Exciting as Britain’s latest shale gas estimate is — 47 years’ supply or more — it pales beside what is happening in the United States. There shale gas is old hat; the shale oil revolution is proving a world changer. The numbers are so large they are almost ludicrous. Predictions that the oil supply in the US would peak, loud a few years ago, are a distant memory. --Matt Ridley, The Times, 4 July 2013
President Obama's speech at Georgetown University last week provided clarity, if there was ever any doubt, as to why the administration equivocates on approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, heel-drags on permits for natural gas exports and restricts federal lands from hydrocarbon development.
The president is doubling-down on policies unfriendly (to put it politely) to hydrocarbons: coal, natural gas and oil.
There is no small irony in the fact that, despite the policy head winds, U.S. coal exports have doubled since Obama became president. And two years ago America became a net exporter of refined petroleum products — gasoline and diesel — for the first time since 1949.
Those exports, when combined with a huge decrease in crude imports occasioned by massive growth in domestic oil production, are now driving down the nation's economically debilitating trade deficit, nearly half of which came from oil imports.
A paper published in Geophysical Research Letters by James Hansen in 1988 shows that Northern hemisphere temperature changes track solar irradiation almost perfectly over the 237 years from 1750 to 1987. Subsequently in 1988, Hansen became deranged.
Global surface air temperatures: Update through 1987
Four reasons why President Barack Obama’s policy on reducing carbon dioxide emissions is wrong:
- Applying global warming assumptions: If we eliminate all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, we’ll only reduce global temperature in the year 2100 by 1/3 of a degree F.
- A forced transition to “green” energy sources will cost hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
- One of those costs will be higher energy prices, and consequently higher prices for everything else (since we make and transport everything with energy), because it costs 2 to 8 times as much to generate electricity from “green” sources.
- The higher energy prices will hit the poor hardest, because they spend the highest percentage of their income on energy.
As the president demonstrated once again during his “climate action plan” address in Georgetown, he is not someone ever to allow facts stand in the way of ideology and green lobby cronyism. The familiar take-away line is that even more regulation is essential to bludgeon energy producers and consumers to abandon climate-ravaging fossil fuels in favor of heavily taxpayer-subsidized “alternatives”.
Even his staunch allies in all things liberal at the New York Times appear to finally recognize that the feverish climate fervor behind these green grab gambits is overheated. They reported on June 6 that, “The rise in the surface temperature of Earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.” Reporter Justin Gillis went on to admit that the break in temperature increases “highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system”, whereby the lack of warming “is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.”