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: green

New Jersey Governor Ignores Pension Crisis, Wants More Spending

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 17, 2018: 

English: Teachers at New College Nottingham pr...

Teachers protesting over proposwed cuts to government pension plans.

While running for governor of New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy was asked what he would do about the state’s overwhelming pension crisis, and he waffled: there’s “no easy answer,” he said. He added that the state would have to do something about the problem. Said Murphy, “The state has to stand up for its side of the bargain. Period. If the state doesn’t, there’s no use in having [any further] discussion.”

Murphy was inaugurated as the New Jersey’s 56th governor on Tuesday and promptly forgot all about the pension tsunami about to engulf the state. Instead he offered both a “wish list” and a “to-do list” for his supporters and Democratic legislators in attendance. His “wish list” contained the usual collection of liberal promises, while his “to-do” list is what he wants the state legislature to bring to his desk within the next 30 days.

His “wish list” was a rehash of his campaign promises — long on generalities but short on specifics — including legalizing marijuana, protecting illegal immigrants from ICE, providing free tuition at the state’s community colleges, eliminating “tax breaks” that large corporations are allegedly unfairly enjoying, investing state funds in more costly “green energy” projects, and paying for it all by raising taxes on those few millionaires still residing in one of the country’s highest-tax states.

He was much more specific with his “to-do” list. He ordered the state’s liberal and heavily Democratic legislators to get off the snide and send him six bills within the next 30 days, each of which, said Murphy, “will be met with a signing ceremony.” Their marching orders from Murphy included new funding for “women’s health” and Planned Parenthood, raising the minimum wage in the state to $15 an hour, mandating “equal pay” for women, requiring employers in the state to provide paid sick leave to their employees, passing laws removing barriers to having illegals vote, and, of course, additional attacks on the state’s more than three million law-abiding gun owners.

He mentioned not a word about the state’s pension crisis, which has been brewing for years and accelerating nearly exponentially. It’s not that Murphy doesn’t know about the crisis or its extent and potential for bankrupting the state. In 2005, acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey convened a commission to study “the problem,” naming Phil Murphy as its head. In its conclusion, that study urged the state in no uncertain terms to end immediately all “pension holidays” (the skipping of payments to the state’s five pension plans for a period of time), to avoid actuarial “gimmicks” commonly used to make those liabilities appear to be smaller than they actually are, and to eliminate borrowing to pay the state’s contributions. It also recommended a series of reforms, including an end to pension “spiking” (by which employees can sweeten their final payouts as they approach retirement), and raising the age at which plan beneficiaries could retire with full benefits. That last recommendation, which was never implemented, would have raised the full-benefit retirement age from 55 to 60.

So Murphy cannot claim ignorance. He is also certain to know of the accounting chicanery that took place last year, i.e., using the state’s lottery program to help pay the state’s pension contributions. But it was chicanery taken to level of audacity rarely seen even in states as corrupt as New Jersey. Instead of demanding that the lottery’s annual $1 billion proceeds flow into the pension funds’ coffers, the legislature actually transferred the entire program into those coffers and then declared that the future value of those annual proceeds (happily and likely generously estimated at more than $13 billion) was now an asset, reducing (on paper at least) the amount of the unfunded liability.

Moody’s Analytics was not impressed: “The lottery transfer does not change the state’s weak [and] steeply rising pension contribution schedule. [Even after the transfer] there remains considerable risk that the state will be unable to afford rapidly growing pension contributions.”

Also not impressed were two senior fellows at the Manhattan Institute, who just released their study of New Jersey’s pension problems. In January, well before Murphy neatly demurred on even mentioning them, the authors concluded: “It is highly unlikely that New Jersey will generate enough new revenues to meet its pension obligations without severely hobbling the rest of the state’s budget. At the same time, allowing its pension system to continue to accumulate debt by not contributing adequately to it will push New Jersey toward a potentially catastrophic failure of its government pensions.”

At the moment, those five government pension plans have the lowest funding ratio of any state in the union, with a liability estimated to be $124 billion. Those plans are only 30-percent funded currently and declining with each passing day.

But Murphy’s term is for only four years, and if he wins reelection, his tenure ends in eight years. Those plans will likely remain in place, continuing to threaten pensioners who still think they will be getting their benefits, and threatening the state with bankruptcy if it tries to fund them properly. But Murphy will be long gone, proving once again the old adage: Politicians come and go, but the unfunded promises they make live long after them.

Trump’s Interior Secretary Proposes Selling Offshore Drilling Leases Starting in 2019

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 5, 2018: 

English: Nancy Pelosi photo portrait as Speake...

One of the usual suspects

President Trump’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was very careful in announcing his agency’s next step in expanding energy development to include the United States’ offshore reserves. He knew that environmentalists and far-left politicians would attack his plan and did what he could to placate them in advance. Said Zinke:

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Dakota Access Pipeline Fulfilling Its Promise

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 1, 2018: 

Fully operational since June, the Dakota Access Pipeline is lowering transportation costs, reducing tank car usage, reducing environmental and population risk, improving North Dakota’s financial condition, and putting the lie to the alarmist anti-pipeline propaganda.

There’s scarcely a downside.

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Dakota Pipeline Co. Sues Greenpeace, Earth First! Under RICO for Conspiracy to Halt Construction

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 23, 2017:  

Greenpeace word mark Русский: Текстовый символ...

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, lashed out against the “Enterprise” in a major lawsuit filed on Tuesday. The 231-page lawsuit accused Greenpeace International, Greenpeace, Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Inc., BankTrack, Earth First!, and other environmental organizations and individuals of participating in a criminal effort to damage the pipeline and ETP’s reputation among its partners and lenders. It is seeking nearly a billion dollars in compensatory and punitive damages under the RICO statute.

RICO, enacted as part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, was originally designed to attack the Mafia’s illegal activities, but has been expanded over the years. It extends criminal penalties not only to the miscreants themselves but to their bosses, funders, and enablers.

ETP said that the Enterprise

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Morgan Stanley: Tesla Not as Green as You Think

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 18, 2017:

English: Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5, the fourth-...

Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5, the fourth-generation Roadster from electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc.

Morgan Stanley, the international banking behemoth, released the results of its study on the best “green” companies in which to invest. This is based, said the bank, on the assumptions that some, perhaps many, investors who have drunk the “green Kool-Aid” want to invest in ways to “save” the environment and fight against “climate change.” Missing from the top of their list is perhaps the most visible “green” automobile company: Tesla, Inc., formerly known as Tesla Motors.

After comparing the savings in carbon dioxide (CO2) achieved by Tesla’s high-mileage electric vehicles to all the “secondary and tertiary” factors involved in their manufacture, Morgan Stanley said,

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What if the Energy Department is Right?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 2, 2017:

English: A picture of the National Petroleum R...

A picture of the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska,

Tom Lombardo appears to be a self-effacing journalist, professor, and armchair philosopher with a certification as a Professional Energy Manager. He calls himself either “an idealistic pragmatist” or a “pragmatic idealist,” but with no discernible ties either to the energy industry or the green movement. That’s what makes his assessment of the Obama Energy Department’s study published last summer on renewable energy remarkable. If he’s correct, then Big Oil is shortly going to have a day of reckoning in Alaska.

Writing at Engineering.com, Lombardo reviewed a report emanating from the Energy Department in August last year titled, “Estimating Renewable Energy Economic Potential in the United States: Methodology and Initial Results.” After looking at various energy scenarios (the Energy Department did no forecasting in its report), Lombardo summed up the study:

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With Nod to Sovereignty, Trump Dumps UN “Climate” Regime

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, June 1, 2017. It was written by Alex Newman, a colleague of mine, and is reprinted here with his permission.  

After months of keeping the world in suspense about his intentions, President Donald Trump formally announced that the United States would be withdrawing from the United Nations “Paris Agreement” on alleged man-made global warming. Blasting the non-binding UN scheme as a counterproductive effort to disadvantage America and redistribute U.S. wealth rather than fix the “climate,” Trump portrayed the decision as one that puts “America First.” He also chastised foreign powers and their lobbyists for demanding that the United States continue to handicap its economy under the guise of doing virtually nothing for the climate. The withdrawal, Trump said, represents the “re-assertion of America’s sovereignty” and a fulfillment of his efforts to re-invigorate the American economy. It was also the fulfillment of Trump’s oft-repeated pledge to “cancel” the UN scheme.

However, frustrating some of his supporters and climate realists, Trump also indicated that he was open to either re-negotiating the Paris Agreement or creating a similar international “climate” regime that would be more “fair” to the United States. In fact, the president even offered to work with Democrat Party leaders to create a new global-warming scheme — provided

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Trump Pressured to Stay in Paris Climate Agreement

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 29, 2017:

Candidate Donald Trump repeatedly promised that he would, if elected president, withdraw from the Paris Agreement agreed to under the previous administration in 2015. He said, “We are going to cancel the Paris climate agreement [and] stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.”

Under that agreement (not a treaty which then-President Obama claimed wouldn’t need Senate ratification), so-called global warming would be limited by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and concentrating instead on green energy development.

One sign that Trump intends to keep his promise followed the official dispatch from the G7 Summit in Sicily on Friday:

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OPEC Increasingly Irrelevant as Cartel Seeks to Extend Output-cut Deal

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, May 3, 2017: 

English: Flag of the Organization of Petroleum...

Gregory Brew’s statement from Oilprice.com on Tuesday was spot on: “OPEC Begins to Unravel.” Except that the unraveling began years ago as entrepreneurs in the United States found a way to tap underground shale profitably.

OPEC faces an essentially insurmountable task. On May 25, oil ministers from all 13 of the cartel’s members will meet in Vienna to decide whether or not its present oil output cut agreement should be extended. Either way, OPEC’s doom as the prime determiner of world crude oil prices is likely sealed.

If they decide not to extend the output cut, the world will know that OPEC is finished. The ministers will depart Vienna and tell their governments that

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Have the Environmentalists Stooped to this Level?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 3, 2017:  

When the final tally of the costs of cleaning up after the so-called “environmentalists” protesting the Dakota Access pipeline was completed, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum asked for federal help. The tally? $38 million! This included not only overtime for the overworked Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier and his deputies, but private security people from outside the state brought in to help them. It didn’t include the thousands of dollars incurred by the owners of the local Comfort Inn in Cannonball after their Good Samaritan efforts – offering free rooms to those protesters caught in the cold – were rewarded by their “guests” trashing them.

But it did include the bill from an environmental cleanup and fumigation company from Florida brought in to remove thousands of tons of unspeakably vile trash the protesters left behind. This writer now refuses to grace those thugs and criminals with the appellations “environmentalists” or even “hypocrites.”

In his request to President Trump, Burgum said:

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Keystone XL Pipeline Granted Approval by State Department

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 24, 2017: 

Keystone XL demonstration, White House,8-23-20...

With the signing of the cross-border permit by the State Department on Friday, the real work on completing Phase IV of the Keystone Pipeline from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast begins. TransCanada, the owner and operator of the pipeline, still thinks the project is viable economically even though it has been stalled for 16 months by the previous administration. In a press release, TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling said:

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Not Missing an Opportunity, Radicals Descend on Cannon Ball, North Dakota

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 23, 2016: 

The complete quote from Rahm Emanuel’s early days as soon-to-be-former President Obama’s Chief of Staff is: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Starting in 1969 with the Club of Rome’s declaration that “The common enemy of humanity is man,” green radicals have been seeking or creating opportunities to promote the concept that man is the great polluter and his capitalist efforts to use resources to improve his standard of living should be resisted.

Just such an opportunity presented itself when

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Not Missing an Opportunity, Radicals Descend on Cannon Ball, North Dakota

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 23, 2016:  

From www#everydot#com

Cannon Ball, North Dakota

The complete quote from Rahm Emanuel’s early days as soon-to-be-former President Obama’s Chief of Staff is: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Starting in 1969 with the Club of Rome’s declaration that “The common enemy of humanity is man,” green radicals have been seeking or creating opportunities to promote the concept that man is the great polluter and his capitalist efforts to use resources to improve his standard of living should be resisted.

Just such an opportunity presented itself when a private oil transportation company began constructing an oil pipeline from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota to Illinois. It would carry light sweet crude to refineries there,

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Greenies, Lefties Protest Dakota Access Pipeline With Violence

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 22, 2016:  

The standoff between law-enforcement officials and environmentalists determined to stall completion of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline (shown) turned violent late Sunday night. About 400 protesters set two trucks on fire near Cannon Ball, South Dakota (which sits on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation), and when sheriff’s deputies moved in to quell the accelerating riot they were met with a rain of rocks and flaming logs. At least one officer was struck on the head.

All the mainstream media could do was point out that law enforcement used high-pressure water from fire trucks to push back the crowd, along with firing rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. Little was said in the MSM that the crowd had been given multiple orders to disperse as they were trespassing on private land and causing damage.

According to Rob Keller, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, “Protesters were given multiple orders to back up. But these agitators were a little more aggressive and did not back down, and that’s why there was [this] force used.” Keller added:

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World’s Largest Coal Company Could Disappear

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 16, 2016:  

On Wednesday, Peabody Energy Company, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, announced that it was going to miss making $70 million in interest payments simply because it didn’t have the money. This was not just a temporary lack of cash flow, but indicative of existential problems:

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Does Cruz’s Iowa Victory Signal the End of Ethanol Subsidies?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 3, 2016:  

Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s surprise upset victory over Donald Trump on Monday night just might have set in place a movement to cut and eventually end ethanol subsidies within the next few years. Not only did Cruz push against Trump’s support of those subsidies (Trump played to the enormous vested interests in Iowa favoring continuing them), Cruz also pushed against Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad. In January Branstad spoke at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit:

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Robots Are Taking Over Agriculture

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 29, 2016:  

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will soon allow a single factory to produce more than 30,000 heads of lettuce every day, using 98 percent less water, 30 percent less energy, and 50 percent fewer humans.

The Japanese grower Spread will open its Vegetable Factory next year using robots instead of humans not only to plant the seeds but

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Interior Secretary Halts All New Coal Mining on Public Lands

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 15, 2016:   

 

On Friday President Obama’s Interior secretary, Sally Jewell (pictured above), announced a moratorium on new federal coal leases, claiming that her agency needs time to review the rules:

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House Bill to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban Faces Obama Veto

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 12, 2015:  

On Friday the House of Representatives succeeded in passing a bill that would lift the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil, but failed to get enough votes to overcome the expected Obama veto of the measure, if it gets that far. Twenty-six Democrats joined with 235 Republicans in support of lifting the ban — far short of the 290 votes needed to override the certain White House veto.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t indicated whether he will bring the bill to the floor. If he does,

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Pope, Others Call for Addressing Climate Change Now

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 23, 2015:  

It didn’t take the Pope long to bring his message about the threat of climate change back into the news. Speaking at the White House on Wednesday morning, the pontiff, who apparently views carbon dioxide as a pollutant causing runaway global warming, said:

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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.