By Chris White
An editor of a Colorado newspaper argued that environmental activists could morally justify committing violent acts of terror on Americans in the fracking industry, similar to how President Donald Trump justified bombing Syria, in a brief email exchange Saturday with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Boulder Daily Camera Executive Editor Kevin Kaufman believe citizens who support Trump’s decision to bomb Syria had no grounds to contest the idea that anti-fracking activists were justified blowing up oil and gas wells in the U.S. He told TheDCNF that the two issues are essentially one and the same.
“I suspect it was a violent act supported by both the right and left, but it also was one fundamentally based upon a moral question,” Kaufman wrote in email about Trump’s decision to strike a Syrian air base in response to a chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“So it’s ok for the U.S., currently under the leadership of a right-leaning president, to take violent action on moral grounds, but it is not ok for citizens of Boulder County to ask fellow citizens to consider even violent actions?” Kaufman asked.
Kaufman’s statement was in response to questions about whether it was appropriate for The Camera to publish a letter promoting violence against the fracking industry. Kaufman’s paper published a letter April 19 suggesting Colorado citizens have a moral obligation to destroy pipelines and eliminate oil jobs.
Editors altered the piece after publication, but left the writer’s basic thesis in place: violence may be the only way to prevent pipeline construction.
“If the oil and gas industry puts fracking wells in our neighborhoods, threatening our lives and our children’s lives, then don’t we have a moral responsibility to blow up wells and eliminate fracking and workers?” Andrew O’Connor wrote in a letter to the paper’s editors.
The piece was edited the following day to read “don’t we have a moral responsibility to take action to dissuade frackers from operating here?” The editorial staff included in the edits its reason for not retracting the letter entirely.
O’Connor’s piece is worthwhile, the editorial board noted, because it brings up philosophical ideas that are important to consider when discussing fracking.
“This letter was edited to delete references that may have been construed to expressly advocate violence or property destruction,” the editors wrote. “The Camera does not condone or endorse violence or property destruction of …
Media claim: ‘Renewables surged past coal…become world’s biggest source of electricity’ – Reality: Coal produced 41% & Renewables 6%
The business news network featured an article in the “Sustainable Energy” section of its Website that proclaimed: “Renewables surged past coal in 2015 to become world’s biggest source of electricity: IEA.”
In reading that headline, one might get the impression that wind turbines and solar panels produced more electricity last year than coal. But the fine print actually reveals a very different picture.
The opening paragraph of the article by “Freelance digital reporter” Anmar Frangoul gives a clue as to the sleight of hand being used. Frangoul cites the International Energy Agency (IEA) as reporting that “Renewable energy moved past coal in 2015 to become the biggest source of global electricity capacity.” The key word there is “capacity.”
What’s noteworthy is that capacity is far different from actual production. The average wind turbine has a maximum rated capacity of roughly 2 megawatts. That means, if the wind is blowing between 26-56 mph, the turbine can spin up to its peak generating capacity. In such moments, the wind turbine can produce its full 2 megawatts.
However, wind turbines, like solar panels, offer only intermittent power generation. Wind turbines can only produce power when there is sufficient wind—and when they are not shut down due to cold weather, repairs, or high winds. And solar panels only produce electricity during periods of direct sunlight. Thus, while a wind turbine can have a maximum capacity of 2 megawatts, its typical output may often be far less, or even 0 megawatts (on a windless day).
Thus we see some of the misleading language in the CNBC article.
Frangoul talks about renewables producing 23 percent of world power generation in 2015—which is only possible when hydropower’s robust 16.4 percent is added to renewables’ paltry 6.3 percent share. And while the IEA says that “renewables represented more than half the new power capacity around the world” in 2015, one has to remember their frustrating intermittency. Wind turbines only generate roughly 20 percent of their installed capacity, and solar panels yield an even more meager 10 percent.
So, while Frangoul is happy to tout all of
Peak Oil Redux: World oil production is 50% higher today than in 1973
Daniel Yergin: Why OPEC No Longer Calls the Shots
The oil embargo 40 years ago spurred an energy revolution. World production is 50% higher today than in 1973.
WSJ.COM 10/14/13: Forty years ago, on Oct. 17, 1973, the world experienced its first “oil shock” as Arab exporters declared an embargo on shipments to Western countries. The OPEC embargo was prompted by America’s military support for Israel, which was repelling a coordinated surprise attack by Arab countries that had begun on Oct. 6, the sacred Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
With prices quadrupling in the next few months, the oil crisis set off an upheaval in global politics and the world economy. It also challenged America’s position in the world, polarized its politics at home and shook the country’s confidence.
Yet the crisis meant even more because it was the birth of the modern era of energy. Although the OPEC embargo seemed to provide proof that the world was running short of oil resources, the move by Arab exporters did the opposite: It provided massive incentive to develop new oil fields outside of the Middle East—what became known as “non-OPEC,” led by drilling in the North Sea and Alaska.
The Prudhoe Bay oil field was discovered in Alaska five years before the crisis. Yet opposition by environmentalists had prevented approval for a pipeline to bring the oil down from the North Slope—very much a “prequel” to the current battle over the Keystone XL pipeline. Only in the immediate aftermath of the embargo did a shaken Congress approve a pipeline that eventually added at its peak as much as two million barrels a day to the domestic supply.
A Connecticut filling station in 1974 amid the oil embargo.
The push to find alternatives to oil boosted nuclear power and coal as secure domestic sources of electric power. The 1973 crisis spawned the modern wind and solar industries, too. By 1975, 5,000 people were flooding into Washington, D.C., for a conference on solar energy, which had been until then only “a subject for eco-freaks,” as one writer noted at the time.
That same year, Congress passed the first Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which required auto makers to double fuel efficiency—from 13.5 miles per gallon to 27 miles per gallon—ultimately saving about two millions …
Subsidies to wind and solar dwarf those to “big oil” — but wait! There’s more!
Oil depletion allowances, the first category, principally apply to small independent producers, with similar benefits available for all mineral extraction, timber industries, etc., allowing them to pass the depletion on to individual investors. Large integrated corporations haven’t been eligible for these since the mid-1970s. Expensing indirect drilling costs involves writing off expenses in the year incurred rather than capitalizing them and writing them off over several years. Closing this “loophole” would only change the timing of taking he expense, not the total amounts of the so-called “subsidy.” The third category, a tax credit for taxes paid to foreign nations, is available for all international companies. This provides an offset to foreign taxes, often paid as royalties, so that the companies aren’t taxed twice on the same income.…