Climate Change has been going on since well before the Romans. Certainly well before coal was burned for power generation. Yet, the main stream news is fixated on Climate Change being the result of the Developed World’s use of Fossil Fuels over the last 100 years. The MSM has completely blown off the possibility that Climate Change is mostly Natural. I am a proponent for reasonable cost, abundant energy and the resultant improved quality of life. I am also interested in protecting the environment, and I love nature just as much as any environmentalist does. Reasonable cost Energy improves quality of life and is referred to by some as improving the “Human Developmet Index”. It concerns me that the most reasonable cost and proven sources of energy have become somewhat socially unacceptable. Such as coal, oil, gas and nuclear. Ironically, these four forms of energy are the one’s that provide about 90-96% of the Developed World’s energy. Many Financial Institutions are reluctant to loan money to Developers of mines, fossil fueled power stations or refineries. Even though there are still almost a Billion people on the planet that have limited or no access at all to electricity. Energy and Economic prosperity go together.
So, this begs the question: Why would so many in the MSM, Entertainment, Politics, Education and the General Public be against the very things that make our high quality of lives possible? As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that perhaps it would be helpful to remind folks of how we have arrived at this absurd place in history. Here are my thoughts and research of how the “War on Carbon” came to be. This is purely Politically Driven, not based on science or protection of the planet.
The UN Agenda 21
It was 1993 and Bill Clinton was President of the U.S.A. with Al Gore as Vice President. Executive Order #12858 was signed.(1) This is my understanding of the beginning of the “War on Coal”. The U.N. Agenda 21 began in a conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It brought together concerns for our environment, Socialism, Secular Humanism, and the world banking cartels. U.S.A involvement began in 1992, with then good intentions, by President George H.W. Bush. Bush #41 referred to Agenda 21 as encompassing “Sacred Principles”. Then the good intentions deteriorated into viscious, effective and well funded attacks on coal. The cost to Americans was blunted due to the near simulateous successes of the Shale Gas Revolution which greatly increased production of Domestic natural gas and drove natural gas prices downward. In the short term, the low natural gas prices actually hurt coal power more than the extremists and Democrat’s smear campaigns. However, the damage was permanent with no new coal plants being built in the U.S.A. since about 2012. Many older coal plants have been irreversibly decommissioned and hundreds demolished. Many of these plants could have been operating now had they been maintained. I hate to say the Environmental Extremists have won, but it looks like they have. But, who benefits from the Environmental Extremists apparent success? In my view, the only beneficiaries are China, Russia and other adversaries of the U.S.A.
Now, natural gas prices are escalating and even the Left Leaning MSM talk of expected high energy bills in winter and possible energy shortages. Therefore, given this scenario, I thought it was timely to review, from my vantage point, just how this madness came to be.
War on Coal 1993-2012
The Democrat’s have hated coal for many years. The only reason I can rationalize their hate, is because the well funded Environmental Groups usually support Democrat’s. Here below is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the “War on Coal”(6)
“A goal of the Sierra Club is to replace coal with other energy sources. Through its “Beyond Coal” campaign, the Sierra Club has set a goal to close half of all coal plants in the U.S. by 2017. American business magnate and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $50 million to the Sierra Club’s anti-coal work in 2011, and announced another $30 million gift to Sierra’s Beyond Coal campaign in 2015.The Beyond Coal campaign says 187 coal plants have been closed since 2010. Other funders of the Sierra Club’s anti-coal campaign include the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The CEO of Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas company, donated $26 million to the Beyond Coal campaign between 2007 and 2010.
Then, piling on with the MSM and the environmental organizations comes the allying of the public schools and teaching (indoctrinating) extreme green policies to our teenagers many of which have now grown up to be adults.
In addition to demonizing of carbon in Public Schools the general public is bombarded with “Save the Planet” propaganda by entertainment personalities, and the MSM. Here is a short history of the War on Coal by Politico(7): https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/
The Democrat’s hated coal and then that hate has morphed into hate of all Fossil Fuels. The (D’s) are supported by Environmental organizations (4,5) that mostly, also hate nuclear. So, the Democrat’s and Environmentally (Like Bush 41, they have good intentions) conscious citizens tend to oppose the one carbon-free form of power that is efficient, reliable, proven and capable of Dispatchable operation at high-capacity factor. The generation (it has been 28 years since Clinton signed EO) of youth that were indoctrinated to hate coal and nuclear are now voters.
This is my summary of “How the War on Carbon” has brought us to Congress working on a Stupid and anti-American Path to Net Zero Carbon. A path that only benefits adversaries of the U.S.A. The best word I can think of to describe these policies is “Stupid”.
A better path would be to continue energy independence using Hydraulic Fracturing and production of all of America’s oil and gas, including pipelines for safe transport of oil and gas. Build many more new nuclear plants to produce more nuclear power generation for both electricity generation and for hydrogen production. Also, build new highly efficient coal plants with the future capability for CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage) Called HELE (High Efficiency Low Emissions)
In closing, my view is that all forms of energy are important including; nuclear, coal, oil and gas. By the way, another reason that supports this is the fact that about 96% of America’s energy is provided by conventional energy as shown below. Disrupting the supply chain of Domestic energy will weaken America.
These views are my own and not those of any organization that I have been part of. I take full responsibility for these opinions and they are based on my personal experiences in the electric power industry over many decades.
Richard F. (Dick) Storm, PE
PS I just came across this post by the GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation) A reminder that all the meetings and hype are strictly Political, not about getting Results:
- Living with Agenda 21, Surrendering Our Freedoms by Dr. H. Lawrence Zillmer, Copyright 2012
- U.N. Agenda 21 Info: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf
- U.N. Sustainable Development Report, 2021: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/UN-DESA_Back_Common_Future_En.pdf
- Capital Research Center, Report on Climate Dollars https://www.climatedollars.org/full-study/a-short-history-of-global-warming-fears/
- The NEW Leviathan, Crown Forum, NY 2012 Check Appendix X and summary of $9 Billion in Assets
- Wikipedia, “War on Coal” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_coal
- Politico, “War on Coal” https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/
- War on Coal, Issues in Science and Technology: https://issues.org/real-numbers-president-obamas-war-on-coal/
- An Excellent video of some very smart Patriots, The Right Stuff Climate Team (Retired NASA Engineers): https://www.therightclimatestuff.com
- Donn Dears well written and practical articles: https://ddears.com/donns-articles/
- Michael Shellenberger on John Shanahan Website. Solar Panels make more waste than nuclear: https://www.allaboutenergy.net/energy/238-energy/today/wind-and-solar/north-america/862-100-percent-renewable-energy-rested-on-a-lie-michael-shellenberger-environmental-progress-mark-jacobson-usa
- Armstrong Economics, Great article on CO2 and the politics of the “War on Carbon” aka, “Manmade Climate Change” https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/climate/3rd-attempt-to-publish-this-google-interferes/
- EPA New Source Review Settlements Summaries: https://www.gem.wiki/EPA_Coal_Plant_Settlements
- EPA Settlements on NSR violations by WEPCO 2003: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/wisconsin-electric-power-company-wepco-clean-air-act-civil-settlement
- Dissertation on the Sierra Club Success of Beyond Coal Campaign 2020: https://www.proquest.com/openview/b734be1b4fa402463fbb2ee03a7993e5/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y
- Inside the War on Coal Politico, The Agenda 2015: https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/
- NRDC China Office: https://chinadevelopmentbrief.org/ngos/natural-resources-defense-council-nrdc/
- Government Accountability Office Report on Environmental Protection Agency–Application of Publicity or Propaganda and Anti-Lobbying Provisions EPA Lobbying, 2015: https://www.gao.gov/products/b-326944
- NRDC About us and link to IRS 990 Form: https://www.nrdcactionfund.org/about/
- Influence Watch, NRDC page: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/natural-resources-defense-council-nrdc/
- Washington Examiner: Gina McCarthy CEO of NRDC: https://eelegal.org/washington-examiner-gina-mccarthy-and-nrdc-together-again/
- Wrong Kind of Green, NRDC and Source Watch: https://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/the-group-of-ten/natural-resources-defense-council/
- Bezos awards $100 million to NRDC : https://www.nrdc.org/media/2020/201116
- Bezos plans to give Billions to Environmental Org’s: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/20/jeff-bezos-pledges-1-billion-to-conservation-through-bezos-earth-fund.html
- Activist Facts, Environmental Report (Follow the Money): https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/19-natural-resources-defense-council/
- Washington Examiner 2013 EPA and Sue and Settle Lawsuits: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/epas-back-room-sue-and-settle-deals-require-reform
- Activist Facts, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal, Beyond Gas, Nuclear :https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/194-sierra-club/
- Mother Jones 2012, Sierra Club “War on Coal” update to kill 167 coal plants: https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/04/map-american-coal-plants/
- AEP Newsletter to employees and Retirees on Turk Plant Settlement: https://aepretirees.com/2011/12/22/aep-resolves-all-legal-challenges-against-turk-plant-plant-on-track-to-begin-commercial-operation-in-2012/
- PowerEngineering Articles on Turk and Duke Coal plant closures, 2/01/2012: https://www.power-eng.com/renewables/aep-resolves-all-legal-challenges-against-turk-plant/#gref
- Source Watch Brags on NRDC being responsible for forcing shutting down of Seven major coal plants in Texas in 2007: https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Natural_Resources_Defense_Council#Support_for_coal_gasification
- Environmental Defense Fund: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Defense_Fund
- Influence Watch profile of EDF: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/environmental-defense-action-fund/
- WUWT, Article, July 8, 2022, Green Communism, Eradicate the Energy Privilege of Rich Countries: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/07/08/green-communism-eradicate-the-energy-privilege-of-rich-countries/