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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Arctic Ice Cap Expands by 41 Percent in Two Years; Al Gore Thought It Might Be Gone by Now?




 ice baby. That's what they have a lot more of in the Arctic.
The UK Daily Mail, one of those British tabloids the left has despised going back to the Clinton administration and its paranoia about a right-wing media conspiracyreports from authoritative sources — the kind the U.S. establishment press uses when it seems to support the hoax known as human-caused global warming — that the Arctic ice cap has expanded rapidly in the past two years. In doing so, it has made up all of what was lost between 2009 and 2012 with a slight margin to spare. Seven years ago, former Vice President and leading global warming false alarmist Al Gore predicted that "It could be completely gone." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):


Myth of arctic meltdown: Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago...despite Al Gore's prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now


- Seven years after former US Vice-President Al Gore's warning, Arctic ice cap has expanded for second year in row


- An area twice the size of Alaska - America's biggest state - was open water two years ago and is now covered in ice


- These satellite images taken from University of Illinois's Cryosphere project show ice has become more concentrated

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’
Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

To put it another way, an area the size of Alaska, America’s biggest state, was open water two years ago, but is again now covered by ice.

The most widely used measurements of Arctic ice extent are the daily satellite readings issued by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is co-funded by Nasa. These reveal that – while the long-term trend still shows a decline – last Monday, August 25, the area of the Arctic Ocean with at least 15 per cent ice cover was 5.62 million square kilometres.

This was the highest level recorded on that date since 2006 ... and represents an increase of 1.71 million square kilometres over the past two years – an impressive 43 per cent.

Other figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggest that the growth has been even more dramatic. Using a different measure, the area with at least 30 per cent ice cover, these reveal a 63 per cent rise – from 2.7 million to 4.4 million square kilometres.
... as well as becoming more extensive, the ice has grown more concentrated, with the purple areas – denoting regions where the ice pack is most dense – increasing markedly.

Crucially, the ice is also thicker, and therefore more resilient to future melting.
In that Nobel acceptance speech, Gore infamously said:
... the earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong.

We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.
No sir. Your assertions are "what is wrong," and the only way to "make it right" is to back away from them and face the truth. Another key element of the truth is that there has been no net global warming, human-caused or otherwise, for 17 years and 10 months.
Sadly, the Daily Mail's dispatch proves that relying on the U.S. establishment press in the hope of being fully informed is a futile enterprise. The chances that they will call out Gore for his fearmongering are between slim and none.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.


Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2014/08/30/arctic-ice-cap-expands-41-percent-two-years-al-gore-thought-it-might-be-#ixzz3C0E7cDgh

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Global Warming Fanatics, Try To Connect Ferguson And ‘Global Warming.




Frequently criticized for being insufficiently diverse, environmentalists are trying to draw parallels between the crisis erupting in Ferguson, Missouri and global warming.
“It was not hard for me to make the connection between the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, and the catalyst for my work to stop the climate crisis,” writes Deirdre Smith, strategic partnership coordinator for the environmental group 350.org.
Smith ties the “institutional neglect of vulnerable communities in crisis” into the environmental movement’s war against fossil fuels, which she claims hit minority communities the hardest.
“To me, the connection between militarized state violence, racism, and climate change was common-sense and intuitive,” she said. “If extreme weather is about droughts, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires, the way people get treated in the wake of disaster is about power.”
Smith’s article comes in the wake of a recent report that found the environmental movement is dominated by white males. This report found a lack of racial diversity and a huge gender gap when it came to leadership roles and collaboration.
“Despite the growth in the ethnic minority population in the U.S., the percentage of minorities on the boards or general staff of environmental organizations does not exceed 16 percent in the three types of institutions studied,” reads a recent study from the University of Michigan.
“Once hired in environmental organizations, ethnic minorities are concentrated in the lower ranks,” the study continued. “As a result, ethnic minorities occupy less than 12 percent of the leadership positions in the environmental organizations studied.”
The environmental movement has long been criticized by minority activists for its lack of racial diversity. Notably, former White House green jobs czar Van Jones told Grist last year that the environmental movement should embrace minorities to enhance their reach.


The events in Ferguson offer an important moment if you’re a climate organizer, looking around the room, wondering where the ‘people of color’ are,” Smith wrote. “It’s a time to to dig deep and ask yourself if you really care why — and if you are committed to the deep work, solidarity, and learning that it will take to bring more ‘diversity’ to our movement. Personally, I think the climate movement is up to this necessary challenge.”
350.org is a major environmental group that gained notoriety opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and Canadian oil sands development. Its founder and president, Bill McKibben, was one of several activists arrested in 2011 protesting the pipeline.
The group has gotten millions in funding from various sources over the years. According to a Senate report, over the past few years the group has “separately collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Park Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Tides Foundation, Marisla Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation and Rockefeller Family Foundation.”


Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/26/environmentalists-try-to-connect-ferguson-and-climate-crisis/#ixzz3BuGkj04V

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

King Obama! Bypassing Senate's Constitutional Ratification Power on Climate Change Treaty?



Sort of, but some details remain murky.  Via Jim Geragthy, the New York Timesreports today that the Obama administration is seeking to commit the United States to an anti-climate change international treaty without even attempting to seek formal approval from the Senate.  According to the explicit verbiage of the Constitution, two-thirds of the upper chamber must assent to such an agreement in order for it to take on the binding effect of law. Given that Harry Reid couldn't lasso the votes to advance cap-and-trade when his caucus enjoyed a huge majority in 2009 and 2010, accumulating 67 votes in the current Senate environment for an initiative like this is unlikely in the extreme.  From the Times' story:

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress. In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

What the administration is pursuing, then, is a "hybrid agreement," according to the Times. The proposal would "blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification."  Here's what the plan would look like:

Countries would be legally required to enact domestic climate change policies — but would voluntarily pledge to specific levels of emissions cuts and to channel money to poor countries to help them adapt to climate change. Countries might then be legally obligated to report their progress toward meeting those pledges at meetings held to identify those nations that did not meet their cuts. “There’s some legal and political magic to this,” said Jake Schmidt, an expert in global climate negotiations with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. “They’re trying to move this as far as possible without having to reach the 67-vote threshold” in the Senate.

Magic, swoons the guy from the left-wing environmental group whose homepagefeatures a video from actor Robert Redford lashing out at "big oil."  I'd call it confusing, at best.  The US would be "legally required" (how?) to "enact" (doesthat require Congress, or are they just for show?) some form of "domestic climate change policies."  What would satisfy that so-called requirement?  Any bill at all?  It's unclear.  But then the emissions targets themselves would be entirely voluntary, even as signatory nations would be "obligated to report their progress" towards those voluntary, non-binding pledges.  Some of those details are to be hammered out at a drafting session in Peru before Christmas.  The Timespiece makes only passing reference to the fact that any treaty would be useless without countries like China and India signing on (and abiding by their voluntary goals), which is hardly a minor detail.  The story also notes that the Senate "refused to ratify" the Kyoto protocols treaty in 1997, framing the issue as one of Republican obstruction.  For the record, the Senate voted 97-0 against even considering Kyoto ratification.   The article describes GOP opposition as a combination of nihilism, mindless skepticism of the "established science of human-caused global warming," and provincial self interest.  Sen. Mitch McConnell, for instance, represents a state with major interests in coal, "the world’s largest source of carbon pollution," the Times informs its readers.  And the award for the most alarmist sentence in the story goes to...

"The strategy comes as scientists warn that the earth is already experiencing the first signs of human-caused global warming — more severe drought and stronger wildfires, rising sea levels and more devastating storms — and the United Nations heads toward what many say is the body’s last chance to avert more catastrophic results in the coming century."

Last chance before catastrophe.  As I've written previously, I believe that anthropogenic climate change is real -- but the evidence also strongly indicates that unilaterally shackling America to the Left's preferred policy "solutions" would be economically harmful, if not ruinous, and wouldn't even dentthe problem they're supposedly trying to address.  Unless and until other massive emitters get on board, this debate is entirely academic. All pain, no gain.  I'm also skeptical of the politicized "scientific community's" shrill alarmism.  The Economist noted last year that many of climate science's dire projections have not been confirmed by actual data, and that global warming has mysteriously paused for more than a decade in spite of soaring carbon emissions. And it didn't help matters when the devastating East Anglia scandal broke in 2009, revealing that supposed impartial empiricists were hiding and fudging data to fit their preferred narrative. Eminent scientists were shown to be petty, ideological tyrants, subordinating real data and the principle of scientific transparency to their political and personal agendas.  It's difficult to take dire warnings from these people seriously at this point.  They're terribly compromised.  Finally, regardless of the merits of climate change, the Constitution says what it says.  No president can simply assert a quasi-legally-binding international treaty into existence. Allahpundit thinks Obama may be trying to goad Republicans into another shutdown or impeachment talk, either of which would be politically exploitable.  That may be part of it, but it seems to me that Obama has basically given up on doing his job within, let's call them, traditional confines.  He's an unpopular lame duck -- who will get lamer after November -- but he remains highly ideological, so he's going to invent pretexts to try to impose his will as best he can.  Whether it works, or holds up in court down the road, is of minimal concern.  "Fundamentally transform" as much as possible, and see what sticks. 
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2014/08/27/obama-administration-n1883901

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Global Warming; 31,487 Scientists say NO to Alarm

Watch Now: Morano on TV (humbly) promotes new climate film: ‘We are going to have the greatest climate documentary of al-l-l-l-l ti-i-i-ime!’A new film, 'Climate Hustle' hopes to show what's really behind the multi-billion dollar catastrophic anthropogenic global warming scam.

Morano on Ezra Levant's The Source on Sun News Canada promotes Climate Hustle: 'In the words of Muhammad Ali during the heyday of his boxing career, 'We are going to have the greatest climate documentary of a-l-l-l-l ti-i-i-i-ime!
‘We are putting together the most comprehensive, unique, entertaining and humorous climate documentary that has ever been attempted!’
'We are going to take on the global warming establishment with satire, humor and science...We are going to feature climate astrology, climate contradictory predictions, climate tipping points. We have a spoof, a send off of the Al Gore CO2 climate elevator scene from Inconvenient Truth -- we spoof the exact scene.
Morano: ‘We are shooting for entertainment value first as our goal and education as number two. We have to make this entertaining and appeal to the average viewer who does not follow climate change on a regular basis.
‘We confront UN IPCC lead author Michael Oppenheimer who claimed in a climate documentary with Tom Brokaw that skeptics were motivated by money. I got to ask him point blank — I asked him about his funding of a quarter million dollars from none other than Barbra Streisand. Oppenheimer was the climatologist to the Hollywood stars and I ask him about this on camera. And he is accusing skeptics of being motivated by funding.
We have hard hitting sections. We bring in scientists whose stories have not been told before.
Climate Hustle is set for a Fall 2014 release.
Related Links:
‘Climate Hustle’: New skeptic documentary planned for Fall release is ‘off to a roaring start’ - ‘In just three weeks, we were able to surpass our initial funding goal of $50,000 for the production of our groundbreaking Climate Hustle film. This exciting CFACT project has clearly struck a nerve, as people are fed up with Green climate propaganda and hungry for an informative documentary that will take apart global warming myths – and do it in a unique style sure to entertain and amuse!’

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Germany, back-up power, disruptive renewables, electricity markets, energiewende

Germany has a program to increase its electricity production from renewable sources to 80 percent by 2050. The country produced a record 27 percent of its electricity from renewable energy during the first quarter of 2014 due to increased renewable capacity and favorable weather. While the country’s electricity generation from renewable energy is on the upswing, however, there are ramifications to this program that include instability of the electric grid, the need to secure back-up power that is reliable, and the burden on its households to pay for the high cost of electricity. German utility companies are receiving payments from the grid to help stabilize the electricity network that has been destabilized by drops and surges from wind and solar power. Coal is being used more heavily to back-up the intermittent renewable technologies and to provide reliable base load power that is increasing carbon dioxide emissions. Households are paying heavily for subsidies such as feed-in-tariffs that subsidize the high cost of renewable technologies.




Germany’s Energiewende

In 2010, Germany introduced Energiewende, or “energy transformation,” which is its plan to increase electricity production from renewable sources to 80 percent by 2050 and to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent from 1990 levels. In addition, Germany wants to phase out nuclear power by 2022. Prior to Energiewende, the country had introduced other policies related to increasing renewable energy production, such as the feed-in-tariff, that provided lucrative subsidies to renewable technologies paid mostly by residential customers. Due the feed-in tariff program supporting renewable energy, residential electricity prices have more than doubled, from 18 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2000 to more than 37 cents in 2013. The feed-in-tariff subsidy program has cost more than $468 billion, and it is estimated that program costs could exceed $1.3 trillion by the time it expires in 2015. German consumers pay a surcharge on their monthly power bills that increased 18 percent on January 1, 2014, (more than a fivefold increase since 2009) to finance renewable subsidies.[1]




While retail prices of electricity are rising for German consumers, wholesale prices are artificially going down, threatening the reliability and the stability of the electric system. Wholesale electricity prices in Germany have dropped 60 percent since 2008 as renewable energy, which is heavily subsidized and has priority access to the grid, gets dispatched first due to its much lower short-term marginal production costs than traditional plants, displacing natural gas, coal and nuclear power. These high cost renewables, subsidized mainly by German households, have increased the country’s energy poverty, with average residential rates 3 times higher than the residential rate in the United States. As a result, lawmakers backed a change to Germany’s renewable laws to curb green subsidies and slow gains in consumer power prices that are the second-costliest in the European Union.
But these incentives have increased Germany’s solar and wind power output. In fact, Germany hit a new record in May of this year, producing 74 percent of its electricity from renewable sources during a portion of daylight hours around midday.[ii]  That resulted in day-ahead power prices in Germany to be negative for much of that afternoon. (See chart below.)[iii] Note that the break-even point for German utilities is just above 3 cents per kilowatt hour. This is making traditional utility plants close, despite their generating the majority of the power that Germany needs. These plants provide backup power for intermittent renewable sources, so their closure further weakens the grid’s viability.

While its solar plants hit a record at noon that day in May, they could not sustain that level of power production. Nor, can the country’s wind power sustain production when the wind is not blowing. As a result, Germany has had to rely on coal to back-up its renewable units and to ensure reliable base load power. By increasing its reliance on coal, however, Germany has also increased its carbon dioxide emissions, in contradiction with their stated goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.[iv]


Germany’s Power Grid

In order to keep the power system stable, twenty power companies operating in Germany get paid for pledging to add or cut electricity within seconds, according to data from the nation’s four grid operators. The utility companies have gotten paid as much as 400 times the wholesale electricity price by participating in the balancing market. According to one grid operator, the increased intermittent renewable electricity production has resulted in five times as many potential disruptions as four years ago, raising the risk of blackouts and pushing wholesale prices to a nine-year low. Utilities are joining the balancing market as weak prices have cut operating margins to 5 percent on average from 15 percent in 2004. By joining the balancing market, companies are earning about 10 percent of their plant profits. In Germany’s daily and weekly balancing market auctions, utilities have been paid as much as 13,922 Euros to provide one megawatt of generating capacity on an as needed basis to stabilize the grid. Utility companies must be ready to provide power or cut output in notice periods of 15 minutes, 5 minutes or 30 seconds. These companies earn fees whether their services are needed or not.
Balancing-market payments to utilities totaled 800 million Euros ($1.1 billion) in 2013 about the same as in 2012. As an example of the amount of power needed for stabilization, in one week, utilities were asked to reserve 3,898 megawatts, which compares with Germany’s total installed generating capacity of 183,649 megawatts, about 2 percent. In 2013, Germany’s second-largest grid operator told power plant operators to adjust output 1,009 times to keep the grid stable, compared with 209 times in 2010. The number of interventions in 2014 for this grid operator is expected to be the same as in 2013.[v] Other grid operators are experiencing similar interventions.

To adapt to volatile supply and demand, one utility company spent as much as 700 million Euros on technology to allow its lignite units to change output by 30 megawatts within a minute. These coal-fired

generators were built to run 24 hours a day without interruption. The company’s lignite units, which have a total capacity of 10,291 megawatts, are flexible enough to cut or increase output by 5,000 megawatts as intermittent renewable technologies either flood the grid or their supply vanishes. A company spokesman said in an interview, “Back in the days, our lignite plants were inflexible, produced power around the clock and were always earning money. Now they are as flexible as gas plants.”
As Germany expands its renewable capacity, its electric grids will need to be refurbished to handle additional loads and be expanded to reach remote locations where renewable resources are more prevalent. Germany is increasing its electric grids to facilitate new wind farms, both onshore and offshore, and solar farms with an estimated investment between 21 and 27 billion Euros over the next decade.

Conclusion

German residents are learning that its country’s renewable energy laws come with ramifications that include high cost electricity from subsidization of renewable technologies, energy poverty, destabilization of the grid, and increased carbon dioxide emissions from the back-up power needed to supply reliable power when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. German Energy Commissioner Gunter Oettinger has declared that “the deindustrialization has already begun.” To ensure grid stability, electric grid operators have had to pay electric utilities to provide flexible power resulting in investments to convert coal-fired power plants that were originally built to operate 24 hours a day to flexible plants that can power up or down with little notice. But, it is becoming more and more difficult for traditional plants to survive in this environment, causing some to close. The outcome for Germans will be a higher potential for black-outs and increased energy costs to pay for an expansion and upgrade to its electricity grid and the conversion of its coal plants to be as flexible as needed.  Whether it will further deindustrialize Germany remains a significant question
for its leaders and the people of Germany.


[1] Electricity Markets Out of Balance: The Germany Experience, February 5, 2014, State and Local Energy Report,


[ii]  Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent of Power Needs from Renewable Energy, May 13, 2014, Think Progress,


[iii] Germany’s record renewable performance, May 12, 2014, Renewables International,


[iv] Poll: Only Germans Think They Are Helping to Fix Global Warming, July 24, 2014, Time,


[v] German Utilities Bail Out Electric Grid at Wind’s Mercy, July 30, 2014, Bloomberg


http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/65495

Cooling Turn To Warming Australian Met Office Accused Of Manipulating Temperature Records

The [Australian] Bureau of Meteorology has been accused of manipulating historic temperature records to fit a predetermined view of global warming. Researcher Jennifer Marohasy claims the adjusted records resemble “propaganda” rather than science. Dr Marohasy has analysed the raw data from dozens of locations across Australia and matched it against the new data used by BOM showing that temperatures were progressively warming. In many cases, Dr Marohasy said, temperature trends had changed from slight cooling to dramatic warming over 100 years.—Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 23 August 2014

The escalating row goes to heart of the climate change debate — in particular, whether computer models are better than real data and whether temperature records are being manipulated in a bid to make each year hotter than the last. Marohasy’s research has put her in dispute with BoM over a paper she published with John Abbot at Central Queensland University in the journal Atmospheric Research concerning the best data to use for rainfall forecasting. BoM challenged the findings of the Marohasy-Abbot paper, but the international journal rejected the BoM rebuttal, which had been prepared by some of the bureau’s top scientists. This has led to an escalating dispute over the way in which ­Australia’s historical temperature records are “improved” through homogenisation, which is proving more difficult to resolve.—Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 23 August 2014

When I first sent Graham Lloyd some examples of the remodeling of the temperature series I think he may have been somewhat skeptical. I know he on-forwarded this information to the Bureau for comment, including three charts showing the homogenization of the minimum temperature series for Amberley. Mr Lloyd is the Environment Editor for The Australian newspaper and he may have been concerned I got the numbers wrong. He sought comment and clarification from the Bureau. I understand that by way of response to Mr Lloyd, the Bureau has not disputed these calculations. What the Bureau has done, however, is try and justify the changes. In particular, for Amberley the Bureau is claiming to Mr Lloyd that there is very little available documentation for Amberley before 1990 and that information before this time may be “classified”: as in top secret.—Jennifer Marohasy, 23 August 2014
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/65503

Friday, August 22, 2014

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) Has Deen Discovered To Be One Of The Best “Get Rich Quick Enviro Imperialism and Greenie Ppportunism


This just in: Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) has been discovered to be one of the best “get rich quick” schemes in the history of mankind. Research scientists, heads of state, bureaucrats, engineers, major media figures and anyone even remotely related to Al Gore, seem to be taking advantage of this massive windfall. Sadly, for the enablers, the deniers and regular people who still have to work for a living, that windfall seems to stem directly from their pockets.

Steyer, Soros, Gates, Buffett, Algore, all the companies that shout about the sustainability projects they promote–they all reek of corrupt manipulation and scams.



new report from Ceres, a well-heeled group of Wall Street activists who work with groups such as the AFL-CIO, Environmental Defense Fund, the National Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club[1], ranked electric utilities by how well the utilities adopted policies reflecting those of Ceres on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The point of the report is to argue that complying with EPA’s carbon dioxide restrictions for existing power plants will not be too costly.

As Ceres President Mindy Lubber said, “Renewable energy and energy efficiency, two of EPA’s Clean Power Plan building blocks, are increasingly cost-effective options for electric utilities seeking to lower their carbon emissions.” The problem is that data from Ceres report shows the exact opposite—the utilities implementing the policies Ceres supports have much higher electricity rates than the average utilities, and that means their customers, the consumers of electricity, pay for the policies Ceres tries to peddle. It appears that Ceres is far more concerned about padding the wallets of their Wall Street donors and supporters than whether middle or low income families can afford electricity.
The cost of electricity from Ceres’ “top ranked” utilities is twice as expensive as the bottom ranked utilities.


Electricity from top performers, like Pacific Gas and Electric Corp and Edison International — who on average charge 14.34 cents/kWh — are twice as expensive as electricity from utilities at the bottom of the ranking, such as Entergy and Dominion who charge an average of 7.67 cents/kWh.[2] This is especially alarming because EPA wants to force utilities to implement the policies of utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric and Edison International, and Ceres is backing these efforts.

Report Methodology Connects with Ceres’ Goals

Ceres described the methodology used for ranking the utilities companies as follows:
“Companies were benchmarked on three key indicators of clean energy deployment: 1) Renewable energy sales, or the total amount of renewable electricity sold to retail customers; 2) Cumulative annual energy efficiency savings; and 3) Incremental annual energy efficiency savings, or the energy savings from new programs or new participants in existing programs.”[3]
Ceres’ goal is to mobilize a coalition of wealthy investors with financial interests in renewable energy and energy efficiency mandates to “change capital market practices[4]” to benefit their products. For example, Ceres strongly advocates businesses and investors spend a “clean trillion” on clean energy solutions by 2030. Ultimately the organization seeks to accomplish their goals by working with government officials to craft regulations that guarantee a return on their enormous investments[5].

Report’s Connection to EPA’s proposed “Clean Power Rule”

Ceres’ President Mindy Lubber did not mince words when describing her hopes for utilities and how proposed EPA’s carbon dioxide limits on existing power plants will help move utility companies that Ceres ranked at the bottom of the report to act like highly ranked utilities:

“…the time has come and we’re going to start seeing even the laggards move into at least a midrange position, and once the EPA rules go into effect, we’ll see more and more companies, because they have to do it, but we’ve got a head start and we’ve got the evidence that they can do it and that it can work.”[6]

It Appears Ceres Goal is to Drive Up Electricity Prices

In 2012, the average utility customer used 10,837 kWh of electricity.[7] If customers of Ceres’ high performance utilities used the average amount of electricity, then the customers would pay, on average, $1,397.97 in electricity costs, whereas customers who are serviced by “average” utilities paid roughly $1,063.11 a year, and customers serviced by the “worst” utilities paid only $831.20 a year. The customers of Ceres’ “top” utility companies an additional $566.77 a year in electricity costs on average.

Ceres’ Utility Performance in Relation to Electricity Cost (units in dollars)[8]

These numbers don’t even account for regional differences in electricity use that could mean an even greater increase in cost for customers since many of the Ceres’ lowest rated utilities are located in the Southern United States where states have not pursued aggressive renewable energy policies and electricity usage is much higher than elsewhere due to hot weather.[9]
For example, if Entergy subsidiaries in Louisiana were to bring their average cost of 6.83 cents per kWh up to 12.90 cents per kWh[10], which is the average cost of the best performers on the list, this would have a more dramatic effect on consumers because the yearly electricity consumption in Louisiana is highest in the country at 15,045.94 kWh.[11] This change would nearly double consumer cost from $1,027.64 per year to $1,940.93. Not only are the price increases much more dramatic, they would also impact many of the poorest states. Louisiana, along with many of the other Southern states who would have the largest increase in electricity prices, is among the poorest states in the country. Louisiana’s median household income was the third lowest in the United States at $40,660, compared to the national average of $52, 142.[12] It is unfair to ask the poor to subsidize wealthy Wall Street investors without providing any direct benefits.

Conclusion

Green groups such as Ceres are not concerned about the amount of money middle and lower income families have to pay for the electricity they need to keep the lights on and the air conditioning running on hot days. Instead of looking for ways to reduce the cost of electricity, Ceres advocates a plan that results in higher electricity rates. Following Ceres suggestions might be good for some wealthy Wall Street investors, but it will cost the families on Main Street.


Appendix:

[1] Ceres Coalition Members,
[3] Ceres, Benchmarking Utility Clean Energy Deployment 2014, July 2014
[4] CeresWhat We Do,
[5] CeresOur Vision for a Sustainable Global Economy,
[6] E&E News, Ceres’ Lubber discusses Senate costs of warming testimony, action on EPA carbon rule, 7/30/14,
[8] These numbers where calculated using price information from the Energy Information Administration.  High performance utilities in the report included International Edison Co, Pacific Gas & Electric Co, Xcel, and Sempra. Utilities that had average performance included are Duke, Exelon, Southern Co, First Energy Coop, and AEP. The utilities included in the worst performance were Entergy, and Dominion.
[9]  Energy Information Administration,Factors Affecting Electricity Prices,
[11]  Energy Information Administration, Average monthly residential electricity consumption, prices, and bills by state,
[12] U.S. Census Bureau Income of Households by State.
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/65484