Thursday, June 27, 2013

POTUS and his EPA continue to believe climate alarmists and continue to put people out of work, while raising the price of energy. Read CARE favorite Driessen's take on the issue

Climate alarmism’s 10,000 commandments               

EPA fiats threaten American lives, livelihoods, living standards and life spans
Paul Driessen

The United States will “do more,” before it’s “too late” to prevent “dangerous” global warming, President Obama told Berliners last week. If Congress won’t act, he will, by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, increasing subsidies and reduce environmental overview for wind and solar projects on federal lands, and issuing other rules that will adversely affect economic growth and job creation.
Indeed, his Environmental Protection Agency is already devising new rules that will sharply curtail carbon dioxide emissions, by regulating thousands of facilities that use hydrocarbon energy – and thus ultimately almost everything Americans make, grow, ship, eat and do.
However, the manmade global warming “disasters” exist only in computer models and assertions by scientists who are addicted to billions in government Climate Armageddon grants. Moreover, the “preventative measures” are far worse than the disasters EPA claims to be preventing.
Even the most diehard alarmists have finally recognized that average global temperatures have hardly budged since 1997, even as atmospheric levels of plant-fertilizing CO2 climbed steadily. For many areas, the past winter was among the coldest in decades; the USA and Britain just recorded one of their coldest springs on record; and satellite data show that Earth has actually cooled slightly since 2002.
The frequency and severity of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts are no different from observed trends and cycles over the past century. 2012 set records for the fewest strong tornadoes since 1954 and the number of years with no category 3 or higher hurricane making US landfall. (The vicious tornadoes of recent weeks underscore how quickly the weather can swing back to normal patterns.) Arctic sea ice is within a few percentage points of “normal” levels for the past fifty years, and the rate of sea level rise is not accelerating.
These facts completely contradict computer model predictions and alarmist claims. Moreover, as Climategate and numerous studies have shown, the “science” behind EPA’s ruling that carbon dioxide “endangers” human health and welfare is conjectural, manufactured, manipulated and even fraudulent.
EPA is supposed to protect our environment, health and welfare. Instead, it “safeguards” us from exaggerated or illusory risks – by issuing mountains of costly, intrusive regulations that endanger our health, wellbeing and wildlife far more than any reasonably foreseeable effects from climate change.
This accumulation of anti-hydrocarbon restrictions and penalties is putting EPA in control of nearly every aspect of our lives. Fuel, compliance and business costs will soar. Companies will be forced to outsource work to other countries, reduce work forces, shift people to part-time status, or close their doors.
Poor and minority families will be unable to heat and cool their homes properly, pay their rent or mortgage, buy clothing and medicine, take vacations, pay their bills, give to charity, and save for college and retirement.
With twelve million Americans already out of work, and another eight million working multiple lower-paying, part-time jobs, EPA’s global warming and 1,920 other rules over the past four years translate into unprecedented sleep deprivation, lower economic and educational status, and soaring anxiety and stress. That will mean greater risk of strokes and heart attacks; higher incidences of depression, alcohol, drug, spousal and child abuse; more suicides; and declining overall life expectancy.
EPA’s new 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standards will force more people into smaller, lighter, less safe cars – causing thousands of needless additional serious injuries and deaths every year – in the name of preventing illusory climate and oil and gas depletion crises.
Federal regulators use the same phony climate change and energy depletion arguments to justify letting wind turbine operators slaughter millions of birds and bats every year – including bald and golden eagles, hawks, condors and whooping cranes. They continue to promote and subsidize $50-per-gallon biofuels, to replace oil and natural gas that the world still has in abundance – thanks to new exploration, drilling and production technologies. This focus on biofuels also means more rainforests and other wildlife habitats are being cut down in the name of “renewable” energy.
EPA and President Obama never consider any of this, in calculating the supposed “benefits” of their onerous regulations. They refuse to recognize that their hysterical claims of climate cataclysms are increasingly indefensible. They ignore the damage that their heavy-handed rules impose on our health, welfare and environmental quality.
EPA finds, punishes and even targets anyone who violates any of its ten thousand commandments, even inadvertently. The agency’s climate change actions, however, are not inadvertent. They are deliberate, and their effects are harmful and far reaching. They will affect every American and 100% of our economy. 
And yet, these increasingly powerful bureaucrats – who seek and acquire ever more control over our lives – remain faceless, nameless, unelected and unaccountable. They operate largely behind closed doors, issuing regulations and arranging sweetheart “sue and settle” legal actions with radical environmentalist groups, to advance ideological agendas, without regard for their impacts on our lives, livelihoods, living standards, health, welfare and environment.
They know that, for them, there is rarely any real transparency, accountability or consequences – even for gross stupidity, major screw-ups, flagrant abuses or deliberate harm.
We need to save our environment from environmentalists and EPA – and safeguard our liberties, living standards and lives against the arrogance of too-powerful politicians and bureaucrats. How we achieve this, while protecting our lives and environment from real risks, is one of the greatest challenges we face.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

© Paul Driessen * June 20, 2013

Published in the Washington Times, Monday, June 24, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Surprise? Probably not surprising that POTUS wants to further drive America's economy into the ground. Good economy=jobs, not presidential overrides of Congressional action.

Obama's New Environmental Regulations Would Weaken The Economy Further 

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
June 25, 2013

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is considering tapering off monetary accommodation, and European and Chinese economies are weakening. American stock markets are on the skids. The American economy shows many signs of fatigue.

So what should President Obama do? Surely, he should take steps to help the economy, such as by loosening costly regulations that keep Americans from working and firms from expanding.

But reportedly Obama will do the opposite in a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday. He will override Congress and use his executive powers to write new rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions even more than currently required. Current rules have cost many Americans their jobs and all Americans pay more for energy and related products than they should. Obama's tougher rules will spread pain across America: job losses for many of us Americans and higher prices for all of us.

In a video posted on the White House Web site over the weekend, Obama once more laid out the industrial policy argument: Scientists will design new fuels, and farmers will grow them (cut to views of cornfields). Engineers will invent new sources of energy, businesses will produce and sell them (cut to electric cars), and workers will build new technologies (views of windmills).

White House sources say that the president will use his executive powers to reduce greenhouse emissions from existing power plants, rather than future plants. He also plans to increase efficiency standards for appliances and authorize wind farms and solar power plants on federal lands.

No matter that by some measures global temperatures have not risen for the past 15 years, and wind turbines and solar panels are imported from abroad, manufactured in China using electricity made by coal. The nation's gasoline supply cannot absorb rising quantities of ethanol mandated by Congress because fuel consumption is declining. Cellulosic ethanol, required by law to be purchased by petroleum refiners and importers, is not produced in commercial quantities.

Greenhouse gas emissions have been declining since 2007, and fell by 1.6 percent between 2010 and 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier this year. Required use of alternative energy technology might reduce greenhouse gas emissions further, but the new technologies make fuel and electricity more expensive, reducing economic growth.

The message that government can create jobs by requiring more costly technology is a siren song, seductive but empty. Yes, some Americans might be employed building the technology, but others lose jobs due to more expensive energy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics gave up its green jobs survey this year after the 2011 count was embarrassingly low, 3.4 million jobs, despite $500 million in the stimulus bill for green jobs. By the end of 2011, combined expenditures of the Energy Training Partnership, Pathways out of Poverty, and State Energy Sector Partnership green jobs stimulus programs totaled $257.3 million. However, only 5,400 new jobs through the programs were retained at least 6 months, yielding a cost of $47,754 per job.

By reducing emissions through executive order, the president is stepping carefully between the blues and the greens which comprise part of the Democratic Party's fragile coalition. Blue-collar workers want jobs and economic growth, and environmentalists, who do not care about growth, want conservation and lower emissions. These goals are fundamentally at odds.

Most obviously, increased regulation of carbon will reduce jobs in the mining industry, harming the 74,577 members of the United Mine Workers of America. Over 100 coal-fired power plants have closed since the beginning of 2010.

The Democrats' blue collar supporters are one reason why legislation to regulate emissions, known as "cap-and-trade" because it would have capped emissions and encouraged firms to buy and sell rights to pollute, failed to pass the Democratic 111th Congress in 2009-2010, the first two years of Obama's term.

The bill would have required EPA to shrink greenhouse gas allowances steadily to 2050. When any year's emissions would have exceeded a firm's cap, the firm would have to purchase allowances from the government or other companies. That is a tax under another name, driving up costs that would be passed on to consumers.

The revenues from the Kerry-Lieberman and Waxman-Markey bills, about $646 billion over 8 years, were too large for a Democratic Congress to support, even with Obama's backing.

The president has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline, angering the blues, such as the Laborers International Union of North America. Not only would constructing the pipeline create construction jobs, but employment in Gulf refineries would expand to process oil from Canada.

LIUNA president Terry O'Sullivan said earlier this year, "I urge the State Department and the White House to move with all haste in completing the next steps in the authorization process. The Keystone pipeline will unlock thousands of good jobs for American workers and any further delay beyond the State Department's current schedule will only result in prolonged economic insecurity for thousands of Laborers who would otherwise be working."

According to White House sources, Obama does not appear to have plans to approve Keystone in his Tuesday speech. The president is making his announcement as some manufacturers are returning to America due to low-cost energy. The new French Vallourec Star pipe mill in eastern Ohio is making tubes for the electric pipe industry. Other companies making similar investments are Luxembourg's Tenaris and China's Tanjin Pipe. Royal Dutch Shell is building a $4 billion ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania, and is planning on hiring 5,000 construction workers.

If these companies run into difficulties, their investors and shareholders will bear the losses. But when the government picks investments in risky new technology, taxpayers and the federal budget lose if the projects fail. Of the 33 energy loan guarantees made since 2009 under the Energy Department's programs, 30, or over 90 percent, have shown signs of trouble, ranging from missed production goals to bankruptcy filings.

Companies which received loans or grants from the Energy Department during the Obama administration then filed for bankruptcy include Solyndra, Abound Solar, A123, Ener1, Evergreen Solar, Solar Trust of America, Energy Conversion Devices, and Beacon Power. Grant recipients Ecototality, SunPower, and Smith Electric have reported losses.

The Inspector General of the Energy Department, Gregory Friedman, found that employees of LG Chem, a battery manufacturer in Holland, Michigan, "spent time volunteering at local non-profit organizations, playing games and watching movies during regular working hours." LG Chem, meanwhile, sold batteries made in South Korea to U.S. firms rather than producing the batteries in Michigan.

The percentage of Americans who are employed or looking for work stands at 63.4 percent, the same as 1981 levels. With more Americans looking for work, the unemployment rate would be higher than its current level of 7.6 percent.

Raising the cost of energy at any time is poor economic policy, but especially when economic growth is slow. After four years of economic "recovery," the United States is stumbling along at 2 percent GDP growth, with 2.4 million fewer nonfarm payroll jobs than in December, 2007, at the start of the recession. Now is not the time for Obama to overrule Congress and slow the economy further.

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

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Both Sides of Climate Debate meet and hear each other. Wonder if the alarmists LISTENED to the scientists?

A Climate Debate: Both Sides Showed Up!

BY: Dennis T. Avery, Hudson Institute

Churchville, VA—I just took part in a remarkable event: a public debate over manmade global warming in which both sides appeared—and the Associated Press reported on it!  I have been invited to many of these events over the past six years, but the warmists always canceled when they found a skeptic was part of the deal.

John Christy, from the University of Alabama/Huntsville, opened the debate. He graphed the climate models’ projections of huge warming—made just before the non-warming of the past 16 years. As usual, he gave a great presentation.

Mark Morano of the Climate Depot website spoke about the politics of the man-made warming campaign, and economist Myron Ebell talked about green energy’s horrendous and mounting costs.

On the warming side, Dr. Scott Denning of Colorado State University insisted that CO2 emitted heat, and more CO2 meant a warmer planet. He was corrected by Dr. Tom Sheehan, an MIT-trained physicist. Sheehan said CO2 does not give off heat, it merely absorbs heat and then diffuses it again.

Dr. James Hurrell of The National Center for Atmospheric Research said we should all respect the science that is telling us a huge warming is on the way, but he couldn’t tell us when the modeling would finally prove accurate.

Annie Petunk of the Environmental Defense Fund waxed eloquent about her girlhood in Appalachia, but said nothing about the EDF’s efforts to eliminate West Virginia’s coal industry.  

I showed the highly variable temperature record of the past 10,000 years, with an abrupt  warming or cooling shift every 700 years or so. I warned that the abrupt climate impacts on people had been far greater than we would have expected from a temperature shift of only 2–4 degrees C.
The 2–4 C drop, along with accompanying shorter grower seasons is literally a killer and is the pattern that goes back at least 1 million years.

Nor is today’s weather “more extreme.” During the “little ice ages,” today’s Iraq typically got 300-year droughts, which starved virtually its entire population. Egypt suffered six periods when centuries of inadequate Nile floods caused famines so severe that people ate their children. Farther north, the “little ice ages” in Europe and Northern China drowned the crops with violent rains and heavy flooding.

Dr. Hurrell said he agreed that the past warmings and “little ices ages” were real. He insisted, however, that today’s warming—coming right after the 550-year Little Ice Age—was “different.” He noted that higher temperatures had already produced more and heavier rainfall, and more drying of the soil surface.

I pointed out that Dr Phil Jones, the guru of the whole warmist movement, recently told BBC the warming from 1976–1998 “could not be statistically distinguished” from the earlier warming periods at 1915–1940 and 1860–1880. Those warmings also featured heavier rainfalls and drier soil temperatures. (The hotter years of the 1930s, in fact. produced the Dust Bowl!)

The “scientific consensus” can no longer be defended simply by “votes” from modelers and environmental activists. The costs of energy and job loss are becoming too great too fast—even for the Europeans who led the scare.  Europe is now abandoning its green investors, even as Europe’s industries plan investments in the U.S. where they can benefit from low-cost shale gas.

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. Readers may write to him at PO Box 202 Churchville, VA 2442; email to Visit our website at www.