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
Explosions, poisons, pollution, cancer, and global warming all considered.
Gasland Part II, the sequel to director/activist Josh Fox’s earlier anti-fracking docudrama Gasland, will run on HBO. It appears to have rounded up the usual corporate villains and appealing victims of profit-hungry capitalist skullduggery, rather than telling the more substantial story: that fracking combined with horizontal drilling has unleashed a bonanza of cheap natural gas.
Fracking involves injecting pressurized water combined with sand and small amounts of chemicals to crack open shale rocks so that they will release trapped natural gas. Generally, the shale rocks are thousands of feet below the aquifers from which people draw drinking water. Continue reading
It’s particularly trendy among politicians and members of the media to be worried about climate change. When President Obama recently spoke before a crowd in Berlin, he said that climate change “is the global threat of our time.”
But that’s not true. Just a cursory glance around the world reveals that, given the enormous problems facing our planet, it would be surprising if climate change cracked a list of the top 10 immediate concerns. 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
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
The wind-power industry is expensive, passes costs on to the consumer and does not create many jobs in return. The claims of the green lobby that wind farms will generate abundant energy and economic growth are not consistent with the facts.
Today, The Sunday Telegraph reveals how many ”green jobs’’ the wind-power industry really generates in exchange for its generous subsidies. The figures show that for 12 months until February 2013, a little over £1.2 billion was paid out to wind farms through a consumer subsidy financed by a supplement on electricity bills. During that period, the industry employed just 12,000 people, which means that each wind-farm job cost consumers £100,000 – an astonishing figure. Continue reading
The automobile stands as an enduring symbol of mobility and opportunity in America — and of innovation that’s at the core of our nation’s economic strength and prosperity.
Yet the conventional gasoline-powered engine is sometimes disparaged and treated as if it’s yesterday’s technology. Listening to politicians, environmentalists and media pundits, you might think that the gas engine is inefficient and old-fashioned, a relic of the past that ought to be replaced by alternative automotive technologies like electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Continue reading
Lurking off the coast of Massachusetts like a shark out of a Steven Spielberg movie is a green energy project that is being rushed through the permitting process to meet statutory deadlines. If it goes under, it could end up costing U.S. taxpayers millions.
For almost two decades, efforts have been underway to build a wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound, off the coast of Cape Cod. For almost as long, the effort has been opposed by local residents worried about the project’s cost and potential impact on the environment. Continue reading
California’s record gasoline prices and long service station lines are a warning to all of us about what green energy can do to our pocketbooks.
On Monday, California gasoline cost $4.67 per gallon, compared with the $3.81 U.S. average. California’s environmental standards are the most stringent in the country, and Californians are paying the price.
The price spike started with an August fire in Chevron’s Richmond refinery. Then, two other refineries, operated by Tesoro and Exxon Mobil, went down for maintenance. Because California requires different blends of gasoline from other states, and pipelines across the Rockies are limited, gasoline can’t be shipped in from elsewhere. Continue reading
Right now, President Obama and Mitt Romney are looking for the one line that will stand out as the defining line of the debate, a line that encapsulates the candidate’s reason for running and all his frustrations with the other guy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a solution for the nation’s problems. But it does have to immediately resonate with voters.
In 1980, the quip that stood out was challenger Ronald Reagan’s dismissive, “There you go again…” to President Carter. Folks knew exactly what Reagan meant: that we had seen through Carter’s attempts to attack Reagan’s supposedly “radical tendencies” as a dodge to distract voters from Carter’s responsibility for an ever-weakening America. Continue reading