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July 9, 2007

Strange New State Global Warming Laws

by Brad Warbiany

California: Restrict oil supply by crippling alternative oil sources

Oil-sand, oil-shale, and coal-to-oil projects – alternative fuel sources that could enhance US energy security – have always faced one hurdle. They look good only when oil prices are high. Now, they have another challenge: global warming.

California has enacted new climate-change policies that make energy companies responsible for the carbon emissions not just of their refineries but all phases of oil production, including extraction and transportation. If that notion catches on – at least two Canadian provinces have already signed on to California’s plan – then the futures of oil-sand, shale, and coal-to-oil projects may look less attractive.

The reason: Extracting these alternative sources of oil requires so much energy that their “carbon footprint” may outweigh their benefits.

I hope Californians are happy that they’re saving the world when they become poor trying to scrounge money to afford the $6/gallon gas to take them to work each day. And I’d place money on the bet that when gas prices climb, it will be politicians blaming energy companies instead of their own policies for the high prices.

But hey, they’re politicians. Act now to fight the obscure calamity of the day, and damn the consequences! I’m just surprised they haven’t tripled gas taxes yet… That must be next week.

New Jersey: Curb emissions and kill business even more than NJ already does

New Jersey became the third state in the nation to enact a comprehensive greenhouse gas reduction law Friday, requiring the Garden State to significantly cut emissions of global-warming gases.

The legislation requires the state to reduce global warming gases to 1990 levels by 2020, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2006 levels by 2050. New Jersey is the first state to set global warming targets so far into the future, environmentalists said, and the first to require that energy imports adhere to New Jersey’s standards.

“This is a very, very important day for the state of New Jersey,” said Corzine. “We are making a long-lived commitment today that will impact not just our generation but future generations.”

Yeah, it will impact future generations… They’ll wonder why their electricity bill is $500/month paying for the air conditioning to mitigate the heat that that New Jersey’s law couldn’t prevent. Somehow I don’t think anyone will inform them that it was the laws in New Jersey that strangled the power producers and drove the price up. And they’ll wonder why they can’t find good jobs in their own state. Somehow I think the politicians will blame greedy capitalists for that one.

But Corzine knows what needs to be done, despite what detractor Sara Bluhm has to say about it:

“Instead of setting arbitrary goals, the governor could do something today to help businesses remain competitive by releasing funds for energy audits,” she said, adding that millions of dollars set aside for such audits 18 months ago have yet to be released by the state treasury.

Sara, don’t you understand? Setting arbitrary goals for 13 years down the road gets him reelected. Giving out government money today to corporations doesn’t. What part of the job of governing isn’t clear?

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1 Comment

  1. Check this US Carbon Footprint Map out, has United States Interactive Carbon Footprint Map, illustrating Greenest States. This site has all sorts of stats on individual State energy consumptions, demographics and State energy offices.

    http://www.eredux.com/states/

    Comment by Eredux — July 9, 2007 @ 10:34 am

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