Revisiting EPA’s Gold King Mine blowout – Part 2

The Navajo Nation and New Mexico vs. incompetence and bad faith in the USEPA

By Duggan Flanakin – Re-Blogged From WUWT

On August 5, five years to the day after suffering from a 3-million-gallon spill of heavy-metal-laden toxic wastewater from Colorado’s Gold King Mine, the State of Utah announced a settlement of its claims against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several EPA contractors (who thus far have not been held responsible, accountable or liable) for their alleged negligence in allowing the spill.

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California Continues to Inflict More Costs onto the Energy Used by Residents

By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure, Irvine, California

 

Rather than reducing demand, the state imposes more costs on the supply

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided on May 28th that climate lawsuits filed by San Mateo County and the cities of San Francisco and Oakland asserting a California public nuisance claim against five energy companies arising from the role of fossil fuel products in global warming can proceed in state court. The lawsuits utilize an obscure area of the law called “public nuisance” to place the blame for global climate change on a few energy companies that develop and sell the energy used by consumers and businesses.

What San Francisco, Oakland, and Governor Newsom fail to understand is that the oil and gas industry is not just a California business with its few refineries,  but an international industry with more than 700 refineries worldwide that manufacture the derivatives from oil that are needed to make more than 6,000 products, as well as the various fuels to the world to operate planes, trucks, construction equipment, merchant ships, cruise ships, and automobiles.

Without the California energy suppliers operating in the 5th largest economy in the world, the state would become a national security risk for the entire country being dependent on foreign countries for our existence.

If the GND ever gets fully implemented in California, we’ll have no refineries manufacturing in -state. We would be getting all those thousands of products from the derivatives from oil, and our fuels from foreign refineries via ships to our ports. Newsom may have difficulty suing offshore refineries for their nuisance to society!

When placed in the context of more onerous regulations during a global pandemic ravaging the American and California economy, this environmental crusading is particularly concerning. Despite this fact, certain voices in the environmental movement have continued to leverage the pandemic to attack the suppliers that only exist to meet the demands of society.

California has methodically driven most manufacturing out of the state, as it’s been more cost effective to import much of the demands of our society from locations outside the state that can manufacture our needs and transport them to the state.

This “outsourcing” concept has yet to be realistic for the daily demands of jet fuel, diesel fuel, gasoline, and for all those derivatives from crude oil that are needed by thousands of products in our daily lives. If it were more cost effective to import those energy needs from foreign locations, it would already be in place.

The COVID-19 induced impacts on our social lifestyles, was a virtual shutdown of airports, cruise ships, most forms of transportation, restaurants, and the leisure and entertainment industry. The resultant reduction in demand dramatically impacted the supply chain for all the energy needed to meet the social needs of society.

The pandemic gave us a preview of what weaning our economies off fossil fuel-addiction that our social lifestyles have become, as we try to accelerate the transition to greener alternatives of intermittent electricity from wind and solar.

During the quarantine, it was almost like living in the 1800’s with virtually no transportation systems, but and that’s a BIG BUT, we were able to survive the quarantine as we benefited from all those products derived from the derivatives from oil that produced all the critical medical equipment like ultrasound systems, ventilators, CT systems, and X-ray, medicines, masks, gloves, soap and hand sanitizers for hospitals, and protective gear for doctors and nurses, and all the electronics and communications equipment that allowed us to work virtually.

Yes, we may be using fossil fuels too extensively for leisure, entertainment, and travel but the developed world is where it is today, healthier, and wealthier, because of all those products we get from those oil derivatives. As we weed ourselves from oil, we will need to lower our demands for leisure, entertainment, and transportation infrastructures that COVID-19 has shown us the way.

The same politicians that are thrashing on in-state energy suppliers, and seeking their demise, are the same ones reaping the benefits of the medications, medical equipment, communication networks, and the thousands of other products from that industry that have contributed to their lifestyles, and their ability to live beyond 80 years of age.

All the lawsuits and bizarre laws and regulations against the local energy suppliers will most likely result in a hodgepodge of lawsuits across the nation that burden our court system, create uncertainty and fail to create any real solutions. They will continue to invoke more self-inflicted costs on the suppliers to be paid by the users.  In the meantime, those 700 foreign suppliers remain ready to meet the demands of society.

The costs to import the energy into California from those foreign suppliers to meet local demands are currently more expensive than we are now paying, which is already the most expensive in the country. The emissions from those foreign refineries will be greater than those in California as foreign environmental regulations are significantly less stringent than those locally.

Until the voters say enough-is-enough, the infliction of more costs by our elected officials and environmentalists onto the suppliers, that are paid by the users, will continue into perpetuity.

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California Sues Energy Companies For Gas Price Gouging After Voters Nearly Revolted Over Fuel Taxes

By Chris White, The Daily Caller – Re-Blogged From WUWT

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued two energy trading companies Monday for allegedly colluding to increase the state’s gas prices. 
  • Becerra’s move comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom suggested in 2019 that oil companies are responsible for high fuel prices. It also comes more than two years after voters nearly revolted over the state’s gas taxes.
  • Local activist Carl DeMaio told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Becerra and Newsom are “arsonists” who start fires and then have the “audacity to say someone else is at fault.”  

California sued two major energy companies Monday for allegedly manipulating gas prices artificially.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #393

The Week That Was: January 4, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “And that is what science is: the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race[’s] experience from the past. I see it that way. – Richard Feynman (1966)

Number of the Week: 14°F – 28°F (8°C – 16°C) Change

Science Is Dynamic, Not Static: As articulated by Richard Feynman, the scientific method is an on-going process of trial and error correction. It is not imposed by any organization or political power. It is a process of evaluating various concepts, ideas, guesses. If the guesses agree with physical evidence, obtained by experiments and / or observations, then they are tentatively accepted. If the guesses do not agree with the physical evidence, then they are changed or discarded. Failure to do so leads to poor science.

Elaborate models always include many assumptions, and computational models produce sets of numerical calculations. For elaborate models, it can be impossible for third parties to evaluate the internal logic, including the validity of the assumptions. Thus, the ability to describe and predict is usually the key for evaluating complex models, such as climate models. For several decades, the US climate models have not been able to correctly describe the atmospheric temperature trends. Thus, there is no logical reason to assume these models can predict changes in trends far into the future. In the formation of government policies, they should be dismissed as having no importance.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #383

The Week That Was: October 26, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Quote of the Week – “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”— George Bernard Shaw [H/t William Readdy]

Number of the Week: $11.69 billion up 31%

Alarmists in Local Media – Using Surface Data: The huge propaganda push by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the need for “climate protection” has resulted in many strident claims in the local media, many becoming colorful slogans such as “climate crisis”, “climate chaos”, etc. Joseph D’Aleo, a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, and a fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) has long addressed false ideas about climate change both in the AMS and in the public. D’Aleo was a founder of the Weather Channel and of WeatherBell Analytics, LLC. He is a pioneer in seasonal forecasts based on evidence and statistical modeling. As with many well-known skeptics who rebut the unsubstantiated claims that carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming, D’Aleo has been called a shill for oil companies and suffered many other politically motivated attacks.

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#ExxonKnew Epic Fail

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

This is just fracking mental…

The Oil Giants Might Finally Pay for Pulling the Biggest Hoax of All
New York State is alleging ExxonMobil knew the risks of climate change and defrauded its investors by misrepresenting them.

BY CHARLES P. PIERCE

[… Exxon Knew blather snipped…]

Exxon engaged in “a longstanding fraudulent scheme” to deceive investors by providing false and misleading assurances that it was effectively managing the economic risks posed by increasingly stringent policies and regulations it anticipated being adopted to address climate change, the lawsuit states. “Instead of managing those risks in the manner it represented to investors, Exxon employed internal practices that were inconsistent with its representations, were undisclosed to investors, and exposed the company to greater risk from climate change regulation than investors were led to believe,” the lawsuit said.

[…Exxon Knew blather snipped…] Continue reading

Fraud and Corruption Bring Big Payoffs

California judges provide stage for kangaroo court justice over Roundup weedkiller

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

San Francisco area juries have awarded cancer patients some $80 million each, based on claims that the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller, caused their cancer – and that Bayer-Monsanto negligently or deliberately failed to warn consumers that the glyphosate it manufactures is carcinogenic. (It’s not.) Judges reduced the original truly outrageous awards of $289 million and even $1 billion per plaintiff!

Meanwhile, ubiquitous ads are still trolling for new clients, saying anyone who ever used Roundup and now has Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma or other cancer could be the next jackpot justice winner. Mass tort plaintiff law firms have lined up 18,500 additional “corporate victims” for glyphosate litigation alone.

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Green Land Grabs on Steroids

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Using bees to block human activities on land 15 times bigger than Virginia – or even more.

Foreword:

The Endangered Species Act has increasingly been used and abused to delay, block or bankrupt numerous projects and activities across America. We all hope there will be far less of this under President Trump, but there are no guarantees. The designation of rusty patched bumblebees and potential designation of other bumblebee and insect species certainly raises the specter that these problems will only get worse. The possible presence of these species on tiny tracts of land scattered across hundreds of millions of acres means the United States could be faced with land grabs of unprecedented proportions.

And when those tactics are contrasted with the way radical environmentalists ignore the growing carnage from wind turbines – and how AOC’s Green New Deal would increase US onshore wind turbines by hundreds of thousands – the impact and hypocrisy become incredible to behold.


Guest essay by Paul Driessen

Special interest environmental groups got stung recently by an 8-0 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that held private landowners cannot be compelled to forego future economic uses of their property and at their own expense convert their land into suitable habitat for an endangered frog. Now radical greens are eyeing even bigger land grabs.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #334

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Importance of Clouds: MIT Sloan Professor of Meteorology emeritus Richard Lindzen wrote TWTW stating that, in the past weeks, TWTW may have underemphasized the importance of clouds and overemphasized water vapor in their roles of causing climate change. Perhaps TWTW did because the role of El Niños in influencing atmospheric temperatures trends can easily be seen by looking at a graph of the entire record since December 1978. El Niños put a lot of water vapor into the air and temperatures peak quickly, then fall slowly as the moisture drops out. The influence is particularly strong in the Arctic, where there is little water vapor in the atmosphere. But the El Niño influence is not strong in the dry Antarctic, for reasons not clear.

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Junk Lawsuits: The People v Climate Change

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

THE PEOPLE V. CLIMATE CHANGE

‘Biggest case on the planet’ pits kids vs. climate change

A pioneering lawsuit against the U.S. government won the right to a trial. But the Trump administration is still asking the courts to cancel it.

LEVI DRAHEIM IS a nine-year-old science geek. He founded an environmental club as a fourth grader and gives talks about climate change to audiences of grown-ups. His home is on a slender barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 21 miles south of Cape Canaveral and a five-minute walk from the beach. By mid-century, his sandy childhood playground could be submerged by rising seas. He will be just 42.

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Caught Lying: NYC Climate Lawsuit Really IS About Restraining Industry, Not Saving the Planet

From Energy In Depth, by Lea Giotto – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A top environmental lawyer for New York City says that the goal of the City’s climate litigation efforts is to restrain industry activity, an apparent contradiction to what the City has stated in recent legal filings in federal court. This admission could have a significant impact on the case moving forward.

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The Climate-Wrecking Industry

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

David Middleton has been a proud member of the Climate-Wrecking Industry since 1981.

From the flamingly left-wing The Nation

The Climate-Wrecking Industry… and How to Beat It

Insisting that we’re all responsible for global warming lets the biggest corporate polluters off the hook.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #318

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org The Science and Environmental Policy Project

By Ken Haapala, President

Problem of Induction: As briefly discussed in the May 26 TWTW, the scientific developments of the 19th and early 20th century resulted in a questioning of the philosophical bases for knowledge about the physical world, particularly about the ability to make predictions. Newtonian mechanics could not describe Brownian Motion. Quantum Mechanics, advanced at the beginning of the 20th century by Max Planck, Einstein, and others, does not fit into Euclidian geometry. The questioning of the ability to predict the future highlighted the extremely skeptical views expressed by Hume in “A Treatise of Human Nature” (1739). Hume had questioned the grounds by which we come to our beliefs about the unobserved using inductive inferences.

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Getting the Public’s Attention on Global Warming

By Dr. Tim Ball -Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

It is 28 years since Channel 4 in the UK produced The Greenhouse Conspiracy. It covered almost all the skeptical critiques. They are still valid, but now they are time -tested. Sadly, even today most people would not understand what was said in the movie and how it disproves the claim of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Encouragingly, there are some signs that the continued efforts of the global warming skeptics are influencing public opinion, but overall little has changed. The public is in a holding pattern, knowing something is wrong but not reaching a final understanding for several reasons including that:

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Appeasement in the Bizarre World of Climate, Politics, and Big Oil

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

I know a great deal about this bizarre world because I have incorrectly been accused of being in the pay of Big Oil. In the early days, I did try to get their money in order to show them why they could ignore the great deception of global warming. I wanted to show them how pseudoscience was being used by ideologists to push a political agenda.

The charge by environmentalists that Exxon knew about the CO2 and global warming issue is correct because I, among others, told them directly. The charge that they did nothing is incorrect. They chose to ignore scientific evidence and follow a policy of appeasement, apparently, in the naïve belief they could placate the ideologues and win a PR battle. Right now, I am enjoying watching them squirm and wriggle as they fight lawsuits from those they thought they appeased. They now know Churchill’s definition is correct.

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Court Case to Force Shell to “Reinvest” More in Renewables

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Shell’s long term policy of cultivating green friends seems to have come unstuck, with a “Friends of the Earth” lawsuit which insists that Shell re-investing 5% of their profits in renewables simply isn’t good enough.

Shell threatened with legal action over climate change contributions

Shell Oil

Shell Oil. By Catherine Hammond (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #310

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

California Litigation, Monckton: Last week’s TWTW discussed on the public nuisance lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland against oil companies claiming carbon dioxide (CO2)-caused global warming / climate change will cause harm in the future. It focused on the filing amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief by three distinguished Professors of Physics – William Happer, Steven Koonin and Richard Lindzen (Three Profs). The brief accepted the data and evidence used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR) by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). However, the Three Profs demonstrate the conclusions in the reports are not established, and, at best, premature. They assert:

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Climate Chaos Claims Continue Causing Consternation

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From the Oakland v. oil company lawsuit to ridiculous “research,” the onslaught never ends

Anyone who thought “manmade climate cataclysm” rhetoric couldn’t possibly exceed Obama era levels should read the complaint filed in the “public nuisance” lawsuit that’s being argued before Federal District Court Judge William Alsup in a California courtroom: Oakland v BP and other oil companies.

The allegations read at times like they were written by a Monty Python comedy team and a couple of first year law students. Defendant companies “conspired” to produce dangerous fuels, the complaint asserts, and “followed the Big Tobacco playbook” to promote their use, while paying “denialist front groups” to question “established” climate science, “downplay” the “unprecedented” risks of manmade global warming, and launch “unfounded attacks on the integrity” of leading “consensus” scientists.

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About Those Fraudulent Climate Litigation Shakedowns

Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Foreword: One of the craziest – and potentially far-reaching and harmful – lawsuits in recent memory is wending its way through our legal system. Filed by several California and New York cities and counties, the legal action asserts that major oil companies are causing rising seas, floods, repeated climate and weather disruptions, and an “existential threat” to humanity and our planet.

The oil companies have known about these risks for decades, the litigants continue, but failed to disclose the information in annual reports, stock offerings and other documents. The litigants seek compensatory damages, abatement of the alleged threats, attorneys’ fees, punitive damages and disgorgement of corporate profits. As my article explains, it is a classic shakedown … by cities and counties that have collective unfunded pension obligations in the hundreds of billions of dollars.


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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #299

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week. All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” — Paracelsus, Swiss physician and chemist.

Number of the Week: More than 77%

Number Games – Models: If one uses models to describe the influence that changing any variable or component of the model may have on nature, or a human, it is important that the model accurately capture the processes involved. Far too frequently, government agencies abuse the use of models to justify the expansion of governmental powers, without regard to whether the model carefully fits the processes involved. One of the purposes of proper testing is to assure proper fit. A model frequently abused by the EPA to justify questionable policies is the Linear-No-Threshold model, which has a poor foundation in toxicology, the study of the nature, effects, and detection of poisons.

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Greens versus “Big Oil”

By Russell Cook – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

If you are an enviro-activist with access to lawyers and mega-money who believes that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is caused by evil fossil fuel industries who ignore this harm to humanity to protect their profits, you don’t simply whine about this problem, you file giant lawsuits against those industries.

This already happened in three major global warming nuisance cases: Connecticut v. American Electric PowerComer v. Murphy Oil, and Kivalina v. Exxon.  More recently, New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman joined with 19 or so other state attorneys general to hold ExxonMobil accountable for supposedly knowing about the harm of it for decades while failing to tell its shareholders about it.

However, Schneiderman has suffered setbacks ranging from faulty evidence to withdrawn subpoenas, and the three global warming nuisance cases have fallen apart.  The Supreme Court dismissed Connecticut v. AEP on June 20, 2011; Comer v. Murphy Oil came to its final end on March 20, 2012; and the 9th District Court put the final nail in the coffin of Kivalina v. Exxon on September 21, 2012, prompting some legal pundits to wonder if this was the end of climate tort litigation.

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Callous CALAS Activists Against the Poor

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Anti-mining groups “protect” local tribe against phony risks by trampling on Guatemalan workers.

Not long ago, supposed “environmental justice” concerns at least involved risks to mine workers and their families. The risks may have been inflated, or ignored for decades, but they were a major focus.

In one case, a state-run mine and smelter had fouled the air, land and water with toxic contaminants in a Peruvian town for 75 years. Environmental groups raised few objections – until a U.S. company bought the properties and began installing modern pollution controls, implementing worker health and safety practices, cleaning up widespread lead dust, and initiating numerous community improvement projects.

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