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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

GOP House Nominee Keith Rothfus Defends Unlimited Corporate Spending In Elections As Free Speech

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 25-10-2010

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ThinkProgress filed this report from Cranberry Township, PA.

In the wake of ThinkProgress’s report detailing how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is accepting foreign money into the same general account that it uses to fund partisan attack ads, candidates from across the political spectrum are stepping out and calling on the business lobby to disclose its funding. An increasing number of politicians are also calling for an FEC investigation into the Chamber’s actions.

However, for the Republican nominee in Pennsylvania’s 4th congressional district, those calls for transparency are falling on deaf ears. ThinkProgress spoke with Keith Rothfus, a Tea Party favorite, during a meet-and-greet in western Pennsylvania last week. We asked him if he would like to see groups like the U.S. Chamber forced to disclose where their funding comes from. He refused to endorse the idea, arguing instead that such requirements would likely breach the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech:

TP: I know you’d mentioned that you were opposed to the DISCLOSE Act, but would you like to see outside groups like the Chamber be forced to disclose where their money’s coming from?

ROTHFUS: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. When Congress starts to tinker with free speech rights of Americans and starts to make laws that abridge the freedom of speech. Our representatives to Congress take an oath to uphold the Constitution. When the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech,” and they pass a law like McCain-Feingold, I’m wondering if they read the First Amendment. I’m going to be very exacting when it comes to defending the right of people to speak.

TP: Would you like to see current campaign finance restrictions rolled back in terms of limits on people’s speech and money?

ROTHFUS: As somebody who has learned how difficult it is to raise money, there is a problem. There is a problem with the way we fund campaigns in this country. […]

TP: Do you think that the current campaign finance laws are contributing to that incumbent-challenger disparity in terms of fundraising?

ROTHFUS: This is a little different year because it’s a wave year that’s building out there, but I think in the normal sense, yeah, there is an incredible disadvantage that challengers have.

TP: So you might like to see those [campaign finance laws] kind of altered or rolled back?

ROTHFUS: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. That is the major premise. And I will operate under that major premise.

Watch here:


Right-Wing ‘Journalists’ At Secret Koch Meeting Make A Living Defending Unlimited Corporate Political Money

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 23-10-2010

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Earlier this week, ThinkProgress revealed documents pertaining to a secret election-planning meeting convened by the right-wing billionaires David and Charles Koch of the $ 120 billion dollar conglomerate Koch Industries. The Koch Meeting included powerful executives from the health insurance, coal, manufacturing, banking, and pharmaceutical industry, as well as the top lobbyist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents large corporations like AIG and Wal-Mart. One of the most startling revelations about the June 2010 event, as Salon’s Joe Conason noted, was the fact that conservative media stars “Krauthammer, Ponnuru, Barone, Moore and Beck were flown out to Aspen, lodged in luxury accommodations, and presumably paid a handsome honorarium by Koch to entertain and enlighten the would-be saviors of the Republic.” Conason asked, “So where are the guardians of media integrity, who made so much noise about the innocuous jawing of the liberals on Journolist?”

Not only did Koch invite many prominent right-wing media stars, he also invited supposedly objective journalists to his political strategy confab. Many of the journalists at the Koch Meeting have actually made a living for themselves accepting large sums of money from Koch Meeting participants, then parroting talking points promoting corporate control of American democracy:

“Journalist” Michael Barone

Barone’s Koch Meeting Money: Barone is a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute — a think tank/trade association well represented at the Koch Meeting — which according to its 990 tax forms, compensates fellows in the $ 100,000-range. Right-wing billionaire Phil Anschutz, a Koch Meeting participant, owns and subsidizes the Washington Examiner, where Barone is a paid contributor. Earlier this year, Barone was given the “Bradley Prize,” a $ 250,000 no-strings-attached gift just for being a loyal conservative. Several Koch Meeting businessmen are active with the Bradley Foundation, and Koch Meeting participant Dennis Kuester, a retired bank executive, helped select Barone for the gift. The Bradley Foundation, managed by former Republican National Committee counsel Michael Grebe, is endowed with nearly $ 500 million dollars from the wealth of deceased industrialist Harry Bradley, a proud John Birch Society member who came under fire for systematically discriminating against African Americans and women in his factories.

Barone’s Reflexive Defense Of Koch, Secret Corporate Money: Barone enjoys wide distribution of his views through a paid punditry position at Fox News and a syndicated column through Human Events, the Washington Examiner, National Review, and other publications. And Barone has used his media platform to willingly distorted ThinkProgress’ investigation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s foreign fundraising, while also praising the influence of secret corporate money in the 2010 elections. Dismissing the influence of secret corporate cash (like his own), Barone scoffed at “Obamaites” for conjuring a “19th-century caricatures of fat cats.” Barone often uses his columns to mock the poor, and, assists his benefactors by sliming financial and clean energy reform.

“Journalist” Tim Carney

Carney’s Koch Meeting Money: Carney, a “libertarian” writer who defends the right of the fossil fuel industry to emit carbon pollution for free, has attacked ThinkProgress for highlighting his role at the Koch Meeting. In a piece this week, Carney gave full “disclosure” that he only occasionally speaks at Koch-funded dinners at the Koch-funded Institute for Humane Studies, and that his presence at the Koch Meeting was merely to scold the corporate executives about America’s bailout culture. In fact, in addition to being gainfully employed by billionaire Koch Meeting industrialist Phil Anschutz, Carney has received $ 50,000 from the Koch-funded ISI Enterprise Award, $ 50,000 from the Koch-funded Phillips Foundation, and was previously a fellow at the Koch-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, an aggressive front group that defends polluters.

Carney’s Reflexive Defense Of Koch, Secret Corporate Money: Carney has vigorously defended Koch’s political giving, and the right for corporations to exploit Citizens United for unlimited, undisclosed political contributions. Although he postures as an enemy of bailouts and government subsidies, Carney ignores the fact that his Koch Industries benefactors used their conservative “movement” donations to encourage the Bush Justice Department to largely dismiss $ 350 million in fines for leaking carcinogenic benzene, or that Koch leveraged its relationship with the Bush administration to take control of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or that Koch begged the Alaskan government for a bailout of one of its refineries.

“Journalist” Stephen Moore

Moore’s Koch Meeting Money: Moore is subsidized through “fellowships” and “senior fellow” positions at a number of Koch-funded groups, including the Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute, while actually leading Koch Meeting-aligned groups like the Free Enterprise Fund. In an interview with Charles Koch for the Wall Street Journal, Moore disclosed that Koch has underwritten organizations Moore is involved in, although he did not specify which ones.

Moore’s Reflexive Defense Of Koch, Secret Corporate Money: Moore, who also serves as a pundit on CNBC and Fox News, is best known for his role as an editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal editorial board has been a constant defender of Koch Industries and of unlimited, secret corporate money in American elections.

Other journalists at the meeting are also on the Koch Meeting payroll. The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer — who spoke at the Koch Meeting’s mountaintop dinner on “What’s Ahead for America?” — is also a recipient of the $ 250,000 Bradley Prize gift and sits on the board of other groups funded by the Koch Meeting network. While no one outside the 9/12 “movement” views hate-talker and Koch Meeting participant Glenn Beck as a serious journalist, will the media scrutinize the ties of Barone, Moore, or Carney to their corporate benefactors?


The Shining City: Limited government, unlimited potential

Posted by admin | Posted in The Capitol | Posted on 01-10-2010

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Caption from our June 2010 post “I do declare: Tweeting the Declaration of Independence for fun and profit”: “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do,” Slate quotes Thomas Jefferson — a man after our own less-is-more writer’s heart — in “All Men Are Tweeted Equal,” an invitation to fellow freedom lovers to “condense the Declaration of Independence to one tweet.”

By Sissy Willis of sisu

In about two years the entire course of the nation changed,” writes our dear friend Scott Ott, setting us up for a cathartic “aha” moment. His headline suggests something along the lines of how Obama & Company’s governmental overreach unwittingly led to the Third Great Awakening that is today’s Tea Party movement, but no. Ott has something more profound in store for us, a “Founding of the Republic” mini-course delivered in the equivalent of about seven tweets on Twitter …

Thomas Jefferson would have approved.

Read full post here.

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