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Debunking the Anti-Fracking Fearmongers

by Alex B. Berezow     •     RealClearScience

frackingWorld events have made it quite clear to most Americans that we should develop more of our own energy sources. Reducing our reliance on foreign oil by exploiting the natural gas under our feet is not only smart foreign policy but also smart environmental policy: Natural gas burns cleaner than coal or oil, and it has already lowered our CO2 emissions. Natural gas is a win for America and the planet.

But not according to anti-technology environmentalists, who have made all sorts of wild, unsubstantiated claims about the supposed harms of fracking. Three claims in particular are worth examining: (1) Fracking causes a dangerous leakage of methane into drinking water; (2) Fracking causes earthquakes; and (3) Fracking chemicals contaminate drinking water. [Read more...]

Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record

by Terence P. Jeffrey    •     CNSNews.com

Electricity_energyFor the first time ever, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity in the United States has broken through the 14-cent mark, climbing to a record 14.3 cents in June, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Before this June, the highest the average price for a KWH had ever gone was 13.7 cents, the level it hit in June, July, August and September of last year.

The 14.3-cents average price for a KWH recorded this June is about 4.4 percent higher than that previous record.

Typically, the cost of electricity peaks in summer, declines in fall, and hits its lowest point of the year during winter. In each of the first six months of this year, the average price for a KWH hour of electricity has hit a record for that month. In June, it hit the all-time record. [Read more...]

People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity

People who say they are concerned about climate change use more electricity than those who say the issue is ‘too far away to worry about’, government-commissioned study finds

green-energy-bulbby Matthew Holehouse

People who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity than those who do not, a Government study has found.

Those who say they are concerned about the prospect of climate change consume more energy than those who say it is “too far into the future to worry about,” the study commissioned by the Department for Energy and Climate Change found.

That is in part due to age, as people over 65 are more frugal with electricity but much less concerned about global warming. [Read more...]

Five Legal Obstacles to the EPA’s Power Plant Rules

epa-logoby Ben Adler

The famous adage that nothing is certain in this world but death and taxes should probably be amended. At least insofar as politics and policy are concerned, there is a third inevitability: lawsuits.

Before they even know the details of a major environmental regulation, affected industries start looking for ways to get it thrown out in court. That’s definitely the case for President Obama’s newly proposed regulation on CO2 emissions from existing power plants. Republican-controlled states will be joining the legal assault too because the power-plant rule, like Obamacare, would impose mandates on state governments. [Read more...]

There’s a Hefty Price to Pay for Driving Down U.S. Coal Usage

coal miningby The Oklahoman Editorial Board 

Reports of the demise of coal-fired power plants are greatly exacerbated by reality. Using coal to make electricity isn’t going away any time soon. And the coal plants that are going away the soonest account for relatively little carbon emissions.

One of the state’s two largest investor-owned utilities (PSO) is moving away from coal, but it won’t be out of the coal business until at least 2026. The other utility, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., remains committed to coal even though it will require expensive upgrades to its generating station near Red Rock.

Coal remains the cheapest way to make power, which is one reason it will stay in the fuel mix despite the Obama administration’s attempt to get rid of it and the environmental community’s demand that coal be kept underground for as long as it has been already. [Read more...]

Towards Energy Independence

gas-pump“Despite what some argue, North American energy independence is not out of reach. The massive production gains expected in Canada combined with the output from Mexico and US domestic reserves could total 2.75 billion barrels per year by 2030. This figure exceeds expected US petroleum consumption by such a wide margin. This is only possible if increased volumes of Canadian petroleum can reach more distant US markets for competitive cost. To that end, pipeline projects such as Keystone XL are vital to any strategy of displacing oil imports from outside North America. Without them, Canadian oil will remain uncompetitive with foreign oil arriving by tanker, and even dramatic increases in Canadian production figures would not result in a reduced dependence on OPEC for most regions of the United States.”

by Kenneth Bloomquist

Executive Summary

In 2013, the United States imported 16% of the total energy it consumed from all sources, 86% of which was petroleum. Reducing these imports is therefore the primary obstacle to attaining energy independence. To achieve this by 2030, approximately 2 billion barrels of imported petroleum will need to be displaced, either on the supply side by increasing domestic production or on the demand side by reducing consumption. [Read more...]

When Gas Prices Rise, Blame Obama and the EPA

Gas Can Man * 1.85 GasolineThe renewable fuel standard has proven to be a fool’s errand.

by Peter Roff

It did not exactly come as a surprise when the Obama administration announced that it was pushing the decision regarding whether or not to go ahead with the Keystone XL pipeline off again. Politically, it’s a difficult issue, one that splits the left-liberal coalition that put him in the White House.

On one side are the so-called environmental groups who are opposed to keeping fossil fuels in the American energy mix. They think the completion of the pipeline, which will take oil from the Canadian tar sands south to the refineries located on the American Gulf Coast, will only add to the problems they have already imagined the productivity of mankind has created. On the other are congressional Democrats, private sector unions and energy company executives who also helped Obama come to power and who want the oil and the jobs the pipeline will bring. [Read more...]

What Obama Isn’t Telling You About the ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Strategy

Obama 102by Fred Lucas

The White House held a “Solar Summit” Thursday, continuing to promote subsidies for solar panels just days after a new nonpartisan government report showed restrictions of drilling on federal lands.

The Energy Department announced another $15 million in “solar market pathways” to fund local governments’ use of solar energy. Further, the administration announced at the summit plans for a “Capital Solar Challenge,” directing federal agencies, military bases and other federally subsidized buildings to use solar power. [Read more...]

The Emerging Law of the Gun

Reagan Korea

by Peter Huessy

Russian President Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea in gross violation of international law. What should America do, if anything?

There are many different ideas. Some suggest doing nothing. Some assert we cannot do anything. Others feel the consequences of letting such aggression stand will be serious.

The country’s divisions are certainly reflective of how divided on this Americans are.

What then is the proper role for America in the world that both keeps us safe and enhances our prosperity? [Read more...]

The Roots of Russia’s Revanchism – Energy

Gazprom Russsia Gas MonopolyWestern energy disarmament is proving suicidal.

by William Tucker

On Wednesday, the New York Times published a very nice account of a speech President Vladimir Putin gave to a group of the Russian elite in the Grand Kremlin Palace. Reported by on-the-scene correspondents, it was free of the usual filtering that takes place in Washington or most of the country’s newsrooms:

In an emotional address steeped in years of resentment and bitterness at perceived slights from the West, Mr. Putin made it clear that Russia’s patience for post-Cold War accommodation, much diminished of late, had finally been exhausted. Speaking to the country’s political elite in the Grand Kremlin Palace, he said he did not seek to divide Ukraine any further, but he vowed to protect Russia’s interests there from what he described as Western actions that had left Russia feeling cornered.

This isn’t exactly the picture John Kerry and Angela Merkel are giving us. According to them, President Putin is “in another world, “behaving in 19th century fashion,” “completely isolated” and “has a huge price to pay.” Close your eyes, however, and you are listening to Hitler lamenting the humiliations visited upon Germany by the Versailles Treaty. They said the same thing about him. You know what happened next. [Read more...]

No plausible reasons left to reject the Keystone Pipeline

XL Pipeline Keystone PipelineWhite House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough discussed with NBC News’ David Gregory the administration’s foot-dragging on the Keystone XL pipeline. The Sunday interview came in the wake of the State Department’s latest report on the project, which again found no good reason to block construction of an oil pipeline from western Canada to Steele City, Neb.

The chat produced this rich quote from Mr. McDonough on President Barack Obama’s refusal to approve the privately funded project thus far: “He’s been very clear that he’s going to insulate this process from politics.”

But politics are indeed driving the president’s Keystone inaction, thanks largely to climate change and environmental alarmists. How else to explain the more than five-year wait for approval of the Keystone pipeline, a project that requires no tax money, is shovel ready and loaded with good-paying jobs? The State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, released Jan. 31, concludes: “During construction, proposed Project spending would support approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States.” [Read more...]

Keystone XL approval is one executive action the nation would embrace

keystone-xl-pipelineMembers of President Barack Obama’s team made it clear this past weekend that Obama will use part of his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to send a message to Congress.

“When American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done,” senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said, “he will not wait for Congress.” Other members of Obama’s camp used similar language during appearances on Sunday’s talk shows.

By “Congress,” the president means Republicans, particularly in the House, who have not been keen on his progressive agenda. Obama laid out big plans during this speech a year ago, following his re-election, but things like stricter gun control and immigration reform ended up on high center. [Read more...]

Sierra Club Pressed EPA to Create Impossible Coal Standards

EPA FrankenstienEnvironmentalist suggested EPA head was lying when she told reporters coal would remain viable under new standards

by CJ Ciaramella

Emails between the Sierra Club and the EPA produced through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show the green group and senior officials at the nation’s top environmental enforcer met and corresponded frequently about the agency’s work on new coal regulations.

The EPA published its long-awaited New Source Performance Standards for new coal-fired plants on Wednesday, four months after the agency announced their creation.

The EPA has repeatedly said the regulations on coal-fired power plants will not be a death blow to the industry. However, the agency was working closely behind the scenes with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization that was pushing the agency to adopt standards that would be impossible for power plants to meet. [Read more...]

The Farm Bill, Sausage and Boondoggles

Of course, there's pork! It's the farm bill isn't it?

Of course, there’s pork! It’s the farm bill isn’t it?

by George Landrith

It is said that those who respect the law and enjoy sausage, should not see how either are made. Too often the farm bill is exhibit A for this adage. Too often such bills include a little something for everyone, or a lot of taxpayer cash for a privileged few. Such legislation picks the pocket of the taxpayer, and distorts the marketplace.

Part of the farm bill is invariably an energy provision which again all too often is simply a grab bag of taxpayer provided cash for energy or chemical projects that managed to lobby hard for the taxpayer-provided benefits. But it is doubtful that such programs actually benefit the nation as a whole. The Senate’s version of the farm bill is sadly yet another Exhibit A in wasteful spending and its energy provisions are simply more of the same.

The bipartisan House farm bill is different from the usual farm bill. It isn’t perfect, but it is a big step in the right direction. [Read more...]

Obama takes credit for oil boom he’s tried to block

Obama Oil LiesDeception: There he goes again. The president is taking credit for an economic recovery that isn’t happening and a surge in oil production he’s had nothing to do with. If he can’t be honest, it’s up to us to set the record straight.

While touring an Ohio steel mill Thursday, President Obama talked about jobs and the economy bouncing back.

He prattled on about factories “reopening their doors” and businesses “hiring new workers.” He even went so far as to imply that his administration has “been trying” to “rebuild a new foundation for growth and prosperity to protect ourselves from future crises.”

Meanwhile, in the real world, the U.S. economy continues to struggle under his watch. [Read more...]