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   PoliticsPolitics of Energy

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68535)2/12/2016 9:44:17 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 83793
Lysenkioist Science Magazine alarmed 30% of teachers don't indoctrinate students correctly.

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From: Eric2/12/2016 9:49:53 AM
   of 83793
Supreme Court Cannot Litigate Physics, or Markets

February 11, 2016

Try as they might, the Supreme Court won’t be able to stop technologies whose time has come.

While the Clean Power Plan was expected to be the main tool for the United States to fulfill its part of the pact, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters in a briefing that it was only one part of the nation’s response to climate change.

The long-term extension of the tax credits for renewable energy last year will continue to provide momentum that will transition the power sector toward cleaner sources of energy, Schultz said.

“The inclusion of those tax credits is going to have more impact over the short term than the Clean Power Plan,” he said.
Greentech Media:
As installation costs continue to decline and retail electricity rates climb, residential solar economics have become increasingly attractive across the United States. According to the latest report from GTM Research, U.S. Residential Solar Economic Outlook: Grid Parity, Rate Design and Net Metering Risk, 20 U.S. states are currently at grid parity, and 42 states are expected to reach that milestone by 2020 under business-as-usual conditions.

Los Angeles Times:
California led a record-breaking year for solar power in 2015 that included the addition of more than 20,000 new jobs within the state — more than half of the positions the industry created nationwide, according to a new report.

The California Solar Jobs Census report released Wednesday found that roughly one out of three employees in the solar industry works in California.

By the end of 2015, that total number of solar workers in the state exceeded 75,000. That’s more than all jobs held at state’s five largest utility companies combined, according to the California Solar Energy Industries Assn.

“Solar power is a bright spot in California’s economy, bringing jobs and economic development to every corner of the state,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the solar association. “While conventional energy industries are losing jobs, we are seeing record growth, and bringing clean air and climate solutions along the way.”
Greenpeace Energy Desk:
So here’s a thing. All of the net increase in the EU’s power generating capacity came from renewable energy last year.

The data from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) shows that whilst some new coal and gas capacity did come online, more was retired.

That is to say the amount of fossil fuel (and nuclear) generating capacity reduced whilst the only thing to increase was wind and solar. Biomass also saw a fall.

Here’s what this looks like, in chart terms:

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From: Eric2/12/2016 10:50:20 AM
   of 83793
Climate Denial Crock of the Week

with Peter Sinclair

Mike MacCracken: What We Knew and When We Knew it

February 12, 2016

Really interesting historical piece in ClimateProgress this morning – describing scientist Mike MacCracken’s 1960’s realization that – “You think it’s hard to change the climate, but looking at the past climate, it shows the relatively small influences have had a large effect.”

The Cold War may be remembered as a time lived in constant fear of nuclear annihilation, but it was also a time of tremendous scientific progress. Just ask climate scientist Michael MacCracken.

Cold War competition with the Soviet Union fueled the Space Race, the arms race and, by extension, a host of groundbreaking discoveries and inventions. Much of that pioneering research was carried out at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, where MacCracken pursued his graduate research. Livermore was established to strengthen America’s nuclear arsenal. Scientists designed warheads, experimented with magnetic fusion, and investigated the risk of nuclear weapons to the global climate. Could atomic warfare lead to nuclear winter?
My 2012 interview with Mike, interspersed with video from his 1982 talk at Sandia labs, is one of my most popular vids, and a great aid in perspective.

Global Warming: What We Knew in 82

ClimateProgress again:
“People were interested in doing this. I mean, you’re working to protect the country in terms of the Cold War that was going on,” said MacCracken. “[People] came there for that purpose, believing if you could be strong, you could keep the peace. If you’re weak you’re going to get overrun.”

In 1960, Livermore physicist Chuck Leith, MacCracken’s graduate advisor, produced the first three-dimensional global atmospheric model. He created the model to test the fastest computer on Earth, the UNIVAC LARC, and he enlisted Hollywood animators to produce a visual rendering — wiggling neon lines denoting pressure and precipitation overlaid on a map of the Earth. The animation is mesmerizing, aglow with the peril and possibility of the Space Age.

MacCracken eventually converted Leith’s three-dimensional model of the atmosphere into a two-dimensional model of the climate, tracking the movement of heat and energy to investigate the cause of ice ages. He discovered that, while simple physics produced a faithful representation of the climate, it could not explain profound shifts in eons past. What then, was responsible for the end of ice ages?

“You think it’s hard to change the climate,” said MacCracken, “but looking at the past climate, it shows the relatively small influences have had a large effect.”

Scientists had long hypothesized that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide could lead to planetary warming, but it was not until the 1960s the possibility of human-caused climate change began to really take hold in mainstream science. 1960 saw the birth of the Keeling curve, a measure of the increasing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. 1965 marked another turning point. That year, Lyndon Johnson’s science advisory committee warned the president of the dangers of carbon pollution.

The following decade brought new adversaries and new impetus for inquiry and innovation. With the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, Americans watched oil-producing Arab states edge the U.S. economy into recession. Washington pushed for energy independence, igniting a new era of research.

Parts of the Atomic Energy Commission, which had supported MacCracken’s work at Livermore, were reorganized into the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), a new agency tasked with fostering energy technologies and investigating their environmental impact. MacCracken wrote to ERDA, urging the study of climate change. In his letter, he notes that while atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide “are small in an absolute sense and not a direct threat to man, the range of indirect consequences seems large.” The agency circulated MacCracken’s letter and assembled a blue ribbon workshop to investigate the matter.

“One of the findings at this workshop in the late 70s was indeed that the fundamentals of the science were very clear, and they had actually been identified quite a bit earlier,” said MacCracken. ERDA soon became the Department of Energy, which took up the issue of carbon pollution and its effect on the climate. MacCracken’s concerns had been validated.

The scientist continued his work on climate change throughout his long career and, in 2007, he was recognized for his contribution to the Nobel prize-winning research of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The award hangs in the entrance to his home, above a train set he built for his grandchildren. The significance is hard to miss.

In a career defined by uncertainty — the uncertainty of nuclear war, the uncertainty of fossil fuels, the uncertainty of his grandchildren’s future — the pioneering climate scientist came to a devastating conclusion.

“This is a very risky thing we’re doing,” said MacCracken. “Do we have an absolutely certain way out of it? No, but you got to make a try, because the consequences just look so dire if you don’t, that it just seems unacceptable to pass on to future generations.”

Jeremy Deaton writes about the science, policy, and politics of climate and energy for Nexus Media. You can follow him at @deaton_jeremy
Finally, no discussion of early climate change science is complete without mentioning Exxon’s 1970s and 80s research on the issue, where Exxon scientists were actually collaborating and publishing with MacCracken and others on the leading edge of the science.

While I was putting together the video above, I despaired of ever finding good reproductions of MacCracken’s carousel slides, till I found them in Exxon documents from 1982..most underreported story of this or any year.

What Exxon Knew

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (68536)2/13/2016 3:22:53 AM
From: FJB
2 Recommendations   of 83793
Being a Bureaucrat Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
100+ Power Line by John Hinderaker

We have covered the Gold King Mine environmental disaster here, here, here and here. Briefly, the EPA and its contractor spilled three million gallons of toxic liquid contaminated with lead, arsenic, cadmium and aluminum into the Animas River. The spill turned the river orange and inflicted environmental damage for many miles downstream:

In response to the spill, the EPA has been uncommunicative and unhelpful to the impacted communities. It has resisted production of documents requested by the Associated Press, among others. There has been no accountability, as EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has excused her agency’s employees and downplayed the significance of the spill:

We were “very careful.” Contaminants “are flowing too fast to be an immediate health threat.” The river is already “restoring itself” back to pre-spill levels, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy insisted.

Now, the Denver Post reports that the EPA’s key on-site employee was aware of the precise hazard that gave rise to the spill, and did not accurately describe his knowledge to the press in the aftermath of the spill:

The Environmental Protection Agency employee overseeing work at the Gold King Mine was aware of blowout danger at the site before a massive August wastewater spill, according to a report released Thursday.

The revelation, in findings by congressional Republicans, comes in contrast to the EPA’s claims that the risk was underestimated ahead of excavation at the mine’s collapsed opening. That work ultimately led to the disaster.

Hays Griswold, the agency’s on-scene coordinator, wrote in an October e-mail to other EPA officials that he personally knew the blockage “could be holding back a lot of water and I believe the others in the group knew as well.”

The note provides more indications the EPA probably had knowledge of the potentially looming disaster at the mine long before workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminants.

But that isn’t what Griswold told media after the spill occurred last August:

An EPA internal review released three weeks after the spill, however, said operators believed water inside the Gold King was not very high because of draining at the site and based on seep levels above its opening. Those factors, officials said, made checking pressure seem unnecessary, and it was never done.

Griswold’s e-mail appears directly to contradict those findings and statements he made to The Denver Post in the days after the disaster, when he claimed “nobody expected (the acid water backed up in the mine) to be that high.”

Yet the EPA has walked away from its own three million gallon spill, with no employees suffering meaningful consequences, let alone being criminally prosecuted.

Contrast this with how the federal government has treated Freedom Industries, which was held responsible for a chemical spill in West Virginia. Coincidentally, on the same day when the Denver Post printed the story above, the Department of Justice announced the latest criminal sentencing in connection with the Elk River spill:

A former owner of Freedom Industries was sentenced today to 30 days in federal prison, six months of supervised release, and a $20,000 fine for environmental crimes connected to the 2014 Elk River chemical spill, announced Acting United States Attorney Carol Casto. Dennis P. Farrell, of Charleston, previously pleaded guilty in August 2015 to unlawfully discharging refuse matter and violating an environmental permit by failing to have a pollution prevention plan. Farrell is one of six former officials of Freedom Industries, in addition to Freedom Industries itself as a corporation, to be prosecuted for federal crimes associated with the chemical spill.

Was this private company dealt with so harshly because the Elk River spill was larger than the EPA’s Animas River discharge? No: the Elk River spill was only 7,500 gallons, compared with three million gallons the EPA discharged into the Animas River.

Was Freedom Industries prosecuted so aggressively because the contaminant it spilled was far more toxic than the chemicals that EPA spilled into the Animas River? No: Freedom Industries spilled 4-methylcyclohexane methanol. Scientific American says that while this chemical has not been studied extensively, its makeup is such that it should not be very dangerous:

MCMH should not be swallowed and may readily cause skin and eye irritation but it is not known to pose major risks to human health and safety. …

Exposure to the slurry of water and other chemicals formed after coal is washed would be more dangerous to human health than exposure to MCMH—and there have been numerous coal slurry floods and spills in West Virginia and U.S. history. That slurry is made far more toxic by the heavy metals and other dangerous elements leached from the coal itself.

Heavy metals like lead, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum, all of which the EPA negligently caused to flow into the Animas.

Was Mr. Farrell, one of Freedom Industries’ former owners, prosecuted and sentenced to prison because his personal conduct was unusually blameworthy? No: in fact, it is a little hard to tell from DOJ’s press release exactly what Mr. Farrell did wrong. MCHM leaked out of an above-ground storage tank. Prosecutors did not claim that Mr. Farrell had anything to do with the leak, nor did they argue that he knew, or should have known, about the leak. The charges against him were predicated on the fact that “Freedom never developed or implemented a storm water or groundwater plan,” which DOJ asserted in conclusory fashion “was a proximate and contributing cause of the chemical spill.”

So Mr. Farrell is going to federal prison on account of a spill that was one four-hundredth the size of the Animas River discharge, and involved a less hazardous chemical. He is going to prison even though he had nothing to do with precipitating the spill, either intentionally or negligently.

It is difficult to see how the kid glove treatment accorded to the EPA can be reconciled with the aggressive criminal prosecution of Freedom Industries and its executives. The only apparent explanation is that federal bureaucrats are a protected class. They receive preferential treatment and are not held accountable for their negligence, or for attempting to cover up that negligence.

This is one more data point suggesting that the popular perception that government is our master, and we are its servants, is correct.


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From: TimF2/13/2016 8:30:40 AM
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Are Electric Cars Really Green?

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To: Eric who wrote (68537)2/13/2016 11:22:29 AM
From: Thomas A Watson
   of 83793
anonymous fountain of bovine excrement eRICO cannot refrain from posting every asshole trolling piece it comes across.
eRICO and friends finding their AGW science.

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To: FJB who wrote (68539)2/13/2016 11:22:31 AM
From: Brumar89
   of 83793
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has excused her agency’s employees and downplayed the significance of the spill:

We were “very careful.” Contaminants “are flowing too fast to be an immediate health threat.” The river is already “restoring itself” back to pre-spill levels, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy insisted.

Incredible. They know the Animas is part of the Colorado River drainage and there are dams downstream. So much for "flowing too fast."

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To: Eric who wrote (68538)2/13/2016 11:28:59 AM
From: Thomas A Watson
   of 83793
dear anonymous fountain of bovine excrement, as the thread's climate denial crock of the hour poster of all manner of stinky,
any post with the word denial in it from you is inspiring.

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From: Brumar892/13/2016 12:50:33 PM
1 Recommendation   of 83793
Audubon Goes over the Edge (Jan/Feb 2016 issue promotes anti-science alarmism)
February 12, 2016

I'm sure Audubon was paid big bucks from Big Green for this.

By Paul Homewood

Meteorologist Bob Endlich has written a highly critical response, which dismantles Audobon’s latest claims about global warming:

The cover of the January-February 2016 issue of Audubon Magazine proclaims: Arctic on the Edge: As global warming opens our most critical bird habitat, the world is closing in. In reality, it is the magazine’s writers and editors who have gone over the edge with their misleading reports on the Arctic.

This magazine is so awash in misstatements of fact and plain ignorance of history, science, and culture, that they must not go unchallenged – especially since they epitomize the false and misleading claims that have characterized far too much of the U.S. and worldwide “news coverage” of “dangerous manmade climate change.” The following analysis corrects only some of the most serious errors, but should raise red flags about virtually every claim Audubon makes from the front cover to the back page.

Country-by-Country Deceptions

The first part of the January-February issue devotes pages to each of the countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean. The Finland page says “storms become more severe” with warming. The writers are either clueless or intentionally misleading. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, as they likely did not take Earth Science or Meteorology, and they certainly have no clue about atmospheric fluid dynamics. The pole to equator temperature difference drives the strength of storms. If there actually is more warming in the Arctic, that temperature difference declines, and storm strength becomes less severe – not more so.

The Russia page mentions a familiar location, the Yamal Peninsula, home of one of climate science’s most famous trees. Both the Russia page and the Finland page say that current warming is causing “soggy tundra,” which is certainly not the case in North Slope Alaska, as discussed later in this article.

The Norway page describes the Black-legged Kittiwake and speculates that warming in the Barents Sea attracts herring which feed on Kittiwake prey. The authors are clearly unaware that natural warming and cooling cycles have been occurring for centuries. In the map below (Figure 2), the green dashed line shows extensive warming in the Barents Sea in 1769, just prior to the American Revolution, as derived from the Norwegian Polar Institute’s recent examination of ship logs to determine the extent of Nordic Sea ice. During that particular warm period, ocean currents and weather conditions made Svalbard and even parts of Novaya Zemlya (where the Soviets conducted their nuclear tests) ice-free.

Figure 2. Map showing maximum (April) sea ice extension in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic ( Norwegian Polar Institute 2000). The map is based on a database on sea-ice extension in the area during the past 400 years, largely derived from written records found in ships logbooks.

The Greenland page features “Greenland Warming,” with an image of tundra and a glacier in the background. However, only about 80% of Greenland is ice-covered; Greenland was warmer than today during the Medieval Warm Period; and abundant new ice formed in Greenland during the past century. A recent blog post estimates that only 0.3% of Greenland’s ice was lost during the twentieth century, and enough snow and ice accumulated on the Greenland Ice Sheet that Glacier Girl, the P-38 airplane that landed there in 1942, was buried in 268 ft of ice before she was recovered in 1992. That’s 268 feet in 50 years, well over 5 feet a year of ice accumulation, much of it during a period when Earth was warming and Greenland supposedly losing ice.

The cover photograph features a Russian oil rig amid an ice-covered Arctic Ocean. It, too, is supposed to instill fear, based on the suggestion that a once solidly icy Arctic is rapidly melting. However, history shows that the Nordic ice extent has been decreasing since at least the 1860s, and probably since the depth of the Little Ice Age, around 1690. The historic data, shown in Figure 3 below, indicate that multi-decadal variability of the Nordic Sea extent (on the order of 30-45% up or down each time) has been occurring for over 150 years.

Figure 3. From Vinje (2001), showing the reduction in April sea ice extent in the Nordic Seas since 1864. Nordic Seas (NS), eastern area (E), and western area (W) time series given by 2-year running mean and regression lines. Linear year-to-year interpolations of the ice extent have been made for the western area for 1940 and 1944–46, and for the eastern area for 1868–70, 1874–78, 1880, 1892, 1894, 1940–41, 1943–48, and 1961. The blue area to the right shows the time extent of the satellite-era. Apparently, much of the sea ice reduction in this region occurs in concert with planetary warming as the Little Ice Age ended and with the warming that followed during the twentieth century.

Melting tundra deceptions

Toward the end of the January-February issue is an account of a visit to Wainwright, Alaska, an Inupiat village of about 556 natives, located on the Arctic Ocean in North Slope Borough. The native Inupiat desire to maintain their subsistence culture, which has been their tradition since their ancestors settled nearby about 13,000 years ago.

Figure 4: Wainwright, Alaska. From the online version: “The Iñupiat use portable houses and sandbags to shield themselves from rising waters and melting permafrost, but can they save their culture?”

The article on Wainwright cites a 5 degree F increase in temperature on Alaska’s North Slope, an apparent reference to a supposed increase of that amount around Barrow. However, that increase was found to be contaminated by the urban heat island effect: even in Alaska, a winter average contamination of +4 degrees F to an extreme of almost +11 degrees F. In reality, there has been little or no warming in Barrow or the North Slope, as proven by the fact that, a mere four miles east-northeast of Barrow, the Berkeley Earth measuring station shows no temperature change over the past decade.

The caption to Figure 4 (from Audubon magazine) emphasizes rising ocean waters. However, most of Alaska has falling sea levels, the result of the isostatic adjustment of northern North America. This rebound effect began with the melting of the Wisconsin Ice Sheet, as Earth emerged from the Wisconsin Ice Age and entered the Holocene between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. The nearest tide guage to Wainwright is Prudhoe Bay, and sea-level rise there is very small, 1.20 mm/year +/- 1.99 mm/year – so small that sea levels might actually be falling there, as well.

The Audubon writers mention “melting permafrost” numerous times, but when the natives spoke in 1979, they clearly did not think this is a problem. In fact, in their own words, as recorded in The Inupiat View, the natives specifically note that melt water is scarce in the North Slope Borough. What has happened in the years since?

First, the North Slope has a summer, and from early June until mid-September air temperatures average warmer than 32 degrees F; Wainwright’s extreme maximum once reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit! During the summer months, the soil melts, creating an “active layer,” meaning the surface is not permanently frozen, but is melted part of the year. Whether there actually is a “melting permafrost,” as claimed by Audubon, can be determined only by finding the long-term trend in the thickness of the active layer.

Specialists do study this phenomenon and publish reports on it in the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring Network, NOAA’s annual Arctic Report Car and elsewhere. Not all the Arctic Report Cards address permafrost issues, but the 2012 edition had an extensive section on permafrost. A quote from this edition pours freezing water on Audubon’s “melting permafrost” claim: “Active-layer thickness on the Alaskan North Slope and in the western Canadian Arctic was relatively stable during 1995-2011,” it notes.

The literature seems rife with alarmist claims, many of which seem to be politically motivated, as is this issue of Audubon. The NOAA Arctic Reports have a heavy dose of alarmist rhetoric, especially in the boilerplate introductory sections. But the actual measurements and data present nothing that supports the alarmist polemic of the day. If you look at the data, especially long-term data, the pattern which emerges is a centuries-long slow warming, with multi-decadal fluctuations. Significant or alarming anthropogenic trends are simply not there.

Audubon should focus on real problems

The Audubon Society and its magazine should stay away from areas where they have no expertise – specifically the imagined or invented catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Audubon’s equivocal policy on wind power ostensibly calls on wind energy developers to consider planning, siting, and operating wind farms in a manner that avoids bird carnage and supports “strong enforcement” of laws protecting birds and wildlife. On the other hand, the same Audubon policy speaks about “species extinctions and other catastrophic effects of climate change” and “pollution from fossil fuels.”

When read together, this schizophrenic policy clearly puts Audubon on the side of climate alarmism – with the loss of protected, threatened and endangered birds and bats merely a small price to pay in an effort to save the planet.

Another article shows that Audubon’s alarmist climate claims, rather than bird safety, clearly dominate president David Yarnold’s concerns, Beneath a picture of a forest fire, an editorial quotes him as saying: “Climate change is the greatest threat to birds and biodiversity since humans have been on the planet.”

This latter piece is rife with the alarmist propaganda of recent political statements: increasing drought (actual data show that drought is decreasing in the United States over the past 110 years in regions where we have temperature and rainfall measurements) … forest fires (not so, according to actual data) … species extinctions (virtually no extinctions have occurred except on isolated islands where predators have been introduced by humans) … and flooding (nothing outside of normal experiences and variability has been documented).

Audubon needs to concentrate on saving birds and other flying creatures not from imagined or exaggerated global warming and climate change – but from very real catastrophic deaths enormous taxpayer-funded “alternative energy” machines that kill countless thousands, and perhaps millions, of them every year. These killing machines include wind turbines that chop up raptors, song birds and bats, and heliostats (installations that use mirrors to concentrate the sun’s rays) that incinerate them.

Bats pollinate crops and consume insects, but the number of bats killed has been conservatively estimated at 600,000 annually, and may be as high as 900,000. In the pursuit of “renewable energy” the Ivanpah solar-to-electrical-energy plant in California’s Mojave Desert actually ignites birds in flight; the dying birds are called “streamers,” because they emit smoke as they fall from the sky. One report estimates that over 100 golden eagles and 300 red tailed hawks are killed yearly by wind turbines at California’s Altamont Pass, but another analysis uses detailed European studies to calculate that tens of millions of birds and bats are killed every year by US wind turbines.

Audubon needs to get some real science in its research and show true empathy for the human-caused deaths that our feathered friends face on a daily basis. It needs to focus on ending the real threats to our birds, rather than on threats that exist only in computer climate models and overly active imaginations.


Robert W. Endlich served as Weather Officer in the USAF for 21 Years. From 1984-1993, he provided toxic corridor and laser propagation support to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range. He has published in the technical literature and worked as software test engineer. He was elected to Chi Epsilon Pi, the national Meteorology Honor Society, while a Basic Meteorology student at Texas A&M University. He has a BA degree in Geology from Rutgers University and an MS in and Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.

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From: miraje2/14/2016 12:53:31 PM
   of 83793
How the IRS (the most filthy federal bureaucracy, with the exception of the EPA) killed a fledgling business..

Bright prospects for growing business in Reno crushed by IRS rulings

By Sean Whaley
Las Vegas Review-Journal Capital Bureau

RENO — Inventor and entrepreneur Peter Gunnerman thought his business prospects were looking pretty good back in 2013.

His new GDiesel fuel, created with a patented low-pressure, low-temperature process to make it burn cleaner than regular or biodiesel by using natural gas to change its molecular structure, was selling well with no issues.

He and his father, Rudolph, invested $15 million of the family's money to build a large-scale plant to produce GDiesel in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center under the company name of Advanced Refining Concepts. He was selling the fuel locally and trucking it to Southern Nevada, where Clark County was using it in its fleet including airport shuttles at McCarran International Airport.

But a Kafkaesque series of conflicting and inconsistent Internal Revenue Service rulings undermined his fledgling business. Today, the production plant is shuttered, 28 jobs have been lost and plans to expand the business to Las Vegas and beyond have stalled...

Read the whole article here..

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