|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.
|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 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!
|June 12, 2012||Posted by Beth Shaw under Issues|
It has to be really difficult for all these super smart political people to have to dumb themselves down so Americans can understand them. Thus is the case for Lisa Jackson, the EPA Chief. In a recent interview that the reason people are upset with the Environmental Protection Agency is that the people just don’t understand the issues. She claims that its not over-regulation and President Obama’s stated goal of shutting down coal plants across the country, rather it is the free market that is determining coal production.
Not only that, but she questioned whether the American public could comprehend writing above a fifth grade level.
“In accordance with the law, we moved forward with sensible, cost effective steps at the federal level on climate, using the Clean Air Act.” And I would have a second sentence — see, I can’t write headlines! But it would be something like, ”The progress at state and local levels, combined with the federal level, does not obviate the need” — you can’t use obviate, it’s above fifth-grade level! — “does not obviate the need for federal legislation to address this incredibly important challenge for this and future generations.”
It doesn’t feel like We The People are getting any respect.
Read more here.
|May 3, 2012||Posted by Admin under Issues, Mining|
Count Alaska Attorney General Michael Geraghty in the chorus of voices decrying the bullying tactics of the EPA in its efforts to shut down an important resource project before it’s even had the chance to apply for permits.
Geraghty wrote in a March letter to Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator of EPA Region X, “We believe that EPA’s actions in using the Watershed assessment to address the pending petition are unlawfully preemptive, premature, arbitrary, capricious and vague.”
Legal Newsline reports:
EPA’s watershed assessment effort reaches well beyond any process or authority contemplated by the [Clean Water Act]…
…it conflicts with federal and state law, lacks scientific credibility and violates state and private mineral rights…
Various federal judges – including Supreme Court Justices – have described the EPA’s conduct as “outrageous” or “exceeding its authority.”
The Pebble Mine project continues to be under threat from this unconstitutional expansion of power by the EPA. You can take action via Resourceful Earth by sending a letter to your Representative and Senators telling them to stop the EPA and their bullying tactics here.
For further reading:
Alaska AG says EPA’s actions ‘unlawful’ (Legal Newsline)
Obama’s “None Of The Above” Energy Policy (Wizbang Blog)
Big Green pushes for EPA power grab to stop Pebble Mine (Washington Examiner)