Why did he wait so long

Senator Jeff Sessions has just now called Obama, “the emperor of the United States.”  One should ask, why did he and other Republicans not hang the title on the day he (Obama) made his inaugural speech?  Anyone with one eye and half-sense could understand the direction he was heading.

Here’s is a short article by William Halper in the Weekly Standard detailing Sessions’ assertion:

Senator Jeff Sessions calls Barack Obama an “Emperor of the United States” now that the president is going ahead with executive amnesty.

“President Obama previously said he could not issue an executive amnesty because ‘I’m the President of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.’ Well, apparently we now have an ‘Emperor of the United States,’” Sessions writes in a statement.

“President Obama’s immigration order would provide illegal immigrants with the exact benefits Congress has repeatedly rejected: Social Security numbers, photo IDs and work permits—which will allow them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans in every occupation. Congress must not allow this unconstitutional action. That means Congress should fund the government while ensuring that no funds can be spent on this unlawful purpose.”

 

Six energy policy changes to watch for in a Republican-controlled Congress

This is a long one from Marita, but it needs to be.  Read all of it … it is worth the few minutes you’ll spend compared to the enjoyment and satisfaction you’ll receive.

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 2463

Six energy policy changes to watch for in a Republican-controlled Congress

Now that the dust has settled on the 2014 midterms, we can get a sense of how things will change in Washington under a Republican controlled Senate—and energy will be front and center.

Republicans and Democrats have very different views on energy development and policy. The past six years have seen taxpayer dollars poured into green-energy projects that have embarrassed the administration and promoted teppan-style renewables that chop-up and fry unsuspecting birds midflight and increase costs for consumers and business. Meanwhile, Republicans have touted the job creation and economic impact available through America’s abundant fossil-fuel resources.

Voters made their preference clear: Republicans won more seats, and with bigger majorities, than anyone predicted.

The day after the election, the Friends of the Earth, wasting no time, sent out a dramatic fundraising pitch, opening with: “The election’s over—the planet lost.” (You may not have even known that the planet was on your local ballot, but apparently it was.)

The email’s proclamation, once again, exposes the environmentalists’ agenda: “President Obama hasn’t always done the right thing for the environment. He should have denied the Keystone Pipeline years ago, he should be rolling back unchecked fracking, and he should have taken stronger action on climate both at home and in international negotiations.”

Gratefully, though ideologically aligned with them, he attempted to appease and didn’t take the extreme level of action Friends of the Earth would have liked.

The Keystone pipeline remains a strong possibility, though the Canadians have nearly given up on us. Fracking is regulated at the state level, which, mostly, allows it to continue to increase America’s energy freedom—resulting in lower prices at the pump. Because more than 96 percent of the wells drilled in America today use the decades-old, but new-and-improved, technology of hydraulic fracturing, a federal fracking ban, like environmental groups have been trying to pass through city and county initiatives, would virtually shut down our booming energy economy. President Obama tried, but couldn’t pass a cap-and-trade bill—even when his party controlled both houses. Nor could he get a new Kyoto-like international treaty ratified. Most of the western world is now retreating on the climate pledges made in a different political era.

Friends of the Earth is correct, though. The email states: “Now, with both the Republican Senate and the House salivating and ready to sink their teeth into our most basic environmental laws, the President’s environmental legacy is truly at stake.” The Republicans are likely “salivating”—though not specifically about “basic environmental laws.”

Big changes in energy policy are in the works. Not just because Republicans want to destroy the president’s “legacy,” but because a wealthy country is better able to do things right. A growing economy needs energy that is efficient, effective and economical—which is why countries like China and India will not limit energy availability and why Republicans want to expand access in the U.S.

What energy policies might the Republicans want to “sink their teeth into”?

Keystone pipeline
At a November 13 breakfast presentation on “the unconventional oil and gas revolution,” Senior Director, Energy Insight IHS, Chris Hansen said: “I expect to see action on the Keystone pipeline within the next few months.” While it is widely believed that Keystone would be an easy win in the Republican-controlled congress, the November 4 results are already making a difference.

Post-election, the Keystone pipeline—which the State Department has projected would create more than 40,000 jobs—has suddenly leapt to the front of the lame-duck-legislation line. Months ago, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Hoeven (R-ND), along with 54 others (including 11 Democrats), reintroduced legislation to authorize building the Keystone pipeline—but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has blocked the popular bill by repeatedly denying requests to take up the legislation. The House has already approved eight previous Keystone bills and quickly passed an identical bill sponsored by Landrieu’s election opponent Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The question remains is whether or not the White House will approve the bill, though spokesman Josh Earnest hinted at an Obama veto—which would further anger his union supporters that have pushed for its passage for the past six years. If the president vetoes what many are calling the Save Mary Landrieu Act, all is not lost for the Keystone pipeline.

With many Democrats already on board with Keystone and a push for more support from union leadership, the new Congress may be able to pass it again—this time with a veto-proof majority.

Federal lands
President Obama likes to brag about the increased U.S. production of oil and gas. In his post-election press conference he stated: “Our dependence on foreign oil is down.” While the statement is true, it falsely implies that he had something to do with that fact.

Reality is, as a Congressional Research Service report makes clear, while oil production has increased 61 percent on state and private lands, it has decreased 6 percent on federal land where the administration has authority. Additionally, the report points out, applications to drill on federal lands take nearly twice as long to process under the Obama administration than they did previously.

Not only has the White House discouraged drilling on federal lands, President Obama has used his pen to lock up federal lands with potential development, such as the newly designated Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument—which blocks production without analyzing the economic impact. “Every time they lock up federal lands, whether through national monuments, conservation areas, or wilderness areas,” Steven Henke, President of New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, told me, “they eliminate the potential for royalties from the federal estate. Those funds benefit both the state and federal government and reduce the burden to the taxpayers.”

For example, one prediction has drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) becoming a part of the Republican Party’s vision of energy independence: Alaska’s senior Senator “Lisa Murkowski has long argued that drilling in ANWR would help reduce the national deficit.”

Not all federal lands have oil-and-gas, or other mineral-extraction, potential, so a reversal of policy may not increase production by the 61 percent seen on state and private lands—but it could mean the U.S. not only passes Saudi Arabia in oil production, it leaves it in a dust storm.

Oil and natural gas exports
Before the new Congress is sworn in, we already hear a lot of talk about lifting the ban on oil exports that was put into place in response to the 1970s Arab oil embargo. Reuters reports: Senator Murkowski “has fought to relax the ban all year by issuing a series of papers detailing how such exports have been allowed in the past, holding a private meeting on the subject with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, and hinting that 2015 could be the time to introduce ban-ending legislation.”

With the Republicans now in charge come January, Murkowski will become the Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She is expected to start by “holding hearings, pressuring Obama administration officials, and testing the level of support from party leadership.”

Oil producers continue to lobby for the lifting of the ban, as the light crude now being produced in the U.S. is difficult for domestic refiners to process with current equipment. If Congress can increase drilling access to federal lands, even more crude will flood into refineries with limited capacity. Reports indicate exports will have little impact on pricing within the U.S.

“Policy makers need to catch up with the industry,” Harold York, an analyst of the refining sector at Woods Mackenzie said. He projects that easing the crude oil restrictions “would lead to $70 billion in investment spending in the U.S. oil sector and further economic stimulus.”

Different from crude oil, the law currently allows liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, but the Energy Department has dozens of applications for LNG export terminals languishing on some bureaucrat’s desk. Just six applications have been approved in the past year. Bipartisan support exists for expediting the permitting process—especially in light of Russia’s stranglehold on natural gas supplies to many of our European allies. Legislation must be drafted and passed to allow exports to non-European free-trade countries.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) has widespread opposition within the Republican Party—including state governors who struggle to interpret the regulations but who are asking the right questions regarding the impact on their individual states. Even coal-state Democrats, such as Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), have concerns with the CPP.

The CPP has the potential to prematurely shutter hundreds of coal-fueled power plants when viable option exists for the plants’ replacement. This winter, Massachusetts is experiencing a 37 percent increase in electricity rates over last year because plants closed without sufficient infrastructure for their replacement.

The CPP, plus the many other regulations—such as those coming on ozone and methane—have many lawmakers concerned about the EPA’s impact on grid reliability and the economy. President Obama is not likely to sign any legislation designed to rein in his personal priorities, but Republicans can make changes in EPA appropriations.

In a post-election analysis webinar, Scott Segal, founding partner of the Washington, DC-based Policy Resolution Group, declared Obama’s approach to greenhouse gas emissions—specifically the CPP which projections show may cost $42 billion—as the number one priority of the Energy and Natural Resources and Environment and Public Works Committees. He believes the committees’ oversight will look at reliability, cost, and, benefits. Segal said: “I think you can expect tailored legislation to focus on these topics. You can expect use of the Congressional Review Act for resolutions of disapproval when these regulations become final. You can also look to the appropriations process. …that might mean an Interior and Environment appropriations bill might have a rider, not that sets aside the CPP entirely, but that makes narrowly targeted changes to that plan. Then the president would be confronted with a choice: ‘do I essentially shut down the EPA or do I work with Republicans in the House and Senate to reform my proposal?’”

The Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The ESA direly needs revision, updating or outright repeal as, though well-intended in the beginning, it has more recently been used as a funding tool for environmental groups and a way for them to block economic activity, such as oil-and-gas extraction, and ranching, farming, and mining.

Earlier this year, a group of 13 GOP lawmakers released a report, which called for an ESA overhaul, though CBS News called the changes “unlikely given the pervasive partisan divide in Washington, DC.” CBS continues: “The political hurdles to overhaul are considerable. The ESA enjoys fervent support among many environmentalists, whose allies on Capitol Hill have thwarted past proposals for change.”

While repeal is unlikely, this may be the time to introduce legislation that would reform the ESA to curtail litigation from wildlife advocates and give states more authority—two ideas that were brought forth in the report.

Kent Holsinger, a Colorado-based attorney specializing in ESA issues, told me: “As radical groups continue to push their agendas, other parts of the country are now beginning to feel the threat that westerners have long suffered. The House moved significant, but targeted, legislative measures just recently. Perhaps the Senate might follow suit?” Maybe we can encourage them.

Climate Change
The biggest change will come on the climate change agenda. While Obama will not back down, committees have significant influence, as previously mentioned, through the appropriation process. Also, expect oversight on Obama administration policies.

The Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairmanship will change from one of the biggest supporters of Obama’s climate change agenda (Senator Barbara Boxer [D-CA]) to the biggest opponent of his policies (Senator Jim Inhofe [R-OK]). On election night, Inhofe stated: “I am looking forward to taking back the environment committee”—a role that, according to Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E): “Already has greens cringing.”

“A leadership transition would mark a seismic shift in the tone of the EPA Committee,” states the E&E report. The switch will mean, according to Frank O’Connell, president of the environmental group Clean Air Watch, that instead of serving as a “shield for the executive branch” the committee could turn into “a battering ram against the executive branch.”

This reversal of attitude in climate change policies is already evident in the response to the president’s newly announced pact with China to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and his promised $3 billion contribution to a U.N. climate fund designed to help poor counties deal with potential impacts of climate change.

About the deal with China, Inhofe said: “This deal is a non-binding charade. The American people spoke against the president’s climate policies in this last election. They want affordable energy and more economic opportunity, both which are being diminished by overbearing EPA mandates. As we enter a new Congress, I will do everything in my power to rein in and shed light on the EPA’s unchecked regulations.”

Reports now declare: “Climate change compromises may be easier with China than Congress.”

What does Inhofe have in his power? Andrew Wheeler, EPW staff director when Inhofe was chairman previously, says: “I know he won’t hesitate to conduct oversight of the Democratic Obama Administration.”

The E&E report projects: “Among the topics Inhofe would likely zero in on: EPA’s rules to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, a controversial EPA proposal to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act and the science underpinning federal environmental rules. EPA management could also be the topic of some oversight hearings.” Wheeler added: “I think his climate work will probably be focused more on the EPA regulation.”

The $3 billion pledge to developing countries is subject to Congressional appropriations. In a statement from Inhofe’s office, he vows to work with his colleagues “to reset the misguided priorities of Washington in the past six years.” He says: “The President’s climate change agenda has only siphoned precious taxpayer dollars away from the real problems facing the American people.”

The National Journal states: Republicans “want nothing less than to send money to poor countries to fight climate change.”

As a part of this shift, watch for environmental activists to be more aggressive on the state level—pushing for increased mandates for renewables and more regulation and/or bans on hydraulic fracturing.

***

For those of us who watch the politics of energy policy, it is going to be an interesting two years. If the Republican policies turn the economy around as predicted—offering a sharp contrast to the stagnation of the past six years, they will pave the way for victory in 2016. Call your Senators and Congressman and ask him or her to support these six energy policy changes that will give America energy security and economic strength.

(A version of this content was originally published at Breitbart.com)

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column.

Conspiracy Brews 9.25.14

If you like movies, check out Eric Lucero’s Reviews on our website

http://www.conspiracybrews.com/movie-reviews/

===

If you like your coffee and your politics flavorful, served with a heaping dose of civility by a diverse group of interesting people from all parts of the political spectrum then you should be joining us every Saturday. Started in 2007 over coffee and lively conversation by a group of concerned friends and neighbors, ‘Conspiracy Brews’ is committed to finding solutions to some of our State’s toughest problems. Our zest for constructive political discourse is only equaled by our belief that the only way forward is to exchange our views in a relaxed and friendly setting. For additional information or to be added to our e-mail list contact: ConspiracyBrews@aol.com.

Conspiracy Brews

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

Benjamin Franklin

Not your average political discussion group!

October 25, 2014

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
at
Southwest Secondary Learning Center
10301 Candelaria Rd NE
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)

We think that government should be open and honest at all times.
People from all political parties are welcome.

*** Quotes of the Week ***

“America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.”

Barack Obama (Nomination acceptance speech 08-28-08)

(the following is dedicated to the Barack of 2008)

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

Cover of Steven Wright

Suggested Topics

– Would you read an interesting article on how a Dane becomes a Jihadist?

http://mashable.com/2014/10/15/childhood-friend-isis-jihadist/
(The article is long. Continue down through the end of the article)

– Some say education in NM won’t improve until the culture wants it to, what do you think?

– How’s that hope and change working out in health care?

(Light Quotes of the week)

“Democracy means that anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn’t grow up can be vice president.”

Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson

Cover of Johnny Carson

“Someone’s boring me. I think it’s me.”

Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas

Cover of Dylan Thomas

“A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.”

William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs

Cover of William S. Burroughs

——-

Way to go, Mr. O

rubbleobamalegacy2webcr_7_1_14

No thanks to give Mr. O.  Here is his method of winning in Iraq:

Obama's Iraq "withdrawal" in a nutshell

Obama’s Iraq “withdrawal” in a nutshell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marita is saying: Executive power is overreaching, overzealous, dream-dashing

Greetings!

 

This afternoon I’ll be in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I will be speaking for the New Mexico Cattlegrowers’ annual meeting. You’ll see a connection to today’s speech and this week’s column: Executive power: overreaching, overzealous, dream-dashing (attached and pasted-in-below). While I generally write on energy issues, sometimes I veer into ranching or logging as we have the same enemies, the same problems. Last month’s Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument has ranchers living in fear while those responsible for Obama’s largest national monument designation—so far—are smiling for the cameras.

 

As always, please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy!

 

I am off to Las Cruces!

 

 

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Marita82313

 

For immediate release: June 9, 2014

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Exectuive power: overreaching, overzealous, dream-dashing

President Obama is in trouble with his usual allies, not to mention his ever-ready opponents, over two recent acts of excessive executive power: the Bergdahl prisoner swap and the new CO2 regulations announced on Monday, June 2.

 

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, has been publicaly critical of the administration’s decision not to adhere to a law requiring 30 days’ notice to Congress before releasing detainees from the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba. Bloomberg reports: “she’s not convinced there was a ‘credible threat’ against the life of freed Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl that motivated the White House to keep its plans secret.”

 

Regarding the CO2 regulations, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman, has come out against the president’s approach, saying: “This should not be achieved by EPA regulations. Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe.” Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV), who, like Landrieu is in a tough reelection fight, has come out with even stronger opposition to the president’s plan calling it: “Overreaching, overzealous, beyond the legal limit.” Rahall says the actions of the EPA “have truly run amok.”

 

Both stories have dominated the news cycle for the past week. Yet, just a couple of weeks earlier, another story of executive overreach got little coverage and the affected allies stood by the President’s side as he signed an order creating, what the Washington Post called: “the largest national monument of the Obama presidency so far.”

 

After years of heated local debate and despite polling that shows the people are not behind the president, on May 21, Obama declared the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region of New Mexico, nearly 500,000 acres, a national monument—his eleventh such designation “so far.” Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and Representative Ben Ray Lujan, (all D-NM) were present at the signing ceremony. The official Department of the Interior photo shows each of them with big smiles as they look on.

 

They should be happy. Udall and Heinrich had previously proposed similar federal legislation. Praising the president’s effort, Udall said: “The president’s decision finally puts into motion a plan that began with the people of southern New Mexico, who wanted to ensure these special places would continue to be available for local families and visitors to hike, hunt and learn from the hundreds of significant historic sites throughout the area for generations to come.”

 

But not everyone is smiling. The Las Cruces Sun-News (LCSN) reports: “Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, whose congressional district covers the region, issued a statement taking issue with Obama’s use of the 1906 U.S. Antiquities Act, saying monuments created under it are supposed to cover only the ‘smallest area compatible’ with the designation. He contended the approval ‘flies in the face of the democratic process.’” Pearce’s statement says: “This single action has erased six years of work undertaken by Doña Ana County ranchers, business owners, conservationists, sportsmen officials and myself to develop a collaborative plan for the Organ Mountains that would have preserved the natural resource and still provided future economic opportunities.”

 

Ranchers and off-road vehicle users have opposed the large-scale monument. The LCSN states: “In particular, ranchers have been concerned about impacts to their grazing allotments on public lands in the wake of the new monument.”

 

Steve Wilmeth, a vocal ranching advocate, whose family has been ranching in New Mexico since 1880 says his ranch, and many others with whom he’s worked side-by-side, will be impacted by the designation. “The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument designation puts America’s ranchers on a glide path to destruction. The full implications won’t be known until the management plan is complete, but, due to the private lands that are embedded within the designation and based on historic evidence, with a single stroke of his pen, President Obama’s actions has likely put the livelihood of nearly 100 families fully in jeopardy, and, based on all other such designations will likely destroy what many, myself included, have spent a lifetime creating.”

 

Wilmeth’s view is based on experience. Another New Mexico rancher, Randall Major, lost his ranch due to the El Malpais National Monument designation. In a letter detailing his story, Major explained: “On December 31, 1987, our area was designated as the El Malpais NCA [National Conservation Area] and National Monument. This made a third of our allotment wilderness, a third NCA, and a third non-NCA. At this time, the El Malpais NCA was to be managed by the BLM [Bureau of Land Management] and required the BLM to develop a general management plan for the management of the NCA.”

 

Major was told the plan didn’t affect his grazing allotment. However, he states: “after getting and reading the plan, I found out they wanted big changes on our allotment; such as the closing of most of our roads that we travel on to conduct our business—putting out salt, supplements, and repairing and maintaining our waters. They had plans to keep our livestock out of our springs for riparian area purposes.  There is a long list of things that I could go on and on.”

 

Major says that the landowners were not included in the planning process. He quotes the BLM as saying: “It is our priority for acquisition of lands containing natural and or cultural resources requiring management or protection, and or lands needed for visitor access and facility development. For those areas where private uses are incompatible with NCA goals and purposes or where important resources are on private land.”

 

Major concludes: “It is my opinion that the radical environmental groups have teamed up with our federal agencies. Their goal is to take control of all the land and put ranchers out of business. It is a sad day in this country when this is allowed to happen. …  My hat is off to ranchers who continue to fight for the property that belongs to them.”

 

On a recent radio interview featuring Congressman Pearce, Wilmeth, and Colin Woodall, Vice President, Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, discussing the new national monument, Woodhall pointed out that DC is not worried about ranchers and Pearce said: “The law allows the agencies to destroy you and there’s nothing you can do.” Agency personnel are appointed and hired by the federal government. They have great authority but little accountability—holding positions of power that can’t be voted out.

 

The law Pearce is referencing is known as the Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Roosevelt in 1906. The Act for the Preservation of Antiquities limited Presidential authority for National Monument designations to Federal Government-owned lands and to, as Pearce referenced, “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects protected.” The Antiquities Act also authorized “relinquishment” of lands owned privately, authorizing the Federal Government to take land. The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment requires owners be compensated by the rest of us taxpayers. But fair market value can change dramatically when a policy change triggered by laws such as the Antiquities Act modifies the broad multiple use category for large segments of the federal estate to limited and recreational use.”

 

Addressing his Techado Allotment 50 miles south of Grants, New Mexico, originally purchased in 1968, Major says: “In the year 2003, we tried to be willing sellers.  … They would not offer us value of the land based on neighboring comparable sales. They would not compensate us for our improvements on the allotment, such as, fences, waters, corrals, buildings, etc.”

 

While the Federal Government owns much of National Monument land, private, tribal and state lands are often enclosed inside new designations. Essentially, an Antiquities Act presidential proclamation transfers valuable “multiple use” land into a restricted use category as management plans can disallow historical use.

 

History shows that in cases where the Antiquities Act has been used—whether for a National Conservation Area, a National Park, or a National Monument—mining claims were extinguished, homes have been torn down, communities have been obliterated, and working landscapes been destroyed. The National Park Service Association’s website states: “ultimately, the Park Service is expected to own and manage virtually all privately owned lands within park boundaries.  … private inholdings can disrupt or destroy park views, undermine the experience of visitors, and often diminish air and water quality while simultaneously increasing light and noise pollution. Park Service managers have stated … that privately owned land within park boundaries creates gaps that shatter the integrity of individual parks and the system as a whole, and make it more difficult and expensive for the Park Service to protect key resources.”

 

Proof of my claims can be found in the sad tales of federal land grabs, including what happened to the town of McCarthy, Alaska, when President Carter used the Antiquities Act to create the Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument in 1978; Ohio’s Cuyahoga River Valley’s conversion from “a patchwork of lovely scenery and structures: row crops and orchards, pastures and woodlots, barns and farmhouses, and tractors working the fields” as Dan O’Neill called it in A Land Gone Lonesome, to the Cuyahoga River Valley National Recreation Area that razed more than 450 homes; and what happened in Utah when President Clinton declared 1.7 million acres to be the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument that locked out a lot of ranchers and potential coal mining.

 

At an April 2013 Congressional hearing, Commissioner John Jones of Carbon County, Utah, told the Committee: “Please don’t insult rural communities with the notion that the mere designation of National Monuments and the restrictions on the land which follow are in any way a substitute for long-term wise use of the resources and the solid high wage jobs and economic certainty which those resources provide.”

 

Supporters of National Monuments often tout the economic benefits tourism will bring. Former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar has said: “There’s no doubt that these monuments will serve as economic engines for the local communities through tourism and outdoor recreation—supporting economic growth and creating jobs.” The LCSN reported: “Many supporters of the Organ Mountains Desert-Peaks National Monument have argued it will boost the local economy by attracting tourists to the area.” Yet, Commissioner Jones, in his testimony, asked: “If recreation and tourism, which are supposed to accompany the designation of national monuments, are such an economic benefit to local communities, why is the school system in Escalante, Utah, in the heart of the Grand Staircase, about to close due to a continual decline in local population since the monument was created?”

 

Bill Childress is the Regional BLM director who will oversee the management plan for the new Organ Mountains Desert-Peaks National Monument—expected to take five years (long after Obama is out of office). He says that “at least for now” changes will not be noticed by many people. However, according to the LCNS, “some roads or trails could be closed after that document takes effect.” The LCNS report, What’s next for the Organ Mountains Desert-Peaks National Monument?, continues: “Asked if ranchers should be concerned about curtailment of their grazing rights after the record of decision has been made, Childress said: ‘I can’t prejudge the decision. All I can say is most monument lands that the bureau manages permit grazing. We do have a few examples where that’s not the case in small areas. But, (the proclamation) acknowledges that we need to manage those and make decisions on grazing based on the existing rules, and that’s what we plan on doing.”

 

New Mexico ranchers know the history and they are worried. According to the LCSN: “Jerry Schickendanz, chairman of the Western Heritage Alliance, which opposed the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks designation, said a key concern of the group is that ranching wasn’t listed prominently among the list of resources in Obama’s monument declaration.”

 

The impact goes beyond ranching. The LCNS reporting says: “the proclamation prevents the BLM from selling or getting rid of any of the land, allowing new mining claims or permitting oil and natural gas exploration.”

 

Federal land management policy has shifted from managing working landscapes populated by productive resource-based communities of ranchers, farmers, loggers, and miners, to a recreational landscape intended to delight visitors. This is especially troubling in the West where the vast majority of many states is owned by the federal government.

 

At the signing of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Declaration, Obama repeated his State of the Union Address pledge: “I’m searching for more opportunities to preserve federal lands.” It is New Mexico today, but your community could be impacted next.

 

In Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Senator Dean Heller (R) has just warned Obama “against designating a national monument in the Gold Butte region of Clark County.”  Unlike Udall and Heinrich, who happily supported the New Mexico designation, Heller is quoted as saying: “I am extremely concerned about the impact a unilateral designation will have on my state.”

 

The Review-Journal states: “There has been heightened sensitivity among Western conservatives since Obama on May 21 designated 500,000 acres in the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks region of southern New Mexico as a national monument that would allow it to be managed more like a national park. They have bristled at what they regard as federal ‘land grabs’ exercised by the president without approval by Congress, and seek to head off further designations.”

 

While there are some cases where Congress has abolished National Monuments and transferred the lands to other agencies, and Alaska and Wyoming have enacted legislation prohibiting the president’s power to 5,000 acres, New Mexico’s ranchers live in raw fear of the unlimited power the Antiquities Act allows the executive branch.

 

Hundreds of millions of acres have been set aside with the stroke of a pen. Each designation provides a photo op featuring a smiling President and his allies (Udall, Heinrich, and Lujan) with stunning pictures of the latest protected place. All while somewhere within the borders of a state or territory someone’s access is taken, someone’s hunting and fishing grounds are gone, someone’s land has been grabbed, someone’s life’s work is wiped out, and opportunities for the American dream of a future rancher, farmer, miner are dashed.

 

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

Any facts to be found through the links below

No doubt some of the stories found through the links (lifted from Drudge) will contain some distortions.  The question should be, is the totality of the evidence (if any) credible.  There may not be enough information to determine the depth of deception and/or desertion on the part of the Obama Administration or that of Bergdahl.

Whatever the full investigation finds, Obama has made another nest of snakes.

OBAMA SAVED A RAT?
VIDEO: Bergdahl's release...
Qatar allowing released Taliban men to move freely in country...
Reintegration: Military hides Bergdahl from public view...
FLASHBACK: 'Converted to Islam And Taught Captors Bomb Making Skills'...
NYT: Left note explaining desertion before going AWOL...
REPORT: Wanted to Renounce Citizenship...
Team Leader: 'A lot more to story than soldier walking away'...
Death sentence 'in the realm of possibilities'...
Pentagon knew whereabouts but didn't risk rescue...
14 SOLDIERS WERE LOST Searching for Bergdahl...
Never Officially Listed as POW...
White House apologizes for 'oversight' in notification failure...
FATHER: 'I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners'...
MAG: White House Overrode Internal Objections To Terrorist Release...
'Suck it up and salute'...

DESPAIR: My Son Died 'Looking For A Traitor?'
Rubio: Obama 'Believes He's Become Monarch Or Emperor'...
LAW PROF: The President That Richard Nixon Always Wanted To Be...
Senate Dems desert...

REPORT: Had been made to look ill...
Afghan Villagers: Soldier deliberately headed for Taliban strongholds...
3 More Members Of Bergdahl's Platoon Speak Out...
We Were Told 'To Keep Quiet'...
Miscalculated reaction...
Who wrote Rice's talking points this time?
Hagel: 'Unfair'...
Bergdahl hometown cancels plans for celebration...

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Marita Noon: Welcome to the “no pee” section of the swimming pool

Poster note: There are references in Ms. Noon’s articles about quotes some have made about the mindless fellow who occupies the Oval Office when he is not on Air Force One.  The quotes address his legacy.  Maybe they mean his lack of legacy? Chuck Ring

 

 

This morning, President Obama is scheduled to announce the EPA’s new C02 standards for existing power plants. Last week I attended (via telephone) a press conference the US Chamber of Commerce held announcing its new report regarding the impacts of the new regulations—which are, in essence, cap-and-trade by executive order. That became the launching point for this week’s column: Welcome to the “no pee” section of the swimming pool (attached and pasted-in-below).

 

As you will discover when you read it, in doing my writing preparation, I’ve read extensively on the topic. In Welcome to the “no pee” section of the swimming pool I address some angles and issues not covered elsewhere. (I always figure, if I don’t have something fresh to say on a topic, I don’t need to write on it.)

 

As the announcement is now just a couple hours away, I hope those of you who post my work can get Welcome to the “no pee” section of the swimming pool posted ASAP—before the announcement. Please pass it on, too! Thanks!

 

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

 

 

For immediate release: June 2, 2014

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Welcome to the “no pee” section of the swimming pool

America is poised to become the “no pee” section of the global swimming pool and the useless actions will cost us a bundle—raising energy costs, adding new taxes, and crippling the economy. Even some environmentalists agree. Yet, for President Obama, it’s all about legacy.

 

On Monday, June 2, 2014, the EPA will release its new rules for CO2 emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electricity generating plants—which the New York Times (NYT) states: “could eventually shut down hundreds of coal-fueled power plants across the country.” (Regulations for new plants: the New Source Performance Standard rule, requiring carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) that buries emissions in the ground to meet the emissions limits, were released September 20, 2013. The 2013 regulations virtually ensure that no new coal-fueled power plants will be built. Bloomberg Businessweek reports: “Considering the one carbon-capture plant being built in the U.S. is massively over budget and widely considered not ready for commercial use, it seems likely that the new rules will significantly erode coal’s share of power generation down the road.” Politifact says CCS is: “new and expensive.”)

 

These new rules, reportedly 3000 pages long (300 pages longer than the healthcare bill), are so important, it is believed that the President will make the announcement himself.

 

Supporters seem gleeful. USA Today cites the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress’ Daniel J. Weiss as saying: “No president has ever proposed a climate pollution clean up this big.” In the Washington Post (WP), advocacy group Clean Air Watch’s director, Frank O’Donnell is quoted as saying: “This is a magic moment for the president—a chance to write his name in the record books.” The NYT claims the plans, “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change,” could: “become one of the defining elements of Mr. Obama’s legacy.” And, Peter Shattuck, director of market initiatives at ENE, a Boston-based climate advocacy and research organization, believes: “This EPA regulation will breathe life into state-level cap-and-trade programs.”

 

While the actual EPA plan has not been released at the time of this writing, it is widely believed that it will follow a March 2013 regulatory proposal put forth by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) which projects 35-40 percent cuts in CO2 emissions over 2012 levels by 2025. Once again, as with endangered species listings and the Keystone pipeline, we see environmental groups driving this administration’s policies.

 

Using the NRDC’s policy framework, on May 28—before the EPA released its new rules—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy released a major study done by the highly respected energy analytics firm IHS: Assessing the Impact of Potential New Carbon Regulations in the United States. It concludes that the EPA’s plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants will cost America’s economy over $50 billion a year between now and 2030.

 

A press release about the 71-page report predicts the EPA’s potential new carbon regulations would:

  • Lower U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $51 billion on average every year through 2030,
  • Lead to 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs on average every year through 2030,
  • Force U.S. consumers to pay $289 billion more for electricity through 2030, and
  • Lower total disposable income for U.S. households by $586 billion through 2030.

 

Addressing the Chamber’s assessment, the Institute’s president and CEO, Karen Harbert, said: “Americans deserve to have an accurate picture of the costs and benefits associated with the Administration’s plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through unprecedented and aggressive EPA regulations. Our analysis shows that Americans will pay significantly more for electricity, see slower economic growth and fewer jobs, and have less disposable income, while a slight reduction in carbon emissions will be overwhelmed by global increases.”

 

Not surprisingly, the EPA quickly tried to debunk the Chamber’s claims. Tom Reynolds, the EPA’s associate administrator for external affairs, called the report: “Nothing more than irresponsible speculation based on guesses of what our draft proposal will be.” Reynolds continued: “Just to be clear—it’s not out yet. I strongly suggest that folks read the proposal before they cry the sky is falling.”

 

However, the WP states: “While several key aspects of the proposal are still under discussion, according to several people briefed on the matter … the EPA plan resembles proposals made by the Natural Resources Defense Council.” In Grist.com, which calls itself “a source of intelligent, irreverent environmental news and commentary,” Ben Adler, who “covers environmental policy and politics for Grist, with a focus on climate change, energy, and cities,” cites a “video chat” he apparently had with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. In his column: “Here’s what to expect from Obama’s big new climate rules,” Adler states: “The agency’s proposed rules will probably roughly follow the model proposed by the Natural Resources Defense Council in a March 2013 report.”

 

It is likely that the Chamber’s report is spot on. If, after the regulations are revealed, they are different, the Chamber says it will rerun the models using the new data.

 

Describing the NRDC-based plan, the NYT states: “President Obama will use his executive authority to cut carbon emissions from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent.” It continues: “People familiar with the rule say that it will set a national limit on carbon pollution from coal plants, but that it will allow each state to come up with its own plan to cut emissions based on a menu of options that include adding wind and solar power, energy-efficiency technology and creating or joining state cap-and-trade programs. Cap-and-trade programs are effectively carbon taxes that place a limit on carbon pollution and create markets for buying and selling government-issued pollution permits.” Note: even the NYT calls cap and trade a carbon tax.

 

The NYT story points to cap-and-trade programs in California and the northeast, which have some of the highest electricity rates in the country. It cites officials of the northeastern regional program who claim: “it has proved fairly effective.” Between 2005 and 2012, the program dropped power-plant pollution by 40 percent, “even as the states raised $1.6 billion in new revenue.” Where did that “new revenue” come from? Higher rates paid by consumers—essentially a tax. Realize that power companies don’t really care about how much the new regulations cost, as they simply pass them on to the end users. In the NYT story, John McManus, vice president of environmental services at American Electric Power, is quoted as saying: “We view cap and trade as having a lot of benefits. … There are a lot of advantages.”

 

Adler explains the cap-and-trade aspect of the new regulations this way: “States could set up their own emissions-trading programs, under which solar and wind facilities would receive credits for each megawatt-hour of energy produced with less than the allowable amount of CO2 and sell those credits to coal plants.” He continues: “economically—and therefore politically and legally—such an approach would carry major risks. A dramatic spike in electricity prices could cause a recession and significant hardship for lower-income families. That, in turn, would likely create a political backlash that would spur Congress to try to revoke the EPA’s authority to regulate CO2. It could even splinter the left, pitting unions, consumer groups, and anti-poverty advocates against the environmental movement. The GOP-controlled House has already voted numerous times to revoke the EPA’s authority, and much higher energy prices might cause some Democrats to join the Republicans.”

 

Bloomberg calls the new rule “politically painful” for Democrats from coal-producing regions “as it forces power-plant closures and threatens to increase electricity rates for consumers.”

 

In response to the Daily Kos reporting on the new EPA regulations, a reader, John in Cleveland, commented: “if the regulations are enough to get a good number of coal plants shut down we had better brace for impact because people’s heating/electric bills are going to increase. … People are going to be pissed when their bills go up, and they will go up.”

 

The Kos reports: “Obama has said he wants the existing plant rule in place by the time a new president takes the oath of office in January 2017”—though many in Congress, including coal-state Democrats, are asking that the 60-day comment period be extended to 120 and, as the WP points out, lawsuits are likely.

 

The Kos reader rightly points out: “As long as China and India are allowed to spew as much carbon as they want into the air it is going to be near impossible to rally this country behind anything that means higher prices that doesn’t do anything to solve the problem.”

 

The Chamber reports that global emissions are expected to rise by 31 percent between 2011 and 2030, yet, all the pain—economic and political—the new regulations will inflict “would only reduce overall emissions levels by just 1.8 percentage points.”

 

Defending the NRDC plan, David Hawkins, director of climate programs, is quoted in Grist: “Power plants don’t operate in a vacuum. The energy they produce is fungible.” The same is true for the emissions. The U.S. can adopt these draconian regulations, but the U.S. doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The emissions are fungible.

 

Bloomberg states: “The administration and its Democratic allies are bracing for a political fight over the rule, which is critical to Obama’s legacy on climate and his efforts to coax other nations to agree.” USA Today cites David Doniger, NRDC’s policy director and senior attorney for NRDC’s climate and clean air program in Washington, DC: “the EPA rules will show the United States is ‘in the game’ and will help nudge other countries to make reductions.”

 

Should we be “in the game” when the other major developed countries have quit playing? Australia has already walked away from its previous administration’s stringent climate policies due to economic pain and public backlash. Germany is becoming more dependent on coal-fueled electricity. Wood is the number one renewable fuel in Europe. Following what has already taken place in England and much of Europe, on May 31, it was announced that Spain is cutting back on its green energy programs. China and India have repeatedly refused to cripple their growing economies by cutting back on their fossil fuel-based energy usage.

 

The U.S. may be “in the game” alone. All the regulations the administration may impose will not “nudge” the rest of the world to follow. Just because we declare that we won’t pee in the pool, won’t stop the others. And, just like the water in the pool, CO2 emissions are fungible.

 

We’ll be stuck in our little no-pee section with a crippled economy while the rest of the world will be frolicking in unfettered growth. As chlorine, filters and other processes make public pools safe for swimming, scrubbers and other pollution controls have already dramatically cleaned up the air in America. But Obama needs his legacy—and that will be, as House Speaker John Boehner said: “every proposal that comes out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs.”

 

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

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