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30 March 2012


Russ Steele

Here is an example of a large company willing to go along with the government and those buying fuel from Shell are paying the price at the pump. When we bought diesel on our most recent RV trip, Shell was the highest of all the vendors. We are paying for AB-32.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Peter Voser affirmed his company’s commitment to AB 32, California’s climate change legislation, and also explained why a carbon trading system is crucial to the development of alternative energy sources.

“We are clearly in favor of cap and trade systems,” he said to an audience of Silicon Valley business people and climate experts Wednesday in Burlingame. “We’d like to have it globally, to level the playing field.”

This statement from Shell, the global oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and one of the world’s largest companies, is notable when you consider the strong opposition to AB 32 from the oil industry at large. In 2010, Proposition 23 attempted to derail the imposition of AB 32 provisions and was largely bankrolled by Tesoro and Valero, two Texas oil companies.

High producers of carbon dioxide, especially oil refineries, will be hard hit when AB 32 goes into force. So what’s the rationale of Shell’s apparent “green” attitude?

Voser explained that the company is not waiting for cap and trade to be commonplace. Several years ago, he said Shell started taking into account a charge for CO2 of $40 per ton to reflect the future price of CO2 in its internal accounting. What he didn’t say is that in Europe, where Shell is headquartered, an emissions trading scheme is already in existence and the implementation of AB 32 would arguably make Shell more globally competitive.

The above was from the KQED Climate Watch Blog.

George Rebane

Good example Russ, thanks.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson


I finished putting the kids to bed a while ago, and had an interesting conversation with my ten-year-old. He was in Auburn this afternoon participating in a regional scholastic competition called "Nature Bowl." It's sort of like Jeopardy, and the kids have to answer questions as well as make presentations. You can learn more about it here: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/education/naturebowl/

Anyway, my son's presentation was on sewage treatment, which involved the two of us taking a tour of the Lake Wildwood sewage treatment plant a couple of weeks ago. He learned all about chemistry in the real world, such as the difference between nitrate, nitrite and nitrogen. Pretty cool stuff.

His presentation was at the top of the heap (proud poppa!), and as I was getting ready to turn out the light he began to tell me about some of the other presentations. One kid in particular had a rough time of it, his subject was ethanol. My son said that the judges asked some additional questions about whether turning corn into gas was such a good idea, and the student had a hard time responding.

So I explained to my son that perfectly reasonable people once thought that turning corn into gas might be a way to stop having to buy oil from countries that don't like America. But once the technology matured, and it became clear that the amount of energy input wasn't worth the energy output, corn ethanol became a technology that needed to go away.

And that's when we had our teaching moment. He said, "so corn ethanol is gone now, right?" I hesitated, and then thought what the heck and launched into a complicated explanation about gov't subsidy, and how once you fund something with tax-payer dollars it's really hard to get rid of it. More questions from him led to explanations about the congressional-district/lobbyist loop, how industries get created, then destroyed, by gov't fiat, and that employees who aren't paying attention get caught in the crossfire.

He gave all of this some serious thought, and then he said: "So it isn't good to have a fake job, right?"
Out of the mouth of babes...

Michael A.

Russ Steele


Excellent account of some great teaching moments. Well done!

Now if a 10 year old can understand the issue, why is it that our political leaders in Sacramento can not grasp the truth? Money?

George Rebane

MichaelA 1122pm - A "fake job" indeed; more to be said about that. Your son is fortunate to have you as his dad. Thanks for sharing.

Russ Steele

Here is another example of large corporations toeing the government line, and the consumers are going to pay the bill.

“General Motors, the world’s largest carmaker, has confirmed that it is pulling funding from the Heartland Institute, an ultra-conservative thinktank known for its scepticism about climate change.

“The decision by the GM Foundation to halt its support for Heartland after 20 years underlines the new image the carmaker is seeking to project as part of its social responsibility programme.

In the past GM has itself been associated with efforts to discredit climate change science, but in recent years it has been investing heavily in green technologies and cars including the electric/petrol hybrid, the Chevy Volt.

“In a statement, GM said that it now runs its business ‘as if climate change is real and believe we have a role to play in developing new cars, trucks and technologies that can make a difference.’

The problem is that climate change is not real, there has not been any significant global warming for the last 17 years. Even though we had a warm winter in the lower 48, it may surprise you that 2011/12 was the 11th coldest globally just behind 2008 among the 34 winters in the satellite era.
1 1985 -0.299
2 1989 -0.217
3 1984 -0.207
4 1993 -0.194
5 1979 -0.173
6 1986 -0.141
7 1992 -0.107
8 1990 -0.072
9 1982 -0.052
10 2008 -0.033
11 2012 -0.022
12 1997 -0.008

David King

“Let me be absolutely clear here – such riskless mandates uniformly boost the profit dollars collected by established companies supplying the necessities of life like groceries and gasoline. The mandated regulations only hurt the consumer who remains convinced that government is somehow making life better in the face of evidence that points the other way. And all of this is kept going by people who are overwhelmingly ignorant of how businesses make business decisions, while voters continue to elect politicians who promote and prey on this ignorance.”

Yes and the new patent laws do the same for large companies pilfering the thoughts of others. And they name it the "America Invents Act"; when it should be called the Rip off the American Inventor Act. Yet, it is celebrated / sympathized with by the left, just as gulag prisoners mourned the death of Stalin.

Just as blowing up Condit hydroelectric dam was cheered by the ill informed.

Seen Here:


I want to cry along with the Indian (Native American) at the stupidity of the now increased pollution from the Wind$$$ / Solar$$$ and backup gas fired turbine power replacing the non polluting dam.

Well, at least the owner, Warren Buffett, will make more money allowing him to finally pay his secretary fairly!

billy T

It was a grand week for Mr. Obama. First, his administration got a ban on off shore drilling for the next five years. The EPA effectively shut down all the coal plants in the USA via its new regulations. Unfortunately his new plan to tax the oil companies did not garner one Democrat vote in the Democrat controlled Senate. Well, two out of three ain't bad. Misunderstanding markets? Nay, it kill baby kill.

Douglas Keachie

Why is "the liberal mind" and "the left" a monolithic block of completely amalgamated granite, with no fracture lines visible, and yet the Right comes in so many different flavors here? Perhaps the Right can only be discerning when they are up close to something, and their view of the Left is much like the classic New Yorker cover of Manhattan's view of the rest of the USA? The favorite duck and cover, shuck and jive, drill of the Right here is to claim that whoever or whatever is being attacked by the left, is "not really a conservative, or a conservative position."

Douglas Keachie

"The problem is that climate change is not real" ~ Russ Steele ~

That never stopped any advertising depts before, why should it now? Besides, over the long term, cleaner air is a desirable outcome, regardless of stated motives. You are objecting to a business in business setting out to make money? Shame on you, it's as American ss apple pie.

Douglas Keachie

These folks, are of course "not conservatives" by the standards here, even though they may spend millions advertising that they are 'conservatives." http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2119493/Private-jets-13-mansions-100-000-mobile-home-just-dogs-Televangelists-defrauded-tens-million-dollars-Christian-network.html

Douglas Keachie

180,000 hits for "Tea Party" and "Trinity Broadcasting Network" of which this is just one: http://www.alternet.org/news/150690/meet_the_religious_right_charlatan_who_teaches_tea_party_america_the_totally_pretend_history_they_want_to_hear/?page=4

Account Deleted

I'm beginning to suspect that Douglas and George are working together. George posts on liberal thinking and Douglas provides examples.

George Rebane

ScottO 904am - Well hell, I guess the jig's up. Nobody was supposed to pick that up, but I suppose it was too good to last. Nevertheless, if DougK is willing to continue with his examples, I'm more than willing to go on posting updates from the research into this interesting and important area.

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