Newspaper spanks Obama: ‘Shove it, Mr. President’

Editors scorch ‘umpteenth different’ jobs plan

President Obama,

Welcome to Chattanooga, one of hundreds of cities throughout this great nation struggling to succeed in spite of your foolish policies that limit job creation, stifle economic growth and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit.

Forgive us if you are not greeted with the same level of Southern hospitality that our area usually bestows on its distinguished guests. You see, we understand you are in town to share your umpteenth different job creation plan during your time in office. If it works as well as your other job creation programs, then thanks, but no thanks. We’d prefer you keep it to yourself.

That’s because your jobs creation plans so far have included a ridiculous government spending spree and punitive tax increase on job creators that were passed, as well as a minimum wage increase that, thankfully, was not. Economists — and regular folks with a basic understanding of math — understand that these are three of the most damaging policies imaginable when a country is mired in unemployment and starving for job growth.

Even though 64 percent of Chattanooga respondents said they would rather you hadn’t chosen to visit our fair city, according to a survey on the Times Free Press website, it’s probably good that you’re here. It will give you an opportunity to see the failure of your most comprehensive jobs plan to date, the disastrous stimulus scheme, up close and personal.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 helped fund the Gig to Nowhere project, a $552 million socialist-style experiment in government-owned Internet, cable and phone services orchestrated by EPB — Chattanooga’s government-owned electric monopoly.

• • •

The Gig to Nowhere is a Smart Grid, a high tech local electricity infrastructure intended to improve energy efficiency and reduce power outages. After lobbying for, and receiving, $111.6 million in stimulus money from your administration, EPB decided to build a souped-up version of the Smart Grid with fiber optics rather than more cost-effective wireless technology. This decision was supposed to allow EPB to provide the fastest Internet service in the Western Hemisphere, a gigabit-per-second Internet speed that would send tech companies and web entrepreneurs stampeding to Chattanooga in droves.

In reality, though, the gig, like most of the projects funded by your stimulus plan, has been an absolute bust.

While the Smart Grid will cost taxpayers and local electric customers well over a half-billion dollars when all is said and done, there has been little improvement in the quality of EPB’s electric service. Worse, despite being heavily subsidized, EPB’s government-owned Internet, cable and telephone outfit that competes head-to-head against private companies like AT&T and Comcast is barely staying afloat, often relying on loans from electric service reserve funds to afford its business expenses.

Further, there has been no credible evidence to suggest that EPB can even provide a gig of service consistently and reliably. Any companies hoping to utilize the Gig to Nowhere are quoted monthly billing costs that make the service unfeasible. As a result, Chattanooga has remained a relative ghost town for technological innovation. Almost no economic development whatsoever has resulted from the gig.

• • •

What the gig has brought, however, is that shocking price tag. Because of your unwillingness to balance the budget, Mr. President, the $111.6 million federal handout to subsidize the Gig to Nowhere will actually cost federal taxpayers $158.2 million, due to interest. Once EPB received the stimulus infusion to fund the pork project, the electric monopoly took out a $219.8 bond that will balloon to $391.3 million by the time Chattanoogans are done paying it off.

The bond’s first payment comes due this fall and there remain significant questions about how EPB can manage to pay the debt without hiking electric rates on EPB customers.

Building a Smart Grid to get into a telecom sector already well-served by private companies was a bad idea from the start. But getting government involved in places it doesn’t belong is a hallmark of your administration. As a result, you and your policymakers were happy to fund the Gig to Nowhere.

You claimed that the Smart Grid would create jobs for Chattanooga. But in reality, all it did was push America deeper in debt and lure a local government agency into making a terrible financial decision that will weigh on Chattanoogans like a millstone for decades to come.

So excuse us, Mr. President, for our lack of enthusiasm for your new jobs program. Here in Chattanooga we’re still reeling from your old one.

— The Free Press

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/jul/30/take-your-jobs-plan-and-shove-it-mr-president-your/?opinionfreepress

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Debunking 4 lies about wind turbines

Debunking lie # 4
Posted on July 26, 2013

The fourth lie: Wind turbines make no more noise than a refrigerator.

Did you ever wake-up at night with palpitations? Many windfarm neighbors do, and it’s not because of their refrigerators. The culprit, we know now, is infrasound emitted by wind turbines, aggravated by pulsations. Governments, scientists and wind turbine manufacturers knew that as far back as 25 years ago: this is why they always refused to measure infrasound emitted by wind turbines. They know they would be in trouble if they did. But they will have to do it now, as the news of their cover-up has just hit the fan: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100227983/wind-turbines-are-a-human-health-hazard-the-smoking-gun/

I shall comment further on infrasound later, but for the moment I wish to say something about the noise issue. For not only has the wind industry covered-up on infrasound, it has also fudged the noise issue and told the public a big lie, namely the title of this post. One of Denmark’s leading newspapers has lambasted Vestas for it just recently:

As published on 1st July 2013 in JyllandsPosten:

Acousticians criticize Vestas

The Vestas campaign, which aims to prove half truths and myths wrong through facts, has made a serious error itself.
We need to correct our phrasing, says a Vestas spokesman.
By Axel Pihl-Andersen (Journalist, JyllandsPosten)

Translation:

Vestas has just launched a global campaign, which according to the wind turbine-giant itself is a counter-attack on the anti-wind movement, which is to be put in place by the pioneering Act on Facts-campaign.

“For too long, the wind industry has allowed itself to be run over by few, but influential anti-wind movements, arguing with half truths and wild myths. Vestas now responds with a fact based global campaign, which aims to turn the passive majority of people into active advocates of wind power.” These are among the words in Vestas’ press release, which states that the campaign shall replace “hard-lived myths and lies about wind energy with documented facts”. But Vestas has large problems with the documented facts themselves, say Denmark’s leading acoustics scientists at Aalborg University.

Noise from a refrigerator

One of the campaign’s major topics is noise, and Vestas claims that the noise 400 meters away from a wind turbine is less than the noise from an average refrigerator. But that is pure nonsense, says acoustics professor Henrik Møller from Aalborg University.

“If you take a sound level meter to your refrigerator, it will register a noise level of approx. 30 dB. The sound pressure level for a wind turbine at a distance of 400 meters will be approx. 40-43 dB, and that is a very big difference. If the noise level of a refrigerator were 40 dB, it would be impossible to sell”, says Henrik Møller.

He believes that Vestas, in spite of its facts-campaign, has messed seriously around with acoustic terms. Producers of refrigerators do announce some noise levels of about 40 dB, but according to Henrik Møller, these refer to a technical measure called the sound power level, and this cannot be compared to the sound pressure level.

Two different types of decibels

“I think they have compared the sound power level from the refrigerator with the sound pressure level from wind turbines, and those are two very different measures. Decibel is not just decibel – it depends on what you are measuring”, says Henrik Møller.

Press officer and spokesman Jens Velling from Vestas admits that there is some “uncertainty” about this information. “We are aware of it, but I want to point out, that the campaign first launched is designed for Australia, where the required distance between a windturbine and a residence is 800 meters. At this distance, the numbers make sense”, says Jens Velling.

But you write 400 meters in your material? – “Yes, that is something we need to rephrase”.

It is not a good thing that you present wrong information in a campaign that is supposed to be based on facts, is it? – “No, you are right about that. It is essential, that the information we give is correct. We need to take a look at that phrasing.”

Professor Henrik Møller states that the numbers don’t make sense at 800 meters distance either. At a wind speed of 8 meters per second for a 3 MW Vestas wind turbine with a sound power level of approx. 107 dB, the sound pressure level will measure approx. 37-38 dB. This is still significantly more than the refrigerator’s 30-32 dB [ed. note: 5-8 decibels represent a huge difference for those who must live with the noise].

The National Association for Neighbours of large Wind Turbines in Denmark also criticizes Vestas’ campaign for manipulating numbers and information. “Vestas’ campaign contains much misleading information, but worst is the assertion that the noise of a wind turbine at a distance of 400 meters compares to that of a refrigerator”, they write in a press release.

Ends

The third lie: one kWh produced by a wind turbine saves one kWh produced with fossil fuels

Left or right, same campaign: save-the-planet / don’t-mind-your-wallet.
It’s the biggest con EVER.

Here is the simple truth:

Wind farms provide no useful electricity
by Richard S. Courtney, energy consultant

Electricity is wanted all the time but the demand for electricity varies from hour to hour, day to day, and month to month. The electricity grid has to match the supply of electricity to the demand for it at all times. This is difficult because power stations cannot be switched on and off as demand varies.

The problem of matching electricity supply to varying demand is overcome by operating power stations in three modes called “base load,” “generation,” and “spinning standby.”

Some power stations operate all the time providing electricity to the grid, and they are said to provide “base load.”

Other power stations also operate all the time but do not provide electricity all the time. They burn (or fission) their fuel to boil water and superheat the resulting steam which is fed to the steam turbines that are thus kept hot and spinning all the time. Of course, they emit all the emissions from use of their fuel all the time. But some of this time they dump heat from their cooling towers instead of generating electricity, and they are then said to be operating “spinning standby.”

One or more power stations can be instantly switched from spinning standby to provide electricity to match an increase to demand for electricity. It is said to be operating “generation” when it is providing electricity. Power stations are switched between spinning standby and generation as demand for electricity changes.

Thus the grid operator manages the system to match supply with demand for electricity by switching power stations between “generation” and “spinning standby.”

Windfarm input to electricity

Windfarms only provide electricity when the wind is strong enough and not too strong. So, they suddenly provide electricity when the wind changes. The grid operator must match this changed supply of electricity to the existing demand for electricity. Of course, the grid operator achieves the match by switching a power station to spinning standby mode. That power station continues to operate in this mode so it can provide electricity when the windfarm stops supplying electricity because the wind has changed again.

Windfarms only force power stations to operate more spinning standby. They provide no useful electricity and make no reduction to emissions from power generation. Indeed, the windfarm is the true source of emissions from a power station operating spinning standby in support of the windfarm.
http://www.aweo.org/windCourtney1.html

This is confirmed by Dr. John Etherington, (retired) Lecturer in Ecology at the University of Wales. See his book, The Wind Farm Scam, for sale on Internet. It is also confirmed by independent engineers and scientists, who can speak freely, and by anyone with an open mind willing to use his/her logic: why haven’t all these wind farms reduced CO2 emissions?

Conclusion:

If wind farms provide useless electricity that is outrageously expensive, then why politicians from all parties want so much of it? Because in return for the massive subsidies they give to wind and solar profiteers, these are contributing to their electoral campaign funds. It’s all so very simple, really.

Am I the only one to think that way? – Of course not! Most “wind warriors” (anti windfam campaigners) know that; UKIP candidates know that, and refuse to danse to that tune; even a Danish High Court judge knows that (see my previous post on this blog). In a radio interview, conservationist Mark Duchamp exposed this systemic corruption most clearly, and he referred to an article and a book from the US on the subject (1). So if you have doubts, you can review the evidence:

(1) http://epaw.org/multimedia.php?article=in9

And if you still have doubts, read the mind-gobbling article just published by world-famous investigative journalist James Delingpole. The UK is secretely installing thousands of diesel generators to take the place of wind farms when the wind drops: this will raise the price of electricity to staggering heights, and ruin the country. Read it all here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362762/The-dirty-secret-Britains-power-madness-Polluting-diesel-generators-built-secret-foreign-companies-kick-theres-wind-turbines–insane-true-eco-scandals.html

Neighbors not happy
Posted on July 10, 2013

Second lie: in Denmark, people are happy with their wind turbines

This is false. Nearly 200 associations of wind farm victims have formed in Denmark, and most are now federated into a larger one:
National Association of Neighbors Fighting Wind turbines.

What is more, Dr Mauri Johansson, specialist in Community & Occupational Medicine in Denmark, warns about the serious health effects of windfarms, and of the collusion of the Danish government with Big Wind. He quotes a retired Danish High Court judge who said: “wind power has thoroughly corrupted the political system.”

Here are a few more quotes from his letter:

“Documents …have shown that already in the late 1980’s there were complaints about the noise, but local as well as central authorities generally refused to investigate, and did not involve medical expertise. This happens also today.

“Despite these complaints for over 20 years, unfortunately no medically based research has ever been conducted in Denmark, even not as a base for “safe” distances and noise limitations. The only research has been engineer-performed noise measurements and calculations. This ignores the human physiological impact of the wind turbine noise, previously shown in research into the impacts of other noise sources. Engineers are not physicians, and therefore cannot assess the impact on human health. Furthermore, those acoustic engineers closely connected with the wind industry have an obvious yet rarely acknowledged financial conflict of interest.

“The ongoing denial of FACTS about the existence of serious sleep and health problems in wind turbine neighbours is unforgiveable. So too is the refusal by authorities to properly measure the noise inside people’s homes, and the refusal to conduct the multidisciplinary medical research.

“The comments made by retired Danish High Court judge Peter Roerdam in the Copenhagen Post on 16th November, 2012 (12) that wind power is “an industry which has thoroughly corrupted the political system” is all too true, in my experience, and comes at the direct expense of the health of Danish people.

“It is clear the institutional political corruption, and the lack of professional ethics on the part of wind industry acousticians and public health researchers, who ignore or deny the existence of the sleep and health problems and the consequent serious longterm damage to health, is not limited to Denmark.”

Yours sincerely,

Mauri Johansson, MD, MHH
Specialist in Community and Occupational Medicine
Denmark, July 6th, 2013

See the full letter: http://www.epaw.org/documents/Open_letter_About_Danes_and_WTS_6July2013.pdfAnd

And this article: Neighbours on the Barricades Against Wind Turbines in Denmark
http://www.croh.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=685:..

The first lie: developers consult with the community

Many people who live near wind turbines wake up with palpitations in the middle of the night because of pulsating low frequency noise and infrasound emitted by wind turbines. Then they waste hours trying to get back to sleep. So how come wind farms are built so close to homes? It’s to make more money, for the further out they go into the wilderness, the longer the power lines and the access roads they have to build.

The wind industry argues that their developers consult with the community. This is a half-truth, which is very effective for misleading the public because it contains some apparent truth. The following letter, written by a concerned Irishman to the Irish Times, tells a different story:

Wind farm facts and fictions
Letters
Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 05:55

First published: Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 05:55

Sir, – Once again a wind farm developer misses the point when dealing with objections to wind farms (Letters, April 5th). Brendan McGrath, CEO of Gaelectric, writes that responsible wind farm developers consult local communities.

What he doesn’t state is that these consultations only occur once landowners have been locked into contracts to put wind turbines on their land. What follows is a divided community with some farmers set to make thousands of euros a year from turbines on their land, and their neighbours, who are facing a future of noise, visual disturbance and property devaluation.

Responsible developers should be discussing their proposals to put wind turbines into an area before they sign up local landowners. Whole communities should then be able to make an informed decision, with the right to refuse a wind farm, no matter how a land area has been designated.

Mr McGrath suggests he is motivated by a desire to cut greenhouse gases. The hundreds of wind farm objectors that I have met have exactly the same ambitions.

They just want to be able to open their windows to peace and quiet, and get a decent night’s sleep. – Yours, etc,

MIKE de JONG,
Aghaclogher, Strokestown,
Co Roscommon, Ireland.

What the man does not say is that the planning authorities rubberstamp the applications no matter how much the citizens protest. Money is all they care about. The democratic deficit is huge.

“Every man is a moon and has a dark side which is turned towards nobody – you have to slip around behind if you want to see it.”
Mark Twain
The same may be said of governments, NGO’s, and large companies.

The wind industry is under such pressure from irate citizens that in Australia it has opened a new webpage to spread half-truths and other propaganda in a bid to discredit its critics. The webpage is called Act on Facts: http://www.actonfacts.org

Nomoreliesblog will address the lies, and re-establish the truth. Truth will beat money at the finish line.

Submitted by Paul Chesser on Tue, 07/23/2013 – 08:10

Nissan Leaf photoReports have trickled out lately that, all of a sudden, demand is so great for the all-electric Leaf that Nissan’s production just can’t keep up.

“We’re going to be short on inventory all through the summer,” said Erik Gottfried, director of electric vehicle sales for Nissan, to Automotive News. “It will be late fall before we can produce enough to satisfy everybody.”

Then the appropriate question from taxpayers should be, “What did we pay $1.4 billion for you to do in Smyrna, Tennessee then?!?”

That’s how much stimulus-backed money went to the Japan-based automaker to design a factory outside Nashville to crank out up to 150,000 Leafs and 200,000 Leaf batteries per year. The plant began production late in 2012, and according to the Department of Energy, was to create 1,300 permanent “green” jobs, remove 11,000 gasoline-powered cars from the road annually, and lead to 51,000 tons of carbon dioxide “avoided” per year.

But sales for the plug-in languish. Through June Nissan had reported sales of 9,839, which “green car” enthusiast blogs have proclaimed as some sort of major achievement, which is true if only compared to last year’s sickly total of 9,819. CEO Carlos Ghosn and other officials had blamed that partially on the logistical challenges of assembling the Leaf in Japan and then shipping to the U.S. (as if it was never done before), which also added to the cost and thus making it even less attractive. They reasoned that once production could begin in the U.S., Nissan could deliver the Leaf at a lower cost and thus demand would be greater.

A cheaper model was introduced this year, which shaved $6,000 from the standard Leaf model. Upfront costs, in addition to limited driving range and long recharging times, are the Devil’s Triangle of consumer obstacles to EV adoption, and the discounted Leaf still has a ways to go. The lower-priced model comes in at $29,750, but Nissan is enjoying a slight uptick in purchases only because (still) of the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles, which gets the Leaf down into the $22,000 range. So not only is the Smyrna plant subsidy needed, but so also do customers demand the tax credit.

The traditional increase in summer gasoline prices is likely contributing to the sales bump as well. But a comparison to the gas-powered subcompact Versa, which delivered 113,327 units in 2012, is all you need to know about the “success” of Leaf sales to date this year.

Nevertheless the electric car cheerleaders want you to believe demand for the Leaf has skyrocketed to the point where the lil’ ol plant in Smyrna just can’t keep up. A look at some circumstantial facts might make you wonder otherwise.

It turns out Nissan isn’t making much of an effort to keep Leafs rolling off the Smyrna lines. According to a report earlier this month on the automotive Web site Jalopnik, only 300 employees are working on Leaf production. That’s less than ¼ of capacity if you measure by manpower. Presumably assemblers are dedicating their time to putting together Nissan gas-powered models that actually sell.

But there’s something about the electric vehicle industry (like the renewable energy business) that compels it to exaggerate every accomplishment like it’s a major milestone. In the case of Nissan’s suddenly “booming” demand for the Leaf, company officials attribute the newfound public thirst for plug-ins to its discovery in new cities outside of its traditional strongholds in places like Seattle and California (where even greater subsidies for EVs are offered). Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago and Raleigh, N.C., are said to have had difficulty satisfying potential Leaf customers.

“If a Nissan dealership in Dallas sells the one Leaf that they have in stock and another prospective buyer comes in,” Torque News reported, “there probably aren’t a half dozen other dealerships in the area with a Leaf to sell. Since these budding areas are slower to accept the all electric Leaf, Nissan is less likely to just send a bunch of vehicles into that area when higher volume markets (like California or Atlanta) are more in need of those same vehicles.”

Gottried, the Nissan director of EV sales, said, “They really want more Leafs in Dallas. I assured them that we’re doing everything we can to get them more inventory. But it’s taking some time.”

We’ve already debunked the “we’re doing everything we can” myth, with the Smyrna plant at less than ¼ capacity. So let’s also look at the Dallas market.

According to Cars.com, within 50 miles of downtown Dallas, there were 86 Leafs available yesterday (a number virtually unchanged over the last several days, by the way). One dealer, Don Davis Auto Group in Arlington, had six Leafs available. Another, Texas Nissan of Grapevine (which is northwest of Dallas) had seven units. That would presumably mean there are plenty, and enough to move around to where the area customers are.

A similar situation exists in Atlanta, where 74 Leafs are available in the metro area. St. Louis and Raleigh had 34 and 29 of the model, respectively. The issue with the Leafs that are still sitting on dealer lots is that they are the more expensive SV and SL models, which sell for $34,000 on up. That isn’t low enough to get the plug-ins within the economic feasibility range with desired gas-powered cars like the Versa, which sells for $14,000 to $17,000.

If there is any real demand for a Leaf, then it’s for the $29,000-range basic S model, which needs the buyer tax credit to compete with other models. What happens if/when that goes away? And an electric car demands an extremely expensive home charger, which requires special wiring and an outlet for the garage – which either must come out of the customer’s pocket or also be subsidized by taxpayers, many which already have. And then there is the public charging network, which is also mostly paid for with government money.

It all adds up to an EV demand mirage, which dissipates upon closer scrutiny. If there was true clamor for the Leaf, there would be a lot more than 300 workers putting the things together in Tennessee.

“Not every dealer has pursued selling the Leaf yet,” said Gottfried to Automotive News. “But what we’ve seen lately is that one dealer in a city will start marketing the car and have great success with it. Then the other dealers in the market will realize there’s a real opportunity and start marketing it, too.”

That is, as long as the taxpayer money lasts. Ginning up artificial hype apparently is all that $1.4 billion in subsidies gets you these days.

Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center and publishes CarolinaPlottHound.com, an aggregator of North Carolina news.

Feeling the heat on climate change

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Would you like to know where to find a succinct statement of liberals’ climate change policy? It is not at the White House website nor the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Instead, it can be found in a memo distributed by Kenneth Berlin of the “Energy & Environment Team.”

It is a fascinating read for those who want an insider’s guide as to what to say and not to say about climate change to support the Administration. It is supported by focus groups and polls. For example, don’t “lead with straight economic arguments.” The literal reader can only assume that the Administration will lead with crooked economic arguments, or more likely, none at all.

In a conversation on Friday, Berlin explained that he distributed the memo written by the Climate Action Campaign. He believes economics is critical, but judged that other aspects of climate change were more important when the president gave his speech on environmental regulations at Georgetown University on June 25.

In the speech, President Obama called for regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gases. He announced that he will use his executive powers to reduce greenhouse emissions from existing power plants, as well as future plants. He also plans to increase efficiency standards for appliances and authorize the placement of wind farms and solar power plants on federal lands. He asked the Department of Defense to install 3 gigawatts of renewable power on bases. He announced that over the next 7 years, 20 percent of the energy the federal government will consume will come from renewable sources. He mentioned plans for federal tax dollars to fund building infrastructure, such as seawalls for communities.

The memo states that in supporting the president’s climate change agenda, don’t “try to suggest net job increases.” If there is no straight economic argument for climate change, and if there are no net job increases, why should the American public support the Obama’s climate change agenda?

One might have sought an answer to that question Thursday at a hearing at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, chaired by California Democrat Barbara Boxer. The hearing, at which the memorandum was discussed, held in the ornate Dirksen Senate Office Building, was entitled “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now.” I was one of the witnesses at the hearing.

One could listen to the majority’s witnesses and not hear a whisper about economics or jobs resulting from the president’s climate change policy. Rather than economics or jobs or even hope, the Senate Democrats offer morality and fear. Consider the memo’s “simple 3-part message formulation:”

1. We have a moral obligation to act.

2. Communities all over America are already being harmed.

3. The president’s climate plan is full of common sense solutions including first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

The memo states that Americans are being harmed by extreme weather, drought, flooding, and wildfires. The Senate committee hearing was intended to provide ammunition.

Only one problem: testimony from some of the witnesses shows that climate change is not happening as fast as the Democratic senators would like. Some, such as Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, are trying to prove that climate change is happening so that they can implement a tax on carbon dioxide, enabling them to exert more control over the economy. Whitehouse proposed such a tax on March 22, which failed to pass the Senate by 41 to 58.

Feds Give Wind Producers Free Pass to Kill Condors and Bald Eagles

Feds Give Wind Producers Free Pass to Kill Condors
By Karen Dove

Federal wildlife officials announced they will allow wind producers in California’s Tehachapi Mountains to kill endangered California condors without fear of prosecution. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the free pass will apply only when wind power companies inadvertently kill or harass the large and highly endangered birds, but such harassment and deaths are a foreseeable and unavoidable consequence of “green” wind power.

Recovering Condors at Risk

The California condor nearly went extinct in the 1970s and 1980s, with the number of wild birds bottoming out at 25 in 1975. Wild condor populations have rebounded to 150 today, but the species is still highly endangered.

california_condor_1

Environmental Groups Outraged

Conservation and wildlife groups worry an expansion of wind power production in California condor habitat will reverse recent condor population gains and kill them as regularly as turbines kill protected golden eagles in California golden eagle habitat.

Environmental groups including the American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Audubon Society immediately criticized Fish and Wildlife’s decision to give wind power companies a free pass to kill endangered condors.

“Allowing the legal killing of one of the imperiled birds in the United States threatens endangered species conservation efforts across the country,” Kelly Fuller, a coordinator with the American Bird Conservancy, said in a press statement.

“I can’t believe the federal government is putting so much money into a historic and costly effort to establish a stable population of condors, and at the same time is issuing permits to kill them. Ludicrous,” Kerncrest Audubon treasurer Daniel Burnett told the Los Angeles Times.

Documented Environmental Destruction

California wind farms already present a killing field for endangered and protected birds. According to Save the Eagles International, more than 1,000 birds of prey die each year at California’s Altamont Pass wind farm. Wind turbines are already the leading cause of death for golden eagles in the Golden State, and conservationists point out condors are larger and less agile than golden eagles, putting them in even greater danger from fast-spinning turbine blades.

Environmentalists have documented environmental damage already being caused by wind turbines in the Tehachapi Mountain area.

“All of this industrialization has taken its toll on the ecosystem. The nearby Pine Tree Wind project has one of the highest rates of golden eagle mortality per turbine in the country, and Next Era’s North Sky River Wind project killed its first golden eagle in January – within weeks of beginning operations,” reported the Mojave Desert Blog.

“The Alta East Wind project is expected to add to eagle mortality, although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) admits that too little is known about the golden eagle population in the Mojave Desert to know if the deaths will result in the protected species’ decline,” the Mojave Desert Blog added.

Contradictory Policies

“The state of California allowing wind farms leeway in killing of condors and golden eagles flies in the face of reason,” said H. Sterling Burnett, senior fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Burnett pointed out the hypocrisy of giving California wind turbines a free pass to kill birds by the thousands while the California legislature imposes onerous restrictions on other activities with much more speculative and indirect impact on birds in the state.

The California Senate just passed a bill to make the ban on lead ammunition a statewide law, to protect the very same animals turbines endanger,” Burnett explained.

“In the eyes of California legislators and the Obama administration, oil refineries can be – and are – fined billions of dollars for offenses against protected wildlife, but it is OK to kill protected animals for the ‘cause’ of green energy,” Burnett noted. “This is indicative of the administration’s near-religious fervor for renewable energy despite the fact that the government has wasted billions of dollars on failed green energy companies.”

Karen Dove (karendove@icloud.com) is a freelance writer in Bradenton, Florida.

———

Maryland Wind Farm Threatens Bald Eagles
Cheryl Chumley

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials report a proposed wind energy project in Maryland would pose a “significant risk to eagles” and the developer should trim back its construction plans. The U.S. Navy has also expressed concern about the project, noting the turbines might skew nearby radar readings.

At Least 30 Eagles at Risk

U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS) biologists report at least 30 bald eagles nest within 10 miles of the proposed wind project. The proposed 60 turbines are too threatening to the eagles, and dozens could die each year, FWS wildlife officials say.

Also, the proposed Great Bay wind project in Somerset County is near enough the Patuxent River air base that Navy officials say the bounce-back from turbines will make it difficult to get accurate radar readings.

In response, Texas-based Pioneer Green Energy, which proposes to build the Great Bay wind project, is offering to cut back the number of turbines from 60 to 50.

“We are in the late stage development process of the project. For the past three years we have been studying the various aspects of project design,” said Pioneer Green Energy Vice President for Development Adam Cohen.

Cohen said he has also worked to minimize threats from “climate change and sea level rise on the Chesapeake Bay” and to “military operations in the area.”

High Costs for Minimal Power

But not all Marylanders are on board with the project.

Thomas Firey, a senior fellow with the Maryland Public Policy Institute and the author of an electricity primer for Maryland, says the project is rife with problems. Most notably, according to Firey, the project presents a questionable use of public funds to accomplish political, rather than practical or feasible, purposes.

“There are four different subsidies hidden in this,” Firey said, “and besides the explicit subsidy the legislature creates, it triggers others.”

Firey said for all the subsidies and preferential treatment, the project will generate “only a relatively small amount of electricity. It’s not going to have any effect on global warming….At best, [the project’s] meaningless. At worst, it puts Maryland residents on the hook for higher energy costs.”

Subsidies Make Situation Worse

Firey is not alone in expressing skepticism about the project. Jonathan Lesser, president of Continental Economics Inc., says wind power is not cost-efficient or economically feasible despite 35 years of subsidies. In addition, offshore wind developments are even more expensive than conventional wind projects, he says.

“Wind energy is not economic, … [and] subsidies do not work,” Lesser said. “Subsidies may decrease prices in the short run, but they drive out investment in the long run and create uncertainty, which leads to higher prices than would prevail without subsidies.”

“That’s free-lunch economics” and it doesn’t work, Lesser said. “And offshore wind is at least twice as costly as onshore wind. Regulators have had to resort to forcing utilities to purchase it.”

Cheryl Chumley (ckchumley@aol.com) is a news writer with The Washington Times.

Oregon Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Loggers to Sue Activists

The Oregon Senate approved a bipartisan House Bill that allows logging companies to sue environmental activists who block logging operations. The Senate added an amendment on a statute of limitations issue, which the two bodies will have to iron out in conference before sending the bill to Gov. John Kitzhaber (D).

Overwhelming Support

The Senate passed HB 2596 on a 25-3 vote. The bill allows logging and forest management companies with contracts applying to state lands to sue activists for financial damages when activists obstruct or sabotage logging and forest management operations.

The House approved its version of the bill in April, but the Senate added an amendment reducing the statute of limitations from six years to two.

“This bill benefits Oregon by ensuring there is order and fairness to all in the forest practices of our state. That benefits our economy and the public’s safety,” State Senator Betsy Close (R–Albany) told Environment and Climate News.

A companion bill, HB 2595, would have created a crime of “interference,” applying to protesters who intentionally engage in conduct that “hinders,” “impairs,” or “obstructs” forest management practices in a forestland or forest access road. Offenders would have faced a mandatory minimum prison sentence and fine. The bill died in the Senate Judiciary committee in late May after some senators expressed concern it might violate free speech rights by specifically targeting logging protesters.

President and CEO John Charles of Cascade Policy Institute (CPI) supports the bill.

“I believe HB 2596 will benefit Oregon by allowing contracts that have been lawfully executed to be implemented on the ground,” he said.

Charles said he supports the companion bill, also.

Activist Group Remains Defiant
Jason Gonzales, a spokesperson for the environmental activist group Cascadia Forest Defenders, says the bills were designed to target Cascadia members who protest logging in Elliot State Forest.

Gonzales said the sponsor of both bills, Rep. Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach), “made it clear” the bills were a “direct response” to actions CFD members have taken in the Elliot State Forest to block logging in forests that had not previously been logged.

“We got involved in this fight in order to protect ourselves from ridiculous laws and found support from many segments of the environmental movement. We were joined in opposition to these bills by major environmental and civil rights organizations,” Gonzales said.

Sen. Close said protesters were taking the law into their own hands by trying to physically block legal activities.

“Their ability for remedy is in the court system. Once a logging contract is signed and found in compliance with Oregon’s Forest Practices Act, the private entity has a right to proceed under the law. Those who hinder are technically trespassing, and they should be held accountable. They are breaking the law,” she said.

Gonzales said he has no doubt Kitzhaber will sign it into law.

“Our reaction is basically ‘bring it, we aren’t going anywhere,’” said Gonzales. “Cascadia Forest Defenders will continue to do whatever we can to physically block any native forest clearcutting that we have the resources to address, regardless of any legal or financial penalties.”

Alyssa Carducci (ad.carducci@gmail.com) writes from Tampa, Florida.

World Bank Wastes Billions Fighting Non-Existent Global Warming

By Staff Writers, Judicial Watch, Jun 20, 2013

The global warming frenzy has gone international with the World Bank announcing that it’s committing billions of dollars to combat its effects in poor African and Asian countries that stand to suffer most.

Why should Americans care about this? Because, as is the case with a number of leftist international organizations that aim to save the planet, the United States is the World Bank’s largest contributor, annually filling the poverty-fighting institution’s coffers with hundreds of millions of dollars. Take a look at the U.S. Treasury 2013 budget request for international programs that include the World Bank.

coal-vs-temperature

It’s bad enough that the Obama administration has published a number of reports warning of the ills of global warming, likely to support public funding for the cause. The government-sanctioned studies have determined over the years that climate change will lead to a worldwide increase in mental illness and cancer, that it will threaten the world’s food and water supply and even national security. In fact, one government report confirmed that global warming is one of the “most visible environmental concerns of the 21st century.”

The World Bank has published two scary reports of its own to make a case for financing its exorbitant global warming projects. The first one, released last year, determined that adverse effects of global warming are “tilted against many of the world’s poorest regions” and are likely to undermine development efforts and goals. It projects extreme heat-waves and life-threatening sea level rise that will devastate water and food supplies in some parts of the world.

The second report was released this week, to coincide with the World Bank’s big announcement that it’s committing billions to combat climate change in poor nations, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. It also warns that poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change and describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas in South East Asia and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia.

As the coastal cities of Africa and Asia expand, many of their poorest residents are being pushed to the edges of livable land and into the most dangerous zones for climate change, according to the findings. Their informal settlements cling to riverbanks and cluster in low-lying areas with poor drainage, few public services, and no protection from storm surges, sea-level rise and flooding.

Warming on critical areas like agriculture production, water resources, coastal ecosystems and cities paint a “dramatic picture of a world of climate and weather extremes causing devastation and human suffering,” the report says. “In many cases, multiple threats of increasing extreme heat waves, sea-level rise, more severe storms, droughts and floods will have severe negative implications for the poorest and most vulnerable.”

Indeed this is a dramatic scenario and the U.S. will undoubtedly provide a huge chunk of cash to help make things better. Otherwise a “warmer world will keep millions of people trapped in poverty,” according to a World Bank press release announcing the latest climate change report. We can’t have that, says World Bank President Jim Yong Kim of the U.S., who stresses that “urgent action is needed.”