precursor but can also cause lung damage.
“The cross state air pollution rule is final,” Betsaida Alcantara, press secretary for the Environmental Protection Agency, which crafted the rule, said in an email.
The cross-state rule requires Texas power plants to lower sulfur dioxide emissions by 46 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 7 percent compared with 2009 levels, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the state’s environmental agency.
But the cross-state rule has stirred huge opposition from Texas officials, who say it is onerous and takes effect too quickly. In a statement Friday, the TCEQ said that it hoped the ozone rule pullback “signals that the EPA is beginning to consider science and common sense in their decisions, and we would hope that they would apply this to other regulations such as the proposed cross-state air pollution rule.”
Last week the Texas electric grid operator reported that the cross-state rule could curtail the operations of some coal plants so severely that it could lead to rolling blackouts — an issue that carries heightened visibility as Texas comes off a scorching summer that badly stretched power supplies.
“At least two” rotating outages would have occurred this summer had the pollution rule been in place, said Warren Lasher, an official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the grid operator.
So it appears that I was wrong when stating the EPA had come to its senses. In fact, he Obama Administration does still want to kill Texans in the name of radical environmentalism.
BattleSwarmBlog regrets the error.
When last we checked the Obama Administration, as part of it’s ongoing war against (pick one or more) A) Energy, B.) Capitalism, and/or C.) Texas, had the EPA come up with new emissions rules that would have resulted in Texas power plants having to shutdown before sufficient new capacity was online, which would most likely have resulted in rolling blackouts (and probably fatalities) the next time summer came around.
Now comes word that the EPA is backing off on new smog emissions rules. Naturally Rick Perry, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the 25 million Texans who’s A/C won’t suddenly shut off when it hits 112° in August because some bureaucrat in Washington decreed it are pleased, while radical environmentalists are outraged.
Score one for the good guys.