In this episode I give a stirring tribute to the artist known as Prince. The next segment centers on a discussion of just who should be on our paper money. The Donald and his surrogates believe we should leave it alone and that the change is just due to political correctness. I then give my thoughts on just who should adorn our dollar bills.
by: the Common Constitutionalist
The Sierra Club gleefully reports that our saints at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to date have forced the closure of 186 coal-fired power plants. They claim there are still 337 to go. According to their data each coal-fired plant produces an average of 500 MW of energy, capable of powering roughly 260,000 households. That’s over 48 million households deprived of inexpensive energy, and all in the name of combating global warming.
Their reasoning is to combat the emission of carbon dioxide, that evil greenhouse gas that has caused our Earth to warm unnecessarily.
Yet recent discoveries have found what we’ve known all along. That man-made climate change is a scam and a scandal of proportions that we have never seen.
Not long after it was announced that 2014 was the hottest year on record, evidence has come to light of massive tampering of temperature data to make it appear that the earth is warming.
Paul Homewood discovered the tampering when he examined NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies temperature recordings. You may read about his findings here and here. He began by looking at the recordings from rural stations in South America. What he found was staggering. The originally recorded data had been changed dramatically. Not just altered slightly but shifted dramatically.
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 Oil” campaigns. 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 2050 – thirty-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.
By: The Common Constitutionalist
Warren Buffett is President Barack Obama’s BFF.
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 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.
When President Obama, who is normally a great proponent of “infrastructure” projects, made his bizarre decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline project, I wondered if he might have been induced to create those thousands of American jobs if the oil could be moved by his beloved high-speed rail.
As it turns out, oil is already moved from northern latitudes, such as the booming oil fields of North Dakota, down to the Gulf of Mexico by rail of the old, low-speed variety. Fortunately, as Newt Gingrich pointed out during the Monday night Republican debate in Florida, the oil is on private land, so Obama can’t shut production down.
Shipping the oil with a pipeline would have significantly reduced costs, as an Associated Press report explains:
Billions of dollars of infrastructure improvements have been made in recent years to allow North Dakota’s oil shipping capacity to keep pace with the skyrocketing production. North Dakota is the nation’s fourth-biggest oil producer and is expected to trail only Texas in crude output within the next year.
Alison Ritter, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Mineral Resources, said the state’s so-called takeaway capacity is adequate, though producers and the state were counting on the on the Keystone XL to move North Dakota crude.
Shipping crude by pipeline in North Dakota adds up to $1.50 to its cost, compared to $2 or more a barrel for rail shipments, producers say.
“Oil that would have moved by the Keystone XL is now going to shift to rail transportation,” Ritter said.
Amusingly, 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,” but that didn’t stop the zero-growth eco-fanatics from calling in their chips with President Downgrade to kill that pipeline.
Those rail shipments are expected to “increase exponentially with increased oil production and the shortage of pipelines,” according to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority. That’s going to be quite a windfall for the railroad companies, isn’t it?
As it happens, 75 percent of the oil currently shipped by rail out of North Dakota is handled by Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC… which just happens to be a unit of Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. What a coincidence!
For some reason, nobody from BNSF or Berkshire Hathaway would return the AP’s telephone calls, but oilman Harold Hamm told them he was sure this was just a wonderful “lucky break” for Barack Obama’s favorite billionaire, who is “certainly favored by this decision.” I’ve heard Buffett’s famously overtaxed secretary will be a guest at the State of the Union address tonight. Maybe someone could ask her about it.
The “tax me more” refrain from liberal billionaires is one of the oldest sucker games in the book. For the well-connected, the money that can be made through government power – whether by influencing corrupt politicians, or merely predicting what they’re going to do – dwarfs whatever income they offer to cough up.