Monday, August 24, 2009

API Report Derides Waxman-Markey Legislation (H.R.2454)

An American Petroleum Institute (API) commissioned report, released today, examines the potential consequences of H.R.2454 - a.k.a the Waxman-Markey bill - insofar as it may impact the US refining sector. Readers should understand that the report, produced by consulting firm EnSys Energy, was commissioned and funded by the lobbying arm of the United States oil and gas industry. Proponents of H.R.2454 will likely compare today's report to the infamous tobacco industry research, which for years denied the existence of adverse health outcomes from cigarette use.

I would venture to say however, that EnSys Energy has chosen to focus on some of the oil industry's more valid points, namely that Waxman-Markey will:
  1. Decrease the level of investment in US refineries; thus reducing the country's overall refining capacity, and increasing our dependence on foreign sources of oil.
  2. Have a negligible effect on CO2 emissions produced by emerging markets; the countries that currently represent the lion's share of worldwide growth in carbon dioxide emission.
My major contention with the policy debate surrounding climate change is that skepticism - the default position of science - has been characterized as sheer villainy when applied to any discussion of CO2 and it's effect on climate. Furthermore, I am not convinced that the level of investment supposedly required to curb CO2 emissions is in any way proportionate to the benefits that we can expect to receive. This is not to say that I am against investment in renewable sources of energy; peak oil is fast approaching (if not already here), and the US is dangerously dependent on foreign sources of energy. With that being said, I can live with piling "climate change" on the list of reasons to diversify away from petroleum as our primary source of energy. None of this should be overdone though, as we should, without a doubt, be maximizing our sources of domestic oil while the transition takes place.

ENSYS Cap and Trade Briefing 8-20-09 Sphere: Related Content

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