Still more politicized pseudo-science?

December 15, 2014

Remember how radical environmentalists pressured governments to ban DDT and Alar? Now it looks like some European scientists conspired to pave the way for a World Wildlife Fund campaign to ban neonicotinoids. Numerous farmers now rely on these novel pesticides to replace far more toxic crop protection chemicals that they previously used. But a recently leaked memorandum summarizes the scientists’ discussion about coordinating the publication of papers in respected scientific journals, to support their claim that neonics harm honeybees. “If we are successful in getting these two papers published,” the memo states, it will be much harder for politicians to resist calls for a ban.

Extensive studies show that neonics are safe for bees – and other research has identified problems that truly are afflicting these busy pollinators. We need to let real science do its job, and stop trying to short-circuit the process with politicized papers and anti-pesticide campaigns. Otherwise, bee mortality problems are likely to spread.

Thank you for posting my article, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.

Best regards,

Paul

Still more politicized pseudo-science?

The neonics and honeybees saga takes interesting, potentially fraudulent turn

Paul Driessen

Widening efforts to blame neonicotinoid pesticides for honeybee “colony collapse disorder” and other “beepocalypse” problems have taken a fascinating turn.

Insisting that scientific evidence shows a clear link between neonics and honeybee population declines, EU anti-insecticide campaigners persuaded the European Union to impose a two-year ban on using the chemicals. Farm organizations and the Union’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department unsuccessfully opposed the ban, arguing that evidence for a link is not persuasive, and actual field studies in Canada and elsewhere have found little risk to bees from the pesticides.

Then this year’s canola (rapeseed) crop suffered serious losses of 30-50 percent, due to rampaging flea beetles. Over 44,000 acres (18,000 hectares) were declared a total loss. Euro farmers blamed the ban.

Now it appears that the campaign against these newer, safer pesticides – and the scientific papers that supposedly justify the ban – were all part of a rigged, carefully orchestrated environmentalist strategy.

A recently leaked memorandum, dated June 14, 2010, summarizes a discussion earlier that month among four European scientists who wanted to block neonic use. The memo says the four agreed to find prominent authors who could write scientific papers and coordinate their publication in respected journals, so as to “obtain the necessary policy change to have these pesticides banned.”

“If we are successful in getting these two papers published,” the memo continues, “there will be enormous impact, and a campaign led by WWF etc could be launched right away. It will be much harder for politicians to ignore a research paper and a policy forum paper” in a major scientific journal. Initial papers would demonstrate that neonics adversely affect bees, other insects, birds and other species; they would be written by a carefully selected primary author and a team of scientists from around the world. Additional papers would be posted online to support these documents – and a separate paper would simultaneously call for a ban on the sale and use of neonicotinoids.

(The WWF is the activist group World Wildlife Fund or World Wide Fund for Nature.)

One meeting attendee was Piet Wit, chairman of the ecosystems management commission of the environmentalist organization International Union for Conservation of Nature. Another was Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, who became chairman of the IUCN’s Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, which was inaugurated in March 2011, just after the European Union agreed to finance the Task Force to the tune of €431,337 ($540,000). Vouching for the Task Force as an “independent and unbiased” scientific “advisory” group was the same Dr. Maarten Bijleveld, who is also a founding member of the WWF’s Netherlands branch and an executive officer of the IUCN’s environmental committee.

Further underscoring the “independent” nature of these organizations, the EU awarded the IUCN €24,014,125 ($30,000,000) between 2007 and 2013. Moreover, IUCN task force membership is by invitation only – making it easier to implement the Systemic Pesticides Task Force’s stated purpose: to “bring together the scientific evidence needed to underpin action on neonicotinoid pesticides.”

The entire operation is odorously reminiscent of ClimateGate orchestration of alarmist research and banning of studies questioning “dangerous manmade climate change” assertions, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1972 DDT ban, regarding which then-EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus later admitted that he had not attended a single minute of his own task force’s lengthy hearings or read a single page of its findings, which concluded that the insecticide was not dangerous to humans or most wildlife.

The IUCN/WWF campaign also recalls the equally well coordinated effort by Fenton Communications, CBS “60 Minutes” and the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban Alar (a chemical used to keep apples ripening longer on trees), in a way that would channel millions of dollars to the NRDC. It reminds me of former Environmental Defense Fund senior scientist Charles Wurster’s assertion that, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they never had before.”

Never mind that the Alar scam sent many family apple orchards into bankruptcy – or that millions of African and Asian parents and children have died from malaria because radical greens have made DDT largely unavailable even for disease control. For them, humanitarian concerns rarely enter the discussion.

As science writer Hank Campbell observes, all these campaigns reflect proven strategies “to manipulate science to achieve a political goal.” They follow the Saul Alinsky/Big Green script summarized by Madeleine Cosman: Select and vilify a target. Devise a “scientific study” that predicts a public health disaster. Release it to the media, before legitimate scientists can analyze and criticize it. Generate emotional headlines and public reactions. Develop a government “solution,” and intimidate legislatures or government regulators to impose it. Coerce manufacturers to stop making and selling the product.

Environmental pressure groups have repeatedly and successfully employed these steps.

In a recent speech, Harvard School of Public Health Professor Chensheng Lu claimed that his “Harvard Study” clearly demonstrated that neonics “are highly likely to be responsible for triggering Colony Collapse Disorder.” However, pesticide expert and professional pest exterminator Rich Kozlovich says the vast majority of scientists who study bees for a living vigorously disagree. They cite multiple problems, including the fact that small bee populations were fed “astronomical” levels of insecticide-laced corn syrup, and the colonies examined for Lu’s paper did not even exhibit CCD symptoms.

President Obama has nevertheless relied heavily on all this pseudo-science, to support his June 2014 memorandum instructing relevant U.S. agencies “to develop a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees …in response to mounting concerns about [their] dwindling populations on American crops.” The “serious” problem, Mr. Obama insists, “requires immediate attention.”

He is playing his role in the Big Green script but, as my previous articles have noted (here, here and here), nothing in honest, actual science supports his call for yet another Executive Branch end-run around the Legislative Branch and a proper vetting of what we do know about neonics and honeybee problems.

Neonics are vital for numerous crops: canola, soybeans, wheat, winter squash, citrus groves and others.

Derived from a synthetic form of nicotine and often applied to seeds, “neonicotinoids” are incorporated into plants to defend them against pests. This allows growers to be much more targeted in killing crop-threatening insects: only those that actually feed on the plants are affected. This approach (or spraying) also means growers can successfully grow crops with far fewer large-scale insecticide applications, and dramatically reduce reliance on more toxic pesticides that do harm wildlife, including bees. Real-world field studies have shown that bees collecting pollen from plants treated with neonics are not harmed.

Other research has identified serious problems that truly are afflicting bees in Canada, the United States, Europe and elsewhere. Varroa mites carry at least 19 bee viruses and diseases – and parasitic phorid flies, Nosema intestinal fungi and the tobacco ringspot virus also cause significant colony losses. Beekeepers have accidentally killed entire hives, while trying to address such problems.

Colony Collapse Disorder has shown up from time to time for centuries. A hundred years ago it was called the “disappearing disease.” It now seems to be ebbing, and bee and beehive numbers are climbing.

We need to let real science do its job, and stop jumping to conclusions or short-circuiting the process with politicized papers, anti-neonic campaigns and presidential memorandums. We need answers, not scapegoats. Otherwise, bee mortality problems are likely to spread, go untreated and get even worse, while neonic bans cause widespread crop failures and huge financial losses for farmers.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-earth money machine.

Sierra Club Canada Foundation has been sent a Letter from Friends of Science Requesting Retraction of Climate Change Billboard Blog

December 13, 2014

Sierra Club Canada Foundation has been sent a Letter from Friends of Science Requesting Retraction of Climate Change Billboard Blog

In response to the Friends of Science climate change billboard campaign, the Sierra Club Canada Foundation published a blog piece on December 4, 2014 making false claims about the Friends of Science funding and inciting followers to join in an on-line email campaign against the billboard company. Friends of Science says this challenges their Canadian Charter Right of Freedom of Speech and unfairly harasses an innocent business operation, as well as defying the Sierra Club’s own stated mandate.

A satirical commentary about the Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s critique of Friends of Science Society’s climate change billboard that was published in the National Post Dec. 5, 2014, sub-titled “Sierra Club Finds a New Enemy in Global Plot Against Truth” has ignited an on-line firestorm of controversy in Canada over
Freedom of Speech and climate change.

National Post author Kelly McParland points to the contradictory statements of Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s National Program Director, published Dec. 4, 2014 in an online blog:

“Free speech is the right to express a point of view – a right I will rely on, and defend, every day.”

Not, apparently for Friends of Science. Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s National Program Director claims the billboard that states “The Sun is the main driver of climate change. Not You. Not CO2.” is ‘disinformation’ and asks followers to demand they be taken down.

Today, Friends of Science Society have sent a letter to the Sierra Club Canada Foundation demanding a retraction of the blog and an apology.

Friends of Science point out that even the IPCC agrees with them “The Sun powers Earth’s climate.” Friends of Science resident science adviser, Norm Kalmanovitch, P. Geoph, says “We are setting a proper context for Canadians to have a thoughtful and rational discussion about climate change issues and policies. Sierra Club Canada Foundation is trying to prevent that.”

Kalmanovitch points to both the NCDC and HadCRUT4 global temperature datasets used by the IPCC. “There is negative correlation of global temperatures with CO2 which means that since 2002, CO2 definitely does not drive a global temperature increase,” says Kalmanovitch.

Kalmanovitch goes on to say, “When the current global cooling trend began in 2002 it pushed the statistical end of global warming back to between 1997 and 1995, depending on the dataset used. This is why it is a perfectly valid statement to claim (as we do on one billboard) that global warming has stopped naturally for more than 16 years despite a rise in carbon dioxide.”

Kalmanovitch also refers to a graph of solar irradiance from the the World Radiation Center in Davos,
Switzerland.

“There is also a drop of 0.8W/m2 in total solar irradiance between the peak of solar cycle 23 in 2001 and the peak of solar cycle 24 in 2014 which explains the global cooling since 2002,” he says. “This drop cannot be explained by the 9 billion tonne increase in emissions that took place between 2002 and today. Surely this is important information for taxpayers and policy makers.”

Friends of Science object to the email campaign Sierra Club Canada Foundation has initiated against the company that accepted its billboards as nothing more than bullying and intimidation against an innocent third
party, and not in keeping with Canada’s Charter Right of Freedom of Speech and Expression or fair business
practices.

This type of eco-authoritarianism was also the subject of an Oct. 9, 2014 column by Martin W. Lewis, author and senior lecturer at Stanford University, in Geo-currents. Lewis deconstructs the climate catastrophe pronouncements of Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s recent book.

Lewis writes an atypical polemic commentary noting that “.. climate activism seems to be veering in an
unabashedly authoritarian direction. In such a heated atmosphere, even handed positions are at the risk of being flooded out by a rising sea of mutual invective and misinformation.”

“We too are looking for a rational, civil, evidence-based debate on climate change science and policies, “says Kalmanovitch. “Freedom of speech is imperative in a democracy and for scientific inquiry.”

About
Friends of Science have spent a decade reviewing a broad spectrum of literature on climate change and have concluded the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2). The core group of the Friends of Science is made up of a growing group of earth, atmospheric, astrophysical scientists and engineers who volunteer their time and resources to educate the public.

Friends of Science Society
P.O. Box 23167, Mission P.O.
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2S 3B1
Toll-free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597
Web: friendsofscience.org
E-mail: contact(at)friendsofscience(dot)org

More subsidies for big wind

December 12, 2014

By Robert Bryce

If anyone needed proof that subsidy-dependent businesses will always seek more subsidies, look no further than the U.S. wind industry. On Wednesday, the wind sector won a vote in the House on a tax bill that includes a one-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC), which gives wind companies 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce. The companies can collect that subsidy for a decade after they are deemed eligible.

pic_giant_082714_SM-Wind-Power-Plant-DR_0

The extension of the PTC was part of a bill that contained more than 50 tax breaks and subsidies that will cost taxpayers more than $40 billion. The portion attributable to the wind industry: about $6.3 billion. It appears that the Senate will pass the bill and President Obama will sign it into law. Thus the wind industry, which has been getting subsidies (with a few short interruptions) since 1992, will continue feeding at the trough.

If there was any doubt that the wind industry needs subsidies, look at the statement put out on Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association, the sector’s main lobbying group. AWEA said that after the PTC expired in 2013, “new wind installations came to a halt, resulting in a 92 percent drop in new wind projects.”
Of course, rent-seeking entities love to claim that their pet projects deserve subsidies because they will create jobs. Indeed, the phrase “create jobs” appears twice in a one-page letter that was sent to leaders of Congress last month imploring them to extend the PTC. The letter was signed by AWEA and some 450 organizations, including the usual environmental groups — the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Wilderness Society — as well as a host of major corporations. Among them: NextEra Energy, one of the world’s largest wind-energy producers. I wrote about NextEra last year in these pages after the company filed a SLAPP suit in Canada against Ontario anti-wind activist Esther Wrightman. (Here’s a link. Wrightman, by the way, has since moved out of Ontario, and the project she was fighting, NextEra’s Adelaide Wind Energy Centre, has gone forward.) Others that signed the subsidy-seeking letter included Siemens Corporation, E.On, and Nucor Corporation, which is one of America’s biggest steel producers.

AWEA claims that the wind industry supports 73,000 jobs. But how much do those jobs cost taxpayers?

Earlier this year, Susan Combs, the Texas comptroller of public accounts, came up with an estimate. She reported that each wind-related job in the Lone Star State (which has more wind-energy capacity than any other state) costs the state’s taxpayers about $1.7 million.

That’s an increase over what Combs found back in December 2010, when she reported that each wind-related job was costing taxpayers $1.6 million. In an August op-ed published at Economics21, Combs said that “instead of generating jobs and providing a reliable and consistent energy source, wind projects just generate higher costs.”

Perhaps more remarkable than the high cost of wind-energy jobs is the fact that the U.S. is continuing to subsidize wind energy at a time when AWEA itself is claiming major reductions in cost and European countries are slashing those very same subsidies.

In a press release issued last month, the lobby group declared that the cost of wind energy has “dropped by more than half in the last five years.” Furthermore, last month an AWEA spokesperson boasted to the New York Times that some wind projects are “coming in below the cost of even existing generation sources.” That same November 23 story, “Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels,” quoted Jonathan Mir, a managing director at the Wall Street firm Lazard, who said that the price of electricity that wind developers need to make money is now “essentially competitive with what would otherwise be had from newly constructed conventional generation.”

Mir and his colleagues at Lazard estimated that production of wind energy, without subsidies, now costs about 3.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, less than what they found for the same amount of electricity produced from natural gas (6.1 cents) and coal (6.6 cents). So if Lazard is correct and it’s cheaper to produce electricity from the wind than from other sources, why does the wind industry need subsidies?

That’s a particularly relevant question given that European countries are slashing subsidies for renewables. In July, Germany reduced subsidies for wind and solar by about 25 percent. On December 2, the Financial Times reported that an offshore wind farm planned for Northern Ireland has been “scrapped” owing to reductions in the subsidies paid for such projects.

To be sure, the ongoing battles over wind projects go far beyond the issue of subsidies. Citizens and environmental groups (commendably among them is the American Bird Conservancy) in the U.S. and Canada and across Europe are fighting wind-energy sprawl based on a variety of concerns, including destruction of scenic landscapes, the turbines’ deadly effect on bats and birds, and the irritating noise they produce.

But it’s the ongoing subsidies that really annoy Lisa Linowes, one of America’s most prominent critics of the wind industry. Linowes, who lives in Lyman, N.H., is the executive director of The WindAction Group as well as the publisher of the website windaction.org. Asked on Thursday about the vote to extend the PTC, she replied, “We thought the Republicans would have the stomach to stop this.”

— Robert Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His latest book, Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong, was published in May by PublicAffairs.

Professor Tribe Takes Obama to School

December 7, 2014

The liberal lion blasts the EPA’s climate rule as an illegal power grab.

WSJ Dec. 5, 2014 7:01 p.m. ET

In his Harvard days, Barack Obama studied under law professor Laurence Tribe. Perhaps the future President spent too much time at the law review and missed the part about limited powers. We say that because Professor Tribe delivered a constitutional rebuke this week to the Obama Administration that is remarkable coming from a titan of the liberal professoriate.

Mr. Tribe joined with the world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy , to criticize the “executive overreach” of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. In joint comments filed with the EPA, the professor accuses the agency of abusing statutory law, violating the Constitution’s Article I, Article II, the separation of powers, the Tenth and Fifth Amendments, and in general displaying contempt for the law.

The Clean Air Act doesn’t give the Administration the authority the EPA claims to impose its climate crackdown on existing power plants by effectively eradicating coal power. The EPA instead uses—in Mr. Tribe’s words—“a hitherto obscure provision” of the Clean Air Act, known as Section 111, to justify its actions. Such legal scavenging is a characteristic of this Administration, and rarely has it been so thoroughly dismantled.

“The Proposed rule rests on a fatally flawed interpretation of Section 111. According to EPA . . . Congress effectively created two different versions of Section 111, and the agency should be allowed to pick and choose which version it wishes to enforce,” writes Mr. Tribe. “According to EPA, since 1990 the U.S. Code has reflected the wrong version of Section 111, and EPA has discovered a mistake [made by Congress]. According to EPA, both the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court have previously misinterpreted Section 111. According to EPA, the two different versions of Section 111 have created ‘ambiguity’ triggering deference to the agency’s [interpretation]. Every part of this narrative is flawed.”

We quote Mr. Tribe at length because the Administration likes to dismiss concerns about its extralegal exertions as partisan or political. But Mr. Tribe shows that there are genuine issues about the law and democratic process at stake.

He writes that even if EPA’s theory of two versions of Section 111 were correct, the agency’s “claim that it is entitled to pick and choose which version it prefers represents an attempt to seize lawmaking power that belongs to Congress. Under Article I, Article II, and the separation of powers, EPA lacks the ability to make law.” Mr. Tribe adds, icily, that a “presidential speech” is insufficient to claim such authority.

The liberal icon also explains how the EPA rule likely violates the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause with its “palpable unfairness of imposing all the costs on a small subset of entities [coal] within the agency’s cross-hairs. The Proposed Rule represents a radical shift in federal policy that upsets settled, investment-backed expectations, with no attempt by EPA to quantify the climate or environmental benefits from the Proposed Rule.” Mr. Tribe urges Democrats and Republicans to resist the rule and “stand in strong support of the rule of law.”

None of this is likely to deter the EPA, which is determined to impose its climate agenda without having passed a single new act of Congress. But once the agency issues its final rule, the courts will get their say—and they may pay more attention to Professor Tribe than to his wayward student.

Partisan Politics Blocks Keystone Pipeline

November 29, 2014

By Michael Reagan

Talk about being in the middle of Middle America.

A week ago I was in bitterly cold Nebraska — Omaha, to be exact — visiting with my wife Colleen’s family.

On Tuesday night of that week I watched the diehard Democrats in the Senate stop a bill to force approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry oil from Canada and Montana and North Dakota to the refineries of New Orleans.

The proposed $8 billion shortcut across Nebraska and other Red States is a big deal.

It makes economic and environmental sense for their citizens and for all Americans. But of course that hasn’t stopped the pipeline from becoming a political cause célèbre for liberal Democrats and their narrow interest groups.

President Obama, Senator Reid, and their wacko pals in the environmental lobby have managed to delay the Keystone XL’s approval for six years.

But they’d better celebrate that night’s buzzer beater while they can. Their one-vote “victory” in the Senate is the last time they’ll be able to get away with their “we know better than you” attitude toward voters.

The Keystone XL will get the green light as soon as the Republicans who were elected in the midterm elections start running things in Congress next year.

Watching the diehard Democrats in the Senate vote against the pipeline was creepy. It reminded me of the spiteful thing President Carter did in 1980 when he was blown out of office by my father.

As the 1980 election returns were coming in from back east, my father was taking a shower and getting ready to go to dinner in L.A.

Polls were still open in the rest of the country, but Jimmy Carter already could see the landslide coming. At 6:01 Pacific time he called my father to concede.

Giving up so soon — and thereby discouraging many Democrat voters in the western time zones from going to the polls — made the Reagan avalanche even worse.

Republicans took control of the Senate, 53-46, picking up 12 seats.

Carter knew what he was doing. He was an outsider who never worked well with his party’s Washington insiders.

Insisting on conceding so early, despite advice from his advisers and the pleas of party leaders like Tip O’Neill, was Carter’s way of punishing the Democrats who ran Washington.

I think Senate Democrats were acting like Jimmy Carter on that Tuesday when they defeated the pipeline vote.

It’s inevitable that the Keystone XL pipeline will be built. Harry Reid and his gang of obstructionists know that.

But they voted against the pipeline anyway, even ignoring the small chance that a pro-Keystone vote might have saved Mary Landrieu’s Senate seat in Louisiana.

Democrats flat didn’t care. The pipeline vote was their final act of spite. It was a last-minute kick in the teeth of Red State voters for electing so many Republicans to Congress in the midterms.

I believe it was President Obama who famously said to Eric Cantor after re-winning the White House in 2012 that “elections have consequences.”

Obviously, you were right, Mr. President.

But seeing Democrat senators stick it to the American electorate on the pipeline, and watching you desecrate the Constitution to push your immigration agenda, has made me realize something.

When you and the Democrats win an election, America suffers. And when you guys don’t win an election, America suffers just as much.

For the last six years, voters have been playing in a lose-lose game. But for the next two years things will be different. Because, thank God, elections do matter.

Michael Reagan is the son of former President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the League of American Voters. His blog appears on reaganreports.com

TAXPAYER ALERT: Big Wind is pressing Congress for yet another bailout

November 28, 2014

Mary Kay Barton

Taxpayers beware! While you were sleeping, enjoying your family and eating turkey, Congress has been busy.

Congressional Republicans are negotiating with Senate Democrats to extend the infamous wind energy Production Tax Credit through to 2017, after which it will supposedly be phased out, just as was supposed to happen in the past. This sneaky, dark-of-night “lame duck” session tactic should be flatly rejected.

While you’ve been busy just trying to make ends meet, wondering why the cost of everything is going up, and agonizing over how your children and grandchildren will ever pay the mounting $18 TRILLION dollar national debt – the wind industry lobbyists’ group, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), just sent Congress a letter seeking to extend the federal, taxpayer-funded wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).

The list of signers to AWEA’s letter include rent-seeking industries and “green” groups who’ve all benefitted by tapping into taxpayers’ wallets via the Big Wind PTC (aka: Pork-To-Cronies). It certainly isn’t hard to figure out why these corporations pay many millions of dollars to hire lobbyists and run national TV advertising campaigns geared at convincing crony-politicians to vote to continue these TAXES and higher energy prices on American citizens.

AWEA’a letter is typical of wind industry propaganda. It makes specious claims about creating jobs and reducing pollution, without providing a shred of evidence to PROVE any of their claims. AWEA apparently hopes Congressional officials are “too stupid” to understand what energy-literate citizens nationwide know: Industrial wind can NEVER provide reliable power. It raises electricity costs, even after subsidies are factored in. It kills more jobs than it creates. It defiles wildlife habitats and kills eagles, hawks, other birds and bats – with no penalties to Big Wind operators.

Here’s the reality: After 22+ years of picking U.S. taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ pockets, industrial wind has NOT significantly reduced carbon dioxide emissions. It has not replaced any conventional power plants, anywhere. However, the $Trillions spent on these “green” boondoggles to date have significantly added to the $18+ TRILLION dollar debt that our children and grandchildren will have to bear.

AWEA’s own statements from years and decades past can be used against them. To cite just one example, 31 years ago, a study coauthored by the AWEA stated:

The private sector can be expected to develop improved solar and wind technologies which will begin to become competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D.

[American Wind Energy Association, et al. Quoted in Renewable Energy Industry, Joint Hearing before the Subcommittees of the Committee on Energy and Commerce et al., House of Representatives, 98th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1983, p. 52.]

In other words, the PTC should have ended 20 years ago, because wind energy would be self-sustaining by then. It wasn’t. It still isn’t. It never will be. We need to pull the PTC plug now!

Here are some details about the bill that is currently being negotiated during the lame duck session –before the newly elected, Republican majority Senate takes office and can do much about it.

In 2016, wind developers would be eligible for 80% percent of the PTC’s value. They could also claim 60% of its value through the first nine months of 2017, after which it would supposedly expire.

The proposed congressional deal also seems to continue basing PTC eligibility on when project construction project begins. That opens huge doors for abuse.

The last time Congress extended the PTC, as part of its “fiscal cliff” deal in 2013, it said “eligibility” for taxpayer largesse covered projects “under construction,” rather than requiring that they be “placed in service” by a certain date. In practice, this means just a shovelful of dirt has to be moved by that date.

Remember too that the Production Tax Credit supposedly expired last year. But this clever language has allowed construction and expansion in the meantime. Meanwhile, Lois Lerner’s Internal Revenue Service has helpfully said projects that were started or “safe-harbored” prior to the PTC’s most recent pseudo-expiration can claim tax credits if they are in service by 2015. And then they can claim the $23-per-MWh credit for ten more years!

What a wonderful holiday gift for Big Wind and its political sponsors – at your expense.

Our government should NOT be in the business of picking and choosing the winners and losers in the energy marketplace – while assaulting and harming the very citizens they are forcing to pay for this “green” energy scam. It’s time for government to get out of the way and let the markets work!

The best solutions will rise to the top of their own accord because they will provide modern power at the best prices – thereby maintaining the reliable, affordable power that has made America great.

Citizens nation-wide have awakened to this massive “green” energy scam. Many have sent letters to Congress like the one below. You can join the fight by contacting your representatives and urging them to do the right thing: Protect American consumers, taxpayers and ratepayers. END Wind Welfare (#EndWindWelfare)!

Here’s a sample letter that you can use or modify:

Citizens’ Plea – DO NOT RESUSCITATE
the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit

Dear Senator or Congressman:

We, the undersigned, join millions of U.S. taxpayers & ratepayers nationwide in urging you and your colleagues to eliminate the 22-year old wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).

You should know by now that wind energy is a net technical, economic and environmental loser. Why would we want to waste more $Billions of taxpayers’ hard-earned money on a net loser?

The addition of industrial wind in the United States has not reduced our need to maintain and build reliable generation, nor does it add materially to our job force. Because wind energy is so diffuse, unreliable and volatile, it can never supply the reliable, affordable electric generating capacity that our modern society demands. Instead, it creates unprecedented industrial sprawl that is responsible for massive habitat fragmentation, species decline, and the wonton slaughter of countless birds and bats.

By forcing gigantic wind turbines on entire communities where only a few benefit, it has devastated civility in targeted townships, and destroyed rural heritage as landscapes are forever changed.

Renewable energy tax policy has also fostered a generation of developers bent on sticking turbines on every free acre that has transmission access, no matter who is in the way. It is simply unconscionable that, to date, no U.S. elected official has called for appropriate health studies to protect the health, safety and welfare of U.S. citizens who are suffering as a result of living within the sprawling footprints of industrial wind factories. As a result, it’s no surprise that more than twelve active lawsuits are pending against wind projects in as many states, with many more sure to follow.

The issues surrounding wind power expansion also impact energy prices and disrupt otherwise functional markets. The PTC provides project owners with a significant out-of-market revenue source, which invokes predatory pricing practices that unfairly harm the economics of reliable generators. In fact, at 2.3¢/kWh, the subsidy’s pre-tax value (3.5¢/kWh) equals, or exceeds the wholesale price of power in much of the country.

There is no justification for a government program that manipulates and harms otherwise healthy, competitive businesses for the benefit of a few.

After 22-years of tax credits, the business of Big Wind is not about energy production. It is about tax avoidance and tax subsidies. Warren Buffet recently reminded us that wind investment makes no sense without the handouts from taxpayers. Wind energy will never be competitive with the price of the fuel it saves, and would not exist but for the PTC.

After more than two decades, the wind industry is well situated to stand on its own without the PTC. It is unreasonable to continue to force taxpayers to support it. Your constituents know it, and you should, too.

This is why we respectfully request that Congress resist any temptation to reinstate the expired PTC or associated investment tax credit (ITC).

Respectfully submitted,

[signed]

EPA’s Tighter Ozone Standards Seen as Job-Killer

November 26, 2014

Newsmax

The Obama administration on Wednesday proposed stricter curbs on ground-level ozone, a pollutant linked to several serious health conditions, in a move industry groups said would place a heavy burden on the U.S. economy.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it would set National Ambient Air Quality Standard between 65 and 70 parts per billion concentration of ozone and consider public comments on standards within a 60 to 75 ppb range.

The EPA must finalize the rule by October. It will replace the current standard of 75 ppb set in 2008.

The lower limit would mean less smoke from power plants and car exhaust pipes, leading to slightly cleaner air and reduced smog.

“Bringing ozone pollution standards in line with the latest science will clean up our air, improve access to crucial air quality information, and protect those most at-risk,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “It empowers the American people with updated air quality information to protect our loved ones.”

The proposal will apply cars and power plants as well as oil and gas facilities. Health advocates and environmentalists hailed the plan as a way to cut down on asthma, heart disease and other respiratory illnesses.

House Speaker John Boehner quickly ripped the “massive new regulation” as a job killer and the “most expensive rule ever proposed by the EPA.”

“If implemented, it would also undercut our ability to use America’s energy boom to reset our country’s economic foundation, revitalize manufacturing, and put more Americans back to work,” he said.

“Americans have made clear to the president that his priorities are not theirs, and this is precisely the kind of misguided policy they rejected earlier this month,” Boehner added in a statement. “The new American Congress will continue listening to the American people, and take action to protect middle-class families, and our economy, from the Obama administration’s regulatory onslaught.”

Speaking on Newsmax TV’s “America’s Forum” former Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Walker said the Obama administration’s stricter ozone regulations is further proof that the White House is more concerned with expanding government and power than they are with creating jobs.

“The fact is these regulations will choke off a large portion of our economy,” Walker said. “They will, at the very least, create huge expenses of business to invest in meeting the terms of the regulations and those costs will be at the expense of American jobs.”

The tougher standards would be closer to a proposal drafted in 2011 but unexpectedly withdrawn by President Barack Obama before its release because of cost concerns while the nation was recovering from a recession.

Obama then directed the EPA to craft a new proposal. When it failed to act, groups including the American Lung Association, the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund sued for a court-ordered deadline.

“EPA’s proposal to strengthen the standard is a vital step forward in the fight to protect all Americans from the dangers of breathing ozone pollution,” said American Lung Association President Harold Wimmer.

Industry groups had braced for a standard as low as 60 ppb and estimated a price tag of $270 billion a year at that level, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

“This new standard comes at the same time dozens of other new EPA regulations are being imposed that collectively place increased costs, burdens and delays on manufacturers, threaten our international competitiveness and make it nearly impossible to grow jobs,” said the association’s president, Jay Timmons.

Howard Feldman, regulatory affairs director at the American Petroleum Institute, said U.S. air quality was improving without regulatory change and that meeting the new standards would be extremely difficult.

But McCarthy said the economic cost of inaction was great because of health problems that cause people to miss work or school.

“If the standards are finalized, every dollar we invest to meet them will return up to three dollars in health benefits,” McCarthy said. That could add up to $38 billion to the U.S. economy by 2025 if the emissions rate is set at 65 ppb, while compliance costs would be $15 billion, she added.

“Healthy communities attract new businesses, new investment, and new jobs,” McCarthy wrote in an editorial published on CNN’s website.

In making the rule, EPA scientists reviewed more than 1,000 studies published since the last standards were set.

Terry McGuire, the Sierra Club’s Washington representative on smog pollution, said Obama, who is not up for re-election, was now freer to act aggressively and should push the limit down as far as 60 ppb.

“This should be a centerpiece of his environmental legacy,” McGuire said.

Under the proposal, U.S. states would have from 2020 to 2037 to implement the new standards, based on their current pollution levels. The EPA also cited flexibility to allow for “unique” situations, such as in California, a massive state with a varied environment.

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.Newsmax.com/Headline/EPA-regulations-jobs/2014/11/26/id/609740/#ixzz3KDRo8QHk
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Shocker: Top Google Engineers Say Renewable Energy ‘Simply won’t work’

November 22, 2014

Anthony Watts

A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

According to an interview with the engineers, published in IEEE;

“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope … Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.” http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change

renewable-energy

There is simply no getout clause for renewables supporters. The people who ran the study are very much committed to the belief that CO2 is dangerous – they are supporters of James Hansen. Their sincere goal was not to simply install a few solar cells, but to find a way to fundamentally transform the economics of energy production – to make renewable energy cheaper than coal. To this end, the study considered exotic innovations barely on the drawing board, such as self erecting wind turbines, using robotic technology to create new wind farms without human intervention. The result however was total failure – even these exotic possibilities couldn’t deliver the necessary economic model.

The key problem appears to be that the cost of manufacturing the components of the renewable power facilities is far too close to the total recoverable energy – the facilities never, or just barely, produce enough energy to balance the budget of what was consumed in their construction. This leads to a runaway cycle of constructing more and more renewable plants simply to produce the energy required to manufacture and maintain renewable energy plants – an obvious practical absurdity.

According to the IEEE article;

“Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.”

I must say I’m personally surprised at the conclusion of this study. I genuinely thought that we were maybe a few solar innovations and battery technology breakthroughs away from truly viable solar power. But if this study is to be believed, solar and other renewables will never in the foreseeable future deliver meaningful amounts of energy.

It’s rarely about the environment anymore

October 26, 2014

Big Green ideologues continue to run masterful

Big Green ideologues continue to run masterful, well-funded, highly coordinated campaigns that have targeted, not just coal, but all hydrocarbon energy. They fully support the Obama agenda, largely because they helped create that agenda. These Radical Greens, in and out of government, seek ever-greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards and liberties. They know they will rarely be held accountable for the callous, careless, even deliberate harm they inflict. They know their wealth and power will largely shield them from the deprivations that their policies impose on the vast majority of Americans.

They have shuttered coal mines, power plants, factories, the jobs that went with them, and the family security, health and welfare that went with those jobs. Now they are targeting ranchers … and fracking. Meanwhile they allow renewable energy programs to completely avoid the endangered species and other environmental laws that are imposed with iron fists on mining, ranching and other industries. The November elections give us our first opportunity to strike a blow for freedom and prosperity.

Thank you for posting my article, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.

Best regards,

Paul

It’s rarely about the environment anymore

It’s about slashing our energy use, free enterprise, job creation, living standards and freedoms

Paul Driessen

Back in 1970, when I got involved in the first Earth Day and nascent environmental movement, we had real pollution problems. But over time, new laws, regulations, attitudes and technologies cleaned up our air, water and sloppy industry practices. By contrast, today’s battles are rarely about the environment.

As Ron Arnold and I detail in our new book, Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-Earth money machine, today’s eco-battles pit a $13.4-billion-per-year U.S. environmentalist industry against the reliable, affordable, 82% fossil fuel energy that makes our jobs, living standards, health, welfare and environmental quality possible. A new Senate Minority Staff Report chronicles how today’s battles pit poor, minority and blue-collar families against a far-left “Billionaires Club” and the radical environmentalist groups it supports and directs, in collusion with federal, state and local bureaucrats, politicians and judges – and with thousands of corporate bosses and alarmist scientists who profit mightily from the arrangements.

These ideological comrades in arms run masterful, well-funded, highly coordinated campaigns that have targeted, not just coal, but all hydrocarbon energy, as well as nuclear and even hydroelectric power. They fully support the Obama agenda, largely because they helped create that agenda.

They seek ever-greater control over our lives, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and wealth. They know they will rarely, if ever, be held accountable for the fraudulent science they employ and the callous, careless, even deliberate harm they inflict. They also know their own wealth and power will largely shield them from the deprivations that their policies impose on the vast majority of Americans.

These Radical Greens have impacted coal mines, coal-fired power plants, factories, the jobs that went with them, and the family security, health and welfare that went with those jobs. They have largely eliminated leasing, drilling, mining and timber harvesting across hundreds of millions of acres in the western United States and Alaska – and are now targeting ranchers. In an era of innovative seismic and drilling technologies, they have cut oil production by 6% and gas production by 28% on federally controlled lands.

Meanwhile, thanks to a hydraulic fracturing revolution that somehow flew in under the Radical Green radar, oil production on state and private lands has soared by 60% – from 5 million barrels per day in 2008 (the lowest ebb since 1943) to 8 million bpd in 2014. Natural gas output climbed even more rapidly. This production reduced gas and gasoline prices, and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in hundreds of industries and virtually every state. So now, of course, Big Green is waging war on “fracking” (which the late Total Oil CEO Christophe de Margerie jovially preferred to call “rock massage”).

As Marita Noon recently noted, Environment America has issued a phony “Fracking by the Numbers” screed. It grossly misrepresents this 67-year-old technology and falsely claims the industry deliberately obscures the alleged environmental, health and community impacts of fracking, by limiting its definition to only the actual moment in the extraction process when rock is fractured. For facts about fracking, revisit a few of my previous articles: here, here and here – and another new US Senate report.

Moreover, when it comes to renewable energy, Big Green studiously ignores its own demands for full disclosure and obfuscates the impacts of technologies it promotes. Wind power is a perfect example.

Far from being “free” and “eco-friendly,” wind-based electricity is extremely unreliable and expensive, despite the mandates and subsidies lavished on it. The cradle-to-grave ecological impacts are stunning.

The United States currently has over 40,000 turbines, up to 570 feet tall and 3.0 megawatts in nameplate output. Unpredictable winds mean they generate electricity at 15-20% of this “rated capacity.” The rest of the time mostly fossil fuel generators do the work. That means we need 5 to 15 times more steel, concrete, copper and other raw materials, to build huge wind facilities, transmission lines to far-off urban centers, and “backup” generators – than if we simply built the backups near cities and forgot about the turbines.

Every one of those materials requires mining, processing, shipping – and fossil fuels. Every turbine, backup generator and transmission line component requires manufacturing, shipping – and fossil fuels. The backups run on fossil fuels, and because they must “ramp up” dozens of times a day, they burn fuel very inefficiently, need far more fuel, and emit far more “greenhouse gases,” than if we simply built the backups and forgot about the wind turbines. The environmental impacts are enormous.

Environmentalists almost never mention any of this – or the outrageous wildlife and human impacts.

Bald and golden eagles and other raptors are attracted to wind turbines, by prey and the prospect of using the towers for perches, nests and resting spots, Save the Eagles International president Mark Duchamp noted in comments to the US Fish & Wildlife Service. As a result, thousands of these magnificent flyers are slaughtered by turbines every year. Indeed, he says, turbines are “the perfect ecological trap” for attracting and killing eagles, especially as more and more are built in and near important habitats.

Every year, Duchamp says, they also butcher millions of other birds and millions of bats that are attracted to turbines by abundant insects – or simply fail to see the turbine blades, whose tips travel at 170 mph.

Indeed, the death toll is orders of magnitude higher than the “only” 440,000 per year admitted to by Big Wind companies and the USFWS. Using careful carcass counts tallied for several European studies, I have estimated that turbines actually kill at least 13,000,000 birds and bats per year in the USA alone!

Wildlife consultant Jim Wiegand has written several articles that document these horrendous impacts on raptors, the devious methods the wind industry uses to hide the slaughter, and the many ways the FWS and Big Green collude with Big Wind operators to exempt wind turbines from endangered species, migratory bird and other laws that are imposed with iron fists on oil, gas, timber and mining companies. The FWS and other Interior Department agencies are using worries about sage grouse and White Nose Bat Syndrome to block mining, drilling and fracking. But wind turbines get a free pass, a license to kill.

Big Green, Big Wind and Big Government regulators likewise almost never mention the human costs – the sleep deprivation and other health impacts from infrasound noise and constant light flickering effects associated with nearby turbines, as documented by Dr. Sarah Laurie and other researchers.

In short, wind power may well be our least sustainable energy source – and the one least able to replace fossil fuels or reduce carbon dioxide emissions that anti-energy activists falsely blame for climate change (that they absurdly claim never happened prior to the modern industrial age). But of course their rants have nothing to do with climate change or environmental protection.

The climate change dangers exist only in computer models, junk-science “studies” and press releases. But as the “People’s Climate March” made clear, today’s watermelon environmentalists (green on the outside, red on the inside) do not merely despise fossil fuels, fracking and the Keystone pipeline. They also detest free enterprise capitalism, modern living standards, private property … and even pro football!

They invent and inflate risks that have nothing to do with reality, and dismiss the incredible benefits that fracking and fossil fuels have brought to people worldwide. They go ballistic over alleged risks of using modern technologies, but are silent about the clear risks of not using those technologies. And when it comes to themselves, Big Green and the Billionaires Club oppose and ignore the transparency, integrity, democracy and accountability standards that they demand from everyone they attack.

The upcoming elections offer an opportunity to start changing this arrogant, totalitarian system – and begin rolling back some of the radical ideologies and agendas that have been too institutionalized in Congress, our courts, Executive Branch and many state governments. May we seize the opportunity.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

Curbing Obama power grabs

October 21, 2014

The courts and Senate provide no checks and balances. Could a Republican Senate help?

Paul Driessen

You’ve got to admire the sheer audacity: Democratic Senator Mark Begich telling Alaska voters that he stood up to President Obama and fought for oil drilling and jobs in his state. Maybe he had a few chats.

But he certainly knew his concerns and opinions meant nothing, changed nothing, accomplished nothing. And then he voted 97% of the time with Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Dictator Harry Reid

Reid has kept over 300 bills bottled up, squelched almost all proffered Republican amendments on anything that did move, and used the “nuclear option” to end the longstanding 60-vote rule and wipe out any chance that Republicans could block Obama nominees or prevent the President from packing the vital DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The three new liberal judges on that court can now be counted on to defer to Mr. Obama’s policies and “agency discretion” on future arrogations of power.

Ditto for Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu. She bellyached from time to time about offshore drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline. But she also voted with Obama, Reid and their agenda 97% of the time, on everything from ObamaCare to Dodd-Frank to packing the DC Court.

The tally for other Democratic Senators running for reelection is revealing: Hagan (NC) 96% for the Obama agenda, policies and fiats … Merkley (OR) 96% … Pryor (AR) 90% … Shaheen (NH) 99% … Udall (CO) 99% … Warner (VA) 97%

Now they’re telling their constituents, next year will be different. Send me back to Washington, and next year I will stand up to Obama and support letting people keep their doctors and insurance, allowing more domestic drilling and pipelines, promoting economic recovery and fiscal responsibility, curbing the fraud and abuses at the Environmental Protection Agency, tackling Ebola and going after Islamic terrorists.

The IRS, Benghazi, Ebola and Middle East screw-ups and cover-ups seem to have set the tone. These Senators seem willing to say almost anything to get them past the elections. However, their votes have had real consequences for millions of Americans, especially the poor, minority, elderly and working classes they profess to care so much about. They should not escape accountability so easily.

A recent political ad by black Democrat-turned-Republican Louisiana State Senator Elbert Guillory lays it on the line. “While you dig through the couch looking for gas money,” Guillory says, Mary Landrieu “flies around in private jets funded by taxpayer dollars.” To her, “you are just a vote,” every six years.

Nor do liberal stereotypes fit. The four Democratic House and Senate candidates in Northern Virginia are all well-off, middle-age white guys. Republican candidates include one middle-age white dude, plus two working moms and a black man – who’s also Jewish and an 8-year Marine Corps veteran.

Few of us have any personal animosity toward any of these Democrat Senators. They’re all amiable people. But as President Obama himself says, “my policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.” Those policies have been dragging this country down, and as long as Harry Reid maintains his iron grip on the Senate, there can be no checks and balances or budgetary constraints on the Obama policies.

Messrs. Reid and Obama have made it clear that they have no interest in working with Republicans. Indeed, the President prefers Saul Alinsky tactics of community agitation and interest group divide-and-conquer. He disdains democratic processes and bipartisan compromises, and much prefers to simply legislate, regulate and dictate from the White House and Executive Branch – ignoring or rewriting the clear language of laws and our Constitution whenever and however necessary.

The Train of Abuses and Usurpations gets longer by the week. Environmental Protection Agency actions alone could place virtually all our land, air, water, energy and economy under the control of regulatory ideologues, working closely with radical Big Green activists, billionaires and “charitable” foundations.

Climate. As the planet refuses to cooperate with computer models and White House fear mongering, the EPA simply ignores all contradictory studies and evidence – and continues to operate under assumptions that: carbon dioxide levels dictate climate change; natural forces are irrelevant’ America can easily replace the fossil fuels that provide 82% of its energy; skyrocketing energy prices will have no effect on the economy, jobs or human health and welfare; and slashing America’s CO2 emissions will make a difference, even though China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Poland and other nations refuse to do likewise.

Of course, the real goal was never to stop climate change. It was always to control and “fundamentally transform” our nation’s energy, economic, social and legal structure and institutions, regardless of costs.

Water. Proposed rules are so broadly written that they would cover nearly all “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), based on assertions that they would eventually end up in “navigable” waters: rivers, rivulets, lakes, groundwater, stock ponds, occasional puddles and dry creek beds. In the process, they would also control land use activities on farms, forests and other private property. Friendly, collusive lawsuits by radical environmentalists would further expand this EPA jurisdiction.

Ozone. Almost every US county meets current 2008 ozone standards. Proposed regulations would render the vast majority of them “nonattainment” areas, subject to severe restrictions on economic growth. Even EPA says the rules would cost $100 billion a year. The National Association of Manufacturers puts the cost at $270 billion annually. The impact on people’s jobs, incomes, health and welfare would be huge.

Even bigger ambitions. Clearly not satisfied with these unprecedented usurpations of power, EPA has also launched major “sustainable development,” “environmental justice” and “clean power” initiatives. These deliberately vague and infinitely malleable terms would further expand the agency’s mission far beyond anything previously imaginable or contemplated by EPA’s authorizing legislation.

Other agencies are busily writing new regulations governing Christmas lights, automobile and refrigerator coolants, endangered species guidelines that would block ranching, drilling and pipeline projects, while giving bird and bat-killing wind and solar projectscarte blanche – and other activities.

Collusion. A recent Senate Minority Staff Report explains in frightening detail how far-left billionaires, foundations and environmentalist groups actively collude with EPA managers and regulators. EPA in turn happily recruits high-level eco-activists, who then help lobby, guide and control agency policies – and channel millions of taxpayer dollars to pressure groups that promote those policies. The agency also engages in frequent friendly lawsuits with activists, to make policies even more extreme.

A Republican Senate will not guarantee the kind of change needed to end these excesses and get the nation’s economy and employment back on track, especially if certain GOP members remain timid or recalcitrant. (Perhaps DePuy or Stryker could donate some spinal implants?) Presidential vetoes could also pose problems, although strong leadership could often craft bipartisan veto-proof majorities.

House and Senate hearings could grill agency heads under oath – and investigate potential fraud in developing regulations, unethical collusion between agencies and activists, improper agency funding of activist groups, sweetheart lawsuits and other activities. These investigations could form the basis for budget reductions and restrictions, legislation to end mission creep or block specific regulations, and laws requiring congressional approval of “major” regulatory actions costing billions of dollars.

Such actions would also help restore our tripartite system of government. Right now, the Executive Branch is riding roughshod over businesses and citizens alike, and the courts merely rubberstamp agency decisions. Meanwhile, the Legislative Branch is little more than an appendix that writes overly broad laws giving unaccountable bureaucrats unfettered discretion to impose an increasingly intrusive, expensive leftist, centralized government agenda. No wonder our nation is foundering on the rocks.

The upcoming elections could help get the USS United States back on course. Let’s hope they do.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

 


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