“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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Deception: 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. Continue reading
A bright spot in the U.S.’s sluggish economic recovery has been historic growth in North American energy production, courtesy of oil and natural gas from shale and Canadian crude from oil sands. The boom has not only reduced American dependence on foreign oil but has encouraged “insourcing,” the return of manufacturing to the U.S., as employers take advantage of low energy costs.
Infrastructure growth is crucial to sustaining this manufacturing resurgence, and government must do its part. Yet as energy discoveries have transformed U.S. oil production, the pipeline and road infrastructure needed to bring petroleum to market are groaning under government negligence, slowing growth in the U.S. and Michigan. Continue reading
Gas prices are significantly higher and likely to go higher still, which could make this the most expensive summer at the pump in five years.
The average price is now $3.67, and Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for GasBuddy.com, predicts there’s at least a 50% chance gas could top the $3.79 a gallon high for the year reached in February.
The rise in crude oil prices is one of the major factors in the recent gas price run-up, since oil prices end up being passed onto consumers. And while retail gas prices have risen quickly, they haven’t kept pace with wholesale prices on the commodities markets — meaning it’s virtually certain you’ll pay more at the pump, and soon.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s driving the recent gas spike, and what drivers should be worried about later this summer: Continue reading
CBS News – A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site, the Department of Energy told The Associated Press.
After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water, geologist Richard Hammack said.
Although the results are preliminary — the study is still ongoing — they are a boost to a natural gas industry that has fought complaints from environmental groups and property owners who call fracking dangerous. Continue reading
President Obama’s call for the EPA to impose new regulations on coal-fired power plants was a giveaway to the environmental lobby at the expense of the American worker. By crusading against coal, Obama is willfully hurting the very working-class Americans around whom he structured his reelection campaign and endangering the economic recovery he continues to promise.
Coal is mined in 25 states and is responsible for over 550,000 American jobs, most of them blue-collar. It’s also the cheapest source of electricity available — 22 of the 25 power plants with the lowest operating costs in the U.S. are fueled by coal — which is a major reason why Americans enjoy some of the lowest electricity costs of any free-market economy. Continue reading
Regulation: No longer the stuff of science fiction, a little-noticed change in energy-efficiency requirements for appliances could lead to government controlling the power used in your home and how you set your thermostat.
In a seemingly innocuous revision of its Energy Star efficiency requirements announced June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency included an “optional” requirement for a “smart-grid” connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerators or freezers with a utility provider.
The feature lets the utility provider regulate the appliances’ power consumption, “including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times.” Continue reading
This past week, President Obama joined the Flat Earth Society.
That’s not how he put it, of course. Just the opposite. He said, “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” i.e. those not prepared to join him in embracing radical anti-fossil fuel policies.
Put another way, he meant forget about Congress. Congress has repeatedly rejected legislation to authorize what Mr. Obama announced yesterday he would do anyway, essentially by decree. For example, the administration backed a cap and trade bill in 2010. Designed to limit the use of coal and oil, it was so unpopular in that year’s overwhelmingly Democratic Congress that Majority Leader Harry Reid ultimately withdrew it. The issue was not overcoming a filibuster. Reid knew that the bill would have lost an up and down vote on the Senate floor. Continue reading
For months President Obama has been in the uncomfortable position of straddling a barbed-wire fence—does he appease his ardent environmental supporters or advocate for economic growth that will help all of America? In his speech outlining his Climate Action Plan, he made his choice clear. He’s abandoning what is best for America and has bowed to the political pressure from environmental lobbyists like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
White House Climate Advisor, Daniel P. Schrag told the New York Times: “Everybody is waiting for action, the one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” However, the American public is not clamoring for the closure of cost-effective coal-fueled power plants. What they want is cheap energy, but Obama is, as the Washington Post states: “a president bizarrely antagonistic toward domestic energy production and low energy prices.” Continue reading
by the Editorial Board, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
President Obama’s new envirocratic and anti-growth “climate action plan” ignores genuine science, tramples representative government, spells economic ruin and — like so much federal grandiosity — clearly wasn’t subjected to proper cost-benefit analysis. Continue reading
President Obama’s recently proposed policies will do little to combat climate change — but they will do much for his political and economic objectives.
No crisis should go to waste, an eternal truth highlighted in bold by a purported climate change apocalypse that is now the target of actions newly proposed by President Obama. This so-called “crisis” will flood not various coastlines, but instead the front pages, replacing other, less flattering political headlines for the administration.
And if the proposed actions offer the potential of sizeable wealth transfers to political allies? That is far more than mere icing on the cake. Whatever the weakness of the evidence on greenhouse gases (GHG) and climate effects, the real goal of carbon policy is a regional redistribution of wealth, a reality that explains the inability of Congress to enact such policies since the Clinton administration, when a “Sense of the Senate” resolution rejecting the Kyoto Protocol was approved by a margin of 95-0. President Obama too was unable to convince even a fully Democratic Congress to adopt such policies, and so he now proposes that his Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy implement regulations reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG). Continue reading
Physical limitations will keep this energy source a niche provider of U.S. electricity needs.
To understand the folly that drives too much of the nation’s energy policies, consider these basic facts about wind energy.
After decades of federal subsidies—almost $24 billion according to a recent estimate by former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm—nowhere in the United States, or anywhere else, has an array of wind turbines replaced a single conventional power plant. Nowhere.
But wind farms do take up space. The available data from wind-power companies, with which the Environmental Protection Agency agrees, show that the most effective of them can generate about five kilowatts per acre. This means 300 square miles of land—192,000 acres—are necessary to generate the 1,000 megawatts (a billion watts) of electricity that a conventional power plant using coal, nuclear energy or natural gas can generate on a few hundred acres. A billion watts fulfills the average annual power demand of a city of 700,000. Continue reading