Marita Noon: Where Buffalo May Roam … Away

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Link to: The Buffalo Billion fraud and bribery scheme: corruption and pay-to-play, a symbol of everything they’re doing

 

Greetings!

 

I have been watching the SolarCity solar panel manufacturing factory story for a few weeks. I’ve almost written on it a couple of times. How fortuitous for that, each time, another story captured my attention. Last Thursday, the story took on a whole new dimension: a criminal corruption probe. Now was the right time to write The Buffalo Billion fraud and bribery scheme: corruption and pay-to-play, a symbol of everything they’re doing (attached and pasted-in-below). It is a sordid tale—but then, most of the green-energy crony-corruption stories are.

 

As I like to do, The Buffalo Billion fraud and bribery scheme: corruption and pay-to-play, a symbol of everything they’re doing combines several stories to present a fresh analysis while incorporating many of my favorite themes: politics, green-energy crony-corruption, and current news. Plus, it should make you mad! Getting all that into one piece, does make it a bit on the long side, but I hope you’ll enjoy the thorough coverage of this underreported story.

 

Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy The Buffalo Billion fraud and bribery scheme: corruption and pay-to-play, a symbol of everything they’re doing

.

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, Inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM, 87181

505.239.8998

 

For immediate release: September 26, 2016

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1380

 

 

The Buffalo Billion fraud and bribery scheme: corruption and pay-to-play, a symbol of everything they’re doing

When New York’s Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo gushed over SolarCity’s new solar panel factory in Buffalo, New York, the audience, likely, didn’t grasp the recently-revealed meaning of his words: “It is such a metaphor—a symbol of everything we’re doing.”

 

The 1.2 million square foot building, being built by the state of New York on the site of a former steel plant, is looking more and more like another political promise of help for one of the poorest cities in the state that ends up enriching cronies without ever achieving any potential for the people.

 

Yes, it is a symbol of everything they’re doing.

 

Previously, during her first senatorial bid, Hillary Clinton also promised jobs to the economically depressed region of the state of New York—200,000 to be exact. Citing a report from the Washington Post, CBSNews states: “Jobs data show that job growth stagnated in Upstate New York during her eight years in office, the report said, and manufacturing jobs dropped by nearly a quarter.” The Post’s extensive story reveals that jobs never materialized—despite “initial glowing headlines.” It claims: “Clinton’s self-styled role as economic promoter” actually “involved loyal campaign contributors who also supported the Clinton Foundation.” Through federal grants and legislation, she helped steer money to programs, companies, and initiatives that benefitted the donors but failed to reverse the economic decline of the region.

 

Now, new corruption charges reveal the same pay-to-play model linked to Cuomo’s upstate “Buffalo Billion” economic revitalization plan—and the promised jobs, also, look they will never materialize.

 

Back on January 5, 2012, Cuomo announced a $1 billion five-year economic development pledge for Buffalo.  It was to be the governor’s banner economic initiative with the SolarCity factory as the cornerstone and a pledge of 1,460 direct factory jobs. Other companies, including IBM and a Japanese clean-energy company were also lined up.

 

With the state-of-the-art solar panel factory ready for equipment to be installed, the wisdom of the entire program is being scrutinized—and is coming up short.

 

First, on September 22, two of Cuomo’s closest aides—along with several others—were charged in corruption and fraud cases involving state contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Addressing the press at his Manhattan office, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara asserted: “that ‘pervasive corruption and fraud’ infested one of the governor’s signature economic development programs. Companies got rich, and the public got bamboozled,” reports The Observer. Bharara described the bid-rigging and bribery arrangement: “Behind the scenes they were cynically rigging the whole process so that the contracts would go to handpicked ‘friends of the administration’—‘friends’ being a euphemism for large donors. Through rigged bids, state contracts worth billions of dollars in public development monies, meant to revitalize and renew upstate New York, were instead just another way to corruptly award cronies who were willing to pay to play.”

 

The 79-page criminal complaint notes that campaign contributions to Cuomo poured in from people connected to the bribe-paying companies as soon as those businesses began pursuing state projects.

 

One of the companies that received the lucrative contracts was LPCiminelli—run by “Cuomo mega-donor” Louis Ciminelli. He allegedly offered bribes to Cuomo confidante Todd Howe—who has admitted to pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers to rig bids on multimillion-dollar state contracts linked to Buffalo Billion projects.

 

Ciminelli received the $750 million contract to build the SolarCity plant. The Buffalo News cites Bharara as saying: “the state’s bidding process for the factory being built for SolarCity at RiverBend in South Buffalo turned into a ‘criminal’ enterprise that favored LPCiminelli, where company executives were given inside information about how the deal was to be awarded.”

 

Part of Cuomo’s deal with SolarCity—in which the state owns the building and equipment with SolarCity leasing it under a 10-year deal—requires the company to meet a timetable of job-creation quotas or pay hefty penalties. Even before the building was complete, however, the company slashed its job commitment from 1460 to 500. According to the Investigative Post, SolarCity claims it will still employ the original number, but due to automation, the majority of them will not be at the Buffalo plant. With the state’s $750 million investment, that works out to $1.5 million per manufacturing job. In a press release, Cuomo promised 1460 “direct manufacturing jobs at the new facility.”

 

Even the 500 jobs will only materialize if the plant actually starts production—currently slated for June 2017. SolarCity’s future is, as Crain’s New York Business puts it: “uncertain.”

 

Amid the company’s myriad problems are the facts that it has never been profitable, nor does it have manufacturing experience.

 

In February 2014, SolarCity’s stock price peaked at about $85 a share. Today, a share is less than $20. Microaxis gives it a probability of bankruptcy score of 48 percent. Crains reports that it posted a $251 million loss in Q1 2016 and a loss of $230 million in Q2. To “stop the bleeding,” Elon Musk (a donor to both the Obama and Clinton campaigns and the Clinton Foundation), who owns more than 20 percent of the company, announced that Tesla (of which he also owns more than 20 Percent) would purchase SolarCity—this after as many as 15 other potential buyers and investors looked at the company and decided to pass. SolarCity even considered selling the solar panel manufacturing business.

 

Both SolarCity and Tesla are, according to the Buffalo News, facing a “cash bind”—this despite receiving billions in federal and state grants and tax credits as I’ve previously addressed. Tesla is described as “cash-eating electric vehicle and battery making businesses.” For SolarCity, its model—which finances its solar panel installations, in order to make a profit on a lease that can be as long as 30 years, while it collects the lucrative government incentives worth billions (a practice for which Solar City is currently under Congressional investigation)—requires constantly raising new money from investors. Once the Tesla deal was announced, SolarCity’s lenders started to pull back.

 

The Buffalo News reports: “Stock in SolarCity…now trades for $4 a share less, or 19 percent less, than what Tesla is offering—a gap indicating that investors are uncertain the deal will be completed.” Additionally, the deal is being challenged by four separate lawsuits—which could delay the deal. Addressing the merger, one analyst said: “We see a lot more that can go wrong than can go right.”

 

Then there is the manufacturing angle. Originally, the Buffalo plant was going to manufacture high-efficacy solar panel modules developed by Silevo—a company SolarCity bought in 2014. Crain’s reports that it will instead produce complete solar roofs. Something it says “Dow Chemical recently abandoned after five years because it could not find a way to make a profit on the technology.” But then, the Buffalo News says: “The initial production in Buffalo is expected to include photovoltaic cells that SolarCity purchases from suppliers and are used in the products that will be assembled in the South Park Avenue factory.”

 

Whatever the plant builds or manufactures, getting it operating will be expensive—even with the New York taxpayers owning the building and equipment—and will drain scarce cash from SolarCity at a time when its financing costs have increased.

 

Buffalo residents wonder if they’ll be stuck with the world’s largest empty warehouse and without the promised jobs.

 

No wonder the entire project is in doubt. Because of the Cuomo administration corruption allegations, other proposed job-creators, including IBM, have pulled out until the probe is completed.

 

For now, Cuomo is not a part of the criminal complaint—though his name is mentioned many times—and he claims he knew nothing about it, nor does he think he’s a target of the ongoing federal probe. “It is almost inconceivable the governor didn’t know what was going on,” Doug Muzzio, a professor of public affairs at Baruch College, said. “And if he didn’t know what was going on, you can argue he should have known.”

 

Bharara has suggested that the better name for the program would be: “The Buffalo Billion Fraud and Bribery Scheme.”

 

Yep, the Buffalo Billion project is a “symbol” of the political promises and crony corruption—“everything we’re doing”—that takes taxpayers dollars to reward political donors and then walks away when the jobs don’t materialize.

 

 

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. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

 

 

Marita: Writes about the Pope

Greetins!

 

Even though I don’t like to write on the same topics other pundits are addressing, I assumed, that for this week, I’d write on the Pope. Some topics are just too big to ignore.

 

In this week’s column: The Pope, climate change and VW (attached and pasted-in-below), I, both, wrote on something most others aren’t and included the Pope’s visit.

 

I conducted an unofficial poll on my Facebook page in which I asked if people were following the VW scandal. Some were. Many were not. A few knew about it, but weren’t following it. Several indicated that they had no idea what I was talking about. The responses validated my premise: with all of the news coverage on the Pope’s visit, the VW scandal was under the radar for most—but, as I demonstrate in The Pope, climate change and VW, they are connected. Pope Francis is pushing for policies that promote emission reductions based on the belief that CO2 emissions are driving climate change and Volkswagen, I believe, engaged in the approach they did because of the impossible requirements to cut emissions.

 

In The Pope, climate change and VW I offer a quick overview of the VW story for those who haven’t followed it and then make the connection to the unattainable regulations and the carbon reduction policies driving them. Those who reviewed it prior to publication were very positive about the approach. One said: “Great article and exactly on point.”

 

Please post, pass on and/or personally enjoy The Pope, climate change and VW.

 

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

 

 

For immediate release: September 28, 2015

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

 

 

The Pope, climate change and VW

While Pope Francis was shuttled around during his historic visit to the U.S. in a Fiat, he shared the news cycle with Volkswagen.

 

The pope made headlines with his calls for action on climate change. USA Today touted: “Obama, Pope Francis praise each other on climate change.” In his September 23 speech from the White House lawn, the Pope addressed President Obama saying: “I find it encouraging that you are introducing an initiative for reducing air pollution.” Addressing that comment, Business Insider added: “He praised President Barack Obama for his proposals, which aim for the US to cut emissions by up to 28% over the next decade.”

 

The core of the entire climate change agenda is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions which proponents like to call “air pollution.” It comes from sources we can’t control: volcanoes; sources we can kind-of control: forest fires (better forest management would result in fewer fires) and human beings exhaling (reduce the population, reduce CO2 emissions); and sources we can control: the use of fossil fuels (we can virtually outlaw them as several countries, including the U.S., are trying to do).

 

The drive to cut CO2 emissions is at the root of Volkswagen’s unprecedented scandal that broke last week, resulting in the CEO’s abrupt ouster on September 23—the day that Pope Francis’ U.S. visit went into full swing.

 

With nonstop coverage of the papal activities—including his Fiat Popemobile—the Volkswagen story was likely lost on most Americans. But it is not going away.

 

On September 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed the scandal: Europe’s biggest auto maker, with 600,000 employees world-wide and 300,000 in Germany, utilized software on some VW and Audi diesel-powered cars to manipulate the results of routine emissions tests—allowing them pass strict emissions standards in Europe and the U.S. The “defeat devices” have reportedly been fitted to more than 11 million vehicles since 2008 and may cost Volkswagen up to $18 billion in fines in the U.S. alone. Owners of the impacted vehicles will need to have a heretofore unavailable “fix” installed and may have to provide a “proof of correction certificate” in order to renew their registration and will suffer “loss due to the diminished value of the cars.” As a result of the scandal, Volkswagen’s stock price and reputation have both fallen precipitously, and class-action lawsuits are already taking shape. Fund managers have been banned from buying VW’s stocks and bonds. Tens of thousands of new cars may remain unsold. USNews stated: “Whoever is responsible could face criminal charges in Germany.”

 

The question no one seems to be asking is: what would drive Europe’s biggest auto maker to make such a costly decision, to take a risk, from which it may be impossible to recover, and tarnish the “made-in-Germany brand”?

 

While the question isn’t asked, Reuters coverage of the story offers the answer: “Diesel engines use less fuel and emit less carbon—blamed for global warming—than standard gasoline engines. But they emit higher levels of toxic gases known as nitrogen oxides.”

 

In short, the answer is the drive to lower CO2 emissions and the policies that encourage reduction.

 

In BloombergView, Clive Crook offers this excellent explanation:

Beginning in the mid-1990s, mindful of their commitments to cut carbon emissions, Europe’s governments embarked on a prolonged drive to convert their car fleets from gasoline to diesel. With generous use of tax preferences, they succeeded. In the European Union as a whole, diesel vehicles now account for more than half of the market. In France, the first country to cross that threshold, diesel now accounts for roughly 80 percent of motor-fuel consumption.

 

What was the reasoning? Diesel contains more carbon than gasoline, but diesel engines burn less fuel: Net, switching to diesel ought to give you lower emissions of greenhouse gases. However, there’s a penalty in higher emissions of other pollutants, including particulates and nitrogen oxides, or NOx. Curbing those emissions requires expensive modifications to cars’ exhaust systems. To facilitate the switch, Europe made its emission standards for these other pollutants less stringent for diesel engines than for gasoline engines. The priority, after all, was to cut greenhouse gases.

 

If anyone could solve the dilemma, one would expect it to be the Germans, who excel in engineering feats. It is Germany that is touted as the world leader in all things green. The reality of achieving the goals, however, is far more difficult than passing the legislation calling for the energy transformation.

 

Addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s push for de-carbonization, BloombergBusiness Points out: “Merkel has built a reputation as a climate crusader during a decade as Chancellor.” She “has straddled between pushing to reduce global warming while protecting her country’s auto industry.”

 

Merkel is, apparently, bumping up against reality. After shutting down its nuclear power plants, Germany has had to rely more on coal. BloombergBusiness continues: “She successfully helped block tighter EU carbon emissions standards two years ago.” Those tighter emissions standards would have hurt Germany’s auto industry, which accounts for 1 in 7 jobs in the country and 20 percent of its exports. At last week’s Frankfurt Auto Show Merkel said: “We have to ensure politically that what’s doable can indeed be translated into law, but what’s not doable mustn’t become European law.”

 

Evidence suggests the issue “could be industry-wide.” CNBC reports: “several major companies having exposure to the same diesel technology.” BMW’s stock price plunged, according to BloombergBusiness: “after a report that a diesel version of the X3 sport utility vehicle emitted more than 11 times the European limit for air pollution in a road test.” The Financial Times quotes Stuart Pearson, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, as saying: VW was “unlikely to have been the only company to game the system globally.” And an October 2014 study, cited in BloombergBusiness, claims that “road tests of 15 new diesel cars were an average of seven times higher than European limits.”

 

The VW emissions scandal is more than just a “‘bad episode’ for the car industry,” as Germany’s vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, called it. It provides a lesson in the collision of economic and environmental policies that strive to reach goals, which are presently technologically unachievable—a lesson that regulators and policy makers have yet to learn.

 

The Los Angeles Times (LAT) reports: “Regulators have ordered Volkswagen to come up with a fix that allows vehicles to meet environmental regulations.” If it were that easy, even economically possible, the much-vaunted German engineering could have solved the problem instead of developing technology that found a way around the rules. LAT concludes: “automotive experts believe any repair will diminish the driving dynamics of the vehicles and slash fuel economy—the two major characteristics that attracted buyers.”

 

The fact that, while waving the flag of environmental virtue advocated by Pope Francis, those, with the world’s best engineering at their fingertips, had to use the expertise to develop a work-around should serve as a lesson to policymakers who pass legislation and regulation on ideology rather than reality.

 

 

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. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much taxpayer money will fund this — Is it worth it

Sig Silber was kind enough to send this along.  Is the devil in the details or is this an angelic gift?
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SUNZIA_RELEASE%20IMG_V2

On January 24, 2015, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich joined U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Katherine Hammack, U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Luján, and senior Bureau of Land Management officials to announce the approval of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Line in New Mexico. The $2 billion infrastructure project will connect and deliver renewable power generated in New Mexico and Arizona to population centers across the southwest. The announcement was made at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories.

January 28, 2015

Dear Fellow New Mexican,

Our state can and should be America’s epicenter of the clean energy economy. New Mexico has the technology, ingenuity, and abundant wind and solar resources to unleash the full potential of our homegrown energy to create good, quality jobs.

That’s exactly what a major infrastructure project that was approved on Saturday represents.

The SunZia Southwest Transmission Project will unlock New Mexico’s stranded wind and solar resources and move that energy to market. The project has the potential to enable the addition of 3,000 megawatts of electric capacity, which would provide sustainable power for more than a million homes.

SunZia will also have tremendous impact on our state’s economy. An economic study estimates that in New Mexico this project would generate $275 million in wages and salaries and $65 million in state and local taxes during construction.

Providing renewable power to the desert Southwest region, SunZia is expected to create 6,200 jobs during a four-year construction period to build the transmission lines and substations, and more than 36,700 jobs during a two-year construction period for renewable generation projects. An additional 600 permanent jobs are estimated to be created from transmission and generation operations.

I commend the tremendous work that all of the agencies involved in the review of SunZia have done to responsibly site this line and reach common ground along the way. I have followed this project closely and it has been deliberate, transparent, and comprehensive.

But this isn’t just about SunZia. This is about New Mexico diversifying its economy and building a prosperous clean energy future.

I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me on this and other issues that matter most to you and your family.

Be well, and please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

Signature

MARTIN HEINRICH
United States Senator

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter:

 

 

Silber on Stiglitz

Sigmund “Sig” Silber is a New Mexico writer and economist who makes it a habit to report on economics, water, water law and government.  He is recognized as an expert on New Mexico water issues and he has a great sense of humor … sometimes with a dark cutting edge.

He has given me permission to publish his “stuff,” on my blogs.

Sigmund Silber <sigmundsilber@q.com> wrote:
http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/politics-of-economic-stupidity-by-joseph-e–stiglitz#AL36G2Abwt15dk7V.99

He has won a Nobel Prize. But I have to disagree with him to some extent.

Yes for sure austerity policies are stupid. They are based on some false assumptions about debt especially when money can be created out of thin air. But even without that, one person’s debt is some other person’s asset so debt is overrated……until you get to the point where you can’t pay the interest. If you have a central bank that is never a problem. As an aside, Europe has its own particular issues which are addressed quite well in this article econintersect.com/a/blogs/blog1.php/stratfor-the-european-union-nationalism

But I certainly am not disturbed that we have fewer public-sector employees. In fact I am elated. In New Mexico we may have insufficient state and local employees. That is because we are a very large state with generally a low population density. But there are far too many Federal Workers. This data may be out of date or wrong but if correct it indicates that in 2009 the average Federal Employee earned $81,258 with $41,791 of benefits. Thus the Federal Bureaucracy is a tremendous drain on the economy. econintersect.com/b2evolution/blog2.php/2015/01/19/killing-the-american-dream And the Federal Government does not attract the best and brightest that is fairly obvious. Fail anywhere in society private or state and local government and off you go to the Feds for a nice sinecure.

The recommendation that we build roads to nowhere also does not impress me. Based on my research, which I suspect is as good as Stiglitz’s research or better, in developed nations infrastructure investments are not very effective at improving the economy. The n th road does not produce the same benefit as the first road. I wonder how you can not know that and still win a Nobel Prize. Infrastructure is usually based on major inventions. Has Stiglitz read Schumpeter? It might be a good investment of his time. Major paradigm shift innovations do not occur on a regular schedule. Chances are there will be some soon. Chances are the public sector employees that Stiglitz loves so much will slow their deployment or prevent their deployment entirely. Why do we not have automated highways or vehicles that drive themselves? It is not a deficiency of engineering expertise; it was public sector employees. Why does it take twenty years to get a new drug approved? Public Sector employees.

I think our problems are more complicated than Stiglitz thinks. But he has the Nobel Prize. And it is tax free. I suspect the reason for this article was shopping around for political clients. I am just speculating on that but that is how it struck me.

But for sure you do not improve an economy by extracting purchasing power from the citizens in the economy. So there I totally agree with Stiglitz. On the other hand, redistribution is a strange concept based on the probably correct assumption that some are more likely to spend than others but countered to some extent at least by the equally correct assumption that spenders are less likely to invest. In the olden days, investment was considered more effective than consumption at improving an economy. Does redistribution encourage innovation and investment? Is Europe doing better than the U.S.? How about Russia? To me it seems that a disrespect for private property is a negative for an economy growing. But Stiglitz may not be thinking about redistribution but simply helicopter drops. In fact neither is discussed in the above linked article but I am speculating that this is on his mind.

I agree with Stiglitz that it is not wise to deflate economies as the World has been doing. But I do not agree with his Marxist/Sayian/Reaganist/IBM Supply Side strategies. To have demand you have to produce things that people want badly enough to exchange labor for those things whether they be products or services. It is very difficult to mandate demand other than by draconian policies. One could mandate that every house have an outside outhouse. That will stimulate demand. Would the World be a better place? GDP would be higher.

Perhaps we have sufficient toys.

Yes with a helicopter drop of currency, sales of toys would increase. Is that progress?

Would more bridges improve things? Keeping bridges from falling down is certainly a good idea. One can call that investment and account for it as investment but it really is maintenance. There is no impact on the economy other than the spending associated with doing the maintenance. Those receiving the payment for their services are better off but the overall wealth of the nation does not change.

I think it is an old fashioned concept as applied to a developed nation. That is not to say that there are no infrastructure opportunities. There certainly are. But I think Stiglitz has made an incorrect diagnosis in that area but a correct one re austerity policies.

Sometimes one just has to wait for demand to materialize especially in developed nations. In less developed nations we need to avoid garroting their economies. I think that Stiglitz and I probably see monetary policy in the same light in this regard. But again time can solve a lot of problems. And in some cases growth is generational.

Marita might say, Ethanol is never what it’s cracked-up to be

Marita explains why sensible people and environmentalists agree on ethanol.  And, it’s about time, envios.

You will find valuable link information at the very bottom of Marita’s piece.  Incidentally, she has gained another prominent spot in conservative publication.  Check out Breitbart.com

Now here is Marita’s latest:

Ethanol policy reform–the rare place where environmentalists and energy advocates agree

We all expect to pay a price for missing deadlines—fail to pay a parking ticket on time, and you may find a warrant out for your arrest. People have lost their jobs when they can’t get the work done on schedule. Students, who turn in papers late, get lower grades—maybe even fail the class.

 

But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can apparently miss deadlines (many) with impunity. For the past two years, the EPA has failed to meet the statutory deadline under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), requiring the agency to tell refiners how much ethanol to blend into the nation’s motor fuels.

 

In November 2013, the EPA did make an attempt to announce the proposed 2014 blend levels—which by then were already months past the legally mandated deadline. The EPA surprised and pleased the RFS opponents when it utilized its authority to adjust the mandate and took market conditions into consideration. The EPA set the proposed 2014 standard to a level lower than 2013’s, even though the law requires increasing amounts. Ethanol producers, who were expecting the usual uptick, loudly opposed the reduction. They made so much noise, the EPA agreed to reconsider. To date, the 2014 standards have not yet been announced.

 

Then, on November 21, 2014, the EPA announced it would make a decision next year (2015) on how much ethanol refiners had to add to gasoline this year (2014)—yet, if refiners don’t meet the unknown requirement, they get fined. That’s akin to handing out the class syllabus after the students have failed the final exam.

 

With the goal of a reduction in foreign oil imports, Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 and revised it in 2007—which also provided incentives to America’s fledgling ethanol industry. At the time, gasoline demand was rising to an all-time high and oil imports comprised more than 58 percent of U.S. oil consumption. No doubt Congress believed it was saving American consumers from their addiction to oil.

 

Then the world changed. The U.S. economy plunged into its worst recession ever, unemployment soared, and gasoline demand fell sharply. Meanwhile, advanced drilling technologies, including the long-used hydraulic fracturing and newer horizontal drilling, began producing oil and natural gas from U.S. shale formations—which were previously uneconomic to develop—leading to America’s 21st Century energy boom.

 

Today the U.S. is the world’s largest natural-gas producer and is projected to pass Saudi Arabia as the number one oil producer. With crude oil supplies flooding the market, prices have been cut in half. Although fears over foreign-oil dependence have abated, the U.S. remains stuck with an ethanol mandate that is outdated, unworkable, and even harmful to vehicles, engines, and the environment.

 

Consider just some of the RFS’s flaws.

 

The law requires refiners to cap their blending of corn ethanol and use more cellulosic biofuels. Never mind that very little cellulosic biofuel has ever been produced—even according to EPA’s own data. But that fact hasn’t prevented the EPA from levying millions of dollars in fines against refiners for failing to use the phantom fuel, without any assurance that enough cellulosic biofuel will ever be available. It’s kind of like receiving a bill for something you cannot buy because it doesn’t exist, but you’re being charged anyway.

 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports cellulosic biofuels are: “complex, capital-intensive, and costly.” Given the difficulty of producing them, capacity will “fall far short of what would be necessary to achieve the very rapid growth in the use of cellulosic biofuels required” under the RFS.

 

Then there is the “blend wall” problem. With less gasoline being sold than Congress anticipated, refiners cannot add ever-rising amounts of ethanol to gasoline without exceeding E10—the fuel consisting of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline sold virtually everywhere in the country today. To get around the blend wall issue, the EPA granted a “partial waiver” allowing the sale of E15, a fuel blend containing up to 15 percent ethanol for model-year 2001 and newer vehicles.

 

The EPA’s quick fix made a bad situation much worse, and all at the taxpayers’ and consumers’ expense. Ethanol levels higher than 10 percent can damage or destroy vehicle engines, according to a study conducted by the well-respected Coordinating Research Council. Automakers are voiding warranties and refusing to be held responsible for mechanical problems caused by fuels containing more than 10 percent ethanol. And the marine industry warns of potential engine failures on various types of watercraft powered by the industry’s most common engines.

 

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is so concerned about safety hazards that it has launched a campaign telling consumers to “Look Before You Pump.” OPEI says equipment ranging from lawn mowers to “jaws of life” devices could be damaged by ethanol’s corrosive properties if used in concentrations above 10 percent. Do want your expensive new lawn mower to quit the third time you use it? You certainly want life-saving devices to work on demand.

 

And that’s not all. Ethanol contains less energy than gasoline, forcing motorists to fill up more often, thereby causing more consumer expenditures. Ethanol production has driven up food prices here and abroad. Additionally, some studies indicate ethanol usage increases greenhouse gas emissions. Politico reports: “Some green groups have vocally abandoned their support for corn ethanol, blaming the crop for polluting water supplies, wiping out conservation land and even increasing carbon emissions.” According to Craig Cox, director of the Ames, Iowa, office of the Environmental Working Group, an environmental group that opposes the mandate as it is now structured: “Corn ethanol’s brand has been seriously dented in the last 18 months. …it certainly doesn’t occupy the same pedestal that it occupied two years ago.”

 

But then, despite the fact that the EPA says decisions are made on merits, politics entered the scene. Rumors flew that the announcement of the 2014 blend levels was delayed to help Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-D) in his Senate bid. Braley was pushing for an increase in the proposed levels and was hoping that he would be able to influence the White House to raise the targets. Additionally, a Republican-controlled Senate would be more likely to pass legislation to reform or repeal the RFS. Braley was quoted in Politico saying: “Voters in Iowa look at where I stand on this issue and where my opponent stands, who’s supporting me in this campaign and who’s supporting [Ernst].” The Politico story states: “Iowans say wavering on corn ethanol once would have been certain political suicide in a state where 90 percent of the land is farm acreage. So Braley sought to capitalize on Ernst’s expressed qualms about big government, portraying her as someone Iowans can’t trust to fight for them.” Yet, Ernst, a Republican, won the Senate seat formerly held by Democrat Tom Harkin by 8.5 percentage points.

 

The EPA’s unwillingness to do its job by setting ethanol volumes—along with ethanol’s loss of “political heft”— should provide the impetus for ending the complex and wasteful RFS program. Ethanol is a rare topic where environmentalists and energy advocates agree. Now is the time to get our elected officials all on board. As soon as the new Congress convenes in January, it should give the RFS an “F” and reform, revise, or even repeal it.

 

(A version of this content was originally published on 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.

Here are the extra links referred to at the beginning of this page:

Ethanol policy reform
  RFS Timeline.jpg
1 MB  View  Download
zip Download all attachments

Marita Noon

Edgewood Mobile Food Pantry & Civitan Clothing Exchange

rp_edgewood_mobile_food_pantry_flyer_sept_2013-page-0.jpgCivitanClothingRelated articles

Pipeline Obama Built … Not The XL

PipeThatObamaBuilt2WebCR-7_7_14

Visit: TerrellAfterMath

Edgewood Chamber Friday Blast 6.20.14

  Friday Blast
    June 20 , 2014
The Edgewood Chamber
…working for you!We are sad to announce that our President Chris Hopper has resigned from the board due to increased responsibilities
at his business Mail and Copy.
Vice President Robin Markley, owner of BeeHive homes will assume the responsibilities of President until January of 2015, when the board will elect a new set of officers.
Chris, we all appreciate the hard work and dedication you have devoted to the Chamber and thank you for all you do!

 

Thanks for all who attended our
June Mixer

last evening
Hosted by Sigala’s
Martial Arts
What a wonderful demonstration by the talented children who attend Sigalas!
Our hosts Nicole and Mr Sigala were very gracious and those who attended received a wonderful gift from Sigala’s.

We are proud to have you as members of the Chamber, and recommend that all members stop by to see just what they offer the community.  All ages are welcome.

Also, thanks to State Representative Jim Smith and Town Councilor Rita Loy Simmons for attending.  The evening was unique and fun!


 Economic Development

Edgewood residents and businesses are filling out the Economic needs study!  Thank you to all who have taken a few minutes to fill out this important study for the future of our community! If you haven’t done it yet, please 

 

Click below:

Economic Development Survey

 

Tell folks you know that the survey is available on the Edgewood Chamber website, and on the Town of Edgewood Website under Economic Development as well as here.

Deadline for the survey information
June 30.

After the data is gathered, we will prepare an Economic Impact Preparation Recommendation Report which will be used by our committee and leaders to help determine what’s next for Edgewood!

 

Leadership Edgewood

Graduation will take place on July 18

at the beautiful home of

Peggy and Skip Mead.

We’re hoping to announce our very special guest speaker next week soon.

LEADERSHIP EDGEWOOD 2015
BEGINS IN JANUARY 2015!

 

 

Coming Soon!
Chamber decals for members to place in your windows to announce that you are serious about your business and have joined the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce!

 

 

 

.

     Area Happenings

This Friday Blast Section is reserved for your events or happenings in the area!  If you have an upcoming event or a special happening that you would like to see in the Blast, please email it to the office by Wednesday. Approved information will be reviewed and inserted in the Blast on the following Friday.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

END OF TRAIL

THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF
COWBOY ACTION SHOOTING

at

SASS

SINGLE ACTION SHOOTING SOCIETY

HELD AT FOUNDER’S RANCH
from 8am to 5pm

 

BE SURE TO ATTEND THE PUBLIC DAYS ON
SATURDAY JUNE 28AND SUNDAY JUNE 29
Public Admission is $5.00
Children 8 and under admitted FREE.


AT THE RANCH ON BARTON ROAD.

GREAT ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!

 

 

New Mexico Horse Rescue at

Walkin n circles Ranch
in celebration of the year of the horse

FOURTH ANNUAL
CHUCK WAGON DINNER

SATURDAY JUNE 21, 2014
Gates open at 4pm
Dinner 5:30
Dancing 7-10

Authentic Chuck Wagon Dinner
Dancing to the Pat Reyes Band
Silent Auction and Ranch Tours
Live Chain Saw Carving by Mark Chavez
Natural Horsemanship Training Demos

Tickets $35 per person
Sponsor table for 8 $400
Children 6-12 $15
under 6 FREE

CALL 505-286-0779 for Reservations

 

 

 

The Bethel Community Storehouse

is in need of volunteers.

Many positions are available in the

food pantry, thrift store, donation intake and sorting areas.

Volunteer orientation is held every Thursday at 10 am for ages 14 and up.

You choose the day, time and project.

Bring a friend, or come and make new friends.

Call 832-6642 for more info.

 

 

 

 Wildlife West Nature Park

   Saturday Night
Chuckwagon BBQ

every Saturday evening at 6pm at
Wildlife West!

Live Cowboy Band,  BBQ Feast,
Live Raptor Show
now through August 30!

Covered seating rain or shine!

Adults $15

Seniors $23

Age: 5-11 $12

Under 5 FREE
Call for Group Rates

Wonderful way to entertain your summer visitors!

Make reservations by 2pm day of show.

Call 505-281-7655, or 1 877 981 WILD

 

 

 

 

-Bear Barn Art Gallery

is open daily 10-5:30 every day except Tuesdays.

Stop by and help support our local artists. Located at Wildlife West Nature Park and Rescued Wildlife Zoo in Edgewood, 87 North Frontage Road past Hunter Building Materials.

Contact Gayle Bone at; 610-8073. gogobone59@copper.net


 

RETRO 66 Meetings:

-RETRO; 16 July, 2014, 1-2:30 PM at Edgewood Community Center; 27 N. Frontage Rd just East of Dairy Queen

 

Light Pole Banners

If you are interested in a banner advertising your business along Route 66 or State Road 344 in Edgewood, you can still order yours!

 If there is a vacant spot or if the Town occupies a spot you wish to occupy along Route 66 and 344, you  

can order through the town office,
only $90.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     

We welcome re-
posting of the Friday Blast,with the understanding that the Edgewood Chamber is an independent organization of local business members.

Statements and beliefs on other sites may not be construed as views or positions to which we adhere or agree.
  

      Edgewood Chamber      Join us on Facebook 

Board Meeting

Monday July 7 at 6:15pm
Chamber office

 

Luncheon

Thursday July 10

11:30 am
Edgewood

Community Center

Right after the July 10 meeting,
from 1 to 3pm
Come celebrate
Mayor Howard Calkin’s 90th Birthday.
We will hold a surprise reception,
honors and perhaps even a roast for him
from 1 to 3 after the regular luncheon at the Community Center.
Please don’t tell him…

(he isn’t online, and won’t see this).

 

Mixer

Thursday June 19
Hosted by Sigala’s
Martial Arts

 

Triple Crown Corporate Partners for 2014

RICH Ford Edgewood
EPCOR Water
Wal-Mart
The Independent
SASS

 

Executive Director:

         Madeline Heitzman


Board of Directors

President:
Robin Markely      2015

Vice President

Secretary:
Babara Ormand   2015

Treasurer:
Martha Eden          2014   

 

Board Members at Large:

Ray Seagers                  2015

Saul Araque                   2015

Howard Calkins              2014
Tom Torres                     2014

Julie Bassett                  2015

Committees:
Economic Development:

Tom Torres – Jim Bouton

Ambassadors:

                   Howard Calkins

Political Affairs & By Laws:
Ray Seagers

Events:         Robin Markley

Education:   Julie Bassett
Programs:    Staff/Committee
Luncheon:     Martha Eden
Leadership Alumni Group
Kathy Courreges

RETRO Route 66:  

               Madeline Heitzman

Town of Edgewood
Meetings:

meets First and Third Wednesdays of the month
at 6:30pm
Edgewood Community Center
  Planning & Zoning meets First and Third Tuesdays of the month at 6:00pm Edgewood Community Center.

Other Chambers:
East Mountain Chamber meets
the first Thursday of the month  Call 281-1999 orinfo@eastmountainchamber.com

 

Moriarty Chamber meets
at noon the third Tuesday of the month at the Moriarty Civic Center.  Call 832-4087

 

Mountainair Chamber meets the first Tuesday of the month at 11:30am. 847-2975  or
mcc@mountainairchamber.com

 

About Us 
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday
       9am – 5pmFridays by appointment.
Since we’re a one person office, when we have other meetings or members to visit, we’re not here. Call 850-2523  and we’ll be sure to meet you!

Location:

95 State Road 344 Ste 3
(Library/Chamber Bldg)
Edgewood, New Mexico

Phone Number

     505-286-2577
e-mail:

info@
edgewoodchambernm.com

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a chamber member,
you can leave your business cards, rack cards and flyers at the Visitors center inside the South door to the Library. Be sure to get your information over here.
It’s part of your benefit as an Edgewood Chamber member!

Stop by the office to see
Madeline if you have
any questions ,
or call my cell 850-2523.

2012 Edgewood Chamber of Commerce – All rights reserved Address:PO Box 457 Edgewood

PO Box 457, Edgewood, NM 87015, USA

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Edgewood Chamber Friday Blast 6.13.14

  Friday Blast
    June13 , 2014
The Edgewood Chamber
…working for you!

 

 

DON’T MISS OUR JUNE
Mixer

Thursday June 19
Hosted by Sigala’s
Martial Arts
at George Court
(to the back on the right)
Begins at 5:30 to 7pm.
Welcome our almost newest Chamber members, who had their Ribbon Cutting
last Saturday, June 7.

They put on a very entertaining show.
Don’t miss the mixer…and please bring your cards!


 Economic Development

Edgewood residents and businesses are filling out the Economic needs study!  Thank you to all who have taken a few minutes to fill out this important study for the future of our community! If you haven’t done it yet, please 

 

Click below:

Economic Development Survey

 

Tell folks you know that the survey is available on the Edgewood Chamber website, and on the Town of Edgewood Website under Economic Development as well as here.

Deadline for the survey information
June 30.

After the data is gathered, we will prepare an Economic Impact Preparation Recommendation Report which will be used by our committee and leaders to help determine what’s next for Edgewood!

 

Leadership Edgewood

 

Our last class for the year will be held in June, with Arts, History and the IRS.

Graduation will take place on July 18
at the beautiful home of

Peggy and Skip Mead.

We’re hoping to announce our very special guest speaker next week.

LEADERSHIP EDGEWOOD 2015
BEGINS IN JANUARY 2015!

 

 

Coming Soon!
Chamber decals for members to place in your windows to announce that you are serious about your business and have joined the Edgewood Chamber of Commerce!

 

 

 

.

     Area Happenings

This Friday Blast Section is reserved for your events or happenings in the area!  If you have an upcoming event or a special happening that you would like to see in the Blast, please email it to the office by Wednesday. Approved information will be reviewed and inserted in the Blast on the following Friday. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling people of all ages who love to have fun

while doing something worthwhile!

On June 14,

Kingdom Krafters
is hosting their very first

Make It & Take It Craft Day

Join the fun from 1-4pm
at the pavilion & soccer fields
located off 344 in Edgewood.

We’re going to raise money for

Rivers of Mercy Orphanage

in Juarez, Mexico!

Pay $3 per person or $10 per family to make quality crafts
you can take home.
(Think painted ceramics and other unusual handmade items…
Not your typical pipe cleaner &
cotton ball event!)

Crafting not your thing?
Take part in our mega raffle
to appreciate what someone else has made!
Whether you’re looking for the perfect
Father’s Day gift
or just need a way to relax, you’re bound to find something you love among our
unique raffle items.
For fun refreshments,
visit our concession stand.

Just follow the signs and keep your eyes open
for fields of people having fun!

Find out more from our website or Facebook page!

www.kingdomkrafters.org
https://www.facebook.com/events/760603517303800/?ref=22

Or call (616)916-1757. Ask for Rachel or Jeremy! 

 

 

The Bethel Community Storehouse

is in need of volunteers.

Many positions are available in the

food pantry, thrift store, donation intake and sorting areas.

Volunteer orientation is held every Thursday at 10 am for ages 14 and up.

You choose the day, time and project.

Bring a friend, or come and make new friends.

Call 832-6642 for more info.

 

 

 

 Wildlife West Nature Park

   Begins our Saturday Night
Chuckwagon BBQ

this Saturday evening at 6pm at
Wildlife West!

Live Cowboy Band,  BBQ Feast,
Live Raptor Show
now through August 30!

Covered seating rain or shine!

Adults $15

Seniors $23

Age: 5-11 $12

Under 5 FREE
Call for Group Rates

Wonderful way to entertain your summer visitors!

Make reservations by 2pm day of show.

Call 505-281-7655, or 1 877 981 WILD

 

New Mexico Horse Rescue at
Walkin n circles Ranch
in celebration of the year of the horse

FOURTH ANNUAL
CHUCK WAGON DINNER

SATURDAY JUNE 21, 2014
Gates open at 4pm
Dinner 5:30
Dancing 7-10

Authentic Chuck Wagon Dinner
Dancing to the Pat Reyes Band
Silent Auction and Ranch Tours
Live Chain Saw Carving by Mark Chavez
Natural Horsemanship Training Demos

Tickets $35 per person
Sponsor table for 8 $400
Children 6-12 $15
under 6 FREE

CALL 505-286-0779 for Reservations

 

 

 

 

-Bear Barn Art Gallery

is open daily 10-5:30 every day except Tuesdays.

Stop by and help support our local artists. Located at Wildlife West Nature Park and Rescued Wildlife Zoo in Edgewood, 87 North Frontage Road past Hunter Building Materials.

Contact Gayle Bone at; 610-8073. gogobone59@copper.net


 

RETRO 66 Meetings:

-RETRO; 18 June, 2014, 1-2:30 PM at Moriarty Civic  Center; 202 S. Broadway

-RETRO; 16 July, 2014, 1-2:30 PM at Edgewood Community Center; 27 N. Frontage Rd just East of Dairy Queen

 

Light Pole Banners

If you are interested in a banner advertising your business along Route 66 or State Road 344 in Edgewood, you can still order yours!

 If there is a vacant spot or if the Town occupies a spot you wish to occupy along Route 66 and 344, you  

can order through the town office,
only $90.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                     

We welcome re-posting of the Friday Blast,with the understanding that the Edgewood Chamber is an independent organization of local business members.

Statements and beliefs on other sites may not be construed as views or positions to which we adhere or agree.
  

      Edgewood Chamber      Join us on Facebook

 

Board Meeting

Monday July 7 at 6:15pm
Chamber office

 

Luncheon

Thursday July 10

11:30 am
Edgewood

Community Center
Come celebrate
Mayor Howard Calkin’s 90th Birthday.
We will hold a surprise reception,
honors and perhaps even a roast for him
from 1 to 3 after the regular luncheon at the Community Center.
Please don’t tell him… (he isn’t online, and won’t see this).

 

Mixer

Thursday June 19
Hosted by Sigala’s
Martial Arts

 

Triple Crown Corporate Partners for 2014

RICH Ford Edgewood
EPCOR Water
Wal-Mart
The Independent
SASS

 

Executive Director:

         Madeline Heitzman


Board of Directors

President:
Chris Hopper       2015

Vice President
Robin Markely      2014
Secretary:
Babara Ormand   2015

Treasurer:
Martha Eden          2014   

 

Board Members at Large:

Ray Seagers                  2015

Saul Araque                   2015

Howard Calkins              2014
Tom Torres                    2014

Julie Bassett                  2015

Committees:
Economic Development:

Tom Torres – Jim Bouton

Ambassadors:

                   Howard Calkins

Political Affairs & By Laws:
Ray Seagers

Events:         Robin Markley

Education:   Julie Bassett
Programs:    Staff/Committee
Luncheon:     Martha Eden
Leadership Alumni Group
Kathy Courreges

RETRO Route 66:  

               Madeline Heitzman

Town of Edgewood
Meetings:

meets First and Third Wednesdays of the month
at 6:30pm
Edgewood Community Center
  Planning & Zoning meets First and Third Tuesdays of the month at 6:00pm Edgewood Community Center.

Other Chambers:
East Mountain Chamber meets
the first Thursday of the month  Call 281-1999 or

info@eastmountainchamber.com

 

Moriarty Chamber meets
at noon the third Tuesday of the month at the Moriarty Civic Center.  Call 832-4087

 

Mountainair Chamber meets the first Tuesday of the month at 11:30am. 847-2975  or
mcc@mountainairchamber.com

 

About Us 
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday
       9am – 5pm

Fridays by appointment.
Since we’re a one person office, when we have other meetings or members to visit, we’re not here. Call 850-2523  and we’ll be sure to meet you!

Location:

95 State Road 344 Ste 3
(Library/Chamber Bldg)
Edgewood, New Mexico

Phone Number

     505-286-2577
e-mail:

info@
edgewoodchambernm.com

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a chamber member,
you can leave your business cards, rack cards and flyers at the Visitors center inside the South door to the Library. Be sure to get your information over here.
It’s part of your benefit as an Edgewood Chamber member!

Stop by the office to see
Madeline if you have
any questions ,
or call my cell 850-2523.

2012 Edgewood Chamber of Commerce – All rights reserved Address:PO Box 457 Edgewood

PO Box 457, Edgewood, NM 87015, USA

Unsubscribe | Change Subscriber Options