Marita: Loves the strike down of one portion of Obama’s overall little legacy

Link to: Striking down Obama’s climate legacy has its day in court

 

Greetings!

 

This week, I knew early on what my topic would be. For the past couple years, I’ve followed the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP)—including offering public comment at one of the EPA’S “listening sessions” in Atlanta. Back in February, I wrote about the Supreme Court’s historic stay. On Tuesday,  September 27, more history was made when the full DC Appeals Court heard oral arguments regarding the CPP—from both defenders and detractors. There, history was made again: the full court engaged in the arguments for the full day.

 

Despite the historic nature of the case, few people are following it—or even knew about the CPP’s day in the Appeals Court.

 

For my weekly radio show: America’s Voice for Energy, I interviewed two of the lawyers involved in the case who were in the room for the full oral arguments. Their insights, along with news reports, resulted in this week’s column: Striking down Obama’s climate legacy has its day in court (attached and pasted-in-below).

 

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, Inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM, 87181

505.239.8998

 

For immediate release: October 3, 2016

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1128

 

Striking down Obama’s climate legacy has its day in court

President Obama’s flagship policy on climate change had its day in court on Tuesday, September 27. The international community is closely watching; most Americans, however, are unaware of the historic case known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP)—which according to David Rivkin, one of the attorneys arguing against the plan: “is not just to reduce emissions, but to create a new electrical system.”

 

For those who haven’t followed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule, here’s a brief history that brings us to up to date:

  • EPA published the final CPP rule in the Federal Register on October 2015.
  • More than two dozen states and a variety of industry groups and businesses immediately filed challenges against it—with a final bipartisan coalition of more than 150 entities including 27 states, 24 trade associations, 37 electric coops, 3 labor unions, and about a half dozen nonprofits.
  • On January 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a request for a stay that would have prevented implementation of the rule until the court challenges were resolved.
  • On February 9, the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS), in an unprecedented action, before the case was heard by the lower court, overruled, and issued a stay that delays enforcement of CPP.
  • The Court of Appeals was scheduled to hear oral arguments before a three-judge panel on June 2, but pushed them to September 27 to be heard by the full court—something the court almost never does (though for issues involving “a question of exceptional importance” procedural rules allow for the case to proceed directly to a hearing before the full appeals court).

 

The court, which is already fully briefed on a case before hearing the oral arguments, typically allows a maximum 60-90 minutes to hear both sides and occasionally, with an extremely complex case, will allow two hours. The oral argument phase allows the judges to interact with lawyers from both sides and with each other. However, for the CPP, the court scheduled a morning session focusing on the EPA’s authority to promulgate the rule and an afternoon session on the constitutional claims against the rule—which ended up totaling nearly 7 hours. Jeff Holmstead, a partner with Bracewell Law, representing one of the lead challengers, told me this was the only time the full court has sat all day to hear a case.

 

One of the issues addressed was whether or not the EPA could “exercise major transformative power without a clear statement from Congress on the issue”—with the 2014 Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA determining it could not. Republican appointee Judge Brett Kavanaugh noted that the UARG scenario “sounds exactly like this one.”

 

Judge Thomas Griffith, a Bush appointee, questioned: “Why isn’t this debate going on in the floor of the Senate?” In a post-oral argument press conference, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) pointed out that the debate has been held on the Senate floor in the form of cap-and-trade legislation—which has failed repeatedly over a 15-year period. Therefore, he said, the Obama administration has tried to do through regulation what the Senate wouldn’t do through legislation.

 

“Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, one of Obama’s mentors,” writes the Dallas Morning News: “made a star appearance to argue that the Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional.”

 

Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson, a Bush appointee, concluded: “You have given us all we need and more, perhaps, to work on it.”

 

The day in court featured many of the nation’s best oral advocates and both sides feel good about how the case was presented.

 

For the challengers (who call CPP “an unlawful power grab”), West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who along with Texas AG Ken Paxton, co-lead the case, reported: “We said (then) that we were looking forward to having our day in court on the merits. Today was that day. I think that the collective coalition was able to put very strong legal arguments forward, as to why this regulation is unlawful, and why it should be set aside.”

 

But the case has its proponents, too, and they, also, left feeling optimistic. In a blog post for the Environmental Defense Fund, Martha Roberts wrote about what she observed in the courtroom: “The judges today were prepared and engaged. They asked sharply probing questions of all sides. But the big news is that a majority of judges appeared receptive to arguments in support of the Clean Power Plan.” She concluded that she’s confident “that climate protection can win the day.”

 

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) summarized the session saying that stakeholders on all sides were left “parsing questions and reactions, and searching for signs of which way the judges are leaning.” U.S. News reported: “The judges repeatedly interrupted the lawyers for both sides to ask pointed questions about the legal underpinnings of their positions.”

 

The decision, which is not expected for several months, may come down to the ideological make-up of the court: 6 of the judges were appointed by Democrat presidents and 4 by Republicans. Though, according to WSJ, Obama appointee Judge Patricia Millet “expressed concern that the administration was in effect requiring power plants to subsidize companies competing with them for electricity demand.” She offered hope to the challengers when she said: “That seems to be quite different from traditional regulation.” Additionally, in his opinion published in the Washington Post, Constitutional law professor Jonathan Adler, stated: “Some of the early reports indicate that several Democratic nominees posed tough questions to the attorney defending the EPA.”

 

Now, the judges will deliberate and discuss. Whatever decision they come to, experts agree that the losing side will appeal and that the case will end up in front of the Supreme Court—most likely in the 2017/2018 session with a decision possible as late as June 2018. There, the ultimate result really rests in the presidential election, as the current SCOTUS make up will be changed with the addition of the ninth Justice, who will be appointed by the November 8 winner—and that Justice will reflect the new president’s ideology.

 

Hillary Clinton has promised to continue Obama’s climate change policies while Donald Trump has announced he’ll rescind the CPP and cancel the Paris Climate Agreement.

 

The CPP is about more than the higher electricity costs and decreased grid reliability, which results from heavy reliance on wind and solar energy as CPP requires, and, as the South Australian experiment proves, doesn’t work. It has far-reaching impacts. WSJ states: “Even a partial rebuke of the Clean Power Plan could make it impossible for the U.S. to hit the goals Mr. Obama pledged in the Paris climate deal.” With Obama’s climate legacy at stake, the international community is paying close attention.

 

And Americans should be. Our energy stability hangs in the balance.

 

 

 

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 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.

 

 

Why is Congress playing with the American people

Why do we (the collective we) hesitate to condemn Planned Parenthood and their killing and rendering factories.  I can’t fathom the reason and I bet you can’t either.  There should be no doubt as to why Planned Parenthood should not be funded after folks read the following from the The Patriot Post (http://PatriotPost.US).  We should all do what we can to wake Congress from their slumber of irresponsibility.

Spending $500 Million to Deprive Children of Life

By Allyne Caan

2015-10-01-fe8ad699_large.jpg

During the five-plus hours Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards spent before a congressional hearing on Tuesday, her organization had time to kill more than 185 babies.

Unfortunately, while debating whether the abortion mill should continue to receive more than $500 million annually in taxpayer dollars, Republicans, who rightfully called the hearing, asked the wrong question: “Does Planned Parenthood really need federal subsidies?”

Instead, they should have gotten to the crux of the issue: Does the Constitution authorize spending money to deprive children of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

The correct answer is, of course, no.

Were the right question asked — and correctly answered — the hearing could have begun and ended in five minutes. But since Republicans went down the road of financial “need,” let’s take a look at those numbers.

Far from being a health clinic chain desperate for federal dollars, Planned Parenthood is a massive profit machine, grossing nearly $1.3 billion annually and holding $1.4 billion in assets. Richards herself pocketed pay of more than $590,000 in 2013, while more than 40 other Planned Parenthood execs make more than $200,000.

Richards admitted she “can’t think of a specific impact” of losing taxpayer dollars. We can think of 327,000 specific impacts.

(Incidentally, Richards also couldn’t think of any instances in which unborn children survive abortions. It’s amazing the sudden onset of amnesia a congressional hearing can spur.)

But back to funding, Planned Parenthood doesn’t “just get a big check from the federal government,” Richards said. “We, like other Medicaid providers, we are reimbursed directly for services provided.” And pulling federal funding “would deny people on Medicaid the ability to go to a provider of their choice, and many of them do go to Planned Parenthood for a variety of different reasons.”

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, public expenditures for family planning exceeded $2.3 billion in FY 2010 — and 75% of this went toward Medicaid. It’s all part of the Title X Family Planning Program, enacted in 1970, in accordance with Article Nil, Section Nonexistent of the Constitution. This funding purportedly supports a variety of family planning and preventative health services.

Of course, for Planned Parenthood, this “variety” does not include basic women’s health services like mammograms — no matter how many times its defenders lie about that particular service.

Perhaps this is why Richards herself does not rely on Planned Parenthood for her own health care.

In fact, if Richards is to be believed (cue: sarcasm), just a teeny weeny bit of this “variety” is abortion. According to Richards, Planned Parenthood’s 327,000 annual abortions are just 3% of the health services offered by its clinics.

Hmm, that’s odd. Richards herself has said Planned Parenthood serves 2.7 million women each year. Do the math, and the percentage is closer to 12 million. Not only this, but as Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) noted during the hearing, more than 86% of Planned Parenthood’s non-government revenue in 2013 came from abortions.

Even Common Core math can’t make 86 equal anything close to 3.

Still, Richards attempted to skirt the truth, explaining that some people come to Planned Parenthood “more than once for different services.” And she pulled the famous “federal money does not go for abortions” lie, saying, “So the federal portion that we were discussing is reimbursement for preventative care services.” Perhaps in fantasyland she’s right, but saying taxpayer money doesn’t fund abortions is like saying you can pour a bucket of water in the deep end of a pool and keep it out of the shallow end. The taxpayer dollars doled to Planned Parenthood are entirely fungible — and paying for some services allows the abortion mill to divert other resources to practice its primary and deadly trade.

In truth, Richards and her corporation masked as a non-profit organization are cashing in — at the expense of taxpayers — on the blood and body parts of innocent babies. And how tightly Planned Parenthood is holding onto its rhetoric of lies shows just how much their factories of death stand to lose.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marita: Thinks maybe some members of congress will atone for their Iran approval vote

I hope Marita is right, but I just can’t believe the majority of congress (Jewish, Gentile or Muslim) is in tune to atone:

Greetings!

I have been writing about the ban on exporting U.S. oil for months. I believe I first addressed it in November in my column: Six energy policy changes to expect from GOP Congress. Since then, I’ve brought it up again when the news warranted. Looking back, all that seems to have been a building up to a time such as this. The unpopular Iran deal, a new study on where U.S. oil would likely flow if the ban was lifted, and Congress’ schedule have aligned. As I like to do, I’ve uniquely connected the dots. Later this week, the  House Energy and Commerce Committee will address lifting the oil export ban. Currently, it looks like I will be in DC for the full committee mark-up of HR 702 and other meetings on the matter.

This week’s column:  Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal (attached and pasted-in-below) will help set the stage for the discussion as Democrats are needed to help with the heavy lifting (pun intended). Interestingly, almost all of the Jewish Members are Democrats. If each of them were in support of lifting the ban—we’d be there. With this in mind, I wrote Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal.

 

Please follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter to stay informed on my activities this week—and every week. And, be sure to contact your legislators and tell them you stand with Israel: “lift the export ban.”

Thanks for posting, passing on, and/or personally enjoying Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal.

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1241

 

Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal

“Whether you support this deal or not, we can all agree that America’s commitment to Israel remains unshakeable. And we will continue—Democrats and Republicans united—to stand with Israel,” says a statement from Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). Yet, despite widespread opposition from Israel and pro-Israel groups, Schatz, and almost all his fellow Jewish Senators and Representatives, supported the Iran nuclear deal that appears to be done.

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), on September 10, announced: “There’s no doubt whatsoever that the Congress of the United States will allow this agreement to go forward.”

Despite “a nearly $30 million advertising and lobbying effort to kill the accord,” the New York Times (NYT) reports, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—known as Aipac—suffered a “stinging defeat.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the deal will fuel Iran’s efforts to destroy Israel, calling it: “A stunning historic mistake.” Addressing Israel’s “diplomatic failure,” the NYT states: “Polls show that large majorities of Israeli Jews agree with him [Netanyahu] on Iran and deeply distrust President Obama.”

Polling within the U.S. reflects similar attitudes here at home: “The American people overwhelmingly oppose this agreement.” Republican pollster John McLaughlin, and Pat Caddell, a Democratic pollster, have conducted four national surveys on the Iran deal and charted the rising opposition to it. Their most recent, conducted on September 2 and 3, reveals the public’s animosity toward the deal: 78 percent wanted Congress to oppose it. The Hill reports: “65 percent say that it is so important that Congress votes on the Iran deal that if their senators voted to stop a vote in the Senate that they would never vote for them again. Only 24 percent say that it is unnecessary to vote. A plurality of Democrats (45 percent) say that it is important that there be a vote.” Yet Democrats, like Schatz, prevented a vote—leaving them in need of atonement.

Now, it is time to, according to NYT, “repair a troubled relationship between the United States and Israel badly frayed over the nuclear agreement with Iran.” In a planned November meeting between Netanyahu and Obama, the White House will offer “more military aid designed to bolster Israel’s defenses.”

Schatz claims: “we must find new ways to enhance our joint efforts to counter threats that endanger Israel every day.”

Israel does face threats “every day.” We know that Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has boldly proclaimed: “There will be no such thing as Israel in 25 years”—which CNN says: makes “a contentious deal pricklier.” We also know that Russia has offered to sell arms to Iran and is partnering with Iran in support of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Earlier this year, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah reportedly said: “A rich and strong Iran … will be able to stand by its allies and friends, and the peoples of the region, especially the resistance in Palestine, more than in any time in the past.”

A brief refresher in the region’s history makes clear why the above statements are important.

In October 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in what is known as the Yom Kippur war. With the help of a U.S. airlift of arms, and other military assistance from the Netherlands and Denmark, Israel began beating back the Arab gains. Because the three countries supported Israel, the “peoples of the region” stood together to use oil price increases as a weapon against Israel and its allies. The result? A total oil embargo was imposed on the United States, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The price of oil quadrupled, causing gas shortages and rationing.

Today, the U.S. has an abundance of oil and that oil could be used “to counter threats that endanger Israel every day”—if the oil export ban is lifted.

Hidden within the pages of a new study, released September 8, on the likely destinations of U.S. crude oil exports, is an explanation of how and why U.S. oil could “bolster Israel’s defenses.”

Engineers at Turner, Mason & Company, which focuses on petroleum refining, marketing, and transportation, did the study. It analyzed the match between U.S. crude and where it will likely flow if the export ban is lifted. Using “a variety of fundamental and commercial factors,” the study concludes: “the large majority of crude exported from the U.S. in an open market environment would stay in the Atlantic basin, flowing to refineries in Europe and other Western Hemisphere markets.” The rationale revolves around the type of crude oil needed for refineries. U.S. “light tight oil” is a good fit for refineries that depend on declining supplies from the North Sea and the increasingly volatile Russian source. Surprisingly, Israel is one of the Russian-oil-dependent countries.

On page 27, the study states:

“World oil markets do not always operate in a pure economic fashion, and there are many other factors that influence crude trade flows. Much of this owes to the fact that national oil companies and cartels (OPEC) are major players in crude markets, and often prioritize political, foreign relation or national security goals above economics. As evidenced by the current U.S. export restrictions, government policy can have major impacts on crude flows even in countries where the oil industry is not nationally controlled. As a result, geopolitical factors and events (i.e., conflicts, sanctions) have historically had a great impact on crude oil supply and demand and have greatly impacted crude flows for years, and this will continue to be the case in the future.”

Later, it adds: “Russia has not been hesitant in the past to use energy as a geopolitical weapon.”

Iran wants to end Israel. Russia is partnering with Iran and Syria. Syria attacked Israel in 1973. These are all widely known facts. But, you may not have known, Russia is a leading supplier of crude oil to Israel.

The study points out the geopolitics: “Most Middle East producers (with the exception of semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan) refuse to provide crude to Israel.” Israel currently satisfies its demand, approximately 250,000 barrels per day, with Russian oil.

It is not hard to imagine a world where, in cooperation with Iran and Syria, Russia, which has been pivoting toward Asia for its crude oil sales, would cut off crude oil supplies to Israel. The U.S. has emergency accommodations in place should that happen, but it would be so much better if the supply lines were already in place, removing the Iran/Russia/Syria partnership’s ability to use oil as a weapon. It is for this reason, the study, on page 29, states: “The opportunity to obtain crude oil supply from the U.S. would be a major benefit for Israel’s security of supply and provide further strengthening of the economic ties between the two countries.”

Rather than falling victim to geopolitics, with the confidence of U.S. oil, Israel can remain strong while surrounded by enemies.

If the White House—and Senators like Schatz—really wants to find new ways to help Israel, lifting the 40-year-old oil export ban should be a no-brainer. Yom Kippur—the “day of atonement” on the Jewish calendar—is September 23. It would be a perfect day for Democrats and Republicans to be united in standing with Israel by lifting the export ban and giving Israel the security of supply and strengthen the frayed ties between two long-time allies.

Action on this issue is expected this week. Call your legislators and tell them you stand with Israel: “lift the export ban.”

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.

Related articles

The tragedy that is Obama

As Mr. Alexander explains, Obama has helped to create a giant killing machine that is being paid for with the slaughter of innocent refugees.  He created it, but he doesn’t seem capable of controlling it, and it looks as though he has no ambition to bring it to a stop.  Read on below to see just how callous Obama has become.  And, we would be remiss if we did not provide this link:

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”

Alexander’s Column

Obama’s Middle East Legacy: A Catastrophic Humanitarian Crisis

Action and Inaction Have Consequences

By Mark Alexander · September 9, 2015   Print

“A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.” —Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 69 (1787)

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There has been a lot of heated and well-deserved debate about the illegal migration across our southern border — most of those migrants seeking economic opportunities, and most ending up costing American taxpayers far more than any economic benefit. Indeed, they are pouring across that border because Barack Obama has opened the flood gates, fervently hoping that these illegal immigrants and their relatives here will prop up the Democratic Party in perpetuity.

Today, there is another mass migration underway, which is also the direct result of, and irrevocably tied to, another of Obama’s cynical political calculations.

For the past week, the media has served up a steady stream of heart-wrenching images and stories about refugees fleeing Islamist terror in the Middle East. That coverage was sparked by an image of a drowned three-year-old washed up on a Turkish beach, but the fact is more than 2,000 refugees have drowned in the exodus. There are now almost five million people exiting Syria and other nations in the region, and another six million remain displaced internally.

But, of course, the media fails to report what gave rise to this crisis.

The hard truth is that Obama’s ill-advised withdrawal from Iraq, an asinine re-election campaign ploy, left a power vacuum in the heart of the Middle East. That void was rapidly filled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as Syria collapsed into civil war.

Obama’s politically motivated malfeasance has created an epic humanitarian crisis.

My Special Forces contacts on the ground there right now, all of whom are seasoned OIF and OEF veterans, understand well the causal relationship between the Obama/Clinton policy failures, the rise of Islamist fascism and the resulting humanitarian crisis.

My contacts refer to the largest of the refugee sites on the Jordanian border as “Camp Obama,” and dubbed another massive site “Camp Red Line” in reference to Obama’s faux threats against Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

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Some Leftmedia outlets have hinted at the chain of evidence directly linking Obama to the crisis, but most are adopting Hillary’s “What difference does it make?” refrain. The difference is accountability.

This week, Fred Hiatt, editor of The Washington Post’s editorial page, offered an honest, accurate and scornful indictment of Obama’s policy failures in the region.

More on that in a minute, but first, how is it that babies are now washing up on beaches?

By way of quick review, in 2008, Obama campaigned successfully on “ending the war in Iraq.” Not only did he dupe a sufficient percentage of the American people, he duped the leftist Norwegian Nobel Committee into bestowing upon this completely unknown foreign policy neophyte its once-noble Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.”

In 2011, opting for his now infamous “Obama Doctrine of appeasement” instead of capitalizing on George W. Bush’s successful “surge” strategy and establishing a status of forces agreement (SOFA) to secure our hard-won gains in Iraq and the region, Obama decided to abandon Iraq. He declared, “Everything Americans have done in Iraq — all the fighting, all the dying, the bleeding, the building and the training and the partnering — all of it has led to this moment of success. … We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.”

Not exactly.

In 2012, amid the cascading failure of his domestic economic and social policies, Obama centered his re-election campaign on his faux foreign policy successes, which were crafted around the mantras, “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. I did,” and, “al-Qa’ida is on the run.” And again, he duped voters into re-electing him, with a little help from Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Cover-Up.

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Predictably, Obama’s “hope and change” retreat from the region left fertile ground for the resurgence of a far more dangerous incarnation of Islamic terror that calls itself the Islamic State. IS rapidly displaced al-Qa’ida as the dominant asymmetric threat to security in the region and, thus, to our own national security.

Remember Obama’s much-touted “Arab Spring“? The sprawling Middle East meltdown is now one hard reality of his amateur ventures into foreign policy. And the resulting influx of millions of primarily Muslim refugees is not only a significant security risk, but also will put an enormous strain on Europe’s failing economy.

So, how’s that Nobel Peace Prize working out for ya?

In answer to that rhetorical question, let me offer a few insights from the aforementioned Fred Hiatt at The Washington Post.

Hiatt writes, “This may be the most surprising of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacies: not just that he presided over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions, but that he soothed the American people into feeling no responsibility for the tragedy. Starvation in Biafra a generation ago sparked a movement. Synagogues and churches a decade ago mobilized to relieve misery in Darfur. When the Taliban in 2001 destroyed ancient statues of Buddha at Bamiyan, the world was appalled at the lost heritage. Today the Islamic State is blowing up precious cultural monuments in Palmyra, and half of all Syrians have been displaced. More than a quarter-million have been killed.”

“Surprising”? Actually, the emergence of some tyrannical entity to fill the power void created by Obama’s retreat was entirely predictable — and predicted. Military writers since the time of Sun Tzu have understood that power does not tolerate a vacuum. In this case, the Islamic State filled the vacuum, and the consequences, visceral but still seemingly a distant shore away, are rapidly approaching the U.S. homeland.

Hiatt would have done better to write that Obama has not just presided over a disaster of epochal proportions, but that the Obama administration itself has proven to be an epic disaster, and one notable outcome is this humanitarian catastrophe.

Hiatt laments that, even given our critical national security interests in the region, America has ignored the crisis. “Obama — who ran for president on the promise of restoring the United States’ moral stature — has constantly reassured Americans that doing nothing is the smart and moral policy. … Perversely, the worse Syria became, the more justified the president seemed for staying aloof.”

But Hiatt fails short of connecting the dots between Obama’s 2012 campaign promises and the abandonment of Iraq and Syria. He does admit, however, “When Obama pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq, critics worried there would be instability.”

That is wholly understated.

So what is Obama doing now?

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I have received two Obama “Demo Dump” emails this week. The first was entitled, “What We’re Doing for the Next Few Days.” No mention of refugees, but a lot of first class flights and accommodations around the nation at taxpayer expense.

The second was entitled, “Lessons We Should Learn from the Iraq War.” No, it made no mention of refugees or the connection between their plight and Obama’s failed policies.

Instead, it was a promo piece for the Iran deal: “What have you learned from the Iraq war? Some, it is clear, have learned disturbingly little. … This deal with Iran … represents a higher form of renewed American leadership. … Our generation has charted a new course for the future. Embracing tough, principled diplomacy as a first resort is the best way forward for our nation and the world.”

“Tough, principled diplomacy”? Remember all those “tough UN Resolutions,” including the final unanimous Resolution 1441 prior to the invasion of Iraq, offering Saddam Hussein “a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations”? That opportunity had previously been offered in Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 678, Resolution 686, Resolution 687, Resolution 688, Resolution 707, Resolution 715, Resolution 986 and Resolution 1284.

Now ask yourself, “How many times has Iran defied such ‘tough diplomacy’?”

Apparently Obama has “learned disturbingly little” from his policy of appeasement. He advanced a faux dichotomy, deal or war, when strengthening sanctions already in place was, and remains, the most obvious solution.

But now that the Senate Democrats have blocked opposition to Obama’s “treaty” with Iran, he is endeavoring to pivot his defining legacy from humanitarian disaster to what he insists is a “great deal” preventing Iran nukes.

Make no mistake: The epic humanitarian crisis resulting from Obama’s failed Mid-East policies will prove minor by comparison to the catastrophic potential of Obama’s “Iran Nuke Deal.” Of course, he is leaving the resolution of those consequences to the Israeli Defense Forces.

And on a final note: In all fairness, Obama alone should not bear the whole burden of babies washing up on beaches. That responsibility is equally shared by all those sycophantic “useful idiots” who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

In the words of Noah Webster, “[I]f the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted…” Indeed, when that government is the sole global superpower, by extension the entire world will soon be corrupted.

Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Marita: No polar bears were harmed by Obama … not even seen

Public Domain CC0

No Polar Bears for you Obama, and no soup either.  Marita Noon explains how the bears went missing.  Be sure to contribute to the Kickstart project mentioned in her piece.

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Obama’s Alaska trip: where were the polar bears?

Am I the only one who finds it incongruous that President Obama, when on a carefully choreographed trip to Alaska, even manning his own Instagram account to engage young people, to spotlight the effects of global warming—which he says is happening “right now”—announced the accelerated acquisition of ice breakers? During his trip, he told Alaskans that by the end of this century, Alaska will see “warming of between 6 and 12 degrees,” which he explained: “means more melting.” Six to 12 degrees is a lot of warming, therefore, a lot of melting—which would seem to require fewer ice breakers not more.

I applaud the attempt to catch up, as I’ve written previously, I think America is woefully behind in the Arctic—where Russia is increasingly aggressive. But you have to wonder what his speech writers were thinking to have him asking Congress to spend more on ice breakers on the same trip where he’s predicting more warming.

Perhaps he really knows, what many scientists are claiming: Arctic ice is growing—with updated NASA data showing polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 (the year satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps) average. This, despite former Vice President Al Gore’s claim that the Arctic ice cap could be completely gone by now. In fact, according to the April 1896 edition of National Geographic, Alaska, glaciers have been retreating there since George Washington was president.

In a September 4 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, said: “It is a historical fact that the glacier in Glacier Bay began its retreat around 1750. By the time Capt. George Vancouver arrived there in 1794 the glacier still filled most of the bay but had already retreated some miles. When John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, visited in 1879, he found that the glacier had retreated more than 30 miles from the mouth of the bay, according to the National Park Service, and by 1900 Glacier Bay was mostly ice-free.”

Another thing surprised me about his trip. An AP report of Obama’s Alaska visit states: “every stop was elaborately staged to showcase the president in front of picture-perfect natural wonders. …the White House arranged for photographers and reporters to pull up alongside him in a separate boat, capturing stirring images of the president gazing wistfully from the deck at serene waters and lush mountain vistas.” Yet, with all this planning for dramatic effect, there were no polar bears—not even mentioned.

Well, one polar bear might have been spotted: Frostpaw. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has a polar bear costume (“made entirely out of synthetic materials,” according to the Vineyard Gazzette—which means made from petroleum products) that it drags out and a staffer dons to follow Obama, and remind him, as the press release says:

  • Rescind proposals to drill for oil in the Arctic and along the Atlantic coast;
  • Halt all new fossil fuel development on public land;
  • Cut greenhouse pollution from airplanes and other unregulated sources;
  • Reject, once and for all, the Keystone XL pipeline; and
  • Be an international climate leader.

CBD claims Frostpaw was dispatched to Alaska, but there are no reports that Obama got to see it.

Now, I understand that his three-day journey didn’t take him to locales where the real white bears frolic, but since they’ve become the symbol of Al Gore’s global warming scare, you’d think he’d at least mention them while he was in there—after all when people think of Alaska, they think of polar bears. What better imagery to evoke?

Once again, perhaps his speech-writers were aware of claims of falsified records and the besmirched Charles Monnett (whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement), and reports of rebounding polar bear populations. While they don’t get much mainstream press coverage, several scientists are reporting an unprecedented increase in the world’s polar bear population.

One of the foremost authorities on polar bears, Canadian biologist, Dr. Mitchell Taylor, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He said: “Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.”

Then there is Dr. Susan J. Crockford, an evolutionary biologist in British Columbia, who has studied polar bears for most of her 35-year career. She claims polar bears are threatened by too much ice. She’s released a new, in-depth report on the relationship between sea ice and polar bears, entitled Arctic Fallacy—but you don’t see her conclusions touted in the New York Times.

In his book, Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, biologist and ecologist Jim Steele argues: “glaciers have retreated and expanded numerous times since the end of the last ice age. Polar bear numbers are at record highs with approximately 25,000 bears. And Arctic sea ice, which had precipitously declined from the mid-2000s to 2013, has had a reversal since then, now equaling historic levels considered normal.”

But, if they don’t fit the accepted propaganda, we don’t hear about these reports.

Filmmaker J.D. King is trying to change that through a new film: Icebear. Following the success of his two previous films—Blue and Crying Wolf, King is in the midst of a Kickstart campaign (ending September 24) to fund the film. He explains: “It is very important to raise the money for the movie through crowdfunding. This needs to be a film by the people’s demand and support—so that it cannot be accused of being a product of a special interest group or organization.”

On the crowd-funding site, King offers a variety of facts about polar bears—with links to the source data. He explains: “The power of the media is great, as evident by how they’ve chosen to present only one side of polar bear story. They’ve used polar bears, misused science, and preyed upon people’s emotions all the while ignoring any facts that contradict the narrative they want to make reality. But if we’re not getting the whole truth about polar bears, why should we accept the larger narrative about man-made, catastrophic climate change?” This is why he wants to produce Icebear—but he needs our help. Will you kick in?

The polar bears are there—which is maybe why President Obama didn’t even mention them on his Alaska trip. He wanted to “spotlight the effects of global warming” and a rebounding polar bear population doesn’t fit the narrative.

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: Marita doesn’t like unwarranted attacks on her integrity

EvolvingObama2WebCR-10_21_14

Here is all the story.  I hope you’ll understand why the renewed interest our Dear Leader has about his travels to Alaska, etc.

Greetings!

Sunday, a week ago, a journalist friend forwarded an embargoed press release to me. It was to be released the next day. At the time, I’d just completed my column Oil’s Down, Gasoline Isn’t. What’s Up? It was too late for me to switch topics—though the press release’s content tempted me; it fit so much of my general messaging.

I watched throughout the past week and didn’t see that the report announced in the press release had received the attention it deserved, so I chose it for my column this week.

The press release’s headline was: E&E Legal Releases Report Exposing Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda. I am sure you can see why it caught my eye. In the writing of this week’s column, I read the entire 55 page report and incorporated several additional features. I believe the result is powerful: Hidden emails reveal a secret anti-fossil fuel network involving the White House, Democrat governors, wealthy donors and foundations, and front groups (attached and pasted-in-below). Covering the content of a 55 page report, means this week’s column is a bit longer than my usual. I am not sure how I will edit it down to the 900- and 600-word versions required by the newspapers—but I always do.

The content of this week’s column will morph into the speech I’ll be giving tonight at the National Association of Royalty Owners Appalachia Chapter’s Annual Meeting at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.

Please help me spread this important message by posting, passing on and or personally enjoying Hidden emails reveal a secret anti-fossil fuel network involving the White House, Democrat governors, wealthy donors and foundations, and front groups.

Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

 

 

Hidden emails reveal a secret anti-fossil fuel network involving the White House, Democrat governors, wealthy donors and foundations, and front groups

Most of us feel that time goes by faster as we get older. It does. When you are five years old, one year represents 20 percent of your life. Yet, when you are fifty, that same calendar year is only 2 percent of your life—making that single timeframe much smaller. Those of us involved in fighting the bad energy policies coming out of Washington have a similar feeling: the second term of the Obama Administration seems to be throwing much more at us and at such speed that we can barely keep up. Likewise, they are.

We knew that President Obama was planning to fundamentally transform America, but even many of his initial supporters have been shocked as his true intentions have been revealed. Following his November 2012 reelection, his administration has removed any pretense of representing the majority of Americans and has pursued his ideological agenda with wild abandon—leaving many of us feeling incapacitated; thrown to the curb as it speeds by.

His legacy climate-change agenda is at the core of the rapid-fire regulations and the disregard for any speed bump the courts may place in front of the administration. When the Supreme Court smacked it down for failing to consider economic impacts of the mercury and air toxics standards for power plants, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded with a shrug, as their goal had essentially already been met. On August 27, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction—blocking EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from enforcing the Waters of the United States rule in the thirteen states that requested the injunction. The response? The Hill reports: “the Obama administration says it will largely enforce the regulation as planned.”

Having failed to push the unpopular policies through Congress, the administration has resorted to regulatory overreach—and assembled a campaign to use friendly governors and state attorney general offices, in collaboration with pressure groups and ideologically aligned benefactors, to advance the agenda.

The White House knows that the public is not with them. While polls show that slightly more than half of the American public believe the “effects of global warming are already happening,” it repeatedly comes in at the bottom of the list of priorities on which we think Obama and Congress should focus. The President’s pet policy fares even worse when pollsters ask if Americans agree: “government should do more to curb climate change, even at the expense of economic growth?” Only 12 percent “strongly agree.” Additionally, the very age group—young voters—that helped propel Obama into the Oval Office, is the group least convinced that climate change is a reality and the least “likely to support government funding for climate change solutions.”

It is, presumably, for this reason that a scheme hatched by now-disgraced former Oregon Governor Kitzhaber’s highest-paid aide Dan Carol—“a former Democratic opposition researcher,” who, according to the Oregonian, “worked on behalf of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama”—received an enthusiastic response from the White House and its allies. Remember, Kitzhaber resigned from office on February 13, 2015, amid allegations of criminal wrongdoing for the role his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, held in his office and whether she used that role to obtain private consulting work promoting the climate agenda. Carol, who was paid close to double Kitzhaber’s salary, according to a new report from Energy & Environment Legal Institute, left his public position “after appearing to have too closely intertwined government and the tax-payer dependent ‘clean energy’ industry with interest group lobbies.”

The goal of what was originally called “Dan’s concept” was to bring about a “coalescence of private financial and ideological interests with public offices to advance the officeholders’ agenda and political aspiration”—more specifically: “to bring the Obama Administration’s plans to reality and to protect them.”

This was done, according to dozens of emails obtained through federal and state open record laws, “through a coordinated campaign of parallel advocacy to support close coordination of public offices” and involved a “political operation with outside staff funded by some of the biggest names in left-liberal foundation giving,” including, according to the emails, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, the Rockefeller Brothers, and the Hewlett Foundation. The first emails in the scandal began in mid-2013.

Kitzhaber wasn’t the only governor involved—he’s just the only one, so far, to resign. Many Democrat governors and their staff supported the scheme. You’d expect that California’s Governor Jerry Brown or Virginia’s Terry McAuliffe are part of the plan—called, among other names, the Governors Climate Compact—as they are avid supporters of the President’s climate-change initiatives. What is surprising is Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s “quiet engagement.” He decried Obama’s Clean Power Plan (Final rule announced on August 3, 2015), as being “disastrous” for Kentucky. In a statement about the Plan, he said: “I have remained steadfast in my support of Kentucky’s important coal and manufacturing industries, and the affordable energy and good jobs they provide the Commonwealth and the nation.” Yet, he isn’t opposing the rule and emails show that he is part of the “core group of governors quietly working to promote the climate agenda.”

In response to the records request, Beshear’s office “asserts that ‘no records’ exist in its files involving the Steyer campaign.” The E&E Legal report continues: “Numerous emails from other governors copying a senior Beshear aide on her official account, emails which Beshear’s office surely possesses, unless it has chosen to destroy politically damaging emails.” An email bearing that aide’s name, Rebecca Byers, includes Kentucky as one of the states “that can’t commit to the GCC [Governors Climate Compact] publicly now but would welcome quiet engagement.”

Other states indicated in the emails include Minnesota, Rhode Island, Illinois, Connecticut, California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland, Colorado, New York, Vermont, and Virginia. Three newly elected Republican Governors have been targeted by the campaign—Larry Hogan (MD), Charlie Baker (MA), and Bruce Rauner (IL). Reelected Republican Governor Rick Snyder (MI) has apparently joined the “core group.”

I’ve read the entire report—which had me holding my breath as if I were reading a spy thriller—and reviewed the emails.

The amount of coordination involved in the multi-state plan is shocking. The amount of money involved is staggering—a six-month budget of $1,030,00 for the orchestrators and multi-state director and $180,000 to a group to produce a paper supporting the plan’s claims. And, as the 55-page report points out, this collection of emails is in no way complete. At the conclusion of the executive summary: “Context and common sense indicate that the emails E&E Legal obtained and detail in this report do not represent all relevant correspondence pulling together the scheme they describe. Public records laws extend to those records created, sent or received by public servants; private sector correspondence is only captured when copying public offices, with the caveat that most of the White House is exempt. Further, however, the records we have obtained reflect more than the time and other parameters of our requests; they are also a function of the thoroughness of offices’ responses, the willingness of former and current staff to search nonofficial accounts, and even several stonewalls as noted in the following pages.”

The E&E Legal report was of particular interest to me in that it followed the theme of my extensive coverage of Obama’s green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Many of the same names, with which I’d become familiar, popped up over and over again: Terry McAuliffe—who received government funding for his failed electric car enterprise; Cathy Zoe—who worked for the Department of Energy, and, of course, John Podesta—who ran the Center for American Progress and who helped write the 2009 Stimulus Bill, and who then became a “senior advisor” to President Obama and is presently campaign manager for Hillary Clinton.

It also caught my attention because little more than a month ago—perhaps with a hint that this report was forthcoming—the HuffPost published a story claiming that groups like mine were part of a “secret network of fossil fuel and utility backed groups working to stop clean energy.” Calling me—along with others—out by name, the author states: “The strategy of creating and funding many different organizations and front groups provides an artificial chorus of voices united behind eliminating or weakening renewable energy laws.” He concludes that the attacks “are the result of coordinated, national campaigns orchestrated by utilities and fossil fuel companies through their trade associations and front groups.”

Oh, how I wish we were that well-coordinated and funded. If we were, I would have written this column last week when the E&E Legal report was released. Instead of receiving the information from the source, a New York City journalist forwarded it to me.

Yes, I am part of a loosely affiliated network of people who share similar concerns. Once a year, I meet with a group of private citizens and activists over property rights issues. I am on an email list of individuals and groups opposing wind turbines—often for different reasons. I have a cadre of scientists I’ve met at different meetings upon whom I do call for their varied expertise. Individuals often email me tips and news stories. True, most of the folks on my nearly 5000-person email distribution list are part of the energy industry—though there are plenty of concerned citizens, too. In 2014, the average donation to my organization was under $500.

Imagine what we could do with the same amount of money and coordination the E&E Legal report revealed—after all we have the public on our side—average citizens whose utility bills are going up by double digits due to the policies espoused by President Obama and his politically connected allies who benefit from American’s tax dollars.

I hope you’ll join our chorus—you can subscribe and/or contribute to my efforts. We are not working in the shadows and are, in fact, proud of our efforts on behalf of all Americans, their jobs, and energy that is effective, efficient, and economical.

If this small—but organized and well-funded—group pushing Obama’s agenda were allowed to run rampant, without the roadblocks little pockets of opposition (like my group) erect though public education and exposure of the facts (such this E&E legal report), it is scary to think about where America would be today. Remember, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

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: Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits

Greetings!

As is often the case, this week I had to decide between three different story ideas for my column. Al Gore and his suggestion that climate change skeptics be punished certainly had appeal—but many others were addressing that, giving it plenty of coverage. The Obama administration’s federal-lands fracking announcement was also considered—but it made headlines and garnered the ire of Speaker Boehner and therefore didn’t need me to draw attention to the issue. I settled on the under-reported topic that allowed me to tie several stories together as I am fond of doing: Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits (attached and pasted-in-below). I used Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritizker’s WSJ op-ed as my launching point and tied it throughout Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits.

I am pleased with how Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits penciled out (or keyed out). I hope you are too! Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy!
Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon
Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.
PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 8718

Marita: Oil and gas exports—one policy change, many benefits
“Businesses that sell to foreign markets put more people to work in high-quality jobs, offering more Americans the chance to earn a decent wage,” claimed the Obama administration’s Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a March 18 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece.

She makes a strong case for U.S. exports: “jobs in export-intensive industries pay up to 18% more than jobs not related to exports.” Her premise is: “The U.S. economy ended 2014 on the uptick, and exports added to the momentum.” Noticeably absent is any mention of the potential for “high-quality jobs” and economic “uptick” that would come from the export of America’s abundant oil-and-natural gas resources—something an executive order could expedite; something her office could champion.

Pritzker states: “From large enterprises and multinational corporations to small startups and local manufacturers, an increasing number of businesses are realizing that their customer base is no longer around the corner, but around the world. They understand that 95% of the world’s customers live outside the U.S., and to succeed in the 21st century, they must find a way to reach consumers in ever-expanding markets.” Penny, this is especially true for American energy!

Due to the modern technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—developed and refined within our borders—the U.S. is producing more oil and natural gas than in decades. So much that we are nearly out of places to store it. We know how to produce it safely and cheaply. But, unlike the airplanes Pritkzer’s co-author Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing Co., builds, the oil-and-gas industry is prevented from sending its abundance to “foreign markets”—including our allies in Europe who are dependent on energy from a source that uses it as a weapon against them.

The same day WSJ published Pritzker’s piece, it featured a news story announcing: “some of the world’s biggest oil companies are starting to give up” on “hydraulic fracturing wildcatting in Europe, Russia and China.” This, despite the fact: “Eastern European officials who were eager to wean their nations off of Russian gas welcomed the explorers.” It explains: “Wells in Poland and China can cost up to $25 million each, while American wells on average cost about $5 million”—resulting in overseas costs to produce a barrel of shale oil that are higher than what it can be sold for with the current world-wide low prices.

In trade negotiations, the U.S., according to the New York Times (NYT), “typically argues that countries with excess supplies should export them.” We have excess supplies of both crude oil and natural gas that has driven down prices—resulting in “trouble for an industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat in recent years.” We “should export them”—but we aren’t.

“Why can’t we export crude oil and natural gas?” you might ask—especially when the U.S. can export refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The NYT explains: “In 2011, the country pivoted from being the world’s largest importer of petroleum products to becoming one of the leading exporters.” At that point, for the first time in 21 years, refined petroleum became our number one export product—though Pritzker never mentioned that.

The “energy world changed.” But, as NYT points out, exports could soak up the excess production, “but there are still political hurdles.”

For crude oil, the problem is energy policy enacted before the “energy world changed.” Signed into law in 1975, after the 1973 Arab oil embargo shook the U.S. with high oil prices, the goal of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, according to the International Business Times, was “to stifle the impact of future oil embargos by foreign oil producing countries.” The result was a ban on most U.S. oil exports—though some exceptions can be made and the Commerce Department has recently given export licenses to two companies for particular types of oil. The WSJ reports: “Ten companies have applied for similar ruling to export oil.”

For natural gas exports, the problem is two-fold. Exporting natural gas is not prohibited, but it is not encouraged or made easy. In order to export natural gas, it must be converted into Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)—which is done at multibillion-dollar facilities with long lead times for permitting and construction that require purchase contracts to back up financing. Many potential customers for U.S. LNG are non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. Currently, Breaking Energy (BE) reports, “the Department of Energy (DOE) has issued five final and four conditional approvals for LNG export to non-FTA countries.” The Financial Times says about two dozen U.S. LNG export facilities have been proposed with four “already under construction, which have contracts to back up their financing.” Last month, according to Reuters, looking to reduce dependence on supplies from Russia, Lithuania signed an agreement to purchase LNG from the U.S.’s first export terminal: Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass, which is expected to send its first cargoes by the end of this year.

Fortunately, as I predicted in November, there are fixes in the works that, as energy historian Daniel Yergin said, symbolize “a new era in U.S. energy and U.S. energy relations with the rest of the world.”

In January, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act to expedite DOE decisions on LNG export applications. It specifically requires a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days after the environmental review document for the project is published. Currently, applications to export natural gas to non-FTA countries require the Secretary of Energy to make a public interest determination which includes a public comment period. Not surprisingly, “environmental groups are lobbying the Obama Administration to veto the bill.” BE states: “The bipartisan bill could garner enough votes to gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.”

A month later, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), along with 14 co-sponsors, introduced a bill to end the crude oil export ban: HR 702. On March 25, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to debate and vote on the bill—though its passage is not as optimistic as the LNG bill. Bloomberg sees that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are weary, fearing “that they’d be blamed if gasoline prices climb after the ban is lifted.” Oil producers support lifting the ban, while refiners oppose it.

In October, David Goldwyn, the State Department’s coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration, said: “The politics are hard.” He added: “When the economics become overwhelming the politics will shift.” The NYT stated: The telltale sign of a glut will be a collapse in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price, the principal American oil benchmark, which is currently [October 2014] about $3 below the world Brent price.” It continues, “If the spread cracks open, the economic arguments for free export of domestic crude will probably win the day.”

That day may have come. On March 13, the WSJ editorial board announced: “WTI now trades 20% below the world market price.” Holman Jenkins, who writes the Business World column for the WSJ, says: “Oil producers are already being denied a premium of $12 a barrel by not being allowed to export this oil.” Thomas Tunstall, research director at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development, reported: “Before the rapid increase in U.S. oil and gas production, WTI historically sold at a slight premium to Brent, typically about $1-$3 per barrel.”

“U.S. pump prices are mainly tied to the price of Brent crude, which is freely traded on the world market and is higher than it might otherwise be because of the ban on U.S. exports,” explains the WSJ. “If U.S. producers were allowed to compete globally, prices of Brent and WTI would converge over time, and U.S. gasoline prices would come down, all things being equal.”

Now, the “industry that has done much to keep the national economy afloat” is in trouble. There have been some 74,000 layoffs in the U.S. oil patch since November.

If Congress could muster up the political will to lift the arcane oil export ban, the U.S. could emerge as a major world exporter, which according to the NYT, would result in the “return to a status that helped make the country a great power in the first half of the 20th century.” Yergin adds: “Economically, it means that money that was flowing out of the United States into sovereign wealth funds and treasuries around the world will now stay in the U.S. and be invested in the U.S., creating jobs. It doesn’t change everything, but it certainly provides a new dimension to U.S. influence in the world.”

Pritzker brags that the Commerce Department has “worked with the private sector to help businesses reach customers overseas; … to open new markets for U.S. goods and services; to reform the export-control process; and to overcome barriers to entry.” For U.S. oil-and-gas producers the biggest barrier to reaching customers overseas and opening up new markets is our own energy policy—something the administration and Congress have taken steps to fix. According to Bloomberg, if they knew the public was with them, lawmakers could easily save American jobs and investment, lower gasoline prices, help balance our trade deficit, aid our allies, and increase U.S. influence in the world.

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.

Jason L. Riley: Black, blue and in-between

The problem with or between the black communities and law enforcement agencies has been discussed, one could say, ad infinitum.  One could say such and to some degree be right on target.  The tendency might be for those capable and with the desire to act to forget trying to accomplish anything due to the epithet of racist being hurled in their direction.  We are not talking only of whites, but also of those blacks suffering from the same appellation being plastered on their backs when they do not agree with their black brothers and sisters that the cause of the current sorry state of black crime and black family structure can be laid solely on the treatment by whites and law enforcement.

Jason L Riley is no stranger to black poverty or to what happens in black communities which have suffered from disproportionate criminal acts committed by blacks, and especially black on black crime.

Below you will find a video which runs close to one hour.  The speech from which the video was recorded was presented at Hillsdale College‘s Kirby Center.