Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

November 28, 2014

Mary Kay Barton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Senator or Congressman:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respectfully submitted,

[signed]

EPA’s Tighter Ozone Standards Seen as Job-Killer

November 26, 2014

Newsmax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shocker: Top Google Engineers Say Renewable Energy ‘Simply won’t work’

November 22, 2014

Anthony Watts

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

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

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

renewable-energy

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

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

According to the IEEE article;

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

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

It’s rarely about the environment anymore

October 26, 2014

Big Green ideologues continue to run masterful

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

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

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

Best regards,

Paul

It’s rarely about the environment anymore

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

Paul Driessen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Curbing Obama power grabs

October 21, 2014

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

Paul Driessen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Breathless Hypocrisy Driving Energy ‘Divestment’

October 19, 2014

By Benjamin Zycher

<em>Rockefellers would seem to be related to Forrest Gump – “stupid is as stupid does” but are more likely sly as a fox.</em>

Stanford University. The University of Glasgow. The Educational Foundation of America. The British Medical Association. The City of Seattle, Washington. The Rockefeller Brothers (!) Fund. Amid the tolling of church bells and the thunderous self-applause of the environmental left, the fossil-fuel divestment bandwagon is on a roll. In addition to those listed above, 175 institutions, local governments, and individuals, with a total of over $50 billion in assets, as of last month have pledged to “divest” their holdings in the 200 oil, gas, and coal producers with the greatest “carbon” content of their reported reserves.

“Divest” is a curious term; a simpler verb is “sell,” and it is a source of some interest that the divesting institutions and individuals are pledging to do so within three to five years. Why not just give the assets away immediately on a first-come/first-serve basis? The obvious answer is that those divesting—selling—the fossil-fuel assets prefer to get the highest prices that they can, an objective not obviously consistent with the purported moral imperative underlying a shift out of fossil fuels and toward the “new energy economy,” about which more below.

For now let us consider the implications of the divestment stance. The fossil-fuel sector is huge—about $5 trillion in market capitalization—because other sectors demand energy, and fossil fuels overwhelmingly are the most efficient forms with which to provide it. So if investment in fossil-fuel sectors engenders some sort of moral quandary, does the same principle apply to investment in industries that use energy? After all, they are responsible for the very existence of the energy producers; will the divestment campaign expand to agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, retailing, the household sector, and all the rest? Is investment in government bonds the only moral course? Well, no: Government too uses vast amounts of energy.

And let us not stop there: Precisely why do all sectors demand energy? Obviously, it is because people demand the goods and services made affordable by fossil fuels. Notice that the correlation between energy consumption and household income is high, and rises as income increases; for the bottom three U.S. income quintiles, the respective correlations are 0.75, 0.85, and 0.91. If fossil fuels are evil, so are rising incomes, as the latter drive up the demand for the former. So let us be very clear that one central implication of the divestment campaign—remember, it is a moral imperative—is the desirability of poverty as a tool with which to dampen energy demands and thus incentives to invest in fossil-fuel sectors. This is separate from the impoverishing effect of a substitution of expensive energy in place of conventional energy produced with fossil fuels.

Accordingly, the divestment campaign, perhaps realizing it and perhaps not, has slipped into the anti-human trap that is the hidden but essential core of modern environmentalism: Far from being a resource, ordinary people are a scourge on the planet. They prefer cheap energy, strongly, but the moral imperative of divestment is diametrically opposed, and investments in people—education, health, etc.—make matters worse by increasing human capital and wealth, and thus the demand for energy. Accordingly, the “moral imperative” of the divestment campaign—its very logic—leads not only to disinvestment in virtually all economic activities, it does the same for investments in people, in particular in a third world desperate to emerge from grinding poverty.

Consider also one central dimension of what it means to be human: the application of intelligence to overcome the obstacles that define life outside the Garden of Eden. From backbreaking toil by hand, to the use of animals and tools, to the evolution of energy from wood to whale oil to coal to oil and gas to nuclear power to new technologies yet to be invented or proven competitive: The history of energy is a fundamental component of mankind’s evolution, reflecting the inventiveness that is uniquely human, a process utterly at odds with the underlying imperatives of the divestment campaign.

Supporters of divestment might respond that they too favor inventiveness, in the form of the “new energy economy,” which means such unconventional technologies as wind and solar power. Let us therefore examine the “moral” dimension of that investment shift. Because unconventional energy sources are unconcentrated, they are expensive, and cannot compete without large subsidies and guaranteed market shares. Because they are intermittent—sometimes the wind blows and sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes not—they must be backed up with conventional power units, which must be cycled up and down depending on wind and sunlight conditions.

In a word, they must be operated inefficiently, yielding an increase—yes, an increase—in the emission of conventional pollutants. And even an impossible 40 percent decrease in global greenhouse gas emissions would reduce temperatures in 2100 by about two-tenths of a degree. Would an enterprising journalist somewhere please ask the supporters of divestment about the morality of a campaign that would (1) impoverish millions of people, (2) increase conventional pollution, (3) yield zero offsetting environmental benefits, (4) forcibly extract resources from ordinary people, while (5) providing the environmental left with a rationale for moral preening?

And as long as we’re talking about morals, let us admire the breathtaking hypocrisy of the current generation of Rockefellers, announcing loudly their decision to divest the fossil-fuel assets of their charity, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, while maintaining a deafening silence about the fossil-fuel investments of the far-larger family investment and wealth management firm Rockefeller & Company. Nor have we heard that they will divest themselves of the lavish lifestyles engendered in past Rockefeller generations by the historical growth of the oil and gas sector. Their central objective is loud applause at the upper-crust cocktail parties for a divestment that will have no effect on the fossil-fuel sector, that will cost them literally nothing, and that is part of a leftist campaign that views ordinary people as a liability. Such are the dimensions of moral cowardice.

Benjamin Zycher is the John G. Searle scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

An inconvenient study draws fire from the wind / climate coalition

October 7, 2014

By Guest Column –Mark Duchamp  October 6, 2014 

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On October 1st and 2nd, two leading UK newspapers wrote about a new study from the University of Munich which found a way of measuring the effects of low-frequency sound (LFS) on the inner ear (1). This is an important discovery in that it could lead to progress in the understanding of hearing loss, an impairment that affects millions of people and causes much grief.

When health authorities refuse to measure accurately infrasound and low-frequency noise emitted by wind turbines, they are obviously protecting the wind industry. But they are also in breach of the criminal codes of most countries, which contain provisions for doing no harm to people, particularly of a physical nature. There is such a wealth of first hand reports of harm to health, chronic sleep deprivation and home abandonment from rural residents (2); there is such a number of relevant studies (3) that politicians can’t just sit there and deny, deny, and deny that serious harm to human health is occurring. They MUST repeat the experiments of the U. of Munich study (1), but in the field this time, next to wind turbines, using actual LFS pulses emitted by these machines, including infrasound. Length of exposure is key, as windfarm neighbours are submitted to this bombardment 24/7 when the wind is blowing and turbines are operating, and this over many years. Thus, the research should span over one year, minimum, and be conducted at various installations: some brand new, some with 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 years of operation, with victims who have lived there since their inception.One of the most controversial sources of LFS lies in the nacelles of wind turbines and around their huge moving blades. Yet, governments stubbornly refuse to investigate their effects on health, thus protecting the wind industry and unprotecting the citizens. So, with reason, the authors of the press articles titled: “Could living near a wind farm make you DEAF?”and “Living close to wind farms could cause hearing damage”. This is a legitimate way of blowing the whistle, in a world where the wind/climate coalition has successfully blocked official research on LFS emitted by wind turbines since the Kelley studies in 1985-1987.

World-renowned ear specialists Alec Salt and Jeffery Lichtenhan wrote last year to the health authorities of the State of Victoria, Australia: “There are a number of false statements in your report. One severe example is “…the available evidence does not support claims that inaudible sounds can have direct physiological effects”.

So YES, the above newspapers did the right thing in blowing the whistle on the risk for windfarm neighbours of damage to their inner ears, which can lead to deafness. The risk exists. As a matter of fact, we have a written testimony of such damage reported by a chronically exposed resident from Germany.“Below we have provided citations to six publications from our group where we showed how the ear responds to low-frequency sounds up to 50 dB below the levels that would be heard. The experimental methods that were used are well established in the field of auditory physiology. Three of the below citations were peer-reviewed and published in some of the most well-respected journals in the field of acoustics and hearing science. Our publications, which were clearly neglected or conveniently overlooked, show that inaudible low-frequency sounds do indeed stimulate the ear and produce marked physiological effects”. (4)

The wind/climate coalition reacted strongly, trying to rubbish the articles which could hurt their business. They used superficial arguments, such as the fact that the U. of Munich study does not mention wind farms. Indeed it doesn’t, because it is about research into the physiological impacts of LFS in general: it does not have to list the possible sources of LFS.

The lesson to be learned is that the U. of Munich study has made an important discovery, and that its experiments need now to be repeated in the field, with wind turbines as the source of LFS stimulation.

References:

1)—University of Munich study: Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear

2)—The NASA/Kelley research: As early as 1982, authors find that low-frequency noise is the major cause of adverse health effects for residents living near wind and gas turbines

– Emeritus Professor Colin Hansen et al.: The results show that there is a low-frequency noise problem associated with the Waterloo wind farm

Testimony of a turbine host: “Whenever we are staying at the new farmhouse and the turbines are operating [2.5 km away] I have trouble getting to sleep at night. Frequently, I wake up in the morning feeling desperately tired, as though I have not slept at all. Often I simply fall asleep from exhaustion but still wake up tired. On numerous occasions I experience a deep, drumming, rumbling sensation in the skull behind my ears which is like pressure and often a pulsating, squeezing sensation at the base of my skull. I also experience irregular heartbeat while I am trying to sleep and while I am relaxing (sitting or reclining) in our house. I did not have any trouble sleeping before the turbines started operating.

Away from that home, I have not ever experienced problems with my heartbeat or with the pressure pulse sensation in my head; and I sleep incredibly well by comparison. My tinnitus comes and goes when I am away from home, but whenever I am living at the new farmhouse it is a constant source of irritation when the turbines are running. Alida does not complain of dizzy spells or head pressure when we are away from home.”

Testimony of Mrs Linke: The first turbines to be turned on at Macarthur were about 6–7 km from the Linke house. After a period overseas prior to the turbines being commissioned Mrs Linke returned home and immediately began feeling pressure in her ears, and began to experience sleep deprivation.

As weeks passed Mrs Linke began to experience quickened heart beat and an inner vibration. Symptoms such as buzzing ears, pressure, tight chest, rapid heart beat and vibration developed and sleep was disturbed. As time passed Mr Linke also began to experience symptoms. The noise from the turbines is described as rumbling, thundering, humming, thudding and roaring and was often heard over the TV.

– Waubra Foundation: sleep deprivation and torture: Sleep deprivation (suffered by thousands who live near wind turbines) is used by certain regimes as a form of torture .

3)—European Heart Journal: evidence from epidemiologic studies demonstrates that environmental noise is associated with an increased incidence of arterial hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke.

Cherry Tree Wind Farm—Waubra Foundation Statement: Waubra Foundation CEO Sarah Laurie’s statement to the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal hearing is the most comprehensive and up to date report on current research into the adverse health effects experienced by those living and working near industrial wind turbines, January 2013.

4)—Dr. Alec Salt, and Dr. Jeffery Lichtenhan: physiological effects of inaudible sound

 

Dear Uncle Siemens

September 26, 2014

Written by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

<satire> Dear Uncle Siemens,

I am hearing a lot about you in the news lately. Somehow your offshore wind turbines in the German Bight can’t deliver any power.  ABB’s HVDC converter station seems to have a fever and the prognosis is not good. Some unkind folks claim that you could catch a cold because of that. Really?  I mean what’s €500 million between friends? Especially if you can charge it to the electricity consumer! siemens

Your plans for the Libya-sized solar panels in the Sahara desert also seem to be on hold. Well, after the fiasco in Mexico where they got sand-blasted into oblivion in short order, that’s not entirely surprising. I think you need to spend a few Euros to re-educate the public on the benefits of your technologies. As the old adage (attributed to Winston Churchill) goes: never let a good crisis go to waste!

Believe me, green (like in the dollar bill green) power is the way to go!

Green Power

In any event, the deniers of green and free solar and wind power are just envious of your successes. Who cares that electricity prices in Europe are sky-rocketing and big energy-sucking industry is leaving for greener, pardon me, I mean cheaper places. They should have known that we need to “de-energize” to the level of our ancestors, the Neanderthals. Isn’t that why the government is shutting down the nuclear power plants in Germany? Isn’t that why coal has become “dirty” there as well?

It’s all so obvious; have you ever seen a coal miner coming back from his shift without being black from head to toe? How disgusting; can’t they go about their business in well-ironed suits, ties and with CLEAN HANDS and FACES?
Back to the wind power turbines though (I really hate the people who call them bird shredders): Isn’t it about time the Europeans are “getting up to speed” as well? After all, why should there be 10,000-plus defunct turbines in the U.S. and none anywhere else? This is progress and it’s simply unstoppable.

My dear wife Harrietta and I are also still saddened by Aunt Solyndra’s passing. She was such a great sport, managed to bilk the tax-payers out of half billion-plus. We got some nice holidays out of that and still do. In this context, I also want to raise another point, namely the great new German invention of the Energie-Wende (energy revolution) and the more recent Energie-Ausweis (“Energy-Passport,” EP) requirements for houses.

Energy-Passports (EPs)

With the right propaganda, I mean communication behind it, this new EP requirement can turn most home owners into your serfs! Harrietta calculated that over half of the houses in Germany are energy-deficient and in need of major energy-sanitation improvements. Actually, I think she is under-estimating the number of houses so affected. The possibilities for making hay there are enormous. What a great idea to re-invigorate the construction industry!

Therefore, I think you should re-direct your engineering prowess to help the poor home owners with the upgrades. They need more guidance on how to spend their life savings (or more!) on becoming more Neanderthal-like energy-deprived. By my own reckoning, even less than half of the houses in Germany can actually be brought up to modern EP-standards. They will all need to be razed and reconstructed from the ground up. The current occupants can be housed in yurts for the time being. If the nomads in the Asian plains can do that, why couldn’t the Bürgers of Germany?

Of course, it’s all in the name of efficiency and what other country in the world but Germany could possibly take the lead on that?

Anyway, I hope you and all your friends at the Munich Re, RWE and so on, are fine as well. Don’t let the problem at the Bard-1 offshore wind park wear you down! How could anyone think that a Swiss company, in a land-locked country, could build a converter for the high seas anyway? Your Helwin-1 HVDC converter station for the Bight will be a cinch!

I say Full Steam (or Wind) Ahead!

Your nephew
Joe

———————————

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts
convenientmyths.com

BIOLOGY PROFESSOR BLOWS THE WHISTLE ON WIND FARMS

September 26, 2014

Written by wcfn.org

Infrasound and other wind farm problems recognized by scientists.In an interview published in Truthout, Dr Patricia Mora casts doubts about the way in which environmental studies are conducted. ethics

What happens is absolute corruption. I have to admit that generally there are “agreements” behind closed doors between the consultants or research centers and the government offices before the studies are conducted. They fill out forms with copied information (and sometimes badly copied), lies or half truths in order to divert attention from the real project while at the same time complying with requirements on paper. Unfortunately, consultants sometimes take advantage of high unemployment and hire inexperienced people or unemployed career professionals without proper titles. Sometimes the consultants even coerce them into modifying the data.

“Research centers, pressured by a lack of funding, accept these studies. It is well known that scientists recognized by CONACYT (National Counsel on Science and Technology) accept gifts from these companies, given that they need money to buy equipment for their laboratories and to fill their pocketbooks to maintain their lifestyles. This is the extent of the corruption. Upon reviewing these studies, it is clear that the findings are trash, sometimes even directly copied from other sources online. These studies tend to focus on the “benefits of the project” and do not include rigorous analysis.

“The Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) does follow-up to the studies, but everything can be negotiated. The bureaucrats have the last word.”

Patricia Mora is a research professor in coastal ecology and fisheries science at the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Comprehensive Regional Development, Oaxaca Unit (CIIDIR Oaxaca), at the National Institute of Technology. She also raises other issues: the thorough destruction of biotopes by wind farms…

“… we find ourselves at the meeting point of various intimately related aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, known as “ecotones.” What occurs in each distinct ecosystem affects the dynamic on a larger scale, placing the existence of the adjoining ecosystems in danger.”

… the issues of low frequency sound, infrasound, and electromagnetic fields…

“There is abundant information about the harm caused by the sound waves produced by wind turbines. These sound waves are not perceptible to the human ear, which makes them all the more dangerous. They are also low frequency sound waves and act upon the pineal and nervous systems, causing anxiety, depression (there is a study from the United States that found an elevated suicide rate in regions with wind farms), migraines, dizziness and vomiting, among other symptoms. Western science has given very little weight to electromagnetic and sound waves. In contrast, Eastern science, which gives greater importance to the flow of energy through the body, links the origin of many illnesses to the pollution we generate through the emission of human-made energy flows. The harm caused by this pollution has only recently begun to be accepted.”

… the adverse effects on the population…

“The inhabitants would have to leave behind their traditional activities. Migration and misery would be their future. You can see how this has happened in other areas of the country. They would lose their culture and a lifestyle that has a deep respect for nature. For example, in the northwest coastal region of the country, the arrival of these projects has displaced the fishing communities and farmers. Today, many of these people and their children have migrated. In the worst cases, they have joined the drug trafficking business.”

“The only benefit has been for the companies. The carbon credits they have received have allowed them to avoid taxes and have permitted them to continue polluting.”

CFACT report — Climate Hype Exposed

September 19, 2014

CFACT releases a new report on the eve of the New York UN climate summit.

The report is authored by Paul Driessen with contributions from Marc Morano.

Executive Summary

Launched in 1988 at the urging of activists opposed to hydrocarbon energy, economic growth, and modern living standards, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was originally charged with assessing possible human influences on global warming and potential risks of human-induced warming. Over the subsequent decades, however, the IPCC increasingly minimized non-human factors, to the extent that it now claims only human influences matter – and any climate changes would “threaten our planet.”

The climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex has grown increasingly wealthy and powerful. It now spends billions of dollars annually on climate and weather research, focusing almost exclusively on carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases, and many billions more on renewable energy research and subsidies that raise energy prices, cost jobs, and reduce living standards.

Indeed, laws and regulations implemented in the name of preventing climate change have increased the cost of virtually everything people make, grow, ship, drive, eat, and do. They affect our lives, liberties, livelihoods, living standards, health, and welfare. Expert analysts calculate that climate-related rules will cost U.S. families and businesses almost $51 billion and 224,000 U.S. jobs every year through 2030 – on top of the $1.9 trillion in regulatory costs that Americans already pay every year.

With so much at stake, it is essential that climate research is honest, accurate and credible, and that the resultant energy and climate policies are based on sound, replicable science. Instead, the studies and reports are consistently defective and even deceitful. They incorporate every study financed by this multi-billion-dollar system that supports the “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis – no matter how far-fetched and indefensible their claims might be – and ignore all contrary studies and experts. They rely on faulty, manipulated data, secretive working sessions that revise the “science” to reflect political “summaries,” and computer models that completely fail to predict actual real-world climate trends.

Because average global temperatures have not risen for 18 years (and have even cooled slightly), even the terminology has shifted: from global warming to climate change, climate disruption, and extreme weather.

Relying on the IPCC work, the $2.5-billlion-a-year U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) issued a 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA) that claimed climate change “is already affecting” the lives of Americans in a “multitude of ways.” President Obama said its effects “are already being felt in every corner of the United States.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies use IPCC studies to justify costly vehicle mileage standards, delays and bans on oil and gas drilling and pipelines, and rules that are closing hundreds of coal-fired power plants and preventing new ones from being built.

As ClimateDepot.com director Marc Morano explains, the IPCC is “a political body masquerading as a science body.” It makes its pseudo-science fit its political agenda. The GCRP and the EPA do likewise. Their actions violate information quality laws and basic standards of sound science and peer review – to drive an anti-growth, anti-fossil fuel agenda. They exaggerate every conceivable cost associated with hydrocarbons, but completely ignore even the most obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels.

Now the White House wants to commit the United States to a new international “agreement” on climate change, energy use, economic growth, and wealth redistribution – without presenting it to Congress, in violation of constitutional requirements that any treaty receive the “advice and consent” of the Senate.

Every American concerned about our nation’s future should read this report, to understand what is happening and what is at stake. They should resist these actions by unelected, unaccountable regulators, challenge them in courts and legislatures, and demand that every study, report, and proposed rule be presented for review by citizens, legislators, and independent experts outside the closed circles of the climate change scientist-government-industrialist complex. If the climate alarmists are truly confident in their claims and have nothing to hide, they should be happy to participate in this honest, common sense approach.

Climate hype exposed cover

Full report

– See more at: http://www.cfact.org/2014/09/18/cfact-report-climate-hype-exposed/?utm_source=CFACT+Updates&utm_campaign=3ba0afdcc1-Report_Climate_change_exposed9_18_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a28eaedb56-3ba0afdcc1-270220145#sthash.kvNuGPea.dpuf


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