Government bureaucrats delay life-saving road projects, but let wind turbines butcher bats
Georgia residents recently learned that a rare bat has stalled state highway improvements. The May 2012 sighting of an endangered Indiana brown bat in a northern Georgia tree has triggered federal regulations requiring that state road projects not “harm, kill or harass” bats.
Even the possibility of disturbing bats or their habitats would violate the act, the feds say. Therefore, $460 million in Georgia road projects have been delayed for up to eighteen months, so that “appropriate studies” can be conducted. The studies will cost $80,000 to $120,000 per project, bringing the total for all 104 road project analyses to $8-12 million, with delays adding millions more.
Radical activists launch more attacks on oil sands, Keystone pipeline, jobs and revenues
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved his state’s portion of the Keystone XL pipeline, explaining that its revised route avoids areas that critics had earlier claimed were environmentally sensitive.
The Alberta-to-Texas pipeline would create more than 5,500 Nebraska jobs during its construction period and support 1,000 permanent jobs through 2030. During the project’s lifetime, KXL would generate $950 million in labor income, $130 million in property, sales and other state and local taxes, and $679 million for the state’s gross domestic product, by bringing Canadian oil sands petroleum to Texas refineries.
President Obama’s second term agenda, continued viability of Medicare and Social Security programs, and America’s economy and environment need the pipeline and oil even more than Nebraska does.
Wishes upon stars won’t make energy dreams come true – but will bring nightmares
In Walt Disney’s 1940 animated film “Pinocchio,” woodcarver Geppetto dreams that his wooden marionette will turn into a real boy. Geppetto’s hopes are immortalized in the song “When You Wish Upon a Star,” which begins: “When you wish upon a star/ Makes no difference who you are/ Anything your heart desires/ Will come to you.”
The song won an Academy Award. It didn’t win a Nobel Prize for Economics or any awards for public policy, and was never intended as a guide for government energy and environmental programs.
Nevertheless, President Obama and the radical environmentalists who helped him win a second term seem to believe that, if only they wish hard enough, they can make the sun, wind, waves, algae and fields of corn replace fossil fuels as the world’s primary energy sources.
They are putting our energy, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare at grave risk
Climate alarmists are meeting in Doha, Qatar, to hammer out a new international treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol that expires this year. The US Environmental Protection Agency is poised to unleash its first wave of carbon dioxide regulations. And Congress is teaming up with the White House to legislate taxes on hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions, on top of pending tax hike on “the rich.”
This serious triple threat to our energy, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare is justified by assertions that the actions will stabilize Earth’s climate and prevent a litany of global warming horrors.
We can and must rejuvenate our economy by developing America’s resource bounties.
Governor Mitt Romney strongly supports North American energy independence as the foundation of renewed US employment and prosperity. President Obama is waging war on fossil fuels, job creation, and efforts to end our economic recession and reduce dependence on Middle Eastern and Russian oil.
Romney’s emphasis on careful analysis and due diligence brought him and Bain Capital notable winners like AMC Entertainment, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and Staples. Obama’s focus on ideology, political calculation, cronyism and campaign contributors produced scandalous losers like A123, Abound Solar, Crescent Dunes, Ener1, Fisker, Mountain Plaza, Solyndra, Tesla, and a host of wind and biofuel projects that would collapse if their taxpayer subsidies were cut off.
Governments treat us like Sim-citizens: with fewer rights for us and no accountability for them
Back in 1983, during the information processing Cretaceous Period, Maxis developed a new genre of educational, yet entertaining computer games. The latest version will be released next year.
SimCity allows players to build virtual cities by zoning land, adding buildings to enhance the needs and desires of Sim-citizens, adjusting tax rates, building power and transportation networks, and making other municipal decisions. Players don’t win or lose. They employ their knowledge of city life and urban planning to determine whether their SimCities thrive – or become uninhabitable urban deserts.
Sim-citizens are essentially helpless. They don’t populate your city unless you, the benevolent dictator or mayor, give them what they need and want. You can zone land residential, but citizens cannot live there unless you create commercial land nearby, so that a supermarket can be built. They can’t get to the supermarket until you build a road. Now they are happy but have nowhere to work. So you zone more commercial land and create jobs, by establishing businesses, highways and rail lines. To keep them happy, you, the all-seeing, all-knowing mayor, build stadiums and parks. And on and on it goes.
America needs more economic growth, domestic manufacturing, jobs – and secure, affordable energy to make those things happen.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney understands that achieving this goal requires unleashing American ingenuity, reducing excessive regulatory strangleholds on businesses and working capital, and allowing safe, proven technologies to tap and utilize our vast onshore and offshore deposits of oil, natural gas and other energy riches. He knows we can do all this without sacrificing important environmental values.
Navy’s biofuel program vanquishes GSA in battle for wasteful spending supremacy
If America had a “Spend Like a Drunken Sailor Award,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus would win hands-down, for blowing $12 million on biofuel for Navy ships.
Even as the armed services face drastic budget cuts under “automatic sequestration” and other proposed reductions, further undermining our national security, Mabus and President Obama clearly believe “it’s only taxpayer money.”
“Beat GSA” may have to replace Navy’s “Beat Army” football battle cry.
It is EPA rules that most gravely threaten our energy, economy, health, welfare, justice, and civil rights progress
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says we face grave threats to human health, welfare and justice. She’s absolutely right. However, the dangers are not due to factory or power plant emissions, or supposed effects of “dangerous manmade global warming.”
They are the result of policies and regulations that her EPA is imposing in the name of preventing climate change and other hypothetical and exaggerated environmental problems. It is those government actions that are the gravest threat to Americans’ health, welfare, and pursuit of happiness and justice.
Government tax and subsidy schemes waste billions. We need real energy and jobs.
Having had it with $4-per-gallon gasoline and the Obama Administration’s squandering billions of taxpayer dollars on phony “green” energy schemes, angry voters have told their senators “Enough!”
Their calls provided sufficient spinal implants in enough senators to defeat three proposals to extend the wind energy “production tax credit” (PTC). The credit gives wind project developers taxpayer greenbacks whenever they generate high-priced electricity, even if there is no market for the power at the time it’s generated. Worse, the PTC is paid on top of other subsidies, fast-tracking of wind projects through environmental review processes, and exemptions from endangered species, migratory bird and other laws.
Misleading claims about shale gas development serve dogma but not the public interest
The Sierra Club and other environmental pressure groups are redoubling their efforts to “stop fracking in its tracks.” No wonder. The technology is an existential threat to fundamental “green” dogmas.
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing is a true “game changer.” In less than two years, this proven but still rapidly advancing technology has obliterated longstanding claims that we are running out of petroleum. Instead, the USA now finds itself blessed with centuries of oil and gas.
Exporting gasoline and diesel fuel creates jobs and prosperity
When President Obama took office, regular gasoline cost $1.85 a gallon. Now it’s hit $4.00 per gallon in many cities, and some analysts predict it could reach $5.00 or more this summer. Filling your tank could soon slam you for $75-$90.
Winter was warm. Our economy remains weak. People are driving less, in cars that get better mileage, even with mandatory 10% low-mileage ethanol. Gasoline is plentiful.
Misinformed politicians and pundits say prices should be falling. Our pain at the pump is due to greedy speculators, they claim, and greedier oil companies that are exporting oil and refined products.
Their explanation is superficially plausible – but wrong.
It’s time to apply endangered species, wildlife and economic laws fairly and equitably
“… gleaming white wind turbines generating carbon-free electricity carpet chaparral-covered ridges and march down into valleys of Joshua trees.” This is “the future” of American energy – not “the oil rigs planted helter-skelter in [nearby] citrus groves,” nor the “smoggy San Joaquin Valley” a few miles away.
The Forbes article’s poetic paean to Aeolian energy nevertheless voiced consternation that a 300-megawatt “green” turbine project might kill some of the magnificent California condors that are just coming back from the edge of extinction – and the project might be cancelled as a result.
A vital part of the solution to our economic and employment crisis is right under our feet
A frequent refrain during budget and debt ceiling debates is that we need revenue enhancement: higher tax rates, reduced deductions, eliminated credits. But doing this, especially amid today’s massively expanding regulations, will kill more jobs and further reduce government revenues.
There is a better way. Huge revenue sources are literally under our noses, or more precisely our feet.
New rules use doctored evidence to cause economic pain and impair human health
The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued 946 pages of new rules, requiring that U.S. power plants sharply reduce (already low) emissions of mercury and 83 other air pollutants. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson claims that, while the regulations will cost electricity producers $10.9 billion annually, they will save 17,000 lives and generate up to $140 billion in health benefits.
There is no factual basis for these assertions. To build its case, EPA systematically ignored evidence and ignored clinical studies that contradict its regulatory agenda, which is to punish hydrocarbon use.
Think repealing oil industry tax incentives will increase federal revenues? Think again.
President Obama frequently says Americans “need to end our $4 billion in annual taxpayer subsidies to oil companies.” The latest Democrat bill would have repealed some $2 billion of what Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and others call “subsidies” and “special tax breaks” for Big Oil.
That’s baloney – shameless demagoguery that will inflict further damage on our struggling economy.
How our government subsidizes job, wealth, revenue and people-killing energy policies
President Obama’s views on oil, natural gas and energy prices require just 44 words from his speeches.
“We have less than 2% of the world’s oil reserves. We’re running out of places to drill. We’re running out of oil. We need to end our $4 billion in annual taxpayer subsidies to oil companies. We need to invest in clean, renewable energy.”
As Congressman Joe Wilson would say, That’s a lie! Or at least a deliberate distortion of facts.
Proposed EPA rules will do more harm than good for human health, especially for minorities.
Presidential candidate Barack Obama promised that his policies would cause electricity rates to “skyrocket” and “bankrupt” any company trying to build a coal-fired generating plant. This is one promise he and his über-regulators are keeping.
Develop American energy – or say good-bye to jobs, revenue and modern living standards.
As Britain suffered through its coldest December in a century, families were forced to choose between keeping homes warm and feeding their children nourishing meals – thanks to climate policies that have forced extensive reliance on wind power and deliberately driven energy prices skyward.
EPA trumpets dubious shale gas risks – but ignores environmental impacts of wind turbines
America is running out of natural gas. Prices will soar, making imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) and T Boone Pickens’ wind farm plan practical, affordable and inevitable. That was then.
Barely two years later, America (and the world) are tapping vast, previously undreamed-of energy riches – as drillers discover how to produce gas from shale, coal and tight sandstone formations, at reasonable cost. They do it by pumping a water, sand and proprietary chemical mixture into rocks under very high pressure, fracturing or “fracking” the formations, and keeping the cracks open, to yield trapped methane.
In the name of banning DDT, GEF bureaucrats are consigning millions to death from malaria
Many chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer have highly unpleasant side effects – hair loss, vomiting, intense joint pain, liver damage and fetal defects, to name just a few. But anyone trying to ban the drugs would be tarred, feathered and run out of town. And rightly so.
The lame duck session is underway – and various members of Congress have made it clear that they will try to cut a deal that would extend existing ethanol subsidies and protective tariffs. Congressional inaction would save taxpayers $6 billion, and bring other benefits too.
What am I missing? There must be some aspect of our insane energy policies that I fail to appreciate.
The climate and renewable energy con is losing its luster – prompting anguish and desperation
It’s been a rough few weeks for the “eco-progressive” fringe.
Static jet streams induced near-record high temperatures in parts of the United States and Russia, but extreme cold pummeled Seattle, England and much of the Southern Hemisphere. Perhaps Al Gore, Michael Mann and Rajendra Pachauri can turn this hodgepodge into “catastrophic climate change,” but most folks understand it as Mother Nature and weather.
~ Quotables ~
Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end. ~ Neal H. Ross