The Media Double Standard

The media double standard reflects the double standard of some of the more vocal protest groups. Forbes posted an article on Tuesday that beautifully reflects this double standard. The article deals with the environmental threat posed by the protesters at the site of the future Dakota Access Pipeline. The threat is not a perceived future threat, such as is claimed by the protesters if the pipeline were to rupture, but an actual threat that must be dealt with before the spring thaw. I strongly suggest that you follow the above link and read the entire article–it is done almost as a parody of The Twilight Zone.

The article reports:

There is of course no national media uproar condemning the protesters who have created the current mess, or the conflict groups that helped to organize them, raised millions as a result of the conflict, but are contributing nothing to the cleanup.  Nor is there any negative media mention of the dozens of celebrities who have visited the site to get a little free publicity over the last several months, or drawn attention to themselves by supporting the cause on social media, but who also are doing nothing to help with the clean up effort.

The Washington Post managed to find space to publish a story on the situation on Monday, but its story angle was completely sympathetic to the protesters – whose efforts have now cost Morton County taxpayers almost $33 million at last count, with millions more to come – and to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose national call to action last summer was the catalyst for the influx of the outside protesters.  Indeed, a January tally of the almost 600 protesters who have been arrested during this protest action demonstrated that more than 94% of them hail from out of state, and more than 180 had criminal records.

The Washington Post’s story makes no mention of any of that, no mention of the dozens of abandoned cars or of the estimated 200-plus large truckloads of garbage left behind by the protesters that remain at the site.  No mention of all the arrests of out-of-staters, or of the massive cost to Morton County.  Indeed, the only real mention the Post makes of trash in the camp reads as follows:  “In the slurry running through camp are the remains of a mostly abandoned mini-city: an unopened packet of Top Ramen, a broken shovel, a mud-soaked glove, a pacifier.”

The article explains the threat to the water supply of the area:

The state of North Dakota also manages a website – NDRESPONSE – that provides excellent documentation of the real status of the protest site.  Their reporting has very clearly demonstrated that there is far more “in the slurry running through the camp” than the Post’s report implies, and with another week of spring-like weather to come, concerns about the potential for that slurry turning into a stream carrying pollutants into the nearby lake are very real indeed.  “We are very concerned about the potential for significant flooding and runoff into the lake later this week,” Keller said.

Given the way in which this situation has developed over time, it is fair to provide an admittedly partial list of well-heeled celebrities who have either visited the protest site since last August or expressed their support via social media for the #NoDAPL protest, and who are now making no effort whatsoever to assist in cleaning up the looming ecological disaster their “water protectors” have left behind:

The pipeline poses a minimal potential threat. The protesters have created an environmental disaster. If the state of North Dakota cannot clean up the mess before the spring thaw, the local residents will not have safe water to drink. The protesters have done immediate damage. The pipeline is engineered to be safer than alternative methods of transporting oil.

This is a picture of some of the mess left behind:

The double standard here is amazing.

 

 

Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

Hot Air posted an article today about the draft report on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report has been five years in the making. There is, however, a problem with the report (according to the EPA). The research did not give them the answer they wanted.

This is part of the EPA’s statement regarding the report:

Science advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday challenged an already controversial government report on whether thousands of oil and gas wells that rely on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” systemically pollute drinking water across the nation.

That EPA draft report, many years in the making and still not finalized, had concluded, “We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States,” adding that while there had been isolated problems, those were “small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.”…

But in a statement sure to prolong the already multiyear scientific debate on fracking and its influence on water, the 30-member advisory panel on Thursday concluded the agency’s report was “comprehensive but lacking in several critical areas.”

It recommended that the report be revised to include “quantitative analysis that supports its conclusion” — if, indeed, this central conclusion can be defended.

I suspect what will happen next is that the EPA will spend billions of dollars of tax payer money until they can somehow come up with a report that gives them the answer they want.

The article notes:

This board isn’t even arguing that they have evidence to the contrary. (Which would have been a neat trick since such “evidence” doesn’t appear to exist.) They simply don’t like the positive nature of the wording and would like to see even more test results than have already been submitted. They’re not saying that they have proof that fracking is dangerous… they’re just saying that the industry hasn’t proven that it isn’t.

It’s always fun to try to prove a negative.

The article concludes:

The fix was in on this pretty much from the beginning but they’ll have a hard time arguing the science. The few accidents which have happened at fracking sites speak to individual failures to follow best practices or simple human error. That’s never going to be entirely eliminated from mankind’s industrial activities, but fracking has proven itself safe and a net benefit to both the environment and the energy industry. It’s a bit late for the EPA to walk this one back now.

America needs to be energy independent, both for economic and security reasons. The EPA is not helping American achieve that goal. None of us want dirty water or dirty air, but all of us do want to be free and safe.

 

Another Scientific Report To Evaluate

The New York Post posted a story today about a federal report stating that fracking does not harm drinking water. I suspect this is going to be a problem for many environmentalists. It will be interesting to see how they react to the study.

The article reports:

In their report, federal researchers studied the entire fracking process, from the acquisition of water to the disposal of wastewater.

Prompted by Congress, researchers reviewed thousands of pages of studies and conducted their own investigations of fracking, which collects natural gas and petroleum deep below the surface.

“Stated simply, this study follows the water,” Burke said. “We looked at each stage of the hydraulic water fracturing cycle to determine the potential impact on potential drinking-water resources.”

Before releasing the report, the feds sought comment from the public, industry officials, states, Indian tribes and nongovernmental organizations.

The report identified factors to consider: whether an area has enough water for people’s needs as well as fracking; spills; accidental injection into drinking-water sites; well failure; subsurface migration of gases and liquids; and inadequate or poorly treated wastewater.

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, said the study was a validation of the safety of fracking.

When attempting to evaluate this report, consider the fact that a lot of the anti-fracking movement is funded by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Obviously they have a vested interest in preventing America from developing her oil resources.

Something To Think About

When a law is created in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, it is posted at Thomas.gov so that anyone can read it and see what was done with it. For example, you can look up the Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2015 (S980), introduced in mid-April and find out that it is currently sitting in the Committee on Environment and Public Works. However, if you look closely, that bill is to protect Americans from the government controlling the mud puddles on their property. So where is the law introducing the new regulations S980 is protecting us from. There is no law passed by Congress or introduced into Congress. The ‘law’ comes directly from the EPA (where no one is elected or accountable to the American public). Now the EPA head Gina McCarthy says that S980 is unnecessary, but there seems to be some confusion about that.

Yesterday the Washington Times posted an article about the new EPA regulations.

The article reports:

“This rule is about clarification, and in fact, we’re adding exclusions for features like artificial lakes and ponds, water-filled depressions from constructions and grass swales,” McCarthy said. “This rule will make it easier to identify protected waters and will make those protections consistent with the law as well as the latest peer-reviewed science. This rule is based on science.”

The Supreme Court has twice questioned the breadth of powers decreed under the Clean Water Act, prompting Wednesday’s actions.
McCarthy claimed the new powers would “not interfere with private property rights or address land use.”

“It does not regulate any ditches unless they function as tributaries. It does not apply to groundwater or shallow subsurface water, copper tile drains or change policy on irrigation or water transfer.”

Not surprisingly, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, THE top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, loves the plan.

Not everyone sees it that way:

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said:

“EPA’s attempt to redefine ‘navigable waterways’ to include every drainage ditch, backyard pond, and puddle is a radical regulatory overreach that threatens to take away the rights of property owners and will lead to costly litigation and lost jobs. The House is committed to fighting back against this radical policy, which is why we passed bipartisan legislation earlier this month to stop the EPA in their tracks from moving forward with this misguided proposal. It’s time for President Obama’s EPA to abandon these radical proposals, all in the name of protecting wetlands and waterways, that instead will only lead to more American jobs being shipped overseas at the expense of the American economy.”

Stay tuned.

The Obama Administration’s War On American Energy

Any economic growth during the Obama Administration has come from American energy production. Now the Administration is trying to curtail that production.

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Obama Administration has released the first federal rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on Friday, setting new standards across the 750 million acres containing federal minerals for the drilling method that has unlocked a domestic oil and gas boom. Note that the Obama Administration has released these rules–they did not come out of Congress. That is the first problem. Who is writing laws in America? What does the U.S. Constitution have to say about this?

The article reports:

For oil and gas companies, the Interior Department rule is another kick while industry is down.

Low oil and natural gas prices — caused partly by the success of fracking, which has turned the United States into the world’s top oil and gas producer — have crimped budgets, prompting companies to lay off hundreds of workers. On top of that, the rule comes as the Interior Department is looking at regulations to reduce “venting” and “flaring” of excess natural gas produced at wells on federal lands.

“It’s more of the same. When you make things more expensive you get less of it. It’s just like taxation. It’s going to further push development off federal lands,” Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs with industry group Western Energy Alliance, told the Washington Examiner. “Whether it’s a low price environment or a high price environment, it’s still less attractive to operate on federal lands.”

We need to understand that it is necessary for America to be energy independent. We also need to understand that there are a lot of very wealthy people who do not want America to be energy independent. Many of those wealthy people make large donations to Congressmen and Senators. We need to remove the Congressmen and Senators who are blocking American energy independence from office the first time they are up for re-election. Energy independence might introduce some sanity into American foreign policy (note that I did say might).

The article concludes:

Lawmakers on either side of the issue are wasting little time to fight the proposal.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., introduced legislation Friday with 26 other Republican senators as co-sponsors that would give states, rather than the federal government, primacy over regulating fracking on federal lands within their borders.

“We have long supported a states-first approach to hydraulic fracturing, recognizing that states have a successful record of effectively regulating hydraulic fracturing with good environmental stewardship. Now, however, the Interior Department is imposing a federal regulation that duplicates what the states have been doing successfully for decades,” said bill co-sponsor Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

In the House, Democrats introduced five bills Thursday designed to restrain fracking. Environmental groups cheered the effort, dubbed the ‘Frack Pack,’ which they said would increase transparency and close loopholes such as the exemption for most fracking activity under federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

That Mud Puddle On Your Front Lawn Is Now Under Federal Control

The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) posted the following press release yesterday:

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 5 – “Government has grown more aggressive as it seeks to trample on our rights with regulations that are so intrusive they are positively inane, including a new one that would give the EPA the right to regulate rain water,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Weber said that he was not amused when the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would extend its authority under the Clean Water Act to include puddles.

“The Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 to prevent the pollution of the nation’s navigable waters.  It was not intended to allow the government to tell us how to deal with naturally occurring ditches on our property just because they might collect rainwater during a storm.  But that’s exactly what the EPA proposes to do.  It would be a joke if it wasn’t for the fact that such pervasive authority is bound to cause hardships for America’s farmers and for the country as a whole,” Weber explained.

Mark Pflugmacher operates a family farm in Champaign County, IL.  He is also a member of the Champaign County Farm Bureau.  As he put it in an OpEd article published in his local paper, The News-Gazette: “If the expanded definition is allowed, permits and other regulatory roadblocks — having to hire environmental consultants, for example — would stand in the way of conducting routine business activities like building fences, removing debris from ditches, spraying for weeds and insects, and removing unwanted vegetation on my own farm.

Pflugmacher cautioned that farmers are not the only businesses that will be impacted if the EPA is given the far-reaching authority it seeks.  “Home builders, real estate agents, aggregate producers, manufacturers and contractors all would be affected. For these small, local businesses, the proposed rule would increase federal regulatory power over private property. The definitions would create confusion and, because they were intentionally created to be overly broad, could be interpreted in whatever way the federal agencies see fit, costing business owners money and the local economy jobs.’

Weber described it as “yet another example of big government, or big brother, if you will, gaining control of our lives, including the cost of living.  The proposed EPA restrictions on the use of plentiful, inexpensive coal to produce affordable electricity will have a profound impact on the price we pay to heat and cool our homes.  The new standing water proposals will undoubtedly increase the cost of the food we eat and the homes in which we live.”

The AMAC chief noted that the nation’s elderly will be the ones who suffer most and called on the new Republican Congress to rein in the regulators “who are usurping the power of our Representatives and Senators to make laws.”