Michigan’s insane 25×25 proposition: A postmortem

Why Michigan voters wisely rejected the crazy idea of 25% electricity from renewables by 2025

Kevon Martis

The Michigan Energy-Michigan Jobs (MEMJ) Proposal 3 – its 25 by 25 gambit – would have forced Michigan taxpayers and ratepayers to produce 25 percent of the Wolverine State’s electricity via expensive, unreliable, parasitic wind and solar projects by 2025.

The misguided program has now been laid to rest by the wisdom of Michigan’s voters. What can we learn by autopsying its corpse?

This initiative was hardly local. It was driven by out-of-state pressure groups like the Sierra Club that were backed by the League of Conservation Voters, natural gas company Chesapeake Energy, and a number of deep-pocketed elites. MEMJ itself was funded largely by the Green Tech Action Fund of San Francisco; the Natural Resources Defense Fund of New York, whose president is multi-millionaire Frances Beinecke; and San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer.

These carpetbagger activists placed a bull’s-eye on Michigan ratepayers with Proposal 3. Sierra Club was blunt: “If successful, the [Michigan] 25×25 initiative will send an important signal to the nation that public desire to move toward green energy remains strong.”

The grassroots activists who defeated this proposal had no billionaire largesse to draw upon. They were united under the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition, a bipartisan renewable energy consumers watchdog group dependent on small contributions to support its work and committed to advancing sensible science-based energy policies and free market land use policies.

Compelled by the principle that industrial renewable energy schemes like Proposal 3 bring far more benefit to their invisible corporate cronies than to the environment, IICC members traveled the state on their own dime to speak out, protest, educate and inform. Their reward was sweet: they took their message of science-based energy policy to the people, who responded at the ballot box, soundly defeating Proposal 3 by 64-36 percent.

Using Sierra’s own test, Michigan ratepayers have shouted there is no such “public desire.”

In fact, there is widespread opposition to mandating forest-denuding biomass and massively expensive solar. But the hottest conflict focused on industrial wind. Michigan wind projects have lost at the ballot box virtually every time they have been put to the vote in a fair manner – and by similar margins.

At the township level, opposition to wind cronyism is just as strong. In Lenawee County, Riga Township rejected wind-friendly zoning by 64-36 percent. Two more Lenawee Townships followed suit. In Huron County, Lake Township removed a wind friendly ordinance by a similar 61-39 percent. And in Clinton County townships are intent on adopting police power regulations for wind energy installations, in defiance of too-permissive county level zoning.

This opposition is strongly bipartisan. Proposal 3 and its miles of wind turbines were opposed by both the free market Americans for Prosperity and Michael Moore movie producer Jeff Gibbs.

The ballot box evidence is clear. Michigan ratepayers from left to right are emphatic that there is no “desire” for mandated and subsidized industrial wind projects, in their backyard or anywhere in the State.

The push for Prop 3 also broke the big utilities’ code of silence on wind inefficacy. MEMJ unwittingly exposed CMS Energy’s duplicity on this issue – observing that CMS praised its new Ludington area wind plant for furnishing “reliable and affordable energy,” even as its public relations surrogate Care for Michigan was calling wind “expensive and unreliable.” Unfortunately for MEMJ, the Care for Michigan version was the truth.

Opponents of renewable energy have long pointed out that wind energy is parasitic – totally dependent on fossil fuels for backup power, with every megawatt of wind power supported by a megawatt of redundant coal or natural gas generating plants. So wind cannot possibly or meaningfully reduce emissions.

But the utilities stood silent. Their beloved existing 10 percent renewable mandate, PA295, restored their monopoly status and guaranteed them nice profits, in exchange for a small number of renewable projects. They were not interested in biting the legislative hand that was (and is) feeding them.

But Prop 3 brought all stick and no carrot for the utilities. They could no longer remain silent. Out came the truth. Wind cannot replace fossil fuel plants. Wind is not getting inexorably cheaper, but is far more expensive than current generation and, minus the huge hidden subsidies, more expensive than new coal. Wind cannot increase employment without costing employment in other industries that get stuck with soaring electricity bills. Wind energy cannot liberate us from foreign oil or from out-of-state coal imports.

What then did our autopsy discover? Michigan renewable energy mandates – including PA295 – are doomed. Because of gluttonous overreach, they will die by their own hand. Politicians need not fear public reprisal for opposing and repealing renewable energy mandates. It is now safe for lawmakers to acknowledge and act on the fact that renewables mandates like PA 295 are of no benefit to ratepayers, employers or employees, and are of dubious benefit to the environment.

Through the failure of Proposal 3, Michigan wind has been dissected and eviscerated by public opinion. The sooner our elected officials zip the death bag shut and send the corpse out for burial, the sooner Michigan can protect its rural areas from needless industrialization and our energy intensive industries from rising electricity costs that compromise their competitive edge.

Other states, and our federal government, should take note.


Kevon Martis is Senior Policy Analyst for the Interstate Informed Citizen’s Coalition (www.iiccusa.org) in Blissfield, Michigan.

Europe’s Green Mightmare

First Casualty Of Green Energy Bill: Steel Giant Tata To Cut 900 UK Jobs
Wales online, 23 November 2012

Rhodri Evans

Steel giant Tata is cutting 900 jobs and closing 12 sites under plans to improve competitiveness, the firm announced today.

Most of the job losses will be in south Wales, including 500 at the Port Talbot plant, under restructuring of management and administrative posts.

A total of 580 jobs will be cut in Wales, 155 in Yorkshire, 120 in the West Midlands and 30 on Teesside.

The proposals include the restructuring of management and administrative functions at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot-based production hub with the loss of around 500 jobs. Around 3,500 are currently employed at the site.

The company is also planning to close its sites at Tafarnaubach and Cross Keys. Production from Tafarnaubach will be relocated to other sites, while the Colorsteels operation will be relocated to Tata Steel’s key site at Shotton, in north Wales.

The move places 154 jobs at risk at Tafarnaubach and Cross Keys, although the restructuring will create 38 new roles in Shotton, Deeside. […]

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “This is very disappointing news, and a massive blow to those who will be losing their jobs.

“The Welsh Government has a very strong relationship with the company and officials will now work with Tata to establish a task force and identify what support we can provide for those affected.

“Tata’s decision reflects the serious and ongoing challenges faced by manufacturing industries during these very difficult economic times. In addition to these challenges, it is clear that high energy costs and uncertainty over UK Government energy policy are having a significant impact on business investment decisions. As a Government, we have warned for some time of the need for these costs to be reduced.


UK Government Delays Setting Unilateral Carbon Target
BBC News, 23 November 2012

Roger Harrabin, environment analyst, and Anthony Reuben, business reporter

The government has published details of its long-awaited Energy Bill, designed to keep lights on and emissions down.

The government will allow energy companies to charge households an extra £7.6bn, to go towards low-carbon electricity infrastructure by 2020.

A decision about setting carbon emission targets for 2030 has been delayed until 2016, after the election.

Labour said this was a “humiliating failure” by the Lib Dems, who want gas banished from the electricity system.

Environmentalists also condemned the bill, saying it would make it very hard to meet the UK’s law on climate change.

Details of the bill were announced late on Thursday although the bill itself will not be published until next week.

Crudely speaking, the bill has been a battleground between Chancellor George Osborne, who favours gas-powered generation, and the Liberal Democrats, who want clean energy.

The chancellor is adamant that gas will help keep down power bills in the future. He and the Treasury want flexibility in energy choices.

But the Lib Dems want to banish gas from the electricity system almost entirely by 2030 to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the Climate Change Act, although gas will be needed as a back-up.

They say this will also keep power bills down overall by reducing the UK’s exposure to volatile gas prices in a power-hungry world.

Lost the battle

On-going uncertainty over energy strategy has infuriated the firms that are expected to invest more than £100bn to renew the UK’s decaying energy infrastructure by 2020.

It is clear from the announcement that the Lib Dems have lost the battle over the clean energy target.

The decision runs counter to the resolution at the Lib Dem party conference.

In a compromise, the principle of the target will be attached to the bill, but details will not be decided until 2016.

The delay will make it hard for the UK to meet its long-term emissions targets under the Climate Change Act.

The advisory committee on climate change estimates the increase that the £7.6bn allowed for in the bill will add about £110 to the average household energy bill by 2020.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has a lower estimate of £95 – or 7% – although some analysts think it would be more.

DECC believes the clean energy measures will save on bills in the long run. The Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, told the BBC that the measures would eventually save about the same amount. He said the figures being bandied about by others about the impact on bills were “rubbish”.

The chairman of the Commons energy select committee, Tim Yeo, said it was worrying that the government had not introduced an emissions goal for 2030: “There will be concern that the government hasn’t accepted the full implications – which are already clear – of the extent to which electricity generation needs to be decarbonised by 2030”.

Labour criticised the government’s failure to set an emissions target for electricity for 2030.

“It is outrageous that on the day Ed Miliband committed to a tough cut in Britain’s carbon levels by 2030, George Osborne and Ed Davey abandoned their target,” said Caroline Flint, shadow energy and climate change secretary.

Mr Yeo, a Conservative MP, also said he was disappointed at the lack of a target, describing the omission as “significant.” He said it would add to uncertainty for investors.

‘Bill derailed’

Environmental groups have also criticised the government’s announcement.

“By failing to agree to any carbon target for the power sector until after the next election, David Cameron has allowed a militant tendency within his own ranks to derail the Energy Bill,” said John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace.

“It’s a blatant assault on the greening of the UK economy that leaves consumers vulnerable to rising gas prices, and sends billions of pounds of clean-tech investment to our economic rivals.”

But Energy UK, which represents the energy industry, welcomed the measures.


UK Energy Bill Will Consign Millions Of Households To Fuel Poverty
The Daily Telegraph, 23 November 2012

Rowena Mason

Energy bills are poised to rise by up to £178 a year under a deal struck between George Osborne and the Liberal Democrats to pay for a series of wind farms and nuclear power stations.

Under the biggest reforms to the energy market in decades, households and businesses will have to pay £7.6billion a year towards the cost of building “greener” power stations by 2020.

This is three times the current level of £2.35 billion per year, as bill-payers are forced to remunerate companies for several new nuclear plants, thousands of wind turbines and potentially “green” fossil fuel stations.

Energy bills have more than doubled since 2004 to more than £1,300 a year per household, largely due to rising gas prices.

Bills will go up over the next two decades by an estimated £178 a year under all the Government’s green and fuel poverty policies, with the contribution to nuclear and renewables making up £95 by 2020.

Green policies have also added to the increasing costs of gas and electricity.

Energy companies warned on Wednesday that a scheme to insulate the homes of poorer households could cost up to £125 per household, rather than the £50 claimed by the Government.

The energy companies, including British Gas, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power, SSE and EDF, are likely to be big beneficiaries from yesterday’s deal because they will be paid to build the power stations and wind farms.

The agreement brings an end to months of wrangling between the Chancellor and Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary.

Ministers plan to include the reforms in next week’s Energy Bill, which was delayed while Mr Osborne and Mr Davey argued over the green agenda.

Lib Dem sources said that the party was “extremely pleased” to have won support for the reforms that would mean more wind farms and nuclear power stations were built.

Conservative sources were claiming the compromise deal was a victory for Mr Osborne, after he secured concessions limiting the level of taxpayer cash spent on green energy in the long term.

He threw out Lib Dem demands for a target that would have forced Britain to get all its power from green sources by 2030.

Green groups were last night furious that the “decarbonisation” target has been scrapped.


Brussels May Kill UK’s Green Deal
Green Click, 23 November 2012

The future of the Government’s flagship Green Deal programme hangs in the balance after an intensifying tax dispute with the European Commission. If, as threatened, Europe sticks to its ruling it means the Green Deal will be grounded because it will no longer be financially viable.

Brussels bureaucrats have warned Whitehall to overhaul the tax rules regarding energy-saving materials or face the prospect of massive fines at the European Court of Justice.

Currently, the UK Treasury levies a reduced rate of 5% VAT for insulation materials for walls, ceilings, floors and water tanks. However, the full 20% rate of VAT still applies to energy-efficient windows and doors.

In August, the European Commission warned the UK Government the reduced 5% tax rate is unlawful and it must change the law or face the prospect of the European Court imposing huge financial penalties.

The UK Government is fiercely disputing the ruling but today a spokesperson for Europe’s Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta said it was unlikely the challenge will be successful and said the UK had only this week filed the formal paperwork to appeal.

“The current infringement proceeding is on the application of the reduced VAT rate to some goods and services which according to the VAT directive would not be subject to this rate,” she added.

“How this infringement interacts with the eligibility criteria of investments under the Green Deal is a domestic UK issue on which we do not have comments.”

However, she warned of a lengthy delay to a final outcome as the Commission deals on average with 400 to 500 infringement cases a month.

If, as threatened, Europe sticks to its ruling it means the Green Deal will be grounded because it will no longer be financially viable.

The energy-saving programme is underpinned by the so-called ‘golden rule’, which means the expected financial savings must be greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.

The imposition of an unexpected quadrupling in tax will rule many green improvements out of the scheme.

A spokesman for DECC admitted the department is closely monitoring the situation but did not want to discuss the implications while the crunch decision from Brussels is awaited.

If, as expected, the case is referred to the European Court of Justice to impose financial penalties the issue could drag on until the middle of next year at the earliest.

In the meantime, the Government is desperate to avoid repeating a boom similar to the Feed-in Tariff for solar PV as it may be penalised further to compensate for the retrospective difference in tax levels.


China’s Great Green Energy Disaster

Al Fin Energy, 22 November 2012

China’s leadership committed about $290 billion to cleantech. Now, the green bubble is about to burst

One-quarter of China’s wind farms are not connected to a power grid—a reflection of poor planning, insufficient transmission lines, and technical concerns by regional utilities that the intermittency of wind power can be disruptive to normal operations. Wind-related power failures have caused blackouts in three provinces, while exploding equipment has been blamed in the deaths of several workers, according to local press accounts. _BW

Responding to a perceived market for green energy in Europe and North America, China engaged in a massive production build-up of wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. China was successful in building a vast production capacity of green energy generation. And now, China must face the consequences of its great success.

China’s $30 billion solar power industry is overbuilt and heavily in debt. Analysts say even billions of dollars in new government loans may not be able to pull it out of the hole…. Suntech Power Holdings (STP), the world’s largest solar panel maker, announced in September it would cut or reassign 1,500 workers at its photovoltaic cell factory in Wuxi.

Suntech is counting on a $32 million loan from local authorities to avoid more job losses. To stay solvent, LDK Solar (LDK), China’s second-largest maker of solar wafers, was forced to sell a 20 percent stake to a renewable energy investor part-owned by the city of Xinyu, where LDK is headquartered. The support comes as the companies prepare to report combined 2012 losses of $987 million… Regional governments are loath to let their local solar panel makers fail.

… Help from local governments may be the biggest hurdle to making China’s solar industry competitive, says Shyam Mehta, solar analyst at the Boston consulting company GTM Research: “Until they stop supporting the uncompetitive manufacturers, this won’t go away.”

…LDK and Suntech both have balance sheets “so egregious” they would be “imminent bankruptcy candidates if they were American or European,” says Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James & Associates. The companies didn’t respond to requests for comment. Molchanov believes infusions of government money won’t stop the losses until China grapples with its massive overcapacity—the same glut of panels that cut global prices by half in the last two years and drove U.S. solar panel makers such as Solyndra out of business.

“Every province, every city, every bank is going to try to protect their vested interest as best they can,” he says. “That’s why kicking the can down the road has been the dynamic so far.” Aaron Chew, an analyst at Maxim Group in New York, concurs: “The government’s subsidy plan is better than nothing, but I don’t think it will save the industry as it’s still not profitable.”

The nation’s investments in wind power are faring no better. One-quarter of China’s wind farms are not connected to a power grid—a reflection of poor planning, insufficient transmission lines, and technical concerns by regional utilities that the intermittency of wind power can be disruptive to normal operations. Wind-related power failures have caused blackouts in three provinces, while exploding equipment has been blamed in the deaths of several workers, according to local press accounts. China Datang Corporation Renewable Power, a state-owned wind energy developer, saw first-half 2012 profits plunge 76 percent, in part because regional utilities simply don’t have the capacity to accept all the energy it produces.

China’s wind turbine manufacturers, responsible for 40 percent of the world’s output, are suffering a double squeeze, as demand has stalled both at home and abroad. Sinovel Wind Group, the world’s largest wind turbine maker by market value, posted a $45 million third-quarter loss this year on an 82 percent drop in sales—its largest loss since its initial public offering in January 2011. _Businessweek

China’s green energy woes should have been expected, given the experience of other nations that followed a similar slippery downhill path.

Epic Failure of Spain’s Grand Green Energy Gesture

Obama’s Legacy of Corrupt Green Failures

Germany pays the price for its green foolishness

Modern industrial power grids cannot tolerate the huge moment-to-moment energy fluctuations of intermittent unreliable energy sources such as big wind and big solar.

Whenever attempting a large scale conversion to “green power,” initial economic costs are exorbitant. The cost of the power plants themselves, the cost of new power grid infrastructure, and the huge cost of maintaining spinning backup power sources. And then there is the cost to society as lower and middle income customers strain to pay skyrocketing power bills.

But the real costs of such an ideologically driven, top-down attempt to transform a national power grid and power supply, begin to emerge as the unreliables approach 20% or more of total power capacity to the grid. The violent and unpredictable intermittency of big wind power in particular, leads to power failures — blackouts, brownouts, selective shutdowns of power customers, etc.

Wind Power Fiasco: Call Your Congressman

By Norman Rogers

Wind power is a joke. It makes no sense — none, nada.

The wind power lobbyists say it creates jobs. Well I have a better way to make jobs based on the same principles: let’s train dogs to walk on treadmills to generate electricity. Think of all the jobs for dog-trainers, dog food companies, and dog-walkers. Think of all the jobs at dog retirement homes for dogs too old to work. Think about all the do-gooders collecting a salary for looking out for the welfare of the dogs. Think about the attorneys employed in filing class action suits against dog-exploiters. Think about the jobs in organizations opposing the use of genetically modified dogs. Dogs on treadmills are much better than windmills for creating jobs.

Okay, windmills are not absolutely useless. If you have no alternative because you live 20 miles from the nearest power line, then feel free to get a windmill. Don’t forget the banks of storage batteries to keep your TV running when the wind isn’t blowing.

Windmills don’t work when the wind isn’t blowing. The wind power lobbyists don’t emphasize that point. There are very few places where the wind always blows, and, not surprisingly, hardly anybody lives near those mostly unpleasant places.

Somehow, the environmentalist love of windmills is seemingly without limit. If you bother an eagle — even pluck a feather from a dead eagle — you are looking at hard time in the federal pen. But if you operate wind turbines that kill eagles on an industrial scale, you don’t have to worry. Eagle-killing windmills are specifically exempted from liability. Windmills trump our national symbol. Just don’t pick up the eagle feathers under the windmills.

Government programs that subsidize well-connected industries at the expense of everyone else are not new. The Midwest is filled with ethanol manufacturing plants where a good part of the corn crop is turned into very expensive alcohol that is then burned up in cars, at the expense of those taxpayers who are not corn-farmers or owners of ethanol factories. Like the wind power program, the ethanol program was originally justified on global warming grounds that later were shown to be phony.

That the original justification for a program turns out to be phony doesn’t necessarily matter. If you have enough citizens sucking at the federal teat, you can keep any program going, no matter how silly and useless. Our federal government subsidizes rich people growing sugar beets and sugar cane even though sweet corn syrup can be produced at a cheap price that would be even cheaper if we weren’t burning up a good portion of the corn crop. Our federal government even subsidizes environmental groups to sue the federal government — via the misnamed Equal Access to Justice Act.

Wind power is expensive and disruptive. The expense is the capital cost of the windmills amortized over the electricity produced during the life of the windmill. The unpredictable nature of wind disrupts the electrical grid, increasing the need for backup plants that have to be ready at a moment’s notice to take over for becalmed windmills. The more wind power you have, the more expensive and disruptive it becomes. If you have just a little bit of wind power, the current situation in most places, the backup plants, or spinning reserve, that is normally on the grid can handle the disruption. If you have a lot of wind power, then you have to build special backup plants — some of which, at the margin, are almost always idle but still cost a lot of money. If you have a little bit of wind power, you can exploit the best places that have wind, near power lines and near markets for the electricity. If you want a lot of wind power, you have to start using locations far from power lines and far from markets, at much greater cost.

In short, wind power is not unlike a poison that makes you mildly ill in small doses but that will put you in the hospital in large doses.

Wind power gets really expensive when you add electricity storage. Fanatical greens demand 100% green. That means no backup plants burning fossil fuels. They want to store the electricity for use when the wind stops blowing. There is only one method of storing electricity that is affordable and efficient: pumped storage. Pumped storage requires two reservoirs at different altitudes and a reversible hydroelectric plant. Water is pumped up to store energy and is run down through the turbines to recover the stored energy. Less than 20% of the electricity is wasted in the round trip up and down the mountain. If your wind turbines are in Iowa, where there is a lot of wind but no mountains, you have to run power lines hundreds of miles to a location where you can build pumped storage plants.

The graph below compares the cost of electricity from various sources.

If it weren’t for massive government subsidies and mandates, nobody would be building wind farms. The biggest subsidy in the subsidy tangle is the production tax credit. The government promises to pay, for the first 10 years of a windmill’s life, 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour, adjusted for inflation, for power generated by wind. This is scheduled to terminate at the end of 2012, and the wind energy lobby, opposed by under-financed good government types, is lobbying to have it renewed.

Of course, the extremist environmental groups are in bed with the wind industry. Believers in global warming catastrophe should be aware that there is one really effective and proven way to get rid of CO2 emissions from generating electricity: nuclear power. The environmental organizations killed nuclear power in the 1970s, though, so it is a bit difficult for them to now rediscover the virtues of nuclear power. Their alternative is wind power.

In the Pacific Northwest, at certain times, there is too much electricity between hydroelectric and wind. If the wind power companies can’t sell their electricity, they can’t get the 2.2-cent government subsidy. Their solution is a negative price for the electricity — they pay people to use their electricity. Of course, this then challenges the users of electricity to invent ways to waste electricity. Perhaps the government will outlaw paying people to waste electricity, in which case the payments will probably be disguised in some fashion.

So the next time someone mentions sustainable energy or green energy, be nice. Remember: they are probably just ill-informed due to the barrage of propaganda from special interests and ideological extremists pretending to be stewards of the Earth.

Read more

Emails Catch White House Lie on Green-Energy Loans

Benghazi isn’t the only White House cover up being exposed through leaked emails. State Department staffers aren’t the only career officials being blamed for President Obama’s inexperience, questionable judgment, and obvious cover up. A similar saga has just been exposed in the latest chapter of the green-energy crony-corruption scandal.

On October 30, The Daily Caller ran a feature titled: As many as fifty Obama backed green energy companies bankrupt or troubled. The piece cited the work Christine Lakatos and I did in our three-part “green-energy failures” series released in October. Immensely popular, the DC article was picked up by numerous sites, including Fox Nation and GOPUSA. That night, Newt Gingrich was on Fox News’ On the Record with Greta Van Sustren. After discussing the incriminating Benghazi emails, he pointed to another possible “October surprise.”

Gingrich teased: “The other big story, I think, that is going to break, is on corruption and extraordinary waste in the solar-power grants and direct involvement by the Obama White House, including the President, in the solar-panel grants involving billions of dollars, and I suspect that’s going to break Wednesday and Thursday of this week.”

His sources were dead on. The next day, Wednesday, October 31, at 1:30PM ET, we received a tip regarding the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s release of more than 150 mails, equaling hundreds of pages of convicting evidence, accompanied by a five-page “Memorandum” with the following subject line: “Update on Committee’s Oversight of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program: New Emails Show President Obama, Senior Administration Officials Misled American People about Role of President and White House in Program.”

Through the research and writing we’ve done, Lakatos and I were confident that there was direct involvement, after all, of the 26 loans (of which the majority were “junk” rated) issued through just the 1705 Loan Guarantee Program to 21 firms, virtually all of them had meaningful political ties (bundlers, donors, supporters, etc.,) to the White House and other high-ranking Democrats. Even the Government Accountabilty Office (GAO) had addressed many areas of concern within the DOE in 2010, they declaring, “[loan] applicants were treated inconsistently,” with favoritism at play.

Despite the obvious connection, President Obama has repeatedly denied any involvement. As it has done with Benghazi-gate, the White House, this time through Senior Advisor David Plouffe, while on Meet the Press (October 30, 2011), shuns responsibility for something politically uncomfortable: “decisions about the loan program were made by career officials in the Department of Energy on the merits.”

Likewise, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, while testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in November of 2011, stuck to the talking points when, referencing the Solyndra debacle, under oath, he said: “I am aware of no communication from the White House to the Department of Energy saying to make the loan or to restructure.” More recently, March 2012, before the House Oversight Committee, Chu claimed: “we looked at the loans on their own merits.” At that same hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), pressed Secretary Chu on nine of the firms that received loans, revealing their political connections. Chu countered that the loans were based on “merit.” Yet Jordan was perplexed, “so if you weren’t helping your buddies, and you were basing your decisions on the merits of the loan, how do you explain the fact that 23 of 27 recipients of the loan guarantees were rated as junk status investments?” Jordan concluded, “If it wasn’t your political buddies, it had to be incompetence.”

In a September 2011 House Energy and Commerce Committee on Oversight hearing on Solyndra, Jonathan Silver was asked if he had communications with the White House over Solyndra (both the DOE loan and restructuring time periods). While Silver stuttered quite a bit in his attempt to deal with this line of questioning, he never answered the question. Yet Silver and Jeffrey Zeintz (Deputy Director at OMB) had to be reminded that they were under oath. Then Zeintz said he “does interact with components of the White House” including Carol Browner. Browner was part of President Obama’s Green Team (a team that I had on my “green corrupption radar” back in 2010) –– top energy and environmental adviser, who left her Climate Czar post in early 2011.

Also under oath, in the July 18, 2012, Oversight Hearing specifically addressing Abound Solar (now bankrupt and under investigation for securities fraud, consumer fraud and financial misrepresentation), former Executive Director of the Loan Program Office (LPO), Silver stated, “Because I am no longer at the department, I do not have access to the analysis done for the Abound project. As a result, I cannot comment in detail about the transaction, but what I can do however, is give you a flavor for what we try to do on this, and every project… The loan would have gone through multiple reviews independent of the loan program’s office, including detailed reviews by career credit professionals at DOE, and career staff at OMB, Treasury, and the National Economic Council.”

Silver then emphatically informed the Committee, “This loan––like all the loans underwritten by career professionals, supported by outside specialists –– it was reviewed by career professionals from multiple executive branch offices.” “It was not rushed, the review took place over several years.” “It was not given to friends –– indeed no one in the Loan Program had any idea what individuals were involved in this [Abound] or any other transaction, nor did we care.” The questioning continued. Silver was asked if he saw any evidence of pay-to-play during his tenure. Silver’s response: “None whatsoever, sir—as I say, almost nobody that I am aware of in the Loan Program even knew who the individuals were who had invested, either directly or indirectly, into these companies.”

During the October 11 Vice Presidential debate, when Paul Ryan challenged him on the oversight of the “$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors,” Vice President Biden sang the same tune: “His colleague runs an investigative committee, spent months and months and months going into this. Months and months. They found no evidence of cronyism.”

Just last week, October 26, 2012, President Obama continued the ruse, when he told a Denver, Colorado news anchor that decisions made in the loan program office are “decisions, by the way, that are made by the Department of Energy, they have nothing to do with politics.”

Clearly the stories were coordinated, and were contrary to the obvious conclusions a thinking person would draw—which prompted the Oversight Committee to probe further. However, until the leaked emails were made public on Thursday, we had no proof. We needed the smoking gun.

The tale-tellers, at the least, “misled the American people,” behaved unethically, and may well be guilty of perjury.

Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy

The emails revealed that Secretary Chu may well have perjured himself—though as Jordan implied, he may just be incompetent. We’ve written extensively on the interaction of decision-makers in the Administration and its “buddies.” In the March 2012 hearing, Jordan asked specifically: “Did the White House call you about, talk to you about any of these…did someone from the White House talk to you, the Chief of Staff, someone from the White House, talk to you about these respective companies, involving these individuals?”

Our research shows involvement of then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley in the BrightSource loan—one of the projects Jordan was asking about.

The new emails show Chu personally issued orders to prioritize a project favored by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer—Unistar.

Email #13 shows that Silver wrote to Chu’s Chief of Staff in a December 10, 2010, email: “since Aldy [White House staff Joe Aldy] personally promised the edf management group [one of the sponsors of the Unistar loan guarantee project] that he would lead an interagency review of this topic, we should tell him that he should be the one to call and deliver the news.”

Email #14: “there has been a commitment from S1 [Secretary Chu] to Steny Hoyer on this.”

Email #15: “Just came down from the Secretary’s office. He is adamant that this transaction is going to OMB by the end of the day.”

LPO Credit Advisor Jim McCrea (possibly the source of this massive email leak, as his name is one of the most consistent in the email text), had hesitation about the project, stating in Email #16: “Ordinarily, over an issue like this, I would refuse to sign the credit paper and refuse to send it to OMB tomorrow but given the direct order I was personally given by S1[Secretary Chu]…”

Didn’t someone say the loans were not politically motivated and were based solely on merit? Oh, yes, it was the President who said: “they have nothing to do with politics.”

Jonathan Silver, Former Executive Director of the Loan Program Office

Silver (reported to be an Obama bundler and Democratic donor) was a frequent White House visitor (over 70 times during his time at the DOE), and was even questioined over his “shady” email practices, resigned in early October 2011, amidst the Solyndra scandal. His claim that loan reviews took place over “several years” and that loans were not “given to friends” is perjurious.

First, the loans couldn’t have been reviewed over “several years.” Obama wasn’t President until January 2009. The Stimulus funds were made available in February 2009. And, the Solyndra $528 million loan guarantee (September 2009) was the Obama administration’s first, as part of the 2009 stimulus package. Solyndra was also the first company to go bankrupt in September 2011. Clearly, there was no “several years” in there.

While logic and simple math tell us that the loans were not reviewed over “several years,” the emails prove the rushed process. In the 350+ page Appendix II, the very first email is from McCrea to Silver (dated June 15, 2010)—subject line: 28 day clock. In it he complains about things being rushed. He opens with “I do not have a good sense of why the DOE and OMB agreed to a 28 day clock following Solyndra…” Though by the end of the page-long email, McCrea seems to concede: “I am not sure that the 28 day process is really as much of a constraint as it might appear at first glance.”

Again, we covered Silver’s involvement with many key players including John Woolard, CEO of BrightSource Energy. Silver is very well connected, having served in the Clinton Administration, he parties with Al Gore, was a frequent White House visitor and participated in meetings with Chief of Staff Bill Daley. Silver used his personal email account to conduct DOE business. But there is no hard proof there.

The following eight paragraphs is a revision from our original post with additional information:

Also found in Appendix II, early on (December 2009), way before the DOE finalized the $1.6 billion loan guarantee for BrightSource Energy (April 2011), we find that there was a strong push by Silver and others inside and close to the energy department in getting this loan approved .

We find a very suspicious email exchange about BrightSource that included CEO Woolard, Joshua Bar-Lev, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs for BrightSource, and the lobbying firm representing BrightSource, McBee Strategic Consulting –– as well as some unknown “energy-Democrat-tied participants”:

Steve McBee
Jeff Markey
Robert Simon
Angela Becker-Dippman
Michael Carr
Stephen Ward
Matt Brown
Gabe Horwitz
We discovered that in 2009, Steve McBee alerted the masses with the following…

“Wanted to let you know that the BrightSource application appears to moving apace at OMB and has a fighting chance of getting over to DOE…” “DOE is another story. We are hearing that despite a strong push by Silver, Spinner, Rogers and others internally, the process is getting sideways by any number of bureaucratic hold ups and there is now real potential for consideration of the project to slip until next year…[or”redeployed to China]” “ANYTHING you guys would be willing to do with DOE in terms of moving the process would be deeply appreciated.”

Joshua Bar-Lev in response says, “Do you all think we should have vantage point insist on mtg with chu or silver or rodgers? Should John and I try to fly out for something similar? Looking for some game changer but perhaps we’ve done all we could. Is dc shut down by the snow or is there some impact we could make? Joshua”

NOTE: We’ve covered Silver, Steve Spinner and Matt Rogers (all former DOE advisors) in previous posts, as well as Silver’s “shady email practices.” The “DOE Insiders,” where plenty of “VC Guys” and “Gore Acolytes” held key positions –– a dozen on my radar, where at least a dozen on the “green corruption” radar, including these three.

Time out for a minute…as noted during Silver’s testimony this past July, he made this denial: “…as I say, almost nobody that I am aware of in the Loan Program even knew who the individuals were who had invested, either directly or indirectly into these companies.”

So the question remains, if Silver nor anyone else knew, why would anyone seek help from Vantage Point? Who knows? But what we do know is that Vantage Point Partners is the majority stakeholder in BrightSource, and Sanjay Wagle was a principle. Wagle just so happens to be the “renewable energy grants adviser” at the DOE under Secretary Chu.

While we know that Silver had cozy relationships with quite a few of those seeking green-energy funding (like Al Gore and Woolard), the following emails confirm that lobbying the White House and the Vice President’s office achieves results, not only with getting a loan approved, but clearing obstacles with the Department of Interior (DOI) that put their entire billion-dollar project at risk.

Email #5, drafted by Bright Source CEO John Woolard for then-Board Chairman John Bryson to send to then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley: “This project is now at significant risk due to delays in permitting at the Department of Interior…”

Email #6, from Wollard stated: “we are making good progress in DC. Whitehouse [sic] does seem to be very focused on this issue, in fact it is being elevated through the office of political affairs as well as VP Bidens- so we are starting to get them focused on the massive political risk- it helps that Bloomberg called Ivanpah ‘Obama’s energy project’ so it does have their attention.”

Email #7, two weeks later, BrightSource got what it wanted: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued their revised Biological Opinion, prompting the Bureau of Land Management to issue a new notice to proceed allowing continued construction at Ivanpah units 2 and 3.”
The BrightSource case reeks of political connections, yet we are supposed to believe the loans “had nothing to do with politics.”

Joe Biden, Vice President

Biden’s denial comes from his one debate of this campaign season, about which Diana Furchtgott-Roth writes for Real Clear Markets: “In Thursday’s vice presidential debate, Joe Biden denied any ‘cronyism’ in the award of Energy Department grants and loan guarantees to encourage the development of renewable energy. Plus, he asserted that government-assisted green energy projects had a better ‘batting average’ than do projects backed by investment bankers. Just one problem: Neither of Biden’s assertions was true. Plus, the Vice President himself had a role in the cronyism.”

Email #6, proves her point: “…It is being elevated through the office of political affairs as well as VP Bidens…”
Then there is Email #4: “Pressure is on real heavy on SF [Shepherds Flat] due to interest from VP.” Additionally, as we addressed, though not revealed in the emails, Bernie Toon, who served then-Senator Biden as his Chief of Staff, became a lobbyist for BrightSource Energy.

The White House and President Barack Obama

President Obama did keep himself somewhat isolated—having made fewer denials and being involved in fewer emails, however, he cannot be omitted from the discussion, as he was clearly party to the loan approvals. Plus, the emails show that DOE officials were pressured by the political interests at stake.

Email #1, from McCrea to Silver: “I am growing increasingly worried about a fast track process imposed on us at the POTUS level based on this chaotic process that we are undergoing…by designing the fast track process and having it approved at the POTUS level (which is an absolute waste of his time!) it legitimizes every element and it becomes embedded like the 55% recovery rate which also was imposed by POTUS.”
Email #2, from David Schmitzer, DOE LPO Director of Loan Origination to McCrea: “Jonathan just said at our staff meeting that, opposite the message received on Thursday, AREVA is now a ‘go” (seems on Friday POTUS himself approved moving it ahead).”
Email #3, from Silver to McCrea, encouraging him to remind a Treasury official of White House interest in now bankrupt Abound Solar: “You better let him know that WH wants to move Abound forward. Policy will have to wait unless they have a specific policy problem with abound.”

Despite Obama’s claim that the decisions regarding the loans had “nothing to do with politics,” it is clear that they had everything to do with politics—and not just his own. Loans were used to bolster Senator Reid’s re-election chances in the tight 2010 race.

Email #8, McCrea wrote: “Since this is not going to go into the DOE, and just to be clear, the translation is: Reid may be desperate. WH may want to help. Short term considerations may be more important than longer term considerations and what’s a billion anyhow?”
Email #9, Silver wrote: “I need some stats on how many projects we have funded or have in DD [due diligence] as a percentage of totals. Reid is constantly hit at home for not bringing in the federal dollars.”

If all of this were a novel, or better yet a dramatic feature film, we’d find it most entertaining. We’d leave the theater shaking our heads at the gall of the movie’s starring actor. Instead, this full-color story (White House, green energy, Silver connections) leads to red ink—money borrowed from China that the US taxpayer will be paying back for generations.

The coercion, corruption, cronyism and, cover up of the President’s pet projects is really a horror flick, after all, the emails were released on Halloween. Each one of us is a victim of an expensive trick.

Article first presented at Townhall.com written by columnist Marita K. Noon, Busting Open Energy’s Den of Deception, November 4, 2012 –– as a follow up to our BREAKING this story on October 31, 2012:

Emails Catch White House Lie on Green-Energy Loans
BREAKING: Newly Released House Oversight Emails Incriminate White House in Green-Energy Loan Lies, where the cronyism evidence is expanded upon.

Research by Christine Lakatos THE Green Corruption blogger.

The Positive Side of ‘Global Warming’

The Positive Side of Global Warming

The World Bank report on ‘climate change’ I wrote about yesterday produced reactions all over the world, and one of them, from Canada, was a reminder that while global warming has occurred over the past century, some of the consequences have been most positive for humanity.

My correspondent referred me to a study by Indur Goklany on the death rate from ‘extreme weather’ over the past 110 years. Goklany is a dissenter from the AGW orthodoxy, one who has served as an author and an expert reviewer for the IPCC, and was once the US delegate to the IPCC as well. I’ve come across his work in the public health field before.

Goklany reminds us that forecasts of increasing temperature are accompanied by warnings that we will also see more extreme weather events — worse droughts, more frequent and more intense storms, more devastating floods, and so on. As I wrote a little while ago, the doomsayers were quick to fasten on hurricane Sandy as exactly one of these ‘super storms’, though the history of these storms does not support that attribution.

So he set about exploring what has happened already across the planet during the period of increased global temperature that we have experienced since 1900, and treating the world as a whole, because heat somewhere is balanced by cold somewhere else, and deaths from summer temperatures might be balanced through fewer deaths in a warmer winter elsewhere. And like Roger Pielke Jnr and others who normalised the costs of disasters, so that we can compare two disasters at different times, Goklany looked at death rates, so that he could filter out the the effects of population growth.

There is a useful database for all this, maintained at the Catholic University of Louvain, and it contains more than 9000 weather events, droughts, floods, extreme temperatures, freak waves, bush fires and storms. For an event to have been included, it must have killed at least ten people, or affected at least 100, or caused a state of emergency or a call for international assistance. You would imagine that the numbers of such extreme events would have been smaller in the earlier 20th century, when news-gathering was much less comprehensive than it is now, and that is certainly the case: the number of extreme weather events in the database increases steadily as the 20th century advances. Moreover, there are now four times as many people on earth as there were in 1900.
So what did Goklany find? If he took all extreme weather events, then the numbers of deaths and the death rates have declined steadily since the 1920s. Droughts, the single most deadly category, caused great deaths and high death rates in the 1920s and 1940s, but have had little such effect recently. The same is true of floods, though here the worst decades were the 1930s and 1950s. Extreme storms have remained a problem throughout the past century and a bit, but death rates are down, as are total deaths — and the worst decade was the 1970s.
Goklany then divided the 100 years into two periods, the past twenty years, and the ninety before that — 1900-1989, and 1990 to 2010. For each category of extreme weather events save two there has been a striking reduction in deaths and death rates. Deaths caused by droughts have declined by 99.98 per cent, because we are much better at food production (helped more than a little by increased carbon dioxide in the air), while better communications enable us to move food quickly to where it is needed. The exception are deaths through storms, which have increased from the earlier to the more recent period, though the mortality rate has declined, and deaths through extreme temperatures, where the villain seems to have been the 2003 European heatwave, where there are various estimates of the number of deaths.

I think Goklany should be allowed his own conclusion: ‘the average annual death toll for 2001–2010 due to all weather-related extreme events was 38,321.19 By contrast, the World Health Organization (2002) estimates that in 2004 a total of 58.8 million people died worldwide from all causes, including 3.9 million from various kinds of accidents. 20 Of these, road traffic was responsible for 1.3 million deaths, violence (other than war) for 0.6 million, and war for 0.2 million. Thus, while extreme weather-related events, because of their episodic nature, garner plenty of attention worldwide, their contribution to the global mortality burden — 0.07% of global deaths —is relatively minor.’

What can we learn from this study? Goklany heads this part of the work ‘Wealthier is Safer’, and I agree with that message. We in the developed world have devoted a lot of time, energy and money to making our countries safer, and that has had a positive result. Even the developing countries have improved their food production as they grew wealthier. We are coping with extreme weather events much better than we are, say, with road safety. We have better warning systems, better emergency services, and better understanding on the part of those affected.

On the evidence, extreme storms are not increasing in frequency, and in any case we can deal with them. What we are not dealing so well with are the other causes of mortality. Goklany provides a list of 26 ‘risk factors’ showing the mortality for 2000 (the source here is the World Health Organisation in 2002). Heading the list are blood pressure, tobacco, cholesterol, ‘underweight’ and unsafe sex. Global warming came in at number 21.

Yes, extreme weather will remain a problem. We still have to learn how to stop people building in floodplains, and we don’t know how to manage increasing fuel load in our forests. But, again on the evidence, things are improving, not getting worse.

(Wealth and Safety: The Amazing Decline in Deaths from Extreme Weather in an Era of Global Warming, 1900–2010, by Indur M. Goklany, Project Director: Julian Morris, Policy Study 393, September 2011, published by the Reason Foundation)

To the Progressives who fight voter ID I want say, “This voter fraud. Here it is? There was massive and systemic voter fraud!”

Dr. Robert R. Owens, CFP

The recent re-election of our Glorious Leader Barack Husain Obama has sent shock waves through the patriotic and conservative communities. Everyone from Libertarians to fervently Pro-Life activists from Log cabin Conservatives to those advocating traditional values have accepted the narrative force-fed to a waiting public by the media.

Day after day on the one network all conservatives watch we have swallowed the intellectual gruel ladled out by the select group of anointed talking heads whose opinions Fox must believe are the only ones we ever want to hear. From the Liberal Juan to the Neo-Con Charles from the Libertarian John to the funny Dennis we have been told that demographics defeated us.

Yes there has been a massive demographic shift in the make-up of our country since the suicidal adoption of the Kennedy Immigration Act in 1965. Pat Buchannan has warned us for years that this was a demographic time bomb implanted by the Progressives in the very heart of America. Yes the massive amnesty which is soon to turn tens of millions of illegal immigrants into citizens and loyal democratic voters will effectively spell the end of any possibility for a supporter of limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom to win the White House.

Our newly re-elected rule-by-decree president will use executive orders to incorporate a new voting majority if he can’t get the perpetually re-elected leaders of the Republicans to join him in driving this final nail into the coffin of the Constitution. Mr. Buchannan warned us, crying out like a prophet in the wilderness, it is impossible to incorporate millions of people from the third world who have never known anything except authoritarian rule and expect them to become born-again supporters of Enlightenment political theory. All they have ever known was oppressive central-planning and all powerful leaders wielding vast bureaucracies, in other words ideal Democrat voters.

This is all true. This last gear is about to be installed in the Democrat re-election machine but this is not what happened in the pivotal election of 2012 However, there is another story that no one on Fox is telling us. Instead they parrot the conventional wisdom of the Democrat controlled media. We hear the same thing whether we tune to Fox or MSNBC: unless the Republican party embraces amnesty and softens its stance on certain social issues they will never have a chance to win the white House again. The diagnosis may be correct but the prescription will kill the façade that the Republican Party supports constitutionally limited government.

The real story behind the defeat of the media chosen Romney isn’t that this Northeast big government father of Romneycare couldn’t beat the worst president in American History riding the worst economy since FDR. It isn’t even the fact that millions of self-identified Republicans stayed home or that millions of liberty loving constitutionalists followed their conscious and voted third party. Even with these handicaps I believe Mr. Romney would have defeated Mr. Obama except for the one factor no one seems willing to voice: massive and systemic voter fraud.

The Democrats in general and their professional civil rights hucksters in particular have spent endless hours howling about voter suppression finally pointing to the long lines of millions of new voters as proof that their vote had been suppressed. That’s like saying, “Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”

In this column over the last four years I have pointed out the Progressive ways of Chicago-on-the-Potomac. I have pointed out that Mr. Obama was the representative of the Chicago Outfit and that everything he was doing had already been field tested for generations in the City that Works for the Outfit. I have also pointed out that the Chicago political machine doesn’t lose elections. With the Obama campaign headquartered in the Windy City and run by professional Chicago operatives, to this writer it was a forgone conclusion: they would steal the vote.

The massive political machines the democrats have constructed in major cities act as vote faucets that swing their states predictably into the blue column. The irregularities with voting machines, the hundreds of precincts that went 99 to 100 % for Obama, and the legions of voters who couldn’t even speak let alone read English all point to the arrival of third world elections to the greatest democracy ever known.

At a recent gathering I heard two progressives irately attacking the audacity of the Republicans for seeking voter ID laws. They saw this as an attempt to stop poor and elderly voters, who all have IDs, from voting. They also bemoaned the fact that the voter ID supporters claimed they wanted to stop voter fraud. To this claim they wailed, “What voter fraud? Where is it? There is no voter fraud!”

Knowing that my earlier statements will elicit the same wail let me respond with some facts gleaned from the post-election observations as chronicled in the Worldnet Daily:

Chicago elections worker Steve Pickrum, an equipment manager for the elections system, told Worldnet Daily (WND) he was called when a voting machine malfunctioned. “On early voting when I did work on the floor when voters needed help using the equipment, I was able to see the preference of the voter, and every time that I saw [a] voter voted for Romney a ‘voter save failure’ message came up on the screen,’” he reported. Then when he went on election day to vote himself, he picked Romney and experienced the same error message. He reported he never experienced the error message when the voter was choosing Barack Obama.

Another poll worker assigned at the University of Michigan reported to WND a list of irregularities including that the precinct captain told her at one point, “You go sit down, you are bothering me,” when she was trying to observe the proceedings. “I was only standing there and looking at voter documents,” she told WND. “It was clear that what bothered him was my very presence.” She said a short time later a young man arrived and identified himself as a Democrat poll challenger. “The first time he said anything was to object to my challenge of a voter. He tried to anger the voter by telling her ‘She does not believe you are who you say you are.’ He was trying to create a scene. It then happened again and I told him ‘You are not here to challenge me!’ His reply was a very loud ‘Yes I am! You are a Republican and you are here to prevent people from voting. You are holding up the line and creating obstructions,’” she reported. She told WND in fact no one waited more than about fifteen minutes to vote the entire day, and there were no obstructions.

And in Florida, the Sun Sentinel reported that election workers a week after the election said they found 963 unaccounted-for ballots—in a warehouse. “How can you lose them? This is terrible,” candidate Chickie Brandimarte told officials. Election supervisor Brenda Snipes, however, said it’s routine for various vote totals to be adjusted up until the Nov. 18 final certification.

Also in Florida, residents began demanding changes in the electoral system that handed voters chaos, frustration, and delays at polling stations. The Florida League of Women Voters and other groups are demanding from Gov. Rick Scott a plan to draft reforms for the state’s elections.

A poll watcher told WND up to 10 percent of the ballots cast at a polling station in Pennsylvania reverted to a default, which gave Barack Obama a vote no matter who the voter had selected. The incident took place in the state where officials claimed Obama got a total of 19,605 votes in 59 voting divisions to zero for Mitt Romney and not far from the 100 precincts in Ohio where Obama got 99 percent of the vote, a feat not even achieved by third-world dictators. It was in Upper Macungie Township, near Allentown, Pa., where an auditor, Robert Ashcroft, was dispatched by Republicans to monitor the vote on Election Day. He said the software he observed would “change the selection back to default—to Obama.”

Fox News reported that voters in Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, and Ohio also said they had pushed a button on a touch-screen voting machine for Romney, but the machines recorded their vote for Obama.

At the White House website, a report in the Examiner explains, there was a petition posted seeking a recount of the race. “In one county alone in Ohio, which was a battleground state, President Obama received 106,258 votes… but there were only 98,213 eligible voters. It’s not humanly possible to get 108 percent of the vote,” the petition claims.

Fox News reported that two election judges were replaced after illegally allowing unregistered voters to cast ballots.

The Columbus Dispatch estimated that more than twenty percent of registered Ohio voters aren’t eligible. “In two counties, the number of registered voters actually exceeds the voting-age population,” the report said. And, it said, in 31 other counties, registrations are above 90 percent of the population, “a rate regarded as unrealistic by most voting experts.”

Fox News also documented how Senate candidate Wendy Long, an attorney who was a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, recounted her voting experience. “A poll worker who was at the scanner studied my private ballot and proceeded to tell me that it was rejected because I did not ‘fill in every space.’ She then proceeded to indicate that I should mark the Democratic line all the way down.”

The Market Daily News reported on those 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, that on election day gave Romney zero votes, and Obama got 99 percent. “In more than 50 different precincts, Romney received two votes or less,” the report said. “One would think that such improbable results would get the attention of somebody out there.”

According to Philly.com, 59 voting divisions in Philadelphia produced a “head-spinning figure,” not one vote for Romney. “The unanimous support for Obama in these Philadelphia neighborhoods—clustered in almost exclusively black sections of West and North Philadelphia—fertilizes fears of fraud, despite little hard evidence,” the newspaper said.

The Washington Times reported that officials in Florida banned observers from seeing the absentee ballots being opened and “there was no way to know whether the absentee ballots that were produced were the same ones that were opened, or if all the ballots were produced.”

Human Events claimed Ohio voters who are native to Somalia were being given a slate card saying, “Vote Brown all the way down”—an apparent reference to the Democratic senator.

WND’s newest forum is your opportunity to report voter fraud

The Washington Times reported its suspicions of voter fraud in Pennsylvania, including that “in Philadelphia, the [New] Black Panthers are currently standing outside polling booths, intimidating voters just like they did in 2008.” It said, too, that seventy Republican polling inspectors were blocked from access.

A blog, Punditpress, reported “In Florida: Obama Got Over 99% in Broward County Precincts”

The same site reported: “What Luck! Obama Won Dozens of Cleveland Districts with 100% of the Vote”

There also was the report about “Good News: Obama Won County in Ohio with 108% Voter Registration”

And Punditpress also reported: “BREAKING: St. Lucie County, Florida Had 141.1% Turnout; Obama Won County”

Further, it said: “Fraud in PA: Obama Got Over 99% of Vote at Polls Where GOP Inspectors Were Removed; Turnout Somehow ‘30%’ Above Gov’t Numbers”

“Out of 175,554 registered voters, 247,713 vote cards were cast in St. Lucie County, Florida, on Tuesday”

To the Progressives who fight voter ID I want say, “This voter fraud. Here it is? There was massive and systemic voter fraud!” To those who refuse to call a spade a spade, hiding their heads in the sand and pretending this election was the result of a demographic shift, the power of negative advertising, or anything else besides Chicago style politics as usual I want to ask, “Why are you so quiet about something that is so obvious?” What’s to be gained by lending our silence to endorse the legitimacy of a stolen election? If you are afraid to be called a conspiracy theorist let me quote a man who has ended up being right many times when everyone thought he was wrong, “It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you.”

Congress demands EPA’s secret email accounts

By Richard Dinan, Washington Times

A House committee has launched an investigation into whether EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used an email alias to try to hide correspondence from open-government requests and her agency’s own internal watchdog — something that Republican lawmakers said could run afoul of the law.

The science committee has asked Ms. Jackson to turn over all information related to an email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” which is one of the aliases identified by a researcher looking into the EPA.

The committee has also asked the White House’s lawyer and EPA’s inspector general to look into the matter and report back by the end of this month, saying that the secret email accounts could have been used to keep key information from official watchdogs as well as the public.

EPA did not respond Friday night to a request for comment.

The researcher who uncovered the “Richard Windsor” alias email, Christopher Horner, has repeatedly battled the administration over its global warming efforts.

Earlier this year he his colleagues at the Competitive Enterprise Institute sued to demand the release of emails from “secondary” accounts from EPA, and cited a memo saying the practice began during the Clinton administration under then-administrator Carol Browner.

Mr. Horner uncovered the existence of the secret emails while researching a book, “The Liberal War on Transparency,” published last month. Mr. Horner said after the book came out, two former EPA officials told him about the “Richard Windsor” email and said it was “one of the alternate email addresses she used.”

He said he has also discovered some EPA employees setting up private gmail accounts using their first and last names and the word EPA as a standard formula.

“They’ve been moving government over to private email,” Mr. Horner told The Washington Times. “In the book, I reveal private servers the White House had universities and pressure groups set up so they can conduct discussions.”

Federal open-records laws are designed to make information available to the public now, and to posterity at the National Archives, which collects official correspondence. There are strict rules on the use of email addresses, and the rules prohibit using private emails to try to circumvent open-records laws.

But news reports have revealed several instances where the White House and departments have used private emails to do business, including at the Department of Energy, where Jonathan Silver, the department’s loan officer, “explicitly directed others to keep loan guarantee communications secret by not linking public and private email accounts, and sent emails detailing official government business using his private email account,” according to the Science Committee.

In his letters to Ms. Jackson and three inspectors general, Science Committee Chairman Ralph Hall said at the very least the actions violate President Obama’s vow to run a transparent administration.

“Unfortunately, time and again, actions by the administration on transparency have fallen far short of the president’s rhetoric, in many instances trending away from transparency and toward greater secrecy,” Mr. Hall wrote in a letter signed by five other lawmakers.

Beating Election Depression Through Constructive Action: Three Urgent Arenas

By Larry Bell, Forbes (reprinted with author permission)

I switched channels after the Ohio results came in and intentionally watched a really dumb action movie in order to get tired enough to sleep. Still in a disconsolate state of shock the next morning, I was in no mood for post-mortem could’a-should’a-would’a mental replays, even lacking sufficient emotional capacity to muster up anger.

But this is a resilient country. We will survive. And there’s much we can all do to make it better…stronger. And who knows, maybe things won’t be as bad as I have imagined during the president’s second term. Having no more elections to face, maybe now he won’t be as bound to accede to dictates of his far left base. Maybe Democrats and Republicans can find enough common negotiating space to prevent budgetary sequestration from being triggered, and to avoid a disastrous economic plunge over the fiscal cliff.

These are only a couple of the overarching issues that will drive and shape future developments. Within those larger dynamics there are some smaller, yet very important congressional and judiciary arenas where motivated voters can still exert considerable influence. Let’s consider three of them.

U.N. Arms Trade and Law of the Sea Treaties:

Just hours after President Obama was re-elected, the U.S. backed a U.N. call to renew debate over a draft Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Even many U.N. delegates and gun control activists believe this process was put on hold due to presidential campaign concerns. While ATT is represented as a means to regulate only government-to-government transfers and direct sales by manufacturers to governments, it is broadly perceived by skeptics as a strategy for those who oppose Second Amendment rights to ultimately achieve their goal of prohibiting private firearms ownership through vague, innocuous language without media attention.

Under current plans, the treaty will be submitted to nations early next year for virtually-assured signature and ratification upon receiving a two-thirds vote. And while U.S. treaty ratification will also require an unlikely two-thirds Senate approval… according to a paper published by legal scholar David Kopel and his colleagues in the Bringham Young University Journal of Public Law, there are many ways unratified treaties can work their ways into U.S. laws.

The authors conclude : “For example, some eminent international disarmament experts have taken the position that the president of the United States may announce that a treaty has entered into force, and thereby become the law of the United States even if the U.S. Senate has never voted to ratify the treaty. The United States Supreme Court has cited unratified treaties (and even an African treaty), and various contemporary foreign law sources, as guidance for interpreting United States constitutional provisions. Likewise, other scholars, writing in a U.N. publication, argue that United Nations gun control documents (notwithstanding the fact that the documents, on their face, have no binding legal effect) represent ‘norms’ of international law.”

On June 29th, 130 Republican House members sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary Clinton arguing that the proposed treaty infringes on the “fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms”. The letter charges that “…the U.N.’s actions to date indicate that the ATT is likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy, and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.” The lawmakers adamantly insist that the U.S. Government has no right to support a treaty that violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Although Democrats maintain that the treaty poses no Second Amendment threat, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton, cautions gun owners to take this initiative seriously. He believes that the U.N. “…is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about international arms trade between nation states, but there is no doubt that the real agenda here is domestic firearms control.”

There are also some Obama-backed U.N. treaties that defeated globalist-oriented lame-duck members of Congress with nothing to lose may successfully help to push through for ratification before leaving office. One is the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which would subordinate U.S. naval and drilling operations beyond 200 miles of our coast to a newly established U.N. bureaucracy. If approved, it will grant a Kingston, Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority (ISA) the power to regulate deep-sea oil exploration, and seabed mining.

As part of the deal, as much as 7% of U.S. government revenue collected from oil and gas companies operating off our coast will be forked over to ISA for redistribution to poorer, landlocked countries. This apparently is in penance for America’s audacity in perpetuating prosperity yielded by our Industrial Revolution.

Like the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol debacle that preceded it, this most recent LOST cause embodies the progressive ideal of subordinating the sovereignty of nation states to authoritarian dictates of a world body. The U.S. would have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money would go, and be obligated to hand over offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it… for free.

And who are those lucky international recipients? They will most likely include such undemocratic, despotic and brutal governments as Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe…all current voting members of LOST.

There are also some upcoming treaties with very admirable-sounding titles, but posing much less loveable U.N. regulatory intrusions into other matters of U.S. sovereignty. An example is a global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which was signed by our U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice (now famous for false public statements about the Benghazi attack). We already have numerous organizations and statutes that address these needs without U.N. busybodies butting in. Another is a U.N. Treaty on the Rights of the Child, a broadside attack on parent’s rights to limit media programs they can watch, or determine which church they attend.

Environmental and Energy Regulations:

According to the annual “Regulator’s Budget” compiled last year by George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis, the employment of federal government regulators has climbed 13% since Obama took office, while private sector jobs shrank by 5.6%. In fact, if the federal government’s regulatory operations were a business, their $54 billion budget would make them one of the 50 the largest in the country… bigger than McDonald’s, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined.

Now, with his re-election behind him, President Obama can plow “Forward”, using the EPA and other agencies to expand regulatory intervention into wide-ranging aspects of our lives and economy. Particularly hard hit will be those which are highly energy-dependent.

The American Council for Capital Formation estimates that the new EPA regulations already in place will result in 476,000 to 1,400,000 lost jobs by the end of 2014. Management Information Services, Inc. foresees that up to 2.5 million jobs will be sacrificed, annual household income could decrease by $1,200, and gasoline and residential electricity prices may increase 50% by 2030. The Heritage Foundation projects that the greenhouse gas regulations will cost nearly $7 trillion (2008 dollars) in economic output by 2029.

Former climate czar Carol Browner was very clear about what’s in store when she told several green groups not to worry, because “President Obama has a big green ‘to-do’ list for 2013 so they’ll get what they want.” On the other hand, if you want to build a coal plant, you’ve got a big problem. EPA’s proposed coal ash rule could cost $79 to $110 billion over 20 years, destroying 183,900 to 316,000 jobs. This will have disastrous impacts in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Missouri. (Remember hearing about some of those states as likely Republican swing states?)

Now, premised upon climate alarm, which has even been disavowed by EPA’s own internal review of the matter, the agency is proposing the first source-specific emissions standards for new power plants. These restrictions are so strict that they will virtually eliminate coal as a fuel option for future electric power generation.

While EPA has punted on standards for existing power plants, as well as refineries, we can expect the agency to proceed under auspices of its Clean Air Act (CAA) to issue regulations, industry by industry, until virtually every aspect of the American economy is severely constrained by bureaucratic permitting requirements. These rules are projected to cost more than $300 to $400 billion a year, and will significantly raise the price of gas at the pump and energy in the home.

This ominous precedent can apply to small private entities as well, including churches, schools, restaurants, hospitals and farms. For example, under proposed federal permitting requirements, a farm whose aggregate emissions exceed CAA permitting thresholds would be required to pay a “cow tax” for each ton of greenhouse gas emitted on an annual basis. EPA itself estimates that this will require more than 37,000 farms and ranches to pay an average $23,000 every year, affecting over 90% of all U.S. livestock production.

EPA may also tighten farm dust standards as part its review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for coarse particulate matter (PM10). This would have widespread implications for rural America where the only way to comply will be to reduce numbers of livestock, cut back on tilling of fields, or to shrink or even end businesses altogether.

There are a large number of other planned EPA air and water regulations either in force or in the works. EPA’s Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) standards are so restrictive that not even many of the best-performing sources can meet them. Such companies will have no choice but to shut their doors and ship manufacturing jobs overseas. The rule has been projected to reduce U.S. GDP by as much as 1.2 billion dollars, and to destroy nearly 800,000 jobs.

EPA’s Cement MACT rule could cause 18 plants to shut down, eliminating up to 80,000 road, bridge and building construction workers due to substantially increased cement costs. As with Boiler MACT, EPA had postponed decisions on certain aspects of the rule until after the election.

Although President Obama previously admitted that the “regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty” of tightening an existing ozone standard would harm jobs and the economy, he still pointed to the fact that it will be reconsidered in 2013. EPA itself estimated that this would cost $90 billion a year. Other studies project that the rule could cost upwards of a trillion dollars and destroy 7.4 million jobs, and put 650 additional counties into a category of “non-attainment. This is the equivalent of posting a “closed for business” sign on communities which will suffer from severe business and job losses resulting from large numbers of plant closures.

A proposed new guidance document for waters covered by the Clean Water Act, reinterprets recent Supreme Court decisions to allow EPA to expand federal control over virtually every body of water in the United States, no matter how small. EPA’s own analysis of the document estimated that up to 17% of current non-jurisdictional determinations would be considered jurisdictional using the new guidance. Such federal guidance will impose large additional regulatory responsibilities and costs for states and municipalities.

EPA also plans to expand a universe of federal storm-water regulations. Included are first-time standards for post-construction and retrofit requirements for storm-water systems. This can force cities to change existing buildings, storm-water sewers, and streets. It may even mandate the use of “green infrastructure” techniques (like “green roofs,” rain gardens, permeable pavement) to replace conventional storm-water management practices. All this will put enormous cost burdens on states, municipalities, and just about anyone who owns or wants to develop property.

EPA is working to curtail hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) that is providing access to America’s huge oil and gas resources through a variety of mechanisms. One strategy applies guidance measures which restrict use of diesel fuels in the process, stripping states of the primacy granted to them through the Safe Drinking Water Act. This is premised upon a broadly criticized study purportedly linking fracking to water contamination. Other back-door regulatory mechanisms include the Toxic Substances Control Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Air Act, and potentially, applications of Effluent Limitations Guidelines for both shale gas extraction and coal-bed methane.

Fracking is not only under attack by EPA, but by more than a dozen other agencies as well. Included are the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Center for Disease Control, the Department of Agriculture, and even the Securities and Exchange Commission. The BLM, under Secretary Salazar’s control, will now commence finalizing new regulations.

These are but some of the new and proposed federal regulations that will significantly impact our future, and we can be certain that we will see many more. So what influence can we have? Well, in addition to whatever direct persuasion that can be exerted through our Congressional representatives, there’s also another avenue …the judiciary.

The Courts:

While it’s a difficult, costly and lengthy slog to do so, unwarranted federal regulations are successfully being overturned in court thanks to aggressive litigants and sensible judges. In a recent example, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the signature “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule” enacted by EPA a year ago that was supposed to reduce air pollution emitted in one state and carried to another, even by levels exceeding the originator state’s federal air quality standards. The court also found that EPA acted illegally in dictating measures to be used in compliance, rather than allowing states to develop their own plans according to statutory provisions.

Another August ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals spared the state of Texas from “arbitrary and capricious” rejection of utility permitting processes that put EPA in the board rooms and boiler plants of industrial and utility companies. The finding determined that 120 unjustly targeted permit holders were wrongly mandated to “de-flex” under threat of federal and civil sanctions with no environmental benefit. Although not a single pound of emissions reductions resulted, the companies had been forced to spend millions of dollars to satisfy what amounted to a bureaucratic paper exercise.

In another ruling on July 11, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected EPA’s attempts to regulate Appalachian surface coal mining based upon “final guidance” which had been falsely characterized as “non-binding”. The court agreed with plaintiffs that EPA had overstepped the authority given to it by Congress under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and the Clean Water Act. The opinion also validated positions of state government parties and the regulated community that EPA cannot disrupt the regulatory balance created by Congress for mining governance in which the EPA has no direct role. This provides a precedent for other legal challenges to EPA’s use of guidance documents for unauthorized regulatory purposes.

In a similar case, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 to reject EPA’s reliance on guidance documents that were never adopted as administrative rules under the Clean Air Act which violated rights of states to propose alternatives. And in still another case, the Natural Resources Defense Council successfully challenged that the EPA violated the Administrative Procedures Act’s notice and comments requirements by unilaterally issuing “guidance” as a policy statement or interpretive rule on a case-by-case basis without notice and comment, thus avoiding the statutory rulemaking process.

Now, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the vitally important leading court for legal challenges to new regulation, is itself under attack by liberal media led by the Washington Post and New York Times. Although many of the court’s opinions have been joined by Democratic and Republican appointees, particular outrage centers on a July finding that rejected a Security and Exchange Commission’s so-called “proxy access” rule which would have increased union power over corporate boards.

A key target of liberal ire appears to be Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who, at the age of 47, is young enough for consideration as a future Supreme Court nomination. The left knows that repeated media portrayals of conservative judges and their opinions as radical or out of the mainstream is an effective tactic.

The scariest consequences of this past election revolve around influences upon future Supreme Court decisions… especially concerning judicial interpretations of constitutional protections recognized by the Second Amendment. Imagine more justices in the philosophical mold of the president’s most recent addition, Elana Kagan, a gun-unfriendly attorney who participated in writing the 1998 Clinton White House executive order banning imports of 58 types of “semiautomatic assault rifles”. Then there’s also Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama nominee who joined Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissenting opinion in the narrow 5-4 McDonald v. City of Chicago decision which clarified that Second Amendment rights apply to states.

An Obama reelection presents an extreme risk of replacing at least one of five Supreme Court justices who have vindicated Second Amendment protections in the precarious Heller and McDonald decisions. If this were to happen, our right to bear arms might become a lost historical memory for future oppressed generations to read about.

With four more years ahead, and the Executive Branch, the Senate and the mainstream media stacked against conservative values, we have no choice but to prepare for a regulatory tsunami and just hold back the floods where we can. This isn’t going to be easy, but then, nobody ever promised us a White House Rose Garden. We must now double-down on our efforts to win it back before only restrictive thorns remain, and before our economic future turns to brambles.

Secret 28 Who Made BBC Green Will Not Be Named

The Register, 9 November 2012

Andrew Orlowski

As expected, the BBC has won its legal battle against blogger Tony Newbery.

Newbery wanted the list of “scientific experts” who attended a BBC seminar at which, according to the BBC Trust, they convinced the broadcaster to abandon impartiality and take a firmly warmist position when reporting climate change. When the Beeb refused to divulge who these people were and who they worked for, Newbery took the corporation to an information tribunal. Now the names and affiliations of the 28 people who decided the Beeb climate stance – acknowledged by the Corporation to include various non-scientists such as NGO people, activists etc – will remain a secret.

The case was heard on Monday and Tuesday last week; the BBC was represented by a team of five, at times six, lawyers, including lead counsel Kate Gallafent, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers. Newbery, who represented himself, was accompanied by his wife. The hearing included cross-examination of the BBC’s director of news Helen Boaden.

Newbery had asked for the attendance list in a freedom-of-information request to the BBC some 18 months after the seminar took place in early 2006. He had been struck by a disparity between the BBC Trust’s description of the event – “a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts” – and subsequent accounts of the confab, which suggested the 28 invitees included a number of environmental activists and ideologues. Newbery wanted to know how many scientists were there, and what they said that had been so convincing.

The BBC argued that it was able to derogate from the Freedom of Information Act because the seminar was held “for the purposes of journalism” and its attendance list is therefore protected by the law.

And in any case, according to the Beeb’s lawyers, the information didn’t exist at the time of the request – despite its historic significance: the public-funded broadcaster has statutory obligations, under Royal Charter, to be impartial.

The “purposes of journalism” get-out-clause has been used by the BBC on various other occasions as a cloak to conceal information requested by the public under the act. For example, the corporation has refused to disclose how much tax its commercial operation BBC Worldwide pays in the United States, and its US web traffic numbers, using the “purposes of journalism” catch-all.

The speed of the verdict is a surprise – most deliberations take four to six weeks, but this took a mere ten days. However the verdict itself is less surprising: the Supreme Court earlier this year upheld the BBC’s “purposes of journalism” derogation and supported its right to withhold an internal review, dubbed the Balen Report, of its Middle East coverage.

Tribunal judge David Marks QC supported the broadcaster, cut off several avenues of questioning from Newbery, and agreed with the BBC that it can be considered a “private organisation”, despite the fact that it is funded by a compulsory tax.

The hostility of lay judge Alison Lowton, one of the three-strong panel, to Newbery was also noticeable – but perhaps understandable. The former director of legal services [PDF] of Camden Council took a six-figure severance package in 2007 when her post was abolished.

Camden fought to keep the details of the settlement away from freedom-of-information requests.

The other lay judge, former Haringey councillor Narendra Makanji, appears to have strong views on climate-change skeptics, as he tweeted here this year:

We asked the Information Commissioner’s Office how a lay judge with such partisan views on climate change came to oversee hearings so closely coupled to the subject of climate. Campaigning lay judges would not normally be appointed to sit on such a case, a spokesman noted, and concerns would be legitimate grounds for appeal.

Makanji was a councillor from 1982 to 2006 and sits on the boards of various quangos and charities, according to his tribunal service profile [PDF], including the Selby Trust, which makes grants to bodies promoting climate-change issues.

The BBC Trust may have erred in giving the seminar, arranged by Beeb reporter Roger Harrabin and climate activist Joe Smith, such significance. However by a year later, the BBC had an elegant solution before it: in June 2007, the BBC Trust published a report, known as the Bridcut Report [PDF], which grappled with the issue of impartiality. Bridcut agreed that it was impractical and unreasonable for every point of view to be included in every report. However, turning to the topic of climate change, he warned:

These dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as “Flat Earthers” or “deniers”, who “should not be given a platform” by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space. ‘Bias by elimination’ is even more offensive today than it was in 1926. The BBC has many public purposes of both ambition and merit – but joining campaigns to save the planet is not one of them.

The report was ignored – and in the best tradition of a British bureaucratic establishment under siege, the Beeb simply dug in deeper. Our postbag reflects widespread disquiet from supporters of the BBC about the disparity between its declarations of intent on transparency, and the reality. A refusal to make itself accountable to the citizens only makes political meddling more likely – so by winning an expensive legal battle, it risks losing a rather more important war.

Newbery has told us he is mulling a request to appeal.

Further Reading

Andrew Montford has written a 26-page guide to the seminar saga, and the subsequent Freedom of information battle: you can buy it in ebook format here for 75 pence.

Background information

Andrew Orlowski: BBC argues it is not bound by FOIA in bid to keep Climate 28 secret

Andrew Orlowski: Who were the SECRET 28 who ended all climate debate at the BBC?

Tony Newbery: Jeremy Paxman, the BBC, Impartiality, and Freedom of Information

Christopher Booker: The BBC And Climate Change – A Triple Betrayal

The coming environmental battlegrounds

By Paul Driessen Thursday, November 8, 2012

Green agenda threatens economic future

When American voters re-elected President Obama, they also returned his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Interior and Energy departments and wide-ranging agenda for “fundamentally transforming” our nation.

This will mean cementing Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, higher taxes and rampant spending. It also will bring more disputes over energy and environmental regulations, the vanguard of Mr. Obama’s determined campaign to eliminate hydrocarbons that power our economy and to embrace more “green” energy. The conflict will be fought primarily on six battlegrounds:

Carbon taxes: Hurricane Sandy presented a fresh pretext for regulating and taxing hydrocarbons. No respectable climatologist or meteorologist believes atmospheric carbon dioxide conjured up the destructive storm, but climate alarmism always has been about political science, not real science.

Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott’s Managed Carbon Price Act imputes a cost for CO2 emissions and compels energy producers and users to buy carbon permits. The president is considering a direct carbon tax that he says will raise billions of dollars annually and reduce deficits. Both ought to be dead on arrival in the House. Another pointless round of United Nations-sponsored climate treaty discussions will take place soon in Doha, Qatar.

The real threat is EPA regulations limiting CO2 from power plants and other sources by executive fiat.

With China, India and other developing countries massively increasing their “greenhouse gas” emissions, none of these proposals would reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. They would, however, put government in charge of our entire economy, sharply increase energy prices for every business and household, kill millions of jobs, ensure that new tax revenues never materialize, and hurt poor families most.

War on hydrocarbons: America has abundant hydrocarbons, onshore and offshore, including centuries’ worth of natural gas for heating, petrochemicals, electricity generation and vehicles. With little to hold their pre-election anti-energy instincts in check, the White House, EPA and Interior may still oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, further delay onshore and offshore drilling, and unleash a blitzkrieg of new rules on hydraulic fracturing and coal-fired power plants.

That would stifle job creation, revenue generation and economic growth while leaving the nation dependent on despotic regimes and costly renewable-energy schemes.

Renewable-energy preferences: Antipathy toward oil, gas and coal is matched by the pincer move of mandates, fuel standards and subsidies for wind, solar and biofuel power. The first pitched battle will decide whether the production tax credit for wind-based electricity will be extended again.

Other battles will be fought over corn for food versus cars; growing opposition to bird-killing industrial wind facilities and habitat-smothering solar projects; the impact of pricey renewable energy on families, hospitals, factories, businesses and jobs; and corrupt corporate cronyism among politicians and the heavily subsidized campaign contributors they keep in business.

Unequal treatment under law: Mandates and subsidies are not enough to keep industrial wind facilities solvent. They also require exemptions from laws governing endangered species, migratory birds, environmental reviews and other issues.

Even the most speculative environmental impacts can scuttle oil, gas, coal and uranium proposals — and oil companies are routinely assessed major fines if ducks die after landing in uncovered waste pits. However, wind operators incur no penalties for killing thousands of eagles, hawks, whooping cranes, bats and other rare and vital flying creatures every year. Citizens, companies, courts and legislators are expressing growing intolerance for separate regulatory regimes and unequal treatment under law.

Agenda science: Sound risk assessment and honest cost-benefit analyses have been replaced by conjecture, exaggeration and agenda-driven politicized science at too many federal agencies. EPA is the worst offender, but the Interior, Energy and even Defense departments also are culprits.

Risks from climate change, mercury, soot and industrial chemicals are inflated routinely, as are the purported benefits of exorbitantly expensive regulations. Meanwhile, the impact of rules on energy prices, business profits and competitiveness, jobs and, thus, overall human health and welfare are ignored.

With total federal regulatory compliance costs now estimated at $1.75 trillion and 8.8 billion hours annually, this issue could become a legislative and regulatory Battle of Kursk.

Subsidized pressure and propaganda: Billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies continue to flow each year to bureaucratic zealots, environmentalist pressure groups, universities and other organizations. These dollars fund junk science, strained justifications for indefensible rules, more pressure to regulate for increasingly diminished returns, and outright propaganda.

Federal and state legislators need to hold investigative hearings, demand accountability, cut bloated agency budgets that enable such expenditures, and question why tax-exempt activist groups should receive taxpayer money funneled through government agencies.

America can continue paying billions in subsidies annually to prop up “green” technologies and agenda-driven science, or we can generate tens of billions a year in royalties and taxes, create millions of jobs and rejuvenate our economy through hydrocarbons, nuclear power and common-sense regulations.

Will President Obama, Democrats and executive branch agencies be receptive to bipartisan approaches — to institutionalizing all-of-the-above energy decisions that make scientific, economic, environmental and technological sense? Or will they be even more entrenched, knowing the White House can act via executive decree if Congress does nothing?

The answer will determine whether the United States becomes an economic powerhouse once again or an enormous Greece. Blessed with more oil, gas and coal than almost any other nation on earth, we must not refuse to develop these resources.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” (Merril Press, 2012).

Read more: DRIESSEN: The coming environmental battlegrounds – Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/8/the-next-environmental-battlegrounds/#ixzz2BpYfyAEi