College Policy Debate Forums
November 19, 2017, 03:32:22 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: IF YOU EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS WITH THE SITE, INCLUDING LOGGING IN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY.  EMAIL ME DIRECTLY OR USE THE CONTACT US LINK AT THE TOP.
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register CEDA caselist Debate Results Council of Tournament Directors Edebate Archive  
Pages: 1 2 3 [4]
  Print  
Author Topic: Energy Topic - Testing The Waters  (Read 23981 times)
jzhawk
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2012, 04:55:24 PM »

No fracking=longer transition to alternatives, etc.

I'm with you on the other two but... huh? How would not fracking make alt energy take longer?



The argument is that fracking is essential to pushing electricity generation facilities into converting into different fuels, bridging automobile fleets away from gasoline internal-combustion engines, and allowing for cheaper electricity production int he long-run which can help spur electric vehicle use. However, the key is not that = longer transition as much as NG is the bridge fuel that substantially (without material qualification) reduces emissions, etc. while we wait for alternative technology to mature.

by the way, this is not to say these arguments are "true", or  in any way question the importance of coal.
Logged
Malgor
Full Member
***
Posts: 220


« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2012, 05:47:03 PM »

I generally favor the topic area of energy policy, but there are some things about this proposal that concern me. 

Broadly, the theme of 1/2 the topic seems backwards.  The core issue to me seems to be decreasing, not maintaining, reliance on fossil fuels.  The fossil fuels portion of the paper shifts that to "should we rely on foreign sources of fossil fuels.  Looking through the cards, they come from:  The President of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, the president of the institute for energy research (a distinctly pro-fossil fuel research organization),the united mine workers of america, the white house, the american fuels coalition, and the breakthrough institute (liberal environment think tank). 

Of course we will use sources like these on a debate topic to some degree, but my perception is this part of the debate is not as nuanced or well supported once we look at a broader set of literature.  I could be wrong, but these perspectives seem potentially limited to the oil and fossil fuel lobbying industry and not very well-debated in the broader research.  I only ask for reassurance because these are presented as the core positions of the topic, which is a mighty long time.  Why is the core issue domestic production and not decreasing emissions/reliance on fossil fuels?  I fear the answer will be: "because in the short term reliance on those things is inevitable", which leads to...

My other broad concern is about uniqueness.  I understand that businesses hate most regulations, especially environmental ones, but isn't the status quo an expansion of production?  The complaint in the evidence seems to be that it's not happening fast enough, but domestic development certainly seems inevitable.  The fossil fuels lobby is incredibly effective, and as long as we rely on fossil fuels more drilling seems to be the name of the game. 

And, as a gut check, It's hard to see how cap and trade is topical.  HOW CAN WE HAVE AN ENERGY TOPIC WITH NO CAP AND TRADE. 

Most of my other concerns are more about specific aff ideas (how can we write it to make clean coal topical, does it have to be a mandate, how do we work positive incentives in, etc) but those will all vary based on proposed wordings.



Logged
dylanquigley
Newbie
*
Posts: 28


« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2012, 06:24:39 PM »

Malgor: If the topic committee wants to add "and cap and trade" at the end of the resolution I'd be more than fine with it. My goal was to allow for a broad of range of possible aff mechanisms as possible but since there seemed to little support for "decreasing consumption" again this was one of the broadest wordings we could think of while still having some reasonable limits. As I have mentioned before I do not think our paper does or should limit us to federal mandates.

I want to reenforce that any version of this topic wording will include renewables. Though fracking and such have dominated our discussion here, it is not the "increase fossil fuels" resolution and those are not necessarily the "core positions" of the resolution. At the same time, increasing domestic fossil fuel production is at the center of the national debate about energy and to pretend like its an irrelevant issue would do us a disservice.
Logged
jzhawk
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2012, 09:23:53 PM »

Malgor:

1.  Dylan's point is important.  Increasing domestic energy production would allow for production through either traditional/fossil fuels or through the development of alternatives, or a combination.  Developing policies that create effective bridges through mixes of incentives and mandates is discussed in a wide range of literature.

2.  I certainly would not want to claim that the energy industry has anything but excellent advocates doing their energy work, but it is important to not view the staus quo too simplistically.  The environmental community and companies invested in alternatives have been extraordinarily effective, and well-funded, in DC in recent years.  The notion that the oil and coal lobbies have gotten what they have wanted is simply not true.  Also, there are significant fissures and tensions within the energy industry that make monolithic depictions inaccurate.  Some of the interesting interactions right now are how the large players have differential stakes in coal vs. natural gas. Vs. nuclear vs. alternatives, for example.   Put simply there is no such thing as a fossil fuel lobby anymore, if there ever was such a creature.

3.  The arguments in Ana and Dylan's paper are very well represented in the broader literature.  The range of studies, white papers, etc. that can be gleaned simply from the regulatory dockets on some recent rule-making and ongoing court cases, for example are remarkably rich.

4.  I don't think uniqueness problem is that much of a problem, especially with the multidirectional point made in #1 above.  While the perception may be that all development of natural gas and oil resources in going on unabated, a deeper dive will reveal interesting wrinkles at the state and federal level for natural gas, as well as huge policy debates regarding issues such as permitting in the GOM.

5.  Cap and trade.  I understand the interest in debating cap and trade--again.  However, this is not an issue that I would consider timely at this point.  Neither the environmental community nor the industry side of the equation views cap and trade as being at all viable right now and there is absolutely no energy being expended to defend it as a policy option right now.  As a result, I think you will fimd the policy literature very stale, and the real discussion has moved to alternative routes, such as CAA regulations to accomplish carbon reductions.
Logged
koslow
Newbie
*
Posts: 24


« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2012, 10:28:30 PM »

Quote
Put simply there is no such thing as a fossil fuel lobby anymore, if there ever was such a creature.

I'm not invested in this argument either way, I don't know which topic paper I prefer ... but I'm unsure how anyone can say this with a straight face ...

No.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 10:33:34 PM by koslow » Logged
jzhawk
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2012, 05:34:23 AM »

Quote
Put simply there is no such thing as a fossil fuel lobby anymore, if there ever was such a creature.

I'm not invested in this argument either way, I don't know which topic paper I prefer ... but I'm unsure how anyone can say this with a straight face ...

No.

Your mix of confidence and brevity is a compelling rebuttal, to be sure.  But you are both incorrect and ignoring the context of this claim. There is not a unified fossil fuel lobby.  I can say this with a straight face because I know it as fact.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 05:36:05 AM by jzhawk » Logged
jzhawk
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2012, 08:39:46 AM »

1.  Make no mistake, I appreciate the posting of that grist piece.  However,  it both incorrect and not actually on point to the argument I was making.  It is incorrect because the environmental community does have an active and effective advocacy and media operation. It is not on point because I was not making the arguments that there not effective and good lobbyists for different industry sectors.   There are.  However,  the notion that there are lobbyists for "fossil fuels" or for "polluters" in any unified sense is absolutely incorrect.  In fact, even the example of PRG used by grist proves this point. Our clients have included coal, natural gas, petroleum refiners, electric car manufacturers, geothermal heat pump, organized labor, start-ups producing efficient appliances, some nuclear, etc.   There are schisms within the interests of these different sectors, so advocates work on policies and specific controversies,.  But nobody represents "fossil fuels" write large because there are too many conflicts within that industry.  In fact, the most vocal and well-paid critics of coal have been other fossil fuel interests (NG) in recent years.

2.  Let me make one thing absolutely clear---I have no interest in trying to mislead the debate world about these issues.  There are some very good and vibrant policy debates going on these issues, and they have changes substantially in the decade or so I have been working on them.  There complexities and nuances that make many of the cartoonish claims made on either of side of the debate difficult to sustain and worthy of being debunked. There are genuinely conflicting issues related to environmental objectives, economic implications of policies, technological feasibility, etc. that have consistently made these some of the more interesting policy disputes I have worked on.  I am only posting in this thread to try to bring my perspective to the discussion---as someone who does this stuff for a living and is still somewhat connected to the world of debate.

3.  I think the debate community should decide whether they want to debate a pollution control topic or an energy policy topic.  Each approach has been debated in the past, but they are very different plan mechanisms.  there is an entire world of debate regarding changes that could be made to the Clean Air Act, for example (and they would have energy implications, to be sure) as well as an entire universe of debates about how to craft an energy policy 9that has emissions implications, to be sure) .  i would argue that the latter course of action has been the subject of less debate int he debate world, has fewer uniqueness problems, and opens up a lot of interesting case options.
Logged
Malgor
Full Member
***
Posts: 220


« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2012, 12:43:52 PM »

Look I don't want to make this about whether or not the fossil fuel lobby exists or not.  I get it-there are many types of fossil fuels and they all compete with one another to get certain regulations overturned.  I don't even want to make the focus here the ideological divide between people who are pro market control of energy policy versus those that are pro regulation.  But it is undeniable that many of those industries spend a lot of money to spread pseudo science and propaganda.  It's the nature of lobbying, it's how it works, and we're all grown ups and understand that regardless of whether we agree. 

My point isn't that we should categorically block all of that out, rather that if it's going to be the basis of an affirmative policy proposal, I would like to see peer reviewed or at least 'way less biased' evidence in support of those.  Otherwise, in my mind it makes it much better to keep those as policy proposals for the negative. 

I definitely think the viewpoint that the status quo is massive regulation is the perspective that energy companies and lobbies will always take.  Even at the height of de-regulation, there were plenty of industries saying the status quo was a regulatory burden.  That's just how it is.  I'm sure if I emailed the members of the PRG they could each spout of a LOT of regulations that stand in the way of energy development, even though domestic production is increasing now.

I vehemently disagree with the framing of "the debate community should decide whether they want to debate a pollution control topic or an energy policy topic" because those two concepts are inextricably linked.  Fossil fuel consumption is ONLY an issue because of the environmental effects, and believing the two can be separated is....not good, and frankly the backbone of one of the biggest assaults on the scientific community: climate denial.... a topic for another time.
Logged
jzhawk
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2012, 01:01:07 PM »

I'm sure if I emailed the members of the PRG they could each spout of a LOT of regulations that stand in the way of energy development, even though domestic production is increasing now.



Yes, if only there was a way to get in contact with these PRG members.  Alas, their underground bunker where they construct lies is impenetrable to both emails and logic.  In any case, I am interested in what you believe the "way less biased" media is on these topics.  Not on the underlying scientific/harms questions, but on the policy questions.

I understand your concerns, and am not trying to claims they are without merit.  I think there may be a good argument (and have some backchannel discussions with) that lead me to think it may be worthwhile to consider a directional approach, perhaps one that focuses on increasing production and/or use of energy from sources other than coal or petroleum. I think keeping natural gas as an option for the affirmative is important, however, because it has been identified as an essential bridge by many experts, is much cleaner  than coal/oil, and presents a lot of going-forward policy options.

As to your last point let me be clear, if I wasn't already, that i understand the inter-linkage of emissions control and energy policy.  I think you will be debating the same impact areas, to a large extent, either way.  I just think it is worth considering a topic that does not focus on emissions control (which is accomplished largely through the Clean Air Act as a vehicle)as the designated means to drive that discussion.  There are a plethora of interesting policy options outside of the Clean Air Act style emissions controls that actually do abetter job of building economies of scale,etc, because they have more flexibility.

Finally, your grown up status notwithstanding, I don't think you actually understand how the lobbying on these issues works, because it is not nearly as one-sided nor as black-hat/white-hat as you are making it out to be.   I don't expect that you, or many of my fiends in the community will ever agree with me on this, but I came into this profession thinking that was how things work and it has not really turned out that way.  But that is a discussion for another time.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 01:08:18 PM by jzhawk » Logged
dylanquigley
Newbie
*
Posts: 28


« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2012, 04:49:49 PM »

If we agree that renewables are important and perhaps better ground than the fossil fuels part of the resolution, then it seems like these are good arguments for emphasizing renewables in the wording process, which I completely agree with.
 
Concerns about the quality of that ground doesn't seem like a reason to not vote for the topic and, if anything, should help ease fears of it being too big. If you think that the fossil fuels ground is bad than it seems like that just shows that there is a functional limit on the topic, especially since this is going to have to be researched no matter what. It is clearly an important part of the national energy debate and there is a substantial amount of think tank and advocacy literature about it. If the literature in favor of it is so terrible then we'll get the same result anyway and only debate about renewables cause thats all people will run. As hester said just a second ago on another thread "No need to use Resolutional wordsmithing to limit ground when when one of the strongest claims made about that ground is it's not "very good.""
Logged
jzhawk
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 52


« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2012, 05:07:26 PM »

If we agree that renewables are important and perhaps better ground than the fossil fuels part of the resolution, then it seems like these are good arguments for emphasizing renewables in the wording process, which I completely agree with.
 


I really think you might want to consider a type of construction that focus on "fuels other than coal or petroleum" as opposed to just renewables.  This would allow people to use NG as a bridge (along witht eh risks associated with that) as well as explore option related to nuclear, etc, which is arguably not renewable. The Pickens NG plan is an example of large a role natural gas can play, and it is natural gas that he pending EPA rule-makings are pushing electricity generation to because nobody credibly argues that renewables can meet generation needs in short to medium term.

This is really the choice being faced in the main energy sectors, transportation and generation.  Coal is still about 50% of baseload for electricity, and petroleum obviously dominates the transportation sector.  if you had to force people off of coal and petroleum it would create a lot of ground on both sides.
Logged
cwoods
Newbie
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #56 on: April 28, 2012, 08:57:06 AM »

Just catching up on this topic discussion, but I just wanted to strongly encourage a "fuels other than coal or petroleum" approach versus an explicit renewables reference in any resolution.  Regardless of the politics, the real debate over non-coal electricity generation options has been driven primarily by $2 natural gas prices, with EPA regulations playing an important but secondary role.  The production tax credit, fukushima, state renewable portfolio standards, and the possibility of a federal clean energy standard or cap-and-trade program or other form of federal carbon pricing are virtual non-issues for most electricity generation decisions in the U.S., especially because specific renewables are not options for baseload generation.  The battle is really over natural gas (with a significant amount of price uncertainty going forward) and coal unit retirement, with some renewable options at the margins.

If a resolution is trying to access transportation issues, this approach is also preferable.  While I have biofuels on my hands from endorsing a cellulosic renewable fuel standard on the last energy topic the debate community debated, I'd suggest that non-petroleum fuel neutrality is the best approach (i.e. "fuels other than petroleum") here too.  The literature has shifted in favor of fuel-neutral alternatives to petroleum in light of substantive concerns about the market failing to adopt specific alternatives (whether it is E85, synfuels, coal-to-liquids, hybrids, electric vehicles, algae, or other options).  A resolution that enabled specific fuel options but also allowed flexibility would best reflect the literature.  Additionally, this type of a resolution would generate interesting questions about non-petroleum transportation options that might increase electricity demand (and thus coal generation via electrification), which is a fruitful discussion.

Clint
Logged
max.o.archer
Newbie
*
Posts: 49


« Reply #57 on: April 30, 2012, 02:59:28 PM »

Obviously this would be worked out during the wording process, but I'm curious how the resolution would be worded in a world of this "fuels other than coal or petroleum" topic.  Would the writers of the controversy prefer this approach or would the resolution possibly be worded to say "natural gas"?  Wondering for the sake of determining how technical/lengthy a topic of this sort may become.
Logged
dadebater
Newbie
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #58 on: May 12, 2012, 01:31:32 PM »

Can you point us to some of these sources? Like I said - I've done quite a bit reading on fracking and I haven't come across these args.

I'll gather some (or rather, have Ana gather some) and have them posted.

So....
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
SMF customization services by 2by2host.com
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!