Saturday, April 07, 2012

Coca Cola CO2 Is Environmentally Friendlier Than Coal CO2

From a 2008 article:

Coca-Cola: Bubbles 'Not a Very Large Part of Our Overall Carbon Footprint'
The Coca-Cola Company, which has become the darling of the environmental movement, is one of the world’s top users of carbon dioxide – a known greenhouse gas.

Worldwide, Coca-Cola’s operations emitted 1.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to what it told the Carbon Disclosure Project last year.
The argument is that the CO2 dispelled by their soft drinks is a by-product of other processes, not "new" CO2... so that doesn't count.
“We are taking carbon dioxide that is an off-product of other processes – gasification in particular, and others – and incorporating that into our beverages,” the Coke executive told “That is not a very large part of our overall carbon footprint.”
Now zip forward to the present:
For New Generation of Power Plants, a New Emission Rule From the E.P.A.
A standard of 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour for coal plants would “require something that doesn’t exist as a commercial technology,” he said. 
But the lack of a commercial technology for carbon capture is one reason that the E.P.A. could not realistically impose such a requirement on existing plants and decided to push the challenge into the future. 
Carbon capture has so far proved too expensive to be practical because the chemical work of separating carbon dioxide from the other components of exhaust gas requires large amounts of energy. 
By some estimates, what is today a 1,000-megawatt coal plant might yield only 700 megawatts after some of its energy went into a carbon capture plant in the form of steam and electricity. And sequestering the gas underground could prove difficult.
Let's examine the logic here.

  • CO2 is deemed a "pollutant" by the Supreme Court and the EPA is directed to determine what to do about it.
  • The EPA selectively focuses on coal power plants CO2 by-product and declares that any future plants must use a carbon sequestering technology that is not available, thereby effectively destroying the major source of electrical power in the U.S.
  • Meanwhile, the soft drink industry uses CO2 that is a by-product of other processes and claims it is all right because that CO2 is not "new."
  • The EPA makes no effort to require sequestering of the 1.9 million metric tons of CO2 by-product that the soft drink industry uses even though, process-wise, it is no different from the CO2 which is a by-product of coal burning.
Yes, there is a matter of scale, but not a matter of substance.  Both by-products are identical.  But we like Coca Cola ....

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CO2 Cap and Trade

There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)