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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Green Notes: Blanchard, Bias, Big Stone...

Who says it's hard to come up with blog material? Most days I can hardly keep up! Here's a potpourri of Sunday energy and environment notes:

The good Dr. Blanchard emerges briefly from Twins hysteria to contend that I'm wrong about the ability of ACESA's cap-and-trade provisions to reduce carbon emissions. (Go Twins... and go Cards! Less travel, fewer carbon emissions from Minneapolis to St. Louis than to L.A.)

KELO continues its one-sided coverage of Big Stone II with an AP lament from Big Stone City... which is still moving forward with a housing development and city facilities.

That Sioux Falls paper again trumps KELO with more balanced coverage, giving the Sierra Club some ink to say with cheer that Big Stone II is dead... or at least that investors should read the market tea leaves and invest elsewhere. Jeff Martin's story also gives Big Stone II and Heartland flacks the opportunity to put on their PR faces and insist there's still hope for the coal-fired plant. Really. Just invest. Pleeeeeeaaaassse?!?!

And for further balance, that Sioux Falls paper gives State Rep. Val Rausch, from the big District 4 that gerry-meanders all the way from Big Stone City to Colman, op-ed space to express his inability to comprehend relatively straightforward economic calculations used to calculcate carbon footprints:

...the mechanics of how a low-carbon fuel standard would work in practice could've been cribbed straight from Dante. First, bureaucrats gather up samples of crude oil. Each sample is then assigned a carbon score, not based on how much carbon is in the oil (that's constant) but on how much estimated energy was used to bring that oil to market.

Heavy crudes require more energy to produce than light crudes and therefore receive a higher (read "worse") life-cycle carbon score. Oil sands from Canada and oil shale from the American Intermountain West are treated even more harshly under this system.

And corn-based ethanol? The way the bureaucrats see it, ethanol is even worse than the rest since farmers in developing countries likely will have to cut down more of their trees to grow corn since Americans are using so much of theirs for fuel. Follow all that?

Um, yeah, actually most people can follow that. Including production costs and environmental impacts in policy calculations is no more complicated than figuring out that buying a cheap house in Madison may cost me more than buying an expensive house in Sioux Falls if I then have to buy gas to commute to my job at Citibank every day. Oh, oops. Sorry to give your brain a hernia there, Val. (And Dante? Really? Wow. Heavens forbid Rep. Rausch ever have to work through anything really complicated, like a state budget... oh. Uh oh....)

1 comment:

  1. "Oh, oops. Sorry to give your brain a hernia "

    The nice thing about complexity in things like taxes and government regulation is that it makes it so difficult to insert porcine favors, loopholes, and massive corruption by the bureaucrats who run the bribe ring, er "Program". Or do you think lobbyist aren't going to have a field day with this Green cash cow?

    Just like anything organic there is a level of general understanding everyone can achieve, even Cory, without penetrating the reality...how many pages is our tax code again?


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