|September 12, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Issues|
The Obama Administration has made no secret of its intentions regarding the future of American resources. When Obama was campaigning for the presidency in 2008 he declared that he intended to bankrupt the coal industry and that electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket. Over the past three and a half years he has done just that. He has used his Environmental Protection Agency to aggressively wage war against any viable sources of energy in spite of having been shut down six times by U.S. courts, putting people out of work and causing increases in energy prices.
So what will happen if Obama is re-elected? The Daily Caller is running an article by James Valvo of Americans for Prosperity that gives us some insight into what we can expect from Obama’s EPA in a second Obama presidential term. Not surprisingly, it has to do with regulations that sniffle the production of energy.
Apply greenhouse gas regulations to existing power plants: In March 2012, EPA proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for new power plants. EPA wrote its proposed rule in a way that ensures that the regulations will only apply to new plants and only combined-cycle natural gas plants will be able to meet the thresholds. While this rule effectively bans construction of new coal-fired power plants, it doesn’t affect the existing coal fleet.
However, EPA has no statutory basis for not applying the Section 111 rules to existing and modified sources too. Once the election is past and the GHG rules for new plants are finalized, environmental groups will likely use a sue-and-settle strategy to get the GHG rules applied to existing coal plants as well. As the Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel, David Bookbinder, wrote, after environmentalists get regulations for new plants in place, “they could start thinking about how to deal with existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Act. But one thing at a time.” EPA admitted as much in its initial November 2011 draft of the GHG rule, indicating that “in a subsequent separate action, the EPA will issue … emission guidelines for … existing fossil-fuel-fired” power plants.
Finalize the Utility MACT rule: Following a yearlong fight to protect its ostensibly mercury-related climate regulations from congressional disapproval, the president’s EPA announced on July 20, 2012 that it would reconsider the emission limitations for new plants only until March 2013. Once the November election is in the rearview mirror, expect EPA to finalize these standards. The agency’s own estimates put the economic impact at $10 billion per year, while the health benefits from the mercury reductions are so small we won’t even be able to measure them. Of course, this rule isn’t about mercury at all; it’s designed to implement the administration’s climate agenda without legislative approval.
Resurrect proposed ozone regulations: In 2011, the Obama EPA pushed an out-of-cycle review of the nation’s ground-level ozone NAAQS. The agency is only supposed to review the levels every five years, but an overzealous Obama EPA just couldn’t wait. Following significant blowback — because the standards would’ve put almost the entire nation “out of attainment” and halted all permitting — EPA was forced to shelve the proposal. However, 2013 marks the correct time to review the levels, and we should expect EPA to pursue its previous proposal in earnest. A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found that EPA’s proposed ozone levels would erase 7.3 million jobs and cost $1 trillion by 2020.
The policies of the EPA will be devastating to the economy if Obama is re-elected. The regulations mentioned above as well as the use of of the Clean Water Act to pre-emptively deny permits will leave thousands of Americans without jobs and drive energy prices to a level that will be prohibitive. As President Obama said himself, energy cost will necessarily skyrocket.
You can take action by signing Resourceful Earth’s petition expressing your anger to Congress over the bureaucratic over-regulation policies of the Obama Administration’s EPA that are wrecking havoc with our economy.
|August 9, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Mining|
A primary rule of propaganda is that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Unfortunately, most of us read headlines and hear sound bites and rarely look beyond that. Therefore, what is put out there as truth is usually believed and becomes the basis for the opinions of the public at large. The wealthy ‘green’ activists groups seem to understand this concept well and have used it to give themselves credibility and to promote their job-killing agendas.
Just a couple of days ago they declared a ‘victory’ in an automated letter writing campaign against the proposed Pebble Mine Project in Alaska. They cull out enough evidence to prove they have ‘strong support’ for blocking the mining project. They leave out any evidence that proves that ‘strong support’ is shaky at best.
Worse of all, they leave out the fact that Native Alaskans and other local people have been refused a voice in the process. The powerful ‘green’ lobbies have run roughshod over the native villagers who have the most to lose if the employment opportunities of the mines is denied to them. They don’t have the wealth and connections the ‘greenies’ have, so their voices are being silenced.
Here are some facts that are in direct opposition to the claim that there is ‘widespread applause’ for opposition to the Pebble Mine Project.
The powerful environmental lobbying groups sent out a mass mailing to their membership with a quickie link to click to send a robo-comment to the EPA. They claim their response was fantastic making 98% of the comments received by the closing of the comment period as being in opposition to the proposed job and energy producing mining project. In reality, the letters came from people who were already members of environmentalist activists groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, National Parks Conservation Association and the Pew Environmental Group. Out of the millions of emails that were sent out asking for a quick click to send the letter, only 6% took the few seconds to do that. So a couple of hundred thousand letters sent by people who responded sounds good until you put it into the context of how many people were asked to click on the quick link. In truth, it’s an embarrassing level of response.
This lame response is after wealthy sports fishermen from the lower-48 have spent over $40 million to get support for opposing Pebble Mine and shut out public dialogue. Native Alaskans don’t have that kind of money to spend to get support. Their voices have been shut-out by the well-heeled who want to use their home lands for their own personal playground.
Another problem with their claim of ‘widespread’ opposition is that they left out the people most affected by whether or not the the EPA allows the Pebble Mine Project to proceed. Native Alaskans and villagers. Ten of the 12 Alaska Native Corporations, village corporations, tribal governments, state leadership and local leaders say this is a rush to nowhere. They say there is no threat and that a thoughtful scientific study is needed – not a rushed political move.
So the environmentalist’s claim of overwhelming support for pre-emptively denying the Pebble Mine Project to grossly overstated. In reality, it is propaganda. The lie is repeated over and over until it becomes truth. At least in the mind of the people. Meanwhile, average Americans will have to continue buying resources from other countries, paying more for it and Native Alaskans and villagers will be denied jobs and continue to struggle to live (or be forced to move away from their homes, giving up their Native culture!)
It gets so tiresome, doesn’t it. Having to dig so deep to ferret out the truth from the constant flow of misinformation we are fed by these groups who hold the general public in such contempt that they put their own pleasure above the livelihood of people in their own homes.
Once again we ask that the comment period be reopened in order to give Alaskans a chance to have their voices heard in this important debate.
|July 16, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Issues, Mining|
As Americans we are accustomed to being free to voice our opinions and have an expectation that we can have at least a minimal effect on events in our own local communities. Whether or not we choose to attempt to have an affect is another matter. We believe we can vote someone out of office who is not performing to our expectations. At the very least we can write our Congressmen, local commissioners or a scathing letter to the editor of our local newspapers.
Unfortunately, there are those who don’t understand this and are reverting to older ideas of government that have failed repeatedly. We see ourselves being moved backwards towards a stronger centralized government in insidious ways. So insidious that it’s barely noticeable until it gets so big that it will be hard to overcome.
One of the avenues for undermining the power of the people is through building huge bureaucratic organizations that make it virtually impossible for everyday people to have a say in what is going on in their own back yards and give all the power to a centralized government. That appears to be what is happening with the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska as well as other places around our country. The local people have little or no say. They are being ignored and all the power to make decisions is based with a few people who have their own agendas and have little or no interest in the opinions of the people most impacted by their decisions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is rushing the comment period for their controversial watershed assessment for Bristol Bay, Alaska that would pre-emptively deny permits for Pebble Mine which would mine the world’s largest copper resources located in Alaska. Lisa Jackson, Director of the EPA is refusing to meet with local supporters of the Pebble Mine Project and are holding community meetings on the project in Washington State, 1,500 miles away.
Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski has met with Lisa Jackson and is speaking out about her disappointment in the EPA’s indifference to the concerns of Alaskans:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for refusing to give Alaskans more time to comment on the agency’s controversial watershed assessment of the Bristol Bay region.
“The EPA’s refusal to provide additional time for the public to comment on the draft watershed assessment for Bristol Bay demonstrates, once again, that the agency does not understand Alaska,” Murkowski said. “There is no deadline – other than the one arbitrarily imposed by the EPA – that requires the agency to act now.”
Murkowski raised her concerns about the limited comment period directly with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Murkowski said the comment period, which is currently scheduled to close July 23, coincides with the busy summer season in Alaska, when many Alaskans are out commercial or subsistence fishing.
“I’m disappointed that the EPA’s Washington-based leaders have failed to see the benefits of allowing Alaskans adequate time to comment on an assessment that could have significant consequences for the future of our state,” Murkowski said.
The consequences for Alaska and its future are only a drop in the bucket to the consequences for the rest of the country in terms of acquiring much needed natural resources and jobs.
We need to speak out about this usurping of the people’s power. Resourceful Earth has set up an action alert site which makes it very easy for you to write your representative and ask that the people most affected by the Pebble Mine project have a say in keeping that opportunity from being shut down through bureaucratic red-tape. You can access the action site here.
|June 25, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Mining|
A few months ago we reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had snubbed Native American groups in an apparent effort to ‘Keystone’ the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska. The same group of mining supporters have tried to meet with EPA Director Lisa Jackson again and again she has refused to meet with them.
Both Native groups, community leaders and authorities (including Alaska’s Attorney General) have attempted to meet with and have their voices heard by the EPA. But it appears the EPA has developed selective hearing, only giving an ear to the voices of those who agree with the radical environmentalists who seem to oppose any development of resources within the United States.
A June 21, 2012 Greenwire article quotes an EPA spokesperson who states that the EPA has reached out to Native communities in Southwestern Alaska to offer them an opportunity to have their voices heard regarding the Pebble Mine Project. However, according to Trefon Angasan, board chairman of Alaska Peninsula Corp., a grouping of Alaska Native villages, the communities that have had the ear of the EPA aren’t close to the potential mining site. One of the communities Lisa Jackson has visited is Dillingham, Alaska, an anti-mining stronghold.
“We should have a consultation established with the EPA, and we don’t,” Angasan said, complaining about the lack of high-level consultation required for federally recognized tribes. “We have been excluded from the development of that watershed assessment.”
EPA’s comment period on the draft assessment runs through July 23. Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty (R) is calling for a delay until November.
“In short, this is a voluminous amount of complex information that requires thorough public review and comment,” Geraghty told the agency in a recent letter. “As EPA is well aware, normally such information for a specific proposed project takes several years to gather and be scientifically vetted and scrutinized by multiple state and federal agencies, which has not occurred here.”
Angasan said, “Right now, our people are gathering, they are fishing, they’re getting ready to fill their freezers for the summer so they can survive the winter. And they don’t have time to put everything aside.”
The EPA has not ruled out a preemptive veto of the Pebble Mine Project’s permitting process using the Clean Water Act. All this while the economic viability of the Native Alaskan communities in the area are tenuous at best. The Pebble Mine Project would inject jobs and businesses into the area that would not only allow the communities to survive, but would help them thrive. Lisa Reimers, CEO of Iliamna Development Corp. says that preemptively vetoing the development of Pebble Mine could amount to ‘cultural genocide’ for the Native peoples living in the area.
There is a lot at stake here. How this situation plays out in Alaska has implications far beyond Bristol Bay. The EPA’s unprecedented power grab and expansion impacts not only Alaskans and the Pebble Mine Project. If the EPA succeeds in preemptively shutting down the Pebble Mine Project, they will have the power to do the same with any project any where without input from local people and authorities.
This is not just about shutting down the jobs and economic boost available through the Pebble Mine Project. It is about the expansion of EPA’s power to use the Clean Water Act to shut down private citizens who just want to build a home or any other industrial project that attracts the ire of the radical environmentalists.
You can help by signing a letter, which will send an official comment to the EPA requesting that they extend the commenting period on Pebble, which is too short for a thoughtful discussion on this issue: Sign the letter here.
|June 14, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Energy, Issues|
Remaking a popular prime-time television soap opera that’s central premise is about the lives of a Texas family make rich through oil in the age of Environmentalism must have been a challenge. However, the new ‘Dallas’ remake addresses this issue straight from the get-go. Now the son’s of the quarrelsome brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing are continuing the soap opera as quarrelsome cousins.
It doesn’t take long to figure out who the good guys and who the bad guys are. The ‘good guys’ are Bobby’s family who want to change the direction of Ewing Oil towards alternative energy while J.R.’s son represents the ‘bad guys’ who wants to drain the earth of all its resources.
In the new plot, John Ross schemes to develop the oil on Southfork without the consent of Bobby (still played by Patrick Duffy). Meanwhile Bobby’s son Christopher, played by Jesse Metcalfe, has founded Ewing Alternative Energy and espouses a seemingly anti-oil perspective. Like any good soap opera, everything is incestuous and intertwined. The two men battle over the affections of Elena, a buxom entrepreneurial wildcatter who is also the daughter of the Ewing’s in-house cook, even while Christopher marries another woman. JR — the senior villain still played by Larry Hagman, watches on in bemusement.
The cheese is thick enough to spread on crackers.
“So, I hear you’ve come home with some kind of alternative energy scheme to save the world,” John Ross asks Christopher, in their first major argument around the dinner table.
“Oil is the past,” Christopher replies. “Alternatives are the future.”
“I couldn’t disagree more.”
“Well this country is quickly running out of resources,” Christopher adds.
And just like that, 16 minutes into the first episode of the pilot, the fundamental dynamic of U.S. energy policy — err… I mean, of the Ewing family in Dallas TX — is laid bare. Christopher even speeds away under the high-pitched electric whine of his sleek black Tesla.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where this is going.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal writer Dorothy Rabinowitz reviewed the show’s first episode:
We’re clearly now in an updated “Dallas,” very 21st century, with battle lines between good and evil firmly established. The opening scenes tell the story—evil comes in torrents of black, as in oil gushing from the earth, a gush that soils the faces of the cheering drillers who brought it forth. All this thanks to the ruthlessly ambitious John Ross (Josh Henderson), a third-generation Ewing, J.R.’s son, who has committed the “crime” abhorrent to environmentalists—namely drilling for oil. On the family’s land, no less. There’s also scary talk about fracking (high-volume drilling opposed by preservationists), about which you heard nary a word in the old “Dallas.” On the side of the good there’s Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe), adopted son of Bobby, another third-generation Ewing—but an enlightened and principled one, and a fervent advocate, he explains, of alternative sources of energy. Christopher is certain he’s found the answer in his plan to harvest methane—a plan he’s testing in waters off the coast of China. Don’t ask.
See, it only hurts the Earth if the resources are harvested in the clean and highly regulated United States. Getting those resources in other places in the world is a-okay!
Oh, I long for the days when we could watch television for entertainment and not be bombarded constantly with politically-correct propaganda about whatever the cool/popular issue du-jour is!