How Things Actually Work In Washington

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about the confirmation vote that will eventually take place to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Judge. The article explains exactly how things work in Washington. If Judge Kavanaugh has enough Republican votes to be confirmed, he will probably receive a few votes from Democrats in favor of his confirmation. This has nothing to do with his qualifications or what those Democrats believe about his willingness to uphold the Constitution–it has to do with their election prospects in 2018. If there are enough Republican votes to confirm Judge Kavanaugh (and the votes of Democrats will not change the outcome), Democrat Senators from states that voted for President Trump will probably vote to confirm. If there are not enough Republican votes to confirm Judge Kavanuagh, all of the Democrat Senators will vote against him. The good of the country or the man’s qualifications have nothing to do with the way they will be voting. That should give all of us pause.

The article includes a quote from Senator Joe Manchin on the vote:

“I think he seems to be a very fine person of high moral standards, a family person who’s very involved in his community, has all the right qualities. He’s well-educated. And with that, you know, we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed, and that’s going to basically preempt anything else he does.

“Most importantly. . .I intend to hear from West Virginians. And during that period of time, I just announced, I’ll be hearing from West Virginians and their opinion. And I think they have, also, a right. And that’s who I work for. They’re my boss. And we want to hear from them, too, during this process. .”

The article notes:

A new poll released on Tuesday by Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) found that 59 percent of West Virginia voters want Manchin to vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

I looks to me like Manchin will do so unless something is discovered that causes one or two Republican Senators to defect.

The same poll finds that 56 percent of Indiana voters want their Senator, Joe Donnelly, to vote to confirm the Kavanaugh. Sen. Donnelly has not, to my knowledge, praised the nominee the way Sen. Manchin has. But Donnelly echoed Manchin when he said, “I work for the people of Indiana and I want them to have a voice in this.”

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see whether Sen. Heidi Heitkamp begins to make mildly pro-Kavanaugh statements. The poll I cited above found that 68 percent of North Dakota voters want Heitkamp to vote to confirm Kavanaugh. If that number holds, the pressure on her to comply will be enormous.

Stay tuned.

Get out the popcorn!

This Is The Map. Why Are They Protesting?

The map below is taken from The Dakota Access Pipeline Facts page:

The website states:

The Dakota Access Pipeline does not cross land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux.

Former Governor Dalrymple’s Statement About the Dakota Access Pipeline

On Wednesday, The Grand Forks Herald posted former Governor Dalrymple’s statement regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline. As usual, much of what you have read in the press is untrue.

This some of what the former Governor said:

The Dakota Access Pipeline has been marred by a steady stream of misinformation and rumor. As governor of North Dakota, I feel it’s important to share facts regarding the route, permitting and our North Dakota law enforcement’s exemplary management of protesters.

North Dakota’s connection to the pipeline began in 2014 when Energy Transfer Partners officially filed an application for corridor compatibility and a route permit through our Public Service Commission. It is the job of our three-person elected commission to handle all such matters according to state law. A 13-month review process included public-input meetings held across the state. As a result of these meetings, the route was modified 140 times to ensure environmental safety, including a shift to follow an existing gas pipeline corridor so an entirely new pathway didn’t have to be created. The final route was legally approved and permitted by the state of North Dakota. The location for the crossing of the Missouri River was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And the easement was forwarded to the assistant secretary for signature.

There are some essential facts in this unfolding situation.

  • First and foremost, not one person from the tribe attended any of the meetings and hearings publicly noticed by state regulators over the course of two years.Second, the pipeline’s permitted route never crosses tribal land.
  • Those opponents who cite the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie to dispute who owns the lands conveniently ignore the later treaty of 1868.
  • Finally, with respect to the pipeline’s proximity to the Standing Rock Reservation’s water supply, its existing intake already was scheduled to be shut down by the end of 2016 and replaced by an intake in South Dakota, some 70 miles away.

All of these facts were validated by a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., who ruled against a request for an injunction.

While the right to disagree with projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline absolutely exists, and those who disagree are welcome to exercise their right to free speech to declare that, it never should be acceptable to ignore straightforward facts and trample on a legal process that was followed carefully. It is unacceptable that the facts of the permitting process not only were omitted in much of the discussion among those who disagreed with the pipeline but were twisted in order to paint the state of North Dakota and federal government as reckless and racist. Nothing could be further from the truth.

…Who were these people who came from all over the country to Cannonball? Hundreds of them were peaceful protesters, drawn to the general cause of environmental protection by a flood of social media calls for “help.” But many were actually professional agitators recruited by large environmental activist organizations to intimidate people to drop their support for the project. This subgroup hurled rocks and debris at law enforcement and harassed their families. What started out as a tribe’s objections to a pipeline siting grew into something far different.

This particular pipe is state-of-the-art when it comes to safety. It will be buried 92 feet below the bottom of the Missouri River. It will be double the strength of the pipe buried on land. And it will have sophisticated flow-monitoring devices on both sides of the river with automatic shut-off valves.

To date, the 1,172-mile pipeline is virtually complete from North Dakota to Illinois — with the exception of this river crossing. When complete, the pipeline will deliver one-half of the petroleum production from the Bakken region to markets throughout the U.S. And it will be much, much safer from an environmental standpoint than the alternative modes of truck or rail transportation. Again, the pipeline does not cross reservation land.

Please follow the link to read the entire article and the entire statement. One thing to remember here is that there are people who will make a lot of money if this pipeline is not built. Those people own the rail cars the oil is currently being transported on. Pipelines have a much better safety record than rail cars and have a much lower carbon footprint, so the protest cannot really be about the environment. Also, many of the protesters are paid protesters. It would be interesting to know who is paying them and how much.

The statement concludes:

What ultimately has happened is that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s voice now largely has become overshadowed. Environmental activist organizations, which never before showed much interest in North Dakota, used a massive social-media machine to drive misinformation about the pipeline and protests and to accuse law enforcement and the National Guard of criminal mistreatment of protesters. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Now that winter, including several feet of snow and subfreezing temperatures, has settled into our state, law enforcement and several neighboring communities have gone above and beyond to help rescue and shelter people who came unprepared. Public schools have been opened as shelters, and law enforcement repeatedly has given warnings to safely leave camp ahead of major storms.

We are proud of the restraint and the professionalism of our law enforcement officers. Attacks on their conduct have been totally inaccurate, and I hope time will help reveal the facts surrounding this ongoing situation and that reason will prevail.

Like it or not, our economy is carbon-fuel dependent. Until the technology in green energy improves, that is not going to change. Oddly enough, the technology in green energy will not improve until the government removes itself from the green energy market–right now green energy depends on government subsidies and has no reason to become more efficient. The government’s support of companies like Solyndra did not advance the cause of green energy. The free market will advance green energy if it is allowed to function as it should.

How The Government Prevents Prosperity

National Review Online posted an article today about the Standing Rock Sioux and their protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It seems as if there is a whole lot more going on here than tribal lands or ecology.

The article reports:

But while members of the Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters have protested the construction of the pipeline slated to run just a half-mile beyond their border, other tribes have peacefully courted deals for pipelines that run through the middle of their reservations. This stark contrast illustrates the importance of tribal jurisdiction and the detrimental effects of federal policies that limit development opportunities on many tribal lands.

In most cases, federal policies discourage developers from doing business on Native American reservations in the first place, in effect denying tribes the opportunity to benefit from energy projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In some cases, however, tribes have succeeded in developing their own energy resources for the benefit of tribal members and their communities.

Pipelines provide a way for Native American reservations to generate income. It should also be noted that pipelines have a better safety record than trucks or railroads. So what is going on?

The article further explains:

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is involved in nearly every aspect of energy development on Indians lands, including reviewing and approving pipeline agreements and rights-of-way approvals, and the process is notoriously inefficient. A 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report observed that “the added complexity of the federal process stops many developers from pursuing Indian oil and gas resources for development” and that the process “can involve significantly more steps than the development of private or state resources, increase development costs, and add to the timeline for development.” The GAO report noted further that in 2014, the Southern Ute tribe reported that the BIA’s review of several of its pipeline rights-of-way agreements took as long as eight years. A simple review of a wind-energy lease on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota took a year and a half for the BIA to review. According to the developer, the delay made the project lose its agreement with the local utility, resulting in a loss of revenue for the company and the tribe.

It is a shame that our government has grown so large that it is preventing Native Americans from taking advantage of the business opportunity offered by these pipelines. Maybe the protesters need to take a look at the potential benefits the pipeline could bring to the tribe if they renegotiated the contract.

 

 

 

Behind The Drop In Oil Prices

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about the recent drop in oil prices. As of 4 pm today, oil was listed at about $58 a barrel. So what does this mean?

The article reports:

I decided to reach out to the CEO of a very successful private oil exploration company for his inside opinion, and this is what he tells Power Line:

Our Rate of Return (ROR) drops to 10% on our wells at $55 oil.  However, this assumption assumes no drop in costs to drill wells and no contraction in the large differential ($10 to $12 per barrel) between Bakken and WTI oil.  In reality our ROR would actually be above 10% at $55 WTI oil price as our costs to drill would also come down.  There are plenty of drilling locations that would have above 10% ROR at $40 oil.  Even more drilling locations would require $70, $80, or $90 oil prices for that ROR.  Of course, drilling will slow down long before you get down to a 10% ROR.  Most will want at least a 20% ROR.  Of course the quality of the operator matters in addition to the drilling location. . .

Bottom line is that the Saudis want to chill investment in new oil supply to help protect OPEC’s future.  In round numbers we have had about 5 MBOPD increase in world oil demand over the last 5 or 6 years.  Over the same time period US oil production has grown from nearly 4 MBOPD (from 5 to 9 MBOPD) — 80% of the increase in WORLD demand!  This is NOT good for OPEC.  I suspect that we will have ugly oil prices ($60 – $75) for around a year as that is long enough to stop many current oil supply investments and, more importantly, serve to chill the appetite for future large investments in oil supply growth (deep water, arctic, marginal shale, marginal tar sands, etc) which is the Saudi goal in my opinion.  I do not believe that the current price ($65) is a sustainable price going forward.  It would not encourage enough new supply to balance world demand which itself would be goosed upwards with the lower prices.  I suspect that after this ugly price period ends, we likely see oil bouncing around the $75 to $95 range or something like that.

Of course all of this depends on the state of world economy which has many significant challenges such as at the required unwind, or more likely significant revamping, of the unsustainable entitlement states over the next two decades.  I personally believe that the Euro currency was a very idea from the start and is damaging for Europe and unsustainable as an institution.  The unwind of the Euro within the next 5 or 10 years could also cause significant economic headwinds for the world economy.

 This game has been played before–when America is reaching energy independence, lower the price to avoid further exploration. We are fools if we fall for this. As soon as OPEC thinks America is not interested in developing its own resources, the price will go back up to where it has been in recent years. Regardless of the price, energy independence is always a good idea for security reasons. Energy independence also frees America up to support democracies in the Middle East rather than dictatorships.

Fracking?

Townhall.com posted an article today about Breitling Energy Corporation, a company recently awarded the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility for the Southwest Region by the Oil and Gas Awards.

The article reports:

Of particular note, the judges mentioned both Breitling Energy and Mr. Faulkner’s high public profile espousing the benefits of the shale oil revolution as one of the deciding criteria. Public education. Telling the other side of the story. Helping people obtain clear facts about what has been researched by academia, science, and the government.

In all those areas, not one single report has implicated fracking for any damage to the environment, water tables, or the air. In fact, a recent report by the unbiased American Lung Association, gave North Dakota exceptional marks for its air quality, in spite of the over 200 drilling rigs operating in the northwestern corner of the state in the now-infamous Bakken shale.

The scientific evidence seems to show that fracking is not harmful to the environment. Until someone can show scientific evidence that it is, I think it is a good idea for America to move toward energy independence. We have seen in the past month or so what a joy lower prices at the pump can be–I would love to continue in that direction. Also, the Middle East is not getting more peaceful as time goes on, and being energy independent would give America the freedom to make more intelligent choices in choosing how we deal with the various countries in the Middle East.

Are You Enjoying The Current Price Of Gasoline?

On Sunday, Stephen Moore posted an article at The Daily Signal about the recent decline in gasoline prices. The article reminds us that in June, oil reached a peak price of $103 a barrel. Since then, the price has dropped 25 percent. American motorists are seeing the results of that drop in gasoline prices at the pump that have dropped below $3.00 per gallon. At their present levels, gasoline prices are saving American consumers and businesses $200 billion a year.

The article reports:

Oil prices are falling because of changes in world supply and world demand. Demand has slowed because Europe is an economic wreck. But since 2008 the U.S. has increased our domestic supply by a gigantic 50 percent. This is a result of the astounding shale oil and gas revolution made possible by made-in-America technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.  Already thanks to these inventions, the U.S. has become the number one producer of natural gas. But oil production in states like Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota has doubled in just six years.

Without this energy blitz, the U.S. economy would barely have recovered from the recession of 2008-09. From the beginning of 2008 through the end of 2013 the oil and gas extraction industry created more than 100,000 jobs while the overall job market shrank by 970,000.

President Obama, you didn’t build this recovery (such as it is)–it happened in spite of you! The energy blitz in America is breaking the back of OPEC. They can no longer blackmail western countries with threats of cutting off their oil supply.

The article further reports:

Yet the political class still doesn’t get it. As recently as 2012 President Obama declared that “the problem is we use more than 20 percent of the world’s oil and we only have 2 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves.”  Then he continued with his Malthusian nonsense,  “Even if we drilled every square inch of this country right now, we’d still have to rely disproportionately on other countries for their oil.” Apparently, neither he nor his fact checkers have ever been to Texas or North Dakota.  And we don’t have 2 percent of the world’s oil. Including estimates of onshore and offshore resources not yet officially “discovered”, we have ten times more than the stat quoted by the president–resources sufficient to supply hundreds of years of oil and gas.

If the President and his Democrat allies would get out of the way, the American economy would recover. Please remember that when you vote next week.

 

The Mainstream Media Continues Its Demonization Of The Koch Brothers

The Koch Brothers seem to be the target of the day for the mainstream media (and Senator Harry Reid). They have been singled out as the poster child for big money flowing into politics. Opensecrets.org, a website that tracks political donations shows the Koch Brothers as number 59 on their list of biggest political donors? When was the last time number 59 got any kind of publicity?

The latest attack on the Koch Brothers is an article in the Washington Post which lists them as a major lease holder in Canadian Oil Sands. John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday which shows that supposed fact to be a total lie.

The story at Power Line points out:

So the fundamental point of the Post story, which relied uncritically on a goofball far-left report, is dead wrong. Moreover, the Post story itself acknowledges that the tar sands encompass 35 million acres, so Koch’s 1.1 million comprise less than 3% of the total. The whole point of this exercise is to make the Keystone Pipeline all about Koch, and that premise is implausible from the start.

Somehow the story in the Washington Post neglects to mention who profits by the Keystone Pipeline NOT being built. On February 12, I posted that story (rightwinggranny.com).

As previously posted from another Power Line article:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

The article at rightwinggranny.com also lists some other interests connected to legislators that will profit if the Keystone Pipeline is not built.

As usual, follow the money–even when the mainstream media totally misreports whose money is involved.

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Picking Winners And Losers When Enforcing The Law

CBN News posted a story today which illustrates what happens when the people in charge of enforcing the law do not respect the principle of equal justice under the law. The case involves the death of two ducks in a waste pool next to an oil drill site.

As you read this story, please keep in mind the following, reported by Fox News on August 16, 2011:

Case in point: In the Bay Area, when activists in the 1980s demanded a cleaner planet, the state responded with the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area. The state-approved wind farm, built with federal tax credits, kills 4,700 birds annually, including 1,300 raptors, among them 70 golden eagles, according to biological reports generated on behalf of the owners.

…Pine Tree is one of the wind farms in Kern County and is operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. According to an internal DWP bird and bat mortality report for the year ending June 2010, bird fatality rates were “relatively high” at Pine Tree compared to 45 other wind facilities nationwide. The facility’s annual death rate per turbine is three times higher for golden eagles than at Altamont.

“Politics plays a huge role here,” Smallwood said. “Our leaders want this power source so they’re giving, for a time being, a pass to the wind industry. If you or I killed an eagle, we’re looking at major consequences.”

I am asking you to keep this in mind as you read this story. Bud Brigham, head of Brigham Resources, was charged with killing two ducks who died in a waste pool next to one of his drills in North Dakota.

The article at CBN News reports:

“A Justice Department appointee apparently chartered a helicopter to go search for this,” Brigham told CBN News, “and flew around to all the different well sites in western North Dakota.”

…Those in the helicopter found 28 dead birds in the waste pools of seven oil and gas companies, and the prosecutor used the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act to charge the companies with criminally killing the 28 birds.

When Congress passed the act, it was intended just to stop poachers or hunters deliberately killing migratory birds. But that didn’t stop this federal prosecutor going after Brigham and the other oil executives.

In Brigham’s case, he and his company were charged with killing two ducks.

“And for two mallards there were cash fines, but also, as CEO, I could potentially serve two consecutive six-month terms in prison,” Brigham said.

As previously mentioned, there have been no charges brought against windmill companies.

Fortunately, the judge in the case tossed it out, stating that if the government were allowed to put Mr. Brigham in jail, they could theoretically imprison a cat-owner whose cat had killed a bird.

Those people in the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency who sent out the helicopters to find the birds and those in the Justice Department who prosecuted the case need to be removed from office. This sort of activity does not represent equal justice under the law–it represents the government picking winners and losers–something the Obama Administration is known for doing.

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If The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Scream About It, It Didn’t Happen

In April of this year, I noted the differences in coverage the media gave to two stories regarding oil spills (rightwinggranny.com). One story involved a pipe leak and one story involved a train derailment. The train spill was three times the size of the pipe leak, but because it wasn’t a pipe leak and would not feed into the narrative of the anti-Keystone Pipeline sentiment, the train leak was not widely covered.

Today, the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page (I am not including a link–the article is subscribers only) notes that the Saturday explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, of a train carrying North Dakota shale oil will probably not get a lot of extended coverage.

The article in the Wall Street Journal reminds us:

The reason oil is moved on trains from places like North Dakota and Alberta is because there aren’t enough pipelines to carry it. The provincial governments of Alberta and New Brunswick are talking about building a pipeline to cover the 3,000-odd mile distance. But last month President Obama put the future of the Keystone XL pipeline again in doubt, telling a Georgetown University audience “our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

Did the explosion at Lac-Megantic not significantly exacerbate the problem of pollution, carbon or otherwise?

The article points out that there is about half as much oil spilled from pipelines as railroads on a gallon-per-mile basis. Pipelines tend to be away from populated areas–railroads tend to run through populated areas. Common sense would choose pipelines over railroads for both safety and pollution reasons.

The other aspect of the Keystone pipeline debate is the money. As long as there is no pipeline, Burlington Northern Santa Fe will continue to move shale oil to its destination. Burlington Northern Santa Fe is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett.

Environmentalists are being taken for a ride by the very people (Obama supporters) that they consider their allies in the fight to ‘save’ the environment. Amazing.

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The U-6 Unemployment Number

The U-6 unemployment number was up to 15 percent in July. The overall unemployment number is currently at 8.3 percent.

The DRUDGE REPORT posted the following links today:

THEY BOTH CANT BE RIGHT:

Reuters: Labor market slowed sharply after strong gains in winter, spelling trouble for Obama…

AP: Stronger job creation could help Obama’s re-election hopes…

The unemployment number announced today is 8.3 percent, but that number only includes those people who are currently looking for work. If every unemployed worker stopped looking for work, the number would drop to 0 percent–which logically makes absolutely no sense.

CNBC posted a story today about the U-6 number, which includes discouraged potential employees who have quit looking, and those who are underemployed — wanting to work full-time but forced to work part-time. The U-6 numbers in various states are alarming.

The article at CNBC reports:

Consider: Nevada‘s U-6 rate is 22.1 percent, up from just 7.6 percent in 2007. Economically troubled California has a 20.3 percent real rate, while Rhode Island is at 18.3 percent, more than double its 8.3 percent rate in 2007.

Those numbers compare especially unfavorably to the national rate, high in itself at 14.9 percent though off its record peak of 17.2 percent in October 2009.

Only three states — Nebraska (9.1 percent), South Dakota (8.6 percent) and North Dakota (6.1 percent) — have U-6 rates under 10 percent, according to research from RBC Capital Markets.

Note that the states with the low U-6 rates are the states involved in developing America’s energy resources contained in the Bakken Shale Oil Formation. That might be a clue as to what we need to do to turn around America’s economy.

Meanwhile, the bottom line is simple–the current recovery is as bad, if not worse, than the recession. It’s time to change the people in charge.

Investors.com reports today:

Looked at another way, the labor force participation rate fell to 63.7% in July. That’s down from 65.7% in June 2009, and it’s just above the lowest since January 1982. Back then the economy was in the midst of a deep 16-month recession and the share of women in the work force was still significantly lower.

This continues a trend set since the economic recovery officially started in June 2009. Sluggish job growth has failed to keep pace with population growth, creating an ever larger pool of people who either don’t have jobs or have given up looking for one.

In fact, since June 2009, the number of people in the labor force has climbed just 283,000, while the number of people not in the labor force has exploded by 7.5 million.

This is not a recovery.

So why is the stock market going up today? I suspect it is factoring in the fact that these numbers will make it more difficult for President Obama to be re-elected. Governor Romney is an experienced businessman. If anyone can turn this mess around, he can.

 

 

 

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Crippling The American Energy Sector

One of the problems in the economy today is the price of gasoline at the pump. Two years ago it cost me $25 to fill up my car, now it costs $50+. I am sure my story is not unique, and the cost of gasoline has a negative impact on everyone’s budget. There are very obvious ways to bring down the cost of gasoline at the pump–build refineries, drill everywhere, and generally develop a sane energy policy for America. One example of the impact of developing energy resources in America is the fact that North Dakota has an unemployment rate of about 3%. Why? The Bakken Formation, a geological phenomenon covering parts of North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan, has an estimated 3 billion to 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, only a tiny percentage of which has been tapped. As the state continues to recover the oil, employment grows and prosperity continues. However, even this prosperity is endangered by the Obama Administration. 

Erika Johnsen at Townhall.com reported that on Friday President Obama signed an executive order creating a a high-level task force to coordinate federal oversight of domestic natural gas development. What that means is that “the government is planning to regulate any energy industry we have not yet destroyed out of existence.”

The article reports:

The task force is charged with ensuring that rapidly growing efforts to tap vast natural gas supplies in the country’s shale formations, which require advanced drilling techniques including “fracking,” are “safe and responsible.”

The order seeks to find a balance between encouraging expanded domestic natural gas development, a position Obama has touted in a series of speeches in recent months, and ensuring that the administration protects the public. 

“[I]t is vital that we take full advantage of our natural gas resources, while giving American families and communities confidence that natural and cultural resources, air and water quality, and public health and safety will not be compromised,” the order says.

The Obama administration is taking new steps to increase federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling method that has helped usher in a natural gas boom but brought with it environmental concerns. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is slated to unveil final oil-and-gas air pollution regulations next week that would cut smog-forming and toxic emissions from wells developed with fracking. Separately, the Interior Department will soon float rules for fracking on public lands.

Unless we change the general regulation overload this administration has created, America will become a third-world country. If that appeals to you, vote for Democrats in November. If you love America and want your children to prosper, vote Republican. The future of our nation is truly at stake in 2012.

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The Continuing Attack On Domestic Energy Production

I’m not quite sure why the radical environmentalists (and the Obama administration) are so opposed to domestic energy production, but their actions indicate that they are. The recent postponement (read that as opposition) to the Keystone Pipeline is one example. Now they are attempting to stop hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Fracking is the process being used in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. I need to mention at this point that the development of the Bakken oil fields has resulted in an unemployment rate in North Dakota of 3.5 percent in October 2011.

On Thursday the Washington Examiner posted an article on some of the latest attacks on the process of fracking.

The article reports:

Fracking was first used in Oklahoma in the 1940s and in the years since has been employed in more than a million oil and gas wells across the nation. There is not a single independently documented instance of groundwater contamination by fracking anywhere in the country, a fact that was confirmed as recently as May by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson during congressional testimony.

However, the EPA is not deterred by mere facts. On Thursday the EPA announced that they had found chemicals “likely” associated with fracking at a drilling site near Pavilion, Wyoming.

The article further reports:

“EPA also re-tested private and public drinking water wells in the community. The samples were consistent with chemicals identified in earlier EPA results released in 2010 and are generally below established health and safety standards.” By “below,” the EPA means that chemicals in the groundwater do not exceed acceptable health and safety standards.

Please follow the link to read the entire article to discover what the EPA really found and what it means. At some point you have to wonder why the EPA and the Obama administration are working so hard to eliminate a domestic energy program that has the potential to provide jobs for Americans and to turn the economy around.

 

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When Politics Is More Important The The Welfare Of Americans

Steven Hayward at Power Line posted an article today about the decision by the Obama administration to delay the leasing of shale gas fields in Ohio. This is an attempt by the administration to win back the environmentalists who are not happy after President Obama decided not to change the current ozone rules. Evidently when Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was appointed she expected to rewrite those rules quickly–now she is being told that she will have to wait until 2013 if President Obama is reelected. That is something to keep in mind–rewriting the rules in the manner that Ms. Jackson would rewrite them would cripple America’s economy and greatly decrease our domestic energy supply.

The article at Power Line reports:

If you want to get a little more of an idea of the federal permitting problem, have a look at the embedded video on this Energy Information Administration squib about the Bakken field in North Dakota and Montana.  As you will see from the animation, the bulk of activity in the early years occurred in Montana, on some old federal leases, but in recent years those fields have started to tail off while North Dakota has boomed into the fourth largest oil-producing state in the country.  Most of the activity in North Dakota is occurring on private or state land (ditto for gas production in Pennsylvania), while new exploration and production in Montana has atrophied because of the fields there are mostly on federal land, and new areas are not being opened up.

America has the ability to meet its own domestic energy needs in an environmentally safe way. Right now government interference is preventing America from doing that. However, the tide may be changing.

The article at Power Line also reports:

Mr. Brune [the current executive director]  (of the Sierra Club) acknowledged that paid membership had declined by about 100,000 in recent years, to just more than 600,000, but attributed it to financial hardship caused by the recession.

It is important to protect the environment. It is also important to understand that civilization as we know it and a clean environment can co-exist. The next presidential election will determine whether civilization as we know it will continue to exist.

 

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Why I Will Be Voting For Anyone But Obama In 2012

Saturday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about Harold Hamm, the Oklahoma-based founder and CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America. He was the original discoverer of the gigantic and prolific Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota that have already helped move the U.S. into third place among world oil producers.

Mr. Hamm was in Washington recently for a ‘giving summit’ with wealthy Americans who have pledged to give at least half their wealth to charity. He reports on his brief conversation with President Obama:

When it was Mr. Hamm’s turn to talk briefly with President Obama, “I told him of the revolution in the oil and gas industry and how we have the capacity to produce enough oil to enable America to replace OPEC. I wanted to make sure he knew about this.”

The president’s reaction? “He turned to me and said, ‘Oil and gas will be important for the next few years. But we need to go on to green and alternative energy. [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.'” Mr. Hamm holds his head in his hands and says, “Even if you believed that, why would you want to stop oil and gas development? It was pretty disappointing.” 

Evidently President Obama is blinded by the fact that many of his friends and major financial supporters have substantial investments in green energy. There is nothing wrong with green energy, but right now we have a need for oil and gas. It is a shame that our President is so blinded by self-interest that he is unwilling to address that need.

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How To Use Washington Politics To Discourage Economic Growth

Wind turbines at Altamont Pass near Livermore,...

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According the the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in July 2011 the unemployment rate in North Dakota was 3.3 percent. Why does North Dakota have such a low unemployment level?Oil production. However, Washington has just attempted to slow that industry down in the state.

Yahoo News reported on Friday that seven oil companies have been charged in federal court with killing migratory birds that died after allegedly landing in oil waste pits in western North Dakota. Between May 6 and June 20, 28 birds were discovered in oil waste pits.

The article reports:

The so-called reserve pits are used during oil and gas drilling operations. Once a well is completed, companies are required to clean up the pit, and it must be covered with netting if it’s open for more than 90 days. None of the pits referenced in the charges were netted, but it’s unclear how many of them were open beyond three months, documents show.

The increasing number of dead birds has state officials debating whether to ban waste oil pits and require companies to recycle liquid drilling waste.

Authorities say a dozen dead birds were found in Slawson pits, including three mallards, two gadwalls, two blue-winged teal, one redhead, one common golden eye, one northern pintail and two birds of indeterminate species.

The death of the birds is unfortunate, but it pales in comparison to the number of birds killed by windmills on a regular basis. In September of 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported:

A July 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, Calif., estimated that its turbines kill an average of 80 golden eagles per year. The study, funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency, also estimated that about 10,000 birds—nearly all protected by the migratory bird act—are being whacked every year at Altamont. 

Windmills are being encouraged by the Obama Administration. Many of the President’s biggest campaign donors are involved with ‘green energy’ and any ‘green energy’ production is being encouraged and its negatives overlooked.

Right now the oil production in North Dakota is helping that state’s economy, as well as providing a domestic source of energy. The Obama Administration might do well to keep its hands off success and go find someone else to harass.

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