Monday, March 01, 2021

Covid 25, WEF celebrated global lockdowns

The WEF clearly showed its authoritarian dreams when it tweeted and announced its celebration of global lockdowns.

World Economic Forum Says ‘Lockdowns Are Quietly Improving Cities Around The World’ 
MICHAEL GINSBERG   February 26, 2021 
https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/26/world-economic-forum-lockdowns-are-quietly-improving-cities-world/

The World Economic Forum: ‘lockdowns are improving cities around the world’
James Macpherson   28 February 2021 
https://www.spectator.com.au/2021/02/the-world-economic-forum-lockdowns-are-improving-cities-around-the-world/

The YT clip where WEF declared "Lockdowns are quietly improving cities around the world",
Feb 28, 2021 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WURkmUR7Bfg

When WEF was slammed by many people in TW, they changed tune and posted,
"Lockdowns aren’t “quietly improving cities” around the world. But they are an important part of the public health response to COVID-19." 

Propaganda Crash: World Economic Forum Tweets "Lockdowns Improving Cities", Then Deletes Admitting It Was Wrong 
Tyler Durden   SATURDAY, FEB 27, 2021 - 18:16 
https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/propaganda-crash-world-economic-forum-tweets-lockdowns-improving-cities-then-deletes.

Yesterday, I tweeted this:

The "Lockdowns are quietly improving cities around the world," later "Lockdowns are an important part of the public health response to COVID-19" still around? hahaha. Hundreds millions impoverished by lockdowns, WEF praises the measure. Tone deaf insensitive authoritarians

WEF. World economic fascism.

Meanwhile, I was the lone reactor in a forum last January with these speakers. I show only one slide reaction per speaker here.




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See also:
Covid 22, Deaths from vax, Studies on lockdowns don't work, January 17, 2021 
Covid 23, Lockdown and travel restriction story, Manila to Mindoro, February 04, 202
Covid 24, Lockdown damages in the Philippines, February 09, 2021.

BWorld 476, Energy Trilemma and high mandatory RE

* My column in BusinessWorld, February 23, 2021.


As usual, there are many interesting stories weekly in the Philippines energy sector but these three recent reports in BusinessWorld are of particular importance.

1. “Renewable energy program targets 55.8% share of power mix by 2040” (Feb. 15).

2. “Senate asks DoE for details of clean energy plan” (Feb. 17).

3. “SMC units submit lowest bids for 1,800-MW Meralco supply deal” (Feb. 20).

Story No. 1 is the renewable energy (RE) lobby, especially solar and wind, aiming for a near-doubling of their capacity from 29% of total installed capacity (7,400 MW out of total 25,531 MW) in 2019. This means they want coal power to be further eased out and ultimately decimated.

Note that in 2019, Philippines RE’s 29% of installed capacity produced only 13.5% of total electricity generation, 14.3 terawatt-hours (TWH) out of total 105.8 TWH. An energy weakling whose intermittency intends to produce more power instability if not blackouts for the consumers.

Story No. 2 is related to this. In particular, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, is pushing for a faster energy transition from stable, cheaper energy via coal power, to intermittent and expensive energy via wind-solar.

If we look at our richer neighbors in Asia, especially Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, they are not as gung-ho as the Philippines in having more RE in their power grids. Their RE share to total electricity generation as of 2019 were only 2% to 12%. And it is precisely these low-RE economies (except Japan) that were growing very fast for the past three decades.

The Europeans, especially Spain, the UK, Germany, and Denmark whose RE share to total power generation is 28% to 77% in 2019, are the countries which are growing very slow and have among the most expensive electricity prices in the world (see Table 1).

Story No. 3 is about a successful competitive selection process (CSP) by Meralco where the two winning power plants (a gas plant and coal plant, both owned by San Miguel Corp.) would generate electricity at only P4.15/kwh and P4.26/kwh. This is less than half the feed-in tariff (FIT) or guaranteed price for 20 years of P11/kwh for solar and P10/kwh for wind.

A confused “pro-consumer” group, People for Power Coalition (P4P), wants to stop this cheap energy for Meralco customers and went to the Supreme Court and filed a TRO on the result of the 1,800 MW CSP. Maybe they want those three instant CSP losers — two solar firms and a newbie coal company from China with zero track record — to win and supply expensive electricity to the consumers? Lousy.

Related to these stories is the annual report, World Energy Trilemma Index by the World Energy Council (WEC), a UN-accredited global energy body. The index is composed of three factors:

Energy security: effective energy supply from domestic and external sources, reliability of infrastructure and ability of energy providers to meet current and future demand.

Energy equity: accessibility and affordability of energy supply across the population.

Environmental stability: achievement of energy efficiencies and development of energy supply from renewable and other low-carbon sources.

The Philippines ranked 76th out of 108 countries and jurisdictions covered in the 2020 report. WEC ranked us low on Energy Equity, #89, low affordability of energy, i.e., expensive energy (see Table 2).

There is an endless and strong lobby to ease out stable, reliable, and cheap energy from coal plants because it is a fossil fuel, and replace it with more RE, especially intermittent and expensive solar-wind, partnered with huge batteries and gas power which is also fossil fuel.

It seems that more RE + gas policy is mainly a gas lobby in disguise. The lobbyists know that people will object to a high 55% RE goal by 2040, meaning high power instability and unreliability, so they sneak in the gas component.

We need a market-based and consumers-focused energy balance. Balance of energy availability/stability, affordability, and sustainability. A high RE goal via government mandates and RPS will prove to be anti-consumers in the long-term.
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See also:
BWorld 473, Growth, vaccine, ‘Cha-cha,’ and DND drama in UP, February 03, 2021 
BWorld 474, No to indefinite electricity subsidies, February 13, 2021 
BWorld 475, Mobility control, growth control, price control, February 22, 2021.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

UPSEAA Lecture 9, Andrew Masigan on PH and VN

A good lecture this afternoon by my friend and fellow BusinessWorld columnist, Andrew Masigan.

Andrew and I would occasionally exchange notes on some economic issues. We would be guests together in some programs of One News Cignal TV in 2019, we had a drink last year.

Andrew gave a half hour, 29 slides presentation at nearly 70 people, many high caliber business leaders and consultants in the audience including some non-UPSE alumni invited by UPSEAA President Jeffrey Ng. Below are some of the important data that Andrew shared, I screen shot them into one table.


The above numbers show:

1. FDI intake, VN 2x of PH.
2. Merchandise X, VN nearly 4x of PH.
3. Services X, PH more than 2x of VN.
4. GDP size, I think VN will overtake PH around 2023
(per capita GDP, VN already overtook PH in 2020).
5. Industrial estates, PH still under endless rural land redistribution (AR) terrorism, VN has none.
6. Raw materials supply, implying VN domestic inv more dynamic than PH in developing such raw materials.
7. Cost to export, border compliance, PH 1.5x than VN.
8. Cost to export, documentary compliance, VN nearly 3x of PH.
9. Household electricity cost, PH nearly 2x of VN.
10. Industrial electricity cost, PH 1.5x of VN.
11. CIT, PH to catch up VN's 20% by 2027.
12. VAT, PH > VN and all others in E Asia.

On #4, IMF projections as of October 2020, PH projected GDP contraction in 2020 was -8.3%, actual is -9.5%. VN projected GDP growth was 1.6%, actual is 2.8%. Even at 1.6% VN growth and -8.3% PH contraction, VN already overtook the PH in 2020 in per capita income, $3,498 vs $3,373.
At actual 2.8% VN growth and -9.5% PH contraction, VN per capita income last yr would be around $3,600 vs PH's $3,300. 

.
One reason why #9 and #10 happened, VN has more realistic energy policies like not too gung-ho with intermittent, unstable and expensive solar-wind. See table below, from my column yesterday.


From the QnA and Comments at the chat box, it was a great lecture, lots of praises from the audience. Kudos, my friend, great lecture. And good decision, President Jeff, to get him as resource speaker.
----------------

See also:
UPSEAA lecture 5, Iggy Sison and Del Monte pineapple farming, March 01, 2020 
UPSEAA Lecture 6, Ferdie Constantino and SMC infra, August 28, 2020 
UPSEAA Lecture 7, Dr. Butch Arroyo, October 17, 2020 
Dr. Iggy Agbayani's UPSEAA lecture 8 , November 04, 2020.

Climate 97, Econ and infra implications of a cooling planet

It's late February already and still raining here in our part of the tropics, thank you La Nina and continued cooling. On normal season in Luzon area, rainy season is June to October, occasional rains in November-December. The rest are dry months.

That "unprecedented, unequivocal man-made" Gorebal warming, where art thou? See the charts...


This year, many cold days and nights were recorded.


Dozens or hundreds of scientific papers published in 2020 alone showing that planet Earth was warmer in the past than today,

Skeptic Papers 2020 (1)
A Warmer Past: Non-Hockey Stick Reconstructions 
https://notrickszone.com/skeptic-papers-2020-1/.

Skeptic Papers 2020 (2) 
Solar Influence On Climate 
https://notrickszone.com/skeptic-papers-2020-2/.

Check also these weird stories:

Climate change: Snowy UK winters could become thing of the past 
By Justin Rowlatt  6 December 2020 
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55179603

Snow may not settle in most of UK by end of century, study suggests 
Climate crisis likely to cause warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers, says Met Office
PA Media  Last modified on Mon 7 Dec 2020 11.47 GMT 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/07/snow-may-not-settle-in-most-of-uk-by-end-of-century-study-suggests

BBC One Planet Special 2007 0302 - predictions of warmer winters, for UK & Northern Hemisphere 
https://archive.org/details/WarmerWinters

Snowjobs are just a thing of the past…er, present 
Anthony Watts   2013February22 
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/22/snowjobs-are-just-a-thing-of-the-past-er-present/

Meanwhile, here are the economic and infra implications of a cooling planet:

1. More open pit mining needed, then leave the open deep crater as man-made lake to help store more rain water and reduce flash flood.

2. More dredging of creeks, rivers and lakes to minimize flash flooding.

3. More dams and weir (big and small), more hydro power plants needed.

4. Less solar farms, solar hates shade -- from clouds, rains and tall trees. Solar the most anti-green of all energy sources.

5. Public health, more focus on water- flood- and mosquito-borne killer diseases: malaria, dengue, leptospirosis, etc.

6. Housing, more sturdy high rise structures, less kubo-kubo or bungalow type.

7. Abolish CCC, other "save the planet" bureaucracies and junkets, reallocate public funds for more sturdy roads, bridges, etc.
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See also: 
Climate 94, Eat worms and bugs to save the planet, January 15, 2021
Climate 95, Anthropocene, Extended La Nina, carbon tax February 9, 2021
Climate 96, Anthropocene line of Sir Noel de Dios, February 14, 2021.

Monday, February 22, 2021

BWorld 475, Mobility control, growth control, price control

* My article in BusinessWorld, February 16, 2021.

The government imposed a strict lockdown over Metro Manila and other provinces on March 16, 2020. It was supposed to be for two weeks only to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases. The two weeks became two months, and now we are on the 11th month of strict, prolonged lockdown.

Making good measurement of mobility changes and restrictions of people and goods is the Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports (GCCMR). There are six areas where mobility changes are measured from the baseline, the median value from the fiveweek period between Jan. 3 Feb. 6, 2020. I chose the area on Transit stations (subway/MRT stations, seaport, taxi stand, highway rest stops, car rentals) because they capture mobility (or lack of it) of people and goods.

Then I compared the GDP (gross domestic product) growth of economies to see any correlation between high mobility control and GDP growth or contraction. Then the COVID-19 deaths per million population (CDPMP) to test the hypothesis that “more lockdown = less COVID cases and deaths.”

The numbers show this general trend: more lockdowns and mobility control leads to growth control and contraction, with little or no impact on controlling COVID-19 deaths. Take note in particular the Philippines, Malaysia, and the UK for strict lockdowns, Vietnam and Taiwan for light lockdown economies (see Table 1).

So the government’s strict, indefinite lockdown is successful only in making the Philippines Asia’s worst performing economy in 2020, and having the biggest contraction in Philippine history since 1947 when GDP figures were first collected.

Now comes the vaccine-pushing agenda, seemingly with little difference from shabu-pushing except that the government is the main pusher for the former.

The Philippines still has a high incidence of communicable diseases like tuberculosis (TB) in Asia. In 2018 for instance, TB incidence in the Philippines was three times that of Vietnam, six times that of Malaysia, and 12 times that of Singapore. Meanwhile, the Philippines had twice the number of deaths by communicable diseases and maternal, prenatal and nutrition conditions (CDMPNC) in 2016, than Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan (see Table 2).

But now public resources are heavily diverted towards controlling COVID-19 cases, adversely affecting resources to fighting other communicable diseases like TB, dengue, pneumonia, malaria, etc.

The Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC PH) remains the most consistent group in the country in calling for: 1.) adopting focused protection of the vulnerables, early and home-based treatment of those with symptoms, and, 2.) lifting the lockdown. The group and its members are not anti-vaccine as is said by many groups in the vaccine-pushing agenda. The group believes that innovation and R&D for safe and effective vaccines takes many years, even decades, not just a few months. Thus, mass vaccination should not be hurried. There are many proven, decades-old, off-patent and cheap generic treatments that are existing but sneered at if not demonized by the Department of Health, World Health Organization, and establishment medical groups that do not want to antagonize the health department and the World Health Organization.

What should be hurried by the government is the drastic relaxation of the strictures on the mobility of people and goods, opening up the economy and schools. Domestic flights and public land transportation should not be hampered by very strict requirements and permits as if people are going to Iraq and Syria.

Related to mobility control and growth control are various price controls imposed by the government like the recent pork price control. These are on top of (minimum) wage control, fare control, housing rent control, drug price control, electricity price control (at WESM), and interest rate control. And on top of existing gun control, drugs control, inequality control, and so on. These are government regulatory overreach.

The main functions of government — why it was invented in many societies in the first place — are murder control, robbery control, rape control, abduction control, arson and destruction of property control. Government should penalize and demonize criminals. Government is not justified in imposing new command and control on various aspects of the economy.
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See also:
BWorld 472, Subsidies and energy policies under Biden, February 02, 2021 
BWorld 473, Growth, vaccine, ‘Cha-cha,’ and DND drama in UP, February 03, 2021 
BWorld 474, No to indefinite electricity subsidies, February 13, 2021.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Energy 140, Texas blackouts, wind turbines frozen

Some reports here of terrible blackouts for days in Texas and other states in the US during the heavy winter storm this week. But first, here is one article last year praising wind "blowing away" coal.


Texas Power Generation: Did Coal Get Blown Away By Wind?

Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer and Ed Hirs, Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Houston Energy Fellows
Jan 13, 2020,10:33am EST 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/uhenergy/2020/01/13/texas-power-generation--did-coal-get-blown-away-by-wind/?sh=56aff99c2899
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"Power Bills To The Moon": Chaos, Shock As Electricity Prices Across US Explode
Tyler Durden  SUNDAY, FEB 14, 2021 - 9:33 
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/power-bills-moon-chaos-shock-electricity-prices-across-us-explode

U.S. Energy Crisis Deepens With Nearly 5 Million in the Dark
Brian K. Sullivan and Naureen S. Malik   Feb 15, 2021 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-15/winter-s-fury-unleashes-brutal-cold-over-u-s-with-more-to-come

Reposted: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/rolling-blackouts-hit-texas-as-big-freeze-upends-energy-markets

Frozen wind turbines hamper Texas power output, state's electric grid operator says
Brandon Mulder  Austin American-Statesman  Feb 15, 2021
https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/02/14/historic-winter-storm-freezes-texas-wind-turbines-hampering-electric-generation/4483230001/

People Are Comparing Texas’ Winter Storm To The Day After Tomorrow
EDWARD LAUDER on 15th February 2021 at 11:51 am 
https://www.small-screen.co.uk/texas-winter-storm-the-day-after-tomorrow/

Texas Deploys National Guard As 'Grid Chaos' Leaves Millions Freezing In Darkness 
Tyler Durden's  MONDAY, FEB 15, 2021 - 9:12 
https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/grid-chaos-2-million-texans-without-power-rolling-blackout-begin

This Blizzard Exposes The Perils Of Attempting To ‘Electrify Everything’
Robert Bryce   Feb 15, 2021,10:16am EST 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbryce/2021/02/15/this-blizzard-exposes-the-perils-of-attempting-to-electrify-everything/?sh=2304ed867e15

The outage of sanity. As Texas freezes in power cuts, the only sure renewable is climate madness 
Melanie Phillips  Feb 16, 2021 
https://melaniephillips.substack.com/p/the-outage-of-sanity

Texas Freeze Raises Cost Of Charging A Tesla To $900
By Charles Kennedy - Feb 16, 2021, 12:00 PM CST 
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Texas-Freeze-Raises-Cost-Of-Charging-A-Tesla-To-900.html

Texas frozen wind power – outages ensue, electricity now at unheard of $9000 per megawatt-hour 
Anthony Watts   Feb 16, 2021
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/15/texas-frozen-wind-power-outages-ensue-electricity-now-at-unheard-of-9000-per-megawatt-hour/

The Day After Tomorrow – Dallas Edition 
David Middleton  Feb 16, 2021 
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/15/the-day-after-tomorrow-dallas-edition/

Texas storm shuttering green energy an 'avoidable tragedy': Ex-energy secretary
Dan Brouillette argues Texas winter storm shows a 'diverse energy supply' is needed
By Talia KaplanFOXBusiness  February 16, 2021 
https://www.foxbusiness.com/energy/texas-winter-storm-shows-diverse-energy-supply-needed-ex-energy-secretary

Texas Bans NatGas Exports Out Of State, 7 Million Under 'Boil-Water' Notice
Tyler Durden  WEDNESDAY, FEB 17, 2021 - 17:33 
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/real-size-texas-blackouts-could-have-plunged-15-million-people-darkness

Two Million? Five Million? Real Size of U.S. Blackouts a Mystery
By Lynn Doan  February 17, 2021, 10:40 AM Updated on February 17, 2021, 7:00 PM 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-17/two-million-five-million-real-size-of-u-s-blackouts-a-mystery?sref=RJ2RlMrh

Texas: Time To Get Rid Of This Ridiculous Wind Power 
February 17, 2021/ Francis Menton 
https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2021-2-17-texas-time-to-get-rid-of-this-ridiculous-wind-power

Texas Spins Into the Wind 
An electricity grid that relies on renewables also needs nuclear or coal power.
By The Editorial Board  Updated Feb. 17, 2021 9:39 pm ET 
https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-spins-into-the-wind-11613605698

This Basic Math Shows How Wind Energy Failures Contributed To Texas’s Deadly Power Loss
Daniel Turner   FEBRUARY 18, 2021 
https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/18/basic-math-shows-wind-energy-failures-contributed-to-texas-deadly-power-loss/

One Texas Resident Still Has Power, but His Bill Is Now Over $8,000
BY ALEXANDRA GARRETT ON 2/18/21 AT 3:37 PM EST 
https://www.newsweek.com/one-texas-resident-still-has-power-his-bill-now-over-8000-1570343

Texas Was "Seconds And Minutes" From Complete Disaster
Tyler Durden  THURSDAY, FEB 18, 2021 - 19:22 
https://www.zerohedge.com/energy/texas-was-seconds-and-minutes-complete-disaster

US power line tensions grow over green energy surge
Stakes rise as electricity grid becomes speedy route to cut carbon emissions
Gregory Meyer in New York FEBRUARY 18 2021 
https://www.ft.com/content/1742140f-5dd6-4808-8ad7-526404482058

TEXAS’S BLACKOUTS ARE THE RESULT OF UNRELIABLE 'GREEN' ENERGY
By Jason A. Isaac   FEBRUARY 18, 2021 
https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/texass-blackouts-are-the-result-of-unreliable-green-energy

The Failure Of The Texas Power Grid Is Worse Than You Think
John Daniel Davidson  FEBRUARY 18, 2021 
https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/18/the-failure-of-the-texas-power-grid-is-worse-than-you-think/

Press Secretary Psaki: Biden Administration Sending Emergency Diesel Generators to Texas
Eric Worrall   February 18, 2021 
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/18/press-secretary-psaki-biden-administration-sending-emergency-diesel-generators-to-texas/

'How in the world can anyone pay that?': Some seeing electric bills as high as $17K in wake of Texas winter storm
Jason Wheeler  Published: 9:36 PM CST February 18, 2021
Updated: 10:33 PM CST February 18, 2021 
https://www.wfaa.com/article/money/business/right-on-the-money/how-in-the-world-can-anyone-pay-that-some-seeing-electric-bills-as-high-as-17k-in-wake-of-texas-winter-storm/287-14a54a65-39cb-4d1c-931c-0d003002f529

Assigning Blame for the Blackouts in Texas
Posted on February 18, 2021  By Planning Engineer
https://judithcurry.com/2021/02/18/assigning-blame-for-the-blackouts-in-texas/

"Disasters Within Disaster" - Death Toll Rises To 30 As Texas Energy Crisis Hits Sixth Day
Tyler Durden  THURSDAY, FEB 18, 2021 - 11:55 
https://www.zerohedge.com/weather/texas-energy-crisis-hits-sixth-day-spreads-mexico

Stop Being Ridiculous: A Green New Deal Would Make Snowstorms And Blackouts Worse
Auguste Meyrat  FEBRUARY 19, 2021 
https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/19/stop-being-ridiculous-a-green-new-deal-would-make-snowstorms-and-blackouts-worse/

Outages Morph Into Outrage As Texans Slapped With "Mind-Blowing" Power Bills
Tyler Durden   FRIDAY, FEB 19, 2021 - 8:35 
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/outages-morph-outrage-texans-slapped-mind-blowing-power-bills

Profit warning as Texas freeze halts wind farms
Date: 19/02/21Reuters 
https://www.thegwpf.com/profit-warning-as-texas-freeze-halts-wind-farms/

The Texas Freeze: Why the Power Grid Failed
The state’s electricity system was considered a model. This week’s outages revealed shortcomings in the market structure.
By Katherine Blunt and Russell Gold    Feb. 19, 2021 6:41 pm ET 
https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-freeze-power-grid-failure-electricity-market-incentives-11613777856?mod=business_lead_pos6

The Texas Blackout and Preparing for the Past
One lesson of the Texas energy crisis is surely a need to make infrastructure robust to the past in order to better prepare for the future
Roger Pielke Jr.   Feb 19, 2021 
https://rogerpielkejr.substack.com/p/the-texas-blackout-and-preparing

Cascend: Data Shows Wind-Power Was Chief Culprit Of Texas Grid Collapse
Tyler Durden   SATURDAY, FEB 20, 2021 - 10:45 
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/cascend-data-shows-wind-power-was-chief-culprit-texas-grid-collapse 

As Texas deep freeze subsides, some households now face electricity bills as high as $10,000
“The last thing an awful lot of people need right now is a higher electric bill — and that’s unfortunately something a lot of people will get stuck with."
By Leticia Miranda   Feb. 20, 2021, 4:52 AM PST / Updated Feb. 20, 2021, 5:06 AM PST 
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/deep-freeze-subsides-texans-now-face-electricity-bills-10-000-n1258362

The Texas Energy Disaster
By Andy May  Feb 20, 2021 
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/20/the-texas-energy-disaster/

The blackouts have only just begun
BY ISAAC ORR AND JASON HAYES, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS — 02/20/21 08:00 AM EST 
https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/539392-the-blackouts-have-only-just-begun

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Miscellaneous stories:

Gas up 18% since election, could surpass $4 under Biden
by Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets Columnist |   | February 11, 2021 08:23 AM 
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/gas-up-18-since-election-could-surpass-4-under-biden

Biden’s Drilling Ban Devastates New Mexico While Boosting America’s Competitors
By Kevin Mooney   February 17, 2021 
https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/02/17/bidens_drilling_ban_devastates_new_mexico_while_boosting_americas_competitors_660694.html

Germany’s ‘Green’ Energy Failure: Germany turns back to coal and natural gas as millions of its solar panels are blanketed in snow and ice
Laurie Foti  Feb 12, 2021 
https://worldnewsera.com/news/startups/germanys-green-energy-failure-germany-turns-back-to-coal-and-natural-gas-as-millions-of-its-solar-panels-are-blanketed-in-snow-and-ice-tech-news-startup/

World’s ‘solar and wind capital’ freezing due to snow ‘blanketing millions’ of solar panels (Germany)
Sky News Australia    Feb 14, 2021 
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/other/worlds-solar-and-wind-capital-freezing-due-to-snow-blanketing-millions-of-solar-panels/ar-BB1dF9Dp?ocid=sl

UK climate policies are to blame for making fuel poverty worse 
Date: 15/02/21  John Constable, GWPF Energy Editor 
https://www.thegwpf.com/green-energy-costs-and-fuel-poverty/

GWPF accuses Government of driving up electricity prices and energy poverty
Date: 15/02/21  Press Release, Global Warming Policy Forum 
https://www.thegwpf.com/gwpf-accuses-government-of-driving-up-electricity-prices-and-energy-poverty/

Green Folly: Berlin’s City E-Buses Leave Passengers Out In The Cold…Diesel Buses To The Rescue
By P Gosselin on 17. February 2021
https://notrickszone.com/2021/02/17/green-folly-berlins-city-e-buses-leave-passengers-out-in-the-cold-diesel-buses-to-the-rescue/

WHO and the “Climate Emergency”
Willis Eschenbach   Feb 16, 2021 
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/15/who-and-the-climate-emergency/ 

Cost of offshore wind power is high and barely dropping?
February 19, 2021 
https://greentechlead.com/wind/cost-of-offshore-wind-power-is-high-and-barely-dropping-37144

U.K. Economy Suffers Biggest Slump in 300 Years Amid Covid-19 Lockdowns
By Jason Douglas and Paul Hannon   Feb. 12, 2021 8:17 am ET 
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-k-economy-suffers-biggest-slump-in-300-years-amid-covid-19-lockdowns-11613118912
----------------

See also:
Energy 137, Piki Lopez's climate and energy alarmism, December 26, 2020 
Energy 138, China coal and Europe near blackout, February 01, 2021 
Energy 139, Immediate impact of Biden policies vs fracking, killing Keystone pipeline, February 09, 2021.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

China Watch 42, ASEAN leaders' view of China and US

A good column today by a friend, Dr. Mangahas of SWS,

A survey of Asean thought-leaders 
By: Mahar Mangahas  / 05:05 AM February 20, 2021 
https://opinion.inquirer.net/137887/a-survey-of-asean-thought-leaders

Mahar wrote, 

"Asean chooses the US over China. If Asean were forced to align with one of the two, 62 percent in 2021 (up from 54 in 2020) choose the US...
The most trusted major power in the region is Japan (67 percent), followed by the EU (51), the US (48), India (20), and China (16). Japan is trusted for being a responsible stakeholder that respects and champions international law."

Amen to this, good points, Mahar. The CCP and Xi Jinping are seen as untrustworthy by ASEAN people. 

(This map from chinasage)
So Trump is correct in pushing back hard on CCP/Xi on many fronts.

1. CN High tariff protectionism.
2. CN large-scale IPR stealing,
3. Using/citing UN Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling in July 2016 on SCS/WPS that it is international water and not China water.
4. CN persecution of Uighur people as genocide.

Any backtracking by the Biden administration on any of these four impt policies will be seen as Biden appeasement of CN communista.

Meanwhile, this paper by a Fellow at the Brookings Institution, is shrewd.

A Superpower, Like It or Not
Why Americans Must Accept Their Global Role
By Robert Kagan  March/April 2021
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2021-02-16/superpower-it-or-not.

He wrote,

"The Chinese believe that the United States is in decline, and so do many Americans. The danger is that as Beijing ramps up efforts to fulfill what it has taken to calling “the Chinese dream,” Americans will start to panic. It is in times like this that miscalculations are made."

 "Americans will start to panic" is wrong. The appropriate perspective should be "Americans will start to enforce international rule of law." And that law is the UN PCA ruling -- SCS/WPS is intl water, not China water. And CN nine-dash-line (occupying everything in SCS/WPS except Palawan mainland) is illegal.

In his concluding paragraph, he wrote,

"...the purpose of NATO and other alliances is to defend not against direct threats to U.S. interests but against a breakdown of the order that best serves those interests."

Wrong. The raison d 'etre of NATO is political and military defense of members vs that big power in Europe that's not a member. Which is USSR, now Russia. NATO was formed in 1949, after WW2 and when there was aggressive East Germany vs West Germany, when Poland, Estonia, other East Europe were not friendly to West Europe. 

The Kagan redefinition of NATO purpose is exactly the Dems and arms industry agenda. Endless US taxpayers big defense spending in Europe, subsidize the member-countries if necessary. Trump scuttled that "subsidize European members" policy, he made them pay their dues otherwise US will cut its spending, the Dems and arms industry were very unhappy. Unhappy with Trump and his stop endless wars policy, he must go. As Kagan suggested, Biden should continue the Dems and arms industry agenda, back to their happy days.

That's why I said that Kagan is shrewd. He indirectly praises CN and blames the US. He indirectly advances the Dems and US arms industry agenda in supporting US endless spending in NATO, never mind US taxpayers.
-------------

See also:
China Watch 39, Martin Jacques as CN propagandist, Sept. 12, 2019 
China Watch 40, More on US-CN rivalry, December 09, 2020 
China Watch 41, Trump vs Biden policies on China, February 04, 2021.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Constitution and FDIs

A good paper by my other former teacher at UP School of Economics (UPSE), also former Dean of the School and a National Scientist, Dr. Raul Fabella,

On the proposed lifting of the constitutional foreign ownership restrictions
Introspective  By Raul V. Fabella
February 14, 2021 | 5:59 pm 
https://www.bworldonline.com/on-the-proposed-lifting-of-the-constitutional-foreign-ownership-restrictions/.

He wrote there, 

"By itself alone, the lifting will not create a tsunami of inward foreign investment as often vehemently but gratuitously asserted. The reason is that attracting foreign investment is like attracting hotel clientele: clients are always comparing packages of offerings...

The problem of being bottom of mind as an FDI (foreign direct investment) destination in the region has many fathers — foremost among them being: the high cost of power, the high cost of logistics, the number of signatures required and time delays in applications, the uncertainty of the regulatory environment, the weakness in the judicial system and the unsettled peace and order — no question but these concerns come higher in the minds of investors than foreign ownership restrictions. These hurdles will not go away with the lifting."

I agree with Sir Raul there. Lifting FDI Consti restrictions is a necessary but not sufficient condition for more FDIs coming in. The main problem of PH bureaucracies and political class is not respecting the rule of law, having frequent double talk, changing rules midway. Sir Raul cited PIATCO fiasco in building NAIA 3. 

I know of two other sectors where FDIs are already allowed with little restrictions, up to 100% ownership but foreigners are still penalized.

1. Mining, Tampakan gold-copper FTAA project by SMI, $5.9B, the single biggest FDI in the country. The mining firm has passed or submitted most or all requirements by the national govt (DENR, BIR, SEC, etc) but LGU, Cotabato provincial govternment, upon the prodding of mostly Manila-based bright boys and girls planet saviors who are anti mining, killed the project because they won't allow open pit mining.

2. Drug price control, affecting mostly multinational pharma. Round 1 in Sept. 2009 under former President Gloria Arroyo and DOH Sec. Duque, round 2 in Feb. 2020 under President Duterte and DOH Sec Duque (again).

Plus electricity price control at WESM affecting gencos investing in peaking plants. Recently pork price control, etc.

If ever there will be charter change (cha-cha), I wish to see the new Constitution to be as short as possible, something like 10 pages maximum. No details like 60-40 max foreign equity investments in many sectors. All details should be done by legislation.