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 6.7.14

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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

Benjamin Franklin 1767

Benjamin Franklin 1767 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not your average political discussion group!

June 07, 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***

People are all over the world telling their one dramatic story and how their life has turned into getting over this one event.   Now their lives are more about the past than their future.”

Chuck Palahnuik

“Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism.”

George Washington (Farewell Address)

Broadside of George Washington's Farewell Addr...

Broadside of George Washington’s Farewell Address Part 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“The right of altering the government was a natural right, and not a right of government.”

Thomas Paine (Rights of Man I)

English: Engraving of Edmond-Charles Genêt (so...

English: Engraving of Edmond-Charles Genêt (sometimes written as “Edmond Charles Genest”). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Suggested Topics

 

What does the election portend for the fall?

 

 

— How has the Mayor’s administration handled the protests?

 

 

– How weak is the US Legislative Branch?

 

 

(Light Quotes of the week)

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.”

Stephen Bishop

Stephen Bishop

Cover of Stephen Bishop

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.”

John Bright

English: John Bright statue - vertical upwards...

English: John Bright statue – vertical upwards view. By Albert Bruce-Joy, 1891. In Albert Square, Manchester, UK. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


——-

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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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Loose Lips Might Sink Ships

"Loose lips might sink ships" - NARA...

“Loose lips might sink ships” – NARA – 513543 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a saying in our military branches which states, “Loose lips sink ships,”  or “Loose lips might sink ships.” Meaning careless talk about military matters can cost damage to our military members, their equipment and their maneuvers.

The same can can apply to politics and political campaigns.  In other words; if you say it … you own it.  Such is the case with the three politicians presented below.  The videos  are sponsored by Americans For Prosperity:

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Reid Blows His Head Off … Oh Well

Harry Reid - The Scream

Harry Reid – The Scream (Photo credit: absentee_redstate)

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What Rating For Your Congress Critters?

Wonder no more as far as their following what the US Constitution would have them do. The New American has finished the work for you and all you have to do is access their information.

Only one of our (New Mexico’s) critters scored above 50. Click on the link below to read and weep and see how you like all of congress now:

Ratings For Congress Critters

You will find much more to gag from if you plink around the site.  New Mexico just can’t win for losing, but there is some solace in knowing there are state legislators representing other states scoring lower than our “Banana Republic.”

079 Capitol Hill United States Congress 1993

079 Capitol Hill United States Congress 1993 (Photo credit: David Holt London)

Establishment Republicans Shoving Tea Party Away

So, its looks and feels as though the “establishment republicans,” (ER) are pushing the tea party organizations away from all things republican, but they have already dropped most of their previous conservative planks in their platform … if they truly had one.  As a republican and a tea party member, it might serve the greater good if the tea party rid themselves of the bucket of vipers that the establishment republicans have morphed into  in order to get along with their dance partners on the left side of the aisle.

On the day after several elections in this nation, many pundits have written off the tea party with showers of applause from the ER.

In some elections, the ER have cut their nose off to spite their face.  While the tea party suffered some losses when their supported republicans were ran over by ER money, it is nice to see that a money grubber (Terry McCullough) barely eked out a win in Virginia:

Here’s the story:

The National Republican Senate Committee, the GOP campaign arm responsible for Senate elections, has decided to use its political power to block consulting firm Jamestown Associates from receiving political work from GOP candidates or incumbents.

Jamestown’s “sin” is working with the Senate Conservative Fund, an organization that supports conservative candidates for the US Senate.

NRSC communications staffer Brad Dayspring, a former spokesman for House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), told The New York Times on Friday, “We’re not going to do business with people who profit off of attacking Republicans. Purity for profit is a disease that threatens the Republican Party.”

Jamestown Associates has done work with the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), a conservative group largely responsible for the elections of Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Ron Johnson (R-WI), among others. Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who left the U.S. Senate last year to become the president of the Heritage Foundation, founded SCF.

“In a warning shot to outside conservative groups, the National Republican Senatorial Committee this week informed a prominent Republican advertising firm that it would not receive any contracts with the campaign committee because of its work with a group that targets incumbent Senate Republicans,” the Times wrote.

“Even more striking,” the Times continued, “a senior official at the committee called individual Republican Senate campaigns and other party organizations this week and urged them not to hire the firm, Jamestown Associates, in an effort to punish them for working for the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group founded by Jim DeMint, then a South Carolina senator, that is trying to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and some other incumbents up for re-election next year whom it finds insufficiently conservative.”

The Times notes that a large part of the reason why SCF has drawn the ire of the GOP establishment is its endorsement of McConnell’s primary challenger, businessman Matt Bevin. McConnell’s chief of staff Josh Holmes, who is now working for the NRSC through the election, told the Times that McConnell plans to beat up SCF for being conservative like he would if it were a bar fight. “S.C.F. has been wandering around the country destroying the Republican Party like a drunk who tears up every bar they walk into,” Holmes said. “The difference this cycle is that they strolled into Mitch McConnell’s bar and he doesn’t throw you out, he locks the door.”

Click here to finish the article from Breitbart’s Big Government

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Edgewood Event: Independence Forever Post 4th time 10/25/13

The Sandia Tea Party, together with the New Mexico Chapter of Americans For Prosperity is sponsoring a presentation from The Glorious Cause Of America Institute (GCOAI)

The GCOAI is a non-profit corporation created to help us better understand those who fought and suffered to establish a new independent nation, and the principles they put into the United States Constitution to establish and protect freedom.

The course to be presented is titled Independence Forever and the instructor for the presentation is Mr. G.K Mangelson.  Please see more information below:

Course Title: Independence Forever! The 4 Steps to Save America

Course Description:

  • From this presentation you will learn:
  • Miraculous stories of God’s hand in the founding of America.
  • How to protect freedom from being lost.
  • How restoring the principles in the Constitution would solve major problems facing America.
  • Inspiring words and stories from our Founding Fathers

GK Mangelson Picture

Speaker Bio:

G. Kent “G.K.” Mangelson, CFP,

Author, Constitutional Scholar

G.K. Mangelson is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer. For the past 30 years he has lectured to thousands of attendees at hundreds of conventions, conferences, and seminars with rave reviews. Mr. Mangelson is currently writing the book Independence Forever! 4 Steps to Save America. During years of extensive travel throughout America, Mr. Mangelson has become a true patriot. He is now dedicating his time, talents, and career to training and enlightening audiences everywhere on how to protect and save our constitution and America’s future. Mr. Mangelson is a founder of The Glorious Cause of America Institute and serves on its board of directors. G.K. and his wife, Chris, are the parents of seven children and presently reside on Amelia Island near Jacksonville, Florida.

Attendee Comments:

“I left with pride in my country and deep appreciation for GK and his sharing of the founding principles. Thank you.”

“GK is phenomenal! Amen! Let us unite for this cause!”

“After attending the seminar, I now know how I can effectively contribute to guide the direction of our great nation.”

“Thank you for sharing about our great nation & our responsibility to preserve it.”

“I was extremely moved by GK’s brilliant and moving speech.”

Interested?  Then plan to attend this important and inspiring presentation. There is no charge for the presentation although contributions of any amount are encouraged to allow payment for the  venue facilities.

Because of great demand for scheduling we were only able to secure the one date for the presentation.

Location: Valley View Christian Church, SR 344 & Christian Way In Edgewood, New Mexico 87015

Disclaimer: Not Sponsored By Valley View Christian Church

Date: 10/25/13 at 6:30 PM (doors open at 5:30PM) Event lasts until 8:00 PM

Map, contact information and additional Information can be found on the right above under “Upcoming Events.”

MainScreamers Blame Republicans For Shutdown … No Blame On Demorats

Networks blamed shutdown on GOP in 41 stories — 0 for Dems

By PAUL BEDARD | OCTOBER 17, 2013 AT 12:02 PM

Republicans never expected to get a fair shake in the Big Three networks’ coverage of the 16-day government shutdown, but the final tally of stories blaming the GOP is stunning: 41 stories blamed Republicans and zero blamed Democrats.

Read More

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Really Barack?

ExplainingToGod2WebCR-10_11_13

VISIT: Terrell After Math