Freedom Of Speech In The Classroom?

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about freedom of speech in American classrooms. There is a group of Democratic Representatives that have decided that it is time to destroy books that disagree with what they believe.

The article reports:

Three senior House Democrats asked U.S. teachers Monday to destroy a book written by climate scientists challenging the environmentalist view of global warming.

The Democrats were responding to a campaign by the conservative Heartland Institute copies of the 2015 book, “Why Climate Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” to about 200,000 science teachers. Democratic Reps. Bobby Scott of the Committee on Education, Raúl M. Grijalva of the Committee on Natural Resources, and Eddie Bernice Johnson of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology all issued a statement telling teachers to trash the book.

“Public school classrooms are no place for anti-science propaganda, and I encourage every teacher to toss these materials in the recycling bin,” Scott said. “If the Heartland Institute and other climate deniers want to push a false agenda on global warming, our nation’s schools are an inappropriate place to drive that agenda.”

The book’s three authors all hold doctorates and taught climate or related science at the university level. The book was written by former Arizona State University climatologist Dr. Craig D. Idso, James Cook University marine geology and paleontology professor Robert M. Carter, and University of Virginia environmental scientist Dr. Fred Singer.

I would like to know the basis for the Democrat Representatives’ declaration that the authors of this book are anti-science. The authors look pretty well educated in their fields. What is the scientific background of the Representatives?

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is truly amazing. Eventually Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of the Committee on Natural Resources decides that the problem of not having agreement on global warming can be placed at the feet of the Koch brothers. I guess everyone needs a target to blame.

Much Ado About Nothing

President Trump has doomed the earth to extinction! We have all heard some variation of that chicken-little headline because President Trump has directed the EPA to roll back former President Obama’s hugely expensive Clean Power Plan.

Well, yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the impact of President Trump’s directive.

The chart below is from the article:

The article explains exactly what the chart illustrates:

Take a look at the Clean Power Plan — Obama’s most ambitious climate change effort. Despite the costs of this regulatory monstrosity, the Clean Power Plan would have no discernible impact in global carbon dioxide emissions over the next three decades.

That’s not the conclusion of climate change “deniers.” That’s what the Obama administration’s own Department of Energy said in a report issued in May 2016.

As part of its International Energy Outlook, the Energy Information Administration provided long-term forecasts of energy-related CO2 emissions, comparing global emissions with the Clean Power Plan, and without it.

What it shows is that with the Clean Power Plan, global carbon emissions would still climb 32% in 2012 and 2040, only slightly below what the increase will be without it.

So why did we cripple our domestic energy production and put thousands of people out of work? Rush Limbaugh has commented many times that the environmental movement is the new home for the socialists and communists of the world. As countries with basic freedoms have become more prosperous, countries that do not have basic property rights have become poorer. Those poorer countries would very much like to find a way to extort money from the richer countries. That is exactly what a worldwide carbon tax would do. How do you implement a worldwide carbon tax? You convince people that wealthy nations are ruining the earth and need to pay a price for it, and you give the money to the tyrants of the world.

Please understand, I am not in favor of pollution. However, I am in favor of balancing the economy and the environment.

The article further points out:

As we noted in this space recently, without any government mandates, energy-related CO2 emissions in the U.S. fell 12.4% from 2007 to 2015. Overall carbon intensity — a measure of how much CO2 it takes to produce a dollar of GDP — declined an average 1.5% a year since 2005.

These gains are due both to the fracking breakthrough, which unleashed massive supplies of lower-carbon natural gas, and the unending pressure the free market puts on businesses to be more efficient.

This same market-driven decarbonizing trend has been happening around the world.

Between 1990 and 2012, the carbon intensity of developed nations dropped by 33%, and by 25% in developing countries. By 2040, the carbon intensity of developed nations will be cut in half, the report projects, and will drop by almost 40% in developed countries, the Energy Department report shows.

Yet overall energy-related CO2 emissions will still climb by 51% in developing countries, and 8% among industrialized nations, from 2012 to 2040 — even with the Paris agreement.

Why? “Increases in output per capita coupled with population growth overwhelm improvements in energy intensity and carbon intensity,” the report explains.

In other words, barring some miracle scientific breakthrough, the only reliable way to cut global carbon emissions would be to depopulate the planet or kill economic growth.

The global warming panic is nothing more than a stealth attack on our economy and freedom. As I have stated before, the best site on the Internet for good, scientific information on climate change is wattsupwiththat.com. I strongly recommend that you visit the site when you wonder about the scientific accuracy of whatever current panic attack the environmentalists are having.

Repairing The American Automobile Market

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about President Trump’s visit to Detroit to talk to auto manufacturers. The editorial reminds us of some of the policies initiated by the American government that have created problems for the auto industry. The editorial also suggests some solutions for these problems.

First, the editorial examines the history of CAFE Standards:

For those who don’t know, the federal government first imposed the “Corporate Average Fuel Economy” standard in 1975, in response to the government-caused energy crisis. The standard requires automakers to meet annual fuel economy targets based on the fleet of cars they sell in a year, or pay stiff penalties.

By the time the standards started to bite in the early 1980s — which forced a radical (and deadly) downsizing of the domestic fleet of cars — President Reagan had deregulated the oil industry, thus ending the energy crisis. And now, with fracking, the country is awash in domestic oil supplies.

But the CAFE standards persisted, and President Obama hiked them in 2009 and again in 2011. If left in place, cars will have to get an average 54.5 mpg starting in 2025 — less than eight years from now.

This was a thinly disguised effort by the Obama administration to force electric cars onto the market, since not a single conventional vehicle comes close to that mileage standard today.

This is just another example of the government interfering with the free market to the detriment of the American consumer.

The Standards were supposed to be reviewed in 2017, but the government, under President Obama, reneged on its promise:

Detroit signed on to this idiocy in 2011 in part because it reformed the existing CAFE regulations, but mainly on the promise that they’d have the chance to review and amend the standards in 2017. But just before leaving office, Obama’s EPA regulators reneged on their end of the bargain, locking the 54.5 mpg mandate in place without even a cursory review.

In a recent letter to Pruitt, the Auto Alliance — which represents Ford (F), GM (GM), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Toyota, Volvo and other carmakers — pushed him to allow the 2017 review to go on as promised, so they at least can make their case on why the 2025 standard should be eased. Trump announced his plans to do so on Wednesday at an event in Detroit.

The Standards did encourage auto companies to design cars that got better gas mileage. However, now it is time to let consumers make their choices as to what cars and what efficiency they want. The CAFE Standards have raised the price of cars for everyone and not really accomplished much. It is time to encourage auto makers to make cars that get reasonable gas mileage, but not hold them to unreasonable standards. The CAFE Standards need to go.

Slowly But Surely

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the Senate has confirmed Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The article reports:

The 52-46 vote came during a rare Friday floor session, which was held amid an intensified campaign by Democratic lawmakers to stall the vote.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said “enough is enough” to the Democratic opposition on the floor ahead of the vote. He said confirming Trump’s Cabinet has taken the “longest” amount of time “since George Washington,” which shouldn’t be seen as a record of pride for the minority party.

McConnell said the delaying tactics “won’t change the outcome of the election last November,” but instead are keeping the government from serving the American people.

President Trump was elected in November and sworn in in January. It is time to allow him to get his cabinet confirmed.

This Is How You Drain The Swamp

Christopher Horner is a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. On Sunday, The Washington Times reported that President-elect Trump has appointed Mr. Horner to be part of the new administration’s landing team at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The article reports:

Mr. Horner is one of the Trump transition’s “landing teams,” who are deployed to each department and agency to learn about the latest operations and any in-the-works policies, with the goal of a smooth changeover come Jan. 20.

Some agency transitions can be friendly, and others are more hostile. The appointment of Mr. Horner to the nine-member EPA team suggests that will be one of the latter.

It’s an agency he has pursued relentlessly. One notable target was President Obama’s first EPA administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, whom he exposed as using a secret email alias, “Richard Windsor,” to conduct official government business. Soon after that revelation, Ms. Jackson stepped down.

Mr. Horner also has sought to expose what he sees as improper ties between environmentalists and the EPA, unearthing reams of emails showing backdoor communications, including on private email addresses, between agency bigwigs and activists plotting their next joint policy moves.

All of that has been done from the outside, using the powerful but limited Freedom of Information Act to pry loose what he could.

“He’s been looking to get into this bank vault over the years, and finally somebody just opened the door up and let him walk in,” said Michael McKenna, a Republican Party energy strategist and friend of Mr. Horner’s who previously worked on the Trump transition team.

The pigs are already squealing. The article reports:

Landing parties are standard practice in transitions. They are made up of people with interest and knowledge in an agency’s area of practice.

Both sides sign agreements promising confidentiality so neither side can meddle in the other’s plans.

But some operations leak, including a massive questionnaire that the Trump transition sent to the Energy Department.

Among other things, the memo asked for names of staffers who worked on global warming issues at the department. Officials at the department balked at providing those answers, and the White House backed them up, saying it appeared the Trump team was targeting career employees for doing their jobs.

The questionnaire was trying to find out who worked on “social cost of carbon” issues. That’s an Obama policy that declares global warming to be of such a magnitude that prognostications of its effects on other parts of society can be used to justify new government regulations.

A group of Democratic senators on Friday demanded an ethics inquiry into the questionnaire.

Are these the same Democrats that did everything they could to thwart the inquiries into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups? Sorry, guys, I just can’t take you seriously anymore.

Keep in mind what the goal of the global warming types is–government control of almost every area of our lives–in some states it is already illegal to collect rainwater that falls on your own property! The science is not settled–it never has been. We already know that many of the researchers lied about their data (remember the University of East Anglia–if you don’t, here is the story). The predictions of global warming are based on computer models that have a very spotty track record at best. Putting Mr. Horner in the EPA might bring reliability and honesty to what is going on there. We might actually get regulations based on real facts.

Time To Rethink The Ethanol Thing

On Friday WattsUpWithThat posted an article about biofuels. It seems that the use of biofuels instead of carbon fuels is not as kind to the environment as originally thought.

The article reports:

Statements about biofuels being carbon neutral should be taken with a grain of salt. This is according to researchers at the University of Michigan Energy Institute after completing a retrospective, national-scale evaluation of the environmental effect of substituting petroleum fuels with biofuels in the US. America’s biofuel use to date has in fact led to a net increase in carbon dioxide emissions, says lead author John DeCicco in Springer’s journal Climatic Change.

The use of liquid biofuels in the transport sector has expanded over the past decade in response to policies such as the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). These policies are based on the belief that biofuels are inherently carbon neutral, meaning that only production-related greenhouse gas emissions need to be tallied when comparing them to fossil fuels.

This assumption is embedded in the lifecycle analysis modelling approach used to justify and administer such policies. Simply put, because plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, crops grown for biofuels should absorb the carbon dioxide that comes from burning the fuels they produce. Using this approach, it is often found that crop-based biofuels such as corn ethanol and biodiesel offer at least modest net greenhouse gas reductions relative to petroleum fuels.

There is also research showing that ethanol damages engines. As the government attempts to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline, the potential damage to car, boat, motorcycle and other engines should be considered. It would also be wise to consider the fact that biofuels are not carbon neutral.

Meanwhile, Power Line reported today that the reports of the ‘warmest month ever’ that periodically show up in the media are not based on sound science.

Power Line reports:

We are living in a relatively cool era. Temperatures today are lower than they have been something like 90% of the time since the last Ice Age ended 12,000 or so years ago. In fact, “ever” means since approximately the 1880s, when thermometer records became widespread. As it happens, that was also around the time when the Little Ice Age ended, so–happily!–the Earth is a bit warmer now than it was then.

One of the many problems with global warming hysteria is that it is based on the surface temperature record since the 1880s, which is deeply flawed when it is not outright falsified by alarmists who control the historical records. This happens often, as we and others have documented.

The article at Power Line explains why the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is using faulty data in its reports:

Actually, the explanation is political. The IPCC was explicitly established by the U.N. for one purpose only, to “study” the impact of human-emitted CO2 on global temperatures. This was for the purpose of justifying government control over industry worldwide. Anyone who is interested in science rather than left-wing politics relies on the satellite data, which are transparent and have not been “adjusted” by political activists.

The United Nations has forgotten that its original mission was to encourage democracy and world peace. It has morphed into an organization run by a cadre of dictators who would like to extort money from countries who have prospered because of their freedom. The climate change information that is coming from the United Nations is part of that effort.

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.

 

Lied To Again

The Daily Signal is reporting that thanks to more government regulations (courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency) a new car will cost you at least $3.800 more (even after fuel economy is considered).

The article reports:

When Congress and the Obama administration passed and implemented extremely strict fuel economy regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed that it would save consumers a few thousand dollars on gas and only add $948 to the price of a new car.

Three teams of independent economists and engineers went up against the EPA’s analysts—finding much larger costs and smaller benefits. The most modest of the independent estimates works out to $3,800 per vehicle, even after the fuel savings are taken into account.

The chart below is included in the article:

CarPricesBig government and government regulations impact all of us.

The article concludes:

In a recently released Heritage Foundation research paper, we’ve compared the recent price trends to the scholarly predictions, and found that if U.S. vehicle prices had followed one of the comparable trends, cars would be between $3,975 and $7,140 cheaper today than they are. This massive expense buys very little change in global warming: less than two hundredths of a degree according to the Obama administration’s own estimate.

Congress should scrap Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards entirely—they cost consumers dearly while having a negligible impact on carbon emissions. Failing that, a new administration can freeze the standards at 2016 levels to prevent the Corporate Average Fuel Economy tax from doubling by 2025, as the Obama administration has planned.

It is time to get back to the concept of laws made by Congress outlined in our Constitution, so that we can hold our lawmakers accountable. The EPA and similar organizations have become the fourth branch of government, and they need to be put out of business.

The Puddle At The End Of Your Driveway Is No Longer Under Government Control

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that the new Environmental Protection Agency rule that theoretically would protect small waterways cannot be enforced nationwide.

The article reports:

In a 2-1 ruling, the Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit delivered a stinging defeat to Obama’s most ambitious effort to keep streams and wetlands clean, saying it looks likely that the rule, dubbed “waters of the United States,” is illegal.

“We conclude that petitioners have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims,” the judges wrote in their decision, explaining that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new guidelines for determining whether water is subject to federal control — based mostly on the water’s distance and connection to larger water bodies — is “at odds” with a key Supreme Court ruling.

 The new law had the potential of putting even seasonal mud puddles on people’s front yards under federal jurisdiction.

The article further reports:

The Hill calls this “a stinging defeat,” but it may be more of a “stinging delay” at this point. At the very least, the EPA’s power grab has been put on hold, and that’s a welcome breather at this stage of the Obama administration.

Americans need to be aware of attempts to drastically increase the federal government under President Obama. It is good to see a victory in this matter, despite the fact that it may only be a temporary victory.

Following The Money On Climate Change

On July 30, The Insurance Journal posted an article about the climate change industry. Yes, you read that right. Climate change has become an industry.

This is a chart taken from the article:

Source: Climate Change Business Journal

The article reports:

On Monday the final version of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Power Plan, national air pollution regulation aimed at curbing carbon emissions from power plants, is scheduled to be released.

Ferrier believes the plan may eventually prove to be a driver of further growth in the industry. That is if the plan withstands any legal challenges from states, industries and entities opposed to it.

“I think the EPA’s Clean Power Plan has a lot more teeth to it than many other attempts of the past,” Ferrier said. “I think we’ll see more (growth) out of that.”

Following this more climate change policy could come out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, also called COP21 or CMP11.

“I think we’ll see the U.S. and China possibly make more comprehensive commitments rather than at past meetings, where they let the European leadership of the group make commitments while they sat on the sidelines,” Ferrier said.

Policy, or the anticipation of new policy, has been one of the biggest drivers of the industry, the report shows.

I suppose we need to give the Obama Administration credit for growing the economy at least in one area. The fact that his policies are causing Americans to lower their standard of living and taking away our freedoms and national sovereignty does not seem to bother the President.

I Never Thought Of Toxic Waste Spills As Ironic, But…

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line today about the massive spill of toxic mine tailings into the Animas River in Colorado. The EPA estimates over 1 million gallons of mining waste was dumped into the river. This sounds like an obvious example of a careless big corporation only interested in profits–only it isn’t.

The article reports:

The wastewater released contains heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum, Ostrander said. The EPA is preparing a plan to sample private water wells along the Animas River valley to test for contamination, including mercury contamination, he said. . .

By Friday morning, the plume of orange had made its way downstream and was eight miles from the northern border of New Mexico, the EPA said in an emailed statement.

I’m sure the EPA will be very quick to fine the guilty party, or will they?

The article reports:

The EPA says it was using heavy machinery to investigate pollutants at the Gold King Mine on Wednesday morning when it accidentally released an estimated 1 million gallons of mining waste into a creek.

Whoops.

The Supreme Court Stopped President Obama’s Agenda

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a Supreme Court ruling announced today. The Supreme Court ruled against Environmental Protection Agency pollution rules for power plants. These new regulations would have resulted in drastic increases in the amount of money Americans pay for electricity.

The article reports:

The EPA rules in question regulate hazardous air pollutants and mercury from coal- and oil-fired power plants, known as the MATS regulations. The regulations went into effect April 16. The utility industry had argued that the rules cost them billions of dollars to comply and that EPA ignored the cost issue in putting the regulations into effect.

“EPA must consider cost — including cost of compliance — before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary. It will be up to the agency to decide (as always, within the limits of reasonable interpretation) how to account for cost,” Scalia wrote in agreeing with the industry.

Because of this decision, the Obama Administration’s environmental agenda will also be looked at in terms of the cost of compliance. Unfortunately, the Court is not looking at the fact that laws are being put in place that have not been passed through Congress.

The article reports on the DC Circuit Court decision that brought the case before the Supreme Court:

The D.C. Circuit majority also agreed the EPA could focus solely on the utilities’ contribution to the pollutants of concern, rather than identifying any specific health hazards attributable only to utility emissions.

The EPA had argued that the rules are both appropriate and necessary regardless of the costs, and that it has the discretion under the law to act as it deems fit in regulating hazardous pollutants.

As I have previously stated, I don’t think anyone is in favor of pollution. There is a need for sensibility in making environmental rules. As previously stated, the EPA did not identify any specific health hazards attributable only to utility emissions.

The EPA has been the latest home for those people who want to control the cost and usage of electricity and other power sources by Americans. This has much more to do with government control than it does with the environment. Unfortunately, we can expect to see more attempted power grabs for government energy control in the waning days of the Obama Administration.

 

The Government Is Now Controlling Your Water

This was posted on YouTube yesterday. This law was not passed by Congress–it came from the unelected officials at the Environmental Protection Agency. It is time for Congress to assume its proper role of legislating–not ceding that role to the members of the Executive Branch.

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.

Watch This Space

I firmly believe that at some time in the future, Senator John Thune will run for President. I’m not saying I would vote for him (or that I would not) and I am not commenting on the candidate he would be, I’m just saying that I believe that he will run someday. Just for the record, I also believe that if I were a Hollywood casting agent, I would cast him for the part. I just think there is something about him that looks presidential. He is now in the process of doing something that desperately needs to be done.

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that Senator Thune is going to fight back on the Obama Administration’s limits they are planning to place on ground-level ozone.

The article reports:

The South Dakota Republican’s bill would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing a more stringent standard until 85 percent of the more than 200 counties that have yet to comply with the current regulation do so. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is lined up to co-sponsor the bill, said Thune spokeswoman Rachel Millard.

The move comes as the comment period for the proposed EPA rule closes Tuesday. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on the subject Tuesday.

The EPA in November floated lowering the tolerable limit for ozone, or smog, to between 65 and 70 parts per billion, down from the level of 75 ppb set under former President George W. Bush in 2008. The agency also is taking comment on whether to set the standard at 60 ppb, though it wasn’t part of the official proposal.

I need to make it very clear that I am not in favor of pollution. What I am in favor of is fairness and practicality. It makes total sense to wait for the majority of our worldwide neighbors to comply with the current regulations before we make ours tougher. We are not a major part of the problem, and until our neighbors also take steps to cut their pollution, our efforts will not actually amount to much.

The article reports:

Industry groups and Republicans contend the updated standard would be one of the most expensive ever. They say it would throw dozens more counties into “non-attainment” zones that would restrict permitting for expanding or adding industrial emitters such as factories, refineries and other manufacturing facilities.

A National Association of Manufacturers-commissioned study by NERA Economic Consulting put the price tag for a 60 ppb level at $140 billion annually from 2017 through 2040. The study did not weigh potential benefits.

We need balance. We also need everyone to participate. Right now the move by the Obama Administration is overkill. Senator Thune is right to fight it.

These People Have Way Too Much Time On Their Hands

Have you ever wondered about the country we will leave our children? They will never know the smell of burning leaves in autumn or the experience of walking to the corner store to get penny candy (penny candy causes obesity and one Maryland couple is being investigated for letting their two children walk home from the neighborhood park). Now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new target–backyard barbeque grills.

The Washington Examiner posted an article yesterday about the latest meddling by the EPA into our everyday lives.

The article reports:

The agency announced that it is funding a University of California project to limit emissions resulting in grease drippings with a special tray to catch them and a “catalytic” filtration system.

The $15,000 project has the “potential for global application,” said the school.

The school said that the technology they will study with the EPA grant is intended to reduce air pollution and cut the health hazards to BBQ “pit masters” from propane-fueled cookers.

Charged with keeping America‘s air, water and soil clean, the EPA has been increasingly looking at homeowners, especially their use of pollution emitting tools like lawn mowers.

I wonder how much the addition of a catalytic converter will add to the price of a barbeque grill, making cook outs a luxury only the rich can afford.

The article explains:

But, total capture isn’t “practical,” so a filter and fan are proposed for installation. “The secondary air filtration system is composed of a single pipe duct system which contains a specialized metal filter, a metal fan blade, a drive shaft, and an accompanying power system with either a motorized or manual method. This system can be powered by either an exterior electric motor with a chain-driven drive shaft, directly spinning the fan blade, or a hand-powered crank,” said the project write-up.

The grant is part of the EPA’s “National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014).”

Good grief!

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.”

Federal Regulations Are Creating Economic Hardship For People As Wages And Net Worth Are Declining

On October 29, a website called Renewable Energy World posted an article asking the question, “Are Environmental Regulations Causing US Utility Bills to Surge?”

The article points out:

U.S. electricity markets face years of higher prices as clean-air regulations shut more coal-fired power plants than earlier forecast, cutting supply and forcing producers to rely more on natural gas.

…Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc., or MISO, which manages the electricity network that runs from Manitoba to Louisiana, expects its power reserves to fall short of targets by about 2,000 megawatts by 2016, with deficits mounting after that. Even with the shale boom that’s cut gas prices, power generated with the fuel costs $30 to $35 a megawatt-hour, compared with about $25 for coal, according to Brattle.(the Brattle Group, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based consulting company).

Please note that this is the result of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations–not the result of any law passed by elected officials. The EPA is accountable to no one (except possibly the President) and does not have to worry about elections. The EPA does not have to deal with the consequences (intended or unintended) of its actions.

It is time for Americans to take their country back. We need to be a country where laws and regulations are made by people who are accountable to the voters. The only way to stop the runaway train of over regulation is to elect Congressmen (and a President) who respect the U.S. Constitution and are willing to abide by it. If we don’t take our representative republic back soon, we will never be able to take it back. We will have to explain to our children and our grandchildren how and why we gave up their freedom.

This Isn’t News–Some Of Us Have Known It All Along

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about a recent statement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The article reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed global warming regulations aren’t just about stemming global temperature rises — according to agency’s chief, they are also about “justice” for “communities of color.”

“Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a teleconference call with environmental activists. “If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change.”

McCarthy is referring to the EPA’s proposed rule that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The agency says the rule will not only help fight global warming, but will also improve public health as coal-fired power plants are shuttered. McCarthy, however, put special emphasis on how the rule would reduce asthma rates, which affect African-American children.

Rush Limbaugh said once that if the world were going to end tomorrow, the New York Times headline would be, “World Ends Tomorrow–Women And Children Most Effected.”

If we have any doubt that the climate-control movement was the new home of the communists and socialists, the above statement by Ms. McCarthy should remove all doubt.

The article reports:

Green For All acknowledges the need to disrupt the current economy, because we understand that our current economy was based upon human trafficking, the exploitation of labor, and violent racism,” according to the group’s website. “We are safe enough to be invited into spaces where power-building groups are not, and radical enough to push a deeply justice-based agenda in those spaces. We are radical enough to partner with grassroots organizations when other national groups are turned away, and enough of an ally to offer resources and support in those spaces.”

The article reminds us that the disruption in the economy would hit the very people the movement claims to be helping the hardest. The higher energy costs would impact small businesses, causing people to lose their jobs. Lower paid and unskilled workers would be impacted. Low income people would be devastated by higher energy costs.

Wealth redistribution never accomplishes anything good. It simply makes more people poor. It also allows certain people who are in control to be immune from having their wealth redistributed. Generally speaking, it is a really bad idea. Socialist and communist countries have a much lower standard of living than countries where people are free and have property rights. To move in the direction of socialism or communism is to move toward poverty–not toward economic equality or freedom.

How Many ‘Isolated Incidents’ Does It Take To Form A Pattern?

The Blaze is reporting today that another government agency has lost certain emails that Congress is seeking. There seems to be an epidemic of ‘the dog ate my homework’ in Washington. The epidemic needs to stop–NOW!

The article reports:

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) that the EPA is still wrestling with how to recover emails from a former EPA official based in Alaska, who was involved in decision to block a proposed mining operation. Meadows pressed McCarthy on how progress was coming along, and McCarthy admitted there are problems.

“I don’t believe this is a missing hard drive issue. There’s a challenge getting access to the data,” she said. ”We’re increasingly getting information in different ways and we’re taking a look at it.”

McCarthy never attributed it to a computer crash, like the IRS did in the case of Lois Lerner. Instead, she said it’s a problem that involves multiple failures.

…When Meadows asked if the EPA has told the National Archives, McCarthy said the EPA did take that step.

“When did you do that?” he asked.

“Yesterday,” McCarthy said.

When did America become a banana republic? Where is the accountability? Is Congress even aware that they are being totally dissed and their oversight committees mocked? This has got to stop.

Energy Policy From Someone Who Doesn’t Understand Economics

Just for the record–I do not support dirty air or dirty water. I simply believe that extreme environmental policy does little to help the environment and a lot to damage the economy. Considering the fact that the American Gross Domestic Product went down in the first quarter of this year, now is not the time to take any action that will have a negative impact on the American economy. Evidently our President does not share that belief.

On Wednesday the Los Angeles Times reported that the U. S. Chamber of Commerce is warning that President Obama’s proposed environmental policies could cost the economy tens of billions of dollars in lost investment and millions of jobs.

The article reports:

Although the size of the proposed reduction has yet to be announced, the chamber’s report estimated that such a rule could result in an average annual drop of $51 billion in economic output and 224,000 fewer jobs every year through 2030, with the Southeast feeling the biggest pinch.

The chamber said the numbers were based on modeling from the economic research firm IHS, using assumptions that the regulation would set a 42% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels — an aggressive percentage that is close to a target previously cited by President Obama.

Today the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel posted an article on the impact of the environmental policies announced by President Obama.

Here is a list of some of the consequences:

For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a study showing that the rule will cost consumers in our region $3.3 billion per year in higher electricity prices.

Another study done by NERA Economic Consultants predicted the rule will cost consumers between $13 billion and $17 billion per year. Yet another study released by the Heritage Foundation predicts the rule will cost a family of four $1,200 per year by 2023.

The article also points out the questionable impact of these changes on the environment:

The rule is expected to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the U.S. by 970 million tons by 2030. Although that sounds like a lot, it is essentially meaningless in the global scale of things.

While the EPA has us busy destroying jobs and our economy in the name of global warming orthodoxy, the rest of the world will increase carbon emissions by 4.7 billion tons over the same time period.

For those keeping score, that means other countries will collectively increase carbon emissions by 6 tons for every ton reduced by Americans under the EPA rule. So much for saving the planet.

The EPA’s new global warming rule is a lose-lose proposition for energy consumers and workers. It represents the worst kind of regulation in that it has enormous and painful costs and essentially no benefit.

We really need an administration that considers the impact of its actions on the average American. This legislation is not good for everyday Americans working hard to support their families.

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When The Science Doesn’t Agree With The Politics

Associated Press posted a story today about a recent government study about the use of biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants. The study showed that these biofuels release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with gasoline.

The article reports:

While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won’t meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

The conclusions deal a blow to what are known as cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

Note–the “cellulosic biofuels have received more than a billion dollars in federal support.” That is obscene. America would have a better chance of finding alternative fuels if we allowed private industries to develop them and make a profit from the research.

The article concludes:

Still, corn residue is likely to be a big source early on for cellulosic biofuels, which have struggled to reach commercial scale. Last year, for the fifth time, the EPA proposed reducing the amount required by law. It set a target of 17 million gallons for 2014. The law envisioned 1.75 billion gallons being produced this year.

“The study says it will be very hard to make a biofuel that has a better greenhouse gas impact than gasoline using corn residue,” which puts it in the same boat as corn-based ethanol, said David Tilman, a professor at the University of Minnesota who has done research on biofuels’ emissions from the farm to the tailpipe.

Tilman said it was the best study on the issue he has seen so far.

Alternate fuels are somewhere in our future, but they are not currently ready for prime time. It’s time to get the government out of the energy business, build the Keystone Pipeline and get on with it.

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Out Of Control???

Yesterday the Western Center For Journalism posted an article about a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The article reports:

In an outrageous decision recently announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, the West River Indian Reservation now has ownership of an entire Wyoming town. Along with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice, the EPA decided to give the town of Riverton to the tribe, obviously upsetting those who call the community home.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead responded to the brewing controversy with a resolute stance against the government intrusion.

…The 10,000 residents of Riverton are now technically under the control of the tribe, not the U.S. government. This not only makes residents responsible for any taxes or regulations tribal leaders decide to impose, it disqualifies them from state resources.

When did we become a banana republic? I hope that the State of Wyoming is successful in fighting this ruling. If it is not, there is no limit to what the government can arbitrarily do to its citizens.
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