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Tar sands investor BP says their projected future of unlimited carbon pollution “is a wake-up call, not something any of us would like to see happening.”

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 21-01-2011

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Guest blogger Andy Rowell of Oil Change International, in a WonkRoom cross-post.

We are on the path to climate chaos, Big Oil has admitted. Both BP and Exxon have conceded that progress on climate change is totally insufficient to stabilize CO2 emissions. Both oil companies have just published their Energy Outlooks, and the outlook looks grim.

In a bleak prognosis for success on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, BP admits in its new Energy Outlook 2030 report, which was published yesterday, that global CO2 emissions from energy will grow an average of 1.2 percent a year through 2030. In total, BP’s chief economist Christof Ruehl predicts “to the best of our knowledge,” CO2 emissions will rise by 27 percent over the next two decades, meaning an increase of about 33bn tons. All this does not bode well for climate change, with even Bob Dudley calling the scenarios a “wake-up call“:

I need to emphasize that this is a projection, not a proposition. It is our dispassionate view of what we believe is most likely to happen on the basis of the evidence. For example, we are not as optimistic as others about progress in reducing carbon emissions. But that doesn’t mean we oppose such progress. As you probably know, BP has a 15 year record of calling for more action from governments, including the wide application of a carbon price. Our base case assumes that countries continue to make some progress on addressing climate change, based on the current and expected level of political commitment. But overall, for me personally, it is a wake-up call, not something any of us would like to see happening.

BP’s estimate is just higher than ExxonMobil, which believes that CO2 emissions will increase by 25 percent in 20 years, which, according to John Vidal, writing in The Guardian, in effect dismisses “hopes that runaway climate change can be arrested and massive loss of life prevented.”

These projections by BP and Exxon scientists are even gloomier the projections of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which projectst that energy-related CO2 emissions will “grow by 16 percent from 2009 to 2035.” Exxon argues that oil will still be king in 2030:

In 2030, fossil fuels remain the predominant energy source, accounting for nearly 80 percent of demand. Oil still leads, but natural gas moves into second place on very strong growth of 1.8% a year on average, particularly because of its position as a favored fuel for power generation. Other energy types – particularly nuclear, wind, solar and biofuels – will grow sharply, albeit from a smaller base. Nuclear and renewable fuels will see strong growth, particularly in the power-generation sector. By 2030, about 40 percent of the world’s electricity will be generated by nuclear and renewable fuels.

BP too has demand for fossil fuels rising: BP’s “base case” — or most likely projection — points to primary energy use growing by nearly 40 percent over the next twenty years, with 93% of the growth coming from non-OECD countries. The BP report argues that world energy growth over the next twenty years is expected to be dominated by emerging economies such as China, India, Russia and Brazil. Natural gas is also expected to be the fastest growing fossil fuel, with coal and oil losing market share as fossil fuels as a whole experience a slow decline in growth, falling from 83 percent to 64 percent. Coal will increase by 1.2 percent per year and by 2030 it is likely to provide virtually as much energy as oil, excluding biofuels.

There is some good news that energy diversification will continue. Between 2010 to 2030 the contribution to energy growth of renewables (solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels) is seen to increase from 5 to 18 percent.

What oil there is left is predominantly under OPEC control. OPEC’s share of global oil production is set to increase to 46%, a position not seen since 1977, the decade that saw the cartel preside over a series of oil shocks and shortages. In fact, 75 percent of all growth in oil reserves over the next two decades is expected to come from OPEC nations, which include Kuwait, Iran, Angola, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Nigeria.

Andy Rowell writes for Oil Change International’s Price of Oil.

JR:  Of course as much as BP claims it would not like to see continued rapid growth in carbon pollution, the UK’s Independent reported last year, “Oil giant BP today signalled it would press on with a controversial Canadian tar sands project despite facing a showdown with environmental campaigners and shareholders.”

The tar sands are among the most carbon-intensive of replacements for conventional petroleum (see “Tar sands — Still dirty after all these years“):


X-axis is the range of potential resource in billions of barrels. Y-axis is grams of Carbon per MegaJoule of final fuel.

Related Posts:

Climate Progress

Does Insider Trading Adversely Affect Investor Confidence?

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 22-11-2010

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Got an email from a reporter this am, which asked:

I am currently working on an article about the latest insider probe the WSJ has been reporting. I am especially interested in the concern that scandals like the alleged insider rings will further erode trust in Wall Street – not only investor’s but also companies – and what implications this might have for the overall US economy.

I responded by pointing to something I wrote in Insider Trading, in III Encyclopedia of Law & Economics 772 (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. 2000):

In the absence of a credible investor injury story, it is difficult to see why insider trading should undermine investor confidence in the integrity of the securities markets. As Bainbridge (1995, p.1241-42) observes, any anger investors feel over insider trading appears to arise mainly from envy of the insider’s greater access to information.

The loss of confidence argument is further undercut by the stock market’s performance since the insider trading scandals of the mid-1980s. The enormous publicity given those scandals put all investors on notice that insider trading is a common securities violation. If any investors believe that the SEC’s enforcement actions drove insider trading out of the markets, they are beyond mere legal help. At the same time, however, the years since the scandals have been one of the stock market’s most robust periods. One can but conclude that insider trading does not seriously threaten the confidence of investors in the securities markets.

Macey (1991, p. 44) contends that the experience of other countries confirms this conclusion. For example, Japan only recently began regulating insider trading and its rules are not enforced. The same appears to be true of India. Hong Kong has repealed its insider trading prohibition. Both have vigorous and highly liquid stock markets.


Warren Buffett: Good Investor, Crummy Economist

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 27-09-2010

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By Daniel J. Mitchell

Warren Buffett once said that it wasn’t right for his secretary to have a higher tax rate than he faced, leading me to point out that he didn’t understand tax policy. The 15 percent tax rates on dividends and capital gains to which he presumably was referring represents double taxation, and when added to the tax that already was paid on the income he invested (and the tax that one imagines will be imposed on that same income when he dies), it is quite obvious that his effective marginal tax rates is much higher than anything his secretary pays. Though he is right that his secretary’s tax rate is much too high. 
Well, it turns out that Warren Buffett also doesn’t understand much about other areas of fiscal policy. Like a lot of ultra-rich liberals who have lost touch with the lives of regular people, he thinks taxpayer anger is misguided. Not only does he scold people for being upset, but he regurgitates the most simplistic Keynesian talking points to justify Obama’s spending spree. Here’s an excerpt from his hometown paper.

Taxpayer anger against President Barack Obama and Congress is counterproductive because policy makers took measures including deficit spending to stimulate the economy, billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC. …“I hope we get over it pretty soon, because it’s not productive,’’ Buffett said. “We will come back regardless of how people feel about Washington, but it is not helpful to have people as unhappy as they are about what’s going on in Washington.” …“The truth is we’re running a federal deficit that’s 9 percent of gross domestic product,” Buffett said. “That’s stimulative as all get out. It’s more stimulative than any policy we’ve followed since World War II.”

About the only positive thing one can say about Buffett’s fiscal policy track record is that he is nowhere close to being the most inaccurate person in the United States, a title that Mark Zandi surely will own for the indefinite future.

Cato @ Liberty

Cuomo defies 70% of New Yorkers, won’t investigate funding of Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero — yet mosque investor contributed to jihad terror group

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 03-09-2010

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“Cuomo To Not Investigate Funds For Islamic Cultural Center,” from NY1 News, September 2 (thanks to Pamela Geller, who has a series of links to mosque leaders’ questionable activities and ties here):

State Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he has no plans to investigate the Islamic community center and mosque.

According to a recent poll, seven out of 10 New York State voters say they want him to look into the project’s financing.

Cuomo said he could not investigate the fundraising for the project because so little money has been raised so far.

He said his office would also need cause to probe the group.

“I hope nobody is suggesting this is a religion that some people don’t like and therefore we should start a government investigation. That would be a terrible and dangerous precedent,” said the Democratic candidate.

Cuomo did note that if anyone has evidence that the project has terrorist ties, that might be cause for an investigation….

OK, Cuomo, how’s this?

“Report: Ground Zero Mosque Investor Contributed to Designated Terror Group,” from FoxNews.com, September 3 (thanks to all who sent this in):

A key financial backer of the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero once contributed to a U.S.-designated terror group, MyFox New York reports.

Egyptian-born businessman Hisham Elzanaty, who made what is described as a “significant investment” in the Ground Zero mosque project,contributed more than $ 6,000 in 1999 to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, also known as HLF, tax records show.

The donations came two years before the federal government shut down HLF and designated it a terror group. Elzanaty’s attorney told MyFox New York that his client believed at the time that he was donating to an orphanage. Elzanaty did not respond to questions.

Federal investigators say the group was set up as a Texas-based charity, but in fact supported Hamas….

Jihad Watch

SEC “Screws” Average Investor, Gives Unions New Power over Corporate Boards

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 27-08-2010

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The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule that could making it easier for Big shareholders to force out directors. The rule allows a big shareholder can get its board nominees listed on a company-mailed “proxy” ballot alongside the candidates favored by management Management also pay for the mailing.

On one had, the rule seems reasonable, why shouldn’t the average shareholder’have a choice in who to vote for.  But this rule has nothing to do with the average shareholder, in fact it probably gives them less power. The rule gives an investor or group of investors owning at least 3% of a company’s stock for at least three years the right to place its candidates on the company’s ballot. Who fits into this category? Institutional Investors (like state retirement plans)  and Union Pension Funds. In other words, corporate America will now be beholden to state politicians who only care about where their next vote is coming from, and Union Leaders who are active in the socialist movement.

Even President Obama, the union movement’s “main man” opposed the new rule:

Barney Frank and his House colleagues are standing strong against a White House effort to block shareholders from having proxy access to governance issues in corporations in which they have a stake. Investors, pension funds and labor unions reacted with alarm when Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) introduced the Senate proposal that would effectively deny so-called “proxy access.” The provision had not been approved by either the Senate or the House and several sources, both in Congress and in the industry, said the White House is pushing the measure. The White House proposal would require a shareholder to hold a five percent stake in order to have proxy access – a level met by virtually no institutional investors.

Corporate Directors are supposed to make decisions based on what is best for the company  and its investors(even if its not the best thing for the company’s employees) , but union sponsored directors will be tied to their small constituency, union members. Imagine a corporate director telling a negotiating manager, give the unions what they want or you are fired!

In today’s WSJ Paul Atkins,  a former SEC commissioner and a partner at Patomak Partners LLC., warned about the consequences of this new rule:

It’s no coincidence that only unions and cause-driven, minority shareholders want this coveted access. They would use it to advance their own labor, social and environmental agendas instead of the corporation’s goal of maximizing long-term shareholder wealth. The rule will give them pressure points with which to hold companies hostage until their pet issues are addressed. Many corporate managements and boards will acquiesce to avoid a contested director election.

Transparency and fairness will suffer because the rule invites abuse. Institutional representatives admitted—at a public 2007 SEC roundtable on the proxy process—that they already use the machinery of shareholder proposals as leverage to accomplish private objectives behind closed doors. In other words, they threaten to propose a proxy measure and see what the company will give up to keep it off the proxy ballot. The company may even adopt some or all of the proposal, even though the measure would likely fail in a shareholder vote. This rule adds another powerful tool to that arsenal of threats.

Ever since they came into power with the 2006 Congressional election, and solidified that power by gaining the presidency in 2008, the progressives have been siding with the 12% of Americans who are members of unions over the rights of the remaining 88% of the country.  This will continue until we vote the progressives, out of power.