Monday, August 25, 2014

Big Green foundation billions colluding with the EPA - exposed!

The hidden persuaders of the environmental elite
By Ron Arnold | August 5, 2014 | 6:49 pm
HTTP://WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM/THE-HIDDEN-PERSUADERS-OF-THE-ENVIRONMENTAL-ELITE/ARTICLE/2551714
Most of EGA's foundation members have similar million-dollar dirty little secrets, but their...

America’s environmental agenda is set by elite foundations that decide which activists get the money. And they form “affinity groups” to collude with President Obama’s bureaucracy, which funnels tax dollars to Democratic advocates to enforce that agenda.

Meet the conservation cash cartel of the uber-rich: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, a veteran organization (founded 1985) of more than 200 ultra-wealthy foundations caught in the spotlight of a new 92-page report exposing Big Green wealth eating away America’s industrial strength.

This is the same EGA that emerged during the Senate confirmation hearings forRhea Sun Suh, the Interior Department’s new head of national parks and the Fish and Wildlife Service — a veteran EGA member who invited colleagues to come visit her any time.

Suh once worked for the Packard Foundation on programs to block oil and gasproduction in the West. Ironically, Packard’s investment portfolio — the profits from which the foundation pays its anti-oil and gas grants — holds more than $350,000 in ExxonMobil shares, and millions in dozens of other lesser-known fossil fuel securities.

Most of EGA’s foundation members have similar million-dollar dirty little secrets, but their tax-exempt activist recipients are not morally conflicted by taking fossil fuel cash and keeping it a secret as long as it furthers their corrosive goals.

The convoluted ethics that Greenpeace, for example, concocts in order to show how its oil-soaked funding — when exposed — is purified by the intent of the giver are classic unintentional self-parody.

The new report is titled “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA,” and was produced by the Republican staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under the direction of Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the committee's ranking minority member.

Its executive summary states, “an elite group of left-wing millionaires and billionaires, which this report refers to as the 'Billionaire’s Club,' directs and controls the far-left environmental movement, which in turn controls major policy decisions and lobbies on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

Having researched over $80 billion in green grants during the past few decades, I was impressed by the scope and detail of the oversight team’s work, and asked Vitter how he felt about it.

“This report really gets to the core of tracking the money and exposing the collusion," Vitter told me. "The complicated, layered system is intended to create a lack of transparency. There is an unbelievable amount of money behind the environmental movement and far too much collusion between far-left environmental groups and the Obama EPA."

The collusion is like something out of a bad spy movie. Vitter’s oversight team uncovered a June 2009 deal in which the Rockefeller Family Fund offered then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to pay for a plant inside the President’s Council on Environmental Quality to “stake the EPA’s claim there,” and then slip the shill into a pre-arranged EPA job, giving the agency a White House insider on staff — and, not coincidentally, tightening the Rockefeller power grip over the EPA.

Jackson wrote her chief of staff Diane Thompson, “I think it’s a fine idea and can only help EPA in the long run” — using her fake Richard Windsor email account – and Thompson replied, “My thoughts exactly. The more inside connections the better.”

The Rockefeller shill was Shalini Vajjhala, who agreed to leave her minor position at Resources for the Future, a Washington think tank, for a two-month stint at the CEQ (with the pretentious title of "deputy associate director for energy and climate"). Then the EPA slipped her in as deputy assistant administrator of the Office of International & Tribal Affairs. Vajjhala remained until her 2011 appointment as EPA’s special representative leading a presidential U.S.-Brazil initiative.

After Vajjhala cycled through the White House and EPA, she got her personal reward in 2012: approval to found and manage a new investment portfolio supported by the Rockefeller Foundation (the original 1913 John D. Rockefeller philanthropy, not the fourth generation’s Family Fund — there are many Rockefeller tentacles). Vajjhala now contributes to the Huffington Post, funded in part by the Park Foundation.

EGA foundations are metastasizing into hundreds of far-left funds. The report drills into the Sea Change Foundation, “a private California foundation, which relies on funding from undisclosed donors and funnels tens of millions of dollars to other foundations and prominent environmental activists who strive to control both policy and politics.”

There is an incredible seedbed of Sea Change front groups: Bill Gates’ foundation gave Sea Change Capital Partners $2.5 million; eBay’s Omidyar Network Fund gave the same partners $2 million; David Rockefeller’s personal foundation gave to the Center for Sea Change. Walmart’s foundation gave $500,000 to Strategies for the Global Foundation Sea Change, an international tentacle into the White House.

But it’s not just the environment. The Crime Prevention Research Center, a nonprofit that tracks gun control activists, reported, "On January 8th, 2013, the Obama Administration met with 23 large foundations to organize a push for national gun control. They included such organizations as the Open Society Institute, the McCormick Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation” and the MacArthur Foundation.

Foundations appear to be colluding with almost every department of the Obama administration. And it’s not just the Big Green donors. It’s time for Congress to hear testimony from a sampling of manipulative foundation program directors and investment managers explaining themselves to those whose lives they influence.

RON ARNOLD, a Washington Examiner columnist, is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.


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When it comes to attacking climate scientists, the alarmist Left has the market cornered

Who’s really waging the ‘war on science’?
When it comes to attacking climate scientists, the alarmist Left has the market cornered
Paul Driessen
Left-leaning environmentalists, media and academics have long railed against the alleged conservative “war on science.” They augment this vitriol with substantial money, books, documentaries and conference sessions devoted to “protecting” global warming alarmists from supposed “harassment” by climate chaos skeptics, whom they accuse of wanting to conduct “fishing expeditions” of alarmist emails and “rifle” their file cabinets in search of juicy material (which might expose collusion or manipulated science).
A primary target of this “unjustified harassment” has been Penn State University professor Dr. Michael Mann, creator of the infamous “hockey stick” temperature graph that purported to show a sudden spike in average planetary temperatures in recent decades, following centuries of supposedly stable climate. But at a recent AGU meeting a number of other “persecuted” scientists were trotted out to tell their story of how they have been “attacked” or had their research, policy demands or integrity questioned.  
To fight back against this “harassment,” the American Geophysical Union actually created a “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund,” to pay mounting legal bills that these scientists have incurred. The AGU does not want any “prying eyes” to gain access to their emails or other information.  These scientists and the AGU see themselves as “Freedom Fighters” in this “war on science.” It’s a bizarre war.
While proclaiming victimhood, they detest and vilify any experts who express doubts that we face an imminent climate Armageddon. They refuse to debate any such skeptics, or permit “nonbelievers” to participate in conferences where endless panels insist that every imaginable and imagined ecological problem is due to fossil fuels. They use hysteria and hyperbole to advance claims that slashing fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions will enable us to control Earth’s climate – and that references to computer model predictions and “extreme weather events” justify skyrocketing energy costs, millions of lost jobs, and severe damage to people’s livelihoods, living standards, health and welfare.
Reality is vastly different from what these alarmist, environmentalist, academic, media and political elites attempt to convey.
In 2009, before Mann’s problems began, Greenpeace started attacking scientists it calls “climate deniers,” focusing its venom on seven scientists at four institutions, including the University of Virginia and University of Delaware. This anti-humanity group claimed its effort would “bring greater transparency to the climate science discussion” through “educational and other charitable public interest activities.” (If you believe that, send your bank account number to those Nigerians with millions in unclaimed cash.)
UVA administrators quickly agreed to turn over all archived records belonging to Dr. Patrick Michaels, a prominent climate chaos skeptic who had recently retired from the university. They did not seem to mind that no press coverage ensued, and certainly none that was critical of these Spanish Inquisition tactics.
However, when the American Tradition Institute later filed a similar FOIA request for Dr. Mann’s records, UVA marshaled the troops and launched a media circus, saying conservatives were harassing a leading climate scientist. The AGU, American Meteorological Society and American Association of University Professors (the nation’s college faculty union) rushed forward to lend their support. All the while, in a remarkable display of hypocrisy and double standards, UVA and these organizations continued to insist it was proper and ethical to turn all of Dr. Michaels’ material over to Greenpeace.
Meanwhile, although it had started out similarly, the scenario played out quite differently at the University of Delaware. Greenpeace targeted Dr. David Legates, demanding access to records related to his role as the Delaware State Climatologist. The University not only agreed to this. It went further, and demanded that Legates produce all his records – regardless of whether they pertained to his role as State Climatologist, his position on the university faculty, or his outside speaking and writing activities, even though he had received no state money for any of this work. Everything was fair game.
But when the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a FOIA request for documents belonging to several U of Delaware faculty members who had contributed to the IPCC, the university told CEI the state’s FOIA Law did not apply. (The hypocrisy and double standards disease is contagious.) Although one faculty contributor clearly had received state money for his climate change work, University Vice-President and General Counsel Lawrence White claimed none of the individuals had received state funds.
When Legates approached White to inquire about the disparate treatment, White said Legates did not understand the law. State law did not require that White produce anything, White insisted, but also did not preclude him from doing so. Under threat of termination for failure to respond to the demands of a senior university official, Legates was required to allow White to inspect his emails and hardcopy files.
Legates subsequently sought outside legal advice. At this, his academic dean told him he had now gone too far. “This puts you at odds with the University,” she told him, “and the College will no longer support anything you do.” This remarkable threat was promptly implemented. Legates was terminated as the State Climatologist, removed from a state weather network he had been instrumental in organizing and operating, and banished from serving on any faculty committees.
Legates appealed to the AAUP – the same union that had staunchly supported Mann at UVA.  Although the local AAUP president had written extensively on the need to protect academic freedom, she told Legates that FOIA issues and actions taken by the University of Delaware’s vice-president and dean “would not fall within the scope of the AAUP.” 
What about the precedent of the AAUP and other professional organizations supporting Dr. Mann so quickly and vigorously? Where was the legal defense fund to pay Legates’ legal bills? Fuggedaboutit.
In the end, it was shown that nothing White examined in Legates’ files originated from state funds. The State Climate Office had received no money while Legates was there, and the university funded none of Legates’ climate change research though state funds. This is important because, unlike in Virginia, Delaware’s FOIA law says that regarding university faculty, only state-funded work is subject to FOIA.
That means White used his position to bully and attack Legates for his scientific views – pure and simple.  Moreover, a 1991 federal arbitration case had ruled that the University of Delaware had violated another faculty member’s academic freedom when it examined the content of her research. But now, more than twenty years later, U Del was at it again.
Obviously, academic freedom means nothing when one’s views differ from the liberal faculty majority – or when they contrast with views and “science” that garners the university millions of dollars a year from government, foundation, corporate and other sources, to advance the alarmist climate change agenda. All these institutions are intolerant of research by scientists like Legates, because they fear losing grant money if they permit contrarian views, discussions, debates or anything that questions the climate chaos “consensus.”  At this point, academic freedom and free speech obviously apply only to advance selected political agendas, and campus “diversity” exists in everything but opinions.
Climate alarmists have been implicated in the ClimateGate scandal, for conspiring to prevent their adversaries from receiving grants, publishing scientific papers, and advancing their careers. Yet they are staunchly supported by their universities, professional organizations, union – and groups like Greenpeace.
Meanwhile, climate disaster skeptics are vilified and harassed by these same groups, who pretend they are fighting to “let scientists conduct research without the threat of politically motivated attacks.” Far worse, we taxpayers are paying the tab for the junk science – and then getting stuck with regulations, soaring energy bills, lost jobs and reduced living standards … based on that bogus science.
Right now, the climate alarmists appear to be winning their war on honest science. But storm clouds are gathering, and a powerful counteroffensive is heading their way.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heartland's climate conference spurs new movement

Heartland Institute conference shows the growing power of climate realism
By Ron Arnold | July 15, 2014 | 5:00 pm

Heartland Institute's Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, with its 64 speakers from 12 countries, marked a turning point in the climate wars between alarmists and skeptics: A lot more first-timers than dogged veterans showed up for the three-day science marathon, July 7-9.

That's significant because it reflected the vanishing public concern over “dangerous man-made climate change” and growing discontent with the politicized rear guard's increasingly desperate search for new scare words and its bigoted hate speech hurled at skeptics (“deniers,” evoking the Holocaust).

Held this year in a vast Las Vegas convention center, what was usually a New York or Chicago gathering of scorned, independent-minded scientists -- many of whom suffered grievously for refusing the dictates of "believe-us-or-else" climate despots -- turned into a new kind of festival with about 650 attendees.

I saw 80 percent of the plenary session audience enthusiastically cheer with raised hands as first-timers. Chatting with a few revealed a remarkably civic-minded crowd of nonscientists at a science conference.

The hope and joy were palpable: animated conversations, busy exchanges of business cards and scribbling of contact information on paper napkins from the coffee service during breaks. I sensed a network of newly minted activists emerging before my eyes.

That was America’s first discernible signal that a movement of social change is coalescing around climate realism to disrupt the entrenched climate establishment with assurance, conviction and determination to topple its regime.

Face it, the climate change movement has peaked with nowhere more to go. It's today's power elite, it rules the White House, it owns the Senate, it reigns as the global establishment's ideology and the orthodoxy of authority. It's the vibrant revolution of the morning that fossilized by evening and night must now fall. A new rebel alliance must speed the parting guest.

Heartland’s plenary sessions served up over a dozen impressive rallying speeches and 10 inspiring award presentations, but — not to slight their vigor and dignity — I concentrated on the 21 breakout panel sessions, including presentations by nonprofit allies such as the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

One was titled, “Global Warming as a Social Movement.” The organizers must have been prescient, since the conference itself was becoming the “network forming event” of an incipient climate realist social movement.

An outstanding presentation by Paul Driessen, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, unfolded a searing indictment of global Big Green, with its “inhumane and deadly climate claims that limit energy access and living standards for the world's poor.”

I gave a presentation on “Who benefits from alarmism?” documenting rewards of money and ego strokes. After examining activist foundation donors who set the environmental agenda by choosing who gets the cash, I explored movement dynamics, based on the work of Luther Gerlach, retired anthropology professor and the field’s leading researcher. His insight that “all movements are in conflict with the established order” fits alarmist beginnings, but his explanation of today's rabid hard-core elite alarmists was an “aha!” moment.

“People are changed, even transformed by the experience of commitment,” wrote Gerlach, “redefining needs, desires, or discontents in terms of the ideology of the movement.” It involves “re-education through group interaction,” and “group support for changed cognitive and behavioral patterns.” It’s like brainwashing.

Gerlach cited psychologist Abraham Maslow, who found that ideological commitment “can be so profound and shaking an experience that it can change the person’s character forever after.”

Picture Obama’s bureaucrats or United Nations scientists or Greenpeace recruits growing ever more extreme to prove their devotion, like addicts always needing a bigger ideological fix – climate change junkies.

Maslow was famous for his 1954 “needs hierarchy” that tracked personality development first from seeking basic material needs (food, shelter, survival), then personal needs – love, a sense of belonging, social acceptance and self actualization.

But Maslow later found that non-material needs topped that hierarchy with the needs for knowledge, to understand, to find inspiration and beauty (key needs of environmentalists).

But that has consequences.

As we advance to the top, “We tend to take for granted the blessings we already have, especially if we don’t have to work or struggle for them,” wrote Maslow in 1970. Particularly for those who undergo ideological commitment, “the food, the security, the freedom that have never been lacking or yearned for, tend not only to be unnoticed but also even to be devalued or mocked or destroyed.” Such blindness fits climate alarmists perfectly.

Maslow called that pathology “postgratification forgetting and devaluation,” and predicted that such sightlessness and contempt of basic needs would infect huge populations if they obtained the means to gratify the top needs.

Think Greenpeace’s brag, “We take no corporate donations.” Reality: Greenpeace, USA got $32.7 million and its Greenpeace Fund got $12.8 million in foundation grants since 2001. Foundations pay from an investment portfolio dominated by corporate securities. The Packard Foundation’s $2.7 million grants to Greenpeace alone were made possible in part by $350,000 of ExxonMobil stock – and millions in Packard's dividends and capital gains come from dozens more fossil fuel corporations. Blind, contemptuous Greenpeace can't escape corporate money flows.

Heartland’s climate change conference attracted those resistant to ideology, following truth wherever it takes them, wary of groupthink and rejecting absolutism, unwilling to surrender their integrity to corrupt overlords despite personal suffering.

Thank you, Heartland, Joe Bast, the crew, and everyone who showed up. Being there was a “peak experience.”

RON ARNOLD, a Washington Examiner columnist, is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ron Arnold says EPS's anti-coal rule has no benefits, just costs

House panel hopes to air inconvenient truths about EPA's 'war on coal'
http://washingtonexaminer.com/house-panel-hopes-to-air-inconvenient-truths-about-epas-war-on-coal/article/2549851
By Ron Arnold | June 17, 2014 | 5:03 pm

President Obama wants to stake his legacy on fighting global warming even if he has to fake it, which he does.

That inconvenient truth will get a hearing Thursday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and it won't be pretty. The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, led by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., will convene the “Standing up for Jobs and Affordable Energy” hearing, an appropriate nickname for the expected slice-and-dice of “EPA's Proposed Carbon Dioxide Regulations for power plants.”

In early June President Obama's heavy-handed Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a radical plan to destroy existing U.S. coal-fired power plants by imposing a deliberately impossible carbon dioxide emission limit -- reduction of 30 percent by 2030.

Upon examination, the rule offers no real benefit to anyone — beyond EPA’s armed enforcers — and costs to everyone, which prompted the subcommittee hearing.

Whitfield set the hearing’s tone in a news release: “Under the guise of regulating power plants, President Obama’s agency is seeking to expand its regulatory reach over the entire electricity sector.

“Committee members are concerned over EPA’s unprecedented reach, and the potential of this plan to increase electricity prices, eliminate U.S. jobs, and threaten grid reliability, with no meaningful effect on future climate patterns.”

The panel will examine only one witness: Janet McCabe, the Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.

Whitfield is deeply committed to oversight of this rule. In an email exchange, he told me, “This is a very important hearing, as it will be the first time President Obama's radical EPA comes to the Hill to defend the agency's latest proposed rule designed to shut-down coal-fired power plants -- a rule the administration is pushing through without Congress' direction or approval, despite its potential to completely disrupt our energy sector and cripple our economy.”

I asked about some of the highly controversial legal and policy issues surrounding this proposal. Whitfield said, “We have questions for Ms. McCabe about her agency’s authority and overreach in writing this proposed rule and how EPA’s actions will impact Americans and their jobs and pocketbooks."

The record of EPA's testimony before Congress invites cynicism, for it is without honor or conscience, not to mention the absence of facts. McCabe, as did her predecessor Gina McCarthy - now EPA boss - will predictably deflect tough questions because the truth would outrage most Americans and deny Obama his nightmare legacy. We can expect mischaracterization, obfuscation and flat-out lies.

Whitfield appears unlikely to put up with that. He said, “As I have promised repeatedly, Obama’s assault on affordable electricity will not go unchecked.”

McCabe faces a tough sell with this proposed rule: Everything EPA has said about its benefits has been ignominiously debunked, some from unlikely quarters. For example, the EPA's claim that the rule will create $30 billion in climate benefits by 2030 has been deflated by the liberal Brookings Institution.

In their report, “Determining the Proper Scope of Climate Change Benefits,” Brookings fellow Ted Gayer and Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi revealed that the EPA cleverly selected an “apples and oranges” methodology that overstates the benefits so the regulation looks more attractive.
The "apples" are $30 billion in benefits worldwide and the "oranges" are the American taxpayers who pay the whole world’s bill.

It's something like asking New York City to pay the water bill for every toilet flush in China - and pleading America's public health and welfare to convince New Yorkers to pay up.

We can thank the Obama administration's shameful Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon for developing those "worldwide guidelines" in 2010 to deliberately swindle the American people. Even Democratic President Bill Clinton wouldn't allow that, issuing Executive Order 12866 in 1993 requiring regulations to benefit the U.S. citizenry only, not the world.

To see through Obama’s slimy stratagem, the Brookings scholars did an “apples and apples” comparison on his proposed anti-coal rule, and found the domestic benefit amount is only about $2.1 billion at the lowest, ranging up to an optimistic $6.9 billion at the top. But the estimated compliance cost is $7.3 billion.

Get it? In the best of all possible Obama worlds, American taxpayers are down nearly half a billion bucks and missing 40 percent of their electricity.

The Brookings report concluded that estimated climate benefits are “largely conjecture and certainly overstated.” And we’re expecting McCabe to tell the truth about that under oath?

I hope Whitfield gets around to asking McCabe about how much the once-respected-but-now-turned-shill American Lung Association loves the EPA. The ALA ought to love the Obama administration a lot: ALA's 591 federal grants amount to $43,016,875, according to USASpending.gov. As a cogent post on JunkScience.com said, “EPA owns the American Lung Association.”

But not entirely: Big Green foundations own a substantial chunk too: The Foundation Search database posts 2,806 grants to ALA totaling more than $76 million, with millions coming from Environmental Grantmakers Association members, tagged with purpose statements like pushing EPA to hit coal-fired power plants, do media advocacy and grassroots organizing.

Come to the American Lung Association for all your propaganda needs.

Thursday's McCabe testimony comes on the heels of collapsed U.N. negotiations to repair failing global carbon markets, the International Monetary Fund's slashed forecast of U.S. economic growth to a shocking 2 percent, and the headline-grabbing opposition of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Australian leader Tony Abbott to "climate measures that would destroy their economies,” which our Climate Cultist in Chief Obama seems insanely eager to embrace.

Memo to McCabe: the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

RON ARNOLD, a Washington Examiner columnist, is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Multiple federal agencies have said the Keystone Pipeline poses no environmental risks. It's time for Obama to say yes to jobs and improved economic conditions.

The Verdict On Keystone XL Is In 
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

RealClearMarkets.com
February 4, 2014
With the State Department's announcement that the Keystone XL pipeline poses no environmental risks, the verdict is now in, and the pipeline should be approved.

The Keystone XL pipeline would allow oil to be transported from Alberta, Canada, to U.S. refiners near the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama's decision to delay approval for the construction of TransCanada's proposed pipeline was based, in part, on concerns over the safety and reliability of oil pipelines. Mr. Obama had called for a full assessment of "the pipeline's impact, especially the health and safety of the American people."

Coincidentally, the State Department's report follows recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board last month regarding crude oil transportation over railroads. The Board stated that rail transport of oil needed to be made safer. In response to the recent derailment in Quebec, Canada, the NTSB addressed the need for "hazardous materials route analysis and selection, oil spill prevention and response plans, and identification and classification of hazardous materials in railroad freight transportation."

Current regulations regarding comprehensive response plans for oil spills do not apply to most tank cars. The regulations requiring comprehensive plans, as set out by the Transportation Department in enforcing the Clean Water Act, only apply to shipments exceeding 42,000 gallons. Tank cars carrying less than 42,000 gallons are only required to submit a basic response plan. The 2014 NTSB recommendation states that due to the increase in crude oil transportation and the widespread use of unit trains carrying multiple tank cars, the potential for accidents involving large releases of oil and other hazardous materials is much higher than when the regulation was initially developed.

The pipeline would give the United States a safe and efficient supply of oil from Canada, our friend and trading partner.

Ever since Richard Nixon, presidents have been (irrationally) talking about energy independence. Irrationally, because no country wants to be independent in any product that is cheaper to purchase elsewhere. For the sake of independence, Congress funded expensive wind and solar power that are driving up prices of electricity. Advocates of energy independence should prefer that Canadian oil come to the United States rather than be shipped to China.

In June 2013 the National Academy of Sciences released a study entitled "Effects of Diluted Bitumen on Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines" that was required as part of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Jobs Creation Act of 2011. The report found no evidence that diluted bitumen, the type of crude oil that would flow through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, would contribute to pipeline failures or corrosion.

The year 2013 saw a series of rail accidents involving crude oil. For example, in March, trains derailed in Minnesota, spilling 30,000 gallons, in June, it was Calgary's turn and in November, a train carrying 2.7 million gallons derailed in Alabama.

Pipelines are far safer than road and rail, and it would be in the interests of the United States and Canada to create a new generation of pipelines to take oil and gas from newly-discovered sources of production to where it needs to be refined and sold to consumers.

Petroleum production in North America is now nearly 18 million barrels a day, and could climb to 27 million barrels a day by 2020. Whether it is produced in Canada, Alaska, North Dakota, or the Gulf of Mexico, it will be used all over the continent. The question of how to transport oil safely and reliably is not a transitory one linked only to Keystone XL or other pipeline controversies of the day.

Pipelines have been used to transport Canadian natural gas and oil, both across Canada and into the United States, for over a century. Canada's first pipeline began in 1853, with the development of a 16-mile cast-iron pipeline that moved natural gas to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, for street lights.

The United States has a much larger pipeline network. About 2.6 million miles of interstate pipeline crisscross America, carrying crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas. In the United States these pipelines are primarily regulated by the Department of Transportation.

As the major alternative means of fuel shipment, transport of crude oil by rail has been increasing as limitations on pipeline capacity both in Canada and the United States have become manifest.

RBC Capital Markets estimates that 115,000 barrels of oil per day were shipped by rail to the United States in 2013, with a trend toward 300,000 barrels per day by 2015. For perspective, the Keystone XL pipeline, if approved, would carry 830,000 barrels per day.

Future growth of oil by rail depends heavily on whether or not large pipelines are built.

If safety and environmental damages in the transportation of oil and gas were proportionate to the volume of shipments, one would expect the vast majority of damages to occur on pipelines. But a review of statistics published by Canada's National Energy Board as well as the U.S. Department of Transportation clearly shows that, in addition to enjoying a substantial cost advantage, pipelines result in fewer spillage incidents and personal injuries than road and rail.

This superior safety and environmental performance of pipelines is hardly surprising: the genius of this technology is that the "shipping container" is static while the commodity it is transporting moves. Moreover, that container is typically buried, with about three feet of earth over the top of it. By contrast, in every other means of oil transportation, both the container and the commodity are moving over the surface, often in close proximity to other large containers moving in the opposite direction, and the empty container has then to return to its point of origin to load another consignment.

Rising oil and natural gas production in both the United States and Canada is outpacing the transportation capacity of our pipeline infrastructure. Now that the State Department has declared Keystone XL safe, it is time for President Obama to place a call to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why do global alarmists think they are talking about "science?" This article by CARE favorite Paul Driessen shows the absurdity of alarmists' punditry.

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Risking lives to promote climate change hype

Yet another global warming expedition gets trapped in icebound ideology
Paul Driessen
Will global warming alarmists ever set aside their hypotheses, hyperbole, models and ideologies long enough to acknowledge what is actually happening in the real world outside their windows? Will they at least do so before setting off on another misguided adventure? Before persuading like-minded or na├»ve people to join them? Before forcing others to risk life and limb to transport – and rescue – them? If history is any guide, the answer is: Not likely.
The absurd misadventures of University of New South Wales climate professor Chris Turney is but the latest example. He and 51 co-believers set out on the (diesel-powered) Russian charter ship Akademik Shokalskiy to prove manmade global warming is destroying the East Antarctic ice sheet. Perhaps they’d been reading Dr. Turney’s website, which claims “an increasing body of evidence” shows “melting and collapse” across the area. (It is, after all, summer in Antarctica, albeit a rather cold, icy one thus far.)
Instead of finding open water, they wound up trapped in record volumes of unforgiving ice, from Christmas Eve until January 2 – ensnared by Mother Nature’s sense of humor and their own hubris. The 52 climate tourists were finally rescued by a helicopter sent from Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which itself became locked in the ice. The misadventurers were transferred to Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis, but the Shokalskiy remains entombed, awaiting the arrival of US Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star. (Meanwhile, Turney hopes to get more grants to study manmade global warming, to help him make more money from his Carbonscape company, which makes “green” products from CO2 recovered from the atmosphere.)
As to his expertise, Dr. Turney couldn’t even gauge the ice conditions the 74 crewmen and passengers were about to sail into. And yet we are supposed to believe his alarmist forecasts about Earth’s climate.
NASA reports that Antarctic sea ice is now the largest expanse since scientists began measuring its extent in 1979: 19.5 million square kilometers (4,806,000,000 acres) – 2.1 times the size of the entire United States. Another report says ocean melting of western Antarctica’s huge Pine Island Glacier ice shelf is at the lowest level ever recorded, and less than half of what it was in 2010. Reminding us of Monty Python’s pet store clerk, Turney nonetheless insists that the sea ice is actually melting, and his communications director says the record sea ice is due to … global warming! (As they say, fiction has to make sense.)
Equally amazing, the Shokalskiy was apparently not equipped with adequate wind and weather monitoring and forecasting capabilities. The expedition had to contact climate realists John Coleman, Anthony Watts and Joe Daleo for information that would allow them to plan their helicopter rescue.
All of this raises serious questions that most media have ignored. How could Turney put so many lives and vessels at risk – people he persuaded to join this expedition, the ship and crew they hired, the ships and helicopter and crews that came to their rescue? How did he talk the Russian captain into sailing into these dangerous waters? Who will pay for the rescue ships and their fuel and crews? What if one of the ships sinks – or someone dies? What is Tourney’s personal liability?
This may be the most glaring example of climate foolishness. But it is hardly the first.
In 2007, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen set off across the Arctic in the dead of winter, “to raise awareness about global warming,” by showcasing the wide expanses of open water they were certain they would encounter. Instead, temperatures inside their tent plummeted to -58 F (-50 C), while outside the nighttime air plunged to -103 F (-75 C). Facing frostbite, amputated fingers and toes or even death, the two were airlifted out a bare 18 miles into their 530-mile expedition.
The next winter it was British swimmer and ecologist Lewis Gordon Pugh, who planned to breast-stroke across open Arctic seas. Same story. Then fellow Brit Pen Hadow tried, and failed. In 2010 Aussie Tom Smitheringale set off to demonstrate “the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps.” He was rescued and flown out, after coming “very close to the grave,” he confessed.
Hopefully, all these rescue helicopters were solar-powered. Hardcore climate disaster adventurers should not be relegated to choppers fueled by evil fossil fuels. They may be guilty of believing their own alarmist press releases – but losing digits or ideological purity is a high price to pay.
All these intrepid explorers tried to put the best spin on their failures. “One of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability,” Bancroft-Arnesen expedition coordinator Anne Atwood insisted. “But global warming is real, and with it can come extreme unpredictable changes in temperature,” added Arnesen. “Global warming can mean colder. It can mean wetter. It can mean drier. That’s what we’re talking about,” Greenpeace activist Stephen Guilbeault chimed in.
It’s been said insanity is hitting your thumb repeatedly with a hammer, expecting it won’t hurt the next time. It’s also believing hype, models and delusions, instead of real world observations. Or thinking taxpayers are happy to pay for all the junk science behind claims that the world faces dangerous manmade global warming. Or that they are delighted that the EPA and IPCC are increasingly regulating our lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards and life spans, in the name of preventing climate change.
The fact is, Antarctic ice shelves have broken up many times over the millennia. Arctic ice has rebounded since its latest low ebb around September 2007. Despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, average global temperatures have been stable or declining since 1997. Seas are rising at barely seven inches per century. And periods of warmer or colder global and polar climates are nothing new.
Vikings built homes, grew crops and raised cattle in Greenland between 950 and 1300, before they were frozen out by the Little Ice Age and encroaching pack ice and glaciers. Many warm periods followed, marked by open seas and minimal southward extent of Arctic sea ice, as noted in ships’ logs and discussed in scientific papers by Torgny Vinje and other experts. But warm periods of 1690-1710, 1750-1780 and 1918-1940, for instance, were often preceded and followed by colder temperatures, severe ice conditions and maximum southward ice packs, as during 1630-1660 and 1790-1830.
“Not only in the summer, but in the winter the ocean [in the Bering Sea region] was free of ice, sometimes with a wide strip of water up to at least 200 miles away from the shore,” Swedish explorer Oscar Nordkvist reported in 1822, in a document rediscovered by astrophysicist Willie Soon.
“We were astonished by the total absence of ice in the Barrow Strait,” Francis McClintock, captain of the Fox, wrote in 1860. “I was here at this time in 1854 – still frozen up – and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape.”
In 1903, during the first year of his three-year crossing of the Northwest Passage, Roald Amundsen noted that his party “had made headway with ease,” because ice conditions had been “unusually favorable.”
The 1918-1940 warming also resulted in Atlantic cod increasing in population and expanding their range some 800 miles, to the Upernavik area of Greenland, fisheries biologist Ken Drinkwater has reported.
Climate change is certainly real. It’s been real throughout Earth and human history – including the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, Little Ice Age and Dust Bowl, and through countless other cycles of warming and cooling, flood and drought, storm and calm, open polar seas and impassable ice.
Humans clearly influence weather and climate on a local scale – through heat and emissions from cities and cars, our clearing of forests and grasslands, our diversion of rivers. But that is not the issue. Nor is it enough to say – as President Obama has – that the climate is changing and mankind is contributing to it.
The fundamental issue is this: Are humans causing imminent, unprecedented, global climate change disasters? And can we prevent those alleged disasters, by drastically curtailing hydrocarbon use, slashing living standards, and imposing government control over industries and people’s lives? If you look at actual evidence – instead of computer model forecasts and “scenarios” – the answer is clearly: No.
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Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"Environmentalists probably believe their propaganda, no matter how delusional," William Perry Pendley said

Here’s the man who knows what Reagan would do


By RON ARNOLD | NOVEMBER 7, 2013 AT 7:35 PM

Environmentalists want a Utopian world where they don’t use anything and deprive everyone else of affordable energy so they can’t use anything.

That barbed sentiment comes from a veteran of the Big Green power wars during President Ronald Reagan's administration: William Perry Pendley.

He's better known these days as Mountain States Legal Foundation's outspoken and ground-breaking president - his landmarkSupreme Court win in the Adarand v. Pena civil rights case was called a “legal earthquake” by Time magazine.

His four books have established him as the go-to authority on natural resource politics and law.

Pendley earned his stripes not only as a reconnaissance navigator in the U.S. Marine Corps' Phantom II jet fighters, but also in the Department of the Interior as deputy assistant secretary of energy and minerals during the Reagan years.

It appears that managing a bureaucracy was the tougher of the two jobs from his new account, “Sagebrush Rebel: Reagan’s Battle with Environmental Extremists and why it Matters Today.”

I asked Pendley his thoughts on something that matters today: the recent demise of the Interior Department's little-known agency, the Minerals Management Service, which he helped create.

The MMS was dismantled at the direction of President Obama's appointee, Rhea Suh, profiled in this space previously.

“It came as no surprise,” Pendley told me, “It's the same power play as Obama's war on coal - to make energy so expensive that no one can use it.”

Why was the MMS such a prime target? “The MMS made the federal outer continental shelf oil and gas program efficient, so OCS oil and gas was less expensive to produce – the opposite of Obama’s goal – and that made it a target," he said.

“Before President Reagan,” Pendley explained, “the OCS drilling program's pre-leasing activity was run by the Bureau of Land Management and its post-leasing efforts by the Conservation Division of the U.S. Geological Survey.”

Reagan’s first Interior Secretary, James Watt, Pendley recalled, “took all OCS activity and created the Minerals Management Service to house it, ending a long-running, often acrimonious and inefficient turf battle between the two old-line Interior bureaus.

“Then, drilling companies had a one-stop shop to get permits and to pay royalty fees.” As a result, two Alaska sales soon yielded $2.9 billion in bonus bids.

The MMS made money for the Treasury in the hard-to-understand world of oil and gas and boosted energy products for Americans for nearly three decades.

The Washington Post sneered in disgust that, “MMS grew to become one of the government's largest revenue collectors, after the Internal Revenue Service.”

Pendley said, “Getting rid of the Minerals Management Service for Obama was just a matter of finding the right justification, and BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster was it.”

The April 2010 BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest and most traumatic marine oil spill in history.

An explosion killed 11 workers, 87 days of uncontrolled gushing did immense natural and human damage, and BP has paid $42.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties so far. All that is horrendous enough, but politics never lets a good crisis go to waste.

An Obama moratorium on ocean drilling by dozens of rigs with excellent safety records was struck down in court.

Pendley noted that Obama immediately created by executive order a supposedly bipartisan panel run by two Democrats (the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling) to “assess the disaster.”

Translated from Obamababble, what that really meant was “find reasons to stop offshore oil and gas production and regulate the industry out of existence.”

The panel’s report was a political joke, concluding that the isolated, unique BP disaster, “absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur.”

Thus, the efficient, thrifty, productive MMS was proclaimed the scapegoat and took the fall for BP’s culpability, hacked into three pieces with no job but to end the industry they regulate.

In conclusion, Pendley reiterated his leading thought: “Environmentalists probably believe their own propaganda, regardless how delusional it is.

"They want a utopian world where they don’t use anything and deprive everyone else of affordable energy so they can’t use anything.”

William Perry Pendley represents the profound institutional memory of a free people who will need it to rebuild after these dark times are swept away in a roar of joy.


RON ARNOLD, a Washington Examiner columnist, is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.