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Weekly John Locke Foundation
research division newsletter focusing on environmental issues.
The newsletter highlights relevant
analysis done by the JLF and other think tanks as well as items in the news.
1. Dem gubernatorial candidate makes unintended acknowledgment in
boasting support for NC's high cost renewable energy mandate
In a recent fundraising email, Democratic primary gubernatorial
candidate Walter Dalton made a somewhat odd and apparently unreflective claim
when boasting about his support for North Carolina's renewable energy mandate
legislation passed in 2007. This legislation forces electricity customers to pay
extraordinarily high utility rates so that utility monopolies like Duke Power
and Progress energy can meet a state mandate which compels the utilities to
generate 7.5 percent of their electricity from so called renewable sources like
the wind and the sun. This is called a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). Here's
what Dalton proclaimed in his letter:
While in the legislature, I fully supported
the development of the state's renewable energy portfolio, which invested $2.6
billion in renewables and created 2,700 green jobs.
I sent his campaign
an email asking for the source of these numbers but have yet to receive a response.
Assuming these numbers are accurate, as a result of North Carolina's RPS, $2.6
billion is being spent, or as Dalton says "invested," with a payoff
of 2700 jobs. If there are other positive results, such as improvements in air
quality, Dalton chose not to mention them. The only "benefit" that
Dalton seems to be able to come up with, at least in this letter, is that our
heralded RPS standard has "created" 2700 "green jobs" with
a price tag of close to a million dollars each. By the way, I will speculate here that the $2.6 billion figure
does not include the higher utility costs to ratepayers. But if this is the
best you can say about North Carolina's forced renewable energy standard then
it certainly isn't anything to brag about. In fact, I dare say that these
numbers would actually put it into the category of "costly boondoggle."
2. Human caused weather extremes not the case
Times is reporting that, of all institutions, the UN's
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that property
losses caused by extreme weather events are not due to human activity. Here's
what the Times reported:
absolution of human beings from the crime of triggering severe weather
phenomena was handed down by none other than the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), leader of the campaign to
sell the world on anthropogenic climate change. The IPCC's Special Report on
Extremes, released March 28, reads, "There is medium evidence and high
agreement that long-term trends in normalized [property] losses have not been
attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change."
The article goes on to note, citing Roger Pielke, University
of Colorado environmental studies professor, that:
...hurricane wind speed
- an indicator for the amount of energy in the atmosphere - has remained steady
for the past 15 years. Accordingly, there is no evidence that weather extremes
are on the rise globally, much less that they're increasing because of human
3. Ozone Report
The 2012 ozone season began on April 1 and, as in the past,
each week during the ozone season this newsletter will report how many, if any,
high ozone days have been experienced throughout the state during the previous
week, where they were experienced, and how many have been recorded during the
entire season to date. The ozone season will end on October 31st.
All reported data is from the North Carolina Division of Air Quality, which is
part of the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources. During the
period April 2nd to April 8th there were no reported high
ozone readings on any of the state's monitors.
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