Weekend Energy/Environment TV Roundup: Platts, McLaughlin Group, Years of Living Dangerously

by William Yeatman on April 13, 2014

in Blog

Platts Energy Week with Bill Loveless: American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan gave illuminating answers in an interview with Bill Loveless on Platts Energy Week. At the 2:40 mark of the video below, Mr. Kiernan explains that the wind energy industry would go “bust,” if the U.S. Congress fails to extend a subsidy that gives wind energy generators a tax credit worth $23 per megawatt electricity produced.

Mr. Kiernan’s dire warning was backed up by a report earlier this week from Energy & Environment News’s Nick Juliano, whose independent estimate that the wind energy industry would lose 30,000 jobs, virtually overnight, absent this one subsidy.

Keep in mind that thirty States have enacted Soviet style production quotas for green energy, and that wind energy meets the overwhelming preponderance of these mandates. Thus, the wind energy industry enjoys a government-guarantee for consumer demand. Few and lucky are the politically connected industries that receive such a state-sponsored perk.

And yet, despite these green energy production quotas, the industry faces imminent collapse, according to its own top lobbyists, if a single, albeit egregious, tax handout is allowed to expire.

Which brings me to my final point. In the interview, Mr. Kiernan innocently claims that the wind industry merits the $23 per megawatt tax credit, because it wants a “level playing field” with conventional energy. While I readily advocate for the elimination of all subsidies, I question whether Mr. Kiernan is sincere. Absent mandates and subsidies for all energy sources, and unless fossil fuels are regulated out of existence, wind energy would die a swift death at the hands of conventional energy on even a relatively free market. When competition matters, intermittent and expensive (i.e., renewable energy sources) simply are no substitutes for cheap and reliable (fossil fuels, that is).

The McLaughlin Group: Four months ago, I noted how John McLaughlin skewered global warming alarmists on his wonderful show, The McLaughlin Group. It was late December, and the show was having its annual awards broadcast. What prompted my attention was McLaughlin’s awarding of the “2013 Enough Already Award,” to “the theory that now masquerades under the pseudonym of climate change.” He then continued, “Even its most honest supporters now admit that there has been no increase in the earth’s surface temperatures for 15 years. It’s time to admit the theory is flawed.”

Great stuff. And it leaves no doubt as to where he stands on the issue. On this week’s show, we got more of the same. Near the end of the show, McLaughlin introduced a segment about global warming, titled “Apocalypse Now?” The question mark is operative. The topic of the segment was the recent release of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Before the start of the roundtable debate, there was a long video lead-in to the segment, featuring one scary IPCC prediction after another. See for yourself (it starts at the 21:55 mark):

McLaughlin then opened debate with the question: Why is this report so apocalyptic? For him, the story is the alarmism. Brilliant. Thus he exposes the fact that there exists no scientific consensus that catastrophic global warming looms. Count me amongst the lukewarmers, for whom global warming policy seems as threatening as the warming itself.

Years of Living Dangerously Premieres on Showtime: I didn’t watch it, because anything else was on, but I will note that this entire production strikes me as picture-perfect evidence that climate change “is a rich man’s issue,” to borrow a phrase coined by former President George W. Bush, and recently resuscitated by the Washington Post’s iconoclastic Charles Lane (see 4:40 of video below).

 Years of Living Dangerously was funded by Paul Allen, filmed by James Cameron, and stars a bunch of prominent actors. They are all richer than a god in France.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: