Green Failure

Business: The CEO of Siemens AG, the German manufacturing giant, has been sent packing. Seems the board had it with his stewardship. Instead of making solid gains, he took the company down a green energy hole.

Peter Loescher was picked from Merck & Co. in May 2007 to lead Siemens out of a troubling time. What they got was an executive who made a bet on a trendy interest and didn’t get the results that were expected of him.

“This weekend,” Bloomberg News reported Monday, the company “lost patience after Loescher’s expansion into green energy and expensive acquisitions led to a fifth profit-forecast cut.”

Loescher was then dismissed on Wednesday.

He can’t say he wasn’t warned. He needed only to look at Spain, where attempts to create a green economy failed miserably.

Researcher Gabriel Calzada Alvarez at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos looked at the Spanish effort and found that for every green job that was created, 2.2 jobs were destroyed. Alvarez also discovered that for each green megawatt of energy brought on line, 5.28 jobs were lost elsewhere in the economy.

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Is Fed Now Making Its Next Big Mistake?

Ben Bernanke has a message for Wall Street  and Main Street: Don’t worry, expect no big changes in Fed policy — unless the  economy changes in a major way. Don’t hold your breath.

No question, the nation’s top banker has a tough job convincing investors,  producers and lawmakers he’s doing the right thing for the economy. The problem  is, the Fed has a long track record of making big mistakes, but often doesn’t  know until years later.

And it might be making one now.

While some speak of the Fed’s “success,” holding interest rates at zero and  buying $85 billion a month in Treasuries — the Fed now owns more than $3.5  trillion in U.S. debt, up from $900 billion just a few years ago — this hasn’t  brought us a normal economic recovery.

Indeed, despite the incredible stimulus, inflation remains below the Fed’s 2%  target. GDP growth is averaging an anemic 1.7% in the past year.

All told, the economy is just 3% bigger than at the end of 2007, when the  recession began. By comparison, in a normal recovery GDP is usually up 16% or  more this far into a recovery.

Unemployment of 7.6% isn’t close to satisfactory. And since last year all of  the net U.S. jobs created have been part-time positions; it’s obvious we’re in  an unprecedented employment crisis.

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Build the Pipeline

It’s Time to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL pipeline is a line in the sand issue, dividing those who want to utilize our energy resources to create jobs and propel America toward economic growth and energy self-sufficiency and those whose sole goal is to stop the development of fossil fuels.

There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, which is why it is so perplexing that President Obama has yet to make a decision on the project after weighing the issue for over four years.

The pipeline, if fully constructed, would be able to carry nearly a million barrels of oil per day, bringing supplies from the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, as well as U.S. crude from the Bakken oil fields being developed in North Dakota and Montana.

A report from the Department of Energy estimates that the increased energy supplies and gains in energy efficiency could essentially eliminate U.S. dependence on Middle East oil.

This pipeline could tip the global oil market’s balance of power in North America’s favor, taking back this power from politically unstable regions of the world.

This is welcome, real progress for America. But progress for the environmental extremists is to hold back this opportunity and the power of our energy abundance through review, regulation and red tape.

Just as Keystone has become a rallying cry for environmentalists, it has also become a rallying cry for American workers.

Construction of the pipeline would support the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across several different sectors of the economy.

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Biofuel Scam

from: IBD

 

 In yet another green folly, the lawless Environmental  Protection Agency continues to fine gasoline producers for not using cellulosic biofuels in quantities that don’t exist, making only more pain at the pump.

cellulosic-ethanolLast month, a federal court dealt a serious blow to the Environmental  Protection Agency’s renewable fuels push by ruling that the agency exceeded its authority by mandating refiners use cellulosic biofuels, which aren’t  commercially available. The EPA’s lawless response in a lawless administration was to raise its requirements.

In 2005 and 2007, Congress twice amended the Clean Air Act to establish a renewable fuel standard (RFS) that included a mandate to use cellulosic  biofuels.

If refiners failed to meet the goals, the EPA could fine them. The RFS set ambitious goals for cellulosic biofuels but at least charged the EPA with reducing the requirement if production was lower than the mandate.

This the EPA simply ignored, issuing fines for failing to use this biofuel when it wasn’t even available.

As Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner points out in Politico, 2010, the first year of the mandate, the EPA projected 5 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels would be available.

In fact, there were none. Not a single gallon. In 2011, the EPA increased the mandate to 6.5  million gallons. Again, the actual amount available was zero. Undeterred, in  2012, the EPA increased the required amount to 8.5 million gallons. The actual available amount was 25,000 gallons.

ScamThis absurdity prompted the American Petroleum Institute (API) to file a lawsuit last year challenging the EPA’s rulemaking. The API petitioned the court to review the EPA’s January 2012 RFS.

On Jan. 25, 2013, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed the EPA had  exceeded its authority. “(W)e agree with API that EPA’s 2012 projection of  cellulosic biofuel production was in excess of the agency’s statutory authority,” reads the court decision.

The court further told the agency: “The EPA points to no instance in which the term ‘projected’ is used to allow the projector to let its aspiration for a self-fulfilling prophecy divert it from a neutral methodology.”

The agency’s response to the court’s ruling, Sensenbrenner notes, was to  nearly double its 2013 mandate from 8.5 million gallons to 14 million gallons.

Different from corn- or sugar-based ethanol — which have questionable benefits — cellulosic ethanol is made from wood chips, switch grass and  agricultural waste, such as corncobs.

The EPA’s requirement for 14 million gallons of the stuff is about as realistic as that trillion-dollar coin some have proposed to solve our fiscal problems.