Just Shut Them All Down

from:  of The Blaze:

Back in 1992, in his speech to the Republican National Convention, Pat Buchanan railed against the “environmental extremists who put birds and rats and insects ahead of families, workers, and jobs.”

This was widely seen as an unfair caricature of liberal environmental policy in 1992. In 2012, it’s practically a bloodless statement of fact.

The Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, in fact, been doing its best to validate this description, either through policy or highly revealing slips of the tongue. The most recent of the slips comes from EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spalding, who was captured in a video released by the office of Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) telling an audience at Yale University the following:

“But know right now, we are, we are struggling. We are struggling because we are trying to do our jobs. Lisa Jackson has put forth a very powerful message to the country. Just two days ago, the decision on greenhouse gas performance standard and saying basically gas plants are the performance standard which means if you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem. That was a huge decision. You can’t imagine how tough that was. Because you got to remember if you go to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities who depend on coal. And to say that we just think those communities should just go away, we can’t do that. But she had to do what the law and policy suggested. And it’s painful. It’s painful every step of the way.”

Hear the comments from Spalding’s own mouth here:

To Spalding’s credit, he at least sounds regretful that the EPA (according to him) absolutely has to drive an entire industry into the ground for no apparent reason. Nevertheless, this video will do nothing to assuage the image of President Obama as an essentially anti-coal President who is using his EPA to try to strangle the industry – an image that has yielded political humiliation for the President in Appalachia, where coal is one of the leading sources of employment.

One almost feels sorry for President Obama’s sake that “birds and rats and insects” can’t vote…at least, not outside Chicago.

Natural Gas Gets Clubbed

From: RedState

With the shale gas boom in full swing, gas prices are at 10-year lows. We have the realistic prospect of abundant domestic supplies of a clean-burning fuel for the foreseeable future, who doesn’t like natural gas?

Ask the Sierra Club. This week, the venerable environmental organization announced its “Beyond Natural Gas” initiative, to go along with their “Beyond Coal” and “Beyond Oilcampaigns. Of course, they hate nuclear energy too.

“Fossil fuels have no part in America’s energy future – coal, oil, and natural gas are literally poisoning us. The emergence of natural gas as a significant part of our energy mix is particularly frightening because it dangerously postpones investment in clean energy at a time when we should be doubling down on wind, solar and energy efficiency.”
—Robin Mann, Sierra Club President

The Sierra Club has over a half-million members (down from 600,000) and an annual budget of $100 million. They are arguably the most influential environmental lobby in the country. People take them seriously, and politicians listen.

With their opposition to fossil fuels and nukes, the Sierra Club takes 91% of our current energy sources off the table (see EIA chart at the end of the post). And most of the remaining 9% they’re not too crazy about.

Youthful naiveté has an endearing quality. If their proposal were merely impractical, it would be naive. The Sierra Club is not naive. Their plan is physically and economically impossible. They have a willfully foolish, craven and destructive agenda. They are not looking for solutions. They wish an end to our industrialized civilization. They wish us to return to mud huts. There are responsible environmental organizations. It should be an embarrassment that anyone should give the Sierra Club a nickel.

The Sierra Club’s ultimate goal, not surprisingly, is to save the planet from Global Warming. To that end, they wish to curtail 90% of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050thirty-eight years from now.

How will they do it? In Robin Mann’s words: “[W]e should be doubling down on wind, solar and energy efficiency.”

Point #1: Everyone is for energy efficiency, and it happens naturally due to economics and technical advances. But “energy efficiency” is a strategy to use existing fuels more efficiently, not replace them. That means the only technologies on the table are wind and solar. So that leads to …

Point #2: This is not “doubling down”, it’s going “all in“. All in on a sucker’s bet. That’s because wind and solar would have to grow by a factor of 50 times their contribution in 2011. Not “grow by 50%” — 50 times. Even if we suddenly developed the will to do it, there’s not enough money/resources in the known universe to make it possible. And if we did it, what about the Chinese and the rest of the world? And what would be the environmental consequences of making the conversion?


See that little pink bar, way on the right? The Sierra Club loves that. Everything else; not so much. Not at all, in fact. And it’s even worse than that chart makes it appear — this is a graph of domestic sources. In addition to the 78 quads depicted here, we import another 20. And Geothermal has limited growth potential. So that little pink bar needs to grow from a value of 2, to 100.
Or more than 100, because the population is going to grow by 2050. And since wind and solar are not primary transportation sources, we’d need to generate even more to account for efficiency losses.

This radicalism can be understood in the context of a recent reorganization:

Carl Pope, who has led the Sierra Club for much of the last two decades, is planning to leave the organization next year as it struggles to redefine its mission in a tough economy, the organization said Friday. … Mr. Pope, 66, stepped down as executive director last year after 17 years, turning the job over to Michael Brune, 40, who came to the Sierra Club from the Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace, younger and politically more aggressive groups. Mr. Pope has held the title of chairman since Mr. Brune arrived and will remain a consultant to the club until the end of next year.

Has the Sierra Club jumped the shark? That happened long ago. My friend, with this natural gas pronouncement, the Sierra Club gave the shark a lap dance. And had its love child.

The Wall Street Journal reminds us that not long ago, the Sierra Club and natural gas were BFFs (to the tune of $26 million from Chesapeake Energy, never a shrinking violet when it comes to advancing its own interests):

“The political irony is that not too long ago the Sierra Club and other greens portrayed natural gas as the good fossil fuel. The Sierra Club liked natural gas so much (and vice versa) that from 2007-2010 the group received $26 million in donations from Chesapeake Energy and others in the gas industry, according to an analysis by the Washington Post. Some of that money was for the Beyond Coal campaign. …”

But now that the hydraulic fracturing and shale revolution has sent [wellhead] gas prices down to $2.50 [from $8 or more per million BTU in 2008], the lobby fears natural gas will come to dominate U.S. energy production. At that price, the Sierra Club’s Valhalla of wind, solar and biofuel power may never be competitive. So the green left has decided it must do everything it can to reduce the supply of gas and keep its price as high as possible.

Give Me Some Water

I am not a big fan (pardon the pun) of wind turbines but this is pretty cool.

Wind turbines can now provide drinking water in humid climates following a breakthrough by a French engineering firm.

Eole Water modified  typical electricity-generating turbines to allow them to distill drinking water out of the air in a bid to help developing countries solve their water needs.

A prototype in Abu Dhabi already creates 62 liters (16.5 gallons) of water an hour, and Eole hopes to sell turbines generating a thousand liters a day later this year.

Thibault Janin, director of marketing at Eole Water, said: ‘This technology could enable rural areas to become self-sufficient in terms of water supply.
‘As the design and capabilities develop, the next step will be to create turbines that can provide water for small cities or areas with denser populations.’

The turbine works in the same way as the turbines currently seen dotting horizons around the world – and the electricity produced also helps power the water manufacturing process.

Air gets sucked into the nose of the turbine and is directed to a cooling compressor. The humidity is then extracted from the air and condensed and collected.

The water then travels down stainless steel pipes under the forces of gravity into a storage tank, where – with some filtering and purification – it is then ready to drink, wash, or cultivate with.

Mr Janin told CNN that one generator producing 1,000 liters a day is ‘enough to provide water for a village or town of 2,000 to 3,000 people’.

He said communities in Africa and South America, and remote islands in Asia with little access to safe drinking water, would be the types of communities who stood to benefit the most from the technology.

He added: ‘If you think of Indonesia, it has (thousands of) islands and they cannot centralize their water supply … the geographic makeup of the country makes it impossible.

‘This technique could enable them to overcome these problems and make the islands self-sufficient in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.’
But anyone ready to get their checkbook out should note the cost – around $650,000 per turbine. However Janin noted that prices would fall as economies of scale came into play.

He added: ‘We have just started the commercial aspect of this product but the price is not that expensive when you compare it with the long term solution that it gives.’

Eole Water said their priorities in the design were maximum water production, energy independence, low maintenance, logistical flexibility and no environmental impact.

The turbines have a life expectancy of 20 years.

Attribution: Eddie Wrenn

New Town Management

No doubt, most of us have probably seen or at least heard of the demonstration of EPA civility. If you have, it bears another look. If you haven’t, this article is a good synopsis of events. As you read and watch,  just imagine if this were the Bush adminstration and Inhofe was maybe, Chuckie Schumer. Imagine the theatre, the spectacle, the wailing and nashing of teeth by every news outlet in the land. We all assume this administrator was speaking metaphorically, but with bunch, who knows.

 

From Craig Bannister at CNS News:

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor today to draw attention to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA’s “philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies – just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.

Inhofe quoted a little-watched video from 2010 of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, admitting that EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies.

In the video, Administrator Armendariz says:

“I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said:

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they’d crucify them.

“Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

“It’s a deterrent factor,” Armendariz said, explaining that the EPA is following the Romans’ philosophy for subjugating conquered villages.

Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA’s “philosophy,” the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe’s office noted in advance of today’s Senate speech:

“Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

“In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either

Indoctrinate the Children

insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

In his Senate speech, Sen. Inhofe said the video provides Americans with “a glimpse of the Obama administration’s true agenda.”

That agenda, Inhofe said, is to “incite fear” in the public with unsubstantiated claims and “intimidate” oil and gas companies with threats of unjustified fines and penalties – then, quietly backtrack once the public’s perception has been firmly jaded against oil and natural gas.

A Plethora of Happy Coincidences

By: The Common Constitutionalist 

Warren Buffett is President Barack Obama’s BFF.

Warren Buffett receives the Presidential Medal of Coincidence

The Keystone XL Pipeline is the oil pipeline that would carry oil from our friends in Canada down across several of our states to end up in Texas. It was first proposed in 2008.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad in 2009, shortly after Obama was elected.

Buffett’s nickname is the Oracle of Omaha. Omaha is in Nebraska, where resides the headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway; remember that.

Nebraska (with the administrations help) just happens to be the state that put the kybosh on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

As it happens, Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC, which, as previously stated, is owned by Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., handles 75 percent of all the oil currently shipped by rail out of North Dakota.

Oil producers in North Dakota had planned to hook into the XL pipeline.

Strange bedfellows: Always remember a liberal is a liberal first, regardless of whatever else he or she claims to be and will always side with other liberals. So when a spokesman for the Sierra Club admitted “there is no question that transporting oil by rail or truck is much more dangerous than a pipeline,” it should come as no surprise that the eco-fanatics sided with the President to kill the pipeline.

Enter Ben Nelson, the honorable Senator from Nebraska. (I told you to remember this: Obama hearts Buffett. Buffett= Nebraska = Nelson)

"So this is what will kill the Pipeline project"

So when it comes to the Keystone oil pipeline and Buffett’s Burlington Northern, all roads lead to Nebraska.

GBTV uncovered a not so startling connection between Berkshire Hathaway and Senator Ben Nelson, who voted against the Keystone XL and lobbied that it be re-routed to avoid Nebraska, effectively killing the project. Ironically, the Senator’s attempts to thwart the pipeline were done while he himself maintained his state would heartily welcome the jobs created from the Keystone project.

 While Nelson’s position then seems counterintuitive, add to it the fact that he is heavily invested in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. From 2007 to 2012 Nelson contributed $27,000 to the company itself and according to a recent financial disclosure statement from 2008, he owned between $1.5 and $6 million of the company’s stock – his largest investment in any one company to date. (So by counterintuitive, I meant completely intuitive.)

It doesn’t end there, of course. Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe PAC in turn contributed $5,000 to Senator Nelson’s Nebraska Leadership PAC and Berkshire Hathaway employees have reportedly long supported the senator, contributing at least $75,550 to the Nebraska Democrat over the course of his political career according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Coincidence or quid pro quo? I vote…coincidence.

Not coincidentally, Senator Nelson penned an op-ed column on March 5, 2012 entitled “Behind Those High Gas Prices.” As you can imagine, the senator was quick to tell Nebraskans that the spike “has nothing to do with the Keystone Pipeline” and also “isn’t a result of domestic oil production.”

Now move along people; Nothing to see here.

Mitt hearts Oil

I don’t agree much with Mitt Romney, but he is right on the money regarding this topic.

rom: Conservative Byte

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney said there is “no question” that President Obama is to blame for rising gas prices and called for the president to fire the “gas hike trio” of cabinet members.

“When [President Obama] ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up,” Romney said. “He said that energy prices would skyrocket under his views, and he selected three people to help him implement that program.

The secretary of energy, the secretary of interior and EPA administrator. And this gas hike trio has been doing the job over the last three-and-a-half years, and gas prices are up. The right course is they ought to be fired because the president has apparently suffered election-year conversion. He’s now decided that gasoline prices should come down.”

Romney went on to say that once Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson submit their letters of resignation, Obama should “start drilling for energy here,” and pursue development of oil, natural gas, and coal resources.

Affordable Light Bulbs

Government Stupidity Defies Satire When a $50 Light Bulb Wins an Affordability Prize

 by: Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve written about the government’s war on consumer-friendly light bulbs (and also similar attacks on working toilets and washing machines that actually clean), so I’m generally not surprised by bureaucratic nonsense.

But even I’m shocked the federal government gave an affordability award for a light bulb that costs $50. I’m not making this up. Here’s a blurb from ABC News.

The U.S. government has awarded appliance-maker Philips $10 million for devising an “affordable” alternative to today’s standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That standard bulb sells for around $1. The Philips alternative sells for $50. Of course, the award-winner is no ordinary bulb. It uses only one-sixth the energy of an incandescent. And it lasts 30,000 hours–about 30 times as long. In fact, if you don’t drop it, it may last 10 years or more. But only the U.S. Government (in this case, the Department of Energy) could view a $50 bulb as cheap.

Isn’t that wonderful? My tax dollars were used to reward a company that produced a light bulb I can’t afford.

Lisa Benson has a very good cartoon about this light bulb, as well as the less-than-shocking news that Obamacare will be more costly than originally forecast.

The Big Fat Oily Lie

Just today President Obama warned supporters that they would likely soon hear Republican calls of “drill, drill, drill” as election season heats up, and but warned that solely relying on new oil exploration would not solve America’s energy woes.

The President exclaimed to his uninformed supporters, “America uses more than 20 percent of the world’s oil. If we drilled every square inch of this country …. we would still have only 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.

“If you have got 2 and you need 20, there is a gap.”

Let’s put this myth to bed, once & for all. To be more accurate, I should say, let’s put this lie to bed. He is lying and he knows it. It’s that, or he is the most illinformed world leader on the planet. I’m sure it’s the former.

 

Scarce Oil? U.S. Has 60 Times More Than Obama Claims

By John Merline of Investors Business Daily [emphasis addded]

When he was running for the Oval Office four years ago amid $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, then-Sen. Barack Obama dismissed the idea of expanded oil production as a way to relieve the pain at the
pump.

“Even if you opened up every square inch of our land and our coasts to drilling,” he said. “America still has only 3% of the world’s oil reserves.” Which meant, he said, that the U.S. couldn’t affect global oil prices.

It’s the same rhetoric President Obama is using now, as gas prices hit $4 again, except now he puts the figure at 2%.

“With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” he said. “Not when we consume 20% of the world’s oil.”

The claim makes it appear as though the U.S. is an oil-barren nation, perpetually dependent on foreign oil and high prices unless we can cut our own use and develop alternative energy sources like algae.

But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world’s proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves “are a small subset of recoverable resources,” because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska’s North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Then, there’s the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it’s heated.

A separate Rand Corp. study found that about 800 billion barrels of oil shale in Wyoming and neighboring states is “technically recoverable,” which means it could be extracted using existing technology. That’s more than triple the known reserves in Saudi Arabia.

All told, the U.S. has access to 400 billion barrels of crude that could be recovered using existing drilling technologies, according to a 2006 Energy Department report.

When you include oil shale, the U.S. has 1.4 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil, according to the Institute for Energy Research, enough to meet all U.S. oil needs for about the next 200 years, without any imports.

And even this number could be low, since such estimates tend to go up over time.

Back in 1995, for example, the USGS figured there were 151 million barrels of oil in North Dakota’s Bakken formation. In 2008, it upped that estimate to 3 billion barrels, then to 4.3 billion barrels — a 25-fold increase. Now, some oil analysts say there could be as much as 20 billion barrels there.

And USGS in 2002 quadrupled its oil estimate in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.

To be sure, energy companies couldn’t profitably recover all this oil — even at today’s prices — and what they could wouldn’t make it to market for years. But from the industry’s perspective, the real problem with domestic oil is that the government has roped off most of these supplies.

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, for example, put a huge swath of land off-limits to drilling. And in 1982, Congress blocked access to most of the oil in the Outer Continental Shelf. Much of the oil on federal lands is also off-limits.

Obama and others say the industry’s claim about lack of access isn’t true, since they aren’t even using many of the offshore leases they already have. The industry counters that this is misleading, since a company needs the lease before it can determine if any oil exists there — a potentially time-consuming process.

In any case, any attempt to get at these vast new oil supplies is sure to face fierce opposition from environmental groups worried about oil production’s direct impact on the environment, as well as global warming worries.

But given today’s prices, most of the public is willing to expand drilling offshore, in ANWR, and in shale oil reserves, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.

“This is not a geological problem — it’s a political problem,” said Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research. “We’ve embargoed our own supplies.”

Oh the Irony

Isn’t It Ironic?  

The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever. 

Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us,

“Please do not feed the animals because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.”

Killer Turbines

From Erica Ritz of The Blaze:

Continuing to survive primarily on federal handouts and subsidies, the wind energy movement has recently come under fire. While it is typically seen as a “clean” and “eco-friendly” alternative to fossil fuels, as the bird carcasses accumulate, the movement is starting to see closer scrutiny. According to Robert Bryce of the Wall Street Journal:

Over the past two decades, the federal government has prosecuted hundreds of cases against oil and gas producers and electricity producers for violating some of America’s oldest wildlife-protection laws: the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Eagle Protection Act.

But the Obama administration—like the Bush administration before it—has never prosecuted the wind industry despite myriad examples of widespread, unpermitted bird kills by turbines. A violation of either law can result in a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment for two years…

Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles are being killed per year by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass, about 20 miles east of Oakland, Calif. A 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks—as well as about 7,500 other birds, nearly all of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—are being killed every year by the turbines at Altamont.

…Bats are getting whacked, too. The Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates that wind turbines killed more than 10,000 bats in the state in 2010.

ExxonMobil pleaded guilty in federal court…to the deaths of 85 birds [not eagles] at its operations in several states, according to the Department of Justice. The birds were protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Exxon agreed to pay $600,000 in fines and fees. In July, the PacifiCorp utility of Oregon had to pay $10.5 million in fines, restitution and improvements to their equipment after 232 eagles were killed by running into power lines in Wyoming, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

That is far fewer than the estimated 10,000 birds (nearly all protected by the migratory bird law) that are being killed every year at Altamont…

Despite the deleterious effect that the windmills are having on wildlife, the wind industry is pushing to keep both its carte blanche and generous subsidies. According to Eric Glitzenstein, a Washington D.C.-based lawyer who wrote a petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “It‘s absolutely clear that there’s been a mandate from the top” not to prosecute the wind industry for violating wildlife laws. “To me,” he said, “that’s appalling public policy.”

In 2011, wind energy was the second-largest recipient of the government’s $24 billion in energy subsidies. According CNN Money, proponents say that, “while renewable technologies may be more expensive now, federal support provides a crucial market and…given time and economies of scale, renewable technologies will eventually be able to compete with fossil fuel.”