Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: EPA

Latest Keystone Pipeline Study Greeted with Cheers and Jeers

In the release on Friday of the fifth environmental impact study of the Keystone XL pipeline, partisans on both sides of the issue were quick to point to the key paragraph in that study:

Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including [the Keystone XL pipeline project], is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands [in Alberta, Canada] or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States…

Supporters saw this as supporting the country’s economy and lessening its dependence upon foreign, less friendly sources of oil. Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mitchell declared:

The Keystone XL Pipeline is the single largest shovel-ready project in America, ready to go, but for years President Obama and his hard-left allies have stalled these jobs in a maze of red tape.

If the president meant what he said this week about a “year of action,” he’ll act now on this important project that won’t cost taxpayers a dime to build but will bring thousands of private-sector jobs to Americans who need them.

Mitchell’s comments were echoed by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.):

I have been incredibly frustrated for more than five years by the repeated and unnecessary delays in moving forward with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. I am pleased the State Department has confirmed there is no evidence of any negative environmental impact from building this pipeline.

The president of TransCanada, Russ Girling, expressed relief that his company’s project, first begun in 2008 but delayed with repeated requests for more analysis:

The case for Keystone XL, in our view, pre- and post this report, are as strong as ever. No matter how much noise [environmentalists] make or how much misinformation they spread, the facts do support this project…

It will have minimal impact on the environment…

Those opposed saw little in the report to cheer about, seeing in it confirmation that the continued extraction of the heavy oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands will threaten the environment. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.) saw the study as inaccurate:

I will not be satisfied with any analysis that does not accurately document what is really happening in the ground when it comes to the extraction, transport, refining and waste disposal of dirty, filthy tar sands oil.

My biggest concerns continue to be the serious health impact on communities and the dangerous carbon pollution that comes from tar sands oil.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) wrote off the report’s conclusion as well:

The State Department is asking us to believe this pipeline is in the national interest. How can a pipeline that ships Canadian tar sands to the Gulf of Mexico for export, that does nothing to increase our energy independence, and that will deal irreparable damage both to our landscapes and our air quality possibly meet that definition.

Environmentalists like Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) even saw something in the report that wasn’t there:

Even though the State Department continues to downplay clear evidence that the Keystone XL pipeline would lead to tar sands expansion and significantly worsen carbon pollution, it has, for the first time, acknowledged that the proposed project could accelerate climate change.

President Obama now has all the information he needs to reject the pipeline.

What really puts the president on the hot seat, however, is the support for the pipeline from one of his staunchest allies: Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO:

We think that anything that’s going to create jobs, help the country and do it in an environmentally sound way ought to be done.

This pits Obama supporters against each other while putting pressure on Democrats supporting the project if the president rejects it. Both Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) are vulnerable in November and could suffer in their reelection campaigns if the president axes the project.

There will be no meeting in the middle on the issue, according to Professor Bernard Weinstein of the MacGuire Energy Institute. When I spoke with him following a presentation that he made in Colorado Springs last week, Weinstein said he was hopeful that the horrific derailment of 76 tank cars carrying Bakken oil in the town of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec last July which killed nearly 50 people and almost destroyed the town would persuade environmentalists that the Keystone pipeline would make more sense in that it was a much safer means to transport crude oil. Instead, he said, “The accident just proved to them that any transport of oil is dangerous and oil extraction of any kind should be ended altogether.”

Now that the report has been published, there is a 60-day period for public comment and input before any decision is made. Some environmentalist groups, including 350.org, have threatened to engage in non-violent protests at the White House similar to those that got 1,200 arrested in the summer of 2011 and another one a year ago where an estimated 50,000 protestors vented noisily their opposition to the project.

The State Department report, however, isn’t likely to speed up the decision-making process. President Obama has stalled before, putting off any final decision until after the 2012 election and he could well do so again. He is likely to let the problem descend onto the desk of Secretary of State John Kerry who, while still believing in the theory of climate change in spite of evidence to the contrary, has been invisible on Keystone. The report is an amazing seven volumes long which someone on his staff is going to have to read. And then he is likely to seek counsel from at least eight other government agencies before deciding what to recommend to the president: the Departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security, and the E.P.A. As Kerry’s assistant, Kerri-Ann Jones, noted, this report “is not a decision document … [it] is only one factor that will be coming into the review process for this permit.”

Instead of expecting a decision at the end of 90 days, some say it could take as long as a year, well past the November elections, neatly solving the president’s political problems. In the meantime, tar sands oil will continue to be harvested and shipped by rail if not by pipeline to meet worldwide demand.

 

 

The Press Release from the Treasury Department is Pure Propaganda

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, October 7, 2013:

The so-called “brinkmanship” press release by the Treasury Department reveals far more about the willingness of the media to report and repeat a canard that it does about the “crisis” facing the US if the government defaults.

Here are the title and just the opening paragraphs from the Treasury Department:

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US to Become the World’s Primary Energy Producer in Four Years

In its review of the latest report on world energy supplies from the international energy consulting firm IHS, Inc., writers at Yahoo.com were quick to point out several of the impacts likely to be felt as the United States becomes the number one producer of energy in the world by 2017. Fracking is the prime driver of the US’ resurgence and is bending, changing, questioning and even replacing many of the

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Jay Sekulow files lawsuit against the IRS, as promised

Sekulow heads up the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). The initials reflect a deliberate alternative to the ACLU when it was set up by Pat Robertson back in 1990. Last week he announced his intention to sue the IRS on behalf of a number of Tea Party and Patriot groups singled out by the IRS for “special attention,” and yesterday he did.

He’s suing everyone within shouting distance:

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Cost Estimate of Government Regulations Doesn’t Measure the Real Cost

This article initially appeared at The New American on May 21st, 2013:

 

The federal government’s cost is measured not only in taxes paid by citizens, or in borrowing when tax revenues aren’t sufficient, but also must be measured in terms of regulations imposed by government agencies to accomplish what congress can’t or won’t. That’s the core of the argument presented by Clyde Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in his introduction of this year’s “Ten Thousand Commandments 2013.”

For the first time in the 20 years that the institute has been attempting to measure the cost of government agencies’ regulations that cost now exceeds

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Feulner’s farewell letter is a good reminder

Ed Feulner leaves The Heritage Foundation today as former Senator Jim DeMint takes over, and his farewell letter is a good reminder of how the freedom fight has been doing over the past 35 years.

First, his letter sounds

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NJ Senator Lautenberg to Retire, Opens Way to Newark Mayor Cory Booker

When Frank Lautenberg, the liberal senior Democratic Senator from New Jersey, announced on Thursday that he wouldn’t be running for reelection in 2014, some said it signaled the end of a long and illustrious career. Lautenberg rejoined:

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Ethanol mandates: cleaner air? At what price?

Mark Perry is another common-sense economist with whom I often agree. He raises, and then answers, questions about the intelligence involved in mandating ethanol to be added to gasoline. He’s an economics professor at the University of Michigan and wrote this for the mlive.com blog:

Among all the problems that have surfaced as a result of using ethanol as an alternative to gasoline, one is especially troubling. 

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Wolfcamp May Dwarf Eagle Ford and Bakken

English: Location of the Spraberry Trend in Te...

Location of the Spraberry Trend in Texas, with major and nearby cities. All data on this map is in the public domain; created by me in ArcGIS 9.3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Eagle Ford formation in Texas is estimated to hold 3 billion barrels of recoverable oil, thanks to fracking and the free market. North Dakota‘s Bakken formation is estimated to hold 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil, thanks to fracking and the free market. But, as noted at mysanantonio.com,

Get ready for what’s happening in West Texas, where oil and gas production is  ramping up in shale layers such as the Wolfcamp in and around Midland.

Remember that name: Wolfcamp. For the record, it’s also called the Spraberry Trend, but Wolfcamp is the name that’s catching on. Ken Morgan, director of the Texas Christian University Energy Institute, said, “We’re getting thousands and thousands of feet of pay zone [there]. It’s like the Eagle Ford on steroids. [We] haven’t even begun. We’re just in the toe of this thing.”

Just how big is Wolfcamp?

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Electricity costs declining thanks to lower natural gas prices in Oklahoma

It’s nice to live in Oklahoma where utility bills are declining, thanks to cheap natural gas. Said Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) spokesman Brian Alford,

We’re pleased to pass along this savings to our customers. We are fortunate from an electricity perspective to be in an extended period of lower natural gas prices, which makes it possible to

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America Headed for Energy Independence! Unless…

English: Oil Rig, Cromarty, Scotland

Oil Rig (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just six years ago the US imported 60% of its oil. Today it’s down to 40%, and continuing to decline, according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s really quite amazing what incentive, technology and freedom are able to accomplish.

U.S. crude imports fell 9.2% in October from a year earlier to 8.091 million barrels a day, the lowest amount of imported crude since January 2000, according to U.S. Department of Energy data released today .The data are the latest illustration of how the drilling boom in North Dakota and other states is remaking the U.S. energy picture.

Remaking, indeed. It’s a total restructuring of the world’s economy. In the past the US has been increasingly dependent upon the Middle East and other producers to keep the lights on. And this has had enormous

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Regulating us to death

This article from the Heritage Foundation starts off badly, claiming that these bad regulations emanate from “unelected bureaucrats,” which is true. But where did they get their power? From the Congress. And how did Congress do that? By violating the Constitution the members swore to uphold and defend. So let’s put the blame squarely where it belongs:

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Three State Studies Confirm Freedom Works Best

North Dakota state quarter

North Dakota state quarter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year 247 Wall St. publishes the results of its survey of all 50 states and then ranks them from top to bottom – from “best run” to “worst run.” CNBC does the same only with a more concentrated focus on the business environment in each state, and then ranks the states on their overall “measure of competitiveness.” The Mercatus Center at George Mason University looks at all 50 states from the perspective of individual freedom and then ranks the states based on its Index of Personal and Economic Freedom.

The parallels and correlations between economic and business performance and personal freedom are clear and persuasive: when state governments stay within their limits of protecting lives and enforcing contracts, the states thrive. And vice versa. North Dakota and California are examples sufficient to prove the point.

247 Wall St. admits that measuring the effectiveness of how a state government manages its affairs and allows the free market to operate is

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How Do Liberal Republicans Keep Their Pledges? They Don’t!

Honest Abe

Honest Abe (Photo credit: jeff_golden)

In a public display of candor that illustrates their moral incapacity, some well-known Republicans are now breaking their promise made to taxpayers when they signed Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

First was Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss. According to Wikipedia, Chambliss is a “conservative,” having been blessed by the Washington Post as one of the “gang of six” trying to craft some kind of way around the fiscal cliff impasse. When in doubt, I check the man’s Freedom Index rating (FI) to see how closely their actual voting record hews to the limits of the Constitution. With Chambliss, it appears to be: not very often, with a paltry rating of just 69. Translation, one-third of his votes are unconstitutional.

Next on the list of pledge-breakers is Lindsey Graham, senior Senator from South Carolina. His FI rating is scarcely better than Chambliss’, at 73. Then comes John McCain, senior Senator from Arizona, the ultimate establishment conservative, with a FI rating of 78. Finally, House member Peter King, from the 3rd Congressional District of New York, with a FI rating of a dismal 62. That’s awfully close to a

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One Bear’s Prediction: Massive Market Selloff Coming

Bear Market

Bear Market (Photo credit: AZRainman)

Hard-money adviser Marc Faber, best known as publisher of the Gloom, Doom & Boom Report and consequently often referred to as “Dr. Doom,” told CNBC on Tuesday that the stock market could decline by 20 percent. He doesn’t think it will have anything to do with the “fiscal cliff” but instead will reflect poor earnings as bellwether companies struggle to be profitable in the continuing recession:

I don’t think markets are going down because of Greece, I don’t think markets are going down because of the “fiscal cliff” — because there won’t be a “fiscal cliff.”

The market is going down because corporate profits will begin to disappoint, the global economy will hardly grow next year (or even contract)…

That is the reason why stocks, from the highs of September of 1,470 on the S&P [Standard and Poor’s 500 Index], will drop at least 20 percent, in my view.

Faber noted that shares of Apple, Inc. are already off more than 20 percent since September, while shares of Amazon.com Inc., McDonald’s Corporation and Google, Inc. have each lost more than 8 percent of their market value during that period.

Taking a longer look, however, Dr. Doom is even more bearish. He thinks equities could

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Obama, Yes! Freedom, No!

John Stossel

John Stossel (Photo credit: C o l i n)

John Stossel is about as pessimistic as I’ve seen him. Freedom lost last Tuesday. Totalitarianism got stronger:

Some people with records of supporting liberty were elected: Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona and U.S. Reps. Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan and Thomas Massie in Kentucky…

Also, Washington and Colorado voted to allow any adult to use marijuana…

But overall, the results were bad for freedom.

He says we should “fix” government the way we “fix” our cats and dogs: spay them, neuter them.

How does he propose to do that? Term limits! That’ll work, you bet:

Term limits would be good. When we give politicians power, they should know they don’t get to keep it forever. They have to bring that power right back to us and drop it at our feet. “Good boy. Now go back outside!”

But don’t we already have term limits: two years for members of the House, six years for members of the Senate, four years for the President? How is that working?

Stossel thinks that, for the moment, gridlock will

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Obama Unleashed

The Debt StarAs if he ever intended to pull his punches in his continuing drive to establish a totalitarian state in America, newly reelected Obama has wasted no time in extending and expanding his illegitimate powers. As Mike Adams (one of the more astute and insightful of writers I try to read daily) noted in his daily blog on Wednesday:

He’s the one who issued an executive order claiming  government ownership over all farms and farm equipment, in case you forgot  that little fact.

He’s also the guy who just  recently issued an executive order merging Homeland Security with local  corporate entities to grant the executive branch of government a power  monopoly over the nation, bypassing the courts and Congress. You probably  haven’t even heard about that one, because he secretly signed it during  Hurricane Sandy.

From there, Adams speculates on Obama’s second term and his continuing attack on our freedoms:

  1. He sees an expansion of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the surveillance state by setting up arbitrary “check points” on roadways, at sporting events, at shopping malls, and other “surprise” locations. He expects to see even more belligerent and invasive  behaviors, conditioning us for the coming police state.
  2. He expects secret arrests of American citizens and even “kill orders” to be issued against his political opponents.
  3. He anticipates additional government spending without limit, the current debt ceiling notwithstanding.
  4. He thinks our foods will increasingly be modified genetically (GMO) while attempts to let consumers know about them will be overridden and rejected.
  5. He is sure that health care will look more and more like a government agency, with mandatory vaccinations and the war against raw milk continuing.
  6. His push to emasculate the Second Amendment will drive gun and ammunition sales much higher, along with prices for them. It’s interesting to note that Wednesday’s selloff in the stock market didn’t include shares of Ruger and Smith & Wesson, both of which rose substantially.
  7. He expects to see continued and accelerating disregard for the niceties contained in the Bill of Rights.
  8. Government expansion will include increases in food stamps and other entitlement programs.
  9. He expects more and more large employers to move their operations offshore to avoid the onerous demands and mandates under Obamacare which is now firmly cemented into place as a result of the election.
  10. Preppers and veterans will increasingly be targets for reprisals, with the government calling them “potential terrorists” for engaging in what he calls “fundamental preparedness strategies” such as storing water, food, medicines and ammunition.

There are millions of us who see clearly, some perhaps for the first time, exactly what’s coming. Adams just sees over the horizon a little farther than most.

Obama Set to Unleash Tsunami of Regulations after the Election

Obama Visits Silicon Valley

Obama Visits Silicon Valley (Photo credit: jurvetson)

After learning that the White House had failed to enforce the law in order to protect President Obama’s reelection chances from potential negative feedback, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) wrote a letter dated October 25th asking the president to comply:

It has come to my attention…that the federal government is not adhering to [the legal requirement that agencies publish their regulatory agendas on a semiannual basis]. More specifically, your Administration has failed to publish its regulatory agenda since the fall of 2011…

My primary concern is with the [EPA’s] refusal to be open and transparent about its regulatory agenda. Magnifying this concern is that the EPA, in what appears to be a string of politically motivated decisions, has “punted” or put on hold until after the election a number of economically damaging regulations, including greenhouse gas regulations, strict mandates for ground-level ozone, as well as guidance which seeks to expand greatly the EPA’s authority to regulate waters of the U.S…

I request that you comply with the law and publish the federal government’s regulatory calendar this month.

Not surprisingly Inhofe didn’t hear back from the president by the October 31st statutory deadline, and published his outrage at the website of

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Tariffs are Taxes, Plain and Simple

English: Solar panel installation at an inform...

Solar panel installation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mark Perry is another of my favorite economists. He took an announcement from the Commerce Department, and made corrections to it so that the rest of us can understand what’s really going on:

The Commerce Department issued its final ruling Wednesday in a long-simmering trade dispute with China, imposing tariffs (taxes on American consumers and solar-installation companies) ranging from about 24 to nearly 36 percent on most solar panels imported from (China, in order to protect domestic producers from foreign competition.)

The penalties (on American consumers) are somewhat lower than those announced by the department earlier this year, when the government determined that Chinese companies (American consumers) were benefiting from unfair government subsidies (from Chinese citizens) and were selling their (benefiting from purchasing Chinese products) in the United States below the cost of production, a practice known as dumping  (giving American consumers a great deal.)

Perry uses a clever technique to illustrate what’s really going on. When tariffs are raised, the alleged advantages are

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Drought Recharges Ethanol Debate

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...

The EPA was directed to set standards for radioactive materials under Reorganization Plan No. 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last Friday’s biannual report from the Agriculture Department has re-ignited debate on the wisdom of using ethanol in gasoline to reduce emissions. Because of the drought, corn yield per acre this year will be the lowest since 1995, while the actual production of corn will be the lowest since 2006. A congressional mandate to turn corn into ethanol in order to reduce emissions requires converting nearly 40 percent of that harvest into 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol. That leaves precious little to feed cattle and people, driving up the price.

Since January the price of corn has jumped 22 percent, most of the increase since June. Marie Brill, senior policy official with ActionAid USA, explained:

If the U.S. only produces 10.8 billion bushels of corn and 5 billion bushels still goes to make ethanol, a shrinking percentage of corn is left for food and feed. It is time to rethink ethanol mandates that ensure that cars eat before people.

Pressure has been building on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to back off on the mandate, at least until the drought is over. This would increase the supply of corn available for feed, and theoretically at least, reduce its price. In a free market, that’s exactly what would happen.

But the current production of corn and other foodstuffs is so regulated and politicized that such outcomes are far from predictable. Democratic governors Jack Markell of Delaware and Martin O’Malley of Maryland filed petitions with the EPA to waive the

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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