Tag Archives: Biden Administration

Update: DOE Appliance Minimum Efficiency Standards

 From Master Resource

By Mark Krebs 

“It started with gas cooking.  It will end with getting gas out of homes and business entirely, If they can. Basically, what we’re witnessing is the energy equivalent of ethnic cleansing. I’ve been saying this for years but now it should be obvious.”

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the Biden Administration has significantly accelerated the pace of minimum appliance efficiency rulemaking. With this acceleration, there has been a marked decrease in DOE’s analytical quality and transparency. The purpose of this update is to summarize:

  1. Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Conventional Cooking Products
  2. Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products; Boilers
  3. Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Water Heaters

Note: In DOE-speak, the term ‘consumer’ means non commercial/industrial, or just residential.

Part 1: Consumer Cooking Products

On April 27, 2023, MasterResource published DOE vs. Gas Cooking: A Review of Critical Comments. On August 2, 2023, DOE reopened the docket with a “Notification of data availability and request for comment (NODA) with comments due September 1. More than 100 comments were filed. 

The NODA substantially changed the Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking and announcement of public meeting & request for comments (SNOPR) that my April 27 article summarized . DOE probably should have (or at least could have) issued its NODA as a SNOPR and allowed more time to develop comments than the 30 days the NOPR allowed. A request for extension of the comment period was timely filed but denied by DOE on August 30. This request contained the following excerpt that summarized the effects of ignoring such requests:

 “Ad hoc departures are not proper, for such activities disrupt orderly processes and harm predictability, which are the hallmarks of lawful administrative action.”

Footnote 5 of that statement further stated:

See, e.g., Reuters Ltd. v. FCC, 781 F.2d 946, 950-51 (D.C. Cir. 1986) (“[I]t is elementary that an agency must adhere to its own rules and regulations. Ad hoc departures from those rules, even to achieve laudable aims, cannot be sanctioned . . . for therein lie the seeds of destruction of the orderliness and predictability which are the hallmarks of lawful administrative action. Simply stated, rules are rules, and fidelity to the rules which have been properly promulgated, consistent with applicable statutory requirements, is required of those to whom Congress has entrusted the regulatory missions of modern life.”); Brock v. Cathedral Bluffs Shale Oil Co., 796 F.2d 533, 536 (D.C. Cir. 1986) (“It is axiomatic that an agency must adhere to its own regulations.”); Mine Reclamation Corp. v. FERC, 30 F.3d 1519, 1524 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (on its way to decision an agency must follow its own regulations). [emphasis added]

Some commenters viewed the NODA and relatively short (30-day) comment period as a violation to  the Administrative Procedures Act codified by 5 U.S.C. § 551(5)–(7) and the DOE’s “process rule” codified by 10 CFR 430 Appendix A to Subpart C. One such commenter making this case was the Institute for Energy Research (IER).

Other comments with detailed content in opposition of DOE’s proposal for consumer cooking products included those of:

  1. Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)
  2. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
  3. Gas Analytics & Advocacy Services, LLC (GAAS)
  4. Joint Gas industry

The third reference in the above list are my comments. They addressed what has changed since DOE determined (in 2019) that additional efficiency mandates for gas cooking appliances is not justified. In short, Biden happened. With that change, DOE resorted to a longstanding bias that any amount of net positive cash flow (greater than zero) on average was sufficient economic justification. I cited AHAM’s press release “Gas Cooking Appliances Remain at Risk Despite New DOE Data” for this NODA that succinctly justified what that amount now is:

“The revised data reduces consumer savings to just 9 cents per month.

I contend no one would freely elect to invest in anything with that kind of return-on-investment (ROI). Additionally, 9 cents per month is far less than the uncertainty range within DOE’s economic calculations.  Besides, DOE’s economic calculations typically low-ball increased maintenance costs and over-inflate fuel costs (among many other biased input assumptions).

What else has changed is that DOE cost-effectiveness now includes highly controversial benefits from reduced climate change allowed by grossly inflated social cost of carbon (SCC) avoidance and health benefits from improved indoor air quality (IAQ). As shown by the following table, the economic add-ons of “climate” (SCC) and “health” (improved IAQ) benefits greatly exceed the reduced energy consumption values (shown as “consumer operating cost savings”) that the enabling legislation envisioned should be the leading criteria under the Energy Conservation and Policy Act (EPCA):

Further summarizing Table 1.2.2, for a 3% discount rate and the shown $259.2 million of DOE estimated net benefits, well over half ($160.8 million) are attributable to factors beyond the original intent of the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to provide “significant” consumer operating cost savings. [1] A similar ratio exists for a 7% discount rate. Of course, “significant” is defined by DOE.  And, at least for the present, “significant” appears to mean any amount of net positive cash flow greater than zero.

My comments also cited a recent paper that debunked assumed IAQ benefits.  The abstract of that paper follows:

  • Reliability of Meta-Analysis Research Claims for Gas Stove Cooking−Childhood Respiratory Health Associations
    Odds ratios or p-values from individual observational studies can be combined to examine a common cause−effect research question in meta-analysis. However, reliability of individual studies used in meta-analysis should not be taken for granted as claimed cause−effect associations may not reproduce. An evaluation was undertaken on meta-analysis of base papers examining gas stove cooking (including nitrogen dioxide, NO2) and childhood asthma and wheeze associations. Numbers of hypotheses tested in 14 of 27 base papers (52%) used in meta-analysis of asthma and wheeze were counted. Test statistics used in the meta-analysis (40 odds ratios with 95% confidence limits) were converted to p-values and presented in p-value plots. The median (interquartile range) of possible numbers of hypotheses tested in the 14 base papers was 15,360 (6,336−49,152). None of the 14 base papers made mention of correcting for multiple testing, nor was any explanation offered if no multiple testing procedure was used. Given large numbers of hypotheses available, statistics drawn from base papers and used for meta-analysis are likely biased. Even so, p-value plots for gas stove−current asthma and gas stove−current wheeze associations show randomness consistent with unproven gas stove harms. The meta-analysis fails to provide reliable evidence for public health policy making on gas stove harms to children in North America. NO2 is not established as a biologically plausible explanation of a causal link with childhood asthma. Biases – multiple testing and p-hacking – cannot be ruled out as explanation for a gas stove−current asthma association claim. Selective reporting is another bias in published literature of gas stove–childhood respiratory health studies.

Part 2: Consumer Boilers

On September 12, 2023, DOE held a public webinar to go over its proposal for increased minimum efficiencies for residential boilers. A 59-page slide deck for that meeting is here. (If you have never read one of these slide decks, I urge you to do so. It’s a relatively painless way of getting familiar with the ‘administrative state’ going about its business of picking winners and losers.)

The meeting went from 10 am to 3 pm (with a 1-hour lunch break). For the very first time (that I can recall), there were many participants representing manufacturing interests that would be adversely impacted by DOE’s proposal, and they were quite vocal about it (in a professional way of course). 

Hopefully soon, DOE will publish a transcript of that meeting. That transcript will then become part of the record for this docket and can thus be used in litigation that appears likely at this point. And that is why the public meetings offer a relatively easy way to get “into the record.”

And why would manufacturers want to litigate? DOE would put some of them out of business. The reason is DOE would not just ban non-condensing hot water boilers, it would mandate the top end of condensing boiler efficiencies of 95% (“max-tech” in DOE-speak) as shown on page 56.

Part 3: Consumer Water Heaters

On September 13, 2023, DOE held a public webinar to go over its proposal for increased minimum efficiencies for residential water heaters that lasted 3 hours. A 74-page slide deck for that meeting is here.  There were nearly twice as many participants on line compared to the number of webinar participants the day before for consumer boilers; and many of the participants represented water heater manufacturers, some of which would be devastated if DOE’s proposed mandates were finalized. 

One manufacturer that stood out in this regard was Rinnai America. Rinnai is the sole manufacturer of non-condensing tankless water heaters in the U.S. Rinnai’s President stated, as I recall, that DOE’s proposed ban of non-condensing water heaters would shut down Rinnai’s new factory that cost $70 million. That, of course, would devastate the many involved.

Like the consumer cooking NODA, DOE consumer water heating NOPR is again calling for a very short comment period (ending on September 26, 2023). A request for extending the comment period has been submitted, but DOE has yet to acknowledge it.


DOE has been (ostensibly) ‘improving’ appliance efficiency for nearly a half-century.  The low hanging fruit is long gone. In many cases, DOE is doing more harm than good and using unfair tactics to maintain control and reward its minions. What we have now is relentless self-serving “mission creep” of the administrative state and its “useful idiots” that forces consumers to fund the erosion of viable energy alternatives. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is greatly aiding and abetting this forced transformation away from free market forces.

“Industry” can elect to litigate whatever final rule DOE chooses to further regulate consumer appliance minimum efficiencies. That’s what we did for commercial boilers and we “won.” But doing so takes years and very deep pockets.  Furthermore, even if “industry” prevails and gets a bad rule vacated, a new review is required every 6 years under EPCA.  Another concern is when the clock restarts once a final rule is vacated.  I don’t know.  It could be argued that 6 years has passed already and DOE could possibly re-analyze the need for new commercial boiler standards immediately.

DOE doesn’t care what it costs to litigate. After all, DOE has the backing of the Department of Justice for such matters. In my opinion, DOE has strayed too far from any redeeming virtue that may have originally existed from the 1975 passage of EPCA. It’s past time for Congress clean up the mess it created by enacting EPCA and the numerous ambiguous loopholes that gives undeserved deference to the administrative state to interpret. A valid question is whether EPCA (and DOE for that matter) should be salvaged or scrapped.

Next Steps

We plan on making EPCA (reform or abolishment) a top priority. Defunding the IRA goes hand-in-hand with overhauling EPCA. DOE reform also requires DOE to obey its so-called “process rule.” I recommend that Congress order DOE to do so in conjunction with public workshops that fully include “we, the people” rather than preclude them (as did DOE’s misguided attempt at “peer review” with the National Academies. [For a full review of DOE’s process , please see my December 9, 2020, article, Energy Efficiency Policy Under Trump (Part II: EERE’s Process Rule & Overhaul). Also see the attachments to my comments for the gas cooking NOPR.]

Biden’s DOE wants to eliminate alternatives to electricity. This fixation became apparent to all with their planned elimination of gas cooking and ran head-on with consumers that hold gas cooking near-and-dear. Consumer preferences for gas cooking was and is a major obstacle to control via societal electrification overall. 

This exact sentiment was a subject of discussion at the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Electrification 2018 International Conference & Exposition that I attended. If you follow the link, note how EPRI coopted the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) to endorse it. But I’ll have to leave this situation for another time (stay tuned).

As this article hopefully conveys, it started with gas cooking. It will end with getting gas out of homes and business entirely, If they can. Basically, what we’re witnessing is the energy equivalent of ethnic cleansing under the guise of fighting the “existential threat” of anthropogenic global warming. I’ve been saying this for years but now it should be obvious.


Mark Krebs, a mechanical engineer and energy policy consultant, has been involved with energy efficiency design and program evaluation for over thirty years. Mark has served as an expert witness in dozens of State energy efficiency proceedings, has been an advisor to DOE and has submitted scores of Federal energy-efficiency filings. His many MasterResource posts on natural gas vs. electricity and “Deep Decarbonization” federal policy can be found here.

Mark’s first article was in Public Utilities Fortnightly, titled “It’s a War Out There: A Gas Man Questions Electric Efficiency” (December 1996). Recently retired from Spire Inc., Krebs has formed an energy policy consultancy (Gas Analytic & Advocacy Services) with other veteran energy analysts.

[1] Note: EPCA was and is an energy and economic statute, NOT an environmental nor public health statute despite DOE’s decades of trying to make it so.


Mark Krebs, a mechanical engineer and energy policy consultant, has been involved with energy efficiency design and program evaluation for over thirty years. Mark has served as an expert witness in dozens of State energy efficiency proceedings, has been an advisor to DOE and has submitted scores of Federal energy-efficiency filings. His many MasterResource posts on natural gas vs. electricity and “Deep Decarbonization” federal policy can be found here.

Mark’s first article was in Public Utilities Fortnightly, titled “It’s a War Out There: A Gas Man Questions Electric Efficiency” (December 1996). Recently retired from Spire Inc., Krebs has formed an energy policy consultancy (Gas Analytic & Advocacy Services) with other veteran energy analysts.

Whale-Sized Revolt: Fishermen Slam Biden’s Offshore Wind Power Disaster


The wind industry is determined to destroy the marine environment along the Atlantic coast; its fishermen are even more determined to stop them.

As whale carcasses mount up along the coastline, those who depend on the sea for their livelihoods have turned on the offshore wind industry and its government enablers, with a vengeance.

As Josh Christenson reports below, the wind industry and its spin doctors have a whale-sized revolt and their hands, one which won’t be placated with the industry’s usual soft soap, gaslighting approach.

RI fishermen’s board resigns en masse over Biden admin-backed offshore wind farm: ‘Wholesale ocean destruction’
New York Post
Josh Christenson
5 September 2023

A plan backed by the Biden administration to OK a string of wind farms off Rhode Island has prompted every member of a fishing regulatory board in the state to resign.

The entire Rhode Island Fisherman’s Advisory Board quit en masse Friday to protest the 84-turbine Sunrise Wind project after the state’s Coastal Resources Management Council approved the third offshore wind farm in two years off the Ocean State’s waters.

The project falls under President Biden’s executive order authorizing his Interior Department to double US offshore wind capacity by 2030. With the project’s approval, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is on track to finish reviews for 16 wind farms by 2025.

But foes including the fishing board say the Sunrise plan ignores environmental regulations and anglers’ concerns

In a letter addressed to CRMC Executive Director Jeff Willis, the nine-member fishermen’s panel said its regulatory role had been reduced to “political theater,” as the state continues to defer to developers such as the Danish wind giant Orsted.

“We will not allow our names to be connected in any way to Council approvals now amounting to wholesale ocean destruction,” wrote board members Lanny Dellinger, Christopher Brown, Michael Marchetti, Greg Mataronas, Chris Lee, Brian Thibeault, Meghan Lapp, Richard Hittinger and Rick Bellavance.

“Rhode Island is supposed to be the Ocean State, not the Windmill State.”

The board said it was drawing specific attention to the project’s violations of state environmental protection requirements, as well as warnings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration about its effects on Atlantic cod.

A letter addressed two days earlier to Willis from another board member, who also chairs the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, raised concerns about the effects on recreational tuna fishing in the region.

“Our members are shocked at the scale of the current development now occurring on their fishing grounds but are being told that permitting is complete and there is no way for them to have input at this late date,” Hittinger said.

He added that the “one-sided push by developers” ensures that environmental considerations will continue to be ignored, calling the decision, “effectively a rubber stamp of the political desires of Washington, DC,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Post.

CRMC officials responded by saying the board members had “provided valuable information and insight” but that their resignations would not deter the project from meeting its federal mandates under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972.

“The CRMC remains hopeful that the Rhode Island fishing community will continue to participate in the public process for reviewing offshore wind energy projects, as well as any other projects affecting the fishery resources of the State,” a rep said in a statement.

Rhode Island approved Sunrise Wind just weeks after the Biden administration gave final approval to the 65-turbine Revolution Wind project after a permit from the CRMC. In April, the administration also approved the 12-turbine South Fork Wind project after the CRMC gave a thumbs-up to that project, too.

All three projects are joint enterprises between Orsted, one of the world’s largest offshore wind developer, which is headquartered in Denmark, and the New England utility Eversource.

The approval pace has alarmed fishermen as well as local environmental groups, who say the renewable energy initiatives will eventually build around 1,000 turbines in the waters south of Rhode Island covering roughly 1,400 square miles — larger than the Ocean State itself.

The projects will cause major disruptions to commercial and recreational fishing, says one of those groups, Green Oceans, while pointing to one of the BOEM’s own assessments.

The agency’s draft environmental impact statement for the Revolution Wind project stated that there would be “no measurable influence on climate change” either.

The first offshore wind farms in the US were built off Rhode Island’s Block Island in 2016 and have also been correlated with a surge in whale deaths.

Through increased boat traffic because of construction, as well as high-decibel sonar mapping, whales are apparently being struck and killed by vessels or else disoriented and driven away from feeding grounds.

Other groups such as the Save Right Whales Coalition have noted donations from Orsted to some state environmental groups and other institutions.

In 2020, Orsted and the Revolution Wind project donated $1,250,000 to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut to fund pro-offshore wind exhibits, the group noted in a report.

Between Dec. 1, 2022, and Aug. 25, 2023, at least 60 whale species have been found dead on the East Coast.
New York Post

Save Our Cars! (Grassroots Pushback against Mandated EVs)

By Robert Bradley Jr.

A new grassroots coalition has formed to push back against the Biden Administration war against consumer-chosen, taxpayer-neutral motor vehicle choices in the United States. As such, it is a new battleground against the industrial climate complex (including major car companies) that is at odds with consumers, taxpayers, and freedom.

Here is the pitch:

Tell Biden To Back Off America’s Cars

The Biden administration is moving swiftly to get rid of gas-fueled carsessentially through abolition.

A new proposed rule from Biden’s EPA would allow American automakers to have only ONE THIRD of their total yearly production be traditional gas and diesel powered vehilces, while forcing the remaining TWO THIRDS of all automobiles produced in America to be electric powered. 

This proposed regulation, among others, are depriving the American public of vehicle choice that most fits their lifestyle and could easily affect economic growth in this country by stifling transportation. This is especially true when only one-third of Americans would consider purchasing an electric vehicle.

Take action today and send a message directly to the White House using this form to tell Biden and his cabinet what you think of their plans to all but outlaw private car ownership in America.

Ensure American families have accesss to vehicles they can afford and suit their needs.

The press release follows:

WASHINGTON DC (09/12/2023) – Today, the Institute for Energy Research and 31 other national and state-based organizations launched the Save Our Cars Coalition. The coalition will fight to preserve and expand consumer choice in the selection of cars and trucks and ensure that all Americans will continue to benefit from them, as they have for more than a hundred years.

The Biden administration and California Governor Gavin Newsom have launched two different regulatory programs directed at gradually eliminating the sales of gasoline-powered cars and mandating the sale of electric vehicles.

The Save Our Cars Coalition will alert and educate the public to the threats posed by these and other harmful regulatory programs adding more to the price tag of vehicles – which are already at record highs – and eventually eliminating gas-powered cars and trucks altogether.

Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, issued the following statement:

“I am proud to join the Save Our Cars Coalition, which will fight to preserve the ability for all Americans to choose the cars and trucks that best suit their needs.

The Biden administration and the State of California want to ban cars and trucks powered by gasoline and diesel and replace them with electric vehicles. Past regulatory efforts have already had an impact on the price of new cars and trucks – which are at record highs. These regulations will make it even harder for people to buy and enjoy a car or truck by making them even more expensive and by reducing the number and types of automobiles available in the market. This is a feature, not a bug, of these rules.

In a nation as expansive as the United States, cars are not merely vehicles, they are integral to the American way of life. They play a pivotal role in our daily lives, especially in suburban and rural settings. This modern-day Prohibition would outlaw a product and a value – in this case, gasoline-powered cars and trucks that have created personal mobility on an unprecedented scale – that it cannot persuade people to forego themselves.

The simple reality is that this aggressive government assault is intended specifically to make cars and trucks much, much more expensive and therefore available only in much smaller numbers to much wealthier consumers. This is not about the environment; it is about personal freedom and mobility.”

A timeline of the whole-of-government approach to increase the cost of gas-powered vehicles relative to their EV counterparts is as follows:

  • November 2021: President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which included $7.5 billion for EV charging stations and more than $7 billion for battery manufacturers.
  • April 2022: The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for 2024-2026 models which are a 43% increase on standards set by the Trump administration.
  • August 2022: President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which eliminated the cap for the EV tax credit and included subsidies for the manufacture of EV battery components.
  • August 2022: California board moves to ban gas-powered cars by 2035.
  • April 2023: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed tailpipe emissions standards for cars and trucks that amount to a massive overreach intended to force a transition to EVs.
  • August 2023: The Department of Energy announced $15.5 billion in funding and loans to support conversion projects and domestic battery manufacturing.

Additional Resources:

The practical case against a governmental transportation remake is strong. EVs are very heavy, battery-laden transportation that are susceptible to fires, excessive tire and road wear, range anxiety, and carry high insurance rates. They duplicate the transportation network to inconvenience all. The taxpayer and conventional drivers subsidize the richer Americans who chose EVs. And, finally, EVs have their own eco-sins from battery inputs to ’emissions elsewhere’.

For background, see below:

New Grand Canyon Monument stirs controversy with 1.1 million acre designation


By Gabriella Hoffman

“The Western Caucus adamantly and strongly condemns this latest action by the Biden Administration to please radical environmental groups and make the United States even more dependent on foreign adversaries for our energy needs. Over one million acres of land outside of Grand Canyon National Park, which contain the largest uranium deposit in the United States, will be locked up to prevent resource development and livestock grazing. As Chairman of the Western Caucus, I will continue to fight for the multiple use mandate and against unelected bureaucrats who are actively shutting down our public lands.” — Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04)

In Episode 378 of District of Conservation, Gabriella focuses on two important stories from Arizona that have national relevance. These include the designation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni-Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument and the delisting of the Apache trout– Arizona’s state trout.

Tune in to learn more!

Listen on Apple Podcasts

EP 384: The Antiquities Act Needs Congressional Oversight District of Conservation

In Episode 384 of District of Conservation, Gabriella discusses a new Congressional bill to reform the Antiquities Act- a law in need of Congressional oversight and modernization since its enactment in 1906. Learn more about Congressional Oversight of the Antiquities Act today. SHOW NOTES Utah Policy: Congressional oversight aims to protect public lands and communities Curtis: CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT AIMS TO PROTECT PUBLIC LANDS AND COMMUNITIES Senator Lee Takes on Monument Overreach Miller-Meeks Introduces the Congressional Oversight of the Antiquities Act Senate Bill 2820 + One Pager FACT CHECK: Can Presidents Unilaterally Declare Large National Monuments? Chief justice offers encouragement for monuments reform Biden Harms True Conservation by Misusing Antiquities Act — Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/district-of-conservation/support
  1. EP 384: The Antiquities Act Needs Congressional Oversight
  2. EP 383: Great Smokies Vacation, Western Caucus, Stop 30 by 30 Summit
  3. EP 382: Power the Future with Rick Whitbeck
  4. EP 381: Save School Archery & Hunting Programs ft. Rep. Mark Green
  5. EP 380: BLM Recreation Blueprint & Feral Hog Management


A Proclamation on Establishment of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni-Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument

FACT SHEET: President Biden Designates Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument


FACT CHECK: Can Presidents Unilaterally Declare Large National Monuments?

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces recovery of Arizona’s ESA-protected state fish, prompting delisting proposal

Western Native Trout Initiative Post on Apache Trout Delisting


Gabriella Hoffman

Gabriella Hoffman is a Media Strategist and Award-Winning Outdoor Writer.

She hosts the “District of Conservation” podcast and CFACT’s original YouTube series “Conservation Nation.” Learn more about her work at http://www.gabriellahoffman.com

Stop the Carbon Capture Insanity

From Science Matters

By Ron Clutz

From the geniuses who brought you the missnamed IRA spending spree, a new push to suck plant food (CO2) out of the air to “fight global warming.”   The insanity is doubled:  Billions are wasted in an effort to deprive the biosphere of essential CO2.  LA Times How the Biden administration is pouring billions into technology that sucks carbon from the air.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Biden adminstration is funding projects by Occidental Petroleum and Climeworks that will remove carbon dioxide from the air. The Climeworks plant in Hinwil, Switzerland, above, filters carbon dioxide from the air above a garbage incineration plant. (Climeworks)

Some Might Call it a Ruse

The technology is “essentially a giant vacuum that can suck decades of old carbon pollution straight out of the sky,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm told reporters. “If we deploy this at scale, this technology can help us make serious headway toward our net-zero emission goals.”

Once operational, the hubs are expected to remove more than 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year from the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking nearly half a million gas-powered cars off the road, Granholm said. Additional projects are expected to be announced next year, the Energy Department said.

Critics worry that carbon capture is too untested to be a reliable tool in fighting climate change. And some opponents see carbon capture efforts as a way to extend the life of facilities that produce or use fossil fuels.

Background:  Wasting Money on Carbon Capture

Robert Bryce explains in his Real Clear Energy article Carbon Capture Didn’t Make Sense 12 Years Ago And It Doesn’t Make Sense Now.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

It appears the reconciliation bill that includes some $370 billion in energy-related spending is going to become law. The measure includes a panoply of tax credits for alternative energy technologies, including incentives for electric vehicles, hydrogen, energy storage, and of course, billions of dollars in tax credits for wind and solar energy.

The measure also includes, according to the Congressional Budget Office, some $3.2 billion in tax credits for carbon capture and sequestration, a technology that has plenty of supporters but precious little in the way of commercially successful projects. Back in 2018, Al Gore blasted CCS, calling it “nonsense” and an “extremely improbable solution.”

The new tax credits for CCS remind me that I published a piece in the New York Times on May 12, 2010, about the technology. In looking back, the piece is still relevant today. In fact, I wouldn’t change a word of it. Furthermore, my prediction about the difficulty of siting the pipelines needed to move the CO2 has already come true. For proof, see this August 6, Wall Street Journal article about the opposition to a proposed CO2 pipeline in Iowa.

In any case here’s my 12-year-old take on why CCS is a bad bet:

On Wednesday, John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman introduced their long-awaited Senate energy bill, which includes incentives of $2 billion per year for carbon capture and sequestration, the technology that removes carbon dioxide from the smokestack at power plants and forces it into underground storage. This significant allocation would come on top of the $2.4 billion for carbon capture projects that appeared in last year’s stimulus package.

That’s a lot of money for a technology whose adoption faces three potentially insurmountable hurdles: it greatly reduces the output of power plants; pipeline capacity to move the newly captured carbon dioxide is woefully insufficient; and the volume of waste material is staggering. Lawmakers should stop perpetuating the hope that the technology can help make huge cuts in the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions.

1. An Energy Intensive Process

Let’s take the first problem. Capturing carbon dioxide from the flue gas of a coal-fired electric generation plant is an energy-intensive process. Analysts estimate that capturing the carbon dioxide cuts the output of a typical plant by as much as 28 percent.

Given that the global energy sector is already straining to meet booming demand for electricity, it’s hard to believe that the United States, or any other country that relies on coal-fired generation, will agree to reduce the output of its coal-fired plants by almost a third in order to attempt carbon capture and sequestration.

2. Costly Pipelines for a Waste Gas

Here’s the second problem. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has estimated that up to 23,000 miles of new pipeline will be needed to carry the captured carbon dioxide to the still-undesignated underground sequestration sites. That doesn’t sound like much when you consider that America’s gas pipeline system sprawls over some 2.3 million miles. But those natural gas pipelines carry a valuable, marketable, useful commodity.

By contrast, carbon dioxide is a worthless waste product, so taxpayers would likely end up shouldering most of the cost. Yes, some of that waste gas could be used for enhanced oil recovery projects; flooding depleted oil reservoirs with carbon dioxide is a proven technology that can increase production and extend the life of existing oilfields. But the process would be useful in only a limited number of oilfields — probably less than 10 percent of the waste carbon dioxide captured from coal-fired power plants could actually be injected into American oilfields.

3. Impossibly Massive Scale

The third, and most vexing, problem has to do with scale. In 2009, carbon dioxide emissions in the United States totaled 5.4 billion tons. Let’s assume that policymakers want to use carbon capture to get rid of half of those emissions — say, 3 billion tons per year. That works out to about 8.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per day, which would have to be collected and compressed to about 1,000 pounds per square inch (that compressed volume of carbon dioxide would be roughly equivalent to the volume of daily global oil production).

In other words, we would need to find an underground location (or locations) able to swallow a volume equal to the contents of 41 oil supertankers each day, 365 days a year.

There will also be considerable public resistance to carbon dioxide pipelines and sequestration projects — local outcry has already stalled proposed carbon capture projects in Germany and Denmark. The fact is, few landowners are eager to have pipelines built across their property. And because of the possibility of deadly leaks, few people will want to live near a pipeline or an underground storage cavern. This leads to the obvious question: which members of the House and Senate are going to volunteer their states to be dumping grounds for all that carbon dioxide?

For some, carbon capture and sequestration will remain the Holy Grail of carbon-reduction strategies. But before Congress throws yet more money at the procedure, lawmakers need to take a closer look at the issues that hamstring nearly every new energy-related technology: cost and scale.

Footnote:  The project is not only impractical, its deluded objective is to deprive the biosphere of plant food.

See also:  Carbon Capture Boondoggle 

The Climate Crisis Frenzy Is a Mass Hysteria Movement

From Watts Up With That?

Climate fear-mongering, eco-anxiety counseling and a rocky road to Third World status

William L. Kovacs

Ever since the Biden administration promised to eliminate fossil fuels, climate activists have combined their quest to use the government to control society with creating a collective group possessed by illusions and excessive fears that climate change is destroying Planet Earth. This Climatism Collective believes that dismantling society will enable government to prevent the end of the world.

Researchers refer to such collective fears as mass hysteria. They consider it a psychogenic illness, “a condition that begins in the mind rather than the body.” It involves people feeling anxious, sick or crazed, notwithstanding the absence of any physical reason for their condition.

A recent Lancet study of 10,000 young people, ages 16–25, found that 59% were extremely worried about climate change, and 84% were at least moderately worried. The respondents suffered from sadness, anxiety and anger and felt powerless, helpless and guilty.

The authors concluded that climate anxiety is so great that these young people believe humanity is doomed, everything they value is being destroyed, and they should refrain from having children. They also believe government could protect them if it would listen to their feelings, validate and respect their beliefs and demands, and implement policies that eliminate fossil fuel use and “unsustainable” lifestyles.

Mass hysteria episodes have been recorded since the Middle Ages. There have been witch trials, screaming trances and even a “dancing plague” in 1518, with stressed-out participants dancing for weeks, sometimes until they were so tired they died.

In recent times, we’ve witnessed hysteria over the Covid pandemic, the Red Scare about communism, and the Y2K belief that when clocks struck midnight on January 1, 2000, computer systems would fail to recognize the year, and massive electrical outages would devastate society.

Influencing today’s Climatism Collective is a federal government, media and academic alliance that incessantly promotes the disinformation that society’s use of fossil fuels causes every problem on Earth. If an area of the world is hotter or colder than “normal,” it’s climate change. If there are forest fires, storms, floods or droughts, it’s climate change. Even poverty results from manmade climate change.

The “climate crisis” is cited to drive unsubstantiated assertions that the oceans are getting warmer, ocean currents are slowing or speeding up, species are dying and humanity faces worsening health risks. It’s even used to justify programs that offer “eco-anxiety counseling” for federal bureaucrats.

The fact that our Earth, and especially the United States, has much cleaner air and water today than a century ago is irrelevant to those possessed by climate hysteria. So is the fact that far more people are healthy, well-fed and living longer than ever before.

Pulling together these disparate report findings is a recent National Institutes of Health study on “Covid-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria.” While the study focused on how the political system and social media negatively impacted the public mind during the Covid pandemic, its findings certainly apply to situations in which large segments of a population believe they are continuously exposed to dangerous conditions, despite no serious injuries or damages.

The NIH study authors describe mass hysteria as “a large group of people get[ting] collectively very upset” by negative information. The false or misleading information “evokes fear and spreads in society.” They appropriately call this spread of emotions and anxiety through impacted groups a “contagion.”

Once an infected group is in a state of mass hysteria, the government can “impose measures on the rest of the population, inflicting almost unrestricted harm,” including abrogating and trampling on civil liberties, all of it justified by assertions that it’s necessary to prevent a catastrophe.

The authors describe how the federal government used lockdowns and social distancing to create greater Covid hysteria, decrease psychological resistance and impose penalties for non-compliance. The government’s actions, combined with news agencies and social media, promoted massive negative news campaigns that further deteriorated psychic health by intentionally scaring already anxious populations.

The authors conclude that government elimination of information that questions, challenges or competes with its preferred narrative – combined with false or negative information spread by news and social media – makes society more prone to developing mass hysteria.

Having learned from Covid, the Biden administration increasingly resorts to climate fear-mongering, using the “climate crisis” to create anxieties that cause mass anxiety and hysteria. President Biden regularly insists: “Climate change is an existential threat to humanity…. Unchecked, it is going to actually bake this planet. This is not hyperbole. It’s real.”

Mr. Biden claims a “whole-of-government approach” to the “climate crisis” is essential and must be mandated, since it affects every aspect of society and all things made by society.

By implementing a whole-of-government approach, the President makes climate change the top federal priority. Policy changes are made in every aspect of governing to address climate change, including new taxes, electric vehicles, refashioning U.S. military missions, altering the framework of international relations, and regulating appliances, power plants, the electrical grid, oil production and manufacturing.

The media follows this climate change narrative to ingratiate itself with the government. By November 2021, U.S. news coverage of climate change reached an all-time high. Key to the coverage increase was a change in describing it: from global warming to “more intense words and phrases” to describe the phenomenon, such as “climate crisis,” “climate catastrophe” and “climate emergency.”

These new terms are then incorporated into media and social media tracking algorithms, to increase preferred stories by 50% or more. One “expert” says this “helps describe the realities of our world” – or at least the climate collectivist world they seek. Within two years, the Biden administration and its allies have greatly increased mass hysteria about climate change, especially among the young.

These young people now believe climate change is so harmful that every aspect of society must be regulated. In fact, the Lancet study finds, the anxiety has become so deep-rooted that even the government’s whole-of-government response is deemed insufficient.

Team Biden and its media, academia and corporate partners in deception have not only acquired enormous, unprecedented power over our lives and living standards. They have created a mental health crisis within a population segment that will soon become leaders in the United States, in nearly every sphere of society.

Unless we can restore a sense of reality to climate change (today and throughout history) and the essential role of reliable, affordable energy and fossil fuels in our lives, the United States will soon head down a rocky road to Third World status.

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in DC law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy (government by the least qualified, most unscrupulous) is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. He can be contacted at wlk@ReformTheKakistocracy.com

Protecting ‘sacred’ lands as part of ‘managed decline’


By Duggan Flanakin 

It is increasingly clear that the Biden Administration’s minerals policy will tighten China and Russia’s grip on America’s declining future. On August 8, Biden permanently banned new uranium mining claims on nearly a million acres of the nation’s largest deposits of uranium ore by creating the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona.

The move follows Biden’s creation in March of the Avi Kwa Ame National Park in Nevada, an action that removed 514,000 acres of lithium-rich public lands. Both these actions are touted as honoring Native American sacred sites in a nation that claims not to have a state religion. But we must assuage our guilt over centuries of slavery and genocide long in our past – and at the expense of our common future.

Only about 240 members of the 640-member Havasupai Tribe, the chief advocates for creating the monument, live on the 188,000-acre Havasupai Reservation in the Grand Canyon region. A number of small tribal groups claim the Avi Kwa Ame area as among the most sacred places on Earth. The national park and national monument designations may bring more tourists but bar any exploitation of the areas’ vital mineral resources.

Meanwhile, China “honors” its Uyghurs and other ethnically Turkic Muslim peoples by forcing them into hard labor at its own lithium mines that dishonor Uyghur “sacred sites.” Genocide is just fine when it is half a planet away. None of our business (remember the South Africa boycotts?).

According to the BBC, “Human rights groups believe China has detained more than one million Uyghurs against their will over the past few years in a large network of what the state calls “re-education camps” and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms.” Uyghur women are reportedly sterilized and raped.

The BBC also reports that China had (as of 2021) had detained over a thousand mostly Uyghur clerics and thrown over 300 of them into prison, banned religious practices in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, destroyed mosques and tombs, and taken other steps to erase Uyghur culture.

Chinese companies are also “honoring” the presumed “sacred sites” of the mostly Christian Congolese and their ancestral faiths by forcing children as young as eight years old to work in horrific conditions to extract cobalt for Chinese-made electric vehicles. But perhaps African never had any “sacred sites.”

The British newspaper The Guardian reports that, over the past 15 years, Chinese companies have gained control of the majority of DRC cobalt and copper mines – and that, “with this change, Congolese workers, say, has come abuse, discrimination and racism.”

One Congolese worker complained that, “We feel humiliated and embarrassed. The way they are treating our people, you can’t believe. We are just expecting them to have respect for human life, instead of using people like slaves.”

Neither the Uyghurs nor the Congolese have seen any share of the massive profits the Chinese are extracting from these “stolen lands.” Instead, the Uyghurs are demeaned, their schools and institutions assaulted, and their families abased.

In the DRC, CDM, the Chinese-owned company that supplies cobalt to Renault and Daimler claims it is building and renovating schools and providing water and electricity to local villages. But one villager who dared speak up scoffed that, “There is no drinking water, no electricity, no school, no healthcare. Our community is right next to CDM, but they don’t do anything for us.”

In Zimbabwe, a Chinese company earlier this year began a campaign to displace hundreds of Mutoko villagers from their ancestral lands to facilitate construction of yet another lithium mine.

In a 2021 report, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in London reported 181 accusations of human rights violations related to Chinese investments in Africa from 2013 to 2020, mostly in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and the DRC. Africans commonly complain about the paltry wages and lack of safety equipment on Chinese-run construction sites.

But it gets worse.

After learning that a shocking video of Namibian children chanting “I am a black monster and my IQ is low” appeared on a popular Chinese social media site, BBC Africa Eye reporters Runako Celina and Henry Mhango uncovered a growing industry of Chinese “poverty porn” videos showing African children as “commodities that could be made to sing and dance for profit.”

China, they learned, has its own version of “Stepin Fetchit.”

None of these revelations seems to bother the Biden Administration, which “rewarded” China by ceding control of Afghanistan’s Bagram Airport in 2021 to the Taliban, which recently announced it would turn the airport into a special economic zone likely dominated by its Chinese neighbors.

Biden had earlier canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline, imposed mandates for China-dominated electric vehicles, and taken numerous other actions that weaken America’s energy and manufacturing sectors.

scathing report in Thte Hill announced that “Biden is quietly dismantling, brick by brick, the Trump Administration’s (tough on) China policy without drawing attention to it.” While many of the Trump-imposed tariffs continue, Biden’s response to the Chinese spy balloons, purchases of land near U.S. military bases, and other adversarial actions (notably in the South China Sea) indicate an apparent ceding of world hegemony to Xi Jinpeng and the Chinese Communist Party.

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed in a recent speech, China “poses the most serious long-term challenge to the international order … [and] … is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to do it.” So why not hasten that day along?

After all, the Biden family has reportedly been well paid by Chinese (and other) “influencers” for unknown services rendered. But perhaps China’s ascendancy is but a byproduct of following the Obama Administration’s “perfect plan for the economic decline of America,” as Peter Ferrara wrote in a 2012 op-ed in Forbes.

A year earlier, Eric Laursen, in the HuffPost, had defined “managed decline” as “the devolution of a society into a starkly divided hierarchy of elites and dead-enders, even as more and more of that society’s treasure is expended on propping up a doomed imperial regime inside and outside its borders.”

Such domestic policies – that increase debt, strangle entrepreneurship, and focus on trivia to distract from declining educational, ethical, and other standards necessary for high-performing societies – often need to create “feel good” moments to survive reality.

Thus, to Joe Biden and the so-called “green” movement (much of which embraces decline), protecting Native American “sacred” sites (which likely cover the entirety of the North and South American continents) is far more important than protecting the lives of millions of living people from the same kinds of torment that Americans once unleashed on its own indigenous (and enslaved) populations.

After all, saving the world is no longer part of the American agenda. America today is hardly the “shining city u[on a hill” President Reagan described in his farewell address.

Neither is ensuring the long-term prosperity of this nation and its children, who today (like those in Namibia) are seen more as commodities to be exploited for short-term gain and pleasure.

May as well bankrupt this country and return it to the Native Americans — and surrender our future to the “far superior” Chinese.


This article originally appeared at Town Hall


Duggan Flanakin is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas.

A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, “Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout.”

CFACT to American Cancer Society: Reject EPA’s politicized emissions standards


By Craig Rucker

Mr. Brian A. Marlow, CFA

Chairman, Board of Directors

American Cancer Society

3380 Chastain Meadows Pkwy NW, Suite 200

Kennesaw, GA 30144

Re: ACS and EPA misuse CPS II to claim deaths from PM2.5

Dear Mr. Marlow,

With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) is a 501(c)(3) national and international environmental and educational organization dedicated to protecting both wildlife and ecological values and the health, nutrition, energy needs and living standards of people, families and communities. CFACT is also committed to evidence-based decisions, policies and programs that are guided by the best possible scientific data and analyses.

We are deeply concerned about the American Cancer Society’s support for the current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan to further tighten the PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter, which has been based largely on findings from the Society’s 1982 Cancer Prevention Study (CPS II).

CFACT respectfully requests that ACS scientists Dr. Karen Knudsen, Dr. Alpa Patel, and Mr. Ryan Diver meet with environmental epidemiologist Dr. James E. Enstrom as soon as possible to discuss his CPS II findings, along with further concerns that we summarize below.

We understand that ACS scientists have rejected Dr. Enstrom’s repeated requests to meet with him regarding his peer-reviewed evidence of serious errors by ACS scientists in their analyses of CPS II data that attempt to link air pollution to mortality. The Society’s CPS II analysis found a positive relationship between mortality and PM2.5 emissions – and EPA utilized this relationship to help justify its initial NAAQS for PM2.5 in 1997.

Subsequently, the Obama EPA based parts of its Clean Power Plan on significant errors and misstatements about air quality, especially PM2.5 emissions. The Biden Administration and EPA are doing likewise, often citing CPS II and similar analyses to justify even tighter PM2.5 standards, as part of their ongoing efforts to close the nation’s coal-fired power plants, and even eliminate natural gas use.

Those errors are exemplified by testimony to congressional committees by former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and other EPA witnesses. Ms. McCarthy asserted that there is no threshold below which there is no risk, no level “at which premature mortality effects do not occur.” That is simply false.

In reality, cigarettes quickly send hundreds of times more tiny PM2.5 particles into a smoker’s lungs than what the EPA says is lethal if they come from coal-fired power plants. Cigarettes certainly pose cancer and other risks, but millions are not dying from inhaling PM2.5 particles.

Equally damaging to EPA (and ACS) assertions, Agency-funded experiments on human test subjects administered PM2.5 particles to dozens of people – including elderly, asthmatic and diabetic subjects, people with heart disease and children who EPA says are most at risk from PM2.5 particles. Those experiments exposed these test subjects to thirty or even sixty times more PM2.5 particles per volume than what the EPA claims are dangerous or lethal – and did so for up to two hours. And yet, contrary to EPA and Ms. McCarthy’s claims, no one died or even got sick from those exposures.

This underscores how false and misleading EPA claims have consistently been about the “serious risks” from coal-based electricity and other sources of PM2.5 particles. And yet the agency has repeatedly used such claims to justify tightening its NAAQS restrictions.

In summary, there is strong evidence that the PM2.5 standards cannot be justified on scientific, economic, or human health grounds; that EPA’s current PM2.5 regulations have had adverse economic, energy reliability and health impacts on American families, industries, and businesses; and that EPA’s asserted benefits from PM2.5 restrictions are illusory or heavily offset by such adverse consequences.

And yet, ACS scientists have failed to discuss or address the strong evidence contained in Dr. Enstrom’s February 16, 2003 letter to ACS scientists: “ACS & EPA Misuse CPS II to Claim PM2.5 Deaths” (http://ScientificIntegrityInstitute.org/ACSEPA021623.pdf).  

Dr. Enstrom clearly described this evidence in his July 8, 2023 Talk “Corruption of Science by the American Cancer Society” at the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Meeting in Tucson, Arizona (https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=GNjR4ft3xG4), which CFACT experts attended.

This is an urgent matter, because EPA is once again using seriously flawed epidemiologic findings in its latest efforts to further lower the already too-low PM2.5 NAAQS. Evidence by Dr. Enstrom and studies by other experts demonstrate that there is no factual or scientific justification for this.

If the ACS scientists cannot meet with Dr. Enstrom, then we request that you speak with me or CO2 Coalition Executive Director Gregory Wrightstone about the importance of honest, reproducible science to our nation’s affordable, reliable energy; the jobs, economic wellbeing and overall health of America’s workers and families; and indeed the continued credibility of ACS epidemiologic research.

Mr. Wrightstone has already written to the Society. His March 31, 2023 CO2 Coalition Letter to ACS can be found here: http://ScientificIntegrityInstitute.org/CO2ACS033123.pdf.

CFACT supports his analysis and hopes the ACS recognizes the importance of the issues we both raise.

Thank you very much for considering this request.

Sincerely yours,

Craig Rucker



Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.

Think megawatt hours of gasoline


By David Wojick

clean energy concept. solar panel with wind turbine and blue sky

The energy content of gasoline and other fuels is usually measured in Btu, or kilojoules if you are metric. But it can also be done in kilowatt or megawatt hours. Fuel energy and electric energy are both energy, after all.

Given the Biden rush to electrify all fuel use, this way of measuring helps make clear the fantasy of that policy. The amount of electricity required to replace ordinary fuel uses is enormous.

In fact, this conversion issue is staring us in the face. A recent CFACT article points out that EPA proposes to regulate at cross purposes. They want to force us to switch to electric cars while at the same time shutting down fossil-fueled power production.

See https://www.cfact.org/2023/07/30/epas-power-grid-assumptions-are-disconnected-from-reality/.

As my regular readers know, I am focused on Virginia, so let’s take it as our example. The reality is complex, but we will keep it simple enough to see the stark general picture.

According to EIA, Virginia’s estimated 2021 gasoline consumption is around 440 trillion Btu. The conversion is 3,412,000 btu = 1 MWh. So that is about 130 million MWh in gasoline energy. Also, in 2021 Virginia’s electric power generation is 93.5 million MWh.

So the gasoline energy is 1.4 times the total power generation. That’s a lot, right? If it takes this much energy to power our cars and light trucks, then we need to build generation capacity that is almost one and a half times our present generation to make the transition. We also need to build the costly transmission, distribution, and charging capacity to deliver all that juice to the EVs.

I have yet to see the cost estimate for all of this, but clearly, it is huge. And if we are also supposed to shut down most of our existing generating capacity because it is fossil-fueled, that is surely impossible. I have seen no plan that even begins to seriously address this issue, just a lot of empty arm-waving.

Mind you, a real analysis would get pretty technical pretty fast. For example, car engines are only around 40% efficient. So one might argue that only 40% of that 130 million MWh, or 52 million, is needed to run the electric version. That is still well over half of the present generation.

But the electric power and electric car system is also far from 100% efficient. There are line losses, storage losses, motor losses, etc. So if 52 million MWh has to be used, then a lot more has to be generated. Plus EVs are a lot heavier, so take more energy.

Then too, there is the unanswered question of where all this new juice is going to come from if fossil-fueled generation is not allowed, or only allowed with energy-intensive carbon capture bolted on. This absurd target is a separate issue that megawatt hours of gasoline clearly raises.

And this is just gasoline. The Biden goal is to electrify as much fossil fuel use as possible, including that used to generate electricity.

Natural gas is a real whopper. EIA says Virginia’s 2021 consumption was about 700 trillion Btu, or getting toward twice as much as gasoline. And many gas uses are efficient. Distillate oil, including diesel and heating oil, is another 200 trillion Btu or so. Even coal is around 70 trillion Btu.

One can do this megawatt-hour analysis for every State (or Country). The consumption data for each State is here: https://www.eia.gov/state/. The power generation data is here: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/.

These are enormous numbers. As the Beatles sang: We’d all like to see the Plan.


David Wojick

David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy.

For origins see http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/ Available for confidential research and consulting.

Cobalt Carnage, Child Labor and Ecological Destruction

From Watts Up With That?

Horrific for cell phones, worse for electric vehicles, calamitous under Net Zero

Paul Driessen

Global cobalt demand soared with the advent of cell phones and laptop computers. It exploded with the arrival of electric vehicles and now is skyrocketing in tandem with government EV mandates and subsidies. Cobalt improves battery performance, extends driving range and reduces fire risks.

Demand will reach stratospheric heights if governments remain obsessed with climate change and Net Zero. States and nations would have to switch to electric cars, trucks, buses and tractors; end coal and gas electricity generation; convert gas furnaces, water heaters and stoves to electricity; and provide alternative power for windless, sunless periods. Electricity generation would triple or quadruple.

Weather-dependent Weather-dependent wind turbines and solar panels would require billions of battery modules, to stabilize power grids and avoid blackouts every time wind and sunshine don’t cooperate. and solar panels would require billions of battery modules, to stabilize power grids and avoid blackouts every time wind and sunshine don’t cooperate.

All that Net Zero transformation equipment – plus transmission lines, substations and transformers – will require billions of tons of cobalt, lithium, copper, nickel, graphite, iron, aluminum, rare earths and other raw materials at scales unprecedented in human history. That will necessitate mining, ore processing, manufacturing, land disruption and pollution at equally unprecedented levels.

Just President Biden’s first tranche of US offshore wind turbines (30,000 megawatts by 2030) will require some 110,000 tons of copper, for the turbines alone. Transmission lines, transformers and batteries are extra. Based on average global ore concentrations, getting that copper would require extracting 40,000,000 tons of surface rock (overburden) and 25,000,000 tons of copper ore.

But those 2,500 12-megawatt 800-foot-tall turbines would provide barely enough electricity to power New York state on a hot summer day, if the wind is blowing, and before its Net Zero mandates kick in.

However, the Biden Administration opposes mining in the United States – even for essential Net Zero materials; even under stringent US pollution, workplace safety and mined-land reclamation regulations. The President’s horse-blindered Secretary of the Interior has vetoed mining for materials in AlaskaMinnesota and almost anywhere critical metals and minerals might be found.

The Administration is laser-focused on ending the “climate crisis” by switching to “clean” energy. It has few qualms about importing the critically needed materials from foreign countries, primarily China – regardless of economic, defense, national security, ecological or human rights implications. It just wants the dirty aspects of “clean” energy far away and out of sight.

Cobalt mining involves unimaginable horrors. Cobalt Red, by Nottingham University associate professor of modern slavery Siddharth Kara, exposes the excruciating realities that Stop Oil and Net Zero campaigners strive to keep buried – along with the bodies of parents and children killed in cave-ins or dying slowly and painfully after being maimed or poisoned in cobalt mines.

Professor Kara took multiple trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo, risking his health and life to document conditions for desperate Africans in a region that holds 72% of the world’s known supplies of cobalt. He estimates that 70% of this cobalt (half the world’s entire supply) involves some measure of child labor, while much of the rest involves near-slave labor.

The DRC’s once-verdant southeastern corner hosts the largest, most accessible, highest grade cobalt ore deposits known on Earth. For EV buyers, Net Zero aficionados, and corporate and government elites, the land is blessed with cobalt interspersed with copper, other Net Zero metals, uranium, chromium, gold and silver. For those toiling at the bottom of the Congo food chain, the land is cursed with those metals.

In DRC mines, “labor is valued by the penny, life hardly at all,” Kara says. Miners in its big industrial mines get somewhat decent working conditions, medical care and pay (perhaps $10 per day).

But almost one-third of Congo cobalt is gouged from the earth by artisanal miners: men and women, and boys and girls as young as six. They and their families live and work in a treeless “hellscape of craters and tunnels patrolled by maniacs with guns.”

Noxious clouds of gas permeate air that even infants must breathe. Families fish, play and bathe in – and drink from – rivers and lakes contaminated with metals and industrial chemicals.

They labor ten to twelve hours a day in sweltering heat and toxic mud, water and dust, in enormous pits hundreds of feet deep – hacking at rocky walls and in long, narrow tunnels that collapse with frightening frequency. Injured miners may get initial medical care; then nothing.

In some areas, their clothing and skin are covered with mustard-colored dust – dried sulfuric acid from processing the ores. Almost everywhere, breast, kidney and lung cancers are rising, because adults, children and babies are exposed constantly to heavy metals and uranium in everything around them. High lead levels cause permanent neurological damage.

15-year-old Muteba hobbled on crutches, his shattered, mangled legs dangling below his skinny waist. He was the only survivor from a cave-in that buried his brother and six others alive. 16-year-old Makano fell into a pit, broke and gashed his leg and hip, and was left with a festering, infected wound that desperately required antibiotics and medical attention he was unlikely to receive.

There are thousands more like them – maimed, paralyzed, disfigured or dead.

“Fair living” wages? Male artisanal miners receive around $2-4 a day – for output that might reach two 90-pound (40-kilogram) sacks of heterogenite cobalt ore. Women and children are typically paid half that, regardless of how much they produce or the purity of the ore they mine.

Those who disobey mine overseers can get “locked in a shipping container with no food or water for up to two days.” At Kanina, two boys who tried to get more than the usual pittance for their 65-pound bags of ore were gunned down – murdered – by security guards.

“Here it is better not to be born,” a mother lamented. A miner reflected, “Here we work in our graves.” Of course we fear the dangers, said another, “but if we do not work, we do not eat.”

And still mining, tech and EV companies, ESG investment firms, politicians and climate zealots tell us they require and ensure “responsible sourcing” of Net Zero supply chains, good wages, safe working environments, and prevention of child labor and slavery. What indifferent, self-serving fraud.

No DRC buyer knows or cares where a quantity of cobalt ore came from, under what conditions it was mined, or whether children dug it out. The entire marketplace is designed to collect and mix ores from formal industrial mines and legal or illegal artisanal operations – making it impossible to trace sources or tell whether child slaves or brutal militias were involved.

At least one marketplace is a remote night operation that can have no other purpose “than to launder artisanally mined cobalt into the formal supply chain completely our of view.” Every mixed load of ore is then thrown into acid baths for initial processing – before being sent out of country, mostly to China.

We hear much about reparations for descendants of American slaves – but little about reparations for Native Americans, and zilch about compensating these modern-day slaves.

Nor do we hear from billionaires like Bill Gates, John Kerry, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. They lavishly fund “climate crisis” and “clean energy” campaigns. Have they spent one dime bringing decent wages, working conditions, living standards and medical care to Congo’s miners?

These human rights issues should top their charitable giving – and the agenda for anyone promoting the climate crisis, ESG, Net Zero and batteries, especially President Biden, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate change, environmental policy and human rights.