What Happens When Government Interference Skews The Free Market

America has been on a search for green energy for a long time. Historically man has been  on a quest for a perpetual motion machine. I am not sure the two searches are unrelated.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the environmental impact of solar energy. Solar energy is not as environmentally friendly as one might assume.

The article cites the example of a 60-acre solar farm at the Minnesota National Guard’s facility at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

The article reports:

If we devoted a fraction of that space to a natural gas, coal or nuclear facility we could produce 100 times the energy–even at night time, when people need to turn lights on.

It is sad to see military personnel who should know better, and probably do, mouthing the inane pieties of global warming:

“Camp Ripley is now capable of producing as much energy as it consumes,” said Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. “We can make a better Minnesota and a better world by joining the worldwide initiative to address the serious challenge of climate change.”

Right. We’d prefer you address the serious military challenge of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and so on. Tom Steward (Tom Steward in a story at the American Experiment) points out the costly reality:

The project’s astonishing $25 million price tag has led to the utility taking fire from state regulators for overpaying for solar panels and long-term lease with the National Guard. The collateral damage includes the northern Minnesota utility’s residential ratepayers, whose bills will rise as a result of the costly solar farm.

The solar facility can provide electricity for only 1,700 homes, a ridiculously small number, at “full capacity.” But solar installations never reach full capacity, and if it is dark or cloudy, they are irrelevant. No one would argue for ugly 60-acre scars on the landscape based on a cost/benefit analysis.

In Duluth, the best proxy for Camp Ripley, there are an average of 77 sunny days per year. Hey, that is better than one in five! Of course, they don’t have any sunny nights in Duluth, so there’s that.

Solar energy is not perfect. In 2014 I wrote an article about the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert. The solar energy complex has the potential to kill as many as 28,000 birds annually. Last month I wrote an article about Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a key chemical agent used to manufacture photovoltaic cells for solar panels. There has been a 1,057 percent in NF3 over the last 25 years. In comparison, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions only rose by about 5 percent during the same time period. There are also problems with wind energy. Spain attempted to move to green energy a few years ago and nearly wrecked its economy (article here).

If the free market is allowed to work, we may actually approach something like green energy at some point in the future. However, as long as the government subsidizes and encourages things that are not actually working, the progress will be delayed.

 

This Is How You Handle A Tyrant!

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State. I have to say that after reading the article, I like Rex Tillerson’s style. The story that follows is an example of quietly outsmarting someone who tries to take advantage of you.

The article quotes a Washington Post story that details what happened shortly after Tillerson became CEO of ExxonMobil. Hugo Chavez needed money and demanded more of the profits of the western oil companies in Venezuela. All of the companies agreed except ExxonMobil.

The Washington Post reports what happened next:

Chavez responded by nationalizing ExxonMobil’s considerable assets in the country, which the company valued at $10 billion. The losses were a big blow to Tillerson, who reportedly took the seizure as a personal affront.

Only Tillerson didn’t get mad, at least in public. He got even.

In the deep blue waters 120 miles off Guyana’s coast, the company scored a major oil discovery: as much as 1.4 billion barrels of high-quality crude. Tillerson told company shareholders the well, Liza-1, was the largest oil find anywhere in the world that year.

For tiny Guyana (population 800,000), the continent’s only English-speaking country and one of its poorest, it was a fortune-changing event, certain to mark a “before and after” in a country long isolated by language and geography.

The Stabroek block where ExxonMobil and its partners struck oil is off the coast of a patch of wild South American jungle known as the Essequibo territory. Venezuela and Guyana have haggled over it with oscillating levels of vehemence for more than 100 years. Amounting to two-thirds of Guyana’s surface area, it is, by any practical measure, a part of Guyana and populated by Guyanese people, albeit sparsely.

But Venezuelan claims on the land have long kept foreign investors out. In 2013, a research vessel exploring the area for U.S.-based Anadarko was intercepted by a Venezuelan warship, which temporarily detained the 36-member crew. It was a warning to other companies thinking of partnering with Guyana. Tillerson’s ExxonMobil went ahead anyway.

Maduro ordered military exercises along the border, appealed to the United Nations to intervene, and cast his country as a victim of “imperialist” aggression.

But Maduro was boxed in. Tillerson had taken him to school. And he was just getting warmed up. The company has moved quickly to drill more wells since then, racking up new discoveries in the area.

Think about it. Tillerson refused the wishes of a bully, elevated a more reasonable government in a South America country without violence, and made a profit. I like his style.

 

 

President Obama And The Democratic Party

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about Tuesday’s election results. The article notes some of the results:

Matt Bevin was elected Governor of Kentucky.

Republicans maintained the majority in the Virginia Senate.

Ohio rejected a proposal to legalize marijuana.

The Sheriff of San Francisco, who supported the ‘sanctuary city’ was defeated.

Houston voters rejected an initiative claiming to be non-discriminatory that discriminated against Christians.

There are some happy conservatives around the country right now. However, the Associated Press (AP) did not see it that way.

The article at Power Line reports some of the comments from AP about the election:

State and local elections across the country this week produced warning signs for both Democrats and Republicans as they press toward next year’s presidential contest.

…Democrats lost ground in state legislatures and governor’s mansions, raising questions about the party’s strength when Barack Obama’s name isn’t on the ballot.

…And in Kentucky, Republican Matt Bevin’s win for the governorship could be a sign that many voters are serious about electing outsider candidates.

…That sounds good for the GOP, whose leading presidential candidates are Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

…But Democrats still have important demographic advantages in the states that often determine presidential elections.

…And Republican leaders are skeptical that outsiders’ rebellious appeal will be sufficiently deep and lasting to send such a candidate to the White House.

The article at Power Line mentions one inconvenient fact:

The AP fails to mention that the Obama administration has been a disaster for the Democratic Party. President Obama is widely seen as both incompetent and outside the mainstream of American politics. This has largely driven the flight of voters to the GOP, not only in the House and Senate, both now under Republican control, but also in state offices across the country.

The conclusion:

It is remarkable how far the press will go to cover for the Democrats, even after ballots have been cast. But does it do the Democrats much good? On the evidence of the last five years, the answer is no.

At some point, the American voters are quite capable of looking past the hype and seeing the impact of eight years of President Obama. The next President will have to reconstruct both our economy and our healthcare system. It is becoming obvious that the Democrats are not capable of doing that.

Even The New York Times Needs An Editor Sometimes

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about a New York Times editorial dealing with Scott Walker. Because Scott Walker is getting noticed by Republican voters, and because making him run for re-election in Wisconsin every year or so has not destroyed him, it is not a surprise that the New York Times would take a shot. However, the editorial might have been more effective if they had called him Mr. Walker instead of Mr. Scott.

This is an excerpt from the article:

ScottWalkerEditorialSomehow I really think this weakens their case against him–but it is funny. Evidently the error has been corrected (with no mention of it being made in the first place).

The President Has Discovered A New RIght

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story about a recent speech by President Obama.

The article reports President Obama’s comments in a Labor Day speech:

Cynicism is a bad choice. Hope is the better choice. Hope is what gives us courage. Hope is what gave soldiers courage to storm a beach. Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights, and worker’s rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and gay rights, and immigration rights.

What are immigration rights? Is it the right to immigrate to the United States legally? If so, I support those rights. If it is the right to immigrate to the United States illegally, I would like to know where that right comes from. It certainly is not listed in the Constitution. It has been understood throughout history that a country has a right to police its borders. There is nothing hostile about enforcing borders. Not enforcing our borders increases the burden on our schools, communities, and government services. It is time to enforce our current immigration laws. If the voters decide they would like those laws changed, they can vote for representatives who will change them. It is reckless not to enforce our current laws. We are leaving ourselves vulnerable to disease, terrorism, and crime. There is a reason the border is there.

A Scandal Under The Radar

John Hinderaker at Power Line has posted a number of articles about the use of the Washington Post by the Democrat party to attack the Koch brothers about the Keystone Pipeline. Never mind that the Koch brothers have no connection to the Pipeline or that building it would not help their business, the Washington Post still reported supposed connections as fact. I haven’t written about the scandal because it is complicated and hard to detail in a concise manner. However, John Hinderaker appeared on Fox News and explained it beautifully.

The video is posted on YouTube:

This is an example of why many Americans, including myself, do not trust the mainstream media.

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Pictures vs. Words

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article quoting a leak to the Washington Post on President Obama’s proposed budget. The Washington Post reported: “With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity:”

It has always been my belief that a picture is worth a thousand words. From Yahoo.com:

federalspending

Where is the austerity?

However, there is more to the problem.

John Hinderaker reminds us:

But wait! Democrats and Republicans agreed on discretionary spending levels that supposedly were binding for a decade to come in the Budget Control Act, which included the sequester. Just a few months ago, the Ryan-Murray compromise modified the sequester and increased discretionary spending. That bipartisan agreement was supposed to put spending debates to rest for at least the next couple of years. Now, apparently, the Obama administration intends to throw all prior agreements into the trash can, and demand still higher spending.

This illustrates a point that I have made over and over: all budget agreements that purport to achieve savings over a long period of time, usually a decade, are a farce. The savings always come in the “out years,” but the out years never arrive. Once you get past the current fiscal year, budget agreements are not worth the paper they are printed on. For Republicans to agree to more spending today in exchange for hypothetical cuts in later years is folly–those cuts will never come.

Leadership in both political parties do not desire to cut federal spending. Their debate is only over which party will control the massive spending. That is why it is imperative that we change the establishment leadership of the Republican party. The Republicans used to be the party of small government, there is hope that they can be again. The Democrats have always supported big government. The only solution to this problem is new leadership in the Republican party.

 

 

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As 2013 Draws To A Close

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today that included the following graph:

screenhunter_437-dec-19-17-16

The graph is from a website called Real Science. The article at Real Science states that 2013 will go down as one of the coldest years in history since 1895. The graph shows the average temperatures recorded at all NOAA USHCN stations from 1895 to the present.

The article at Real Science mentions the following:

NOAA will reporting something very different, because they subtract up to 1.7 degrees from older temperatures. Essentially all reported US warming is due to a hockey stick of temperature adjustments, which makes the past appear to be much colder than what the thermometers measured at the time. (They of course do not mention this in their press releases.)

I don’t know if the earth is warming or cooling. What I do know is that man is not important enough in the grand scheme of things to significantly impact the earth’s climate. Those who are shrieking that we are all going to die unless we give money to dictators in underdeveloped countries are really not primarily concerned about the planet. They have other priorities. I would like to  mention that most of the civilized countries in the world  have taken steps to curb pollution of all kinds. The idea of penalizing countries for being civilized is someone’s very bad idea for redistributing wealth worldwide. The way to prosper poorer countries is to give them freedom and property rights, but somehow that never gets mentioned by the global warming crowd.

 

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How To Lie With Statistics

This article has three sources–a Power Line article by John Hinderaker posted yesterday, a Hot Air post from yesterday, and a CNS News article from today. The subject of this article is the Congressional Budget Office report being hailed by supporters of the immigration bill as another reason to pass the bill. Not so fast.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is non-partisan. It is also required to base its report of the numbers given to it. This makes it fairly easy for Congress to scam the system. Since the CBO only scores a ten-year window, all Congress has to do is put the major expenses of the legislation being scored outside of that window. Thus the current immigration bill says that the newly legalized immigrants will not be eligible for any federal programs for ten years. Amazing coincidence that the period of ineligibility ends after ten years. Does anyone want to predict what will happen on the first day after the ten years is up and our government is flooded with applications for government aid?

The article at Power Line points out:

Behind these rather antiseptic observations lies a human tragedy: falling wages and rising unemployment for the very segment of American society that has struggled the most in recent years. On top of that, the nation’s welfare system will be severely strained. While newly-legalized immigrants will not immediately be eligible for federal welfare benefits, that does not apply at the state and local levels. Those welfare systems will be overwhelmed with millions of new claimants–the cost to be borne, of course, by the taxpayers.

CNS News reports:

However, the cost estimate of the legislation that was released on Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office says that the legislation would actually allow the flow of new illegal aliens into the United States to continue at a rate equal to 75 percent of the current rate of illegal immigration. This will be the case, in part, argues CBO, because of people who overstay temporary work visas that will be authorized by the bill.

This revelation that 75 percent of illegal immigration would continue if the Senate immigration reform proposal were enacted is included in a section of the report headlined, “Future Unauthorized Residents.” The section is on page 23 of the 63-page report.

So let’s get this straight. The current immigration bill would negatively impact wages of Americans, strain state welfare programs, hurt taxpayers, and only stop 25 percent of illegal immigration. So why in the world would we want to pass it?

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The Cost Of Security Leaks–From The People Who Understand

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted the video “Dishonorable Disclosure” yesterday. It deals with the consequences of the security leaks coming from the Obama Administration. The video is about twenty minutes long and is riveting. This is the story from the people who live it. Please watch the video and share it with your friends.

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I Love The Irony Of This

John Hinderaker at Power LIne posted a story yesterday that I love. A reporter for PJTV went undercover to the Washington offices of the people who are protesting voter identification laws. I couldn’t figure out how to embed the video, but here is the link, PJTV. The video illustrates that the groups who are protesting photo identification requirements for voters all require photo identification to get past the receptionist. I love irony.

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This is a graph from the Cato Institute posted by John Hinderaker at Power Line yesterday.

The article includes the following comments:

The following numbers come from the Economic Freedom of the World, which looks at all facets of economic policy, including regulation, trade policy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, rule of law, and property rights.

* Chile’s score jumped from 5.6 in 1980 to 8.0 in 2008, and the country now ranks as the world’s 4th-freest economy (ahead of the United States!).

* Argentina’s ranking has improved a bit, rising from 4.4 to 6.0 between 1980 and 2008, but that still only puts them in 94th-place in the world rankings.

* Venezuela, by contrast, is embarrassingly bad. The nation’s score has dropped from 6.3 to 4.4, and its ranking has plunged from 22nd-place in 1980 to 121st-place in 2006.

We have a choice in 2012. Which way do we want to go?

 

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