Archive for November, 2023

Last Leg On Our Awesome Journey Brings Us Back To Where We Started

November 27th, 2023 No comments

Blue Ridge And Shenandoah

A ManAnd His Dogs 

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Oh, Shenandoah, I hear you calling
Hi-o, you rolling river
Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Hi-o, I’m bound away
‘Cross the wide, Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter …. ~~~  Shenandoah, Paul Robeson version

With bittersweet feelings, tomorrow morning, we depart on the last leg of our 7 year long saga – an awesome road trip that took us to all 48 lower states and scores of national forests, National Parks, BLM lands, and otherwise awesome and beautiful places.

We began our journey with our beloved and awesome black lab Bouy, who lived a glorious full life of 12 and one half years until we painfully departed this summer (June 20).

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From the East Coast Appalachians to the far northwest Olympic Peninsula (Cape Flattery), Bouy absolutely broke the mold and plowed new ground. I loved him dearly:

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We end our journey with our new friend, fox red lab Charlie, who as you can see from the photo above is a handful (and then some!).

Along the way, we had too many incredible experiences to rehash here.

No doubt, the wonder and adventure and reality far outweighed the drag and suffering.

’tiss 7 long years since I saw thee

Some of our final photos, for the record:

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NJ’s “Green” Glitterati Feted At Corporate Wind Gala

November 23rd, 2023 No comments

NJ Green Mafia Corruption Reaches A New Low

The New Field Look Of Sierra Club

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NJ Wind Works – “Greens” Working Hard For Corporate Wind

 Take a good look at the photo above.

What does it say? Climate justice? Or corporate corruption?

It’s bad enough that NJ environmental groups – now including my former employer Sierra Club, NJ Chapter – take money from corporate wind developers and then form fake “grassroots groups” to launder that money and advocate their corporate interests under the guise of “climate justice”.

That’s the expanding graft and corruption I’ve been criticizing for years now (e.g. Orsted sponsorship). And it is sickening to know that it has now corrupted the Sierra Club, NJ Chapter (that’s new Chapter Director, Anjuli showing some leg on the right in the first row).

But to (corporate) whore around like Wall Street glitterati is a bridge far too far.

It’s disgusting, disgraceful, beyond the pale and it must be exposed and denounced.

The picture was taken at the recent November 9  “Ventus” 2023 awards ceremony.

Who and what the hell are the “Ventus awards” you ask? Maybe you haven’t heard of their recent Orwellian name change:

The Ventus Awards are the Oceantic Network’s (formerly known as the Business Network for Offshore Wind) highest level of professional recognition, celebrating the trailblazing people, companies, organizations, and work worldwide ushering in the global adoption of offshore wind energy.

With wind industry money, the NJ environmental groups formed a fake astroturf group called NJ Wind Works and then joined a “Business Network” – all with no public disclosure to the media and the general public (and very likely to the groups’ own members).

The NJ Wind Works group was a finalist for the 2023 Ventus award for “Leadership”. Repeat: “Leadership”! Let that sink in.

Not only is the NJ Wind Works outfit a hopelessly corrupt corporate front and propaganda group (their website does not disclose wind industry and other corporate funding).

They were incompetent and a total failure in implementing their own mission and objectives (in case you missed it, Gov. Murphy’s off shore wind project recently collapsed):

New Jersey Wind Works

1 (20) New Jersey Wind Works (NJWW) is a growing coalition of environmental, faith-     based, labor, and community-based organizations who work together to advocate f  for responsibly developed offshore wind in New Jersey. The primary focus of the coalition is to conduct public education and engagement to all stakeholders including public officials, community based and statewide interest groups, and grassroots constituents for the purpose of building support statewide to transition to clean and renewable energy.

Throughout the latter half of 2022 and into the spring of 2023, NJWW pivoted its messaging, tactics, and strategies to respond to the mounting concerns over marine mammal deaths along the Jersey Shore. NJWW also submitted a joint comment to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in July 2023 regarding the Atlantic Shores Wind Projects I and II, urging partial decommissioning to be the default for all upcoming offshore wind projects.

The Ventus gala fraud is the last straw.

I’ve watched how the new Sierra Director Anjuli has totally destroyed the Sierra Chapter that Jeff Tittel built (with some of my help.I worked as Sierra Policy Director and was Acting Director when Jeff Tittel was hired. I worked with Jeff very well for about 5 years until 2002, when I returned to DEP). NJ Sierra used to be the leading and most aggressive grassroots organization, with Statewide political influence and media presence.

My next post will document the total collapse of the NJ Chapter under her “leadership”.

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NJ “Clean Energy” Debate Rife With Errors And Misconceptions

November 21st, 2023 No comments

Senate Committee Postpones Vote On Flawed Lame Duck Session Bill

“Never the intention to support solar” ~~~ Chairman Bob Smith

NJ Spotlight reports today that the Senate Environment Committee, after over 5 hours of testimony, failed to even vote on the deeply flawed “clean energy” bill I wrote about yesterday.

Last night, Spotlight TeeVee news broadcast a piece with video clips of a protest by some climate groups and some of the testimony.

Based on Spotlight’s coverage (I did not attend or listen to the Senate hearing), it is incredible that paid climate and environmental justice advocates are so ill informed and appear to not even have read the bill – and that they support it.

This is the latest part of a longtime corrupt and incompetent pattern.

Those activists supported the Global Warming Response Act (GWRA) and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Both have failed to reduce NJ’s greenhouse gas emissions, both eschew DEP regulations, and both rely exclusively on incentives (subsidies) and market mechanisms.

They have supported a series of unenforceable Executive Orders by Gov. Murphy.

They supported the energy legislation to provide over $1 billion in nuclear subsidies.

They supported the environmental justice legislation and DEP regulations, both of which fail to apply to greenhouse gas emissions or emissions from current pollution sources, including the garbage incinerators and sewage treatment plants and their sludge incinerators.

They supported the legislation which allowed NJ Transit to purchase 750 new diesel buses that they now protest.

Yesterday, they tried to use the flawed clean energy bill to fix all these problems that result directly from the flawed legislation they supported!

Let me begin to set the record straight, starting in this post with the NJ Spotlight TeeVee segment, in sequential order.

1) Climate justice protest

Before the hearing, protesters called for “climate justice”.

Yet many of them supported the recent Environmental Justice law (and DEP implementing regulations) which totally ignores climate, greenhouse gas emissions, and garbage incinerators. They make no mention of all that now. WTF?

2) Garbage Incinerators

EJ activist supported the EJ law and DEP implementing regulations, which ignore garbage incinerators. Before that, they praised US Senator Booker and DEP for permits issued to the Newark incinerator. They have never demanded shutdown of those incinerators.

Yesterday, they supported the bill, despite the fact that it would allow those incinerators to continue to pollute.

3) Murphy Executive Orders

As I’ve written many times, Executive Orders are not legally binding on the private sector (and/or “regulated entities” and “regulated activities”). They are not enforceable and only apply to non-substantive administrative operations of the executive branch of State government. So, when Gov. Murphy issues an EO that sets goals for renewable energy, they have no more legal weight than a press release. The Gov. (and DEP) can not compel PSE&G or any other polluter comply with a goal established in an Executive Order. Only laws enacted by the legislature and signed by the governor and legislatively authorized State regulations can mandate private sector actions and be enforced. This is a fundamental legal fact.

Yet, Chairman Smith – a lawyer – totally misrepresented this legal reality and he further muddied the water by falsely using the term “rule”. Smith misleadingly claimed: (time 1:25)

An Executive Order is only the rule as long as that Executive is the Executive. There are no guarantees that the next Governor will be as green as the current Governor.

Smith knows EO’s are not binding and enforceable. He knows that EO’s are not “rules” and do not have the legal force and effect of “rules” (as in “regulations”).

He would get a “F” on a first year law school paper for that garbage.

4) 65% In State Generation Target

Eric Miller of the NRDC apparently didn’t read the bill or he is ignorant of NJ’s electric energy generation profile.

Miller claimed that a 65% in state standard would be “a massive increase from our current level, which is only 25%”.

The bill defines nuclear power as clean energy. In state nuclear power alone currently generates about 40% of NJ’s electric consumption.

5) The bill will save lives

An EJ “warrior” from the totally lame urban development group known as ISLES, Inc. falsely claimed:

The bill will literally save lives. I’m not saying that lightly.

He is full of crap and doesn’t know what he is talking about. The bill will have no impact on current levels of pollution from current in state emission sources. It does not even apply to hazardous air pollutants or the traditional criteria pollutants that cause health impacts (fine particulates, SOx, NOx, et al).

There are major loopholes for “clean energy” from out of state sources. Consider the case of Maryland and the Physicians For Social Responsibility Report: (PEER Report)

A large and growing portion of Maryland’s renewable “clean energy” comes from high-polluting energy sources. In 2019 alone, approximately 40% of the energy attributed to the state’s Tier 1 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) came from “dirty” sources, up by more than a fifth from just the year prior.

The power grid operator, a private corporations named PJM will determine what sources of energy are “clean energy”. The NJ BPU and NJ DEP have no jurisdiction and thus no power to control PJM decisions.

6) Co-pollutants and “Offsets”and Pollutant Trading

Nicky Sheets makes valid points about health impacts from the energy sector and co-pollutants. So why did he support the EJ law and DEP regulations that ignore these problems? Why no criticism of RGGI? Why no strong opposition to this bill on that basis alone?

Maria Lopez-Nuñez of the Ironbound Community Corporation apparently thinks that the intent of the law is to block market mechanisms like pollutant offsets and trading (allowances).The ability to use market mechanisms and offsets and credits and “net zero” bullshit are the intent of the law and other NJ laws like RGGI. They are not loopholes. That is the longstanding policy of NJ.

Where has she been?

7) What is “Clean Energy”?

The definition of clean energy is prone to manipulation and abuse. While it does exclude garbage incinerators (in NJ, not in other states), there is plenty of room for abuse. Take a look:

“Clean electricity attribute certificate” or “CEAC” means a certificate representing the zero-carbon or environmental benefits or attributes of one megawatt-hour of generation from a clean electricity production facility whose electricity is produced in New Jersey or settled through the wholesale energy markets operated by PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., or any successor organization, or such other quantity of generation, as may be adjusted by the board pursuant to subsection a. of section 5 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), to account for the greenhouse gas abatement achieved by the clean electricity production facility.

What does “zero carbon” mean? Does it include carbon emissions based on lifecycle analysis of the nuclear fuel and waste disposal cycles? Does it consider the public health effects and environmental impacts of uranium mining?

The bill uses the word “or” – so what are the definitions of “environmental benefits or attributes”? Many people call Biomass wood burning “net zero” carbon. How does “netting” work? Many other scams and abuses are possible, including hydrogen.

8) Who Determines What “Clean Energy” Is?

The media and activists are creating the misleading and false impression that the NJ legislature and the NJ BPU will have the final say on what energy sources are considered “clean energy”.

But that is false, because of the ability to import power. For imports, the bill explicitly vests that power in the regional grid operator, PJM, Inc.

Much better to think of this bill as a NAFTA for “clean energy” – it will be a giant sucking sound.

9) “Never the intention to support solar”

In closing, let me import a telling quote from NJ Spotlight’ story by Tom Johnson.

Solar advocates said the bill leaves no room for new growth for the sector in New Jersey, but Smith countered the state has provided plenty of incentives for the industry over the past two decades. It was never the intention of the bill to support solar, Smith said.

That’s about all you need to know.

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NJ Legislature Considering Another Misleading Climate Bill That Sets Aspirational Goals

November 20th, 2023 No comments

100% Renewable Energy By 2035 Is Another Climate Fraud

Bill Would Actually Harm NJ Solar Expansion And In State Renewable Energy Jobs

Cheered on by climate and environmental activists, the NJ Global Warming Response Act (Act) was signed into law over 16 years ago.

Over that timeframe, it has become obvious that the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of the Act have absolutely no teeth required to implement them and therefore those goals are purely aspirational and effectively meaningless symbolic gestures.

We predicted this at the outset, in a Sunday Star Ledger Op-Ed:

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It also has become clear that climate and environmental activists were duped by legislators, the DEP Commissioner, and Gov. Corzine into their support for what amounts to a political stunt and fraud on the public. It is very easy politically to set lofty goals in the distant future that don’t require anyone to do anything to attain those goals, mandate that DEP adopt regulations, and dedicate funding to achieve those goals.

In turn, climate and environmental activists – wittingly or unwittingly – have been misleading the public in their false praise of the law.

1 (1)But apparently, the same legislators and those same climate and environmental groups have not yet learned those lessons of the failed Global Warming Response Act.

They are repeating the exact same mistakes that delivered the toothless Global Warming Response Act – this time by supporting aspirational renewable energy goals that rely on market incentives.

The renewable energy bill considered today (S2978 SCS) would revise NJ’s current renewable energy portfolio standards to create “clean electricity attribute certificates (CEACs)” and direct the BPU to:

require electricity suppliers to purchase CEACs equivalent to 80 percent of their retails sales by 2027, 85 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2035.

Sounds good, right?

But even if the bill were to achieve its goals – and 100% of retail sales of electricity were “renewable” – there is no guarantee that current NJ based greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by one ton or that even out of state emissions be reduced.

The bill does not mandate that current NJ emissions be reduced or that current fossil power sources are phased out. There are no limits on expansion of current NJ fossil power and fossil infrastructure to meet electric demand, both in NJ and the wider PJM region. Those power plants will continue to operate and continue to emit greenhouse gases.

And as I’ve written before, given the projected more than doubling of NJ electric demand as a result of electrification of transportation and buildings, the current fossil generating sources will continue to operate and continue to emit greenhouse gases. At a regional level, there will continue to be demand for that fossil power.

For an explanation and solid analysis of how renewables serve new demand growth and will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, see:

The power currently produced by NJ gas fossil plants, served by fossil pipelines, will continue to be sold into the regional PJM grid and be exported to other States.

There are several fatal flaws in the bill.

First, the bill effectively would put the regional grid operator – a private corporate entity known as PJM – in charge of the grid, access to the grid from renewable power sources, define “zero carbon”, “environmental benefits or attributes”  and “net” issues, and delegate power to PJM to block expansion of renewables based on “reliability” concerns (that is done in Section 9):

“Clean electricity attribute certificate” or “CEAC” means a certificate representing the zero-carbon or environmental benefits or attributes of one megawatt-hour of generation from a clean electricity production facility whose electricity is produced in New Jersey or settled through the wholesale energy markets operated by PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., or any successor organization, or such other quantity of generation, as may be adjusted by the board pursuant to subsection a. of section 5 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), to account for the greenhouse gas abatement achieved by the clean electricity production facility.

Second, the bill allows for renewable energy imports from other states (for which NJ has no power to control and enforce actual renewable energy: (according to the bill’s Statement:

The BPU would be authorized to require an electricity supplier to meet a portion, or all, of its clean electricity procurement obligations established by the bill through participation in a regional clean electricity attribute market established or approved by the BPU, a regional transmission organization (e.g., PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., New Jersey’s current regional transmission organization), or another qualified entity.

For an example of the likely abuses associate with “renewable energy imports”, consider the case of Maryland and the Physicians For Social Respsonsibility Report: (PEER Report)

A large and growing portion of Maryland’s renewable “clean energy” comes from high-polluting energy sources. In 2019 alone, approximately 40% of the energy attributed to the state’s Tier 1 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) came from “dirty” sources, up by more than a fifth from just the year prior.

Importation of renewable power also would undermine the growth of in state renewable power and expansion of jobs in renewable energy sector.

Importation of renewable power will export NJ consumer funds to out of state businesses, the exact opposite of investing in New Jersey.

If the bill actually mandated reduction of instate greenhouse gas emissions and/or phased out existing fossil power, then the imports of renewable energy might be justified. But with no such guarantees, the bill results in the worst of all worlds: it would undermine NJ’s renewable energy sector and do nothing to reduce current NJ greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally, there appears to be some confusion about the impact of the bill on NJ’s currently polluting garbage incinerators, all of which are located in environmental justice communities. I sense that this confusion may be a political game to cultivate the support of  the bill by EJ and climate activists with a false promise.

NJ Spotlight falsely reported that the bill would “phase out” those incinerators:

Another battle may be brewing over whether the bill includes a provision phasing out garbage incinerators, a priority for environmental justice advocates.

“Incineration is dirty energy and should not be considered clean,’’ said Maria Lopez- Nuñez, deputy director of the Ironbound Community Corporation.

“We’re in a climate crisis,’’ added Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “We need legislation that incentivizes in-state renewables and prevents fossil fuel generation and co-pollutants [such as arsenic, mercury and other contaminants].”

The bill would not “phase out” those incinerators. It would merely not allow them to be considered a “clean energy production facility” and eligible for participation in the program:

“Clean electricity production facility” shall not include a resource recovery facility.

Just like the current fossil gas power plants, they too would continue to pollute.

And the bill does not “incentivizes in-state renewables” – just the opposite: (NJ Spotlight)

... solar developers fear the bill will lead to New Jersey relying on less costly out-of-state solar systems instead of in-state systems.

“This is providing room for zero solar growth in New Jersey from here on in,’’ said Lyle Rawlings, founder and president of Advanced Solar Products in Flemington.

The bill has language suggesting most of the new solar capacity will come from outside New Jersey where land and labor costs are cheaper.

Doug O’Malley is being duped again. Fool me once….

[End Note: And for chairman Smith to move this bill in the lame duck session is pure political cowardice and highly inappropriate abuse of process.]

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Not Even Goebbels And Hitler Brought Incubators Into Concentration Camps

November 16th, 2023 No comments

Biden Is A Disgraceful Supporter Of Israeli Genocide

I just heard a guest on Dennis Bernstein’s radio show Flashpoints on Pacifica criticize President Joe Biden for his praise of Israel for bringing incubators into Gaza hospitals.

Despite previously having denounced Biden for his support of the Israeli genocide and fully aware of Biden’s lies about personally seeing beheaded babies, at this point, I found this claim very, very, very hard to believe.

So, I did the Google, and remarkably found these outrageous Biden statements (which you will not read in US media) (AsiaOne)

“Hamas has already said publicly that they plan on attacking Israel again, like they did before, where they cut babies’ heads off,” Biden said, reviving an [false] assertion he made last month, when he said he had seen images of beheaded babies.

The White House last month clarified that US officials had not seen evidence of this, and said Biden was referring to news reports of such actions. It was not immediately clear if new intelligence had emerged confirming that babies were beheaded.

On Wednesday, Biden said Israel was now bringing in incubators and other equipment to help people, and its soldiers giving doctors, nurses and other staff the opportunity to “get out of harm’s way”.

I am no historian, but I am not aware of and seriously doubt that even Nazi propagandist Goebbels or Hitler himself would have the chutzpah to claim that they had brought incubators to concentration camps (after bombing them).

This is beyond disgusting.

Biden is demented and suffering mental decline, but – after Israel’s genocidal murder of over 5,000 Palestinian children and many more to come – this is evil, totally unacceptable, and unforgivable.

He must step down and – like LBJ – announce he will not run in 2024.

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